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Old Fri Mar 14, 2014, 11:11am
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A base running question....

I had a situation come up in a game last week, and can't get a straight answer as to the proper call from anyone in my assn. One will say it's correct, then others say not so much. Could I please get an assist from some of the vets on this forum?

The situation: Runners on second and third, one out. Batter hits a grounder to short, who fields the ball and starts to throw to first. She sees the runner on third break for home, and throws the ball to the catcher. The runner on third gets in a run-down. The runner on second breaks for third and reaches the base, stands on it for a moment, then thinks better of it (I'm assuming because of the pickle the lead runner is in) and retreats back to second. She did not pass third, only stood on it for a moment. The run down continued until the lead runner was tagged out diving back to third.

The coach came out to question me, saying she had no problem with the tag, but said since the runner from second "established" herself on third, that meant the lead runner HAD to try to score and could not return to third. She insisted in a previous game just that week, the same situation happened, and blue told her the lead runner was obligated to try to score. (I'm not sure why she complained as her team got the out, but I think she wanted me to call both runners out).

I have asked others, and for the most part, everyone agrees with me that the runner from second could return to her base, even after touching third. But I've had a few say no. One said it clearly states in the rules book that a runner cannot "run the bases in reverse"....I tried to explain she was not running in reverse, but merely returning to her base.

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. I just feel like I might have missed an interpretation or something.

Thank you
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Old Fri Mar 14, 2014, 11:21am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8fuldiver View Post
I have asked others, and for the most part, everyone agrees with me that the runner from second could return to her base, even after touching third.

Thank you
Although you did not specify a rule set, runners can return as long as the further base is not a dead ball award.
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Old Fri Mar 14, 2014, 12:00pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8fuldiver View Post
The coach came out to question me, saying she had no problem with the tag, but said since the runner from second "established" herself on third, that meant the lead runner HAD to try to score and could not return to third.
Well, coaches argue about goofy non-existent rules on a regular basis...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8fuldiver View Post
She insisted in a previous game just that week, the same situation happened, and blue told her the lead runner was obligated to try to score.
Unfortunately, some umpires will try to enforce a goofy non-existent rule from time-to-time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8fuldiver View Post
I have asked others, and for the most part, everyone agrees with me that the runner from second could return to her base, even after touching third.
You're getting some good advice from some of your friends!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8fuldiver View Post
IOne said it clearly states in the rules book that a runner cannot "run the bases in reverse"
He clearly didn't read the whole rule and clearly doesn't understand its interpretation.

Just think if this was true. No runner could ever go back to tag up if they left base on a caught fly ball, or missed a base. And, all rundowns would be illegal!

The rule says that runners can't run the bases in reverse order to purposely confuse the defense or to make a travesty of the game. There are plenty of times when runners have to "backtrack" on the basepaths and it's perfectly legal. Like in your game.
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Old Fri Mar 14, 2014, 12:01pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8fuldiver View Post
I had a situation come up in a game last week, and can't get a straight answer as to the proper call from anyone in my assn. One will say it's correct, then others say not so much. Could I please get an assist from some of the vets on this forum?

The situation: Runners on second and third, one out. Batter hits a grounder to short, who fields the ball and starts to throw to first. She sees the runner on third break for home, and throws the ball to the catcher. The runner on third gets in a run-down. The runner on second breaks for third and reaches the base, stands on it for a moment, then thinks better of it (I'm assuming because of the pickle the lead runner is in) and retreats back to second. She did not pass third, only stood on it for a moment. The run down continued until the lead runner was tagged out diving back to third.

The coach came out to question me, saying she had no problem with the tag, but said since the runner from second "established" herself on third, that meant the lead runner HAD to try to score and could not return to third. She insisted in a previous game just that week, the same situation happened, and blue told her the lead runner was obligated to try to score. (I'm not sure why she complained as her team got the out, but I think she wanted me to call both runners out).
That is that most hated umpire, "the other guy"

Quote:

I have asked others, and for the most part, everyone agrees with me that the runner from second could return to her base, even after touching third. But I've had a few say no. One said it clearly states in the rules book that a runner cannot "run the bases in reverse"....I tried to explain she was not running in reverse, but merely returning to her base.

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. I just feel like I might have missed an interpretation or something.

Thank you
Speaking ASA, NFHS, ISF, probably NCAA

There is no rule which prohibits a runner from returning to a base or running them in reverse order unless the umpire deems that the runner's actions were meant to make a travesty of the game. All other rules involving touching the bases in proper order, not passing, etc. are still in effect.

Also, a base always belongs to the runner who the lead runner who has not yet reached the next base. You could have three runners between home and 3B and the lead runner still owns the base. Yes, extreme, but gets the point across, hopefully.
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Last edited by IRISHMAFIA; Sun Mar 16, 2014 at 01:55pm.
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Old Fri Mar 14, 2014, 12:09pm
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Thanks guys. I was sure I applied the rules correctly. I guess it's matter of "base running 101". To make matters worse, the coach said she saw it in the rules book, and was going to go find it and bring it out to show us. I politely suggested she NOT do that as it might make her stay a lot shorter lol. Oh well I really appreciate your help and advice. You guys are helping this old vet get better and not stagnate.

