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Guest BFitz

Play at the Plate : Slide or Avoid confusion

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Guest BFitz

I umpired a 14U baseball game recently and had a questionable call at the plate.  Runner on first batter hits a base hit to RF and the ball gets past the RF.  Runner on first rounds second and goes to third.  While going to third the throw comes in behind runner and runner continues going towards home plate.  3rd baseman catches and the throw and turns and turns and throws home.  Catcher makes the catch and has ball in front of home plate ready to apply tag.  The runner slows down to be tagged and catcher drops ball while applying tag and runner then touches home plate.  I ruled the runner safe because he was giving himself up and there was no malicious contact.  The defensive team argued that the runner should have been out because he didn't slide or avoid tag.  Who was right?

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I'm rusty on FED rules, so I'll let someone else handle that rule set. 

However, if you were using OBR, the runner cannot deviate from his pathway to initiate contact. Other than simply changing his path to initiate contact, it also includes the lowering of the shoulder or pushing through with his hands, elbows or arms. Your situation simply sounds like a botched tag attempt with the catcher moving to tag the runner. Calling the runner safe appears to be the correct call. 

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14 minutes ago, Guest BFitz said:

I ruled the runner safe because he was giving himself up and there was no malicious contact.  The defensive team argued that the runner should have been out because he didn't slide or avoid tag.  Who was right?

No rule requires that a runner "slide or avoid a tag." Runners have to slide or TRY to avoid CONTACT. By giving himself up, the runner in your play did the latter.

Don't penalize the offense because F2 can't hold onto the ball. Your ruling sounds fine to me, based on that description of events.

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In FED, you still made the right call. "Slide or avoid" is only relevant on a force play. As long as he didn't commit MC (which you ruled he didn't) or make an effort to dislodge the ball (sure doesn't sound like it), it was just a botched tag attempt.

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Guest BFitz

Thanks guys.  I believe a lot of coaches aren't clear on the rule so it's always a bit frustrating trying to explain it.  I even looked up the league rules and came across this:  "Base runners must slide or make every possible effort to avoid serious contact with a defensive player."  

There was no serious contact so that makes me feel confident about my call.

 

 

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3 hours ago, kylehutson said:

In FED, you still made the right call. "Slide or avoid" is only relevant on a force play.

That's not correct. 8-4-2c applies to all plays at all bases; because FED regards sliding as one way to "legally attempt to avoid" a fielder, the provision amounts to a "slide or avoid" provision.

FED applies additional restrictions to a legal slide for force plays (direct line between the bases), but those are irrelevant to the OP.

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18 hours ago, kylehutson said:

In FED, you still made the right call. "Slide or avoid" is only relevant on a force play. 

I disagree. Fed 8-4-2 b and c are not just for force plays. 

To the OP: Slide or attempt to avoid contact rules were designed for safety, not to bail out poor defense. Coaches are always trying to bambozzle umpires into this over-officious call. Don't buy it. 

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9 minutes ago, ricka56 said:

I disagree. Fed 8-4-2 b and c are not just for force plays. 

To the OP: Coaches are always trying to bambozzle umpires into this over-officious call to bail out his defense. Don't buy it. 

Not to sound like Coach Rich, but sometimes coaches are "trained" to act like this by over-officious umpires who mis-interpret the rule and strictly enforce some "must slide" rule.

 

And, too, sometimes it's a local league who has a misguided "safety" rule in place and wants it enforced this way.

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1 minute ago, noumpere said:

Not to sound like Coach Rich, but sometimes coaches are "trained" to act like this by over-officious umpires who mis-interpret the rule and strictly enforce some "must slide" rule.

And, too, sometimes it's a local league who has a misguided "safety" rule in place and wants it enforced this way.

The under-officious umpires, who think that the game should be played as Ty Cobb would, bear some responsibility for the mis-interpretaions also.

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I admire noumpere, who always strives to be just the right amount of officious.

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49 minutes ago, noumpere said:

George Carlin would be proud.

Aw! Nicest thing you've ever written about me!

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1 hour ago, ricka56 said:

Coaches are always trying to bambozzle umpires into this over-officious call.

 

1 hour ago, noumpere said:

sometimes coaches are "trained" to act like this by over-officious umpires who mis-interpret the rule and strictly enforce some "must slide" rule.

When you're trying to determine if someone is being malicious, or just stupid (ignorant), it's almost always stupid.

Some coaches are definitely tactical when presenting this argument...most are just ignorant.  Some "learned" it from an umpire who enforced it that way in a previous games.  Others simply believe it for the same reason they believe the hands are part of the bat...they saw it in a feverish dream.

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6 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

 

  Others simply believe it for the same reason they believe the hands are part of the bat..

I've encountered a couple of umpires  who believed this.

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