7.01 A runner acquires the rightto an unoccupied base when he touches it before he is out. He is then entitled toit until he is put out, or forced to vacate it for another runner legally entitledto that base. If a runner legally acquires title to a base, and the pitcher assumeshis pitching position, the runner may not return to a previously occupied base.
7.02 In advancing, a runner shalltouch first, second, third and home base in order. If forced to return, he shallretouch all bases in reverse order, unless the ball is dead under any provision ofRule 5.09. In such cases, the runner may go directly to his original base.
7.03 Two runners may not occupya base, but if, while the ball is alive, two runners are touching a base, the followingrunner shall be out when tagged. The preceding runner is entitled to the base.
7.04 Each runner, other than thebatter, may without liability to be put out, advance one base when_
(a) There is a balk;
(b) The batter's advance without liability tobe put out forces the runner to vacate his base, or when the batter hits a fair ballthat touches another runner or the umpire before such ball has been touched by, orhas passed a fielder, if the runner is forced to advance; A runner forced to advancewithout liability to be put out may advance past the base to which he is entitledonly at his peril. If such a runner, forced to advance, is put out for the thirdout before a preceding runner, also forced to advance, touches home plate, the runshall score. Play. Two out, bases full, batter walks but runner from second is overzealousand runs past third base toward home and is tagged out on a throw by the catcher.Even though two are out, the run would score on the theory that the run was forcedhome by the base on balls and that all the runners needed to do was proceed and touchthe next base.
(c) A fielder, after catching a fly ball, fallsinto a bench or stand, or falls across ropes into a crowd when spectators are onthe field; A fielder or catcher may reach or step into, or go into the dugout withone or both feet to make a catch, and if he holds the ball, the catch shall be allowed.Ball is in play. If the fielder or catcher, after having made a legal catch, shouldfall into a stand or among spectators or into the dugout after making a legal catch,or fall while in the dugout after making a legal catch, the ball is dead and runnersadvance one base without liability to be put out.
(d) While he is attempting to steal a base,the batter is interfered with by the catcher or any other fielder. NOTE: When a runneris entitled to a base without liability to be put out, while the ball is in play,or under any rule in which the ball is in play after the runner reaches the baseto which he is entitled, and the runner fails to touch the base to which he is entitledbefore attempting to advance to the next base, the runner shall forfeit his exemptionfrom liability to be put out, and he may be put out by tagging the base or by taggingthe runner before he returns to the missed base.
7.05 Each runner including thebatter runner may, without liability to be put out, advance_
(a) To home base, scoring a run, if a fair ballgoes out of the playing field in flight and he touched all bases legally; or if afair ball which, in the umpire's judgment, would have gone out of the playing fieldin flight, is deflected by the act of a fielder in throwing his glove, cap, or anyarticle of his apparel;
(b) Three bases, if a fielder deliberately touchesa fair ball with his cap, mask or any part of his uniform detached from its properplace on his person. The ball is in play and the batter may advance to home baseat his peril;
(c) Three bases, if a fielder deliberately throwshis glove at and touches a fair ball. The ball is in play and the batter may advanceto home base at his peril.
(d) Two bases, if a fielder deliberately touchesa thrown ball with his cap, mask or any part of his uniform detached from its properplace on his person. The ball is in play;
(e) Two bases, if a fielder deliberately throwshis glove at and touches a thrown ball. The ball is in play; In applying (b c d e)the umpire must rule that the thrown glove or detached cap or mask has touched theball. There is no penalty if the ball is not touched. Under (c e) this penalty shallnot be invoked against a fielder whose glove is carried off his hand by the forceof a batted or thrown ball, or when his glove flies off his hand as he makes an obviouseffort to make a legitimate catch.
