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Table of Contents

I: Rules Interpretations ...........................................................................................1


Fair/Foul...................................................................................................................................1-2 Catch/No Catch..........................................................................................................................2 Out/Safe...................................................................................................................................2-4 Offensive Interference............................................................................................................4-7 Obstruction.............................................................................................................................7-8 Appeals...................................................................................................................................8-9 Award of Bases....................................................................................................................9-10 Scoring Runs......................................................................................................................10-11 Infield Fly Rule.........................................................................................................................11 Batting Out of Order................................................................................................................12 Illegal Pitches, Illegal Acts.................................................................................................12-13 Balks....................................................................................................................................13-16 Balk Penalization................................................................................................................17-18 Starting and Ending the Game..........................................................................................18-19

II: Special Pony Baseball Rules ..........................................................................19

III: Common Myths .........................................................................................19-20

I: Rules Interpretations
First and foremost, coaches need to understand the relationship between Major League rules, Pony Baseball/ASA Softball rules, & the Interleague rules, as we have to be familiar with all of them. Everything begins with the Major League rules (including Softball). The Pony/ASA rule books contain modifications or exceptions to adapt the Major League rules to youth sports. The Interleague rules further modify the playing rules to specifically suit the league. In other words, whatever rules aren't addressed in the Interleague rule book, you would look next to either the Pony (baseball) or ASA (softball) rule books, and finally, any rules not addressed by Interleague or Pony/ASA rules default back to the Major League rules. Major League rules account for over 90% of the rules applicable to youth leagues. This section elaborates rules of Major League Baseball, and is organized by type of situation. References to the Major League rule book are given, so you will be able to check exact rule book language. Remember that Pony Baseball follows Major League rules with a few exceptions.

Fair/Foul
When a ball is foul, the umpire will throw both of his hands up and out and call Foul ball! Then point to foul territory. He will use his right hand to point foul if the ball was foul off the first base line, and use his left hand to point foul if the ball went foul off the third base line. If the ball is fair, he will say nothing, because anything he says may be misinterpreted by a player. He will just point to fair territory. The first and third base foul lines are in fair territory. If a ball hits on a foul line, the ball is fair. Dont rush the call if the ball is rolling in foul territory, but hasnt yet passed first or third base and hasnt been touched by a fielder. Baseball fields are often uneven. If an untouched ball in foul territory hits a bump in the ground and rolls into fair territory between home plate and first or third base, its a fair ball. Similarly, if the ball starts in fair territory and rolls untouched into foul territory before passing first or third base, its a foul ball. Any ball that bounces past or over first or third base in fair territory is fair, as is any fly ball past first or third base that initially lands in fair territory. A ball that hits first, second or third base and then deflects into foul territory is a fair ball. Home plate is in fair territory. A ball that bounces off of home plate is no different than a ball that bounces off of the ground around home plate. If a ball is bunted and comes to rest on home plate, it is a fair ball. The pitchers rubber has no special status; if a ball hits off of the rubber and bounces into foul territory before passing a base or being touched by a fielder it is a foul ball. Fair or foul based on the location of the ball. The fielders position in fair or foul territory does not matterits where the ball is. So if a fielder is standing in fair territory, and touches a ball thats in foul territory, its a foul ball. ML Rule 2.00 Unless the ball has already passed first or third base in fair territory, a ball is foul if it hits a helmet or bat lying in foul territory, bounces off a base coach, or hits either the batter-runner or runner on third base in foul territory. (If it is judged that the batter dropped the helmet or bat and intentionally touched the ball in foul territory, then the batter is out for interference. See the Offensive Interference discussion later in this section.)

1.

Foul Tips In the event of a foul tip (the ball hits off the bat and goes sharp and direct into the catchers mitt), the ball is live and it is always a strike. The umpire will signal foul tip by running his right hand over the back of his left hand, and then signal the strike. He won't say anything other than Strike!. If the ball hits off the bat and the catcher misses it, it is a foul ball, not a foul tip: The umpire will throw up his hands and say Foul ball! A foul tip must hit the catchers mitt first, and be caught before touching the ground. If the ball hits off of the catchers mitt, bounces off the catcher, and is caught before it hits the ground, it is a foul tip. If it falls inside the catchers chest protector, it is a foul ball. Any batted ball that bounces off of the home plate umpire is a foul ball. There are no guidelines for judging a foul tip other than the ball goes sharp and direct into the catchers mitt. If the ball pops into the air and is caught before it hits the ground, the batter is out. The umpire is not supposed to say Foul tip.

Catch/No Catch
A legal catch is a ball is caught on the fly in the hand or glove and held by the fielder until released voluntarily. Its also a legal catch if the ball bounces off of one defensive player and is caught by another without touching the ground, or any object, offensive player or umpire. A fielder may not use a cap or uniform pocket to make a legal catch, although a ball trapped under an arm becomes a catch if the fielder is able to hold the ball in hand or glove before it falls to the ground. A fielder must maintain control of the ball until the momentum of the catch is completed. If a player gloves a fly ball, hits the ground, and does two somersaults, but the ball falls out of the glove involuntarily, it is not a catch. If a caught ball is dropped when the fielder is in the act of throwing it, the catch stands. Judgment is required: the umpire needs to determine if the fielder meant to release the ball, and if so, a catch was made. ML Rule 2.00. If a fielder tries to catch a fair ball and it bounces off the fielder and over the outfield fence in fair territory it is a home run. ML Rule 6.09(h) If the fielder tries to make a catch near an out-of-play area (marked by line, rope, or fence), the catch must be completed and the ball in the fielders control before the fielder steps out of play. A juggled ball is not a catch until the fielder holds the ball. After the catch is made, momentum may subsequently carry the fielder out-of-play, but the ball is live unless the fielder falls down. If the fielder falls in out-of-play territory, the ball is dead and runners advance one base. ML Rule 5.10(f). If the ball is bobbled in the act of catching it, base runners only need to tag up at the time the ball is touched for the first time. ML Rule 2.00 (Catch) Comment.

Out/Safe
The batter is called out when: 1. A third strike is caught (Bronco & Pony) or not caught by the catcher (Pinto & Mustang). ML Rule 6.05(b) & (c). 2. The ball is bunted foul on the third strike. ML Rule 6.05(d). 3. The batter is touched by the ball on a third strike. This occurs if the ball hits the batter in the strike zone, or the batter is hit by the ball while swinging at it. The hands are not part of the bat. If the batter swings at a pitch and the ball hits the batters hands, the ball is dead and the pitch is ruled a strike. ML Rule 6.05(f) and 2.00 Strike 2.

