One of the most misunderstood rules is awarding bases
after the ball has gone into a dead area. When awarding bases to runners, there
are three principals upon which to base the ruling:
1. When the pitcher
is standing on the pitching rubber and throws the ball into a dead ball area,
award each runner one base
Regarding the pitcher, remember: "One from
the rubber, two from the field."
2. When a fielder throws a ball into a
dead area, award each runner two bases. When such a wild throw is the first
play by an infielder, the umpire, in awarding such bases, shall be governed by
the position of the runners at the time the ball was pitched
3. If there
is an intervening play before the first throw (a first play) such as a tag
play, then award two bases from the time of the throw and the location of the
There is an exception to No. 3. If all runners, including the
batter-runner, have reached their next base before the fielder throws the ball,
then it is again two bases from the time of the throw. Remember, there are no
cases when the award is given at the time the ball goes into a dead area. It is
either based on the time of the pitch or the ball release (time of
Here are two examples:
1. There are no runners on base.
The batter hits a single to right field and makes the turn toward second base
and is caught in a rundown. As the runner is trying to return to first, the
second baseman throws the ball over the first baseman's head and into the
Ruling: Award the runner third base.
2. A runner is on
first base and there is one out. The batter hits a line drive to the third
baseman that is caught by him. The third baseman tries to double the runner
from first base who left that base immediately after the ball was hit. The
throw goes into the dugout.
Ruling: The throw was the second play and
the runner is awarded two bases from the base he possessed - third
Check Rule 7.05(g).