(f) Two bases, if a fair ball bounces or isdeflected into the stands outside the first or third base foul lines; or if it goesthrough or under a field fence, or through or under a scoreboard, or through or undershrubbery or vines on the fence; or if it sticks in such fence, scoreboard, shrubberyor vines;
(g) Two bases when, with no spectators on theplaying field, a thrown ball goes into the stands, or into a bench (whether or notthe ball rebounds into the field), or over or under or through a field fence, oron a slanting part of the screen above the backstop, or remains in the meshes ofa wire screen protecting spectators. The ball is dead. When such wild throw is thefirst play by an infielder, the umpire, in awarding such bases, shall be governedby the position of the runners at the time the ball was pitched; in all other casesthe umpire shall be governed by the position of the runners at the time the wildthrow was made;
APPROVED RULING: If all runners, including the batter runner, have advanced at leastone base when an infielder makes a wild throw on the first play after the pitch,the award shall be governed by the position of the runners when the wild throw wasmade. In certain circumstances it is impossible to award a runner two bases. Example:Runner on first. Batter hits fly to short right. Runner holds up between first andsecond and batter comes around first and pulls up behind him. Ball falls safely.Outfielder, in throwing to first, throws ball into stand.
APPROVED RULING: Since no runner, when the ball is dead, may advance beyond the baseto which he is entitled, the runner originally on first base goes to third base andthe batter is held at second base. The term "when the wild throw was made"means when the throw actually left the player's hand and not when the thrown ballhit the ground, passes a receiving fielder or goes out of play into the stands. Theposition of the batter runner at the time the wild throw left the thrower's handis the key in deciding the award of bases. If the batter runner has not reached firstbase, the award is two bases at the time the pitch was made for all runners. Thedecision as to whether the batter runner has reached first base before the throwis a judgment call. If an unusual play arises where a first throw by an infieldergoes into stands or dugout but the batter did not become a runner (such as catcherthrowing ball into stands in attempt to get runner from third trying to score onpassed ball or wild pitch) award of two bases shall be from the position of the runnersat the time of the throw. (For the purpose of Rule 7.05 (g) a catcher is consideredan infielder.) PLAY. Runner on first base, batter hits a ball to the shortstop, whothrows to second base too late to get runner at second, and second baseman throwstoward first base after batter has crossed first base. Ruling_Runner at second scores.(On this play, only if batter runner is past first base when throw is made is heawarded third base.)
(h) One base, if a ball, pitched to the batter,or thrown by the pitcher from his position on the pitcher's plate to a base to catcha runner, goes into a stand or a bench, or over or through a field fence or backstop.The ball is dead;
APPROVED RULING: When a wild pitch or passed ball goes through or by the catcher,or deflects off the catcher, and goes directly into the dugout, stands, above thebreak, or any area where the ball is dead, the awarding of bases shall be one base.One base shall also be awarded if the pitcher while in contact with the rubber, throwsto a base, and the throw goes directly into the stands or into any area where theball is dead. If, however, the pitched or thrown ball goes through or by the catcheror through the fielder, and remains on the playing field, and is subsequently kickedor deflected into the dugout, stands or other area where the ball is dead, the awardingof bases shall be two bases from position of runners at the time of the pitch orthrow.
(i) One base, if the batter becomes a runneron Ball Four or Strike Three, when the pitch passes the catcher and lodges in theumpire's mask or paraphernalia. If the batter becomes a runner on a wild pitch whichentitles the runners to advance one base, the batter runner shall be entitled tofirst base only. The fact a runner is awarded a base or bases without liability tobe put out does not relieve him of the responsibility to touch the base he is awardedand all intervening bases. For example: batter hits a ground ball which an infielderthrows into the stands but the batter runner missed first base. He may be calledout on appeal for missing first base after the ball is put in play even though hewas "awarded" second base. If a runner is forced to return to a base aftera catch, he must retouch his original base even though, because of some ground ruleor other rule, he is awarded additional bases. He may retouch while the ball is deadand the award is then made from his original base.
