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Failing to Touch Home Plate

If a runner, in scoring, fails to touch home plate and continues on his way to the bench (making no effort to return), he may be put out if the fielder touches home plate while holding the ball and appeals to the umpire for a decision.

However, this rule applies only where a runner is on his way to the bench, or has already entered the dugout.

It does not apply to the more common play where the runner misses home plate on the first try, then immediately makes an effort to touch the plate before being tagged. In that case, the runner must be tagged. In such cases, base path rules still apply to the runner (i.e., he may not run more than three feet from the "baseline," which is considered to be a line between the runner and home base).

On a play at the plate, should the runner miss home plate and the fielder miss the tag on the runner, it is preferable that the umpire make no signal on the play. As outlined in the previous paragraph, the runner must then be tagged, if he attempts to return to the plate. If he continues on his way to the bench, the defense may make an appeal.

A runner may no longer return to touch any missed base - home plate or otherwise - after having entered the dugout. However, in this case, if the defense does not appeal before another pitch or play, there is no reference made to missing the plate, and the run counts.

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