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Discussion: Courtesy runner

Posted Discussion
Oct. 31, 2018
Swing14
Men's 50
8 posts
Courtesy runner
Had a situation where a batter was walked and called for an courtesy runner while walking to first base. The player coaching first stepped on first base before the batter got there to be the courtesy runner and was called out.
Where is the rule on this?
Oct. 31, 2018
titanhd
Men's 60
576 posts
OUT!
Oct. 31, 2018
Swing14
Men's 50
8 posts
I know what the call was. I'm looking for it in the rule book.
Oct. 31, 2018
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3005 posts
Swing14 ... You won't find this specifically mentioned in the Rule Book ... Support for the "out" call is based principally on the concept that an eligible courtesy runner may not be replaced by a CR until that batter-runner has legally acquired 1st base ... In your scenario, he failed to do so by peeling off early to return to the dugout ... Yes, it's a bit of a technical call that probably would not have created any unfair advantage to either team (other than the defense getting the easy out) whether or not called, but that's the supporting argument ...

Oct. 31, 2018
Duke
Men's 65
888 posts
Look at rule 8.4(1) in the first sentence, says exactly what Dave has said above.

Andy Smith,
USED2BE
Oct. 31, 2018
Swing14
Men's 50
8 posts
Dave, the batter actually did make it to first and touch the bag, but the CR touched it first. Does this make a difference in your explanation?
Oct. 31, 2018
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3005 posts
Swing14 ... The answer above is still technically valid as to timing (CR on the base before base was legally acquired) and also introduces a second potential (weak) rationale for the call ... The first sentence of §8.5(5)COURTESY RUNNER OFFICIALLY IN THE GAME states "A courtesy runner must report to, and be acknowledged by, the umpire." ... Without being there to see it, maybe the best course of action for the offense would have been to do this in the proper order of [1] legally acquiring the base and [2] doing the announcement/acknowledgment process before the CR steps on the base ... If yours was the team at bat, I can appreciate why you may believe this was a case of "hunting for outs" as opposed to preventing an unfair competitive advantage! ...

Oct. 31, 2018
Dbax
Men's 60
1884 posts
With everyone wanting to speed up the game, this rule should be tossed. Courtesy runners slow down the game more than the 0-0 count.
Oct. 31, 2018
yerwombat
Men's 60
66 posts
Would the courtesy runner still be out if he stepped on the white base ......... Oh never mind but it sure would be nice to see brackets for next weeks tournament.
tim mowery
Oct. 31, 2018
B.J.
715 posts
the problem with the C/R rule is that many players and managers don't know the rule and then get upset when an out is called.. a while back I actually had a mgr. who was coaching 1st.. the B/R reached 1st base safely.. the mgr. then left the coaches box walked over and had a foot on the safety bag giving the B/R a congratulatory fist bump and at the same time he yelled out blue C/R on 1st then backed off turned around and yelled out a players name that was in the dugout.. as soon as the player came out and touched the bag I called him out for being an illegal C/R ... needless to say the mgr. was pissed.. it's the rule and should be enforced as all other rules.. if you want a C/R then WAIT for time to be called no umpire should call time until all runners have reached base.. then ask for your C/R
Oct. 31, 2018
garyheifner
604 posts
Dbax is right. Why wait for the batter to get to 1st.

