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Discussion: What Rule covers runner returning to 2nd to avoid tag?

Posted Discussion
April 1, 2009
Larry S
37 posts
What Rule covers runner returning to 2nd to avoid tag?
If runners are on 1st & 2nd base, grounder to 3rd baseman & 2nd base runner retreats back to 2nd to avoid tag. What rule covers him returning to 2nd? Is he out as soon as he reverses direction??
April 1, 2009
DCPete
235 posts
He's out as soon as he's tagged or the 3rd baseman steps on 3rd.
April 1, 2009
Larry S
37 posts
the 3rd baseman doesn't step on 3rd, he starts running the runner back to 2nd. Does he have to run him all the way back before runner out?
April 1, 2009
ShaneV
Men's 55
382 posts
These are the odd things that come up and provide opportunities for umpires to discuss for hours!

If the reversed runner reaches 2nd and makes contact with the bag and the advancing runner coming from 1st is also in contact with the bag, the reversed runner can be tagged and is out because only one runner can ocupy a bag.

And what if the reversed runner acquires 2nd and the other runner stops half way to 2nd? Defender need only step on 2nd for the force out and the reversing runner can remain on 2nd and is safe.

Unofficially!
ShaneV
April 1, 2009
Bob50
Men's 60
240 posts
"And what if the reversed runner acquires 2nd and the other runner stops half way to 2nd? Defender need only steop on 2nd for the force out and the reversing runner can remain on 2nd and is safe." This is all true but if you tag the reversed runner who is now on 2nd base first, then tag the base you have a double play.
April 1, 2009
TexasTransplant
Men's 70
420 posts
I beleive the question here has to do with the runner from second, stopping or reversing direction to prevent the defensive player from making a quick tag, then throwing to second or first for a double play. It's a tactic to avoid the DP, not necessarily to save the runner from 2nd.

Obviously, the force at third is still available (assuming someone covers the bag), but in some situations it could take more time.

Sounds like good base running. I know I've done it a number of times. But I seem to remember some past conversation or post about a rule that actually prohibits this.
April 1, 2009
Larry S
37 posts
What actually happened in the pickup game was when the runner going to 3rd stopped & reversed direction to avoid being tagged, the shortstop yelled "out", he reversed directions. What print rule covers this?
April 1, 2009
Joncon
289 posts
The only tiime you can be called out for reversing direction is going to first base or after crossing the commit line.

I don't know the section but, in this case, the runner is out only after he is tagged.

The exception would be that if 3rd baseman just stood there with the ball and the runner just stood there between bases. After about 20 seconds of everyone looking at each other, the umpire would just call him out and tell him to go back to the dugout.


Right Dan ? :)

April 2, 2009
Norq44
58 posts
I'm not an umpire, nor am I an expert at the rules, but I don't think a runner who is being forced to third base would be protected from a tag just because he is now standing back on second base. In my opinion the third base player should tag that runner ( whether he is standing on second base or not) and then step on second base for the force out. Double play!
April 2, 2009
DCPete
235 posts
The SS either didn't know the rule or was trying to get a cheap out. If there were such a rule you could never have a run-down play . . .
April 2, 2009
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2665 posts
I run into this rule several times a year playing first base. As soon as the ball is hit the runner (in my instance, the one on first) can be tagged, even though he may choose to remain on the base. That base is a safe haven only for the runner behind him.
April 4, 2009
Bob50
Men's 60
240 posts
Bruce,
To possibly modify your response if I may. I believe the rule is if a runner on first stays on first after the ball is hit he must be tagged before the fielder touches the first base bag. If the fielder touches the bag first than the runner is no longer a force out position and can remain safely on the bag. This of course would apply to the runner on second also if first is occupied when the ball is hit. If he stays on second he must be tagged by the fielder before the second base bag is touched by the fielder.
Bob
April 4, 2009
stick8
1299 posts
In this scenario the runner going from second to third is not out by simply reversing his direction going back to 2nd base (presuming he's avoiding a tag). He would be out if: 1)the fielding team touches third with possession of the ball (force play) 2)he's tagged out before the defensive team touches second base--even if he's on second 3) runs out of the baseline trying to avoid being tagged
4)he goes back to second and the runner on first arrives at second He's not out if: the defensive team touches second base first (forcing the runner from first) with ball possession and then tags him if he's on second-- he doesn't have to go to third since the force at third is nullified
April 4, 2009
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2665 posts
Sure Bob.
Year before last I almost had an unassisted triple play. Runners on first and third, no outs, I was playing first. A two hopper was hit to me, I tagged the runner leaving first, tagged first and saw that the runner that was on third had only run about 20 feet. I ran at him and when he broke for home I threw home for the third out.
April 4, 2009
Bob50
Men's 60
240 posts
Bruce,
Congratulations on your triple play. That is rare enough but an unassisted triple play. If you had made that third one unassisted that would be something. I wonder if anyone on the MB has completed one of those. You need a runner caught up after leaving third and giving himself up I would think to be successful. I'd be very happy with a triple play (from a fielding position that is). This is getting me anxious to play our first tournament for the year in Indy in early May.
Bob
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