Softball Canada Rules 2005
These rules have been condensed and copied from the Official Softball Canada Rule Book 2005-2006. These should not be considered comprehensive as they do not include all game situations and have been edited to remove articles and sections not relevant to out inter league play. Where any situation arises that is not covered in this condensed version, the umpire makes the final decision. Clarification of rules may be emailed to email@example.com or may be forwarded to the Umpire in Chief via the Division convenor.
Is a play upon which an umpire cannot make decision until requested by a manager, coach or player of either the defensive or offensive team.
- Can be made while the ball is either dead or alive.
- The appeal may not be made after any one of the following has occurred:
- A pitch has been thrown.
- At the end of an inning, when all defensive players have left fair territory.
- The umpires have left the field of play following the last play of the game.
- Missing a base.
- Leaving a base on a caught fly ball before the ball is first touched.
- Batting out of order.
- Attempting to advance to second base after making a turn at first base.
Base on Balls
- Another term for a base on balls is a walk.
- Permits a batter to gain first base without liability to be put out.
- Is awarded to a batter by the umpire when four pitches are judged to be balls.
Is an imaginary line (3ft) to either side of a direct line between the bases.
- An established base path is a direct line between a base and the runner’s position at the time a defensive player is attempting (or about to attempt) to tag a runner.
- This base path becomes established when the fielder receives the ball and begins his attempt to tag the runner.
- Is any ball that hits the bat; or
- Is hit by the bat, and lands either in fair or foul territory.
- No intention to hit the ball is necessary.
A player can never change his position in the batting order.
Is a batted, thrown or pitched ball:
- that is touched, stopped, or handled by a person not engaged in the game; or
- touches any object that is not part of the official equipment or official playing area.
Is a batted ball not swung at, but intentionally met with the bat and tapped slowly within the infield.
Is a legally caught ball, which occurs when the fielder catches a batted or thrown ball with his hand(s) or glove.
- If the ball is merely held in the fielder’s arm(s) or prevented from dropping to the ground by some part of the fielder’s body, equipment, or clothing, the catch is not completed until the ball is in the grasp of the fielder’s hand(s) or glove.
- It is not a catch if a fielder, immediately after he contacts the ball, collides with another player or a wall or falls to the ground and drops the ball as a result of the collision or falling to the ground.
- In establishing a valid catch, the fielder must hold the ball long enough to prove he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional.
- If a player drops the ball while in the act of throwing it, it is a valid catch.
Is a ball that:
- Touches any object that is not part of the official equipment or official playing area; or
- Touches a player or person not engaged in the game; or
- Lodges in the umpire’s gear or in the offensive player’s clothing; or
- The umpire has ruled dead.
Note: The ball is not in play and is not considered in play again until the pitcher is holding the ball within the pitcher’s circle and the plate umpire has called “Play Ball”
The team in the field.
Is a play by the defence in which two offensive players are legally put out as a result of continuous action.
Ejection from the Game
In the act of any umpire ordering a player, official or any team member to leave the game and the grounds for a repeated violation of the rules, or deliberate or unsportsmanlike act.
- Failure of the ejected person to leave the game and the grounds will warrant forfeiture of the game.
Is a legally batted ball which:
- Settles on fair territory between home and first base or between home and third base.
- Bounds past first or third base on or over fair territory.
- Touches first, second or third base.
- While on or over fair territory, touches the person or clothing of an umpire or player.
- First falls on fair territory beyond first and third base
- While over fair territory, passes out of the playing field beyond the outfield fence.
- Hits the foul line pole on the fly.
1. A fair fly shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, and not as to whether the fielder is on fair or foul territory at the time of touching the ball.
2. It does not matter whether the ball first touches fair or foul territory, as long as it does not touch anything foreign to the natural ground or foul territory and complies with all other aspects of a fair ball.
3. The position of the ball at the time of umpire or spectator interference determines whether the ball is fair or foul, regardless if the ball rolls untouched to foul or fair territory.
Is the part of the playing field within, and including, the first and third base foul lines from home base to the bottom of the extreme playing field.
Is any defensive player on the team on the field.
Is any ball batted into the air.
Is an out which can be made only when a runner loses the right to the base which he is occupying because the batter becomes a batter- runner.
Is the act of the home plate umpire ruling that the game is over and declaring the non-offending team the winner due to an infraction of the rules or flagrant misbehaviour by the offending team.
