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Discussion: Substitute runner for the batter

Posted Discussion
Feb. 11, 2013
glovedad
28 posts
Substitute runner for the batter
Last year, our Senior league in Missoula MT opted to use the substitute runner from the home plate area for a batter who was injured/unable to run. Everyone agreed on the spirit of the rule, that in special circumstances, given our ages and available players, we may have an injury that allows us to hit, but not to run.
The problem was that only one substitute runner was thrown out at 1st base the entire season, which led us to think, we either did not have the starting point for the substitute runner in the correct place, or the runners were leaving early? Our starting point was even with home plate and the third base line.
Can you guys help me with this? We have a coaches meeting tonight and one of the topics will be, where to start the substitute runner from. Thanks for any help with this.
Feb. 11, 2013
glovedad
28 posts
What I am looking for is information about where the starting line is for the substitute runner? Thanks
Feb. 11, 2013
curty
Men's 60
103 posts
In our league the runner must start behind the catcher.
Feb. 11, 2013
glovedad
28 posts
That makes more sense. After having only 1 substitute runner thrown out all season, we knew it wasn't right. Do you chalk a line or have a specific measurement that meets Senor Softball guidelines? I will do more research on it, I just know there is lots of knowledge on the message board and so I came here first. Thanks for your help.
Feb. 11, 2013
BruceAZ
Men's 60
88 posts
In our leagues in Az we start 6 feet further than where you are starting, basically like Curty said, behind the catcher by the backstop.
Feb. 11, 2013
glovedad
28 posts
Thanks..
Feb. 11, 2013
Garocket
Men's 55
149 posts
I would think at least 6 foot behind batter
If you think that runner is leaving on contact.
The batter has to finish his swing and discard the bat before he can begin running. A runner that does not have to do that would have 2 or 3 step head start. I can see why nobody was thrown out.

Or the best thing is let the other team pick who the runner is.
Feb. 11, 2013
TexasTransplant
Men's 70
418 posts
I've played with this rule and I'll start off by saying I never liked it.

We extended the 3rd base line past the plate and made the runner start from there, which had him starting at the back edge of the plate. We threw in an additional rule that, if the batter swung without making contact and the courtesy runner jumped the line, he was out. Didn't happen often, but it discourage the runner from anticipating contact and getting a faster start than a batter ordinarily does.

Like I said, I never liked the rule, but, as a runner in that situation, being able to anticipate the swing is good for at least a couple of steps.
Feb. 11, 2013
taits
Men's 65
4344 posts
Some guys carry the bat to the base. That one is really bad.
Behind the catcher is close to the rt handed batter distance wise
Requiring them to have say a handicap placard might be a thought.
Allowing use of short notice for hurt players could lead to very questionable runners, ie cheating.
Any used should be after ball is hit. Ump should catch that stuff.
Possibly use the last out as who does the running. he he happens to be a pinch runner after that out make it the out before, etc etc. This to avoid rabbits going in.
Feb. 11, 2013
Omar Khayyam
989 posts
In our league, we have the substitute runner start from the backstop (about 10 feet back). The runner has one hand in contact with the backboard before starting. It is still an advantage to have one's feet set ready to run to first, so even with a 75 foot distance, the runner occasionally beats the throw on a ground ball. Everyone is happy with this compromise. I agree that starting from the third base line extension is way too close.

Since the injured batter is likely the last in the lineup, it takes care of the leadoff hitter or #2 not running for him, so a couple of rabbits are eliminated. This rule has allowed some permanently injured players (they usually catch or play first) to continue to compete in league play. It is more important for other members of the league to honor the years of healthy competition by some of our injured, disabled, or elderly players and keep them in the game, then to force them to not play because they can't run to first.
Feb. 11, 2013
taits
Men's 65
4344 posts
Don't forget many senior bats are stamped 1.20.
Best to ask in writing ahead of time, so your not 'surprised' when you get there...
Feb. 11, 2013
taits
Men's 65
4344 posts
Well that went on the wrong thread.
Feb. 11, 2013
glovedad
28 posts
Thanks guys for the ideas. Went to the meeting tonight and the decision was to have the runner be 6 feet behind home plate and against the backstop. We will mark a line on the backboard/sideboard and the runner needs have contact with it. I agree that the spirit of this rule is to honor some of our senior players who continue to play despite having age/injury related conditions that prevent them from being able to run. We have a wonderful gentleman in our league who has continued to play despite having MS. Even if he gets a clean hit to the outfield, there was still the potential for him to be thrown out at 1st base. That is just not right. At our age, in a city league, it just is not that important. I realize tournaments are a different situation;however what I am surprised about is that there does not seem to be a clear Senior Softball rule about where the substitute runner should stand. The committment line is (I think) 20' from the scoring plate. That is definite. I had thought there would be a definite rule/measurement about the substitute runner. I know there use them at St. George, I have not paid close enough attention to remember exactly where they stand. Anyway, thanks again, I appreciate the feedback, it really did help.
Feb. 11, 2013
glovedad
28 posts
Dang! I will blame the duplicate post on taits.
Feb. 11, 2013
taits
Men's 65
4344 posts
Actually there is one, I'll try to find it and post it...
Feb. 11, 2013
taits
Men's 65
4344 posts
Look under rule 4.5 A-D for some of the disabled 'rules'.
I do not specifically a 'runner' rule however.
As I read, as I have in the past, it seems as though it is disabling the disabled.
You decide.
Feb. 12, 2013
HJ
Men's 70
437 posts
I hate the rule. We are a plus 60 league with a junior and senior division, not based on age. Generally the juniors are younger and the seniors
older. I object to "juniors" who have a runner.
We have the other team pick the runner, but the rule for where to start is unclear. Often the runner leaves early and the umps can't or won't call the runner out. I think if you can't make it to 1st then you should be in the senior div.
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