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Softball/decoying runner


BretMan wrote at 2013-04-13 02:19:55
"Decoying" a runner might not be exactly the same thing as a fake tag, and there's no rule in the books that mentions "decoying". For instance, when an infielder acts as if he's going to cut off a throw from the outfield, but let's the ball pass, that is a classic decoying move and is perfectly legal.

A fake tag, by ASA definitions, is when a fielder attempts to tag a runner without possession of the ball. I don't know that "putting the glove down as if to catch the ball" quite meets the definition of a fake tag. Just acting as if you're going to catch the ball, or as if the ball is coming to you, minus any sort of motion that simulates a tag would be kind of a borderline, grey area.

But if the umpire thought that a fake tag was attempted, he could warn the player as noted above. That would probably put an end to it before things had a chance to escalate.

Faking a tag at the plate normally won't create much of an advantage for a fielder. Most fake tags I've seen have been out on the bases. By making a runner think that the ball is at the bag, it can stop him from advancing before the ball is even in the infield. Once a runner is about to cross the plate, he's pretty much going to score anyway if the catcher doesn't have the ball.


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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

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