7.06 When obstruction occurs, theumpire shall call or signal "Obstruction."
(a) If a play is being made on the obstructedrunner, or if the batter runner is obstructed before he touches first base, the ballis dead and all runners shall advance, without liability to be put out, to the basesthey would have reached, in the umpire's judgment, if there had been no obstruction.The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base he had lastlegally touched before the obstruction. Any preceding runners, forced to advanceby the award of bases as the penalty for obstruction, shall advance without liabilityto be put out. When a play is being made on an obstructed runner, the umpire shallsignal obstruction in the same manner that he calls "Time," with both handsoverhead. The ball is immediately dead when this signal is given; however, shoulda thrown ball be in flight before the obstruction is called by the umpire, the runnersare to be awarded such bases on wild throws as they would have been awarded had notobstruction occurred. On a play where a runner was trapped between second and thirdand obstructed by the third baseman going into third base while the throw is in flightfrom the shortstop, if such throw goes into the dugout the obstructed runner is tobe awarded home base. Any other runners on base in this situation would also be awardedtwo bases from the base they last legally touched before obstruction was called.
(b) If no play is being made on the obstructedrunner, the play shall proceed until no further action is possible. The umpire shallthen call "Time" and impose such penalties, if any, as in his judgmentwill nullify the act of obstruction. Under 7.06 (b) when the ball is not dead onobstruction and an obstructed runner advances beyond the base which, in the umpire'sjudgment, he would have been awarded because of being obstructed, he does so at hisown peril and may be tagged out. This is a judgment call. NOTE: The catcher, withoutthe ball in his possession, has no right to block the pathway of the runner attemptingto score. The base line belongs to the runner and the catcher should be there onlywhen he is fielding a ball or when he already has the ball in his hand.
7.07 If, with a runner on thirdbase and trying to score by means of a squeeze play or a steal, the catcher or anyother fielder steps on, or in front of home base without possession of the ball,or touches the batter or his bat, the pitcher shall be charged with a balk, the battershall be awarded first base on the interference and the ball is dead.
7.08 Any runner is out when_
(a) (1) He runs more than three feet away froma direct line between bases to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interferencewith a fielder fielding a batted ball; or (2) after touching first base, he leavesthe baseline, obviously abandoning his effort to touch the next base; Any runnerafter reaching first base who leaves the baseline heading for his dugout or his positionbelieving that there is no further play, may be declared out if the umpire judgesthe act of the runner to be considered abandoning his efforts to run the bases. Eventhough an out is called, the ball remains in play in regard to any other runner.This rule also covers the following and similar plays: Less than two out, score tiedlast of ninth inning, runner on first, batter hits a ball out of park for winningrun, the runner on first passes second and thinking the home run automatically winsthe game, cuts across diamond toward his bench as batter runner circles bases. Inthis case, the base runner would be called out "for abandoning his effort totouch the next base" and batter runner permitted to continue around bases tomake his home run valid. If there are two out, home run would not count (see Rule7.12). This is not an appeal play. PLAY. Runner believing he is called out on a tagat first or third base starts for the dugout and progresses a reasonable distancestill indicating by his actions that he is out, shall be declared out for abandoningthe bases. In the above two plays the runners are considered actually abandoningtheir base paths and are treated differently than the batter who struck out as described.APPROVED RULING OF 7.08 (a).
APPROVED RULING: When a batter becomes a runner on third strike not caught, and startsfor his bench or position, he may advance to first base at any time before he entersthe bench. To put him out, the defense must tag him or first base before he touchesfirst base.
(b) He intentionally interferes with a thrownball; or hinders a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball; A runner whois adjudged to have hindered a fielder who is attempting to make a play on a battedball is out whether it was intentional or not. If, however, the runner has contactwith a legally occupied base when he hinders the fielder, he shall not be calledout unless, in the umpire's judgment, such hindrance, whether it occurs on fair orfoul territory, is intentional. If the umpire declares the hindrance intentional,the following penalty shall apply: With less than two out, the umpire shall declareboth the runner and batter out. With two out, the umpire shall declare the batterout. If, in a run down between third base and home plate, the succeeding runner hasadvanced and is standing on third base when the runner in a run down is called outfor offensive interference, the umpire shall send the runner standing on third baseback to second base. This same principle applies if there is a run down between secondand third base and succeeding runner has reached second (the reasoning is that norunner shall advance on an interference play and a runner is considered to occupya base until he legally has reached the next succeeding base).
