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Wrong Courtesy Runner ?


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14u USSSA softball tournament, first inning. 

2 outs. The first out was a ground out and the second out was a fielder’s choice force play at second base.  Next batter walks and steals second. The  new batter, who is the catcher, singles. R2 scores.   Offense sends out the last batted out (who grounded out for the first out) to run for the catcher.   Before another pitch was thrown the offense believes they sent the wrong player in as courtesy runner, and called her back in,  this time sending out the player who made the most recent out (the girl who made the second out ... force out...at second base.)

After the second courtesy runner substitution, pitcher makes one pitch. 

At this time, the defense asserts that the courtesy runner should have been the first one (last batted out) and not the immediate correction to the last out.

Umpires are stumped how to handle.  After 5 minutes of discussion and game clock stoppage they seek the tourney UIC who rules that the initial courtesy runner (last batted out) should have been the correct one, and even though another pitch was thrown, R1 was deemed the incorrect replacement and was called out for the third out as an illegal substitution.

Correct decisions ?

 

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I’ll leave it to people who are softball officials for official rule, but this sounds ridiculous to me.  Courtesy runners aren’t official substitutions (at least in baseball) and are simply a means of speeding up pace of play.  
 

And usually the rule is someone off your bench or last out who is furthest from that spot in the order

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Was your tournament fast pitch? If so, then I think the following rule is the applicable one. USSSA Fastpitch rule 8-3-B tells us…

(Non-ELITE SELECT divisions): if, and only if, no eligible substitute is available, then, and only then, the Last Completed at Bat (LCAB) may serve as a courtesy runner, subject to all other applicable restrictions (cannot run for both positions in the same inning, etc).

PENALTY: If an ineligible or incorrect courtesy runner is utilized and is discovered while still on base, the courtesy runner shall be called out and a team warning issued. On the second offense, the head coach is ejected for the remainder of the game only.

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11 hours ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

14u USSSA softball tournament, first inning. 

2 outs. The first out was a ground out and the second out was a fielder’s choice force play at second base.  Next batter walks and steals second. The  new batter, who is the catcher, singles. R2 scores. 

 

 

I'm confused by this.  I read it as (with the batting order A, B, C, ...):

A-- Grounds Out

B--- Gets on base.  Now R1, 1 out.  (OP didn't specify this, but I don't see how we have a FC on the next hitter)

C-- Fielders Choice, forcing B.  Now R1, 2 outs

D-- Walks,  Now R1, R2, 2 outs.  Steal!?  How?

E-- (Catcher) Singles (OP has R2 scoring , but what about R1?)

And, it seems to matter.  In the above, the correct CR could be D (if D has scored), C (if D hasn't scored or if the tournament has some special rules on the CR being someone who made an out), or B (if the tournament has some rule on the CR being a "batted out.")

I will note that too often the CR gets shortened to "last batted out" when that usually IS NOT what is meant -- it's usually the closest preceding batter not currently on base.

Finally, the umpires should (at least in baseball) check the CR and be sure it's the right one and not allow this crapstorm to happen in the first place.

 

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It is no small irony to me that a rule designed to "speed up play" led to delays to the point the time-clock was turned off and the tournament director was hunted down.

Holy crap, coaches - is a 60' basepath REALLY gonna create that much of a difference between CRs?

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2 hours ago, HokieUmp said:

 

Holy crap, coaches - is a 60' basepath REALLY gonna create that much of a difference between CRs?

You'd be surprised...especially since there's no leadoff and you can't leave till the ball leaves the pitcher's hand the speed of the CR is the difference between a SB and not even trying.

5 hours ago, SH0102 said:

I’ll leave it to people who are softball officials for official rule, but this sounds ridiculous to me.  Courtesy runners aren’t official substitutions (at least in baseball) and are simply a means of speeding up pace of play

They are, and if done right it's really efficient...but some coaches will try to game it by getting in a slightly faster runner who's one or two off the proper player in the line up and hope no one notices.   As a coach I typically didn't care unless it was really blatant.

 

15 hours ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

Offense sends out the last batted out (who grounded out for the first out) to run for the catcher.   Before another pitch was thrown the offense believes they sent the wrong player in as courtesy runner, and called her back in,  this time sending out the player who made the most recent out (the girl who made the second out ... force out...at second base.)

The CR should have been the player who scored on F2's hit...SHE is the player in the lineup furthest from F2 who is not already on base.  "Last out" is a misnomer and is often the easiest way to explain it, is often what it ends up being, but it's not the right method.      It typically doesn't matter if you're subbing when there's two out...you're not going to come around to that player in the lineup when she's still on base, but there are scenarios where this can happen if you do this wrong when putting in a CR with no out.

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Out!? Dang. How about we swap them when discovered. Softball is brutal sometimes - out for leaving early (different measurement point than LL, I know), bunt strike without intent.

@Senor Azul is there anything for baseball (I looked in LL and don't see anything about using wrong player to courtesy run).

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28 minutes ago, Velho said:

bunt strike without intent.

I'd like to know what rule set says this...I've heard speak of this legendary creature, but I've never run across it.    I've coached softball in at least six different rule sets in two different countries, including international rules, and I've only seen one umpire ever call this - and he was overruled on protest.

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44 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

I'd like to know what rule set says this..

