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Discussion: A baserunner giving himself up and leaving field after being declared safe

Posted Discussion
Feb. 18, 2011
PhillyRon
Men's 65
3 posts
A baserunner giving himself up and leaving field after being declared safe
I could not find this ruling in any on-line Senior Softball rules, and being a high school and college baseball umpire, I do not know the Senior Softball ruling for the following;

Baserunner is called safe at second base on an attempted force out. Thinking he was called out, the runner walks off the field, crosses the third base line to his dugout, but does not enter the dugout. I called for the ball, which was still in play, and threw to the shortstop who touched the bae with the ball. This was done after I made the appeal to the base umpire that the baserunner gave himself up by leaving the field of play because he crossed the third base foul line. The umpires stated the runner was safe, after returning to the base, because he did not enter the dugout. Please reply via email to ronrubenstein5@gmail.com.
Feb. 18, 2011
taits
Men's 65
4403 posts
Couldn't find that per se but maybe he didn't hear the call...senior moment.... I would think "Time" would have been called anyway after call.
Feb. 18, 2011
PhillyRon
Men's 65
3 posts
Thank you "taits." No time was called. Ball was still live. In baseball he would have been declared out. I gather senior softball takes into consideration these types of mental lapses and just says "pass." I would still like to find out if there is a rule, which I could not find.

Is there anybody out there who knows?
Feb. 18, 2011
Rino
16 posts
I haven't found a rule, as such, but if time was called the runner would return to the base and be safe. If no time was called the runner would be out for leaving the base , if he was tagged. I'm not sure tagging the base would be enough.
Feb. 18, 2011
Rino
16 posts
I haven't found a rule, as such, but if time was called the runner would return to the base and be safe. If no time was called the runner would be out for leaving the base , if he was tagged. I'm not sure tagging the base would be enough.
Feb. 18, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Couple questions. One, if the ball was still live how could he have possibly walked that far without being tagged well before he got to the foul line? Two, why was the base touched and not the runner tagged? Three, why was he 'walking' off the field? No one should ever just walk between the lines.
Feb. 18, 2011
garyheifner
370 posts
I have had umps call out while giving the safe sign and visa versa. I have also heard them mumble when they aren't sure (so it seems). That is why I always look at the ump who made the call and ask am I out or safe?
Feb. 18, 2011
stick8
1325 posts
Not certain about SSUSA but in USSSA that umpire was correct. Technically that runner is still a live runner until he goes into the dugout or is tagged out. Suppose that runner slid into second, was called safe but his momentum carried him off the bag. You have to tag him out to get the out. Perhaps in baseball it's the rule but in softball the appeal you described isn't necessary. If the ump deems that he gave himself up by walking off the field he/she just calls him out.
Feb. 18, 2011
TOMAR77
Men's 55
203 posts
This same event happened in a game that we played in a few years back. A player thought he was called out and left second base , once he was outside of the base path he was declared out.This ended the inning and the game. It was unfortunate for the opposing team, the player heard the umpire call the runner out at first and thought it was him. Goes to show you need to make sure you are the one being called out.
Feb. 19, 2011
taits
Men's 65
4403 posts
Isn't that called having you mind in\on the game...
Feb. 19, 2011
stick8
1325 posts
Tomar77 some umps in different leagues or tournaments will call it that way.
Feb. 19, 2011
Omar Khayyam
1004 posts
A variation of this is having the runner called safe at second who then puts his head down, shakes it in disgust at supposedly being called out, walks toward the third base dugout, and then jumps legally and safely on to third!

We saw this in football when the supposed extra player ran from the huddle to the sidelines, then set himself and went out uncovered for a pass when the ball was snapped.
Feb. 19, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
What is it with all these guys walking between the lines?
Feb. 19, 2011
Joe H
11 posts
It's accurate, I believe, that there's no SSUSA rule to cover this specific situation. However, if time had not been called, the runner still would have been live. He clearly should have been tagged out, but absent that, I would have called an appeal play arguing that the runner had run (walked) out of the legal base path and should be declared out. Not knowing, of course, exactly the path that he walked, there is a high probability that he walked outside the legal base path and should have been declared out.

Joe H.
Feb. 19, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
There is NO rule for being 'out of the legal base path'. That ONLY applies in the very specific case if you are trying to avoid a tag. Guys are out of the base path all the time when rounding bases. It only applies when someone is trying to tag you.

