Running on basepath

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May 17, 2023
28
3
Hello,
I'd want to know more about the basepath.
I have many questions about it.

First the tag attempt
This is the definition:
"A runner's base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely."

But when does a tag attempt begin?

1. A fielder, with the ball, moves towards a runner, is this considered a tag attempt though he is still far from the runner?
2. Or must the fielder get close enough to the runner?

Second
Now when is a tag attempt considered finished?
If a runner avoid a tag attempt legally is the tag attempt considered finished?
I mean a fielder tries to tag the runner, fielder failed to tag him but he won’t give up tagging him and try again. Is this a new tag attempt?

I mean when can a runner create a new basepath? When can he change directions?

Third
If a runner is between the base, for example, between 1B and 2b, on the same tag attempt could he go forward and backward between the bases?
The important thing is not to go out three feet to the right or left?
I mean is avoiding a tag attempt backward on the basepath, when a runner is between the bases, legale?
This is a gif (First gif) to explain my question.
20230514_135555.gif

Fourth
How define the basepath in a skunk in outfield or in a broken mirror play?
The basepath is defined when a tag attempt begin so a fielder moves towards the runner, though he is still far from the runner, right?
But the basepath is dynamic?
As the runner runs towards, for example, 2B the basepath changes with him so can he not get back to his precedent spot in right field?
As he moves towards second, the baseline moves down with him, so once he got near second base, his baseline became the “standard” baseline everyone knows about, with 3 feet on either side.
20230514_135653.gif
Like in this video
minute 3.10
Or a basepath is a static concept? I mean the runner can get back to his precedent spot where he was when the tag attempt begin?
20230514_135456.gif

Once the runner goes toward 2B the runner can not get back to his precedent spot or can go in a direct line between the 1B and 2B and can not zygzagging.
He can goes directly only towards 1B or 2B.
But what if a runner goes toward 2B, starting from right field, with a fielder trying a tag, changes his mind and goes toward 1B, in this case does he violate the 3 feet rule?
The red arrow is the runner's direction. Blue is where the runner come.

Because in a standard baseline between the bases, during the same tag attempt, you can go backward and forward, you must only not deviate 3 feet to the right or left. Instead in a skunk in outfield situation a runner can go only towards a base? Or can he change the direction even during the same tag attempt?

Thanks you so much.
 

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Last edited:
May 27, 2022
412
63
One persons opinion (maybe more based on 'travesty of the game' than the actual letter of the law as you described it).
1st: When the defensive player with the ball is 'focused' on the runner, they are locked into their base path. Obviously, even if you are 'far' away, the runner can't just simply run away.

2nd: as long as you are focused on the runner, you can attempt as many tags as you want

3rd: You could argue that as soon as the defender with the ball looks away (ie towards home), they are no longer engaged with the runner and the runner can retreat wherever they want to. But, imo as long as they are engaged with the runner (even from a large distance), the runner is restricted to move directly to a base

4th; I would agree with both of your examples here
- As the runner runs towards, for example, 2B the basepath changes with him so can he not get back to his precedent spot in right field? Yes
- As he moves towards second, the baseline moves down with him, so once he got near second base, his baseline became the “standard” baseline everyone knows about, with 3 feet on either side. Yes

In the linked video, I thought the graphic explained it well. In the first example after the graphic, I thought the runner retreated to his original position instead of directly to the base (as was shown in the the graphic) and should have been out.
 
May 17, 2023
28
3
So in a normal rundown a runner can go backward and forward at any time during the same tag attempt, right?
20230514_135555.gif

Instead in a skunk in outfield or broken mirror situation a runner must choose: or go directly to 2B or retreat directly to 1B. Or can he change his direction at any time during the same tag attempt? The runner's direction is the red arrow.
20230514_135653.gif
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,724
113
Chicago
1st: When the defensive player with the ball is 'focused' on the runner, they are locked into their base path. Obviously, even if you are 'far' away, the runner can't just simply run away.

Strongly disagree with this. It says tag attempt, not attention of the fielder.

A tag attempt is the physical act of trying to touch the runner with the ball. Not looking at the runner. Not running at the runner. It's trying to actually tag the runner.
 
May 27, 2022
412
63
Strongly disagree with this. It says tag attempt, not attention of the fielder.

A tag attempt is the physical act of trying to touch the runner with the ball. Not looking at the runner. Not running at the runner. It's trying to actually tag the runner.

At face value, I agree, however:
2.3.2 Note: A runner establishes a Base Path when the runner is not being played upon.

So, the inverse would be that the base path is established (by position of the runner) when the runner is being 'played on'.

So, what happens when the runner stays 10+ feet away from the person with the ball and start running all over the ballpark? Can't make a tag from that distance.

Would it be legal if the ball is at second base, defender is walking towards the runner, the runner is between first and second, and the runner just starts running to the third base foul line?

If I'm the umpire, I call it out based on the Note in 2.3.2
 
Last edited:
May 27, 2022
412
63
So in a normal rundown a runner can go backward and forward at any time during the same tag attempt, right?
View attachment 27973

Instead in a skunk in outfield or broken mirror situation a runner must choose: or go directly to 2B or retreat directly to 1B. Or can he change his direction at any time during the same tag attempt? The runner's direction is the red arrow.
View attachment 27974

Yes, the runner can change their direction at any time, but if they do, it would have to be in the red or blue direction. The runner, cannot retreat in the orange directions.

1684754363645.png
 
May 17, 2023
28
3
Yes, the runner can change their direction at any time, but if they do, it would have to be in the red or blue direction. The runner, cannot retreat in the orange directions.

View attachment 27984
But if the runner changes direction, i.e. first red arrow and then he goes toward 1B, blue arrow, during a tag attempt, a fielder moving towards the runner, wouldn’t he violate the 3 feet rule?
 
May 27, 2022
412
63
But if the runner changes direction, i.e. first red arrow and then he goes toward 1B, blue arrow, during a tag attempt, a fielder moving towards the runner, wouldn’t he violate the 3 feet rule?

Again, IMO - no. For example, if you are in a rundown between bases (a pickle), you can change directions as many times as you want. 'Normally', you are simply doing back and forth on a straight line between bases. In this case, if the rundown starts well off the base line (which is different from base path), you are going back and forth - it just becomes a zig zag as each step of progress towards a base comes closer and closer to the base line.

In theory, the defender would know this and be prepared that as the runner changes direction, it will be in a direction directly in line with the 'other' base. (which may look like an angle) and have the other defender setup in that base path.

I thought the graphics in the video you posted did a pretty good job of showing this in a manner that I would agree with.
 
May 17, 2023
28
3
only now I realized that I posted in the wrong session, I apologize. Could an admin move my threads to the rules section? Thanks
 
May 17, 2023
28
3
I read this on a forum:


"Aaah, the "SKUNK in the outfield play"
it it is legal. It is weird. It is a polarizing play. Either you think it is fun and incentive or it "isn't real baseball". Nobody is ambivalent about it that's for sure.
Here is a link to a pretty good article about how it is run and how to defense it for coaches. The key for umpires is to watch where runner is when a play is made on him. He CANNOT move backwards from the fielder. He MUST move in a direct path toward first or second bases. Any zig-zagging is out of the base path.
"

What does he mean with "any zyg-zagging is out of the base path"?

Where can I find the article from that link?
 

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