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Base Running Rules

On The Base Path

BASE RUNNING

 

  • All player safety is of paramount importance. With that in mind:
  • A base runner must do everything possible to avoid colliding with a fielder. If the runner makes little or no effort to avoid colliding with a fielder, the umpire will call the runner out, the play will be called dead, and all runners will return to the last occupied base. If it happens a second time in a game, the player may be ejected. 
  • Home plate to first base: If a play is contested at first base, the batter must use the safety base located in foul territory next to the regular first base. If there is no play at first base, the batter may use the regular first base. Violation of this rule is an out unless the batter did so to avoid colliding with the first baseman (for example, the first baseman is off first base fielding a ball and blocks the batter’s path to first base.)
  • First base to second base to third base: The runner may overrun second or third base in a straight line and return to the overrun base. The runner does not have to touch second or third base when overrunning the base. Force-outs at second and third base are determined by whether the fielder catches the ball before the runner reaches the base. Runners must run to the non-fielder side of the base to avoid interfering with the fielder. When overrunning second or third base, the runner must return to the overrun base before advancing to the next base. If the runner does not return, the runner is in play and may be called out. The runner cannot be called for interfering with a fielder’s throw as long as the runner is in the three foot wide base lane and does not raise hands to make contact with the ball. 
  • All bases: With the intent to avoid injuries, plays at all bases are treated as force-outs; a runner can be tagged out between bases. For safety, there is a second home plate adjacent to the regular home plate. Runners step on the second base to run through the base at first base and run wide at second and third. A runner scores by stepping on the second home plate. The wood strike zone mat is for the catcher, who may step on any part of the strike zone mat to force out the runner. If a runner steps on any part of the strike zone mat, he is out.  
  • A marker placed perpendicular to the third base line and twenty feet from home plate is the commitment line. Once a runner crosses this line, he must continue to home plate. Violation of this rule is an out. 
  • Sliding and diving are not allowed. A runner who slides or dives will be called out - an exception is allowed if the slide or dive is made solely to avoid injury/contact. 
  • If a runner continues to play on after making a turn toward or taking a few steps toward the next base, he may be tagged out. When returning to a base, a runner may not overrun the base. 
  • A base runner cannot leave his base until the batter makes contact with the ball. Leaving a base early is an out. There is no rule violation if a runner leaves the base when the ball crosses home plate and is not hit. 
  • Metal cleats are not permitted. 


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