Look Back Rule—lead off
Play: Leading off or Look Back Rule: runner on 3rd, batter took ball 4, but went slowly to 1st, pitcher received ball and was in possession of ball while in the circle, the BR then touched 1st while rounding toward 2nd. She stopped once and immediately went back to 1st. Opposing coach yelled "leading off" and the ump called her out.
Even if the pitcher has the ball in the circle, the BR is allowed to round 1st, make one stop, and then must immediately continue to 2nd or go back to 1st.
The coach argued the BR must hit 1st before the ball is in the pitcher`s possession in the circle. If that is true, then everyone leads off because we all steal 2nd from a walk with a runner on 3rd, and usually the pitcher has the ball before the BR touches 1st. He also stated the BR is not allowed one stop, before immediately going to 2nd or returning to 1st.
Response: The umpire is not correct in his interpretation. This is grounds for a protest.
Rule: A batter who is walked or gets a hit is allowed to run to first base and continue past first base even if the pitcher has the ball in her possession in the 8 foot circle. 8-9t-Note Once she stops she must immediately (we say within a count of 2) advance to second or return to first. (Rule 8-9t effect 2 and Effect 8-9t Note) The rule says a player who runs to first base. In your play you said the runner went slowly to first base. If in fact she walked to first base she could not continue around the base. She would be out if she stepped off because the rule says a player who runs can continue past the base and stop one time at which point she must immediately decide to keep going to second or return to first. We say within 2 seconds.
1. Rule 3-6 Sec d (SP) and Rule 3-6 f (FP) indicates that a youth age player coaching in the 1st or 3rd base coach`s box must wear a helmet but then goes on to indicate that a youth age coach registered only as a coach does not require a helmet.
a. Can you please explain to me the difference?
b. How is our liability any less for a youth age person registered as a coach than for a youth age player in the same position?
c. All other parts of this rule indicate that youth age representatives of a team require a helmet but not a registered coach. Why this inconsistency and how should we be enforcing the rule for every day league situations?
a. Rule 6 Sec specifically is for players coaching. Our rule is consistent with other jurisdictions including ASA and ISF in that coaches (youth or adult) are not required to wear a helmet while coaching. In my view, Rule-makers do not require coaches (youth or adult) to wear a helmet because they feel if they are responsible enough to coach, they are responsible enough to get out of the way on hit and thrown balls.
b. Liability is not an issue in this situation because the rule does not require a helmet for the registered youth coach. I am not a lawyer but an umpire would not be held liable for an injury to a participant if no safety regulation were violated. Umpires enforce rule but they are not responsible for a rule that does not exist.
c. In your league play, the Softball Canada Rule Book says a registered youth coach does not require a helmet so why would you force him/her to wear one. If the league has a rule that requires it then the umpire must require the registered coach to comply with the local rule. If no rule is in place, the coach does not require one. It is not inconsistent. All youth players on offense on the field must wear a helmet.
2. Play: R1, 0 out. R1 takes off on the hit which is a long fly ball. R1 rounds 2nd base and misses the bag. The ball is caught. Must R1 touch 2nd base on the way back to 1st, even though she missed it in the first place?
Rule: Yes, R1 must touch second base on his/her way back to first base. FP Rule 8-1 Effect sec1-d Note FP or (SP Effect 1-c Note) says”Once a runner has passed a base even if he missed it, he is deemed to have reached that base. R1 is considered to have reached second base. Rule 8-4a says if a runner is returning to touch a base left too soon or a base missed he must do it in reverse order.
3. Play: R2 misses 3rd base on a deep line shot to right field. R2 realizes that she missed 3rd after she has crossed home plate.
a) Must she re-touch the plate in order to return to 3rd
b) or can she no longer return to 3rd now that she has crossed the plate?
a) Yes, she must touch home plate in order to return to third base. Rule 8-4 touching bases in legal order includes home plate and Rule 8-4 a (2 says the runner must touch in reverse order when returning to a missed base.
b) Yes, R2 may return to third base as long as another runner has not scored or she has not left the field of play. Rule 8-4 f
4. Play: R3, 1 out. Long fly ball hit to the outfield. R3 takes off on the hit, thinking there were two out. R3 misses the plate and the ball is caught. Everyone believes there are three out and players begin to leave the field. R3 realizes that there are two out and returns up the third baseline to 3rd base, but does not touch the plate on his way back to third base. Must R3 touch the plate on her way back to 3rd?
Rule: Yes R3 must touch the plate in returning to tag up. As in the previous cases R3 is deemed to have touched the plate even though R3 missed the plate. FP Rule 8-1 Effect sec-1-d Note. SP Rule 8-1 effect sec-1c Note Rule 8-4a says if a runner is returning to touch a missed base he must do so in reverse order.