A question on an umpire exam for High School. If the batter/runner (B/R) bunts the ball to the 1st Baseman(1SB) and the 1st Baseman runs to tag the B/R, but the Runner on 2nd base takes off for 3rd base so 1SB turns to throw to third, where the runner is called safe. The B/R retreated towards home plate, without stepping on it, and then ran to 1st Base and was safe, as well.
Is the Batter/Runner out for moving back towards home to avoid the tag?
I cannot guarantee this answer applies to High School, but in REAL baseball the batter/runner is not out for retreating toward home without reaching home. There is a “Sandlot Myth” that a runner on a force play cannot retreat because he is “forced to advance” but that language in the rule book is only meant to set up the force play at the base ahead of the runner and is not intended to prohibit a runner retreating. We see this all the time when R1 backs up to avoid a tag by the 2B in order to make the DP harder to make. Nothing illegal there and the Batter/Runner between home and 1B is no different. If the Batter/Runner retreats beyond home plate, he is out for abandoning the basepaths.
The batter/runner is entitled to the entire base path and is permitted to retreat towards home, but not touch or go beyond (backwards). Retreating beyond home would be considered running the bases backwards making a travesty of the game, and the batter would be called out. R1 is safe at first on this scenario.