4. A fair or foul fly ball is legally caught. (See the preceding discussion Catch/No Catch) ML Rule 6.05(a) 5. The Infield Fly rule is called. (See the discussion on infield flies later in this section) ML Rule 6.05(e) 6. An infielder intentionally drops a fair fly ball or line drive with first, first and second, first and third, or first, second and third bases occupied and less than two out. The ball is dead and runners return. (Fielders intending to drop the ball usually look around the field before intentionally dropping the ball.) In this situation the batter-runner is not out if the ball falls to the ground untouched, unless an Infield Fly was called. ML Rule 6.05(l) 7. First base is tagged or the batter-runner is tagged before the batter-runner reaches first base. ML Rule 6.05(j) 8. The batter hits a ball, fair or foul, while the batters foot is entirely outside of the batters box. This may happen when the batter squares around to bunt. If the batters foot is outside the box and the batter swings and misses the ball, it is a strike. In order for this rule to apply, the batter must hit the ball and the batters foot must be completely over the line. ML Rule 6.06(a) 9. The batter steps from one batters box to the other while the pitcher is ready to pitch. (If the pitcher is not on the pitchers rubber, the batter is free to move from one side of the batters box to the other.) ML Rule 6.06(b) In a variety of situations the batter is called out for interference, as discussed below in Offensive Interference. A runner is called out when: 1. The runner tries to avoid being tagged by running more than three feet outside of a line between the runners position and the base. The line is between the runners position and the base where the tag play would occur. You can estimate three feet with the fielders outstretched arms. This rule only applies when the runner is trying to avoid being taggedif no play is being made on the runner, the runner may choose any path to the base. ML Rule 7.08(a)(1) Example: On a hit to the outfield the batter-runner rounds first base widely and ends up near the outfield grass between first and second. Before the batter-runner reaches second base the ball is thrown to the second baseman. If the batter-runner continues to try to reach second base, the three foot rule is in effect because the second baseman has the ball and is trying for a tag play. The straight line is from the batter-runners current position and the base where the tag play will be made. On the other hand, if the batter-runner retreats to first base the three foot rule is not in effect because there is no tag play in effect at first (the ball is still at second base). The batter-runners initial position on the outfield side of the straight line between first and second does not matter. 2. The runner does not slide or try to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make a tag. This is sometimes erroneously interpreted as a must slide rule; see the discussion of Special Rules in the next section. 3. The runner does not avoid contact under anti-collision slide rule. 4. The runner is called out for interference. (See the Offensive Interference discussion later in this section.) 5. The runner is tagged with a live ball while off the base. If the base is dislodged, the runner is safe if in the umpires judgment the runner is either touching the dislodged base, or the spot where the base was originally anchored. ML Rule 7.08(c). 6. ML Rule 7.08(c) and (j) are the rules that protect the batter-runner when overrunning first base. The overrun can occur on a hit, a base on balls, or a hit batsman. No out is called if the runner returns immediately to first base. However, if the runner takes a single step towards second, then the protection ends. 3.

Sometimes the defensive team will throw the ball to the first baseman, who tries to tag the runner when returning to first base. If the runner has not made an earlier move toward second, but tries to evade the tag, the runner will be called safe unless the runner takes off for second base. 7. After a fair or foul fly ball is caught the runner fails to retouch the base before the base or the runner is tagged with the ball. Runners can advance after tagging up if a foul ball is legally caught. If the ball is bobbled but ultimately caught, runners can leave as soon as the ball is touched for the first time. ML Rule 7.08(d). 8. The runner fails to reach the next base on a force play before the base or the runner is tagged with the ball. ML Rule 7.08(e). 9. The runner is touched by a batted ball before it has been touched by all infielders who have a play on the ball; see Offensive Interference on the next page. 10. The runner passes a preceding runner before the preceding runner is out. For example, with a runner on first the batter-runner hits a fly to the outfield. The runner on first holds up, and the batter-runner runs past. The batter-runner is out whether or not the ball is caught. ML Rule 7.08(h) If a trailing runner passes a preceding runner after a home run is hit, the out occurs as soon as a runner passes a preceding runner. If there are two out, this creates a time play situation. For example, if there are runners on first and third with two outs and the batter hits a home run, no runs score if the batter-runner passes R1 before the R3 touches home plate. See the discussion Scoring Runs later in this section. 11. The runner misses home plate and does not immediately try to touch the plate, and the catcher holds the ball while standing on the plate and appeals to the umpire for a decision. If the runner attempts to touch home plate, the runner is only out if tagged before the runner touches the plate. ML Rule 7.08(k). As in any appeal play, if the defense does not appeal to the umpire, the umpire says nothing to indicate that the runner missed the plate. 12. A runner may also be called out for interfering with the defensive teams ability to complete a play. (See the next section, Offensive Interference.)

Offensive Interference
Offensive interference describes any of the offensive teams actions which obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. (ML Rule 2.00, Definition of Terms). This is one of the most confusing calls, because interference rules appear in different sections of the rule book and they always require umpire judgment. Interference may be called on the runners, batter, coaches, or even teammates sitting in the dugout. The penalty for offensive interference is that the runner or batter is out and the ball is dead. Runners go back to the base they held at the time of the interference. If the batter-runner doesnt reach first base safely, runners go back to the base they held at the time of the pitch. Batters Interference In cases of batters interference, the batter-runner is out, the ball is dead and no runners can advance. 1. The batter-runner is out if, after hitting the ball into fair territory, the ball hits the base runner before the ball is touched by a fielder. ML Rule 6.05(g) 2. If a batter hits a ball and interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base by running outside the three-foot lane in the last half of the distance from home plate to first base, the batter-runner is out. However, if the fielder is making a play in or near the three-foot lane, 4.