Is a legally batted ball which:
- Settles on foul territory between home and first base or between home and third base.
- Bounds past first or third on or over foul territory.
- First touches on foul territory beyond first or third base.
- While on or over foul territory, touches the person or clothing or an umpire or player, or any object foreign to the natural ground.
- Touches the batter while within the batter’s box.
- Immediately rebounds up from the ground or home plate and hits the bat a second time while the batter is in the batter’s box.
- A foul fly shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, and not as to whether the fielder is on fair or foul territory at the time of touching the ball.
- The position of the ball a the time of umpire or spectator interference determines whether the ball is fair or foul, regardless if the ball rolls untouched to foul or fair territory.
Is any part of the playing field that is not included in fair territory.
Is a batted ball which:
- Goes directly from the bat to the catcher’s hands; and
- Does not go higher than the batter’s head; and
- Is legally caught by the catcher.
- It is not a foul tip unless caught; and
- Any foul tip that is caught is a strike.
- The ball is in play.
- It is not a catch if it is a rebound, unless the ball first touched the catcher’s hand(s) or glove.
Illegally Batted Ball
- A batter hits a fair or foul ball while his entire foot is completely out of the box and on the ground.
- Any part of the batter’s foot is touching home plate when he hits the ball.
- The batter steps with his entire foot out of the batter’s box and returns to contact the ball while inside the batter’s box.
Is that portion of the field in fair territory that includes areas normally covered by infielders.
Is a defensive player who is generally positioned anywhere near the lines formed by the base paths within fair territory.
- Players who normally play in the outfield can be considered infielders if they move into the area normally covered by infielders.
- Is a fair ball (not including a line drive or a bunt):
- When first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied.
- That can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort.
- Before two are out.
- The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder that positions himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule.
- When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an infield fly, the umpire shall immediately declare”INFIELD FLY, IF FAIR-THE BATTER IS OUT” for the benefit of the runners.
- The ball is alive and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or retouch and advance after the ball is touched, the same as on any fly ball.
- If the hit becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul.
- If a declared infield fly is allowed to fall untouched to the ground and bounces foul before passing first or third base it is a foul ball.
- If a declared infield fly falls untouched to the ground outside the baseline, and bounces fair before passing first or third base, it is an infield fly. (and the batter is out)
Is the act of:
- An offensive player or team member that impedes, hinders or confuses a defensive player attempting to execute a play.
- An umpire who impedes a catcher’s attempt to throw out a runner who is off base.
- An umpire who is hit with a fair-batted ball prior to it passing an infielder excluding the pitcher
- A spectator who reaches into the playing field and impedes a fielder playing the ball.
Occurs when the ball, while it is securely held in a fielder’s hand touches a runner or batter-runner who is not touching a base.
- The ball in not considered as having been securely held if it is juggled or dropped by the fielder after having touched the runner, unless the runner deliberately knocks the ball from the hand of the fielder.
- It is sufficient for the runner to be touched with the hand or glove with which the ball is held.
Legally Caught Ball
- Occurs when a fielder catches a batted, thrown or pitched ball, provided it is not caught in the fielder’s cap, helmet, mask, protector, pocket or other part of his uniform; and
- It must be caught and firmly held in the hand(s) or glove.
Is a pitched ball that is batted sharply and directly in flight into the playing field.
Is the act of:
- A defensive player or team member that hinders or prevents a batter from striking or hitting a pitched ball.
- A fielder while:
- not in possession of the ball; or
- not in the act of fielding a batted ball;
who impedes the progress of a runner or batter-runner who is legally running the bases.
Note: A fielder with possession of the ball may cause an obstruction by:
- Pushing the runner off a base; or
- Impeding the progress of a runner while not in the act of making a play on the runner.
Is the team at bat.
- Is that portion of the field that is outside the diamond formed by the baseline; and
- The area not normally covered by an infielder and within the foul lines beyond first and third bases and boundaries of the grounds.
Is the act of an offensive player when, as a runner, he loses contact with the base he is attempting to reach with a slide or by running.
The batter-runner may over-slide/run first base without being jeopardy if he immediately returns to that base.
Is a play in which a ball is thrown from one fielder to another, resulting in the ball going beyond the boundary lines of the playing field or becoming blocked.
