QUESTION: In high school, baseball and softball, runner on second, one out; batter bunts fair ball back to pitcher in order to advance runner to third. Pitcher fields ball and attempts to tag batter-runner near first baseline. Batter-runner stops then retreats toward home plate to delay tag play. Is this a legal offensive action?
ANSWER: (BB only). This is a legal play. (SB only). Dead ball; batter-runner is declared out for interference. There is no rule violation if runner stopped; stepping back toward the plate to avoid the tag is an infraction.
QUESTION: Is the base path always a straight line between bases for each runner?
ANSWER: Baselines are straight lines between bases. Runners may run out of a baseline to avoid contacting a fielder. A base path is established by a runner when a play is being made on that runner by the defense. If the fielder tries to tag the runner, his or her path is a straight line runner’s position and the base. If runner runs more than three feet out of the base path to avoid a tag, runner is called out.
(BB only) Dead ball; runner is out . (Rule 8, Sec. 4, Art. 2, a & b). (SB only) Runner is out and ball remains in play. ( Rule 8, Sec. 6, Art. 1). Base line infractions come into play when defense attempts to put out runner with ball in hand / glove.

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