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Old Wed Aug 10, 2005, 10:09pm
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Situation: R1 at 1B, B2 singles to RC field. R1 misses 2B on way to 3B. F9’s throw to 3B skips past F5 into dead ball territory. At TOT, R1 was past 2B. At time of Dead Ball R1 was standing on 3B. Umpire awards 2 bases, R1 gets home.

ASA 8.5-G covers overthrows into dead ball territory (2 bases from TOT). In 1998 ASA added the following exception: ”When the ball becomes dead, no runner may return to touch a missed base or a base left too soon if he has advanced, touched, or remains on a base beyond the missed base or the base left too soon.”

In 1998 R1 above could not go back to 2B during dead ball, but would have to go home. The defense could then successfully appeal R1 missing 2B.

Sometime after that ASA recognized that devious fielders could take advantage of this rule and they added another sentence to the exception. ”A runner shall not be declared out if a fielder deliberately carries or throws the ball into dead ball territory to prevent that runner from returning to a missed base or a base left too soon.”

I believe in 2002 ASA changed the exception to read: ”When the ball becomes dead, runners may return to touch a missed base . . . . . . . . . “ Was this a major shift in philosophy? Or a typo? In 2002 R1 above could go back to 2B during dead ball; then touch 3B and go home. An appeal would be denied because R1 had already touched the missed base.

I am guessing the change was 2002, but I do not have a book to read if ASA highlighted it as a change. However, NFHS re-wrote their Rule 8 in 2002, which was a near copy of ASA rule 8. This exception, including the “devious fielder” part was copied directly into NFHS 8.4.G. NFHS rule changes precede ASA changes by several months. So NFHS could have copied it as it was at that time, but ASA could have changed later for their 2002 book. (Whatever, it was definitely changed by 2003.)

Because ASA and NFHS rules committees communicate, I find it hard to believe that NFHS would have copied a rule that ASA was preparing to change. Also note that ASA has never removed the “devious fielder” sentence. In today’s book (2005) we have a rule that supposedly allows a runner to return during dead ball – but prevents a fielder from deliberately throwing the ball out of play to prevent a runner from returning.

So what do you think? Was this a rule change? Or a typo that has slipped by for 2 or 3 years now?

WMB
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Old Thu Aug 11, 2005, 09:49am
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You need to get a 2005 rule book. The umpire's aware was correct and R1 could have returned to touch 2B prior to the award.

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Old Thu Aug 11, 2005, 12:46pm
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"You need to get a 2005 rule book."

I have one. I quoted it above. It says the same thing that the 2004 and 2003 books say - the runner is allowed to return during dead ball.

"The umpire's aware was correct and R1 could have returned to touch 2B prior to the award."

No question that the umpire's aware (award?) is correct, nor that the rules says the runner can return.

The question I asked is was that rule deliberately changed to reverse the rule written in 1998, or is it an error that has escaped detection the last 3 years? If it was a deliberate change, then why is the sentence about not deliberately throwing out of play left in, as it take a contrary position to the prior sentence.

WMB
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Old Thu Aug 11, 2005, 01:26pm
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Having no inside information on the proceedings of the ASA rule change committee over the years, but based on rules clinics, etc., it is my belief the change was deliberate (i.e. allowing the runner to return during the dead ball). In addition, a change was made to prevent the runner from returning after the runner had advanced on the base awards.

As to the remaining sentence regarding the defensive action, it would seem you may have discovered yet another editorial change needed in the ASA book. Not exactly earth-shaking news, but perhaps it will be noticed by the "clean up the book" process that is rumored to be underway.
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Old Thu Aug 11, 2005, 01:35pm
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Now I'm a very confused coach...

So what happens if the runner hears the award of 2 bases from the ump, does not go back to touch 2B, and leaves the playing field to enter the bench?
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Old Thu Aug 11, 2005, 02:11pm
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Coach -
Simple, the runner has the choice of returning to complete their base-running obligations and then advancing on the award or they may advance on the award and be subject to appeal if they did not complete their obligations.
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Old Thu Aug 11, 2005, 02:22pm
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Thanks...it's as I thought. This very sitch actually happened the other week. Runner missed second, ball was thrown into dead ball territory, blue pointed to runner and told her to go home. Being a relatively inexperienced kid, she did exactly what the ump told her to do...she went directly to home, then quickly ran into the dugout. We dodged the bullet when defensive coach did not appeal.
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Old Thu Aug 11, 2005, 02:42pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by WestMichBlue


The question I asked is was that rule deliberately changed to reverse the rule written in 1998, or is it an error that has escaped detection the last 3 years? If it was a deliberate change, then why is the sentence about not deliberately throwing out of play left in, as it take a contrary position to the prior sentence.

WMB
Okay, now my question. Why?

Why would you even run through eight years of rulebooks, changes and interpretations? Is every change a question? Part of your question seems to insinuate there was something hidden from us all. Was it a conspiracy?!?!

These changes were made out in the open and explained at the clinics I attended/conducted nationally, regionally and locally.

Mr. Ryan used a great presentation this year concerning rule changes which I partially emulated locally. Instead of just covering the new changes, he went back and reviewed the previous changes, whether the change was good or not so good, and what was being done to bring the questionable ones back into line. Had this been the clinical procedure 7 years ago, this probably would have been a perfect example as a not-so-good changed for corrective purposes.

On the rule in question, the intent of the original change had some good thoughts behind it, but just didn't work. It was found that there were a few glitches and that the defense figured out how to abuse the rule, so they changed it back.

As far as the relieving any restrictions on the runner should the fielder deliberately kill the ball, that was probably left there as a preventive catch-all should there have been something which was missed. Want it out? I'll see if a housekeeping change may be in order.

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Old Fri Aug 12, 2005, 06:40am
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I don't think WMB is looking for conspiracy or even hidden meaning. He is such a student ofthe rules and esp. NFHS vs.ASA; that he notices and discusses apparent contradictions, especially when it adds wording or confusion.

It seems the answer is just "As far as the relieving any restrictions on the runner should the fielder deliberately kill the ball, that was probably left there as a preventive catch-all should there have been something which was missed". Let's try to take it out.
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Old Fri Aug 12, 2005, 09:21am
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Quote:
Originally posted by CecilOne
I don't think WMB is looking for conspiracy or even hidden meaning. He is such a student ofthe rules and esp. NFHS vs.ASA; that he notices and discusses apparent contradictions, especially when it adds wording or confusion.
#1. I know he wasn't looking for a hidden meaning or a conspiracy. Maybe you missed the smilie

#2. This discussion is on an ASA rule. NFHS has no standing.

#3. The excessive wording has no bearing on the understanding of the rule. At best, it points out that the defense may do something devious. At worst, it is a redundancy.
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Old Fri Aug 12, 2005, 11:55am
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Quote:
Originally posted by IRISHMAFIA

#2. This discussion is on an ASA rule. NFHS has no standing.

Of course, NFHS does not explain any ASA rule. Only that the NFHS book and it's apparent duplication of the ASA rule was part of his reasoning process relative to timing.

Yes, I missed the smilie.
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