Dead ball

What is a Dead Ball in Baseball?

A dead ball in baseball refers to a ball which is no longer in play due to a variety of different reasons. A live ball is the antithesis of a dead ball and is a ball which is still in play during a game.

A dead ball is out of play and cannot legally be used during the game once it is declared dead. All play is paused until a live ball is brought into play.

What Makes a Ball Dead in Baseball?

A ball can become dead in several circumstances. The most common of these involves a foul ball being hit outside of the playing field. A foul ball is one that has been hit incorrectly by the batter, thrown incorrectly by the pitcher or has landed in foul territory. A fair ball can also be considered dead once it has been hit outside the playing field.

A ball can also be considered dead if it is damaged or scuffed, if the pitcher discards it, if the umpire puts it out of play, if it is passed to a spectator, if there’s been illegal play involving the ball such as an illegal collision, or obstruction of a base runner.

Over 100 balls are usually used during a single MLB game, so it’s no wonder that dead balls are a common occurrence in the sport.

What happens when there’s a Dead Ball?

The umpire will signal a dead ball by extending one arm above their head and calling out “dead ball”. This means that the batter cannot legally hit the ball and any runners on base must immediately stop running.

The pitcher must not throw any more pitches or attempt to put the runner out, and all players must remain in their current positions until the ball is made live again.

Is it a Dead Ball when a Batter is Walked?

No, a batter who is walked does not constitute a dead ball. When a batter is walked, the ball remains alive and play continues as normal.

The only time a dead ball is called in this situation is if the walk was intentional and specified by the umpire before the pitch was made. In that case, no runners may advance and all players must remain in their original positions.

Is the Ball Dead when there is an Infield Fly Rule?

No. The infield fly rule is an exception to the standard rules of baseball, meaning that when it is in effect, the ball remains live until the play has been completed and all runners have advanced at least one base—or been put out.