Is a pitched ball that the catcher should have held or controlled with ordinary effort.
Is the act performed by the pitcher in delivering the ball to the batter.
a. If the pitch becomes blocked or goes out of play, one base is awarded to all runners.
Is the area within 8 ft radius of the pitcher’s plate.
Is the wood or rubber board the pitcher’s feet must be in contact with at the start of the pitch.
Removal from the game
Is the act of the umpire declaring a player ineligible for further participation in the game as a result of an infraction of the rules.
- Any person so removed may continue to sit on the bench but shall not participate further in the game.
Is a player of the team at bat who has finished a turn at bat, reached first base, and has not yet been put out.
Is the act of a runner attempting to advance during or after a pitch to the batter.
Is that space over any part of home plate between the batter’s armpits and the top of his knees when the batter assumes his natural batting stance.
Is the act of a fielder touching:
- A base with any part of his body, while holding the ball securely in his hand(s) or glove, while a runner is in a force out situation; or
- A base with any part of his body, while holding the ball securely in his hand(s) or glove, during a live ball appeal for missing a base or for leaving the base early on a fly ball; or
- A runner, while holding the ball securely in his hand(s) or glove, while the runner is in jeopardy; or
- A runner with the ball in the glove and the ball is held securely during and immediately following the touching action.
Is the action of a runner returning to his base, or remaining on his base, before he legally advances on a batted fly ball that is first touched by a fielder.
- This is not to be confused with the action of a fielder tagging a base or a runner.
Is the act performed by a fielder when throwing the ball to another fielder.
- If the throw becomes blocked or goes out of play, two bases are awarded all runners from the last base touched at the time of the throw.
Is the term used by the umpire to order the suspension of play when the ball is dead.
Is a pitch so high, so low or so wide of the plate that the catcher cannot, or does not, control it with ordinary effort.
Is a play in which a ball is thrown from one fielder to another, and cannot be caught or controlled, is not blocked and remains in play.
Playing the Game
The following rules apply to the double base:
- A batted ball hitting the fair portion is declared fair, and a batted ball hitting the foul portion only is declared foul.
- If a pitched ball is hit or the batter-runner runs on a dropped third strike and the batter-runner fails to use the foul portion(orange side) of the base on his first attempt at first base and a play is made, the batter-runner is out.
- A defensive player must use only the fair portion (white side) of the base at all times.
- After over-running the base, the batter-runner must return to the fair portion (white side).
- On balls hit to the outfield when there is no play being made at the double base, the batter-runner may touch either portion of the base.
- When tagging up on a fly ball, the fair portion must be used.
- On an attempted pick-off play, the runner must return to the fair portion.
- Once a runner returns to the fair portion, should he stand on the foul portion only, he is considered not in contact with the base and the runner shall be called out, if
a) he is tagged with the ball; or
b) he leads off from the foul portion on a pitched ball.
A regulation game shall consist of seven innings.
The plate umpire is empowered to call a game at any time because of darkness, rain, fire, panic or other cause, which puts the patrons, players or umpires in peril.
a. A forfeited game is considered regulation.
b. The plate umpire shall declare a forfeit in favour of the team not at fault in the following cases:
1) If a team fails to appear on the field, or being on the field, refuses to begin a game for which it is scheduled or assigned at the time scheduled or within a time set for forfeitures by the organization.
2) If, after, the game has begun, one side refuses to continue to play.
3) If, after the umpire has suspended play, one side fails to resume playing within two minutes after the umpire has called “Play Ball”.
4) If a team, after a warning, employs tactics designed to delay or to hasten the game.
5) If, after a warning by the umpire, any one of the rules of the game is willfully violated.
6) If the order for the removal or ejection of a player or any person authorized to sit on the team bench is not obeyed within one minute.
7) If, because of the removal or ejection of a player(s) from the game, by the umpire, or for any cause there are less that the required number of players to field a team.
8) If any team member or spectator attacks any umpire physically.
Players of the team in the field may be stationed anywhere on fair territory, except the catcher, who must be in the catcher’s box and the pitcher, who must be in a legal pitching position at the start of each pitch, or within the pitcher’s circle when putting the ball in play.
A team must have the required number of players present in the team area to start or continue a game.
- Starting with the top of the eighth inning, and each half inning thereafter, the offensive team shall begin its turn at bat with the player who is scheduled to bat ninth in that respective half-inning being placed on second base.