Batter walks. Tells ump he needs a runner. CR runs to 1st and the batter goes straight to the bench. Saves time.
Oct. 31, 2018
stick8
1784 posts
In a house league it might be ok to do what garyheifner states. But in ssusa sanctioned qualifiers the batter must touch first before getting a c/r. A couple years ago we walked a guy (unintentionally) who’s leg was cramping badly. He had a difficult time going to first. His teammates helped him get there and then after touching first he got a runner. I don’t think it was legal to help the guy to first but the ump didn’t say anything and neither did we.
Nov. 1, 2018
yerwombat
Men's 60
66 posts
Damn BJ that is some cold S__t maybe you should change your moniker to BJ37
Sorry couldn't resist, I think I would have made the coach run
Nov. 2, 2018
breeze53
Men's 65
51 posts
Why not just let the CRs come and go as they want. It is a stupid rule to let's Joe beer belly trot to first, so the fastest runner available can run for him. Then because the umpire does not keep track, or there is no official scorebook, that fastest runner can run again in the same inning. Then the umpire plays dumb. Why enforce one rule for the CRs and not the others.
Rule should be changed to the CR comes from the last batter to make a out. Stop all this chaos.
Nov. 2, 2018
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1337 posts
breeze53, I respectively disagree on several counts. There needs to be some level of organization on courtesy runners. If as an umpire, I just let one guy run into the dugout before touching 1B (there is a rule that prohibits that for 1B, 8.3C), and another run out to the bag without reporting in, a smart pitcher is going to throw a pitch to get the out for no one standing on the bag if I am not holding time. I do not play dumb as an umpire. I make the two runners call out their numbers for me to know who is courtesy running and for attentive scorekeepers to track for their team. If the runner does courtesy run again that inning, and they touch the bag, they are out. As a scorekeeper, I got several outs on the other team because I keep track of it. None of our players were allowed to courtesy run until I told them that it was alright. If someone goes out to courtesy run that already had a runner, I have heard his number as well. Senior moments happen. I think that every team should have a scorekeeper that doesn't play to better track and control this, but I know that will never happen. BJ actually marks it down, and he is not playing dumb either. While that is probably better, I do not because it wastes a lot of time in paperwork, and I know who has courtesy run because I make them call it out. I have called two out for it in the last three years. Last batter to make an out only adds to the confusion from an association that I worked that tried that for a while. What if the last batter to make an out was from last inning and happens to be the on deck batter? That association tried to go back one more and maybe one more to eliminate that issue. Remember with a five run limit, there might not even be an out. What about the first person that wants a courtesy runner, and there have been no outs? What about five people needing courtesy runners in an inning in seniors; who runs then under your proposal? That association tried the last out for a couple of years and gave up to a rule more like seniors because it wasted a lot of time trying to figure out who should run, and they only allowed one courtesy runner per inning; seniors can allow more. Do you get a sense of how a simple suggestion can become overly complicated?
Nov. 2, 2018
Wayne 37
Men's 65
721 posts
BJ37 writes,

(((the problem with the C/R rule is that many players and managers don't know the rule and then get upset when an out is called.. a while back I actually had a mgr. who was coaching 1st.. the B/R reached 1st base safely.. the mgr. then left the coaches box walked over and had a foot on the safety bag giving the B/R a congratulatory fist bump and at the same time he yelled out blue C/R on 1st then backed off turned around and yelled out a players name that was in the dugout.. as soon as the player came out and touched the bag I called him out for being an illegal C/R ... needless to say the mgr. was pissed.. it's the rule and should be enforced as all other rules.. if you want a C/R then WAIT for time to be called no umpire should call time until all runners have reached base.. then ask for your C/R))))

How about wait for the defense to make a proper appeal first?
Nov. 3, 2018
B.J.
715 posts
wayne.. AGAIN you are "spot on" .. if you would actually read the SSUSA rule book you would know that this is not an appeal play.. below is part of the C/R rule to help you understand..

A courtesy runner is in the game when he touches the base. If a courtesy runner is determined illegal, he will be called out upon touching the base and no other courtesy runner is allowed.
Nov. 3, 2018
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1337 posts
BJ, we covered this in a previous discussion that this is automatic and not an appeal which he disagreed with the rule and said that it was an appeal. He just wants to argue. You always have my respect as a good mentor to umpires.
Nov. 3, 2018
B.J.
715 posts
thx Nancy.. yes we did and I'm stopping here because I don't want to be called out for.. [1] excessive pitch count, [2] cynical redundancy and [3] petty bickering :) :)
Nov. 3, 2018
The Screamer5
65 posts
Lol. I love this message board. Its always entertaining. But seriously, why do we allow so many courtesy runners anyway? (I can ask for one whether I really need one or not.) Why doesn't everyone simply run for themselves (especially in the younger senior divisions, 40s, 50s, 55s)...or we maybe allow only ONE courtesy runner per team, per inning? That would make teams have to employ a little strategy in its use. Currently, the rule simply allows for a team's fastest runners to run for the teams slowest runners every inning. I don't think that was the intent.
Nov. 3, 2018
stick8
1784 posts
Had a strange one earlier this year. During the open inning a player I’ll call Mark was a courtesy runner for another batter. Mark ended up scoring 2 batters later. About 4 batters later it was Marks turn to bat came up to bat and got a single. The other manager came out and said “he can’t run, he already ran for someone earlier”. To which I replied “He can run for himself”. We went back and forth for about 5 minutes. Then he asked to check with the scorekeeper which I did. I stated Mark can run for himself. The mananger insisted he couldn’t so he protested.
Needless to say he lost the protest.
You never know what you will get at these games.
Nov. 3, 2018
Wayne 37
Men's 65
721 posts
Some food for thought...........

