Safety base

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Feb 20, 2021
10u and 12u rec and town travel - when is it required to use the safety base for offense and defense? I tell players to run through safety base and fielders to NOT use safety base, but now questioning this. Saw prior post here where DTS and catcher throws from foul territory to safety base and runner was required to run through main base. Want to make sure I understand and reaching players correctly. Have also played in games where opposing team first baseman caught a thrown ball on safety base for the out, and our baserunner player slowed down to avoid running into the player catching the ball at 1B. Umpire says not interference by fielder and baserunner should run through, but this would result in collisions.

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May 29, 2015
@cmcgowan001 , there is no simple answer. Each code uses a different standard. I thought I had done a summary before ... I'll have to check later though.

Is there a certain code you are asking about?
Oct 11, 2010
Chicago, IL
Blue knows a lot more then I do but the fielder is allowed to use the safety base in what you described and runner steps on white base, no collision.
Feb 20, 2021
Thank you. Our league rules don’t include anything on safety base or interference, but say anything not covered specifically follows NJ High School rules.

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May 29, 2015
Assuming New Jersey uses NFHS ... and assuming NJ adopted the double first-base (NFHS does not require it, but it is up to state adoption) ...

NFHS says: when a play is being made, the defense MUST use the white and the offense MUST use the colored side*. The other side "does not exist" for your side. That means a batter runner who only touches white when a play is being made has essentially missed first base and can be called out on a properly executed appeal. A fielder who runs over (from fair territory) and touches the colored portion has touched nothing.

*The EXCEPTIONS occur when:
  • The play is coming from the foul side (e.g., the uncaught third strike scenario you posted)
  • The throw pulls the defensive player into foul territory
In those cases, the defense may use the colored side and the runner should switch to the white, but is NOT REQUIRED to.

A collision with both on the colored side is obstruction.
A collision with both on white is interference on the batter runner.

When it does not matter (both sides are in play for both teams):
  • If there is no play (single with no play, walk, etc.)
  • On a pickoff play
  • When tagging up on a fly ball

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