on an overthrown ball at first base that stays in play how many bases can you advance in little league?
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Jason asked: I coach a 7-8 little league team and i know that if a ball is overthrown at first base and goes out of the field of play the runner is awarded 2 bases but what if the ball stays in play, how many bases can the runner advance? I thought they could advance as many as they wanted until the play had been called dead.
Rick answered: Jason, thank you for your question.
You are correct, as long as the ball is alive and in play, runners are able to advance at their own risk.
Should something occur during this process where the umpire calls time, the ball becomes dead and all action stops.
The rule in the Little League Rulebook which covers this situation is 5.02...After the umpire calls "play", the ball is alive and in play and remains alive and in play until, for legal cause, or at the umpire's call of "time" suspending play, the ball becomes dead.
While the ball is dead, no player may be put out, no bases may be run and no runs may be scored, except that runners may advance one or more bases as the result of acts which occured while the ball was alive ( such as, but not limited to an illegal pitch Junior/Senior/Big League - Balk, an overthrow, interference, or a home run or other fair hit out of the playing field.)
Possibly in your situation an umpire incorrectly called "time", which would stop all action. There would be no way to know how many bases runners may have been able to reach at that point, thus he made a ruling to move them some; but not quite possibly all of what they may have been able to reach.
There is also a possibility your local league has instituted a "local" rule, to help the game structure some and move it along. Seven and eight year old leagues can become a series of overthrows and runners circling the bases.
As far as the rule itself, as long as the ball remains in play, it remains live.
Good luck with your season. 7-8 is a great age to work with.
Yours in baseball,