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Discussion: Catcher already has the ball when non-forced runner crosses commit line; I assume runner is out?

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March 15, 2020
jgoff5113
Men's 60
34 posts
Catcher already has the ball when non-forced runner crosses commit line; I assume runner is out?
Scenario: Bases loaded and less than 2 outs. Batter grounds it to the 3rd baseman, who steps on third (this means the baserunner who started the play on 3rd is no longer forced). The baserunner who started the play on 3rd has left the 3rd base bag; but instead of chasing this runner towards home to either tag him or force him to cross the commit line, the 3rd baseman after stepping on 3rd immediately throws the ball to the catcher (who is standing on the strike mat), and the catcher catches the ball BEFORE the baserunner crosses the commit line. The baserunner then crosses the commit line and scoring line with the catcher holding the ball while standing on the strike mat. I assume this baserunner should be called out, even though he wasn't forced at home and did not cross the commit line until after the catcher had the ball. I just want to confirm that the result is a double play?
March 15, 2020
B.J.
697 posts
yes.. runner is still out you are correct a double play
March 15, 2020
jgoff5113
Men's 60
34 posts
Thank-you B.J. I thought so, but wanted to confirm with you experts!
March 15, 2020
grayhitter59
Men's 55
253 posts
does not matter when the ball was accutaly caught, once the runner crossed the line he must continue towards the plate. If the catcher still has the ball and is on the plate the runner is out, double play inning over if thats the third out.
March 15, 2020
k man
Men's 65
290 posts
Yes, I know its the rule.
In this situation, 3rd baseman steps on 3rd but instead of throwing home he follows the runner down the line where runner stops just shy of the line on the 3rd base side. Runner awaits 3rd baseman for his attempt to tag him and basically a stalemate results. As he attempts to tag, the runner does a tap dance and gets what some others would consider a cheesy run while some would disagree its a smart play ' according to the rules'.
Just curious how people feel with this as this is not the rule in ISSA:.
March 16, 2020
grayhitter59
Men's 55
253 posts
He can dance all he wants between the bag and the line once he passes the line he cannot dance any longer, has to continue forward.

March 16, 2020
DCPete
379 posts
Kind of doubt he must continue forward after crossing the commit line just as long as he doesn't cross back over it, but it doesn't matter since once he's crossed the line the 3rd baseman can just throw the ball to the catcher at home plate for the force out.
March 16, 2020
grayhitter59
Men's 55
253 posts
no sir, if after crossing the line he turns around to go back to third base he is automatically out.

The umpire will make the call.
March 16, 2020
stick8
1777 posts
K man thatís actually a smart play by that runner!! It may appear cheesy but if that team wins the game by one run it sure looks good!!
Hereís a situation we had in a league game last year:
Bases loaded 1 out. Grounder to first base. He throws home, catcher catches the throw with his foot on the mat before the runner from third crosses the commit line. Catcher then throws to first to complete an apparent double play, end of inning. Other team emphatically argued that since the runner didnít cross the commit line when the catcher caught the ball he should be safe because he continued and crossed the scoring line after the catcher threw the ball to first. Umpire ruled a double play because itís a force at home.
Was the umpire correct?
March 16, 2020
k man
Men's 65
290 posts
Stick, it may look good to the one team but I'm sure the defensive team wouldn't feel the same way.
In your example since bases were loaded, it was a force play at home therefore runner out and double play.
However if it was 1st and 3rd and the man going home hadn't crossed the commitment line it would be a different circumstance.
March 16, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2751 posts
DCPete and grayhitter59 ... There is no specific procedure that the baserunner who has passed the commitment line must comply with other than not retreating back over the commitment line ... Specifically, he is NOT required to proceed directly home, at any rate of speed, without a U-turn, or in any time frame ... He simply can't retreat back to the 3B side of the line ... Any shenanigans like that are a waste of time since a simple throw to the defender in contact with the strike mat ends any further discussion ... Specifically, the runner is NOT automatically out if he only turns back toward 3B so long as he stays on the Home side of the line ... An umpire who calls him out for that is hopefully working his last game of the tournament if I'm the Director ...

stick8 ... I have an inning-ending double play (in agreement with that umpire) ... The standard "force out" rules apply ... The defender, in possession of the ball, tagged the strike mat/home plate area in front of a baserunner who was obligated to advance there ... The commitment line deals with handling a potential tag situation, but does not override the force play rules ...

March 16, 2020
B.J.
697 posts
Dave...you need to read the OP again 3bman stepped on 3rd for an out so the runner from 3rd is no longer forced to run.. his standing at the CL is legal.. the fielder should just FAKE A TAG I'm sure that will make the runner cross over then as you said simply throw to HP for the out
March 16, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2751 posts
B.J. ... I think my response to the original post is correct ... That reply deals with only what DCPete and grayhitter59 were speculating about AFTER the baserunner has passed the commitment line ...

The reply portion to stick8 is, I believe, also correct ... That fact pattern had the first out being the force play at home, not at 3B as in the other hypothetical ...

I may miss a few occasionally, but am reasonably confident not this time ...

