May 22, 2017

Rule of the Week: Safe or Out?

Rule of the Week: Safe or Out?

Ouch! Runner Struck by Batted Ball While Standing on Base

You can trip up some smart baseball people with this basic rule about baserunning. Most people believe that if a runner is standing on a base that belongs to him, he is safe from being put out. Not so. A base is not a safe haven when touched by a batted ball.

What Baseball Insiders Know That You Don’t

There are 380 search results for “runner” on
Sign up for full access to instructional videos, case studies, expert analysis, and rules disputes.
Use coupon code SPRING2017.
Click here for a special $29.95 membership – 40% off our regular price!

When this play happens it is usually at third base. The runner has a short lead off the base when the batter hits a firm ground ball down the line. The runner turns and scurries back to the bag and has one foot on the bag when the fairly batted ball hits his leg. Out or safe? This is treated like any other situation where a runner is struck by a batted ball before passing a fielder who could have played the ball. The runner is ruled out, the ball is dead and the batter is awarded first base. As long as the third baseman was playing behind the runner, the runner is called out.

The exception to this is a runner being hit by an infield fly.

Rules 5.06(c)(6) and 6.01(a)(11)


Coaching Note

Instruct your players, when leading off third base to take a lead in foul territory and return to the bag in foul territory if a ball is hit in their direction. There is no penalty, besides pain, when hit by a batted ball in foul territory.

19. Batted Ball Striking the Runner




Don't strike out!

Become a part of the largest baseball rules community in the world!

Get free access to baseball forums, rules analysis and exclusive email content from current and former Major League Baseball players and umpires.