Question: In high school baseball and softball, runner on first is advancing to second on a base hit by the batter. Shortstop fakes a tag without the ball, causing runner to slow up and stop at second. Is player given a warning? Is player ejected? Are both teams warned?
Answer: A fake tag is always an obstruction. At the end of playing action, umpire will warn coach of offending team involved and next offender on that team will be ejected/restricted to bench (BB – Rule 2, Sec. 22, Art. 2; Rule 3, Sec. 3, Art. 1(b), Pen.; SB – Rule 2, Sec. 21 & Rule 3, Sec. 6, Art. 2 (Pen)). Only the defensive team is warned in this play.
Question: In above play, is the ball dead? Is runner allowed to advance beyond obstructed base?
Answer: Umpire will signal obstruction (left arm extended) in delayed dead ball play. BB only – ump shall award obstructed runner and each runner affected by violation bases they would have reached without the infraction. Runner is awarded at least one base (second). If runner chooses to advance beyond awarded base, he does at own risk of being put out (Rule 8-3-2). In SB, play remains live (delayed dead). If runner is put out before reaching second, ball is dead, runner gains an award of second base. If obstructed runner is put out after passing base, she would have reached without hindrance, ball remains live and runner is out (Rule 8-4-3 a, b).