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APPEAL is an act of a fielder in claiming violation of the rules by the offensive team.
Appeals must be made while the ball is in play. (Alive). When the ball is dead, it becomes in play when the pitcher has the ball and is on the rubber and the umpire says "play."

When the ball is alive an appeal may be made by the defense in any of the following ways;
  1. by touching the runner whom they believe committed a base running infraction;
  2. or by touching the base they believe was missed while the runner was advancing;
  3. or by touching the original base that a runner left before a fly ball was caught.

In all cases, the defense must make a verbal appeal to the umpire or complete an act that is unmistakably an appeal. Accidentally touching a base that was missed is not an appeal. A throw to a base to catch a runner who had not retouched is unmistakably an appeal.

Appeals must be made before the next pitch or play. If the defense makes an appeal after "time" has been called, the umpire should say "put the ball in play and appeal again." Since no runner may advance or be put out while the ball is dead, this is not a play and the defense has not lost their right to appeal after the ball is put in play.

The appeal itself is not a play. A fake throw to hold a runner is not a play. It is a play when a balk is committed during an appeal. Plays that occur during "continuous action" after an infraction do not cancel the defense's right to appeal.

The defense loses their right to appeal when any of the following actions occur:

  1. When the throw made in an appeal attempt goes into dead ball territory. When this occurs no more appeals may be made at any base. This is an "err" on an appeal and is interpreted to be the same as a play.
  2. A balk is committed before or as part of an appeal attempt.
  3. A pitch is made to the batter.
  4. A play is made that is not part of continuous action.
Continuous action example:

Runner on first misses second as he advances to third on a hit. The defense makes a play on him at third and he is safe. The play was part of continuous action after the hit, therefore, the defense may appeal the infraction at second.

An appeal should be clearly intended as an appeal, either by a verbal request by the player or an act that unmistakably indicates to the umpire that it is an appeal.

Rule 7.10 covers appeals.

Submitted by: Jim Booth

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