Base Umpiring Advanced Techniques
What are the main differences between umpiring baseball and softball?
|How are runners affected by the pitcher's circle?||- A runner must immediately advance or retreat to a base when the pitcher has the ball within the circle. Failure to do so is an out on that runner unless a play is attempted on the runner.||- There is no such circle or rule.|
|When is a runner allowed to leave a base?||
- At Majors level, a runner may leave a base once the ball is released by the pitcher.
- At the Minors level, a runner may leave a base once the ball reaches the batter.
|- At the Majors and Minors level, a runner may leave a base once the ball reaches the batter.|
|What is the penalty for these runner violations?||- In the case of a runner leaving early and a circle violation, the runner is out.||- In the case of a runner leaving early, the runner is not called out. In most situations, the runner returns to his base.|
|How do I handle these runner violations?|| - Once you spot either of the two violations (circle and leaving early), immediately call "Time! Runner's out! She left early!"
- All play stops as a result of your Time call.
- You instruct all other runners to return to the last base touched prior to when you called time.
| - Once you spot the runner leaving early, toss a red flag or some other marker a few feet from where you're standing to signal the violation.
- The runner is allowed to proceed and play continues.
- Once play (all runners) stop, call "Time – Runner Left Early!" and point to the runner who left early.
- You instruct that runner to return to his original base unless he was put out. In that case, the out stands.
- A runner leaving early affects all other runners, who must also return to their original base.
TIP: The ruling for returning runners to bases gets messy when the batter gets a hit or another runner is put out during the play. So don't be too trigger-happy calling a runner for leaving early unless it is an obvious violation and truly made a difference in the outcome of the play.