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Discussion: Information on the safety of the run by rule

Posted Discussion
April 28, 2019
3 posts
Information on the safety of the run by rule
Hi all,

Our co-ed senior league uses a version of the run by rule, a runner may run by second and third base without being in jeopardy of being tagged out. Our Board of Directors, of which I am a member, is in the middle of discussion on whether to keep or eliminate the run-by rule. Proponents of the run-by rule suggest that it prevents collisions between the person covering the base and the runner. Opponents believe the greatest risk of collision occurs between the runner, running at full speed, and defensive players without the ball near the base and in the path of the runner.

My position is that continuing a discussion base on prevention of collisions is pointless because each side's argument rests only on personal testimony and not objective data. To help move the discussion off collisions and injury, I am asking the following 2 questions:

1. Does anybody know of a well conducted study showing that the run-by rule prevents collisions better than running to the base (including sliding)?

2. What is the reason the USSSA Rule Book does not have an optional run-by rule (or at least one I can't find)?

Any help, opinion or comment would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!
April 28, 2019
714 posts
perhaps you mixed up your lettering (USSSA).. in SSUSA.. below is part of rule 8.6 which explains the runners options to avoid a collision.. as far as a study I know of none..

this being a "co-ed senior league" I would think you would want to lean toward "SAFETY" the run-by is by far the safest way to go.. this being a local senior league I would tend to think that sliding is at a very low percentage.. therefore if you do not have the run-by rule most runners will go into the bag standing up.. as far as the run-by I do know of a couple leagues who actually have white chalk lines 15" apart to the right of the bag as a visual for the runner and the runner must stop between the lines ... hope this helps

A runner must make every effort to avoid colliding with opposing players while running the bases or sliding or diving. If in the umpire's judgment a runner misses a base to avoid a collision, the runner will not be called out.
April 28, 2019
Wayne 37
Men's 65
721 posts

The run thru is essentially the same as a force out and sliding is disallowed unless going back to the base.

I imagine some state that you have to run to the opposite side of the base away from the throw. To advance to the next base you have to return to base and touch it.

We played like that in day ball for a long time and all it did was cause lots of arguments. It also makes it easier for a runner to take that extra base.

We recently switched away from the run thru and we haven't had any problems with collisions or injuries. I've seen more players get injured with badly thrown balls and bad bounces.

I would suggest you do away with the run thru and go back to real softball. You can always switch back.

8.6 has nothing to do with with your original post. Disregard this as it is irrelevant to your question. You're playing with a modified rule in your league.
April 28, 2019
Omar Khayyam
1336 posts
I don't know of any study that compares the two options. How would data be gathered? Who would care to gather it?

What I do know is that our day league changed to the run-through more than a decade ago and has stayed with it. Why? Far fewer collisions and less stress on aging knees!

The rare collisions are usually at second because sometimes the shortstop, the second baseman, (and the guy up the middle—we play with the extra player since our leagues are ability balanced and have players from 50 to 93 on the same field) converge at the same time leaving little option for the runner.

Nonetheless, past collisions where the runner could not slow down in time and crashed into the fielder were more severe than the rare brush-by collisions that occur now. We would never go back to the old system. We are friends, young and old...male and female...experienced and less experienced...playing our best but not to win at the risk of injury.

My personal data base on this is anecdotal but I have played about 900 games in the past ten years (we play more than one league game a week on all-weather fields) and this is my observed experience. And there are other players who have played more games than me and they are not advocating for a return to the tournament standard.
April 29, 2019
714 posts
wayne.. you are wrong AGAIN

his question #2 .. (2. What is the reason the USSSA Rule Book does not have an optional run-by rule (or at least one I can't find)?

Rule 8.6 is SSUSA's rule which would cover a runner not touching/missing or running by the bag in order to avoid a collision .. and yes many local leagues do modify the rule to suit their league.. BUT there is a rule.. try reading it
April 29, 2019
Wayne 37
Men's 65
721 posts
Whatever????? You and she should be on the cover of National Geographic picking nits off each other.

Please just lock the thread and put it out of it's misery.
April 30, 2019
714 posts
lmao.. wow.. now that would be an honor.. me and SHE (Nancy) or would that be SHE and me.. Dave in your idle time can you work on that
April 30, 2019
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1331 posts
geesermice, please take your advice from a professional umpire and good mentor which is BJ. She thinks the one that is not an umpire and can't understand a rulebook is only an annoyance to those of us that officiate and can read for comprehension.
April 30, 2019
Men's 65
2977 posts
Wish granted (although possibly a bit late) ... To put *US* out of the misery, ** THREAD CLOSED **
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