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Discussion: Senior Softball Official Rule on leads on base

Posted Discussion
July 24, 2006
MikeRD
Men's 70
7 posts
Senior Softball Official Rule on leads on base
When can a runner legally leave the base he is on: when the ball leaves the pitcher\'s hand or when the ball reaches the plate? Please reference the rule # in the Official Softball-USA Rulebook
July 24, 2006
ShaneV
Men's 55
382 posts
I'm not an official with SSUSA but in every form of slowpitch softball I know, the ball must be hit before runners can leave their base. "Leading off" is not allowed and stealing is not allowed except in some classifications of ISA.
July 24, 2006
hornachec
Men's 55
50 posts
the official rules of softball
Rule 8 - Batter-Runner and Runner
Section 7. The Runner Is Out.
R. (Slow Pitch Only) When the runner fails to keep contact with the base to which they are entitled until a pitched ball is batted, touches the ground, or reaches home plate.

July 25, 2006
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2665 posts
If I read the rule corectly, one can be called out for leaving early if he does so even if the batter doesn't hit the ball. I have been playing under the assumption that the ball must be struck before a runner is called out for leaving early.
July 25, 2006
Ken
Men's 55
462 posts
I guess everyone will be watching you verrrry closely Bruce, lol.
July 25, 2006
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2665 posts
:) Ken.


I can't remember ever seeing an umpire calling someone out for leaving early when the bat wasn't struck. I can remember seeing the umpire warning runners not to leave early. Maybe this rule is similar to the orange first base rule. I have had umpires tell me that they would never call a runner out for touching the wrong base at first. Is the leaving early rule the same as the orange first base rule to umpires, they probably won't call someone out for leaving early when the ball wasn't hit?
July 25, 2006
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2665 posts
:) Ken.


I can't remember ever seeing an umpire calling someone out for leaving early when the bat wasn't struck. I can remember seeing the umpire warning runners not to leave early. Maybe this rule is similar to the orange first base rule. I have had umpires tell me that they would never call a runner out for touching the wrong base at first. Is the leaving early rule the same as the orange first base rule to umpires, they probably won't call someone out for leaving early when the ball wasn't hit?
July 25, 2006
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
Bruce, hopefully you will not have the (bad) luck with NSA rules that you had when I first met you in Alabama. The NSA rule is: "When the baserunner fails to keep contact with his/her base until a legally pitched ball has reached home plate, the ball is dead." I saw a lot of people called out by ASA umpires in the Police and Fire Games for leaving early on a ball that was not hit; I will put it on my list of ASA rules to look up; of course they allow stealing which makes it real important to call right. I tend to think that a little common sense goes a long way. I know a few guys that always leave early, but it very seldom gets called probably because they do not get the jump that a younger guy would. I do have a friend that likes to fake a bad knee if he thinks that he might have been caught. As always one umpire might not catch it, but two should. I just always tell the rookie umpires that it is when it crosses the plate or the ball is hit which should be the same time because "when the ball is hit" is sort of the myth passed down through the ranks. Now if only umpires would read rulebooks instead of listening to the myths.
July 25, 2006
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2665 posts
Yes Gary, they are anticipating the swing and are timing it so they will be leaving on contact. Some batters give the impression they will be swinging and make all the moves but don't move the bat foward. Some runners leave early thinking he will swing. Having played first for the last 4 or 5 years I have yet to see one called out.
July 25, 2006
bashbro1
Men's 60
266 posts
Everywhere I read in the Official ASA Slo-pitch softball rules, it states that a runner can move off the base when any of the following occurs:

1. the ball is struck by the batter;
2. when a pitch ball hits the ground before home plate;
3. when a pitch ball reaches or passes/crosses the home plate area without the batter swinging or swinging and missing!

An if a runner violates one of the before mentioned scenarios the runner is to be called OUT by the resident umpire.

Slow Pitch Softball Rules

Official ASA rules, slow pitch, govern play, subject to restrictions and exceptions laid down in the following rules:

8.0 Rules on HITTING AND BASERUNNING:

8.1 LEAVING THE BASE EARLY. The player may leave the base as soon as the pitched ball reaches/falls short or passes home plate, or is struck by the batter. The runner must return to that base immediately if the pitch is not struck by the batter and cannot advance on a wild pitch or overthrow back to the pitcher.

8.2 Any runner who leaves the base before the ball crosses the plate shall be called out and the play declared dead. Leaving the base is defined as movement away from the base area toward the next base.

8.3 The ball is dead if a pitch hits the ground before reaching the plate or after the pitch crosses the plate, until the pitcher is ready to deliver the next pitch. Base runners may not advance if the catcher makes an errant return throw to the pitcher.

Bashbro1 (W.E. Ruth 60’s Kent, Washington site of the SSUSA Worlds coming this September.
July 26, 2006
Rod
Men's 70
24 posts
If you are the umpire and you are the only umpire, what are you looking at, the batter or the runner on frst, you better be looking at the ball/batter and if you have more then one umpire things like this should be discussd during the pre game umpires meeting. However, I doubt that the umpires will get down to this level of umpiring in some slo pitch games. "Umpires this is something to think about"
July 26, 2006
Mitch
Men's 50
68 posts
Since I don't have the speed that I once "never" had, I use a little trick someone showed me many years ago. If I'm on first base, I have my left foot on the base and my right foot behind me, to the side of the orange base, facing second base. When the ball is pitched, I look at it in flight and try to determine if it looks like a hitable ball. Then shift my eyes to the batter. If he/she appears to be getting ready to hit it, then I start "loading" the legs for a run. You can actually get an extra step towards the next base "before" the ball reachs home plate because you keep your left in contact with the base until the ball is hit. Then you can use the base itself to "push" off of, like the starter blocks in track and field events, with your left foot. If the batter either doesn't swing or swings and misses, then you simply stop your forward motion with your right foot, while your left foot is "still" in contact with the base. I've had to stop my motion many many times and my left foot has never come off the base so they can't call me out for leaving early. It works on any base. Try it, I've had pretty good luck with it and hopefully it'll work for you.
July 27, 2006
smooth01
Men's 50
122 posts
I use the same method as Mitch, but with the right timing ,and anticipating the ball crossing the plate as mentioned above by bashbro1, rule #3, you CAN leave the bag without the ball being hit.
July 27, 2006
Ken
Men's 55
462 posts
Gary,

In what way is he compromising the rules? The rule states, “The player may leave the base as soon as the pitched ball reaches/falls short or passes home plate, or is struck by the batter.” Therefore, the runner is allowed to leave the base but must return if the ball isn’t hit. I do the same thing and I assume most runners also try to get their momentum started. Are you saying that you stand there rooted to the base until the ball is struck? If so, you may want to try Mitch’s method and get a jumpstart on your move to the next base. JMO
July 27, 2006
doubleplay10
14 posts
Bruce, you shouldn't worry too much about the runner on 1st, since you often get to tag him out on a DP, anyway!
However, I think the rule is clear, as stated by Mitch & Smooth.
I worked at the "push-off", as described, and carry the back leg over, so the resulting momentum gives you a good spring off toward the next base.
Problem can be - many umpires/players do not know or like the "jump" a good runner can get.
I've been called out twice over the years for having left early - it never happened! Some guys see the BODY movement and interpret it as FOOT movement off the base.
If I leave truly early and correctly get called OUT, I'll accept it and play ball.
Thanks for the question, Bruce - see you in SC.
July 27, 2006
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2665 posts
I too have used the method since the 80's as described by Mitch. I was called out once while tagging on a fly ball. I guess the umpire saw my movement out of the corner of his eye and thought that I had left early.
See you there dp10.
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