This collection of frequently asked questions is specific to Little League Rule 7.00 – The Runner. If you have a question to add to this FAQ, please email Tom Rawlings, Little League International Director of Umpire Development, at: trawlings@LittleLeague.org.
No. If an umpire finds themselves in a situation with two runners on one base, the umpire should not instruct, tell, explain, or let the players (runners and fielders) know what the situation is and what they should be doing. Umpires do not coach players in any situation. That responsibility belongs with the manager and coaches.
The runner is out if hit by a fair batted ball in fair territory before the ball is touched by a fielder or has passed an infielder (not including the pitcher). Intent does not matter [(Rule 7.08 (f)]. On a thrown ball, the runner must intentionally interfere, in the judgement of the umpire, for interference to be ruled [(Rules 6.05(l), 7.08(b), 7.09(j)].
No. Although umpires have primary responsibilities assigned to call obstruction in certain areas of the field, any umpire who sees the violation can call obstruction. The plate umpire has primary responsibility for obstruction of the batter-runner the first half of the distance from home plate to first base, and once base runners touch third base. The base umpire has primary responsibility for ruling obstruction on the batter-runner from the last half of the distance from home plate to first base, and until base runners touch third base. If ruling obstruction not in their primary area, umpires must be sure to avoid conflicting rulings.
The Courtesy Runner applies to the catcher or pitcher of record at the end of the previous half inning. There is no requirement for the catcher or pitcher to continue to catch the next half inning. A courtesy runner cannot be used for a player not currently catching or pitching, but who will be assuming catcher or pitcher positions in the next defensive inning.
Yes. There is no Little League rule that makes it illegal to attempt to hurdle/leap over a defensive player. Hurdling over a player attempting to make a tag is a legal attempt to get around the fielder [(Rule 7.08(a)(3)].
Yes. Multiple legal appeals may be made on one player at different bases or on different players at the same base.
The player designated to run for an injured batter/runner when using continuous batting order should be made clear in the league’s local rules. Using the player who made the last out of the previous inning or the last out made in the current inning are reasonable choices.
No. Whether pitching from the windup or set/stretch positions, a pitcher may step and throw directly to a base [(Rules 8.01 (a)(2), 8.01 (b)]. Even though a base may be unoccupied, it is legal for an engaged pitcher to throw to that base to make an appeal [(Rule 8.05 (d)].
Any runner (including the batter-runner) who has not been retired is out when they completely pass a preceding runner. It does not matter whether the trailing runner passes a preceding runner, or a preceding runner retreats beyond a trailing runner, the trailing runner is out for passing. A runner is out for passing whether the ball is live or dead (such as following a home run). If the ball is live when the passing occurs, the ball remains live.
No. The judgement by the umpire that a runner was impeded, is sufficient. The runner’s attempt to advance may impact the umpire’s judgement as to the base awarded after the play is completed.
No. The ball is not immediately dead when a base is dislodged from its anchor during play. “Time” should be called to replace the base after continuous play is over.
No. In any division of Little League, if the fielder is not in possession of the ball, they may not block the base or basepath and hinder a runner.
There is identical prohibition on a runner sliding head-first while advancing (in the Major division and below) in both Little League Softball and Little League Baseball. The runner is out, and the ball remains live [(Rule 7.08(a)(4)]. Runners may dive head-first when returning to a base.
When the batter becomes a runner on a wild pitch (ball four or strike three, not caught) that entitles runners to advance one base (the wild pitch enters a dead ball area or is touched by detached equipment), the batter-runner is awarded first base only [(Rule 7.05 (i), NOTE 1)]. If the ball remains live (a pitched ball touched by detached equipment is a live ball award), the batter/runner may attempt to advance beyond first base at their own risk. In this scenario, the ball is dead when it enters a dead ball area.
No. This two-base award, for the batter and all runners, is from the base occupied at the time of the pitch.
Yes. On a base-running violation appeal, the ball is live, and runners may advance at their own risk, prior to, during, or after the appeal (if the appeal is not the third out).
Nothing keeps the Manager/Coach from hearing a spectator shouting from a distance about action on the field. The umpire should not allow the spectators to communicate electronically or directly with the Manager/Coach.