Rule 8 – Section 1 – WHEN BATTER BECOMES A RUNNER
8-1-1 A batter becomes a runner with the right to attempt to score by advancing to first, second, third and home bases in the listed order when:
- he hits a fair ball (2-5-1);
- He becomes a batter-runner when entitled to run.
- he is charged with a third strike;
- If third strike is caught, he is out an instant after he becomes a runner.
- an intentional base on balls is awarded, or a fourth ball is called by the umpire;
- a pitched ball hits his person or clothing, provided he does not strike at the ball; or
- If he permits the pitched ball to touch him (7-3-4), or if the umpire calls the pitched ball a strike, the hitting of the batter is disregarded except that the ball is dead. It is a strike or ball depending on location of the pitch.
- If a batter’s loose garment, such as a shirt that is not worn properly, is touched by a pitched ball, the batter is not entitled to first base.
- the catcher or any other defensive player obstructs him. The coach or captain of the team at bat, after being informed by the umpire-in-chief of the obstruction, shall indicate whether or not he elects to decline the obstruction penalty and accept the resulting play. Such election shall be made before the next pitch (legal or illegal), before the award of an intentional base on balls, or before the infielders leave the diamond. Obstruction of the batter is ignored if the batter-runner reaches first and all other runners advance at least one base.
- Any runner attempting to advance (i.e., steal or squeeze) on a catcher’s obstruction of the batter shall be awarded the base he is attempting. If a runner is not attempting to advance on the catcher’s obstruction, he shall not be entitled to the next base, if not forced to advance because of the batter being awarded first base. If obstruction is enforced, all other runners on the play will return to base occupied at time of the pitch. The batter is awarded first base, if he did not reach base.
- If obstruction is not enforced, all other runners advance at their own risk.
8-1-2 A batter-runner is awarded first base if:
- he is a runner because of 8-1-1c, d, e; or
- his fair ball, other than an infield fly, becomes dead (5-1-1f-1, 2) and provided a preceding runner or retired runner does not interfere in such a way as to prevent a potential double play (8-4-1h).
NOTE: Unless awarded first base as above, a batter-runner is entitled to first base only if he reaches it before being tagged out or thrown out or called out for hitting an infield fly (8-4-1).