Ruling About Stepping Out of the Box

Last night we had a rarely seen controversy regarding a player stepping out of the batters box.  Stephen King stepped way out of the righty box after a check swing second strike ruled against him.  You can’t just step out of the box on a check swing, but a strike was ruled.  The ruling about the penalty for stepping out of the box is also below.  Interesting stuff last night.


(d) The following rule shall be in effect for all National Association Leagues:
   (1) The batter shall keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout the batter’s time at bat, unless one of the following exceptions applies, in which case the batter may leave the batter’s box but not the dirt area surrounding home plate:
     (i) The batter swings at a pitch;
     (ii) The batter is forced out of the batter’s box by a pitch;
     (iii) A member of either team requests and is granted “Time”;
     (iv) A defensive player attempts a play on a runner at any base;
     (v) The batter feints a bunt;
     (vi) A wild pitch or passed ball occurs;
     (vii) The pitcher leaves the dirt area of the pitching mound after receiving the ball; or
     (viii) The catcher leaves the catcher’s box to give defensive signals.
Notwithstanding Rule 6.02(c), if the batter intentionally leaves the batter’s box and delays play, and none of the exceptions listed in Rule 6.02(d)(1)(i) through (viii) applies, the umpire shall award a strike without the pitcher having to deliver the pitch. The ball is dead, and no runners may advance. The umpire shall award additional strikes, without the pitcher having to deliver the pitch, if the batter remains outside the batter’s box and further delays play.

(c) If the batter refuses to take his position in the batter’s box during his time at bat, the umpire shall call a strike on the batter. The ball is dead, and no runners may advance. After the penalty, the batter may take his proper position and the regular ball and strike count shall continue. If the batter does not take his proper position before three strikes have been called, the batter shall be declared out.
Rule 6.02(c) Comment: The umpire shall give the batter a reasonable opportunity to take his proper position in the batter’s box after the umpire has called a strike pursuant to Rule 6.02(c) and before the umpire calls a successive strike pursuant to Rule 6.02(c).


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