In this case the runner clearly is not trying to avoid a tag, hence this rule does not apply.
Feb. 20, 2011
Joe H
11 posts
Your point is on mark and is not arguable. I understood the out of base path rule when I wrote the previous note. However, I would argue that this runner's action (i.e walking away from the play and, most likely, out of the base path), in fact, resulted in the avoidance of a tag, and therefore is subject to an appeal out. It may be a weak argument, it may be a stretch, although I'm not sure of that either, but it's worth a shot, as opposed to just allowing the runner to walk wherever he pleases with impunity. Still baffles me why he wasn't tagged out.
Feb. 20, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
I understand, but don't get why if the guy was truly just walking (and again, what is up with walking between the lines?) they did not just go over and tag him. Seems like they would have had a lot of time for someone to notice what he was slowly doing and react to it.
Feb. 20, 2011
Omar Khayyam
1004 posts
That's called keeping your mind in/on the game as a fielder!
Feb. 20, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Or, sadly, not keeping it in/on the game.
Feb. 20, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
so if you think your out,you run off the field???????i have done the sneaky walk to get another base,running only draws attention to you...

as far as being out for leaving the field and crossing over the foul lines,most of the assoc's say it is auto only when you enter the dugout,now for the runner to be put out you would need to tag him,as you don't have a real appeal play that i can see,but i know where i can go ask this question and see what they say(bunch of umps).
Feb. 21, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
Gary-we're old-we walk, especially to the outfield. After 5, 6, 7, 8 games it gets tiring no matter how good shape you are in. We're not kids trying to impress someone with hustle.
Feb. 21, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
Besides-at our age, any movement can be construed as 'hustle'. :-)
Feb. 21, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Webbie, I understand the age situation, but:

a) It is not a matter of impressing anyone, just playing the right way.

b) People always use "5, 6, 7, 8 games" as an excuse, but really how often is that the case? MOST games are not the 6th, 7th, or 8th of the day.

c) All the walking is why the games take so long, the pace is maddingly slow, and why silly things like time limets are imposed.

Feb. 21, 2011
PhillyRon
Men's 65
3 posts
Since no one has an answer, let me try to answer some of your questions...runner left the field of play, so tagging the base is appropriate. The ball was still live. No time had been called. He left the field not knowing he was called safe. He just walked off the field, so considering our ages, it must have been a senior moment. And yes, the umpires do a lot of mumbling with not very accurate calls, simply because they are volunteers; don't know the rules; and anticipate a call more than a mind reader. I have seen calls being made before the ball even reaches a fielder. It's a crime I tell ya. Being an active high school and college baseball umpire, I have given these guys a little clinic on the mechanics of umpiring, but for the most part, they just don't remember...natch!
Feb. 21, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Ron, I completely agree with you about umps seeming at times to anticipate calls.

But I am wondering about your comment about umps being volunteers. Could be wrong, but at least where I have played I don't think I ever saw umpires who were not being paid for the job.
Feb. 21, 2011
stick8
1325 posts
Ron I'll defer to your counsel in baseball but in softball it's a bit different. Since your scenario stated the runner touched the bag and the play is still live, he's still a live runner even though he's walking off thinking he's out. Since he touched the bag he has to be tagged for an out to be recorded. But he can also be out if you went to tag him as he's walking off the field since a runner cannot be more than three feet out of the baseline to avoid a tag. That's the length of a softball bat plus 2 inches--not very far.
It's the same thing as the runner being called safe and oversliding a base or if a runner is safe at first and then makes a motion to go toward second. For the runners in those two situations to be out they have to be tagged since they were ruled safe. In your scenario no one went to tag the runner so once he gets into the dugout area most umps will call him out--no appeal is necesary even though the USSSA rule says he has to be in the dugout. If it's a dead ball the ump--if he's paying attention--should cvall him out once he gets into the dugout.
Feb. 22, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
stick, you mention the ump paying attention. Heck, if any of the defense was paying attention the runner NEVER would have gotten anywhere near the dugout without having already been tagged.