(c) He is tagged, when the ball is alive, whileoff his base. EXCEPTION: A batter runner cannot be tagged out after overrunning oroversliding first base if he returns immediately to the base;
APPROVED RULING: (1) If the impact of a runner breaks a base loose from its position,no play can be made on that runner at that base if he had reached the base safely.
APPROVED RULING: (2) If a base is dislodged from its position during a play, anyfollowing runner on the same play shall be considered as touching or occupying thebase if, in the umpire's judgment, he touches or occupies the point marked by thedislodged bag.
(d) He fails to retouch his base after a fairor foul ball is legally caught before he, or his base, is tagged by a fielder. Heshall not be called out for failure to retouch his base after the first followingpitch, or any play or attempted play. This is an appeal play; Runners need not "tagup" on a foul tip. They may steal on a foul tip. If a so called tip is not caught,it becomes an ordinary foul. Runners then return to their bases.
(e) He fails to reach the next base before afielder tags him or the base, after he has been forced to advance by reason of thebatter becoming a runner. However, if a following runner is put out on a force play,the force is removed and the runner must be tagged to be put out. The force is removedas soon as the runner touches the base to which he is forced to advance, and if heoverslides or overruns the base, the runner must be tagged to be put out. However,if the forced runner, after touching the next base, retreats for any reason towardsthe base he had last occupied, the force play is reinstated, and he can again beput out if the defense tags the base to which he is forced; PLAY. Runner on firstand three balls on batter: Runner steals on the next pitch, which is fourth ball,but after having touched second he overslides or overruns that base. Catcher's throwcatches him before he can return. Ruling is that runner is out. (Force out is removed.)Oversliding and overrunning situations arise at bases other than first base. Forinstance, before two are out, and runners on first and second, or first, second andthird, the ball is hit to an infielder who tries for the double play. The runneron first beats the throw to second base but overslides the base. The relay is madeto first base and the batter runner is out. The first baseman, seeing the runnerat second base off the bag, makes the return throw to second and the runner is taggedoff the base. Meanwhile runners have crossed the plate. The question is: Is thisa force play? Was the force removed when the batter runner was out at first base?Do the runs that crossed the plate during this play and before the third out wasmade when the runner was tagged at second, count? Answer: The runs score. It is nota force play. It is a tag play.
(f) He is touched by a fair ball in fair territorybefore the ball has touched or passed an infielder. The ball is dead and no runnermay score, nor runners advance, except runners forced to advance. EXCEPTION: If arunner is touching his base when touched by an Infield Fly, he is not out, althoughthe batter is out; If two runners are touched by the same fair ball, only the firstone is out because the ball is instantly dead. If runner is touched by an InfieldFly when he is not touching his base, both runner and batter are out.
(g) He attempts to score on a play in whichthe batter interferes with the play at home base before two are out. With two out,the interference puts the batter out and no score counts;
(h) He passes a preceding runner before suchrunner is out;
(i) After he has acquired legal possession ofa base, he runs the bases in reverse order for the purpose of confusing the defenseor making a travesty of the game. The umpire shall immediately call "Time"and declare the runner out; If a runner touches an unoccupied base and then thinksthe ball was caught or is decoyed into returning to the base he last touched, hemay be put out running back to that base, but if he reaches the previously occupiedbase safely he cannot be put out while in contact with that base.
