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Ball ON glove, not IN the glove still an out?

Aug 30, 2015
274
18
Imagine a fielder applying a two- handed tag to a sliding runner but rather than the ball being in the glove, she's got it trapped/ pinned against the glove using her throwing hand.

The runner is touched with the glove but not the ball.

Runner out or safe?
 
Aug 1, 2019
164
28
South Carolina
Technically, a legal tag requires the fielder to touch the runner with the ball when it is in her hand, or when the ball is in the glove and the fielder touches the runner with that glove. It is accepted for the fielder to touch the runner with the hand that is holding the ball as well (e.g., she's holding the ball with her bare hand and she touches the runner with the back of that hand).

So what you're describing is not a legal tag, by that definition.
 
Jul 22, 2015
298
43
No different than controlling the ball with the bare in inside the glove. If the glove and ball are in contact with each other I've got an out.
 
Aug 1, 2019
164
28
South Carolina
No different than controlling the ball with the bare in inside the glove. If the glove and ball are in contact with each other I've got an out.
Yes it is different by the language in the rule. In that case, the ball is inside the glove. The rule doesn’t require the glove hand to hold the ball while the ball is in the glove. It can be held by the bare hand. As long and the ball is INSIDE the glove, that meets the requirement.

You tag a runner with an empty glove, that’s not a legal tag. Just because the ball is touching the back side of the glove doesn’t make that a glove tag with the ball inside of it.


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May 29, 2015
1,588
113
My inclination was to say the key factors are possession and control ... but before putting my foot in my mouth I decided to double check. After reading USA, USSSA, NFHS, and NCAA ...

All rule sets state the ball must be in the hand making contact or in the glove making contact.

If we are talking little kids, I’m probably going to give that a “liberal interpretation”. Once we get competitive though ... In is in, out is out.
 
Aug 1, 2019
164
28
South Carolina
The other factor to consider is that you actually have to see that the ball was not in the glove during the tag. Sometimes these tag plays happen in a dust storm, especially on the sliding play at home plate.

I can envision where a catcher may want to protect the ball from being kicked out of the mitt on the tag, so she holds the ball outside the mitt as the runner slides in, and then she holds the ball up after the tag to show the umpire she retained possession and control on the tag. If the umpire cannot see that the ball was never in the mitt during the tag, they’re going to give the catcher the benefit of the doubt.

But if it was crystal clear the fielder touched the runner only with an empty glove/mitt, that does not constitute a legal tag.


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Jul 22, 2015
298
43
I would have to be REALLY sure the ball was at no time in the glove to call safe. If it was under full control at all times I'd have a hard time calling that one safe.
 
Aug 1, 2019
164
28
South Carolina
I would have to be REALLY sure the ball was at no time in the glove to call safe. If it was under full control at all times I'd have a hard time calling that one safe.
I'm merely pointing out how the rules define what constitutes a Tag. Chances are you'd get away with it if you called a runner out on an empty-glove tag with the ball pinned against it. Just be aware that you may be challenged by a coach who knows the rule, and you don't want to tell the coach that the ball doesn't have to be inside the glove for the tag to be legal.
 

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