Awarding of bases is one of the four most important things the baseball umpire must know. Learn, study, and apply the rules for awarding of bases.
One Base Awards
The following situations result in the awarding of one base:
1. The batter is hit-by-pitch (HBP) (5.09a)
2. A base on balls (2.00)
3. A fielder falls into dead ball territory (DBT) after making a catch (5.10f) (7.04c) or after gaining possession of a live pitched, thrown, or uncaught fair batted ball.
Every runner (other than the batter-runner, who is out) is awarded his advance base when a fielder, having caught a batted ball, falls onto DBT; the ball is dead. If such fielder does not fall (even if he is held up by players of either team), the ball remains live (2.00)
4. A runner from third base is hit by a pitched ball. (5.09h) (6.05n)
If a runner is attempting a steal of home, and there is a pitch to the batter that touches him at the plate, the pitch is either called a strike or ball and it is dead. Every runner (including the runner struck) is awarded his advance base. However, if the pitch was strike three, the batter is out, and if such out is the third out, there is no run.
5. A pitch or in-contact throw lodges or enters DBT. (5.09g) 7.05h) (7.05i)
(a) Every runner is awarded his advance base when a pitch or in-contact throw (except a throw that gets stuck in a glove or enters a player or coach’s uniform or the catcher’s gear) lodges. A lodged ball is dead.
If a lodged pitch is a third strike the batter-runner is awarded first base (unless he is out because first base is occupied with less than two outs). If it is ball four, the batter-runner is awarded first only. Generally, a pitch will lodge in the catcher’s mask or gear (e.g., chest protector) or in the umpire’s mask or gear (e.g., ball bag, coat, or shirt), or in the backstop or screen.
(b) Every runner is awarded his advance base when a pitch or in-contact throw enters DBT.
6. A balk is committed (7.07) (8.01 d) (8.02 Penalty d) (8.05 Penalty)
Every runner is awarded his advance base.
Two Base Awards
The following situations result in the awarding of two bases:
Every runner is awarded two bases after an overthrow. The award is two bases either from the runner’s time-of-pitch (TOP) base or time-of-throw (TOT) base (7.05g)
It is an overthrow when:
(1) the thrown ball enters DBT or becomes lodged (except in a glove, a player or coach’s uniform, or the catcher’s gear.
(2) any fielder who is on DBT touches a throw.
(3) a fielder possesses an uncaught fair batted ball or thrown ball and drops it onto DBT (the “throw” occurs at the time of the drop).
(4) a fielder catches a batted ball but, after voluntarily releasing it, drops such ball onto DBT (the “throw” occurs at the time of the drop).
(5) a fielder possesses a batted ball or thrown ball and intentionally enters DBT (the “throw” occurs when he enters DBT).
(6) a fielder intentionally deflects an uncaught fair batted or thrown ball onto DBT (the “throw” occurs when the ball is deflected).
2. Subsequent Push (of a pitch or in-contact throw from the pitcher’s plate (7.05h)
A subsequent push of a pitch or in-contact throw from the pitcher’s plate occurs when such pitch or throw is errant and a fielder subsequently pushes (kicks, deflects, etc.) the ball (itself) into DBT or the ball becomes lodged due to the push or deflection. Each runner is awarded two bases beyond his TOP base.
3. Home Run or Ground Rule Double
If an airborne batted ball passes over the fence over fair DBT and strikes DBT it is a home run (6.09d) (7.05a) (by definition, a four-base award) unless it is a ground rule double for one of the following reasons:
(1) it is deflected by a fielder over the fence over foul DBT (6.09h) or
(2) it is deflected by a fielder over the fence over fair DBT, but such deflection occurs after the fly ball struck the facing of the home run fence. (6.09g)
It is also a ground rule double when a fair batted ball
(3) bounds into DBT (usually the bullpen or grandstand).
(4) lodges typically in a fence or shrubbery, or between a retaining wall and a bullpen bench.
(5) passes through a fence (or scoreboard that is part of the fence. (6.09e) (6.09f) (7.05f)
(6) is initially touched by a fielder after the fielder had entered DBT, or is gloved by a fielder on LBT, but is bobbled as the fielder crosses into DBT due to his momentum.
(7) passes airborne over a fence into DBT at a distance of less than 250 feet from home plate. (6.09d) (6.09h)
on a ground rule double, all runners (including the batter-runner) are awarded two bases beyond their TOP base.
4. Detached Gear
Detached gear occurs if a fielder deliberately contacts a fair batted ball, thrown ball, or pitched ball by
(1) intentionally throwing his glove, cap, or mask, or
(2) by using his cap, mask, or clothing like a glove.
if the ball is not touched, no penalty or award is applicable. If the ball is contacted the ball remains live and every runner is awarded
(a) three bases beyond the base occupied at the time of the infraction (contact) on a batted ball, (7.05b) 7.05c)
(b) two bases beyond the base occupied at the time of the infraction (contact) on a thrown ball, (7.05d) (7.05e)
(c) one base beyond the base occupied at the time of the infraction (contact) on a pitched ball, (7.04e)
NOTE: If the batted ball would have been a home run, every runner is awarded home. (7.05a) if the batted ball is contacted over foul territory, but had a reasonable chance to become fair, it is a fair and live ball with penalization as above.
If a runner touches or passes the awarded base and is tagged off base, he is out.
TOP (Time–of-Pitch) Award
It is a time-of-pitch award if a batted ball is fielded by an infielder whose first play is overthrown. Every runner is awarded two bases beyond the last base occupied at the time-of-pitch (TOP). (7.05g). EXCEPTION; If every runner, including the batter-runner, has touched or passed his advance base and there is a first play by an infielder that is overthrown, the award is from the base occupied at the time-of-throw (TOT). (7.05g) (Approved Ruling)
TOT (Time-of-Throw) Award
If the award is not TOP then it is TOT, meaning, each runner’s award is two bases beyond the base occupied by the runner at the time the throw left the fielder’s hand.
The lead runner always the first runner awarded his base(s); such runner is never awarded three bases to allow a two base award for a following runner.
If a runner has failed to retouch his base before advancing, then a base he has touched or passed is not acknowledged when determining the bases awarded after an overthrow. Then, such runner’s occupied base (from which the award would originate) is the time-of-pitch (or retouch) base.