This article may contain affiliate links. For details, visit our Affiliate Disclosure page.
The Baseball rule book of the Major League deals with many diverse circumstances between the batter, the catcher, and the pitcher. The pitchers hit the batter with a pitch, unintentionally as well as on purpose. Many situations arise when batters get hit, and the hitters are given first base after they get hit by a pitch that goes outside the strike zone. Sometimes the hitter is unwilling to go to first base when he gets hit, and he decides to stay at bat. Let us know more detail about ‘Can A Batter Refuse A Hit By Pitch In Baseball?’.
Can A Batter Refuse A Hit By Pitch In Baseball?
No specific rules exist in the baseball books of rulings. The pitch in the strike zone is given the title of a strike by the umpire when a batter gets hit by it. The batter remains on the plate. The rule book takes care of two examples in which the batter does not become a runner.
The law book of baseball addresses 2 examples of when a batter should not be allowed to become a runner. The batters are not given the option to decline a hit-by-pitch. This is the umpire’s call according to the rules, whether the batter will remain at the plate or will walk to the first base. Unless two conditions occur, the batters are given the first base. First, if a strike thrown by the pitcher hits the batter, it is called off. The first base is not given to the batter as he is in the strike zone. It is called a strike against the hitter by the umpire. Second, the umpire observes that the batter is not trying to get away from the ball; hit by pitch is not ruled. As a ball, the pitch is ruled, and the batter does not move to first base.
When the batter gets hit by the pitch and wants to stay at the plate, he should move his body in the strike zone or make no attempt to move away from the ball coming towards him.
A Batter Refusing a Hit by Pitch
A hit-by-pitch occurs when a batter gets hit by a pitched ball without any swing. As a result, the batter is awarded the first base. Strikes surpass hit-by-pitches if the umpire says that the pitch came in the zone of a strike or when the batter had swung. In this scenario, the hit-by-pitch is invalidated. If the ball touches the uniform or the protection of the batter, hit by pitch is awarded to the batter. Batters are not given the option to decline a hit by pitch. If the batsman refuses to move on to the first base, he can be evicted and swapped with a pinch-runner.
When Is Hit By Pitch Not Awarded First Base?
When a batter gets hit by a pitch, certain circumstances decide whether the batter will get the first base or not.
The Batter Swings
When the ball comes in contact with the batter, and at the same time, the batter also swings, the umpire has the authority to call it a strike, and the batter is not supposed to move to the first base.
If the batter has two strikes earlier and then swings when the ball comes and hits him, the umpire is supposed to call the third strike and declare him out. So the batsman will not move to first base. This rarely happens in baseball because the batter usually keeps a check on their swing and then lets the ball hit them so that it’s a successful hit by a pitch, and the batter gets awarded the first base.
The final decision is of the umpire, who decides if there was a deliberate attempt of not swinging or not.
Batter in the way of the ball intentionally
If the batter comes in the way of the ball intentionally by leaning into the ball or gets hit on the helmet, then the first base will not be awarded because it is not given a hit-by-pitch.
If the foul tip is made after two strikes, then the umpire rules it as a foul tip, and the first base is not given to the batter because the ball had already hit him twice as a strike.
When Does a Hit By Pitch Get Awarded First Base?
A ball is hitting out of the strike zone
Whenever a ball hits the batter when it is out of the strike zone, the first base movement is allowed to the batter because it counts as a hit-by-pitch in records.
A ball hits the hands
Just above the knob, the batters grip their bats. It is a misconception that as the hand is gripping the bat, it’s a part of the bat and any hit there is a regular pitch, but this is not true. Hands are not part of the bat but are body parts. When the batter tries to get away from the pitch, and the ball touches his hands, the player will be allowed the movement to the first base as it will be hit by the pitch.
A ball hitting the ground
When the pitcher throws the ball and hits the ground, it is considered a dead ball, whereas this is a misconception. If the ball hits the ground and hits the batter later is still considered a live ball as it was thrown by the pitcher. A dead ball will happen when the batter hits a foul tip after swinging. The batter is awarded the first base when the ball bounces after hitting the batter and is called a hit by pitch.
Contact with the uniform
The uniform of the batter is well fit to his body. Sometimes the pitcher throws the ball and hits the player’s uniform. Since the uniform completely fits his body, this contact of the ball with the uniform is also considered a contract with the batter’s body. So the umpire calls a hit by pitch resulting in moving the base.
Body First, Bat Later
The hit-by-pitch is called by the umpire when the play is called dead. The play is called dead when the ball hits the batter’s body and then touches the bat later. This way, the batter has to move to the first base.
Whatever you think about the umpire’s decision and their calls does not matter because the umpires are on the field and know what they are playing up to while moving on with their game. The umpire knows very well what the batsman is trying to do, or he is getting in a position to get hit intentionally. The baseball rules do not allow any particular advantage to the batters.
Declaring the hit by pitch is solely the field umpire’s decision, and the batter is not allowed to refuse a hit by a pitch in the baseball game. If he gets hit by a pitched ball and does not swing, then it is declared hit by a pitch by the umpire, and the hitter is supposed to move to first base.
- What happens if the batter swings and gets hit by a pitch?
If the batter swings and gets hit by a pitch, it is considered a dead ball, and the strike is called by the umpire.
- What is a batter supposed to do after being hit by a pitch?
The batter is supposed to walk to first base if he gets hit by a pitch.