Assiting the runner

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May 16, 2019
NYS HS softball game. Hitter hits walk off homerun over the fence. Rounds and touches all of the bases. Teammates greet her at plate and touch her before her foot actually does touch home plate. She was ruled out. Is this the correct call and can you reference USA softball rules.
Jun 22, 2008
Someone needs to contact your state high school athletic association and file a complaint. NO there is no rule that says you cannot touch a runner, and for that matter physical assistance (and just touching a runner is not assistance) of a runner is a live ball penalty and an over the fence home run is a dead ball.

I have no idea how this myth keeps going on, it is not a rule.
Jan 27, 2019
I hear players all the time say, "Don't touch her!" when a girl hits a home run. I'm like, high five that girl, she just hit the ball hard and gave you a boost! There is one rec league umpire in our area that insists on calling the runner out if she is touched before she crosses the plate. He is unsanctioned but very friendly and the girls love him. He is wrong but it does not hurt anything, better than teaching them to do something that is illegal I guess.
Jan 30, 2019
The myth might come from the NCAA. There is a rule, that stipulates on a dead-ball award to not touch the player, (except other runners and base coach) until they touch home plate. The other players can not even cross into fair territory. On the first offense it is a warning and then any subsequent the player touched it ruled out and awarded the last base touched. Below is the rule from the 2018-2019 NCAA rule book. Offensive team personnel shall neither interfere with a runner(s) who is legally running the bases on a dead-ball award until the runner(s) contacts home plate nor with the umpire’s ability to see that all bases are properly touched. Offensive team personnel, other than base coaches and base runner(s), shall not touch a runner(s) until the runner(s) contacts home plate. Offensive team personnel shall congregate only in foul territory around home plate to congratulate the runner(s).
EFFECT—For the first offense of Rule, the umpire shall issue a warning to the offending team. If a subsequent offense of Rule occurs that violates Rule, the player touched is immediately declared out and credited with the last base legally touched at the time of the interference. If a subsequent offense of Rule occurs that violates Rule, the batter-runner is declared out and credited with the last base legally touched at the time team personnel entered fair territory. In all cases, each other base runner must return to the last base legally touched at the time of the violation.

I don't have the other rule books handy, but I do not believe this rule is in ASA/USA or Fed, at least I haven't come across them yet.
Jun 22, 2008
NCAA has moved so far away from every other rule set it barely resembles softball anymore. The list of rules that are the same is far shorter than the list of different rules.

Not only that, it is by far the smallest sanctioning body of both players and officials. Far more girls play USA, NFHS, USSSA, TCS etc than will ever play NCAA.

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