the runner must avoid interfering with the fielder. ML Rule 6.05(k) If the batter-runner, moving out of the batters box, collides with the catcher who is attempting to make a play there is no interference unless ruled that the collision was intentional. 3. If the batter hits a fair ball, the bat cannot be used to hit the ball intentionally a second time. This is based on umpire judgment in making the call; if the ball is bunted straight down and it bounces up and hits the bat, a foul ball will be called. ML Rules 6.05(h); 7.09(b). 4. The batter is out and runners return if a dropped bat hits a fair ball. If the bat is not moving and the ball hits off it, and the umpire judges that there was no intent to interfere, then the ball is alive and in play. The basic ruling is, if the bat is moving and hits the ball, the batter is out; if the ball is moving and hits the bat, the ball is alive. ML Rule 6.05(h) 5. A batter cannot intentionally deflect the course of a foul ball in any manner. ML Rule 6.05(i); 7.09(b). Example 1: The batter hits a ball that rolls foul along the first base line. The batter drops the bat in foul territory, and the ball bounces off of it. If the umpire judges that the batter did not intend to deflect the ball, Foul is called as soon as the ball hits the bat. If the umpire judges that the batter intended to deflect the ball, then time is called and call the batter is out for interference. Example 2: The batter hits a ball that rolls fair along the first base line. The batter drops the bat in fair territory, and the ball bounces off of it. If the umpire judges that the batter did not intend to have the ball hit the bat, the ball is live and in play. As in the example above, if the umpire judges that the batter intended to deflect the ball, the batter is out for interference. 6. The batter may also be called out when a play is being attempted on a teammate. This type of interference occurs during a stolen base attempt. If a batter moves outside the batters box and interferes with the catchers fielding or throwing the ball when attempting a play on the runner, the batter is out. The ball is dead, and runners return to the base they held at the time of the pitch. No judgment of intention is required. There are two exceptions when the batter is not called out. In the first case, if a runner trying to advance is put out, then the batter is not out. The second case occurs when a runner tries to score and the batter interferes and there are less than two outs. In this case the runner is called out for batters interference. When a runner tries to score the batters box is not a safety zone. This means that the batter must get out of the way. ML Rules 6.06(c), 7.08(g), and 7.09(d). Example: Runner on third, one out. When the catcher throws the ball back to the pitcher the runner on third base tries to score. If the batter prevents the catcher from making the play, the runner is out. If there are two outs, then the batter is called out. In neither case does a run score. Runners Interference The primary ML Rule covering interference of a runner is 7.09. In three major cases interference is called whether or not the act was intentional or deliberate on the part of the runner. 1. If a runner who has just been put out hinders or impedes a following play on another runner, the other runner is out because of the interference of a teammate. This rule guides the umpire's call when a runner breaks-up a double play by not sliding or otherwise getting out of the way of the fielder. ML Rule 7.09(f). For example, with a runner on first base, the batter grounds the ball to the shortstop, who starts the first half of a double play by throwing the ball to the second baseman. If the runner from first slides or runs into the second baseman, and the runner is not close enough to second base to touch it with hand or foot, then the batter-runner is also out. If the runner from first interferes before being put out, the umpire will need to judge if interference was intentional. A runner or batter-runner may not deliberately interfere with 5.

a batted ball, or a fielder trying to field a batted ball in order to break up the double play. If a runner intentionally interferes in a double-play situation, both the runner and the batter-runner are out. ML Rule 7.09(g). For example, with runners on first and third with one out the batter hits a potential double play ball between first and second. If R1 intentionally blocks the fielder from making the play, or intentionally allows him or herself to be hit by the batted ball, then R1 is out, and so is the batter-runner. There is a related rule that applies if the batter-runner intentionally interferes with the ball or fielder in a double-play situation. In this case both the batter-runner and the runner closest to the plate are out. The runner closest to home is called out even if no play would have been possible on that runner. ML Rule 7.09(g). 2. Intention usually doesnt matter if a runner is hit by a batted ball. The runner is out if hit by the ball before it goes through or by all infielders who could possibly field the ball. If the ball is touched by a runner after it has gone past all infielders or has been deflected by a fielder, then the runner is out only if you judge that the runner intentionally touched the ball. For example, with runners on first and second BR hits a ground ball towards the second baseman. If R1 is hit by the ball before F4 has a chance to field it, the runner is out. The ball is dead, R2 stays on second, and the batter is awarded first base. But in a similar situation, if R1 is hit by a ball deflected by the pitcher, then interference is not called unless you rule that the runner touched the ball on purpose. ML Rule 7.09(m); the batters award of first base is covered in ML Rule 6.08(d). The base does not protect the runner unless an infield fly is called. For example, if a runner on third is hit by a batted ball while standing on the base, one of three calls can be made: if the ball hits the runner in foul territory, the ball is foul. If the ball is in fair territory, and the third baseman or shortstop has a play on the ball behind the base, then the ball is dead, the runner on third is out and the batter-runner is awarded first base. If the third baseman is in front of the base and no other infielder has a play on the ball, then the ball is live and in play. Of course, if in the umpire's judgment the runner intentionally touched the ball, the runner is out.ML Rule 7.09(f). 3. The third case where intention doesnt matter is when a runner bumps into or gets too close to a fielder trying to field a batted ball. The runner must avoid the fielder, and if a collision occurs the runner is usually out. In some cases the runner tries to avoid the fielder, but the fielder rapidly changes direction and moves into the runners path. When this occurs there may be a collision without interference. ML Rule 7.09(j). Coachs Interference A first- or third-base coach, like any member of the offensive team, cannot act in a manner that obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. Like other cases of interference, the runner is out and the ball is dead. A coach may not physically assist a runner returning to or leaving first or third base. It is okay for a coach to slap or shake hands with a player after a home run. ML Rule 7.09(h). A coach may not leave the coachs box and act in any manner that would draw a throw with a runner on third. ML Rule 7.09(i). You may encounter a coach who calls out misleading instructions to the defensive team. This is not permissible, and is an act of offensive interference. If this happens, the coach will be removed from the coaching box. ML Rule 3.15, 3.17. Defensive Interference Defensive interference describes a defensive players actions which hinders or prevents a 6.

