Are the hands an extension of the bat? ESPN commentator thinks so?

Are the hands an extension of the bat? Does an ESPN commentator thinks so? The answer and video clips coming up next. In a recent LLWS regional championship game
in 2017 a commentator from ESPN asked if the hands were a part of the bat? Here is the exchange. Since I began coaching and umpiring youth
baseball, a year has not gone by where someone didn’t attempt to make the argument that
the hands are an extension of the bat, and therefore when a player is hit in the hands
by the pitched ball, it should be considered a foul ball. The truth is, the hands are a part of the
body. I have yet to see a kid leave his hands attached
to his bat when he ran to first, or purchased a new set of hands when he bought a new bat,
but still this myth continues to exist. I can hear some of you now saying, “In our
league the hands ARE considered an extension of the bat.” or, “When I grew up that
WAS the rule.” And to all of you let me state emphatically. Never at any time or any place or in any league
have the hands ever been considered a part of the bat. That includes you softball people. It has NEVER been a rule, ever. BUT, that doesn’t mean you were not in a
league that ruled wrong or that you had a coach or umpire that was wrong and assumed
the rule, but it has never been in any rule book. Why this myth persists? Commentators like this one do not help. I doubt he actually thought that, but he was
confused on the ruling in this case and simply stated a myth without further commentary. In this video, the umpire ruled that the ball
hit the BAT first. That would make it a foul ball. If the pitched ball was in the strike zone
when it hit the hands, which is not uncommon, it is still a strike. If this occurs in a game, those in the stands
might wrongly assume the myth was applied. If the batter swings or check swings which
then is considered a strike on the swing, then it’s a strike and if it’s the 3rd
strike the batter is out. Again, people may make the wrong assumption
that the hands are a part of the bat and therefore it was ruled a foul. If the ball hits the bat first, then hits
the hand, it is a foul ball just like if the batter hit a ball that then hit his foot while
still in the batter’s box. It’s a foul. So the question: if the pitched ball hit the
batter’s hands what is the call? The answer depends on pitch location (a pitched
strike can not ever be a hit by pitch). It depends on if the batter swung at the pitch. It might even depend on if the batter made
any attempt to avoid getting hit which is unlikely because getting hit in the hands
is quite painful. As an umpire I will almost never accept that
the ball hit the bat first, then the hands, if for no other reason than that it’s next
to impossible for that scenario to occur. Also, if the hands are hit, the reaction by
the batter is typically immediate and obvious. As a coach I’ll simply ask the umpire if
the ball hit the hands first or the bat first. If he says the bat, I leave it at that as
this is a judgement call. Often the umpire will hear the ball hit the
bat and therefore make that ruling. If the umpire says it hit the hands first
and the batter didn’t swing and it wasn’t a pitched strike, I’ll expect him to go
to first base. But in very rare cases the umpire thinks the
hands are an extension of the bat. During one specific championship game this
had occurred and both team managers were arguing with the umpire that the runner should go
to first because he was hit by a pitch, but the umpire was refusing as he stated, “The
hands are an extension of the bat,” He insisted we show him in the rule book otherwise. As you can imagine, it’s a bit difficult
to find a non-existent rule in the rule book. As both of us coaches were pulling up web
pages that explained this, I mentioned to the umpire, “Look, you have both managers
arguing the same thing.” At which point he finally let us have our
way. Since I was the defensive coach, my only other
suggestion was going to be to offer to the other team to simply walk the batter intentionally. We’d get to the right outcome one way or
another. To end this short video, I’ll play a couple
situations and see if you hear anyone even mention
this rule myth.

41 thoughts on “Are the hands an extension of the bat? ESPN commentator thinks so?

  1. So if a player is bunting it's considered a strike, foul and dead ball if it his their hands first?
    What if they pull back the bat? Say their hands aren't in the strike zone and get hit first and have been pulled back in time?

