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Discussion: commitment line stepover standoff

Posted Discussion
July 22
jfsully

82 posts
The discussion about running to the commitment line, stopping and then stepping over as the fielder tags you has been discussed on numerous occasions here. The answer is the player is safe if he is touched after stepping over the commitment line.

How, from a defenses standpoint, should this play be made?

Here is another question : 1) runner runs to the commitment line ans stops before crossing 2) Third baseman comes up to him BUT refuses to reach out to touch him (avoiding the play from above). ... the runner and third baseman stand there, neither makes any more movement. After a short period of time should the umpire call time and put the runner back on third base? or does this remain a standoff until both the runner and fielder fall over from exhaustion?
July 22
B.J.

1113 posts
1).. if the runner stops at the C/L the pitcher should cross over to the C/L and receive the throw to tag the runner.. if the runner crosses over the line then he just tosses the ball to home.. 2) if the 3rd baseman goes up to tag him and is standing next to him he should make an attempt to tag him and make the runner commit to crossing or get tagged.. for the runner crossing the C/L is not completed until a FOOT IS DOWN either on or past the line.. no time out should be called until the play is complete
July 22
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4354 posts
IF I'm the Tournament/Field Director and IF the umpire were to call "Time" since nothing is happening and, from your description, nothing likely will, I would absolutely support him calling "Time" and sending the runner(s) back to their last legally acquired base(s) ... Bring on the next batter! ... This sort of sounds like a hypothetical farce scenario, highly unlikely of occurring anywhere outside of a "stump the ump" discussion that might also involve adult beverages ... [grins] ...

July 22
k man
Men's 65
329 posts
I would think that the impetus to force the situation would be on the fielder.
So in this situation of spy vs spy, the fielder holds the ball in his throwing hand, but tags the runner with his glove and I would imagine the runner then straddles the line upon being tagged with the ball-less glove and fielder throws home thereby getting the out. But I'm an outfielder, so what do I know.
Aug. 13
Joe H

15 posts
Sorry for being a late responder. On May 12, the message board had an example where a runner came up to the commitment line, stoped, waited for the fielder to get close and then stepped over the commitment line, where he was tagged. SSUSA response to this example was that the runner should be safe. Based on SSUSA's written rules 1.15 and 8.8 (both labeled Commitment Line), depending on the "facts" of a specific incident, I question this interpretation. In reading the 5/12 example, my reading of this incident was that the player stepped over the line and stopped. Both of these rules state that the runner "b) must continue home", and "is committed to advancing to the scoring line or scoring plate." To me, this language is unambiguous.....the runner, once he touches/crosses the commitment line, MUST continue toward home plate/line. It also means to me, that he can't stop. I believe the language is included so that runners do not make a mockery of the situation.......i.e. wait at commitment line to draw in the defense. Based on my interpretation of the rules, as written, in the 5/12 example where the runner stepped across the line and stopped, in order to draw the tag, I would call the runner out and a dead ball. The problem is that there is nothing in either of the rules which clarifies exactly what the "penalty" will accrue to the runner when he stops. I think this needs to be clarified. If SSUSA does not intend to penalize a runner who stops on/across the commitment line and doesn't advance toward home, then the two rules need to be rewritten in regards to "must continue home", and "must continue toward home plate/line. Sorry for the length. Hope to get an SSUSA response. Thanks.
Aug. 14
JohnBob
Men's 65
256 posts
If the 3 baseman is next to runner standing at the commitment line he should be able to tag him before he can cross it. If he does cross it before the tag throw ball home. Am I missing something here this is my 22rd year of playing 3rd base in Senior Softball.
Aug. 14
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1438 posts
Joe H, this is my opinion only. In 21 years of officiating senior softball and working with Coachie on senior softball since that time, I have never had this exact scenario in a game. I did have one a couple of weeks ago which I wish that I had a better angle on the commitment line. If like BJ said the runner had touched one toe on it, I would've called him out for returning to 3rd. I couldn't tell for sure at my angle. I understand the language as not being allowed to cross and go back to 3rd, not as a specific on moving towards home. Of course if he crosses that line and is tagged, then he is automatically safe; so his advance is not relevant. I am with JohnBob though in that when I read this that I really do not understand why the 3rd baseman is not tagging him. That is an easy out. He knows playing 3rd better than any of us for sure. He would have got the out before the runner crossed the commitment line.

