The Ole Ball Game

tagging without ball in glove

by James

Tag With Ball In Hand

Tag With Ball In Hand

Tag With Ball In Hand Tag With Ball In Glove Force With Ball In Glove

James asked: A runner is caught in a rundown, the player with the ball in his throwing hand is chasing the runner.

The runner then tries avoiding the tag by going around the players glove hand side with the ball in his throwing hand.

The runner is tagged with the glove without the ball in the glove but in control of the ball with his throwing hand.

My local sports station says that the runner is out.

Is he safe or out because the ball was not in the glove?

Rick answered: James, thank you for your question.

The runner would be safe. That tag must be made either with the ball in the fielders bare hand, or the ball in his glove. The ball must be a part of the tag.

A Tag: A tag is the action of a fielder in touching a base with his body while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove; or touching a runner with the ball, or with his hand or glove holding the ball, while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove.

It is not a tag, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his touching a base or touching a runner, the fielder drops the ball.

In establishing the validity of the tag, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball.

If the fielder has made a tag and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the tag, the tag shall be adjudged to have been made.

As you look at the images above, the first is a tag where the infielder is tagging the runner with the ball in his bare hand.

The second image is a tag of the runner with the ball in the fielders glove.

The third is a force out at a base, in this case first base, where the ball is in the fielder's glove, and his foot is on the base.

That force can be completed by touching the base with his glove, with the ball in it, or his bare hand with the ball in it, or his body, as long as he has control of the ball in his hand or glove. Control of the ball is the key.

Yours in baseball,


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Aug 31, 2018
Again NEW
by: Anonymous

Just saw it again. Brewers / Nationals.
Catcher Kratz tags Soto with empty glove at home plate. Ball in throwing hand. Ump calls Soto out.

May 31, 2018
Nationals - Braves NEW
by: Anonymous

Just saw the Nationals catcher tag runner without the ball in his glove. Runner was ruled out. Thought that was weird, so started googling. Everything I see contradicts what just happened in the game.

Oct 17, 2017
this one is strange
by: Anonymous

Base on this the umpire would likely rule out as we wouldn't be able to tell if he or she had tag runner with ball.

I had to make call in a touarment with usa softball where it was a nice play and effort by the first base lady, but she tag with glove not ball therefore i ruled the runner "safe no tag" in sense with the ball. the coach came out to try to argue but my partner told him why i called it that way. which i guess he accepted and understood what my parnter was saying. I also had to make this call in 10-11 year old catcher tags runner but not with ball i told him he didn't tag runner with ball he like "oh yea" lol> Now if the umpire can tell the runner wasn't tag with ball they should be ruling safe not an out call in this sernio is very rare to even happen

Mar 20, 2017
Is this a tag out?
by: Anonymous

What if the fielder is holding the ball in their right hand. Glove on their left hand. They put their right hand (with ball) and left hand (with glove) together but do not put the ball inside the glove. They then tag a runner with the glove side of this combination of hand/ball/glove together. They maintain control of the ball the entire time.

Out or safe?

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