Baseball Checked Swings

baseball checked swings

One of the most fundamental actions of a batter in baseball is the swing. Though most batters will swing their bat at the ball full across home plate, there are incidents in which the batter does not have their bat cross home plate. Such a movement might be called a checked swing by the home plate umpire. Read on to learn all about checked swings and their rules.

What Is a Checked Swing in Baseball?

A check swing is when the batter begins their swing but pulls it back before the bat crosses home plate. Checked swings are also occasionally referred to as half swings. The outcome of the swing will determine if the pitch is a strike or ball. Swinging at the pitch means that the batter moved their bat across home plate as the pitch went by. In any other scenario, the batter performed a check swing and did not swing at the pitch.

Checked Swing Rules

There is no official definition of a checked swing in the Major League Baseball rulebook. However, the MLB rulebook officially defines a swing as “an attempt to strike at the ball.” According to that definition, a swing is checked if the umpire decides an attempt to strike was made.

Check swinging counts as not swinging at all. On a checked swing, the umpire will call a strike or ball based on the strike zone. If the ball does go through the strike zone, it is considered a strike even if the swing is checked. If the batter swings his bat fully across the plate, the pitch is a strike. If the bat does not fully cross the plane of the plate, thus a successful checked swing, the outcome of the pitch (strike or ball) will be determined by the location.

Checked Swing Result

It is up to the home plate umpire to decide whether a swing was checked or not checked. However, this ruling is not final and a catcher or a manager can appeal whether the swing was indeed checked. In the case of an appeal, the first base umpire and third base umpire can then help the home plate umpire decide if the pitch was a checked swing.

Checked Swing Rules Summary

  • A swing is any attempt to strike at the ball.
  • A swing is checked if the batter swings but the bat does not cross home plate.
  • It is up to the home plate umpire to decide whether a swing was checked or not.
  • An appeal to whether a swing is checked or not can be made by a catcher or manager.
  • During an appeal, the home plate umpire can check with the first base umpire and third base umpire to make a final call on whether a swing was checked.
  • A checked swing cannot be reviewed under MLB replay rules.


What is a check-swing in baseball?

A check-swing occurs in baseball when a batter begins to swing a bat but stops the swing so that the ball can pass without being hit. If a swing is officially determined by the empire to be checked, the pitch will then be called as either a strike or a ball. A check-swing is also commonly called a checked swing.

Can a checked swing be reviewed in baseball?

No, a checked swing cannot be reviewed. Calling a swing as checked or unchecked is a judgment call, and judgment calls officially cannot be reviewed under MLB replay rules. Once a catcher or manager has appealed the home plate umpire’s decision, they can ask the opinion of the first base umpire and third base umpire and then the decision is final.

When is a checked swing a strike?

A checked swing is considered a strike if the ball goes through the strike zone. Once a checked swing has been called by the home plate umpire, they will then decide whether a ball or a strike is called based on where the ball passes in relation to the strike zone. Both unchecked and checked swings result in strikes if the ball goes through the strike zone.