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Should the run count?


Guest PhillyPete

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Guest PhillyPete

major Little League Controversy last night :) Would love some clarification - thanks in advance

Situation: 

* Bases Loaded / 2 Outs * 

Batter hits soft ground ball to third baseman to his glove hand side.  Instead of stepping on third base, he tags the runner en route to 3rd base for the third out.

In the interim, the runner from third base had gotten a great jump and touched home plate before the tag was applied to the runner attempting to advance from 2nd to 3rd.

Umpire calls runner out on the tag, but says the the run counts.  His explanation was that if the 3rd baseman had stepped on third base it would have been a force-out, and run would not have counted.  But, because he tagged him, the run counts?!?!?!

I went nuts and said it's still a "forced-tag" and the run should definitely be taken off the board.  I lost the argument but we won the game.

What is the right call?  Thank you!

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8 minutes ago, Guest PhillyPete said:

Umpire calls runner out on the tag, but says the the run counts.  His explanation was that if the 3rd baseman had stepped on third base it would have been a force-out, and run would not have counted.  But, because he tagged him, the run counts?!?!?!

He's wrong, you're right. Like many fans, that umpire does not know the definition of a force play.

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39 minutes ago, Guest PhillyPete said:

major Little League Controversy last night :) Would love some clarification - thanks in advance

Situation: 

* Bases Loaded / 2 Outs * 

Batter hits soft ground ball to third baseman to his glove hand side.  Instead of stepping on third base, he tags the runner en route to 3rd base for the third out.

In the interim, the runner from third base had gotten a great jump and touched home plate before the tag was applied to the runner attempting to advance from 2nd to 3rd.

Umpire calls runner out on the tag, but says the the run counts.  His explanation was that if the 3rd baseman had stepped on third base it would have been a force-out, and run would not have counted.  But, because he tagged him, the run counts?!?!?!

I went nuts and said it's still a "forced-tag" and the run should definitely be taken off the board.  I lost the argument but we won the game.

What is the right call?  Thank you!

How nuts did you go? 

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Here are the Little League rules supporting you, PhillyPete:

LL rule 2.00 A FORCE PLAY is a play in which a runner legally loses the right to occupy a base by reason of the batter becoming a runner…

LL rule 7.08—Any runner is out when —

(e) failing to reach the next base before a fielder tags said runner or the base after that runner has been forced to advance by reason of the batter becoming a runner…

LL rule 4.09(a) EXCEPTIONS:  A run is not scored if the runner advances to home base during a play in which the third out is made…(2) by any runner being forced out;…

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He was tagged out before he reached the bag to which he was forced. Keep it simple.

If this happened at 1st on the batter/runner I bet he would have made the right call.  Overthinking and not understanding the rules makes for a bad combination. 

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First - instead of going nuts, protest or at least report.  Even if there isn't an avenue to correct the call and re-do the game, there should be an avenue to  have this heard, and have the umpire re-educated. I once had an umpire who made a mistake similar to this - the real problem wasn't the in game mistake he made...the problem was he was a trainer, and he was teaching his misinformation to a new generation of umpires.

As was stated previously - a force is defined by the situation, not by how the runner was put out.   If a forced runner is put out in ANY manner before he reaches the next base, with two out, the run can't score....that includes running off the baseline to avoid a tag, and an appeal to that same base if he missed it. 

In short, a runner who is tagged can still be a force out.  And touching a bag to get an out doesn't make it a force play.

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