batter from hitting a pitch. This is sometimes referred to as catchers interference, although defensive interference could also be called on a fielder who gestures or otherwise tries to distract the batter (see ML Rule 2.00 Interference (b)). Usually, though, the bat hits the catchers mitt, and thats catchers interference. Defensive interference causes a delayed dead-ball situation. A delayed-dead ball situation means that the umpire should wait until the play is over, and then take action depending on what happened. With catchers interference there are three possibilities: 1) If the ball is not hit, the ball is dead and the batter gets first base. Runners only advance if forced. 2) If the ball is hit and the batter reaches first base and all other runners have advanced at least one base, the play stands as if no interference had occurred. 3) If some other set of events occurs the manager can accept the play as it occurred or take the interference call and the positioning of players as described in situation #1. ML Rule 6.08(c). Examples of Defensive Interference: 1. Runner on third, one out. Catcher interferes with the batter, but the ball is put in play and the batter is put out at first base, R3 scoring. After the play ends, the offensive manager may accept the play (2 outs, one run in) or the interference (R3 at third, BR at first, one out, no runs). 2. Same situation, but BR reaches first safely. In this case the play stands, and the manager has no choice of alternatives. Umpires Interference There are two types of umpires interference. An umpire who hinders a catcher trying to prevent a stolen base creates a delayed dead ball situation similar to catchers interference. Wait until the play ends and see if the runner was called out. If so, the out stands and no interference call is made. If the runner was not called out, then the ball is dead, and runners return to their original bases. ML Rule 5.09(b). If a batted ball hits an umpire in fair territory before passing an infielder who has a chance to field the ball, the ball is dead and the batter is awarded first base. Runners advance only if forced. If the batted ball hits an umpire after passing by the infielders, then the ball is alive and in play. If the ball hits an umpire after passing an infielder, the ball is live and in play. ML Rule 5.09(f).

Obstruction
Obstruction occurs when a fielder blocks the progress of a runner, unless the fielder has the ball or is in the act of fielding a ball. Obstruction occurs when a fielder is standing in the base path without the ball. A fake tag is also obstruction, by definition. ML Rule 2.00. If a play is being made on an obstructed runner, or if the batter-runner is obstructed before reaching first base, the ball is dead. The umpire should immediately call Time by putting both arms overhead. Then point to the obstruction and say Thats obstruction. The umpire will use judgment to place the runners on the bases they would have reached if no obstruction had occurred. The obstructed runner must be awarded at least one base beyond the last base touched before the obstruction, and any preceding runners are advanced if forced. ML Rule 7.06(a). No player may block the base path without holding the ball or being in the act of fielding the ball. This is also true of the catcher, who cannot block the plate or stand in the base path unless possessing or fielding the ball. A thrown ball should be in flight directly toward the fielder, and near enough that the fielder must be in position to catch the ball. If the fielder had a play on the ball and missed, then the fielder is not longer in the act of fielding the ball and must get out of the runners way. Whether or not a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball is a judgment call by the umpire. 7.

Obstruction often occurs during a run-down. Take, for example, a rundown between first and second. The first baseman has the ball and chases the runner towards second, then throws the ball to a team mate covering second base. The runner changes directions, and collides with the first baseman. Time is called immediately, and the runner is awarded second base, even though the runner was moving back towards first at the time of obstruction. If no play is being made on the obstructed runner, the umpire should point at the obstruction and say Thats obstruction, but allow play to proceed until all action stops. Then call Time and impose any penalties needed to nullify the act of obstruction. This is a delayed dead ball situation. ML Rule 7.06(b). Examples of Obstruction 1. The batter-runner hits a fly ball into the outfield and is obstructed before reaching first base. The umpire will point to the obstruction and say Thats obstruction. He will let the play continue and if the ball is not caught impose penalties (if any are needed) that will nullify the obstruction. If the fly ball is caught, the batter-runner is out without regard to the obstruction. 2. With a runner on second, a ground ball is hit to and bounces off of the shortstop. As the shortstop goes for the ball, the shortstop and the runner from second collide. In this case the umpire should call Time immediately and make a judgment call regarding the play. If the ball is in the shortstops immediate reach, the call is interference and the runner is out. If the shortstop needs to move towards the ball, then the fielder must avoid the runner. If contact occurs, its obstruction. 3. With a runner on first, there is a base hit to right field. As R1 rounds second base there is a collision with the shortstop. As a result, the runner retreats to second. In the umpire's judgment the runner would have easily made third base if the collision hadnt occurred. When the collision occurs, the umpire should point and call Thats obstruction. After the play concludes R1is awarded third base. If the ball had been thrown back to second base and there had been a play on the runner when returning to second, the umpire will call Time immediately and send the runner to third base. In either case of obstruction the umpire will place the batter-runner at the base that would have been reached, in his judgment, if no obstruction had occurred.

Appeals
If a runner misses a base or fails to tag-up the defensive team may appeal the play. An appeal must be made while the ball is in play. The appeal may occur at the end of a play before Time is called, or it may be the first action after the ball is put in play after a call of Time. The defensive team must either orally appeal to the umpire, or unmistakably show through their actions that an appeal is being made. If Time has not been called, the defensive team has three options if they think the runner missed a base. The defensive team may 1) touch the ball to the runner who they believe committed the infraction, or 2) touch the ball to the base they think the runner missed. If the runner left early, they may also touch the ball to the base they believe the runner left. In any. of these cases the team should appeal to the umpire for a call. If Time was called, the pitcher must hold the ball on the pitching rubber and the plate umpire must put the ball in play. (See Section IV, Communications). The pitcher then must step off the rubber, and make the appeal with the ball. If the team tries to appeal while Time is called, the umpire will tell them to put the ball in play, and appeal again. The defense loses its right to an appeal if any other play occurs after Play has been called. For example, if on an appeal the ball is thrown out of play, the opportunity to appeal is lost. If an appeal is being made at one base, a runner on another base may attempt to advance because the ball is in play. 8.

If a base is dislodged from its anchor, no play can be made on a runner if the runner reached the base safely. If action continues, the umpire will call the runner safe if the runner occupies the spot where the base is normally placed, or if the runner touches the base regardless of location. ML Rule 1.06. If a runner misses home plate, is not tagged by the catcher, and does not immediately try to touch home plate, the catcher may appeal to the ump for a decision. To do this the catcher needs to stand on home plate with the ball while making the appeal. See Out/Safe earlier in this section. One of the most common appeals is for a checked swing. Checked swing appeals are discussed in Section V. There is also an unusual appeal that can cause a fourth out to be recognized; see the Scoring Runs discussion later in this section.

