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Discussion: How would you rule onthis one?

Posted Discussion
May 28, 2021
stick8
1972 posts
How would you rule onthis one?
First let me qualify. This did not happen in a game I umpired. And itís softball. This was emailed to me.
Runners on 2nd and 3rd, no outs. (Call runner on second R2 and runner on third R3)
Fly ball to deep left field. Left fielder attempts to make a catch but accidently drops it.
Both runners tag up and their tags are good. R3 scores and R2 goes to third.
R3 got the idea he left third before the ball was touched by the left fielder and races back to third.
Both R2 and R3 are now occupy third base.
Whatís the ruling?
May 28, 2021
B.J.
1023 posts
stick... if the fielder never made the catch then it doesn't matter if the runners tagged up...

but if the fielder had made the catch no runner can go back to a bag once they had already touched the next succeeding bag and the bag they left is already occupied by a trailing runner

also you didn't state whether this was senior ball?? then the runner would be called out for re-passing the commitment line on his way back to 3rd




May 29, 2021
stick8
1972 posts
BJ, it could apply to either menís or senior ball. But I need to correct myself here. Even though the left fielder dropped the ball, I should have then stated ďR3 mistakenly got the idea the ball was caught by the left fielder and felt he left 3rd earlyĒ. My mistake.
To clarify, after R3 crosses the scoring line (or in menís ball touches home plate) he then sprints back to third where R2 is standing, Then they are both on 3rd base.
How would you rule on this?


May 29, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
171 posts
stick8 - I don't know where some of these people get the players and i include base coaches that are included in some of these bizarre situations.

First off, if the 3rd base coach knows anything about baseball or softball he instructs Mr R3 on third, don't move a muscle on any hit ball until i tell you to run. Fly ball to deep left field, seriously doubt any outfielder could throw out either a young player and certainly not a senior outfielder throwing out a player at the plate, but i'm not assuming anything, the post does not go into detail to advise what the left fielder did with the ball after he dropped the fly ball.

Original post said that both runners tags were good in the event the ball was caught for out one, ball dropped, so runners are on the go. R3 scored, he is now a non-issue relative to any further play on the field unless he somehow interferes with a fielder making a play on a thrown or hit ball. R2 made it to third base successfully, still no mention of where the ball is currently residing? on the ground in left field somewhere? maybe?

R3 sprints back to third to slap a high five with R2, no problem, still don't know where the ball is. All their co-players are rolling in the dugout floor in laughter, umpire references my favorite adult comedian Ron White and sadly admits, "you can't fix stupid"

Wow, where is this league and how do i get to join it? Oh, and no one is out at this point as best i can tell, R3 scored, R2 in on third, batter/runner is probably on second base by now, but i'm sure if you add another post to this scenario he will have passed both R2 and R3 standing on third base enjoying the moment and where might the ball be?


May 29, 2021
B.J.
1023 posts
StickÖ in senior ball once the runner re-crosses the commitment line going back to third base he is out and the call should be made immediately upon crossingÖ. in regular softball once a runner has touched the next bag he can no longer return to his preceding bag if it is occupiedÖ it is no longer his bag so he is out
May 29, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
171 posts
BJ - in the initial post R3 scores, he's done, time to go to the dugout, he cannot make a baserunning out at this point, only an interference out if he interferes with a defender making a play on a hit or thrown ball, seems that the ball is laying in the outfield somewhere.
May 29, 2021
B.J.
1023 posts
T2, I'm 100% sure the runner cant return to the bag in senior ball.. but I'm not sure in regular softball.. if you are sure please cite a rule showing that he can't
May 29, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
171 posts
BJ - I would assume (and assume is a big encompassing word) that these players have a modicum of intelligence along with some real life ball playing experience and at the very least a co-player that knows enough to tell the idiot B3 runner to just go to the dugout after he scored.

As for the runner returning to third base, of course in Sr ball the runner canít return per Rule 8.8 Commitment line rule but I would contend that Rule 5.7 Scoring of runs, Rule 8.1 Touching bases in order, and Rule 8.10 Scoring plate and line would all trump 8.8 if properly completed

And with the ball in play, I, as the umpire, could not direct or instruct either the offense or defense in any way until Rule 9.3 is in effect. And when all the dust has settled, Then I would do my best to inform, instruct, and enforce the rules based on what I see on the field of play. By the time this ball in left field is picked up and returned to the infield there is no telling what may have transpired.

Lastly I would offer a brief rules session and explanation of base running scenarios to both coaches to include their players after the game if they were so inclined . Modest fee of one, good, cold beer in the shade. Because after umpiring a game with these guys, any umpire would deserve a cold one.
May 30, 2021
stick8
1972 posts
BJ, youíre correct but despite the confusion from R3, he legally scored so he is no longer considered to be a live runner.
Senior ball ruling could be different on this play but T2ís explanation is correct on this. In menís ball he is not out. I would kill the play, tell R3 to go to his dugout, R2 stays at third and the batter-runner at first or second depending what I felt he couldíve reached.
But if R3 interfered or intentionally deceived the defense then thatís a different story.
May 30, 2021
stick8
1972 posts
T2, if one umps a lot of games they are more apt to encounter situations like this. I canít definitively explain the reasons strange plays like this happen. Maybe they didnít play baseball growing up or in the heat of the moment have a brain lapse of some sort.
This scenario didnít happen to me in a game I umpired,, it was emailed to me.
Iím willing to acknowledge BJ to be correct on this for senior ball but Iím not certain.
May 30, 2021
B.J.
1023 posts
stick.. in normal softball (not SSUSA) even though R3 scored he is still considered a "LIVE RUNNER" until he leaves live ball territory.. and "IF" the LF actually caught the ball for an out and then lost it taking it out of his glove for a throw this giving the runner time to run back to 3rd and tag and then run in and re-touch HP it would be a legal play per rule below

