Base running

Question: In high school baseball and softball, runner on second base runs more than three feet behind the shortstop, who is in the act of fielding a ground ball by the batter-runner. Is the runner called out for being out of the baseline during play? Is ball live or dead?
Answer: During this play, the runner is only called out if he/she avoided a tag play by the defense, in which case the ball becomes dead and batter awarded first base. Despite running more than three feet out of the baseline, runner is not out if action was to avoid interference with attempted play. (BB- Rule 8, Sec. 4, Art. 2 a(1); SB- Rule 8, Sec. 8, Art. 1)
Question: Catcher is blocking the plate without possession of ball and runner is attempting to score from third. Runner slows up close to home as ball arrives and catcher tags runner out. Does out stand?
Answer: Runner is not out during this delayed dead ball play; obstruction is the proper call and runner is awarded one base (BB) or base judged to have reached (SB). Defense cannot block a base without possession of ball as a safety precaution; hence, obstruction is ruled. (BB- Rule 8-3-2; SB- Rule 8-4-2 b)


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