Award of Bases
Award Each Runner One Base: 1. When a pitched ball goes out of play or goes over or through a field fence or backstop. The ball is dead. ML Rule 7.05(h). 2. When a pitched ball lodges in the catchers or umpires equipment. If this occurs on ball four, the batter-runner gets first base, and all other runners advance one base whether or not they are forced. ML Rules 5.09(g); 7.05(i). 3. When a fielder catches a fair or foul fly ball and then falls down out of play. ML Rule 7.04(c). 4. In some cases runners move up one base when they are forced to because the batter is awarded first base. This occurs when: The batter receives a base on balls. The batter is hit by a pitch that is not a strike. The catcher or a fielder interferes with the batter. A batted ball hits a runner or umpire in fair territory before the ball has passed infielders who have a play on the ball. ML Rule 7.04(b). Award Each Runner Two Bases: 1. When a fair ball bounces or is deflected out-of-play, or rolls under or through a field fence, or sticks in the fence. (This is usually called a ground-rule double.) ML Rule 7.05(f). 2. When a thrown ball goes out of play. If the throw is the first play by an infielder and all runners have not advanced at least one base at the time of the throw, then the award of bases is from where the runners were standing at the time of the pitch. In all other cases, the award of bases depends on where the runners are standing when the ball is thrown. If the first throw is by an outfielder or the throw occurs after the first play in the infield, the award of bases is from the runners position at the time of the throw. ML Rule 7.05(g). For example, runner on first. The batter hits a ball that bounces off of home plate and goes high in the air to the third baseman. The third baseman tries to throw the ball to first. base, but the throw is high and the ball goes out of play. If BR has not crossed first base at the time of the throw, and R1 has not advanced past second base, then the runners are given two bases from their positions at the time of the pitch: R1 is awarded third base and the batter is placed on second base. However, if the ball is thrown after the batter passed first base and the R1 passed second base, then R1 is awarded home plate and BR is awarded third base. In the same situation, if the ball was hit to the outfield, then the award of bases is from the 9.

runners positions at the time of the throw. In some cases the positioning of one runner will prevent the umpire from awarding the other runners two bases. For example, a high fly hit into the outfield with a runner on first base. R1 goes half-way to second base, and before the throw is made the batter-runner rounds first and pulls up behind R1. The outfielder misses the catch, and hurries the throw back into the infield. In doing so, the throw is wild and goes out of play. If R1 had not passed second base at the time of the throw, R1 is awarded third base, and BR is placed on second. 3. When a fielder deliberately touches a thrown ball with a cap, mask, or any part of the uniform detached from its proper place on the fielder, or deliberately throws a glove at and touches a thrown ball. Runners get two bases from their position at the time of release of the throw. The ball is still live, and runners can advance beyond two bases at their own risk. ML Rule 7.05(d) & 7.05(e) Award Each Runner Three Bases: 1. When a fielder deliberately touches a batted ball with a cap, mask, or any part of the uniform detached from its proper place on the fielder, or deliberately throws a glove at and touches a batted ball. The ball is still live, and runners can advance beyond three bases at their own risk. ML Rule 7.05(b) & 7.05(c). Award Each Runner Home Plate: 1. When, in the umpire's judgment, a ball that would have been an over-the-fence home run is deflected by a fielder who throws a glove, cap, or any other part of the uniform. ML Rule 7.05(a).

Scoring Runs
By definition, a run scores when a batter becomes a runner and legally touches all bases in sequence before being put out. With less than two outs, there generally isnt much of a question about whether or not a run scores if first, second and third were properly touched. About the only case occurs when the runner misses home plate and does not immediately try to touch it. In this case the runner can be called out on appeal; see the Out/Safe and Appeals discussions earlier in this section. When there are two outs things get more interesting. No run scores if the third out is made by ANY runner (including the batter) prior to reaching the base to which that runner was forced. Examples of force out situations occur when: 1. A batter or runner is called out for interference prior to reaching the base to which the batter or runner is forced. 2. A runner is forced to a base, but misses it on the way to the next base and an appeal is made. 3. In a dead ball situation a runner is called out on appeal for missing the base to which the runner was forced. See the discussion on the next page. If the third out occurs at first, second, or third and is not a force play, a run scores so long as the runner crosses home plate before the third out is made. This type of call is a time play. A time play requires that the umpire be aware of which event. occurs first. If a time play occurs and the out is made on the bases before home plate is touched, the run does not count. Here are three specific kinds of situations: 1) If a runner leaves a base before a caught fly ball is first touched, and an appeal is made 10.

before the runner returns to the base to tag up, runs score up until the time that the out is made. Even though the runner must return to the base to tag up, the appeal is a time play, not a force play. See ML Rule 2.00, Force Play. 2) Other time play situations include outs made by a following runner who passes a preceding runner, runners called out for running outside of the baselines, and runners called out for not sliding or attempting to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make a play. 3) In some time play situations a very unusual play can occur in which a fourth out must be recognized. For example, with one out and runners on first and third the batter hits a fly ball deep into the outfield, which is caught for the second out. Both runners try to advance. The runner from third left before the fly ball was first touched, and crossed home plate before the defensive team tagged out the runner at second (for the third out). Because of time play rules, the run would normally count. However, if an appeal is made at third base before all players leave fair territory on their way to the dugout, then a fourth out is called on R3 and no run is scored. ML Rule 7.10 (d) 5th Paragraph.. Remember that time plays never occur in a force out situation. If a successful appeal is made on a runner at a base where no force play exists, runners ahead of the appealed runner score, but the appealed runner and any following runners do not score. This can occur in either a live or dead ball situation. For example, with the bases loaded the batter hits an inside the park home run. R1 misses third base, and the defensive team appeals at the end of the play. Because R1 was the third out, neither R1 nor the batter scores. However, both R2 and R3 score on the play. Dead ball situations occur on a ground rule double, a home run, or when a fielder throws the ball out of play. Because the ball is dead, the defensive team cant do anything about base running infractions until a new ball is put in play. If the defensive team properly appeals at a base to which the runner was forced (for example, if they appeal that the batter missed first base) then the appeal is a force out and no runs score. If the appeal is made at any other base, then preceding runners score, and the trailing runners do not. ML Rule 7.10(b) & (d).

Infield Fly Rule


The infield fly rule is in effect when there are runners on first and second, or on first, second and third with less than two outs. The infield fly rule prevents the defense from taking advantage of a runners need to tag-up after a fly ball. Without the infield fly rule, the defensive team could let an infield fly drop to the ground and then turn a double play at second and third bases. To be an infield fly the ball must be: Hit in the air in fair territory. Catchable by an infielder using ordinary effort. An infield fly is not called on a line drive or if the batter bunts the ball. When an infield fly is called the batter is automatically out whether or not the ball is caught, and all force plays are removed. The ball is live during an infield fly, and runners can advance at their own risk. If the ball is hit near the foul lines, the umpire will point to the sky and say Infield fly if fair. If the ball is not caught and lands near the foul lines it may or may not be an infield fly, depending on where it is when first touched by a fielder. For example, if a possible infield fly drops untouched in fair territory and then rolls foul (before passing first or third base), then it is ruled a foul ball. If a possible infield fly drops in foul territory and rolls untouched into fair territory (before passing first or third), then the batter is out. The umpire will need to use judgment to rule on an infield fly if the ball is hit into the short outfield. 11.

