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Old Thu Jul 17, 2003, 05:50pm
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I umped a womens game last week where the batter hit the ball to RC. The RF, only 9 players in the field, got to the ball and threw one wild into the infield. The batter had originally stayed at first base as the RF got to the ball quickly, but when she saw the ball not going directly to 2B, she ran for second. The SS, who is a very good player, went and caught the ball on a fly between 1B and 2B and caught the ball in the baseline. I was at the picthers mound at this time. The batter-runner saw the girl catch the ball as she wasn't expecting her to be there and clearly jumped to the outfield side of the infield out of the reach of the SS. I called her out for being out the baseline. I got alot of grief for that call. My question, after that long story is, what is the actual baseline? Is it the width of the base down to each other in a line? Is it 6 feet wide? This is my first year as an umpire after playing for 16 years and you always think you have seen it all, but that is not the case as I ump from week to week.

Thanks
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Old Thu Jul 17, 2003, 06:17pm
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The base line is 3 feet either side of a direct line from the runner to a base at the time that a defender begins to make a play on the runner. For example. B2 takes a huge turn around 1st and is about 20' towards 2nd and 20' out onto the grass when the ball comes in to F3 who starts to chase B2, it's at that moment that you draw your line to each bag that B2 has to stay in. Let's say we also have an R1 that they decide to throw on during the play. Once the ball goes to someone playing on R1 then you erase that line that you had for B2 until they throw back to play on B2 at which point you create a new line. All that said just remember it's pretty much only going to be out of basepath if they take two steps away from a tag.
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Old Thu Jul 17, 2003, 06:21pm
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A base line is an imaginary straight line between the bases. A base path, which I think you may be referring to here, is a direct line between the base and the runner's position at the time a defensive player is attempting or about to attempt to tag the runner.

A runner is called out when they run more than three feet from the base path to avoid being touched by the ball in the hands of a fielder.
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Old Thu Jul 17, 2003, 07:08pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by cmtsguy22
... what is the actual baseline?
I agree with the other two postings. The direct line between the two bases means nothing.

When a fielder has the ball and positions themself to make the play, where is the runner? They can be anywhere in live ball territory, it does not matter. Note where the runner is. Then, imagine a direct line between the runner and the base. If the runner tries to avoid the tag by going more than 3 feet outside that imaginary line you just defined, the runner is out. (Obviously they can retreat to the previous base as long as they have passed 1B.)

A good measurement of what is three feet is the length of an outstretched arm. So if a fielder is directly between the runner and a base, the runner is most likely out if they go around the fielder.
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Old Thu Jul 17, 2003, 08:25pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by cmtsguy22
I umped a womens game last week where the batter hit the ball to RC. The RF, only 9 players in the field, got to the ball and threw one wild into the infield. The batter had originally stayed at first base as the RF got to the ball quickly, but when she saw the ball not going directly to 2B, she ran for second. The SS, who is a very good player, went and caught the ball on a fly between 1B and 2B and caught the ball in the baseline. I was at the picthers mound at this time. The batter-runner saw the girl catch the ball as she wasn't expecting her to be there and clearly jumped to the outfield side of the infield out of the reach of the SS. I called her out for being out the baseline. I got alot of grief for that call. My question, after that long story is, what is the actual baseline? Is it the width of the base down to each other in a line? Is it 6 feet wide? This is my first year as an umpire after playing for 16 years and you always think you have seen it all, but that is not the case as I ump from week to week.

Thanks
All other posts aside (they were all correct), you don't note whether the runner was moving away from a tag or avoiding F6 while attempting to catch the ball. If the runner began her move away from the infield prior to F6 reaching out in an effort to effect a tag on the runner, you have nothing.

If F6 completed the catch and then attempted to tag the runner (assuming she was within range to actually make such a play) prior to the runner veering off-course, the runner is out, the ball is live and play continues.

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Old Mon Jul 21, 2003, 03:08pm
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Well said Mike

The runner should only have been called out if her deviation from her established base path was more than three feet and the SS/F6 was attempting to make a tag. If the deviation was during the attempt to catch the ball, you should have no call.
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