No pitch shall be declared when:
- The pitcher pitches during a suspension of play.
- The pitcher attempts a quick return of the ball:
- before the batter has taken his position; or
- when the batter is off balance as a result of a previous pitch
- A runner is called out for leaving a base prior to the pitcher releasing the pitch.
- The pitcher pitches before a runner has retouched his base after a foul ball has been declared and the ball is dead.
The ball is declared dead and all subsequent action on that pitch is cancelled.
If the ball slips from the pitcher’s hand during his delivery:
- A ball is declared on the batter; and
- The ball will remain in play; and
- The runners may advance at their own risk.
A Strike is called by the umpire:
a. When any part of a legally pitched ball enters the strike zone before touching the ground and the batter does not swing.
EXCEPTION: It is not a strike if the pitched ball touches home plate and is not swung at.
- For each legally pitched ball struck at and missed by the batter.
The ball is in play and runners may advance with liability to be put out.
- For each foul tip. (caught by the catcher)
The ball is in play and runners may advance with liability to be put out. The batter is out if it is the third strike.
- For each foul ball not legally caught on the fly when the batter has less than two strikes.
- For each pitched ball struck at and missed which touches any part of the batter.
- When any part of the batter’s person or clothing is hit with his own batted ball when he is in the batter’s box and he has less than two strikes.
- When a pitched ball hits the batter while the ball is in the strike zone.
- When the batter fails to enter the batter’s box within 10 seconds after the umpire calls “Play Ball”
The ball is dead and runners must return to their bases without liability to be put out.
A Ball is called by the umpire:
a. For each legally pitched ball that:
1) Does not enter the strike zone; or
2) Touches the ground before reaching home plate and is not swung at; or
3) Touches home plate and which the batter does not swing at.
The ball is in play and runners may advance with liability to be put out.
The Batter is out
- When the third strike is swung at and missed and the ball touches any part of the batter’s person.
- When he bunts foul after the second strike.
- When he hits a fair ball with the bat a second time over fair territory
EXCEPTION: If the batter is standing in the batter’s box and contact is made while the bat is in his hands, a foul ball is ruled, even if the ball is hit a second time over fair territory.
Note: If the batter drops the bat and the ball rolls against the bat over fair territory. And, in the umpire’s judgement, there was no intention to interfere with the course of the ball, he is not out, and the ball remains alive and in play.
- When the catcher catches a called or swinging third strike.
- When he has three strikes and first base is occupied with less than two out.
The ball is live and runners may advance with liability to be put out.
The Batter becomes a Batter-Runner
- When he legally hits a fair ball.
- When the catcher fails to catch the third strike before the ball touches the ground; and
- There are less than two outs and first base is unoccupied; or
- There are two outs.
This is known as the third strike rule.
EXCEPTION: In Squirt and under, the batter is out on the third strike regardless of whether the ball is caught. The ball remains alive.
- When the umpire has called four balls.
The batter is awarded one base without liability to be put out, provided he advances to and touches first base.
- When a fair ball strikes the person, attached equipment or clothing of the umpire or a runner. If the runner is hit with a fair ball while touching a base, he is not out. If the runner is hit by the ball while off base he is out, and the batter-runner is entitled to first base without liability to be put out.
- When a pitched ball not swung at, not called a strike, touches any part of the batter’s person or clothing while he is in the batter’s box. It does not matter if the ball strikes the ground before hitting him.
Note: The batter’s hands are not to be considered a part of the bat.
The ball is dead and he is entitled to one base without liability to be put out.
EXCEPTION: If no attempt is made to avoid being hit, the umpire calls either a ball or a strike.
Batter-Runner is Out
- When the catcher drops the third strike and the batter-runner is legally touched with the ball while off base or thrown out prior to reaching first base.
- When a fielder legally catches a fly ball before it touches the ground, or an object or person other than a defensive player.
- When, after hitting a fair ball, he is tagged while off base or thrown out prior to reaching first base.
- When he fails to advance to first base and instead enters his team area:
1) After a fair ball is hit; or
2) After a base on ball is issued; or
3) Anytime that he may legally advance to first base.
EXCEPTION: When the ball is dead on a hit batter, the batter-runner is not out because the ball is dead and runners cannot advance unless forced.
