Saturday, November 25th, 2017

Batting out of order

April 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Coaching

One of my biggest fears right before a game was that I screwed up the batting order somewhere.  When I made out a line-up, I would fill in my line-up on a special card that produced two carbon copies along with it.  I got one, the plate ump got one, and the other team got one.  I also typed up the line-up and posted it in the locker room for the players to see.  I also wrote the line-up down in the scorebook for the stats guy.  My fear was that I would post a line-up that was different from the one I presented the umps and the other team.

I literally would check everything four or five times to make sure all the line-ups were the same.  Probably overkill but that’s just me.  I never wanted my players to bat out of order which is one of the more embarassing things that could happen to a coach.  Not sure what other coaches do but I was also diligent about making sure the other team didn’t bat out of order as well. 

Whenever I explained the batting-out-of-order rules to my players, I was always amazed at how many did not know the following: What to do if the opposition bats out of order and what happens next?

Let’s take one at a time.  

1. What do you do?  This answer depends on what the result of the play is.  If you notice that the wrong batter is up for the other team, it’s ok to keep everyone quiet and say nothing.  Let him bat.  If he gets a hit, bring it to the umpires attention who will declare an out and make all the runners return to their bases.  If he makes an out and no runners advance, I’d say nothing.  The point is, only bring it to the umpires attention if the batter does something positive for the offensive team.  If he continues to bat out of order and finally gets a hit in the last inning, then you say something and get the out. 

2. What happens next?  What happens next often results in the offensive team batting out of order again because they don’t know who should be up to bat after the out is declared.  The rule states that the batter who should have been up is declared out.  Therefore, the batter who follows the guy who was declared out now bats.  It can get confusing when the following happens:

In the example shown above, Jones bats out of order.  According to the rules, Smith is declared out because he should have batted.  Whoever is listed after Smith in the official line-up is now up to bat.  In this case, it’s Jones again.  Often a team (and even umpires) will get mixed up on who bats next after the out is declared.  I’ve seen teams bat out of order a second time because of this. 

Be sure to double check all of your line-ups and if the other team gets mixed up, you’ll now know what to do!

Note: Use your discretion with all this.  If I was coaching at the little league level or if I was in a high school game where we were up by a lot of runs, I probably would be more likely to just tell the umpire before the batter hits to avoid any problems.  In that case, the umpire makes sure the correct batter is up and no out is declared.  Each coach can decide for himself what they are comfortable doing.


2 Responses to “Batting out of order”
  1. Anonymous says:


  2. Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I am going to forward this article to him. Pretty sure he’ll have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

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