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Dead Area Awards

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 runners

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 throw).

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 stands.

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 base.

Check Rule 7.05(g).






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