8-4-2 Any runner is out when he:
a. runs more than three feet away from a direct line between bases to avoid being tagged or to hinder a fielder while the runner is advancing or returning to a base;
- This is not an infraction if a fielder attempting to field a batted ball is in the runner’s proper path and if the runner runs behind the fielder to avoid interfering with him.
- When a play is being made on a runner or batter-runner, he establishes his baseline as directly between his position and the base toward which he is moving.
b. runs modoes not legally slide and causes illegal contact and/or illegally alters the actions of a fielder in the immediate act of making a play, or on a force play, does not slide in a direct line between the bases; or
- A runner may slide in a direction away from the fielder to avoid making contact or altering the play of the fielder.
- Runners are never required to slide, but if a runner elects to slide, the slide must be legal. (2-32-1, 2) Jumping, hurdling, and leaping are all legal attempts to avoid a fielder as long as the fielder is lying on the ground. Diving over a fielder is illegal.
PENALTY: The runner is out. Interference is called and the ball is dead immediately. On a force-play slide with less than two outs, the runner is declared out, as well as the batter-runner. Runners shall return to the bases occupied at the time of the pitch. With two outs, the runner is declared out. The batter is credited with a fielder’s choice.
c. does not legally attempt to avoid a fielder in the immediate act of making a play on him; or PENALTY: The runner is out, the ball remains live unless interference is called.
d. dives over a fielder; or PENALTY: The runner is out and the ball remains live unless interference occurs and is declared.
e. initiates malicious contact;
- Malicious contact always supersedes obstruction. Runner(s) will be awarded appropriate base(s) per umpire's judgment.
f. as a runner or retired runner, fails to execute a legal slide, or does not attempt to avoid the fielder or the play on a force play at any base; or
g. intentionally interferes with a throw or a thrown ball; or he hinders a fielder on his initial attempt to field a batted ball. A fielder is not protected, except from intentional contact if he misplays the ball and has to move from his original location; or his being put out is prevented by an illegal act by anyone connected with the team (2-21-1, 3-2-2, 3-2-3) or by the batter-runner; for runner returning to base (8-2-6); and for runner being hit by a batted ball (8-4-2k). If, in the judgment of the umpire, a runner including the batter-runner interferes in any way and prevents a double play anywhere, two shall be declared out (the runner who interfered and the other runner involved). If a retired runner interferes, and in the judgment of the umpire, another runner could have been put out, the umpire shall declare that runner out. If the umpire is uncertain who would have been played on, the runner closest to home shall be called out; or
- If two fielders try to field a batted ball and the runner contacts one or both, the umpire shall decide which one is entitled to field the ball and that fielder only is entitled to protection. If a fielder drops a batted ball and contact with a runner occurs during a subsequent attempt to field the ball, the fielder has the greater responsibility for avoiding contact.