It was not in my game, but my favorite out in senior softball that I saw was the really good team banging a ball off of the right center fence. The batter and the runner in front of him are having a good old time laughing with each other trotting around the bases. The weak team never gave up and hit cut off after cut off to get the ball in. Ten feet from the scoring line, ball to catcher, it's a double play. That's softball, baby.
Aug. 14
the car

83 posts
Nancy on this the runner is stand at the line and is read to touch the line if the 3rd baseman is going to tag him making him safe it will really only work in a pickle
Aug. 14
MurrayW
Men's 65
221 posts
I'm with JohnBob. Seems like a very easy play for a 3rd baseman who knows the rules to make.
Aug. 14
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1438 posts
the car, thanks I get that, but I think that even I could tag him before he can get his foot across that line, and I am not a 3rd baseman. I have not had this come up in hundreds of games, but of course it will probably happen my next game now. Even if he did cross the line unless it is a horrible throw, you have him on the force. Heck, JohnBob could beat him home for the force play. He's pretty sharp.
Aug. 14
BruceAZ
Men's 70
155 posts
My team has done this scenario twice in the last 2 years, a team mate of mine did it in the SW Championships and I did it myself in Worlds last year. If you get caught rounding 3rd or caught off of 3rd for any reason, the 3rd baseman is going to run you to the C/L, the runner stops before the line and waits for the 3rd baseman to extend his arm/s to tag you, but it's pretty easy to move your foot 6 inches over the line before he actually touches you and then your safe for being tagged when you are over the C/L. I like K man's idea, that would probably work, pull the ball out of the glove before you tag the runner with the glove and then throw the ball home for the out.
Aug. 14
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1438 posts
BruceAZ, it's probably not a good idea if you get ejected for the fake tag. At least if I have your team ever, I will know your agenda.
Aug. 14
MurrayW
Men's 65
221 posts
Again, I don't see you this is a hard play for a 3rd baseman to make that knows the rules. You see the guy standing next to the line. You move your hand with the ball towards the runner. If he doesn't touch his foot down over the line you tag him. If he does, you throw to home. I would fake a tag first and make the runner commit. If he didn't then I would reach the extra couple of inches and tag him.
Aug. 14
MurrayW
Men's 65
221 posts
how instead of you in the first sentence above.
Aug. 14
JohnBob
Men's 65
256 posts
Right on Murray if nothing else flake like you are going to tag him and if he steps over the line throw ball home. The hard part is catching the ball in the first place when you are over 70! lol
Aug. 14
Joe H

15 posts
Forgive me all, but I guess I didn't get my point across. I've seen this happen two times in local leagues during past couple of years where the runner comes up to commitment line stops, waits for defensive player (3B man or any defensive player) to come near him, steps on/over the commitment line and STOPS. They did this hoping to entice the defensive player to mag the tag and hence be called safe. I'm saying that the two SSUSA rules covering this make specific statements that the runner MUST continue to advance toward home plate. They did not do this. They stopped. IMHP, if a rule states that someone MUST do something, and that person doesn't doe THAT something, there should be a consequence to that. The way the rule is written, the only apparent consequence is to the defensive team who makes that tag on the runner....he is called safe. As I said above, if MUST is an operative term, then there must be a consequence for not doing the MUST (forgive the English.) As I said above, I would call the runner out and declare a dead ball. If this is not what SSUSA intends by this rule as written, they should clarify the significance of MUST. I was hoping SSUSA would respond.
Aug. 14
The Screamer5
Men's 60
69 posts
Joe H, I could be wrong but my interpretation of the commitment line is that once its crossed (or touched), the runner doesn't HAVE to continue advancing toward home plate... but that it means the runner CANNOT under any circumstances return back over the line toward third base. I don't believe there is a penalty for simply stopping once the line has been crossed.
Aug. 15
B.J.

1113 posts
Joe, I understand what you are trying to say but I think you are taking the word "MUST" to literally.. yes the runner must continue home.. but the rule does not specify at what pace or that he cannot stop.. the full explanation of the rule states.. Once a runner's foot touches the ground on or past this line, the runner is committed to advancing to the scoring line or scoring plate and may no longer be tagged out. again it does not say how fast he must go or that he can't stop.. and there is a penalty for the runner if he does not continue and turns back and re-crosses the line toward 3rd.. he is immediately called out.. I hope this helps
Aug. 15
stick8

1993 posts
JoeH in your example it’s not so much the base runner must continue to home which he does, the emphasis is once the runner crosses the commit line he cannot go cross back and go back to third.
Waiting by the line for someone to tag you and crossing it just before you’re tagged is a smart play!!
Aug. 22
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
Just another poorly written rule as far as I'm concerned. Rule 8.1 (C) mentions that a base runner that is forced at the base they are running to can retreat to the bases they came from (whatever the wording was). Feel free to look it up if you want the exact wording. Then it mentions this is not a travesty of the game. I can understand that since it more than likely doesn't ruin the integrity of the game.

I don't see travesty of the game mentioned in the SSUSA rulebook except in this ruling. No mention either of the definition of travesty of the game, but I have been around long enough to know it when I see.

