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Guest MP1

Can anyone direct me to a previous post, or please explain when a runner is out on a force play?   Does the ball need to beat the runner or does the runner need to beat the ball?  I’ve tried to do some research but it seems there are conflicting rules.

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The rules have been changed relatively recently to remove some of the inconsistency.

  • A batter-runner is out when: (10) After a third strike or after he hits a fair ball, he or first base is tagged before he touches first base; (Yes, I know this technically isn't a force)
  •  A runner is out when: (6) He or the next base is tagged before he touches the next base, after he has been forced to advance by reason of the batter becoming a runner.

Since the base must be tagged BEFORE the runner touches the base, the tie goes to the runner.  This is purely a philosophical discussion, however, because an umpire should never see a tie.

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14 minutes ago, Guest MP1 said:

Can anyone direct me to a previous post, or please explain when a runner is out on a force play?   Does the ball need to beat the runner or does the runner need to beat the ball?  I’ve tried to do some research but it seems there are conflicting rules.

This is the age old "does the tie go to the runner" debate.

Yes, there are conflicting rules, whether there's a force or not, whether there's a play at first or not, whether there's a tag or not.

Personally, I think the safest is to go to the language that indicates that a runner is out if tagged while not in contact with the base...that, I think, is the spirit of the rule since the conception of the game itself - if the runner is touching his base (provided he is entitled to it), he is safe.

That would indicate that the tie does go to the runner...and frankly, when it's that close, 50% of the people on the field are going to be unhappy with the call, whether you're right or not.

I've said it before - if the Olympics can have a tie to two or three decimal places in the marathon, I think baseball can have a tie over 90 feet.

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13 minutes ago, noumpere said:

The rules have been changed relatively recently to remove some of the inconsistency.

  • A batter-runner is out when: (10) After a third strike or after he hits a fair ball, he or first base is tagged before he touches first base; (Yes, I know this technically isn't a force)
  •  A runner is out when: (6) He or the next base is tagged before he touches the next base, after he has been forced to advance by reason of the batter becoming a runner.

Since the base must be tagged BEFORE the runner touches the base, the tie goes to the runner.  This is purely a philosophical discussion, however, because an umpire should never see a tie.

OBR has corrected the inconsistency. But FED and NCAA still have parsing problems at a forced (not 1B) base. Tag of the runner must beat the runner touching the base but the runner must beat the tag of the base. But @beerguy55 did a great thesis in this thread: 

And CloseCall sports addresses it also:

https://www.closecallsports.com/2012/07/rules-605j-701-and-708e-tie-goes-to.html#more

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