Dropped Third Strike Rule: Everything You Need To Know

The Amateur Softball Association is responsible for maintaining the standards of the dropped third strike rule in softball. According to them, if the catcher fails to catch the ball before it touches the ground at the third strike, and the batter’s team has less than two outs while the player has not occupied the first base at the time of the pitch or in any situation when there are two outs, a dropped third strike will be considered as out.

If the first base is not occupied when the batter has given a third strike and the catcher could not catch the ball, the batter has a golden opportunity to occupy the first base. If he can occupy the first base before anyone else, he won’t be declared out. The best thing will be if the batter can strike the ball to the first base. In such a scenario, the umpire himself awards the base to the batter.

If you are still confused, don’t worry, the dropped third strike rule has puzzled many die-hard fans of fast-pitch softball and baseball. In this blog, we will discuss this rule in detail.

Consequences When A Runner Is Struck By A Throw

dropped third strike rule

Let’s understand the consequences of the dropped third-strike rule in softball and baseball in the following points:

  • The ball is live immediately: A dropped 3rd strike ball will become a live ball immediately. If the catcher gives a tight throw and the base runner is hit by the ball, the hitter will be deemed safe in this case. Along with that, the ball will also be live.
  • The base runner is safe till he is in the baseline: Till the base runner is present in the baseline and is not too far into the foul region, he will be safe if he makes an effort to get out of the way. This is what the softball rules clearly state.
  • The batter can’t run in the way of the ball intentionally: If the batter runs in a way where the ball can hit them on his own will, then the ball will be considered a dead ball. The worst part ever is the runner will be stopped from reaching the next base.
  • Risk of getting intentionally hit: If the direction in which a batter is running has the potential risk of being hit by a fair ball, then the batter must remember this decision can cause his doom.

Read More About How To Style A Baseball Jersey

Rules For A Dropped Third Strike In Softball

We have already discussed the rule for a dropped third strike as documented by the Amateur Softball Association. Now, let’s look into some rules involving the dropped 3rd strike in a softball game:

  • Opportunity for less than two outs: If there is no runner present in the first base and there are less than two outs in the batting team, the batter must try to run to the first base. But, if there is already a runner on the first base and the batting team has less than two outs, the batter will be automatically considered out.
  • Opportunity if there are already two outs: If there are already two outs in the batter’s team, then the batter must run to the first base even if a runner is already present there. A dropped third strike out will not apply in this case.
  • Awareness of batter if the pitched ball is caught: A batter must be aware of his situation to avoid a dropped 3rd strikeout. He should be aware if the pitched ball is caught although it happens behind him. The batter should sense the drop intuitively and run to the first base without waiting for the umpire’s call. 

Need For a Dropped 3rd Strike Rule in Softball

dropped third strike rule

The need for a dropped 3rd strike rule in softball is a topic of debate among the players, fans, and management bodies. Here are some reasons why this rule was established in the first place:

  • Foul for the pitcher and catcher: The drop 3rd strike rule serves as a minor form of punishment for the pitcher and catcher for either creating a wild pitch or making an error in catching.
  • Prohibits catcher from intentional ball dropping: This rule prevents the catcher from intentionally dropping a ball and throwing it to a fielder causing a double play at second base or a triple play at third base.
  • Added Layer of Excitement in the Game: It adds an element of excitement and shock to the softball game. There is no doubt that the dropped third-strike rule benefits the offence rather than the defence.
  • Maintains the pace of the game: It helps in maintaining a faster pace of the game. The dropped 3rd strike speeds up the game by eliminating the need for catchers to make a throw to the first base to ensure an out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1.Does softball have drop 3rd strike?
Ans. Previously only baseball had the dropped 3rd strike rule. But now Softball has implemented the same rule as per ASA documentation. The rules are very similar to baseball, so it will be very easy for the players to transition from one game to the other.

Q2.Can you run on a dropped third strike if first base is occupied?
Ans. If the batter’s team has less than two players out, he can run to the first base on a dropped third strike only if the base is empty. In case of more than two outs, the batter can run to the first base even if it’s occupied.

You May Also Like

Leave a Comment