In my book this is a good example of the definition of travesty of the game......by the baserunner...... and really goes against the spirit of the rule as written. If it was me, I would call time and declare the baserunner out.

Now if that isn't good enough for some, then I'll take my chances with any filed protest. If that is not a travesty of the game, then what else is it? A Mexican Standoff?

That isn't the way they want it called, then I don't care if it is the top of the 1st inning. They can both stand there until I declare, "Time has expired, finish this inning and play one more!" Then they can stand there some more until one drops from exhaustion or gives in. The teams behind them with probably form a lynch mob.

I might like to add, that standing next to a runner with the ball in your bare hand and tagging the runner with the glove hand ISN'T A FAKE TAG. It sure isn't grounds for ejection either.

The definition of a fake tag is readily available in the rule book if they would bother to read it.

That's something that guy Smitty would do.......DON'T BE THAT GUY!!!!
Aug. 22
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1438 posts
Darn, if someone could only read for comprehension and not what they think is my intent... I have heard many interesting calls that were dead wrong this week from some great guys in Kentucky. So many guys/gals make some really bad calls because they think that they understand rules and don't. I know what a fake is and a fake tag too. Poor thing doesn't understand.
Aug. 22
txnighttrain

120 posts
I saw a funny thing happen at TOC one year. A team sent two runners home (both past third at same time but neither had scored or crossed commit line yet) and there was a throw to the plate. The first runner crossed the commit line while the catcher had the ball and standing on the mat. He was properly called out. The catcher then saw the second runner still coming, but left the mat and ran to tag the runner prior to the runner crossing the commit line. The catcher tags the runner just after he crossed the commit line.The umpire called him out. The offensive team protested and the second runner was declared safe and scored. What was strange, I think this guy would have kept running so if the catcher just stood there on the mat he could have gotten a double play. This same defensive team in another game later had a guy get a walk and then let their courtesy runner get on first without him ever touching the bag. There was an appeal and the guy was called out. Just a funny story on how some teams don't know the rules.
Aug. 22
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
Who knows what you mean. You don't write them you just enforce them.

You don't know that a fly ball touched over foul territory is a foul ball and runners can't tag and advance until the ball is legally caught. NOT WHEN TOUCHED!!!

You don't know that runners can ADVANCE on a batted ball until the ball is MADE dead and it doesn't mean return to their time of pitch base.

Sorry if I struck a nerve. Why not comment on the what else I wrote since you're so much more knowledgeable than myself. You got all your backup to come to your rescue. When it comes right down to it, you're the poor thing that doesn't understand.

You don't want to listen. If a sign says Fine For Fishing, I guess in your world it would mean the fishing is great in this spot. If you weren't so busy patting yourself on the back all the time, you might actually learn something.

I'm not trying to argue with you, but you need to check yourself sometimes. girl.

Aug. 22
B.J.

1113 posts
wayne... oooops you are WRONG AGAIN.. READ THE RULES..... runners can advance on 1st touch as in a bobbled attempt to make a catch.. and then if the fielder drops the ball it would be a FOUL BALL/DEAD BALL and the runners would be returned

let me explain something.. a fly ball that is caught over foul territory is not considered a foul ball.. read your rules 1.28 FOUL BALL
Aug. 22
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1438 posts
BJ, exactly. He keeps changing the subject to a foul ball. Really? No one has argued that that, but he keeps acting like we are. He refuses the kind advice of first touch which is correct. So what? None of said that we were great umpires but him. We actually read, comprehend, and discuss. Let him bring his illegal bat and bad attitude.
Aug. 22
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
Read all of 1.28, not just last sentence, Butch. I've explained that to you on several occasions.

Any ball touched over foul ground is and always be a foul ball. It should in the very least say, any ball legally caught over foul territory is still live and in play.

And I asked you earlier Little Miss Can't Be Wrong, tell us all where I erred in my prior posts in this thread...you won't because you can't.

And when did I actually use this altered bat in a game? We (as in others) used it for BP. Didn't want to break the gamers. I could go yard before the Ultra II's came out....and you can check my bag for any altered bats at anytime, anywhere. That only goes to show how desperate you two are.

I think it's cute the way the two of you have each others back since all y'all can do is debase not debate. I'll await with bated breath if the two of you ever have an original thought. It's like I'm having a bad dream and I'm back in Jr. High.

GROW UP!!!!
Aug. 23
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1438 posts
I am wrong many times, but I can admit it. We tried to help you understand that the words first touch mean first touch. Instead you keep arguing about the definition of a foul ball. First touch applies to any catch, fair or foul.
I won't? I only help people that are willing to learn.
Aug. 23
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
Just so you know, I ran this past a 5th grader and they fully understood what I'm saying.