USA/ASA rule
SECTION 8 ON BASE SITUATIONS 8.1 ē TOUCHING BASES IN ORDER
G. No runner may return to touch a base missed or one left too soon AFTER a trailing runner has scored or once they leave live ball territory.

stick.. why aren't you certain as far as senior ball?? .. the rule states that a runner can't return to 3rd after passing the commitment line... so after he scores how does he go back
May 30, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
171 posts
Lot of assumptions in last 4 posts starting with mine on May 29, but i tried to quantify my assumption.

stick8 - how about finishing the original post as to what has or hasn't transpired and where the runners are finally positioned when the ball is retrieved and returned to the infield and when time is called per Rule 9.3 This should allow more info to work on.

BJ - not sure how R3 is "still considered a live runner" after scoring. He could interfere as i addressed above but could not have any plays made on him because he completed his base running duties per 5.7, 8.1, and 8.10. But maybe i am missing something. Just reference the Rule with effect or exception to clarify.

Complicated play to say the least, Sr players are some crazy guys!!!! But we still love to play.
May 30, 2021
stick8
1972 posts
BJ it would be interesting to find out how the SSUSA UIC would rule on this.
May 30, 2021
B.J.
1023 posts
T2.. the scenario stick posted could never happen in senior (ssusa) ball as I have posted above a couple times so it's not an issue...

also the USA/ASA normal softball rule ( with no C/L) that I posted above tells you that a runner that has scored remains live UNTIL THEY LEAVE LIVE BALL TERRITORY ... it also states that a runner can return to tag a base UNTIL a trailing runner has scored which would mean the runner that scored could return to tag 3B since no other runner had scored... and to finish the explanation IF he did return to 3rd and stayed there (which I have shown is legal to do) he would be called out upon a tag by the defense since he had already touched the next succeeding base(HP) and 3B was also occupied by the runner who advanced from 2B
May 30, 2021
B.J.
1023 posts
stick.. the ssusa uic should rule that the runner from 3rd would be called out immediately upon re-crossing the CL and going back to 3B

1.15 ē COMMITMENT LINE
Once a runner has crossed the commitment line he:
[a] cannot return to third base
May 30, 2021
stick8
1972 posts
T2, as I stated earlier this scenario was emailed to me, it was not in a game I was umpiring. To me It doesnít matter where the throw from left goes to. What matter is two runners are standing on third and I should add when time was called.
The discrepancy here seems to be whether R3 is considered a live baserunner after he legally scored. I agree with you that he is not. In usssa and one nation he is not. But senior rules may be different. BJ is usually right on these things.
May 30, 2021
stick8
1972 posts
BJ, I know the rule very well thank you. Iím not questioning that. The questions would be:
1) is that rule only for a live baserunner?
2) If yes, then after legally scoring is that baserunner still considered a live baserunner? You say he is. Iím not 100% sure.
May 30, 2021
B.J.
1023 posts
stick, I have posted several rules pertaining to your scenario for both senior and non-senior ball since you never did specify which one it was ..

I'm not sure which 1 u r questioning and actually it shouldn't matter... DD has posted in the past that IF you can't find an answer in their rule book that you should look in USA/ASA for an answer.. which I did and their rule specifically tells you a runner that has scored remains a live runner UNTIL he leaves live ball territory and in your scenario there was no mention of him doing so... therefore the same should be true in senior ball he is a live runner ... and if I'm wrong I'm sure DD will post differently with a SSUSA rule showing me why.
May 30, 2021
rmp0012002
Men's 50
57 posts
First, as the runner Iím not going to question whether I left early or not. Thatís up to the defense to hopefully not challenge. Second, this being a senior board thatís all I care about, so once Iíve passed the commitment line I canít return. Iím not an umpire but how Iím thinking as a runner.
May 30, 2021
stick8
1972 posts
BJ, my only question refers to ssusa, if a runner who has legally scored considered to be a live baserunner. If ssusa defers to USA then thatís fine. You mentioned USA section 8 on base situations 8.1.
G. No runner may return to touch a base missed or left too soon after a trailing runner has scored or once they leave live ball territory.
I have no issue with that. I believe all associations observe that rule.
But thatís not exactly the scenario I posted.

May 30, 2021
B.J.
1023 posts
stickÖ. I know your scenario ended up with two runners on third base and that could never happen in senior ball because once the runner that scores tries to go back to tag-up and he crosses back over the commitment line he should be called out immediately therefore he could never end up on third base
May 31, 2021
stick8
1972 posts
BJ, Iím not questioning going back over the commit line. I get that. Let me put it this way. Why does ssusa consider a runner who has legally scored to be a live baserunner until he goes into the dugout area?
May 31, 2021
B.J.
1023 posts
stick, I'm out of answers and I have no idea.. but if I had to blame it on a reason I'd have to say that DD had something to do with it... lol
May 31, 2021
stick8
1972 posts
Perhaps DD can shed some light on that if he chooses to.
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