Dropped 3rd: Safety Base

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Nov 18, 2015
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The rules specifically say that on a ball in foul territory on dropped third, the 1B can use the safety base. This is correct teaching to have the 1B go to the foul territory side to give the catcher a lane to throw. The batter-runner has to adjust. This is not on the defense at all.

On a D3K (as I can’t easily think of another situation where a throw would be coming from foul territory), does the running lane rules still apply? If 1B correctly sets up in foul territory, and runner heads to the white base, what happens if throw draws 1B into path of runner (who is in fair territory)?


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Mar 1, 2013
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The running lane applies to the batter runner which is what you have in a d3k situation. The safety base rules say offense uses contrasting colored portion and the defense uses the white portion. There is no exception made for the d3k situation.

And the rules do say that if an errant throw pulls the defense into foul territory then both offense and defense may use either side (paraphrasing - the “must” is removed). What the rules don’t say is that the defense should set up on foul territory and everything switches. The running lane applies. If the batter runner is running in the lane and the defense chooses to set up in foul territory and the throw hits the runner in the lane, I’ve got nothing there and an out called there for interference wouldn’t hold up on protest.

I will say that this is high school we are discussing and I don’t call NFHS so I’ll defer to the umpires that call that on if there is “switching” language. USA and USSSA don’t have it, though.
 
Jun 22, 2008
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If a safety base is being used the running lane essentially reverses when throw is coming from foul territory. If runner is in fair territory and throw draws fielder into the batter runner it is not interference.
 
Mar 1, 2013
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To the point of the throw coming from foul territory, USA does say that the br can run in fair territory and not be guilty of accidental interference so I understand where coachjd is coming from.
 
May 29, 2015
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If a safety base is being used the running lane essentially reverses when throw is coming from foul territory. If runner is in fair territory and throw draws fielder into the batter runner it is not interference.

While that makes sense, I have never seen or heard that.

Unless I missed something, NFHS explicitly defines the lane as being in foul territory. NCAA defines it as explicitly in foul territory. USA does have the exception @eddieq mentions, but they do not call it an extended runner's lane, it is just an undefined exception allowing the runner to run on the fair side.

Major League Baseball, just this year, extended it into fair territory also. (They do not use a double first base.)
 
May 29, 2015
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Now a question about the safety base? I realize the game you played was on a field that had a safety base, but NFHS only uses it by state adoption. Does your state use the safety base adoption? Our state does not and if games are played on multi use fields the colored base is ignored.

Illinois requires the double first base (softball only). If a field does not have it, we are instructed to not allow the game to be played.
 
Jun 22, 2008
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While that makes sense, I have never seen or heard that.

Unless I missed something, NFHS explicitly defines the lane as being in foul territory. NCAA defines it as explicitly in foul territory. USA does have the exception @eddieq mentions, but they do not call it an extended runner's lane, it is just an undefined exception allowing the runner to run on the fair side.

Major League Baseball, just this year, extended it into fair territory also. (They do not use a double first base.)
If the rule allows them to run in fair territory if the throw is coming from foul and they are not guilty of interference if something happens is that not essentially a flipping of the running lane regardless of if they call it that or not? And I didn't say the rule says it flips, I said essentially reverses. My words not the rule books.
 
May 29, 2015
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If the rule allows them to run in fair territory if the throw is coming from foul and they are not guilty of interference if something happens is that not essentially a flipping of the running lane regardless of if they call it that or not? And I didn't say the rule says it flips, I said essentially reverses. My words not the rule books.

Thank you for the clarification, my apologies . . . I was thinking there was confusion with what MLB did this year in actually widening the lane into fair territory (which, I agree makes sense).

I meant to point out that it was only USA that seems to do this. (I didn't look at USSSA, but I know you are more familiar with them).
 
Mar 1, 2013
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I've been rereading this thread including my own statements. Parsing it all, I think we all agree here, it's just semantics. Of course when dealing with multiple rule sets and often ambiguous language, you get these long discussions about a seemingly simple point of rules or play execution.

BUT

As I've said before, I love these kinds of discussions. It helps me grow as an umpire and it provides insight from multiple angles and interpretations for coaches and players.
 
May 29, 2015
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Largely, I agree. The only reason I would say it isn't semantics is that there is no line or boundary on the fair side (as there is on the foul side).
 

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