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Did Profar Commit a Slide Rule Violation by Not Sliding?


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Did San Diego's Jurickson Profar violate baseball's bona fide slide rule by jogging upright into second base instead of sliding—Phillies infielder Bryson Stott threw wide to first base thus preventing a double play during Philadelphia's NLCS against the Padres, but 2B Umpire Quinn Wolcott no-called the potential violation and Phillies manager Rob Thomson opted not to challenge the no-call, despite slide rule violations being eligible for Replay Review.

In the 8th inning of NLCS Game 2, Padres baserunner R1 Profar strolled in front of Stott on a ground ball double play attempt as the Phillies shortstop threw widely to first base. We review whether Profar violated the bona fide slide rule by remaining bipedal throughout the sequence.

Official Baseball Rule 6.01(j) pertains to slide rule violations and outlines four basic criteria for a runner to satisfy to meet the bona fide slide standards:
1) Begin their slide (by making contact with the ground) before reaching the base;
2) Be able and attempt to reach the base with their hand or foot;
3) Be able and attempt to remain on the base with their hand or foot;
4) Slide within reach of the base without changing direction to initiate contact with a fielder.

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However, Profar didn't slide so he obviously didn't meet the bona fide slide criteria. The question is whether this is an automatic rules violation for failing to slide and whether it is not interference.

The answer is...for professional baseball, OBR does not require a slide into bases on force plays. The bona fide slide criteria exist for cases in which the runner chooses to slide, but there is no mandatory slide rule. Accordingly, Profar appears to run straight into second base from his base path on the grass (which he is allowed to choose, as all runners are); thus, unless the base path is illegal (which it is not), there is no out on this play, and because the base path rule allows for a runner to choose their own path, this play is legal under OBR.

In NFHS (high school) and NCAA (college), however, the force play slide rule (FPSR) would deem Profar's actions illegal; NCAA requires runners to slide on all force plays (Profar is out for not sliding between the bases on a force play) and in NFHS, although a slide is not required, the FPSR would put Profar out for failing to slide or run between the two bases—Profar's base path may be rules-legal, but when it comes to approaching a base on a force play, the FPSR in NFHS, Profar fails to remain in a straight/direct line between the bases as the middle infielder tags the base and then attempts to throw onto the following base. So under NCAA and NFHS, this is interference due to a FPSR violation.

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1 hour ago, Thunderheads said:

@johnnyg08 ... we had a major discussion about this last spring, yes? ;) 

NFHS should just adopt the NCAA wording spelled out in Lindsay's video (in the vicinity of the base) ... would make life SO much easier! :nod: 

Exactly my thought after watching the video.

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