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The Little League Rule on Contact in the Base Line

The Little League rule on contact in the baseline is different from the standard baseball rule at all levels of play. Little League adds clause 3) to 7.08(a): "Any runner is out when...the runner does not slide or attempt to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag."

Example: Runner tries to score from third on a wild pitch. Catcher retrieves the ball and runs back to plate to tag the runner, reaching the baseline before the runner. Runner fails to slide or dodge and the two collide in the baseline. The runner is out whether tagged or not and whether the catcher holds the ball or not

Note that the runner would not be out if he had touched home plate before the contact

This is not an interference play. The ball is alive after the contact. The runner may try to avoid the contact by running around the fielder, dodging the tag, etc. (This is his only option if he is too far from the base to slide). If he does, he is out only if tagged [7.08(c)] or if he runs more than 3 feet (about 1 1/2 steps) outside the baseline [7.08(a)(1)]

Example: Runner on first, ground ball to second. Second baseman tries to tag the runner going to second, who dodges. There is contact and the second baseman drops the ball. Runner is not out; ball is alive. There is no protection for a fielder who doesn't have the ball, or who is not "waiting" with the ball

Example: Catcher is standing in front of home plate waiting for the throw, but the runner runs into him before he catches the ball. Runner is not out. If the runner tags the plate, he scores. If the contact prevents him from touching the plate, and he is tagged out, the umpire should call obstruction on the catcher [2.00, "Obstruction"]





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