The rule regarding runners leaving the base early before the ball reaches the batter takes up more room in the book than any other rule – and some umps might go their whole career without having to enforce it. And it’s a little quirky. And it’s killing me that I can’t find one of my 5 little league rule books to quote right from the source but, in a nutshell, rule 7.13 says that once the pitcher is contact with the rubber in possession of the ball, AND the cathcer is in the catchers bok ready to recieve the pitch, the runner may not leave the base until the ball reaches the batter. So what happens if he does? In many cases, nothing!
I have always had a grasp on the basics (i.e if he leaves early on a steal and is safe, you send him back) but that’s about it. I am going to make it a point to get that rule down (as soon as I find my book!) and add it to the still-small-but-growing list of rules that I have down pat. Two interesting things that i DID learn though are these:
– If a runner leaves early and beats out an attempted fielders choice, no penalty is imposed. Thnt’s crazy..
Equally crazy: if a runner leaves early and then a fly ball is hit…and then he legally tags up and scores – you put him back at third
And then there’s a poof play that I have to read up on. Here’s a link to a site that tries to explain it but I really have to read the rule for myself to really have it sink in.
by Paul Simko