World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Uncaught third strike

Article Id: WHEBN0002899466
Reproduction Date:

Title: Uncaught third strike  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Strikeout, Baseball, Foul tip, Strike zone, Outline of baseball
Collection: Baseball Rules, Baseball Terminology, Catching Statistics
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Uncaught third strike

In baseball and softball, an uncaught third strike (sometimes referred to as dropped third strike) occurs when the catcher fails to cleanly catch a pitch for the third strike. A pitch is considered uncaught if the ball touches the ground before being caught (a bouncing ball), or if the ball is dropped after being grasped (see also catch). In Major League Baseball, the specific rules concerning the uncaught third strike are addressed in Rules 6.05 and 6.09 of the Official Baseball Rules.[1]

On an uncaught third strike with no runner on first base or with two outs, the batter immediately becomes a runner. The strike is called, but the umpire does not call the batter out. The umpire may also actively signal that there is "no catch" of the pitch. The batter may then attempt to reach first base and must be tagged or forced out. With two outs and the bases loaded, the catcher who fails to catch the third strike may, upon picking up the ball, step on home plate for a force-out or make a throw to any other fielder.

The purpose of the "no runner on first base or two outs" qualification is to prevent the catcher from deliberately dropping a third strike pitch and then initiating an unfair double or triple play with possible force plays at second base, third base, or home plate, in addition to putting the batter out at first base. The logic of the situation is similar to that which led to the infield fly rule.

Regardless of the outcome of an uncaught third strike, the pitcher is statistically credited with a strikeout. Because of the uncaught third strike rule, it is possible for a pitcher to register more than three strikeouts in an inning.

In Little League, in the Tee-Ball and Minor League divisions, the batter is out after the third strike regardless of whether the pitched ball is caught cleanly by the catcher. In Little League (or the Major Division), Junior, Senior, and Big League divisions, a batter may attempt to advance to first base on an uncaught third strike. Little League Major Division Softball and many other youth baseball leagues (such as the USSSA) also follow the rule.

Recent changes

Following a controversial play involving this rule in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the 2005 American League Championship Series,[2] the application of the rule was changed when a comment was added in 2006 to Rule 6.09(b):[3]

"Rule 6.09(b) Comment: A batter who does not realize his situation on a third strike not caught, and who is not in the process of running to first base, shall be declared out once he leaves the dirt circle surrounding home plate."[1]

This comment represents the official interpretation of the application of the rule. Prior to this rule change, a batter was able to try for first at any time before entering the dugout.

On May 17, 2011, Miguel Cairo of the Cincinnati Reds advanced to first after leaving the dirt circle when the umpires failed to enforce Rule 6.09(b).[4]


  1. ^ a b "Official Rules | Official info". Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  2. ^ "Los Angeles Angels vs. Chicago White Sox - Recap - October 12, 2005 - ESPN". 2005-10-12. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  3. ^ Roder, Rick. Official Baseball Rules Changed for First Time in 10 Years. [1]. Accessed 2007-03-14.
  4. ^ "Confusion surrounds Cairo's strikeout in sixth | News". 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.