Look Back Rule
Softball Look Back rule requires a runner within the bases either to advance to the next base or retreat to the previous base once the possession is made.
The regulation is applied when a runner is off base after a pitch or a batter completes her turn. For the Look Back Rule to remain active, the thrower and batter should be stationary while the pitcher has the ball in the circle.
In this scene, the runner should either move to the next spot or return to their original place immediately. The thrower is not accountable for seeing, faking, or throwing in this situation.
The regulation is applied once the batter-runner touches the first spot or gets called out. At the same time, the thrower needs to obtain control of the ball within the circle.
Failing to proceed to the next spot or return to the original place by the racer when a thrower has the ball in the circle leads to the racer getting called out. Meanwhile, if the runner returns or stops at any spot and leaves, she is also deemed out.
Exceptions to Look Back Rule
Several exception bonds the rules in softball. Here are some scenarios where the exception implies during a play in softball.
- When a play is made on another racer,
- Thrower exits the circle or drops the ball,
- Thrower throws the ball to the batter, or
- The thrower places the ball under their arm or between their legs to free both hands for fixing their uniform.
In these cases, the participant is not reported out and may resume the game.
Some Other Instances
In case of multiple runners are off the spot, Umpire holds the right to call the racer out. In such a situation, it should be clear which racer was first called out and return the remaining players to their base.
It is illegitimate to announce to outs in a scene where a racer is out and the ball is dead. However, if a thrower fields a ball in the circle, participants are allowed to leave bases, but they should decide which way to resume once they stop or get called out.
Getting a base on balls or a dropped third strike is considered a batted ball. It is applicable if the batter-racer moves past the first base without stopping or stops only once and instantly moves one way or the other.
On the contrary, if the racer waits at the first spot and steps off the base after the ball is in the thrower's possession in the circle, it leads to being called out.
Batter-runner overrunning the first spot are not allowed to start back to the base and advance to the second spot before getting to the first.
The umpire judgment is applicable if a batter-racer commits the first spot and moves, they must retain their initial place and cannot advance to second base.
In the case of moving forward a base, except for the first when the thrower receives the ball in the circle, the runner can stop once and should instantly move to the next spot or retain the previous one. Failure may result in a called-out.
If the racer is off base and does not promptly try to move or return after the thrower gets the ball inside the mound will make the player out.
Pitchers Ball Possession
The pitcher should have custody of the ball while it is in the circle. Placing it on the ground, holding it between the legs or under the arm is not having control.
Feet the player must be within the eight-foot circle within (partially) the lines. However, if either foot is entirely out of the lines, the pitcher will not be valid.