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R1, 1 out, 14U Showcase ball playing a mash-up of OBR and Fed. PU is not tremendously experienced, and is varied in his proclamations of balls (silent most of the time, occasional declaration of "ball", sporadic pointing as to where it missed (corrected in post-game)) and the count. 3-2 count (at least this umpire as BU thinks it was, may have been 3-1), R1 breaks for it. Pitch is borderline and catcher comes up throwing. PU "calls" it a ball, LHB drops bat and starts heading towards 1B. Meanwhile, R1 is still screamin' towards 2B, F6 covering, and both the throw and runner arrive. R1 slides past the bag completely, with F6 missing the tag completely. We now have a runner, on the ground, about four feet beyond the bag, on hands and knees, looking at a F6 on his knees, with the baseball, about a foot behind (on the 1BS) 2B. Both scramble to their feet, and Runner makes a mad dash towards 3B, and gets caught in a brief rundown between F5 and F6, tagged out just before 3B. OT coaches go bonkers. Phrases such as "ball should be dead", "it's ball four, and it's a dead ball", "protected", and "my kid wouldn't have slid had you (the PU) called ball four!" started to emanate from three different directions. Here's what we (the umpire community) know: It is still a live ball (and at no point became dead). BR is entitled to 1B, therefore forcing other runners before him; BR is protected to 1B, even so far as walking towards the dugout enroute so as to drop off his bat, elbow and/or ankle armor, etc.; once he obtains / achieves / touches 1B, he is no longer a BR, but the new R1. By sliding past the bag, and leaving contact with 2B, R1 is subject to being tagged out, and was in fact tagged out (and this was explained to the OTHC). Now, beyond this, I'm trying to determine what a BU is to do when his PU partner doesn't vocalize, signal or indicate the outcome of a pitch – whether it be ball or strike. Granted, in my scenario, the Runner turned into a tag-able situation because he slid past 2B and left contact with it. But what if he slid before the bag, and never reached it? Adding to that, what if F6, in receiving the throw, lost the ball and it went beyond a reach's distance from him, but instead went to F4 backing him up? R1 has slid, not achieved the base yet, and now F6 is, by definition, obstructing R1 getting to the base... a base he is, well, entitled to anyway. What are your takes on an event like this?