March 16, 2020
B.J.
697 posts
Dave, again the way the rule is specifically worded and yes as you know I am VERY anal on how rules are worded... the rule says MUST CONTINUE HOME once he crosses C/L

In my umpire world that means he may not stop or as you say make a u-turn ... unfortunately there is no written penalty for the runner who does stop or makes a u-turn to try to confuse the defense... maybe the wording should be changed or give a penalty because this same type of question comes up several times a year

and yes I agree a simple throw to the plate would end it all..

1.15 ē COMMITMENT LINE
A minimum six (6) foot (1.83 m) commitment line shall be marked across and perpendicular to the foul line and placed thirty feet from home plate. Once a runner has crossed the commitment line he: [a] cannot return to third base; [b]
must continue home; [c] can no long be tagged out by the defensive player; the defensive player must touch the strike zone mat. The ball remains live
March 16, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2751 posts
And you know my official position on umpires who make up words to randomly insert into existing rule language in order to support a differing interpretation! ... The part [b] of the ß1.15 Definition (Rule ß 8.8 is more appropriate and precise) you cited does not, by intention and design, include words like "directly", "without hesitation" or any other phrase imposing a nonexistent perfoirmance criteria ... The intention is a simple concept: the base runner's next touch point is the scoring line/plate and not any part of "terra firma" on the third base side of the commitment line ... Enjoy! ...

March 16, 2020
B.J.
697 posts
Dave, I guess that's also the difference between an umpire and a directors interpretation of a rule.. as I have stated before UMPIRES like rules with no GRAY area.. and BTW there was no random insertion by me of words to the rule I posted the rule is straight from the book..

as far as Rule 8.8 being more appropriate and concise... now that's funny.. SSUSA gives a written definition 1.15 for the C/L and then CHANGES using different wording later in their explanation of the rule..

BUT I still do believe my version of the English language is still correct in that in 8.8 it says the runner is COMMITTED TO ADVANCING to the scoring line or scoring plate..(and there are no extra words inserted but yes I did capitalize it).. COMMITTED TO ADVANCING HOME or MUST CONTINUE HOME what's the difference it's still a FORWARD movement.. so how is he allowed to stop or make a u-turn

yes he can choose to advance at a snails pace or run as fast as he can BUT he must be "advancing" or "continuing home" depending on if your reading the definition or the rule ..:)
March 16, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2751 posts
B.J. ... I would opine that the problem is a failure of some umpires to strictly interpret only the language of the rule ... And that's the problem in a nutshell! ... My interpretation of the rule as both a Director and a Member of the National Rules Committee is that you are creating exactly that gray area with your presumption that the runner has to do or not do "something" that is not mandated by the language of the rule ... And that "something" you make up appears to bee-line straight home, presumably at some theoretical pace acceptable to you and by some specific route that you have made up ...

This reminds me of the seemingly never-ending "orange bag/white bag" controversey when we had umpires erroneously ringing up batter-runners because they touched the white bag simultaneously with the orange bag ... The rule, before AND after modification, NEVER prohibited the batter-runner from touching the white bag, but DID impose an affirmative obligation that (s)he touch some portion of the orange one ... We may just ending up agreeing to disagree on this one, but I can assure you it will be called as strictly written if I'm the Director ...

March 16, 2020
B.J.
697 posts
lol Dave, yes we will agree to disagree "again"

and as I stated above there is no penalty for a runner who does stop or makes a u-turn

and as you know I was one of the more/most vocal umpires who complained about the original wording of the "orange bag/white bag" GRAY AREA rule and we went back and forth often over it..

but low and behold a couple years ago SSUSA added this little snippet to the rule to clear up the confusion

(The batter-runner simultaneously touching both portions of the double bag is permitted) PERFECT.. NO MORE GRAY AREA

:)

March 16, 2020
grayhitter59
Men's 55
253 posts
Dave, As I understood the runner crossed the line therefor cannot turn around and cross back over the line if he does he is out.
March 16, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2751 posts
gh59 ... B.J. and I are debating what he can/cannot do AFTER he crosses the commitment line (C/L) heading towards the home plate area ... You are absolutely correct that he is out if he re-crosses to the 3B side of the C/L for any reason ... Our "debate" is what he can do within the confines of the 30' play-pen between the C/L and the scoring plate/line ... I believe the rule doesn't require or prevent him from doing anything other than eventually getting to the scoring line/plate without re-crossing the C/L ... B.J. has a differing opinion ...

March 16, 2020
grayhitter59
Men's 55
253 posts
He can sit there and drink a soda and tell a joke if he wants, also seen runner try to call time out LMAO. sooner or later he will be out once catcher steps on plate with ball in hand.
March 16, 2020
stick8
1777 posts
K man and Dave are correct! That might be the only time on a throw to home a runner from third is out before he crosses the commit line.
March 19, 2020
Wayne 37
Men's 65
703 posts
In the OP the runner is out once they cross the commit line. What difference does it make what they do after that? They're out.

I'd be more impressed if they could understand how to award bases on an obstruction call.

I'm handing him off to you now, Dave.
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