Walk Off Homer Disallowed By Premature Hand Slapping

It's one thing to be a stickler for the rules, it's another to be a stickler who protests a perfectly legit home run because of an obscure, pointless rule—and doesn't even read the rule right.

At a Minnesota Junior College Athletic Conference state tournament game last Friday, the Central Lakes College softball team and coach Heidi Rogge (pictured right), beat Rochester Community and Technical College on an apparent walk off home run in the seventh inning. This is, until, Rochester's coach, Jean Musgjerd (pictured left), noticed that the batter slapped hands with a few of her teammates before she crossed home plate. The nerve! So Musgjerd literally got out her rule book—it's in there—and pointed out to the umps that such premature celebration is not allowed. They had no choice but to call the batter out. The game continued and Central Lakes—which had a no-hitter through seven—lost in extra innings.

"You don't want to win in that way, but you have to play by the rules," said Musgjerd, Rochester's coach since 1994. "You get schooled on the rulebook, and you find out really fast that you need to know it."

You don't want to win that way ... but you will. Even better, a closer reading of the rule book actually states that on first offense the team shall only be given a warning. Which means that "By The Rules" Musgjerd, as she likes to be known, played by incorrect rules and her team should have lost anyway. What does the rule book say about that?

Teammates' handslap to home run hitter erases victory [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]