Whew, I was able to find it somewhere (since I was spouting what I'd been told but not read it first hand). I didn't look for other rulesets. https://usssa.com/docs/2020/FPRB_Online_revised_011620.pdf

USSSA Rule 3. Definitions:

"BUNT, ATTEMPTED. An attempted bunt (“offer”) is any movement of the bat toward the ball when the ball is over or near the plate area. Holding the bat in the strike zone is considered an attempt to bunt. In order to take a pitch, the bat must be pulled back away from the ball. "

(emphasis mine)

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1 minute ago, Velho said:

Whew, I was able to find it somewhere (since I was spouting what I'd been told but not read it first hand). I didn't look for other rulesets. https://usssa.com/docs/2020/FPRB_Online_revised_011620.pdf

USSSA Rule 3. Definitions:

"BUNT, ATTEMPTED. An attempted bunt (“offer”) is any movement of the bat toward the ball when the ball is over or near the plate area. Holding the bat in the strike zone is considered an attempt to bunt. In order to take a pitch, the bat must be pulled back away from the ball. "

(emphasis mine)

Wow...just wow...I wonder if others have been updated recently.

It will certainly be easier to call...no judgment...theoretically, nothing to argue...no disagreement on an offer or attempt.

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Mr. Velho, you can’t find anything for Little League because courtesy runners are not allowed. Here are the only mentions in the LL rule book of the term courtesy runner. (Rule 7.14 deals with special pinch-runners.)

2019 LL rule

3.04 - A player whose name is on the team’s batting order may not become a substitute runner for another member of the team. “Courtesy runner” not permitted. (See Rule 7.14)

INSTRUCTOR'S COMMENTS:

➔ This rule is intended to eliminate the practice of using so-called courtesy runners. No player in the game shall be permitted to act as a courtesy runner for a teammate. No player who has been in the game and has been taken out for a substitute shall return as a courtesy runner. Any player not in the lineup, if used as a runner, shall be considered as a special pinch runner. (See Rule 7.14) Otherwise, treat it as a substitution and the previous batter must stay on the bench until the sub plays six defensive outs and bats once.

4.15 - A game may be forfeited by the umpire-in-chief of the game in progress to the opposing team when a team –

(d) after warning by the umpire, willfully and persistently violates any rules of the game;

EXAMPLE: Encouraging base-runners to leave base early, violating substitution rule by using a courtesy runner, etc

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Mr. Velho, high school baseball has a courtesy runner rule by state association adoption. Yes, it is possible to get an out for an improper courtesy runner. Under Courtesy Runner rule 7 a player who violates the CR rule is considered to be an illegal substitute. And according to NFHS rule 3-1-1, for discovery of an illegal player on offense by an umpire or either team, that player shall be called out.

Also, NAIA collegiate baseball has a courtesy runner rule. Until 1950 the Major Leagues allowed courtesy runners. There is a long list of courtesy runners who appeared in a Major League game on the website retrosheet.org.

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3 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

By golly, you are right, Mr. elares. I just looked up LL rule changes for 2021 and they are now allowing local leagues to adopt their own courtesy runner rules. Thanks for pointing that out. I got lazy and figured 2019 was recent enough.

You may not have to learn it for long. My understanding this was simply a Covid concession for pace of play (we all see how that turned out 😶) since they weren't supposed to share equipment and will be rescinded as soon as next year. 

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3 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

Mr. Velho, high school baseball has a courtesy runner rule by state association adoption. Yes, it is possible to get an out for an improper courtesy runner. Under Courtesy Runner rule 7 a player who violates the CR rule is considered to be an illegal substitute. And according to NFHS rule 3-1-1, for discovery of an illegal player on offense by an umpire or either team, that player shall be called out.

Also, NAIA collegiate baseball has a courtesy runner rule. Until 1950 the Major Leagues allowed courtesy runners. There is a long list of courtesy runners who appeared in a Major League game on the website retrosheet.org.

Huh. Interesting. Thank you sir.

 

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On 6/28/2021 at 1:58 PM, Velho said:

Whew, I was able to find it somewhere (since I was spouting what I'd been told but not read it first hand). I didn't look for other rulesets. https://usssa.com/docs/2020/FPRB_Online_revised_011620.pdf

USSSA Rule 3. Definitions:

"BUNT, ATTEMPTED. An attempted bunt (“offer”) is any movement of the bat toward the ball when the ball is over or near the plate area. Holding the bat in the strike zone is considered an attempt to bunt. In order to take a pitch, the bat must be pulled back away from the ball. "

(emphasis mine)

The only code that gets it right, IMO.

There is no reason for the bat to be out there other than an attempt to strike the ball.

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Lots of pieces of information above, but I'm not sure we can tell since the OP is incomplete.  I think @noumpere has the best effort to reconstruct the missing info.  However, we do not know if the team had any eligible substitutes and that is critical.

First -- if the team had an eligible substitute (has not been in the game in any capacity other than a CR), that is who can be a courtesy runner.

Next -- If there is no eligible sub, then the selected section @Senor Azul cited above kicks in.  The LAST COMPLETED AT BAT may be used.  When determining LCAB, you skip anybody who is on base, the pitcher and the catcher, and ANYBODY who already was a CR for the other position (pitcher or catcher).  LCAB does not care what the outcome of the at-bat was (e.g., out), just that the at-bat was completed and the player is available.

image.thumb.png.1e895222c45541a6a4693fb8cec16e04.png

 

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- just get rid of courtesy runner rules.  They do not speed up the game and they only cause problems.  Except in Canada.  

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