Why would any umpire accept an illegal courtesy runner or substitute just to immediately call them out?

Did the coach give any indication that he would be the courtesy runner?

Is the safety bag considered "the base"?

Did the umpire announce to the team in the field or official scorekeeper that the coach had entered the game as a courtesy runner? [8.5(5)]

Would have it been too much trouble for the umpire to have explained to the coach that he had entered him into the game before allowing a player from the bench to run?

How many people were even aware what was happening?

Could this have been avoided with some common sense preventive umpiring?

Why isn't the defense part of the team that DETERMINES if the runner is illegal?
[[[[A courtesy runner is in the game when he touches the base. If a courtesy runner is DETERMINED illegal, he will be called out upon touching the base and no other courtesy runner is allowed.]]]]



Nov. 3, 2018
B.J.
715 posts
wayne.. to answer your many questions.. wow.. wouldn't it would be easier to just study the book

1) I'm an umpire not a coach.. I should not have to instruct players or coaches on rules.. if asked about a procedure or a rule I would gladly give them an answer.. senior softball is not an instructional league.. even though with your questions it quite clearly should be

2)the coach never gave a number just stood with 1 foot on safety bag and yelled BLUE courtesy runner.. which would now require him to run.. he then turned backed off the bag and yelled into the dugout to one of his players who came out and touched the base and turned to show his number to me.. that is when I called him out

3) yes.. if you would try reading the SSUSA rule book you would know that once the B/R reaches 1st base that both bags merge as one for both offense and defense.

4) in SSUSA tournaments the umpires on the field should be keeping track of C/Rs because many times there are no score keepers.. so when one is announced I say "courtesy runner on whatever base" look at their number and then pull out their line up card that has names and numbers and put a mark on it that they ran

5) again the coach should know he cannot touch the bag while announcing for a C/R

6) I was very aware what was happening and couldn't believe that the coach would make that mistake.. then I figured it out.. he must have been a baseball umpire at one time.. you know the kind that used to see 90 mph fastballs

7) as far as preventive umpiring.. hmm yes I used to do that in my kids t-ball league.. again if asked a question I will give an answer

and last but not least

8) if an umpire does not catch an illegal C/R or a violation of the C/R rule the defense has the right to appeal it.. in fact they have the right to appeal even after 1 pitch has been made and all the way up to the illegal C/R has scored and before a pitch has been made to the next batter

I certainly hope this helps and have a great day
Nov. 3, 2018
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1337 posts
BJ, you are a gentleman and a professional, but maybe this time you are being too nice. You are correct on all counts, but these points have been argued by the same individual time and time again. They refuse to learn. Senior softball has a rulebook, and that is what we use.
Nov. 5, 2018
Wayne 37
Men's 65
721 posts
BJ37,

In reply to your answers: Could you please point to the part that says the umpire is the sole arbiter in determining that a C/R has entered the game illegally before one pitch is thrown?

If said umpire didn't catch it the first time all by their lonesome as you stated, what makes me think they are going to catch it after it being pointed out?

What if they don't remember a few pitches down the line? You know who remembers? Pepperidge Farms remembers.

You might be a gentleman and professional, but with the most basic rudimentary rules of softball, you're lacking severely time and time again.

I certainly hopes this helps and you have a great day also. See how nice I am. I hope a certain individual caught that.


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