Seriously, how would a runner walk that far with no one noticing and tagging him? Just seems like a preposterous scenario.
Feb. 22, 2011
stick8
1325 posts
Gary you would think that but I've seen some pretty bizarre occurrences in this game.
Feb. 22, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Yea, me too stick. But his one literally means a dozen or so guys all went brain-dead. They all should be cut!
Feb. 22, 2011
stick8
1325 posts
I would agree. You would think at least one player would be paying attention. How a scenario like that could happen is beyond me.
Feb. 22, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Same here, and especially if the guy was truly walking. At this age that walk must have taken quite a while.
Feb. 23, 2011
stick8
1325 posts
Probably so Gary. I was taught at an early age that if it's a close play remain on the base until it's confirmed that I'm safe or out.
Feb. 26, 2011
Webbie25
Men's 60
1995 posts
Gary-your comment about 'not every game is 5th, 6th, etc.' is laughable-you don't start a marathon by sprinting the first 2 miles. We expect to be there for the 6th, 7th, 8th games so we 'PACE' ourselves. Why is it so hard for you to accept that we are getting older and can't do what we used to do physically, so we adjust to last longer? It is not lack of hustle, it is choosing when to hustle and picking those times when it is needed, not just to look good.
Stick8-you have a good point about stay until you are sure of the call, but I have seen guys who were safe walk off the field (or run) thinking they were out.
Feb. 26, 2011
Q19
Men's 55
48 posts
Plain and simple folks. Rule 8.3 (9) WHEN A RUNNER CAN BE PUTOUT
A. A runner can be putout:
1. If, while the ball is in play, a runner is not touching the
base. Rulebooks are not written for mental mistakes. Tagging the base, not good enough. Make the attempt to tag him as he tries to return to the bag, he'll be out because now he is out of the baseline. Lets hope the umpire that is involved in a play like this gets it right.
Feb. 26, 2011
Omar Khayyam
1004 posts
Twelve guys went brain-dead? C'mon Gary. The call is not loud enough to get the runner's attention. He thinks he is out (probably because it is a close play). The 2B or SS is sure he is out because they see the play the way they want to. None of the outfielders are close enough to hear the call. The 3B is likely hard of hearing. Seeing the 2B jumping in the air and the runner walking away, he knows he is out and is ready for the ball to be thrown around the horn. The 1B was focusing on the potential double play. Maybe the ball was thrown to him, but too late, and so he is ready to move on. Only the pitcher and catcher are likely to have heard the call. It was probably one of them that yelled for the ball to return to second for the out. I would guess the pitcher, because the catcher might be only an occasional player at that position and would stress tagging the guy. And by now, the third baseman is far from third waiting for the celebration ball to be thrown to him. Somebody on the field, or in the dugout, should have caught on, but not the whole team. This is senior ball.
Feb. 26, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Omar, you are making a TON of assumptions there. The truth is, twelve guys went brain-dead. Okay, I will give the corner outfielders a break. Ten guys went brain-dead.
Feb. 26, 2011
curty
Men's 60
108 posts
if it were not caught before a dead ball situation, such as the plate umpire calling time, then the runner would be declared out when the ball became live for being off the base. There is no penalty for not being on the base during a dead ball. If the plate umpire also was unaware of the call for some reason, he would naturally call time out, and even aware of the call, should call time when the player entered the dugout. The plate ump would then put the ball in play, calling for the pitch and rule the runner out.
Feb. 26, 2011
curty
Men's 60
108 posts
once the runner left the playing field, passed the third base foul line, he is out of play and time should have been called.
Feb. 26, 2011
Omar Khayyam
1004 posts
Gary, your perspective is from playing with 50-somethings. I play with older guys and I'll compromise on 3 guys going brain-dead (more than the 3B can't hear well)!:=)
Feb. 26, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
True, that is my perspective, but again you are making an assumption. I did not see anywhere that PhillyRon said these were really old guys and not sort of old guys like my age group.
Feb. 27, 2011
doker
Men's 60
168 posts
HEY GUYS...IF THE UMPIRE SAID THAT TIME HAD BEEN CALLED AND THE RUNNER HAD NOT ENTERED THE DUGOUT..HE IS ALLOWED TO WALK RUN OR CRAWL BACK TO SECOND AND IS SAFE....APPEAL OR NO APPEAL.....IF NO TIME HAD BEEN CALLED THEN THE FIELDING TEAM WUD HAV TO TAG HIM OUT...BASE PATHS ARE MADE BY THE RUNNER AS LONG AS NO ONE WAS TRYING TO TAG HIM...HE ACTUALLY CUD HAVE GONE BACK TO THIRD BASE SINCE IT WAS CLOSER(AGAIN IF NO TIME WAS CALLED)AND WUD STILL BE SAFE...BUT YOUR SCENARIO SEEMS TO INDICATE THAT THE UMP CALLED TIME...WHICH MAKES HIS CALL CORRECT!!!!!!! JUST MY TWO CENTS...DOKER...25PLUS YEAR UMPIRE!!!!
Feb. 27, 2011
mad dog
Men's 65
3958 posts
every ump i have asked,is that the runner is not out till he enters dead ball territory,aka dugout,or he is tagged by a fielder with the ball.being in foul territory is not dead ball territory.
how about this,the runner actually sees the ump call him safe and then walks quietly to 3b giving the impression he thinks he is out and gets there with out being tagged,he is now on 3rd and safe.....
Feb. 27, 2011
Gary19
Men's 50
2615 posts
Only if he played a bunch of REALLY brain-dead guys.

So he would 'see' that the ump signalled him safe, and the rest of the guys hallucinated an out signal?

Hey, I am all for deking guys, but that just seems really far-fetched.
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