(j) He fails to return at once to first baseafter overrunning or oversliding that base. If he attempts to run to second he isout when tagged. If, after overrunning or oversliding first base he starts towardthe dugout, or toward his position, and fails to return to first base at once, heis out, on appeal, when he or the base is tagged; Runner who touches first base inoverrunning and is declared safe by the umpire has, within the intent of Rule 4.09(a) "reached first base" and any run which scores on such a play counts,even though the runner subsequently becomes the third out for failure to return "atonce," as covered in Rule 7.08 (j). (k) In running or sliding for home base,he fails to touch home base and makes no attempt to return to the base, when a fielderholds the ball in his hand, while touching home base, and appeals to the umpire forthe decision. This rule applies only where runner is on his way to the bench andthe catcher would be required to chase him. It does not apply to the ordinary playwhere the runner misses the plate and then immediately makes an effort to touch theplate before being tagged. In that case, runner must be tagged.
7.09 It is interference by a batteror a runner when_
(a) After a third strike he hinders the catcherin his attempt to field the ball;
(b) After hitting or bunting a fair ball, hisbat hits the ball a second time in fair territory. The ball is dead and no runnersmay advance. If the batter runner drops his bat and the ball rolls against the batin fair territory and, in the umpire's judgment, there was no intention to interferewith the course of the ball, the ball is alive and in play;
(c) He intentionally deflects the course ofa foul ball in any manner;
(d) Before two are out and a runner on thirdbase, the batter hinders a fielder in making a play at home base; the runner is out;
(e) Any member or members of the offensive teamstand or gather around any base to which a runner is advancing, to confuse, hinderor add to the difficulty of the fielders. Such runner shall be declared out for theinterference of his teammate or teammates;
(f) Any batter or runner who has just been putout hinders or impedes any following play being made on a runner. Such runner shallbe declared out for the interference of his teammate; If the batter or a runner continuesto advance after he has been put out, he shall not by that act alone be consideredas confusing, hindering or impeding the fielders.
(g) If, in the judgment of the umpire, a baserunner willfully and deliberately interferes with a batted ball or a fielder in theact of fielding a batted ball with the obvious intent to break up a double play,the ball is dead. The umpire shall call the runner out for interference and alsocall out the batter runner because of the action of his teammate. In no event maybases be run or runs scored because of such action by a runner.
(h) If, in the judgment of the umpire, a batterrunner willfully and deliberately interferes with a batted ball or a fielder in theact of fielding a batted ball, with the obvious intent to break up a double play,the ball is dead; the umpire shall call the batter runner out for interference andshall also call out the runner who had advanced closest to the home plate regardlesswhere the double play might have been possible. In no event shall bases be run becauseof such interference.
(i) In the judgment of the umpire, the basecoach at third base, or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physicallyassists him in returning to or leaving third base or first base.
(j) With a runner on third base, the base coachleaves his box and acts in any manner to draw a throw by a fielder;
(k) In running the last half of the distancefrom home base to first base while the ball is being fielded to first base, he runsoutside (to the right of) the three foot line, or inside (to the left of) the foulline and, in the umpire's judgment, interferes with the fielder taking the throwat first base, or attempting to field a batted ball; The lines marking the threefoot lane are a part of that "lane" but the interpretation to be made isthat a runner is required to have both feet within the three foot "lane"or on the lines marking the "lane."
(l) He fails to avoid a fielder who is attemptingto field a batted ball, or intentionally interferes with a thrown ball, providedthat if two or more fielders attempt to field a batted ball, and the runner comesin contact with one or more of them, the umpire shall determine which fielder isentitled to the benefit of this rule, and shall not declare the runner out for comingin contact with a fielder other than the one the umpire determines to be entitledto field such a ball; When a catcher and batter runner going to first base have contactwhen the catcher is fielding the ball, there is generally no violation and nothingshould be called. "Obstruction" by a fielder attempting to field a ballshould be called only in very flagrant and violent cases because the rules give himthe right of way, but of course such "right of way" is not a license to,for example, intentionally trip a runner even though fielding the ball. If the catcheris fielding the ball and the first baseman or pitcher obstructs a runner going tofirst base "obstruction" shall be called and the base runner awarded firstbase.
