Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Baseball home plate ruling

by SID - Barca Blog asked me to post the official rule referring to sliding/colliding at home plate due to Brian Harris getting ejected in Tuesday night's game against Middle Tennessee. Per the NCAA rule book (AR 2 is what was called):

Collision Rule
SECTION 7. The rules committee is concerned about unnecessary and violent collisions with the catcher at home plate, and with infielders at all bases. The intent of this rule is to encourage base runners and defensive players to avoid such collisions whenever possible.

a. When there is a collision between a runner and a fielder who clearly is in possession of the ball, the umpire shall judge:
(1) Whether the collision by the runner was avoidable (could the runner have reached the base without colliding) or unavoidable (the runner’s path to the base was blocked);
(2) Whether the runner actually was attempting to reach the base (plate) or attempting to dislodge the ball from the fielder; or
(3) Whether the runner was using flagrant contact to maliciously dislodge the ball.

PENALTY—If the runner attempted to dislodge the ball, the runner shall be declared out even if the fielder loses possession of the ball. The ball is dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the interference.

A.R. 1—If the fielder blocks the path of the base runner to the base (plate), the runner may make contact, slide into, or collide with a fielder as long as the runner is making a legitimate attempt to reach the base or plate.

A.R. 2—If the flagrant or malicious contact by the runner was before the runner’s
touching the plate, the runner shall be declared out and also ejected from the contest. The ball shall be declared dead immediately. All other base runners shall return to the bases they occupied at the time of the pitch.

A.R. 3—If the contact was after a preceding runner had touched home plate, the preceding runner will be ruled safe, the ball becomes dead immediately and all other base runners will return to the base they had last touched before the contact.

A.R. 4—If the runner is safe and the collision is malicious, the runner shall be ruled safe and ejected from the game. If this occurs at any base other than home, the offending team may replace the runner.

Now if you read this far down, the answer to the question if Brian Harris has to sit out any games is no. That would only come into play if fighting was involved or if the ejection occurred after the game. A great example was last year against Oklahoma in the final game of the season. Shortstop Ryan Flaherty did not agree with the balls and strikes the home plate umpire called and let him know about it after the game. He was subsequently thrown out. If "Flash" were to have returned for his senior year he would have had to sit out the first game this season against Stanford.

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