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Base Runner


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The answer to this one depends on the rule set. There are variations to this rule for different sanctioning bodies. Heck, it could even ruled differently depending on if it's slow pitch or fastpitch!

Generally, in softball a runner hit by a fair batted ball while in contact with a base, who did not interfere intentionally, is not out. Since the field is smaller and runners can't lead off, softball recognizes a that a runner will be restricted to that spot with less chance to avoid the ball. So they cut the runners some slack if they're hit while touching a base.

Where some sanctioning bodies differ is what happens after the runner is hit. Some say that the ball is immediately dead, some say that it remains live, and some call it live or dead based on the position of the closest fielder. You need to know which rules you're playing under to know which one applies.

When a runner is hit by a fair batted ball while off the base, if the ball has passed a fielder, then the ball remains live and the runner is not out. If the ball hasn't passed a fielder, then the ball is dead and the runner is out.

Note that I said the runner had to be hit by a FAIR batted ball. If it hit them in foul territory, then it's just a foul ball.

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1 hour ago, BretMan said:

Note that I said the runner had to be hit by a FAIR batted ball. If it hit them in foul territory, then it's just a foul ball.

(serious question) Does softball have the same "fair ball in fair territory" rule as baseball, or is it just "fair ball?"

 

Play: Infield back.  Batted ball hits third base bag and ricochets to hit R3 who is standing in (a) fair territory) or (b) foul territory.  Baseball ruling: (a) R3 is out. (b) Fair ball, play on.  Is softball the same?

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I’ll answer for USA softball and NFHS, since those are the two sanctions I currently work. For others...you’re on your own!

If a fair batted ball hits a runner who is in foul ground, the runner is not out, unless the contact prevented a fielder from making a play on the ball. 

 

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