Take care

Paul
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Old Fri Mar 14, 2014, 01:32pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8fuldiver View Post
Thanks guys. I was sure I applied the rules correctly. I guess it's matter of "base running 101". To make matters worse, the coach said she saw it in the rules book, and was going to go find it and bring it out to show us. I politely suggested she NOT do that as it might make her stay a lot shorter lol. Oh well I really appreciate your help and advice. You guys are helping this old vet get better and not stagnate.
Paul,
You did get the rule correct. Trust your rule knowledge, but why discourage the statement from the coach? Encourage her to find it in her rule book, just don't stop the game while she does it. That will keep her occupied for awhile; the more she is in the rule book, she isn't bothering you. If coaches did this more we wouldn't have to worry about "the other guy."
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Old Fri Mar 14, 2014, 01:45pm
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I think the days of the auto ejection for bringing a book on the field is over!
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Old Fri Mar 14, 2014, 01:48pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Slick View Post
Paul,
You did get the rule correct. Trust your rule knowledge, but why discourage the statement from the coach? Encourage her to find it in her rule book, just don't stop the game while she does it. That will keep her occupied for awhile; the more she is in the rule book, she isn't bothering you. If coaches did this more we wouldn't have to worry about "the other guy."
Great advice, Slick! Encourage everyone to get in the book. They might learn something.
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Old Fri Mar 14, 2014, 05:37pm
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Paul...

I think the common thread that you're seeing from all the replies that have been posted (and if your new here, these are some of the best rules guy that frequent here), is the importance of having a full understanding of the basic premise/logic of every rule to confidently and correctly work through these type of situations. A garden variety run down play between 3rd and home with other runners on base play that a coach wants to 'muddy' with some twisted logic and references to how "the other guy" ruled on the play.

Last edited by KJUmp; Sat Mar 15, 2014 at 10:09pm.
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Old Fri Mar 14, 2014, 08:28pm
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Originally Posted by PATRICK View Post
I think the days of the auto ejection for bringing a book on the field is over!
EXACTLY!!

Listen up, people. If a coach comes running out waving a book and that shows you up, then you can/should eject the coach for showing you up. Not for bringing the rulebook.

If a coach respectfully requests time, quotes a rule, and offers to show it to you in the rulebook; well, it is your JOB to rule according to the rulebook. Swallow your pride, check it out (best suggestion, go into the dugout and look at the rule, so everyone doesn't see what you are doing); if you are wrong, fix it!! If the coach is looking at something that doesn't apply (WOW!! Does that ever happen??), explain the difference, and move on.

Our job is to get it right, as long as the coach does it without showing you up. If you know you are right, what does it hurt to look in the book and show it to the coach??
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Old Fri Mar 14, 2014, 09:12pm
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Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
EXACTLY!!

Listen up, people. If a coach comes running out waving a book and that shows you up, then you can/should eject the coach for showing you up. Not for bringing the rulebook.

If a coach respectfully requests time, quotes a rule, and offers to show it to you in the rulebook; well, it is your JOB to rule according to the rulebook. Swallow your pride, check it out (best suggestion, go into the dugout and look at the rule, so everyone doesn't see what you are doing); if you are wrong, fix it!! If the coach is looking at something that doesn't apply (WOW!! Does that ever happen??), explain the difference, and move on.

Our job is to get it right, as long as the coach does it without showing you up. If you know you are right, what does it hurt to look in the book and show it to the coach??
It depends on how it is used as a prop. I don't know how many times I've had people try to show me a rule and they aren't even in the right rule let alone the right section. And to be honest, we rarely have the time to stop and give a clinic.

Not all games are NCAA games and some of those coaches aren't much better then the parent-coach in a 10U game who is citing the call s/he saw the previous weekend on the MLB Game of the Week.

Much of the time, a coach wants to show you a rule and there is no option to him/her other than what they think they are reading. But as we all know, rules come with interpretations and not all of them are in the book. Sometimes going to the book helps, however, I have found that it rarely resolves the situation on the field.
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Old Sat Mar 15, 2014, 10:39am
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You could have four runners between home and 3B and R1 still owns the base. Yes, extreme, but gets the point across, hopefully.

If there were 4 runners, wouldn't that mean that R1 is forced to advance and in fact does NOT "own" the base?
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Old Sun Mar 16, 2014, 01:54pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
You could have four runners between home and 3B and R1 still owns the base. Yes, extreme, but gets the point across, hopefully.

If there were 4 runners, wouldn't that mean that R1 is forced to advance and in fact does NOT "own" the base?
Okay. like I said, extreme, but I was more worried about making the point, but I'll correct it to meet that.
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Old Mon Mar 17, 2014, 08:52am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8fuldiver View Post
The coach came out to question me,

But I've had a few say no.

Thank you
Utter nonsense from the coach... and I hope the "few" that said no are not umpires. Completely and ridiculously wrong. Runners can advance and retreat as they choose. Runner could have run beyond 3rd and still gone back to 2nd. And there's no such thing as "establishing yourself at a base" in this context - in any ruleset.
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Old Mon Mar 17, 2014, 07:28pm
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Note to Big Slick....

Hey buddy,

I agree with your statement. However, I was referring to her coming out on the field waving the rule book over her head to discuss the play. That is a no-no lol. And to all the others, I agree with you also. As long as he/she doesn't come out (as I mentioned before) waving the book over her head, doing some kind of jig just to show me up, I have no problem with her showing me the book. To me, it is kind of like the line-up card. It is information for all to use. The reason I suggested for her NOT to come out with it was because of her argumentative attitude which I could see/feel escalating rapidly. I knew she would not approach me in a ladylike fashion.
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Last edited by gr8fuldiver; Mon Mar 17, 2014 at 07:33pm.
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