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Softball/decoying runner


I was running to home and the catcher put his glove down to the ground as if to catch the ball.  The ball was not thrown.  I did not slide and tagged home.  Was the catch guilty of "decoying" the runner and if so what punishment for the catcher? I play slow pitch softball.

Hi George,

What you are describing is called a "fake tag".

A fake tag occurs when the fielder w/out the ball attempts to deceive the runner.

If the runner is impeded "obstruction" can be called and those penalties would apply.  If the runner is not impeded we don't call obstruction but in both cases we warn the player and continued fake tags would lead to ejections.

If a runner slides on a fake tag and is injured the ejection is automatic.

A fake tag in my opinion is "chickensh.t" and I don't tolerate it.



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Dr. Mark R. Ambrose


I can answer all questions about book rules and "case book" rules governing the playing of ASA softball. Have a REAL situation that happened and are not sure the proper rule was applied, ask me.


I am a registered ASA umpire, a MASA "At-Large" umpire since 1996 and a retired District Umpire-In-Chief. I have very extensive experience in MASA State Championship and ASA national qualifying tournament play both as an umpire and an Umpire-In-Chief. I completed 3 ASA National Schools including the ASA national advanced umpire school in Ok City("Bernie" for those who know him was the lead clinician, I survived the week and couldn't let my kids watch the game tapes when I got home. No, I love you Bernie). I was one of 4 "Yankee" umpires selected to umpire the Men's D National East Championship in 2002 in Winter Haven FL

Amateur Softball Association (The authority in softball)

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