dropped third strike

Discussion in 'The Umpires Life and Rulings' started by RRB2, May 29, 2018.

  1. RRB2

    RRB2 Member

    I had an umpire tell me that they changed the drop third strike rule and if the batters first step is anywhere but directly towards first base they are out. Is this correct?
  2. BretMan2

    BretMan2 TSZ/OFC Umpire in Chief

    No, not in any sanctioning body I'm aware of. The batter-runner wouldn't be out until they stepped into the dugout/dead ball area.
    daboss and SOFTBALLS14 like this.
  3. RRB2

    RRB2 Member

    Thank you BretMan, that's what I thought also.
  4. sammy

    sammy New Member

    Isn't it technically an uncaught strike?
  5. BretMan2

    BretMan2 TSZ/OFC Umpire in Chief

    Not just technically, but in actuality!

    The rule says that a batter becomes a batter-runner when the third strike is not caught...etc, etc, etc. Calling it a dropped third strike implies that it had to have been caught first, before it could be dropped.

    That's not the case. All the rule requires is that the ball be cleanly caught to complete the out out. This "catch" has to meet the same definition as a caught fly ball. That is, it must be airborne, or in-flight, from the pitcher's hand to the catcher, the same as a batted ball must be to be caught for an out. The ball can't bounce before it's caught, and it cant touch anything other than the catcher, like the batter or the umpire.

    People do commonly refer to this as a "dropped" third strike. In fact, the rule book even calls it that in some places where it refers to the rule. Even though that term is technically wrong, we know what they really mean.
    DanMaz likes this.
  6. FastBat

    FastBat Well-Known Member

    Just to add...I hear sometimes, why didn't the catcher catch that pitch if it was really a called strike?

    A strike is in the zone over the plate where the ump considers their (consistent) strike zone.

    Sometimes, the catcher will move to where they think the ball is going to go before the ball is released or even after the ball is released she will move where she thinks the ball is going, but the ball moves in an unexpected way and the catcher is caught off guard. So, the ball could technically still be a strike just not where the catcher was expecting it to go and didn't catch it with the proper part of the glove or the ball spun out of the glove.

    Also, the ball could hit the catchers glove with spin that makes the ball look like it was more uncontrollable than it was, that spinning ball could hit the "butt" of the glove (or side flimsy area or any other part) and take off. But, the ball would have still broke the plane of the strike zone.

    Sometimes, when I catch a certain spin I will not cleanly catch that same spin 3 or more times in a row, maybe because I'm not focused or not anticipating the pitch thrown. I watch my dd pitch in a game and see the 14u catchers letting it hit their glove the exact same way as I did when I was catching her. Being a catcher is not easy.
  7. productsinsights

    productsinsights New Member

    There are a few rules that occur weirdly in the baseball game in all of these rules. The drop 3rd strike is such a weird rule in the game of baseball.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2022

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