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Guest Jim

Courtesy Runner

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Jack Benny Softball League. 45 years old and up. We allow courtesy runners. And runners " out of the chute" that can run from behind the plate for an injured batter. An out of the chute runner makes it to 3rd base then his turn at bat comes up. ASA rulebook is vague at best. 1 option says you skip his turn in the line up and next better hits. 1 other option says you must put the original batter in his place so he can bat. Regular leagues say he's out. What is the correct call? 

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Day game or night game?

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Just now, maven said:

Day game or night game?

Never mind that !   Where do they keep the beer?

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We aren't supposed to get sarcastic with people asking ridiculous on this forum, but this one is hard to resist. When your league is making up crazy rules and you have to deal with unintended consequences that are not spelled out in said crazy rules, then you have the authority to supplement the situation with whatever crazy solution that comes to mind. 8.01(c)

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You'll need to ask the league -- they are the ones who came up with the rule (and it's not that unusual in this type of league).  If it were me, I'd structure it so the "out of the chute" runner could NOT be on base (iow, he can't be one of the next 4 hitters in the lineup)

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In all seriousness, most slowpitch associations have a rule that covers a courtesy runner that is on base when his turn to bat comes up... The turn at bat becomes an out, no effect on runners, and play proceeds with the next hitter in the lineup.

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Most slowpitch associations require the courtesy runner or the out of the chute runner to be the last available runner furthest from the batter in the order (or someone not in the lineup) - then the issue of him being on base when his turn at bat comes very rarely occurs in a nine-player lineup, and never in a ten-player lineup (unless half your lineup uses out of chute runners)

In the scenario where it occurs, there are three common possibilities that each league would define in their own rules:

  • put the original batter back on base (however, since the guise is an injury or some other inability for the batter to run this becomes moot)
  • put another courtesy runner on third (furthest from batter in lineup)
  • batter is out

If the league is lax enough to allow an out of chute runner, they should be lax enough to allow a second courtesy runner in those situations.

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Most slowpitch associations require the courtesy runner or the out of the chute runner to be the last available runner furthest from the batter in the order (or someone not in the lineup) - then the issue of him being on base when his turn at bat comes very rarely occurs in a nine-player lineup, and never in a ten-player lineup (unless half your lineup uses out of chute runners)
In the scenario where it occurs, there are three common possibilities that each league would define in their own rules:
  • put the original batter back on base (however, since the guise is an injury or some other inability for the batter to run this becomes moot)
  • put another courtesy runner on third (furthest from batter in lineup)
  • batter is out
If the league is lax enough to allow an out of chute runner, they should be lax enough to allow a second courtesy runner in those situations.

What associations do you know that do this for men's slowpitch?

Because I know WSL (designated base burglar), NSA (anyone on roster once per inning) and ASA (anyone on roster once per inning) have the corresponding rules for CRs. I don't think I've played an association where the national ruleset was furthest player in lineup or last batted out.

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15 hours ago, ALStripes17 said:


What associations do you know that do this for men's slowpitch?

Because I know WSL (designated base burglar), NSA (anyone on roster once per inning) and ASA (anyone on roster once per inning) have the corresponding rules for CRs. I don't think I've played an association where the national ruleset was furthest player in lineup or last batted out.

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All local-based stuff with their own bi-laws....and when I said "most" I should have clarified that I was talking about self-governing (beer leagues) rather than national-based.

I also play/coach in Canada where our general courtesy runner rule for softball (fast pitch) and baseball is 1) typically for catcher only, to give them time to put on equipment between innings 2) only after two outs, and 3) furthest from the batter (ie. not from bench).   So, imagine my surprise the first time I brought my team to the US and learned about pitcher/catcher courtesy runners, and having to pull from the bench.   In the US, this becomes a point of strategy, and coaches put fast runners on the bench with this in mind.  I'm just doing it to purely speed up the game....and for three years running my catcher was my fastest base runner.

The slo-pitch leagues follow the same guidelines as a starting point.

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All local-based stuff with their own bi-laws....and when I said "most" I should have clarified that I was talking about self-governing (beer leagues) rather than national-based.
I also play/coach in Canada where our general courtesy runner rule for softball (fast pitch) and baseball is 1) typically for catcher only, to give them time to put on equipment between innings 2) only after two outs, and 3) furthest from the batter (ie. not from bench).   So, imagine my surprise the first time I brought my team to the US and learned about pitcher/catcher courtesy runners, and having to pull from the bench.   In the US, this becomes a point of strategy, and coaches put fast runners on the bench with this in mind.  I'm just doing it to purely speed up the game....and for three years running my catcher was my fastest base runner.
The slo-pitch leagues follow the same guidelines as a starting point.

Gotcha. I don't do fast pitch, but play quite a few of the national slowpitch tournaments. And I'm one of the speedsters on those circuits, so I make sure to know the CR rules since I'm usually the one running CF/running once an inning. Have to make sure my spot in order doesn't come up and penalties associated.

Can't predict beer league and local rules. Those might as well be a roll of a 187-sided die.

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