(m) A fair ball touches him on fair territorybefore touching a fielder. If a fair ball goes through, or by, an infielder, andtouches a runner immediately back of him, or touches the runner after having beendeflected by a fielder, the umpire shall not declare the runner out for being touchedby a batted ball. In making such decision the umpire must be convinced that the ballpassed through, or by, the fielder, and that no other infielder had the chance tomake a play on the ball. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the runner deliberatelyand intentionally kicks such a batted ball on which the infielder has missed a play,then the runner shall be called out for interference.
PENALTY FOR INTERFERENCE: The runner is out and the ball is dead.
7.10 Any runner shall be calledout, on appeal, when_
(a) After a fly ball is caught, he fails toretouch his original base before he or his original base is tagged; "Retouch,"in this rule, means to tag up and start from a contact with the base after the ballis caught. A runner is not permitted to take a flying start from a position in backof his base.
(b) With the ball in play, while advancing orreturning to a base, he fails to touch each base in order before he, or a missedbase, is tagged.
APPROVED RULING: (1) No runner may return to touch a missed base after a followingrunner has scored. (2) When the ball is dead, no runner may return to touch a missedbase or one he has left after he has advanced to and touched a base beyond the missedbase. PLAY. (a) Batter hits ball out of park or ground rule double and misses firstbase (ball is dead)_he may return to first base to correct his mistake before hetouches second but if he touches second he may not return to first and if defensiveteam appeals he is declared out at first. PLAY. (b) Batter hits ball to shortstopwho throws wild into stand (ball is dead)_batter runner misses first base but isawarded second base on the overthrow. Even though the umpire has awarded the runnersecond base on the overthrow, the runner must touch first base before he proceedsto second base. These are appeal plays.
(c) He overruns or overslides first base andfails to return to the base immediately, and he or the base is tagged;
(d) He fails to touch home base and makes noattempt to return to that base, and home base is tagged. Any appeal under this rulemust be made before the next pitch, or any play or attempted play. If the violationoccurs during a play which ends a half inning, the appeal must be made before thedefensive team leaves the field. An appeal is not to be interpreted as a play oran attempted play. Successive appeals may not be made on a runner at the same base.If the defensive team on its first appeal errs, a request for a second appeal onthe same runner at the same base shall not be allowed by the umpire. (Intended meaningof the word "err" is that the defensive team in making an appeal threwthe ball out of play. For example, if the pitcher threw to first base to appeal andthrew the ball into the stands, no second appeal would be allowed.) Appeal playsmay require an umpire to recognize an apparent "fourth out." If the thirdout is made during a play in which an appeal play is sustained on another runner,the appeal play decision takes precedence in determining the out. If there is morethan one appeal during a play that ends a half inning, the defense may elect to takethe out that gives it the advantage. For the purpose of this rule, the defensiveteam has "left the field" when the pitcher and all infielders have leftfair territory on their way to the bench or clubhouse. If two runners arrive at homebase about the same time and the first runner misses home plate but a second runnerlegally touches the plate, the runner is tagged out on his attempt to come back andtouch the base or is called out, on appeal, then he shall be considered as havingbeen put out before the second runner scored and being the third out. Second runner'srun shall not count, as provided in Rule 7.12. If a pitcher balks when making anappeal, such act shall be a play. An appeal should be clearly intended as an appeal,either by a verbal request by the player or an act that unmistakably indicates anappeal to the umpire. A player, inadvertently stepping on the base with a ball inhis hand, would not constitute an appeal. Time is not out when an appeal is beingmade.
7.11 The players, coaches or anymember of an offensive team shall vacate any space (including both dugouts) neededby a fielder who is attempting to field a batted or thrown ball.
PENALTY: Interference shall be called and the batter or runner on whom the play isbeing made shall be declared out.
7.12 Unless two are out, the statusof a following runner is not affected by a preceding runner's failure to touch orretouch a base. If, upon appeal, the preceding runner is the third out, no runnersfollowing him shall score. If such third out is the result of a force play, neitherpreceding nor following runners shall score.
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