Hey Blue: What’s an “ Appeal” in ASA Softball?

By Bob Downey, Hanover LL UIC 2015

 “Appeals” are claims made by one team that the other team has made some type of rule violation.   What makes an “Appeal” different from other rule violation complaints is that the umpire is not to act upon or impose any penalty even if the umpire is aware of the violation, unless the violation is specifically pointed out to the umpire by the offended side and the umpire agrees. 

Some appeals can be made when “TIME” has been called.  These are known as “dead ball” appeals.  Other appeals can only be made when the ball is “IN PLAY”.  These are known as a “live ball” appeals.   Which appeals have to be “live” and which ones can be “dead ball” appeals depends on the rules association.

By most rule associations, whether baseball or softball, the situations that can be “appealed” are:

1)      Batting out of order

2)      Failure to tag up on a caught fly ball

3)      Failure to touch a base in the proper order (forward or backwards)

4)      Failure to immediately return to first base after over running it

5)      Improper use of white or colored portion of double first base, when applicable.


In ASA Softball, the first three situations can be “dead” or “live” appeals.  This is different than LL baseball. 

The fourth one can only be made as a “live ball” appeal by tagging the batter-runner before they make it back to First base or reaching Second or subsequent base.

The last one usually is a “live ball” appeal but can occur as a “dead ball” appeal.  The rules only state that the appeal must be made prior to the batter-runner returning to first base. (see Rule 8-2-M-3).

Any other complaint is just that, a complaint which could be legitimate, or just a sob story.