Note: A batter is not out if his turn at bat is not completed ( he has not become a batter-runner) and he enters the team dugout.
- When an infield fly is declared.
The ball is in play and runners may advance at their own risk.
- When, after he hits a fair ball or runs on a dropped third strike, he touches only the fair portion of the double base on his first attempt at that base and a play is made at the base.
- When he steps back toward home plate to avoid or delay a tag by a fielder.
The ball is dead and all runners return to the last base held at the time of the infraction.
- When he:
1)Runs outside the three foot line and in the umpire’s judgement interferes with:
a) the fielder taking the throw at first base; or
b) the thrown ball, preventing a fielder from making a play at first base.
Note: A thrown ball striking a batter-runner does not necessarily constitute interference.
2) Interferes with a fielder attempting to field a batted ball.
Note: The batter-runner may run outside the three foot line to avoid a fielder attempting to field a batted ball.
- Interferes with a fielder attempting to throw a ball.
- Intentionally interferes with a thrown ball.
- Interferes with a dropped third strike.
Note: If this interference and in the umpire’s judgement is an obvious attempt to prevent a double play, the runner closest to home plate at the time of the interference shall also be called out.
- When he interferes with a play at home plate in an attempt to prevent an obvious out at the plate.
The runner is also out.
- If, when using the double base, he collides with a fielder who is using only the fair portion of the base and who is about to catch a thrown ball by any fielder.
Touching Bases in Legal Order
- Runner must touch bases in legal order (i.e. first, second, third and home plate).
- Two runners may not occupy the same base simultaneously
- The runner who first legally occupied the base shall be entitled to it, unless forced to advance.
- The other runner may be put out, by being touched by the ball.
- No runner may return to touch a missed base on one left illegally, after a following runner has scored, or leaves the field of play.
- Bases left too soon on a caught fly ball must be retouched prior to advancing to awarded bases.
- Awarded bases must be touched in legal order.
- When a walk is issued, all runners must touch all bases in legal order.
The runner shall be declared out, if the defence makes a legal appeal before the next pitch.
Runners are Entitled to Advance with Liability to Be Put Out
- When the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand on his delivery.
- On a thrown ball or fair batted ball that is not blocked.
- On a thrown ball that hits an umpire
- When a legally caught fly ball is first touched.
- When a fair batted ball:
- Strikes an umpire or a runner after having passed a fielder other than the pitcher and provided no other fielder had a chance to make an out; or
- Has been touched by a fielder, including the pitcher.
- Strikes an umpire on foul ground. The ball is in play.
A Runner Must Return to His Base
A runner must return to his base, but need not touch the intervening bases:
a. When a batted ball is declared foul
b. When the umpire declares the ball to have illegally batted.
c. When the umpire calls interference.
d. When a pitched ball that is swung at and missed, touches any part of the batter’s person.
e. When a pitched ball hits a batter.
The ball is dead and he must return without liability to be put out, to the last base legally held at the time of the pitch, unless forced to advance because the batter became a batter-runner.
- When a batter, or runner, is called out for interference.
The ball is dead and he must return, without liability to be put out to the last base legally held at the time of the interference, unless forced to advance because the batter became a batter-runner.
Note: It is not umpire interference if, on a passed ball, wild pitch or a thrown ball from the catcher, the ball hits the umpire. The ball remains alive.
The Runner is Not Out
- When he runs behind, or in front of the fielder and outside the base path, in order to avoid interfering with a fielder attempting to field the batted ball in the base path.
- When he does not run in a direct line to the base, provided the fielder in the direct line does not have the ball in his possession.
- When more than one fielder attempts to field a batted ball and the runner comes in contact with the one, who, in the umpire’s judgement, was not entitled to field the ball.
- When he is hit with a fair, untouched batted ball that has passed a fielder, excluding the pitcher, and in the umpire’s judgement, no fielder had a chance to make an out.
- When he is hit with a fair, untouched batted ball over foul territory and, in the umpire’s judgement, no fielder had a chance to make an out.
- When he is hit with a fair batted ball after it touches or is touched by any fielder including the pitcher and he did not avoid contact with the ball.
- When he is touched while off base
- When he held his base until a fly ball touches a fielder and then attempts to advance.
- When hit by a batted ball when touching his base, unless he intentionally interferes with the ball or a fielder making a play.