For example, if a potential infield fly is hit into short left field, and the shortstop drifts out and could easily catch the ball, the umpire will call infield fly even if the left fielder comes in and calls the shortstop off the ball. The shortstops position in the outfield does not matter. A runner is not out if standing on a base when hit by an infield fly; if the runner is off the base and is hit then both the runner and batter are out. ML Rule 7.08(f).

Batting Out of Order


Problems with players batting out of order sometimes seem harder than they are. Here are the basic guidelines to help keep things straight. The umpire does not need to deal with players batting out of order unless the defensive team appeals to him that the offensive team has batted out of order. As soon as a single pitch is made to a batter, the preceding batter becomes legal. If the offensive team completely messes up its batting order, all the umpire needs to be concerned with is the batter immediately before the current batter. Try to remember the number of the past batter until the next batter comes to bat. If the defensive team appeals that a batter is out of order while that batter is still at bat, the proper batter comes in to bat and assumes the existing ball-strike count. Any actions by base runners are not affected by the batters incorrect appearance at the plate. There is no effect on a runner who advances because of a stolen base, a wild pitch or passed ball, or who is caught stealing while the incorrect batter was at the plate. If the defensive team appeals that an improper batter has just concluded a time at bat (and the appeal is made before the first pitch to the next batter), then the proper batter is called out and the improper batter is removed from base. Any base runners return to the base they were on at the time of the last pitch to the illegal batter. The next legal batter in the order comes to bat. If the batting order gets so confused that the next legal batter is on base, that batter is skipped without penalty. Examples: The legal batting order is Able, Baker, Charles, Davis, Edwards, and Frank. 1. Able is the legal batter but Charles comes to bat. The defensive team appeals before Charles has completed a time at bat. Able comes up to bat with the same ball-strike count as Charles. Any actions by base runners while Charles was at bat are legal and runners remain in position. 2. Same situation, but this time Charles safely reaches base. Before the first pitch to the next batter, the defense appeals. Able, the proper batter, is called out; Charles is removed from base, and runners return to the base they occupied at the time of the last pitch to Charles. Because Able was called out the next batter is Baker.. 3. Same situation, Charles reaches base safely and the defense does not appeal. As soon as a single pitch is made to the batter after Charles (whether or not it is the proper batter), Charles at bat is legalized, and Davis is the proper batter.

Illegal Pitches, Illegal Acts


Illegal Pitches There are two kinds of illegal pitches in addition to those defined in ML Rule 8.05 (Balks): 1) The pitcher pitches the ball when the pivot foot is not in contact with the rubber. 2) A quick return pitch, in which the ball is pitched before the batter has sufficient time to get ready for the 12.

pitch. ML Rule 8.05(e) comment. The penalty for an illegal pitch is a ball. If the batter puts the ball in play, the play stands so long as the batter advances to first base, and all base runners advance at least one base without being put out. The manager does not have an option to accept the penalty or the play. ML Rule 8.02(b). If an illegal pitch hits the batter, the batter is awarded first base. ML Rule 8.01(d). Illegal Acts on the Ball The pitcher cannot bring the pitching hand in contact with lips or mouth while standing inside the ten foot circle surrounding the pitching rubber. If this occurs, the umpire immediately calls a ball, and will warn the pitcher that repeated violation can cause removal from the game. However, if a pitch is made and the batter reaches first base on a hit, error or hit batsman, and no runner is put out before advancing at least one base, then the play stands. ML Rule 8.02(a)(1). If it is a cold day and both managers agree you may permit pitchers to blow on their hands. The pitcher cannot: Apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball Expectorate on ball, hand or glove Rub the ball on glove, person, or clothing Deface the ball in any manner. If any of these four acts occurs, the umpire will call a ball and warn the pitcher. If the ball is put in play, the offensive manager may elect to accept the play or have the batter return to the plate. ML Rule 8.02(a)(2-6). Other Illegal Acts The pitcher may not intentionally pitch at the batter. If this occurs, you can either expel the pitcher from the game or warn the pitcher and managers of both sides that another such pitch will cause the pitcher to be ejected from the game. ML Rule 8.02(d). With the bases empty, if the pitcher delays a pitch by more than 12 seconds after receiving the ball, call a ball. The purpose of this rule is to avoid unnecessary delays. ML Rule 8.04. Managers Visits to the Pitcher The manager or coach can only make one visit to any single pitcher during the same inning, without removing the pitcher. Only one visit can be made while the same player is at bat. On the second visit in an inning, the pitcher must be replaced. When a new pitcher comes in, the visit count resets. A trip to the mound where the pitcher is removed does not count as a trip to the mound. Visits to the pitcher are not defensive conferences. ML Rule 8.06.

Balks
A balk is an illegal act by the pitcher. A balk can only occur if there is a runner on base and a live ball. Balk items 1 - 13 involve a pitcher who is in-contact with the pitching rubber. It is a balk if a pitcher 1. Hesitates in or interrupts his motion to join hands, pitch, throw, or disengage. (8.01b) 13.

However, it is not a balk if a pitcher who has begun his motion to join hands shifts in a fluid and continuous motion to throw or to disengage the rubber. Also, an umpire must recognize the difference between the motion to join hands and other neutral movement that is not relevant to the joining of hands, e.g., a pitcher rotates his glove to signal the catcher for another set of signs, or a hunched-over pitcher straightens his body when the catcher requests time. Note: the motion to join hands is optional in the wind up mode. The pitcher may pause once his hands have become joined before proceeding to pitch, step and throw, or disengage. The motion to join hands is considered a motion to pitch until a pitcher pauses, so if a pitcher interrupts this motion before pausing, it is a balk. 2. Commits to pitch, but fails to do so. [8.05 a] (a) Wind up Position: The pitcher is committed to pitch when there is a movement or step of his non- pivot foot commonly associated with his motion to pitch (usually a small step backward), or a step with his non- pivot foot toward home. His joining of hands without movement of either foot does not commit the pitcher to pitch. [8.01 a] (b) Stretch Position: The pitcher is committed to pitch when (i) after coming set, he shows movement toward home plate. Such movement includes leaning his body toward home plate, and beginning or rotating this free leg toward home plate. [8.01 b], or (ii) he lifts his non- pivot foot and brings any part of his foot completely behind the back edge of the pitching rubber, unless the move is part of a continuous motion to throw to second base on a pickoff or play. [8.05 a] 3. Contacts the rubber with his hands apart, joins his hands for a considerable period of time, and then separates his hands without a concurrent motion to pitch, throw, or disengage. [8.05 j] The pitcher is allowed to momentarily adjust the ball, or transfer the ball from hand to glove (or vice versa) as he steps onto the pitching rubber, but is otherwise prohibited from stepping onto the rubber with his hands joined (and if he does so, a balk may be called as he separates his hands). 4. Bobbles or drops the ball without beginning any motion, or allows the ball to bobble, drop, or slip during the motion to join hands, pitch, throw, or disengage. [8.05 k] A slip (as opposed to a pitch or throw) is a released baseball, intended to be a pitch or throw, but that lacks both aim and momentum. Any intended pitch that slips out of a pitcher's hand and crosses (or, if it is touched, would have crossed) a foul line is a ball. An intended pitch 14.

