7.08 (A) -3 - Slide or Go Around

Rule 7.08 (A)-3 - says a runner must slide or attempt to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make a tag. … Remember, this rule applies anywhere on the field, not just at the bases.

For example, this runner going from first base to second base is going to be met in the baseline by the second baseman, who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag.

The runner makes no attempt to get around the fielder in this case, and the fielder drops the ball. … However, the runner is called out by the umpire for violation of this rule. The ball remains alive.

In this case, the runner should have attempted to go around the fielder who had the ball and was waiting to make the tag, even though this meant the runner might run out of the baseline and be called out for doing so.
Remember, however, that if the fielder does NOT have the ball AND is NOT waiting to make a tag, the runner is not required to slide or attempt to get around the fielder – even if the play is at home plate.

In this scenario, the runner advancing toward home plate will be blocked by the catcher, who does not have the ball. … The runner is NOT required to slide or attempt to get around the catcher in this case. And, if there is a collision, the runner may be called safe if the umpire judges that the catcher obstructed the runner.

If the umpire judges that the runner’s actions were meant to intentionally harm the catcher, the umpire could -- AFTER such a play – warn, or even eject the runner from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct.

If so, the run still counts. The umpire cannot call the runner out in this case.

The keys to this rule are the fielder having the ball, and the umpire’s judgment as to whether or not the fielder is waiting to make the tag.