  2. Well think about it this way. If I wanted to get on base. Why don't I just square to bunt and hold the barrel? You could put the hands anywhere and get on base. That's why it IS an extension of the bat.

  3. Hands are an extension of the bat. So if your hands are on the bat, and you get hit, they don't get a base. It's foul. That's how we play

  4. I've never seen a bat sold with a pair of hands attached. If a pitched ball hits a batter on the hand, except when batter is in the act of swinging, or offering at the ball, base awarded, hit by pitch. However, in play shown, it appears the ball hit the butt end of the bat, then struck the batter. The umpire probably heard it hit the bat. But the hands are not an extension of the bat.

  5. Do u think u know everything about baseball? U do so muck critisising that people dont do baseball ur way. Suck it up and get a life

  6. first off one is not foul tip…. and 2. no there just proves how ignorant mlb announcers are hands aren't part of the bat think you for you knwoeldge of knowing nothing on rules you play for years commentators

  7. Thanks for this video MJH-Baseball really helps explain the rule and clarify the situation. I also really like how you approach the issue with the ump by asking the question "Did it hit the bat or hands 1st?". That's smart.

    My only quip would be your statement that "Its almost impossible to hit the bat 1st". I think its actually quite common and here's my reason. Many players when attempting to avoid an HBP will use their hands defensively. Using your hands defensively can put the bat in all sorts of weird angles. It also can be considered a swing since the batter is attempting to hit the ball albeit in selfdefense.

    Also, as is customary I teach my players to roll away from an incoming pitch. This motion tends to leave the barrel towards the pitcher while the hands move back. Making it quite easy for the ball to hit bat first then fingers.

    Just my .02. Thanks for the video.

  8. I got hit in the hand they called it a foul ball then my coach argued with the ump and it got changed to the ball hit my helmet!?

  9. The rule is whatever the Home plate ump wants to call, whether it's written down anywhere or not. this has been true in all levels of baseball for roughly 170 years. Works on balls and strikes too. If he wants to consider that if a batter leaves his hands in the strike zone and they get hit by a pitched ball, then take your strike for a foul rather than your base for a HBP is entirely his prerogative.

  10. It has been a rule, multiple times someone has been hit in the hands and it was a foul ball. I have also been hit by a pitch in the hand and it was a foul ball. A coach has looked the rule up in our babe Ruth league and it is a foul ball

  11. I wouldn’t give first Baseball to the first kid. Almost looks like he pulls his bat back and puts his hands in the zone.

  12. A hit-by-pitch occurs when a batter is struck by a pitched ball without swinging at it. He is awarded first base as a result. Strikes supersede hit-by-pitches, meaning if the umpire rules that the pitch was in the strike zone or that the batter swung, the HBP is nullified.

  13. All I know is I always draped my pinky over the bat knob for a little extra extension and turnover until it got shattered…no more of that shit

  14. i think the kid at 8:20 did a good fake out and got the call. I think it hit the knob of the bat and the kid did a good acting job

  15. Be me;

    >fouls of ball
    >ball hits my leg and bounces into fair territory
    >get thrown out at first
    >get called out

  16. I just had 2 umpires that umpire highschool and part of the regionals of the LLWS tell me that hands are an extension of the bat.

    1-2 runners on 1st and 2nd. Kid swings at the ball. Ball hits hands. Umpires yell out foul ball. They tell me that the ball hit hands. So I said so you have dead ball strike out correct? They said you are joking right? Hands are an extension of the bat. I asked have you ever seen a bat dropped with hands attached? Have you ever seen a bat adversitized or bought with hands attached? Then said we obviously aren’t going to agree on this and walked away. Kid then went on to hit a ball over our right fielder for a triple. Absolutely ridiculous that highschool umpires who have been umpiring for 30+ and 12+ years don’t know that hands are apart of the person and not the bat.

    Then after the game the parents tell me that the umpire asked what they thought about his call then told them I needed to stop being a smart-ass. They were probably mid 30s and 60.

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