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Forced runner returning a base.

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by alexeth » Sun Oct 19, 2014 7:08 pm

High School Fall Ball, using NFHS rules.
Runners on first and third, no outs. Weak grounder to pitcher, who fields and throws to first. Runner from first is at 2nd and after the out starts walking back towards first (in a manner as if he thought it were 3rd out or a foul ball). Defense comes alive and starts running him down. After several throws the runner ends up on first. Runner at 3rd remained at 3rd.
Offensive parents wanted to strangle their son for not paying attention.
Defensive parents wanted the runner out for "stealing first" or going backwards having "established himself at 2nd". (& perhaps to strangle their defense for not being able to get a sleeping runner out).
Umpire left it as is, no double play, runners on corners & 1 out for the next batter.

Thoughts? It seems the defense actually benefited by backing the runner up a base over the normal result. With the force removed after batter/runner out and the ball still alive, this does not seem (to me) anything like a "stealing first", or running bases in reverse.
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by JimThompson » Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:56 am

I see nothing wrong with what happened. You can't fix stupid. Base runner in first should have stayed on second but didn't. Like you said, the defense benefited from his actiions.
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by VTHokieUmp » Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:16 pm

I agree with Jim. Once the batter is retired, R1 is no longer forced. The only prohibition regarding running the bases in reverse order is if it's done to confuse the defense or make a "travesty" of the game. Clearly neither was done here. The parents need to stick to parenting and let the umpire call the game. He clearly knows more than they do.
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by alexeth » Thu Nov 06, 2014 11:39 am

Thanks guys.
It is funny how the weirder the circumstance, the more vocefierous an ignorant person can be, invoking rarely-heard phrases in attempt to get their way, as if a-s-suming the umpire is as unfamiliar with the rules as they are. I was one too. I appreciate the umpires who quietly do it right and don't get into discussions about it. May leave me asking you guys for backup, but glad the game rolled on.
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