- When he slides into a base and dislodges it from its proper position. The base is considered to have followed the runner.
- A runner reaching a base safely will not be out for being off that base if it becomes dislodged.
- He may return to that base without liability to be put out when the base has been replaced.
- A runner forfeits this exemption, if he attempts to advance beyond the dislodged base before it is again in proper position.
The ball is dead and not in play in the following circumstances.
- When the ball is batted illegally.
- When “no pitch” is declared.
- When a pitched ball touches any part of the batter’s person or clothing whether the ball is struck at or not.
- When a foul fly ball is not caught.
- When the offensive team causes interference.
- When the ball is outside the established playing limits of the playing area.
- When an accident to a batter-runner or runner prevents him from proceeding to the awarded base, he may be substituted.
- When a wild pitch or passed ball goes under, over or through the backstop.
- When the umpire calls “Time”
- When any part of the batter’s person is hit with his own batted ball, while still in the batter’s box.
- When a fielder carries or causes a live ball to go into dead ball territory.
- When a spectator interferes with a live ball within the area of the playing field.
Runners cannot advance on a dead ball, unless forced to do so by reason of the batter having reached first base as entitled to, or they are awarded a base or bases.
Ball in Play
The ball is in play in the following circumstances:
- At the start of the game and each half inning, when the pitcher has the ball while standing in his pitching position and the plate umpire has called “Play Ball”.
- When the infield fly rule is enforced.
- When thrown ball goes past a fielder and remains in playable territory.
- When a fair ball strikes an umpire, or runner, on fair ground after:
- Passing a fielder, excluding the pitcher, and no other fielder had a chance to make an out; or
- Touching a fielder, including the pitcher.
- When a fair ball strikes an umpire on foul ground.
- When a runner is called out for passing a preceding runner.
- When a fair ball is legally batted.
- When a runner must return in reverse order, while the ball is in play.
- When a base is dislodged, while runners are progressing around the bases.
- When play is resumed after a suspension of play.
- When the batter hits the ball.
- When a fly ball has been caught.
- When a thrown ball strikes an offensive player.
- When a thrown ball strikes an umpire.
- When a foul tip has been legally caught.
- When the ball slips from the pitcher’s hand during his windup, or during the back swing.
Power and Duties
The umpires are the representative of the league and as such are authorized and required to enforce each section of the rules. They have the power to order a player, coach or manager to do or omit to do any act which in their judgement is necessary to give force and effect to one or all of the rules and to inflict penalties as prescribed.
The umpire shall not be a member of either team.
The umpire should be sure of the date, time and place for the game and should arrive at the playing field ahead of time, start the game on time and leave the field when the game is over.
Umpires must not wear exposed jewellery that may pose a hazard.
EXCEPTION: Medical alert bracelets and/or necklaces.
The umpires should introduce themselves to the coaches.
The umpires should clarify all ground rules to both teams.
Each umpire shall have the power to make decisions on violations committed any time during playing time or during suspension of play until the game is over.
An umpire may consult with his associate at any time.
- Any team member disputing any judgment decision by an umpire will result in a team warning.
- Any repeat offence shall result in the ejection of that team member.
- Coaches, players and other bench personnel shall not be outside the designated bench dugout area, except when the rules allow or considered justified by the umpire.
The first offence is a team warning. Any repeat offence shall result in the ejection of that team member.
The following is a condensed version of the Official Playing Rules for Ontario Amateur Softball Association. These have been adopted for our Inter League.
Batting helmets shall be mandatory for all players while on deck, in the act of batting and while running the bases.
If a fly ball is caught by the pitcher is the 8 ft circle, it shall be treated as being caught by any other defensive player anywhere on the field. Therefore, base-runners off their base at the time the ball is caught by the pitcher in the 8 ft circle may return to their base. Provided they leave immediately after returning to their base they shall not be called out under this rule. However, once they leave their base, they will then be governed by the 8 ft circle rule.
In all series except Mite, base runners are entitled to advance when the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand on a pitched delivery. In Mite series, base runners may advance when the ball crosses the home plate.
In all series except Mite, the batter becomes a batter-runner when the catcher fails to catch the third strike before the ball touches the ground when there are less than two outs and first base is unoccupied or anytime there are two outs. In Mite series, the batter is out at the third strike even if the catcher fails to catch the ball.