that slips and does not cross a foul line is a balk if there is a runner, and no pitch if there is not a runner. [8.01 d]. An intended pickoff throw (in-contact) to first base that slips is a balk if it does not reach the foul line or a fielder within reach of a tag attempt at the base (see balk item 11a, below). However, it is not a balk if a pitcher drops the ball or allows it to slip after a step to a base that does not require the throw. 5. In the stretch mode fails to set before beginning his motion to pitch. [8.05 m] [8.01 b] To set is to join the hands and then execute their complete stop. Since such complete stop must occur before any motion to pitch, a pitcher's foot or leg may not begin a motion to pitch before the hand combination comes set. A stop is not required before a motion to throw to a base or disengage. 6. Sets twice; or sets, but not in front of his body (which includes his head). 7. Pitches without facing the batter, or without stepping once forward. [8.05 f] 8. While intentionally walking a batter, begins his motion to pitch while the catcher is outside of the catcher's box. [8.05 l]. 9. Does not step to a base in throwing (or fainting a throw) to such base. [8.01 c] [8.05 c] A step to a base must have distance and direction to that base. (a) Distance: in stepping, a pitcher must bring his free foot into the air and replace it on the ground in a completely different spot. Hence, movement of the free foot is only a step when there is vertical movement (i.e., lift), and horizontal movement (i.e., distance along the ground). (b) Direction: in stepping, a pitcher must bring his free foot toward, and nearer to, the pickoff base. 10. Steps (i.e., steps and throws, or steps and feints a throw, or steps only) to an unoccupied base unless: (a) there is an appeal at the unoccupied base, or (b) a runner is advancing toward and trying to acquire such base. [8.05 d] 11. Steps to first base 15.

(a) but does not complete the throw. [8.05 b] this includes an attempted in-contact throw that slips out of the pitcher's hand and does not reach the foul line or a fielder within reach of a tag attempt at first base. (b) but interrupts or hesitates in his motion to throw there. (c) and throws to first baseman who, because of his distance from the base, is (or would have been) unable to try a tag against the runner at first base. However, it is not a balk if a pitcher steps to (a) first base and then throws over the base when the first baseman is not in a position to make a tag attempt. (b) third or second base (regardless of whether there is a throw). (c) third or second base and interrupts or hesitates in his motion to throw. The step toward the base suffices to constitute a faint or throw, so any action after the step is legal. (d) third or second base and throws to a fielder who is at a distance from the base, and due to the distance, is unable to attempt a tag of the runner. (e) third, second, or first base from the wind up position. 12. Fails to disengage the rubber properly. Such pitcher is still in-contact for the purpose of a subsequent throw. A pitcher can disengage properly only if he steps his pivot foot on to the ground backward of and off the pitching rubber. He must do so without interruption or hesitation, and without a movement normally associated with his motion to pitch. [8.0 a3] 13. Fails to disengage the rubber before shuffling his feet from the wind up to the stretch position (or vice versa). [8.01a3] 14. Who is not in-contact has the ball and tries two deceive a runner by using a motion obviously associated with a pitch or pitching position. [8.05 g] 15. Tries two deceive of a runner or the batter by imitating and throwing a pitch while not incontact with the rubber, or by quickly stepping on the rubber and pitching without taking a sign. Such actions constitute an illegal pitch. [8.05e] An illegal pitch is penalized with no runners if the batter does not acquire first base. [8.01d] 16. Does not have the ball but assists in trying to deceive a runner by a) being on or astride the rubber, [8.05] b) feigning a pitching position or pitch [8.05 i] c) putting the rosin bag in his glove to make it appear he has the ball. 16.

This is known as the " hidden ball trick." It is not necessarily a balk if a pitcher in this situation is on the dirt of the mound far enough away from the rubber. 17. Unnecessarily delays the game after having been warned against doing so. Such pitcher is also ejected. [8.02 c]

Balk Penalization
Umpires are to voice and signal a balk (stating "that's a balk" and signaling by pointing at the source of the infraction with the arm straight out). A balk does not necessarily result in a dead ball, so a balk should never be called by using the signal for "time." [5.09c] [7.04a] [8.05] A. If there is a balk followed by a pause in which a pitcher does not try to pitch or throw, the ball becomes dead (but only when an umpire signals such) and every runner is awarded his advance base. B. If there is a balk followed immediately by a pitch (e.g., a pitcher fails to set before his pitch), then related action is allowed to occur subject to the following: If the batter becomes a runner on a batted ball or award and acquires first base and every forced runner acquires his advance base, then the balk is disregarded. Runners should be aware that a balk does not exempt them from being put out beyond their advance base, or from being called out on appeal for missing their advance base. [8.05] If the batter or some runner does not acquire his advance base, i.e., (a) the batter does not become a batter-runner, or (b) the batter becomes a batter-runner without acquiring first base, or (c) a runner is not forced to advance on ball four, or (d) any runner does not acquire his advance base, then the ball becomes dead, every runner is awarded his advance base, and the pitch does not count. After a balk, a pitch is allowed as an opportunity for the batter to acquire at least first 17.

base; if such opportunity is not exploited, the balk is enforced. Exception: If the pitch is wild and the batter does not become a batter-runner, and every timeof- pitch runner acquires his advance base, then all related action is allowed except the pitch, which does not count. C. If there is a balk followed immediately by a throw (e.g., a pitcher fails to step to first on a pickoff throw), then related action is allowed until a fielder is able to glove and gain possession of such throw (if the throw is not wild). The defense is not allowed a tag try of, or a subsequent throw against (including a rundown) a runner before his advanced base. If every runner acquires his advance base uncontested, the balk is disregarded.

