The Ole Ball Game

Runners base award on fielder out of play

Anonymous asked: Game under NFHS rules, runners on first and second.

Pitcher throws a pitch in the dirt that bounces off the catcher and rolls towards the dugout.

Catcher runs after the ball, dives and grabs it while it was still in play. One of the catchers feet slides over the out of play line.

Ump rules that runners get 2 bases.

I always thought that a throw from the mound that goes out of play awards the runners one base.

Does it make a difference that a player carries it out of play?

Also, does it make a difference if the runners had already advanced one base prior to the player stepping out?

Rick answered: Thank you for your question.

Rule 7.05 Runner...Each runner including the batter-runner may, without liability to be put out, advance...

(h) one base, if a ball, pitched to the batter, or thrown by the pitcher from his position on the pitcher's plate to a base to catch a runner, goes into a stand or bench, or over or through a field fence or backstop. The ball is dead:

Approved ruling: When a wild pitch or passed ball goes through or by the catcher, or deflects off the catcher and goes directly into the dugout, stands, above the break, or any area where the ball is dead, the awarding of bases shall be one base. One base shall be awarded if the pitcher while in contact with the rubber, throws to a base, and the throw goes directly into the stands or into any area where the ball is dead.

If however, the pitched or thrown ball goes through or by the catcher or through the fielder, and remains on the field, and is subsequently kicked or deflected into the dugout, stands or other area where the ball is dead, the awarding of bases shall be two bases from position of runners at time of the pitch or throw.

In this instance, the catcher would have been better off to let the ball roll out of play, instead of attempting to save it.

One of those cases where a player is hustling and working hard, and all his efforts end up making the situation worse, than better.

Personally, I still like the effort on the part of the catcher better than the knowledge on this one.

Yours in baseball,


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