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Baseline at Home Plate

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In FED baseball rules,  R3a break for home plate on a hit to F6.  The catcher receives the ball slightly before the runner gets home.  The runner then dives around the catcher to avoid the tag and misses home plate as well.  Then he makes several "jukes" and runs around the palte to try to find a way to get a hand on home before he is tagged.  How far out of the baseline can the runner go to avoid a tag?  I have seen many umpires allow a "goose chase" to ensue around home plate as the runner tries to avoid the tag.  Does the 3' base path not apply at home?  

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Here is the rule:

ART. 2 . . . Any runner is out when he:

a. runs more than three feet away from a direct line between bases to avoid being tagged or to hinder a fielder while the runner is advancing or ­returning to a base;

1. This is not an infraction if a fielder attempting to field a batted ball is in the runner's proper path and if the runner runs behind the fielder to avoid interfering with him.

2. When a play is being made on a runner or batter-runner, he establishes his baseline as directly between his position and the base toward which he is moving.

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Three feet is further than you think.  Plus, it's based on the runner's path to the plate.  So, if the plate is between the catcher and the runner, with the catcher then reaching across the plate to try to tag the runner, he could be more than three feet from the catcher,  but not from the plate nor the base path.

 

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1 hour ago, catsbackr said:

3 feet is a lot shorter than you think.  3 feet is basically from the center of your chest to your outstretched fingers.  Not very far at all.

I agree catsbackr, and that is what brought up this question to start with.  From my experience, it seems that umpires in general give more leniency around HP then in a general baseline. 

Thanks for the input.  

 

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I cannot find any discussion on this question for FED or NCAA but there is help for OBR which I think would also apply to FED. The following interpretation can also be found in the MLBUM and PBUC manuals.

From the 2018 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 5.44, p. 60):  “…It does not apply to the ordinary play where the runner misses the plate and then immediately makes an effort to touch the plate before being tagged. In such cases, base path rules still apply to the runner (i.e., he may not run more than three feet from the base path between him and home plate).”

 

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Umpires give leniency around any base, not just the plate. Most umpires think of this "base path" rule as only between bases, not the immediate area around a base.

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5 hours ago, catsbackr said:

3 feet is a lot shorter than you think.  3 feet is basically from the center of your chest to your outstretched fingers.  Not very far at all.

This is true side to side when measuring wing span (for a person who is six feet tall).   Measuring outwards in front of you, it's several inches beyond your outstretched fingers, unless you're almost seven feet tall.  It is relatively easy to avoid the outstretched hand of a player trying to tag you and still be within three feet of your base path.

Anyone who has a three foot putt for par (or birdie) knows how long three feet really is.  :agasp_:

2 hours ago, yawetag said:

Umpires give leniency around any base, not just the plate. Most umpires think of this "base path" rule as only between bases, not the immediate area around a base.

Perhaps - I always viewed it a little differently.  If you're running in circles around the base, no matter how far you are from the fielder chasing you, if you stay within three feet of the base you've never gone three feet from your base path.

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