Starting and Ending the Game


The game officially starts when the home team takes the field and the first batter is ready to hit. At that time the home plate umpire calls Play! and the game begins. ML Rule 4.02. The home plate umpire takes charge of the game at the home plate meeting with managers that occurs just prior to the start of the game. (In Pony Baseball, managers do not give umpires copies of the lineups.) ML Rule 4.01(e). Prior to the meeting both managers must agree on the fitness of the playing field. After the meeting the umpire-in-charge has sole responsibility for judging when play is suspended because of unsuitable weather or field conditions.

Regulation Game (Depending on Age Group) A regulation game consists of 7 or 6 innings, (depending on the age level), unless the home team is leading after 4 innings (3+1/2 innings for younger divisions). If the home team scores the winning run in the bottom of the sixth (or 7th), the game ends immediately. If the score is tied after 7 (or 6) innings, additional innings are played unless prohibited by league rules. When additional innings are played, the visiting team wins if it has scored more runs at the end of a complete inning than the home team. The home team wins if it scores the winning run during its half of an incomplete inning. In this case the game ends immediately when the winning run is scored.

Called Games (Depending on Age Group) If the game is called before 7 (or 6) innings are completed, it is a regulation game if: 1) The visiting team is ahead after 5 (or 4) complete innings of play. 2) The home team is ahead after 4 (3+1/2) or more innings of play. After 6 (or 5) innings, if the home team is not ahead and the game is called during a partial inning, the game ends at the end of the last completed inning. This happens when: 1) The visiting team scores one or more runs to tie the score in the incomplete inning, and the home team does not score in its half of the incomplete inning. 2) The visiting team scores one or more runs to take the lead in the incomplete inning, and the home team does not tie the score or take the lead in their half of the incomplete inning. 18.

If a game is called prior to the completion of one full inning then the score reverts back to that of the last completed inning, as long as the minimum number of innings to qualify as a completed game have been played. If the game is called after at least one inning, then the game is resumed exactly from where it left off. This will happen in two cases: less than 5 (or 4) have been played (4 innings with the home team ahead), or the score is tied after 5 (or 4) or more innings. ML Rule 4.10(d); 4.12(c). A league may adopt the use of the 10 Run rule. This is a Pony Baseball rule that takes effect after 4 innings if the home team is ahead, or 5 innings if the visiting team is leading. If the visiting team is leading, the home team must complete its at-bats in the bottom half of the inning.

II: Special Pony Rules


There are a few rules that are unique to Pony Baseball, and do not exist at more advanced levels. Some of those you are likely to encounter are discussed below. See Pony Rule Book for complete list of rules. www.pony.org Leaving too soon: Mustang A runner may not leave the base until the ball reaches the catcher. If a runner leaves early, he shall be called out and the pitch considered as a dead ball. Pony Rule 9 N3. This rule takes effect when the pitcher is on the rubber with the ball, and the catcher is in the catchers box ready to receive the ball. Must slide or High School Anti Collision: (depending on Age Group) A runner is not permitted to run into a fielder who has the ball and is ready to make a tag. If the runner does not slide, be sure that contact is avoided and that the runner does not interfere with the fielder who is trying to make a play on another runner. Refer back to the earlier discussion of interference . No jewelry: Pony Rule 8(J) No player may wear watches, rings, pins, jewelry, earrings or other metallic items. The only exception is Medical Alert items. No cell phones, pagers, or any other types of communication devices can be used on the field of play. Pony Rule 8(K) Maximum length of the bat is 42 inches, and the maximum diameter is 2+5/8ths inches.

III: Common Myths


Many baseball fans believe in rules that arent in the rule book. Heres a few of the most common. If a batters foot touches home plate when a ball is hit the batter is automatically out. NOT TRUE Batters who step on home plate when hitting a ball are often out, but not always. The actual 19.

rule is that a batter is out for an illegally batted ball when one or both feet are on the ground entirely outside of the batters box. The lines defining the batters box are within the batters box. ML Rules 2.00; 6.03. The line of the batters box is six inches away from home plate on a Pony Baseball field. If a batter has a foot 10 inches long, the players heel could be on the batters box line, while toes of the same foot are on the plate. A ball hit by this batter would be a legal hit. But if the entire foot is over the line and the ball is hit, then the batter is out. While waiting for the pitch, the batter must have both feet within the batters box. The rule for Pony Baseball is the same as pro rules, but high school rules are different. Under high school rules, a batter is out if they hit the ball when touching the plate with their foot under any circumstances. The umpire may need to explain this to a coach who thinks the rules are the same. A ball that bounces off of home plate is foul. NOT TRUE. The triangular corner at the back of home plate is on the foul line; the plate itself is in fair territory. So a ball that chops off the plate is fair unless it bounces and stays foul before passing first or third base. A batter attempting to bunt must pull the bat back or its a strike. NOT TRUE Just placing the bat in the strike zone doesnt mean that the batter offered at the pitch. The ball is a swinging strike if you judge that the batter attempted to hit the ball. A pitch that bounces in the dirt is a dead ball. NOT TRUE A legal pitch is one that the pitcher releases while in contact with the pitching rubber that crosses the first or third base foul line. If the pitch bounces, its still a pitch. If a bounced pitch hits the batter, the ball is dead and the batter gets first base. The batter may swing at a bounced pitch, and if hit the ball is in play. On a ball thrown out-of-play the runner gets one-plus-one. NOT TRUE Often it works this way, but the rule (ML Rule 7.05g) is that the runner gets two bases from the runners position at the time the ball was thrown. Refer back to the discussion on awards of bases in Section I. . The batter-runner must turn right when overrunning first base. NOT TRUE ML Rule 7.08(c) states the batter-runner cannot be tagged out after over running or over sliding first base if the batter-runner returns immediately to the base. This is true on both hits and walks. However, ML Rule 7.08(j) will result in the batter-runner being called out if there is an attempt to run to second and the batter-runner is tagged with the ball. Usually a single step towards second is enough to indicate intent to run. Sometimes the first baseman will try to tag the runner with the ball when the runner is returning to first. Do not call the runner out just for trying to avoid the tag. Neither rule says that the batter-runner has to turn right. If you judge that the batter-runner is trying for second, then the batter-runner is out if tagged with the ball.

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