Any fly ball touched over foul territory will always be a foul ball immediately for all of eternity and a day!

I can't find anything that supports your claim that a runner can advance when a fly ball is first touched. Feel free to direct me to it,

8.1 (J) Bases left too soon on a caught fly ball must be retouched before advancing to subsequent bases. Awarded bases must be touched in proper order.

You can submit anything to support your claim at any time. Anything except "because I say so" isn't going to cut it.

I was going to offer my services to help with the rewriting of rules. But what good would it do if you can't comprehend the ones now.

And you still haven't addressed what I wrote about the commitment line. I'll take the silence to mean you don't know or you agree with me. One of the other is just fine with me.

I would also like to add that one of these days you will have the understanding of a 5th grader. I guarantee, you will feel like a complete fool.

We're done here.
Aug. 23
k man
Men's 65
329 posts
Wayne, run this by your 5th grader
Rule 8.4 (8) any runner can advance at their risk when a LEGALLY CAUGHT BALL is first touched.

If it is bobbled in foul territory and caught then it would be legally caught.
Aug. 23
B.J.

1113 posts
lol.. k man you just made his "smitty list"
Aug. 23
TimMcElroy

961 posts
You present yourself as a guy that is big on knowing the rules, yet seem to have trouble following them.

Posting disparaging comments that are directed toward any individual are not acceptable here on the board (Rule #2).

"I'm not trying to argue with you, but you need to check yourself sometimes. girl."

"Etiquette" suggests that you apologize to Nancy Allen for the crass and condescending comment. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for it though.

Aug. 23
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
Thank you k man. I overlooked it.

The SSUSA rule book does leave out a lot IMHO. What these other two yoyos don't understand is that when a fly ball is touched over foul ground, it is just a foul ball and will always be by definition a foul ball until legally caught. [[[You cannot advance on a foul ball.]]]

What I've been saying all along is that the rule is worded wrong. You have to read the definition of foul ball. It's that simple.



Aug. 24
AJC
Men's 60
222 posts
Wayne, it seems like a common theme here when you disagree with a rule ( and seems like this happens a lot ) and someone politely states the rule, your comeback is that its poorly written or is worded incorrectly. Have you ever thought it might worded correctly but it doesnt fit your narrative and that you could be wrong.

BJ always trys to answer each question thoroughly and politely. Nancy does the same thing and goes out of her to help anyone that has a question on softball in any area that she feels like she can help. I dont know either of these 2 but i can tell that both of them are good people. They are going out of there way to help others.

In my humble opinion, you need to work on 2 things, your softball rule interpretations and improve on your people skills. You are very condescending to others who dont agree with you.

Have a good day !
Aug. 24
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
Dear AJC,

I don't need to work on my softball interpretations as I don't plan on doing senior softball in the foreseeable future. But if I do, I will do my best to learn them. Knowing the rules is one thing. Knowing how to apply them is another.

This rule has been misapplied for decades in all sets of rules that I can remember. The only one that had it correctly written was the NHSF (National High School Federation).
Be it further noted that anybody I ever worked with in any association never enforced in that matter. All the rules interpretators ALWAYS pointed out that the rule was flawed as written. This isn't something I just pulled out of thin air.

Think for a minute. When is a ball touched over foul territory not a foul ball? The very second the ball is touched in the air over foul territory, I'm signaling foul. The next thing if the ball is caught, I'm signaling an out.

Even if the ball isn't juggled I'm signaling foul by throwing both hands up and pointing to the direction from where I'm standing to foul territory. Then I am signaling the out and verbalizing, "That's a catch."

Until it is legally caught, it is just a foul ball and runners can't advance on a foul ball. Ergo, poorly worded and incorrect rule. Perhaps SSUSA will see the folly in their wording and change it next. I can see that they probably take their rules and rule changes from the MLB rules. The reason, is because Dave cuts and pastes some interpetations from their set of rules. MLB just recently pretty much re-wrote their whole rule book is how I know.

Just what Nancy said, "first touch, means first touch." The more experienced know, firsted touched over foul ground means foul ball. Too be honest with you, I'd rather have an umpire that busts their butts on the diamond and will learn from their mistakes. Experience is ofen a mistake you won't make twice. The day you quit making mistakes is the day they are shoveling dirt in your face.

I'm only condensending to those that choose to be condensing to myself. My people skills are just fine. I appreciate your opinion, but like Dalton said in Roadhouse, "Opinions vary."
Aug. 24
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
1438 posts
AJC, you are a very nice man and hope to meet you some day. This guy obviously has zero respect for women or maybe anybody. I will not post my resume because I don't care what he thinks of me. He likes to call me names and to make futile attempts at insulting me. It is his nature. You have a fan here.
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