What Is The Third Dropped Strike Rule

What Is The Third Dropped Strike Rule by Gary Leland

What Is The Third Dropped Strike Rule By Gary Leland

In the game of softball, chaos can be quite inevitable especially if you don’t learn the rules by heart. One of the rules that each player must learn and fully understand is the drop third strike rule.

The drop third strike rule states that if the third strike (called by the umpire) has not been caught by the catcher, the batter may then become a runner and proceed to 1st base if there is no one on the 1st base provided that there are less than two outs; or even if there is a runner on the 1st base provided that there are already two outs.

There are a lot of scenarios when confusion could happen among the players leaving them clueless as to what to do next. And so everything gets chaotic. As a result, failing to identify the rules could lead to your opponent getting a point advantage when you could have turned the game around.

So here is a comprehensive chart to make sure you get a better grasp of what should happen in the field and what should each player do during the game should a drop third strike occur.

The Drop Third Strike Rule

Important points to remember:

If there are less than two outs:
Batter can run to 1st base if 1st base is empty.
If there is a runner on 1st base, the batter is automatically out.

If there are two outs:
Batter runs to 1st base whether or not the 1st base is empty.
If there is a runner on the 1st base, that runner must then advance to 2nd base to make room for the batter into the 1st base. And this applies to those runners on other bases as well.

For the batter, it would make best sense to run to 1st base regardless of the number of outs. Especially because it’s hard for the batter to see if the ball has been caught or not. Just run anyway, whether you get automatically out or not. So in case the catcher fails to catch the ball, at least you’ve already started running to 1st base making it difficult for him to make a tag so he now has to throw the ball to the 1st baseman. However, other runners on the base must be very cautious about this so they won’t be fooled by the runner going into the 1st base.

For the catcher, the best move when a dropped third strike happens is to tag the batter out; otherwise, if the catcher fails to do so, he must immediately get hold of the ball so he can throw it to 1st base. You also have to be aware of the number of outs so you don’t waste your time throwing the ball to 1st base when the batter is automatically out anyway; and you could have thrown the ball to other bases instead.

For the base runners, be fully aware of the number of outs as well as the number of pitches so you would know in advance whether you have to stay or make a run. You could play a mind game in softball sometimes. Before even throwing the ball, make it a habit to look back to other runners in base to make sure they do not advance.

A drop third strike could either be a “make or break” for you. Awareness and vigilance are keys to getting this rule to your advantage whether you’re playing offense or defense.

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