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Ask the Ump – Play 20

Play: Can you slide past the base on the right or left side of the base and still be safe at second?

Ruling: Often, the force of a runner’s slide takes the runner beyond the base. This does not afford the runner protection, however, from being tagged out while not in contact with the base.

The only base that a runner is entitled to overrun without liability for being put out is 1st base, provided the runner returns immediately to the base. If your question concerns a runner’s right to slide left or right to avoid being tagged, then the rules allow for the runner to veer up to three (3) feet from the baseline to avoid a fielder attempting to make a tag. In this case, though, the runner may still be tagged out if the slide takes him/her beyond the base, and the fielder applies the tag before the runner can safely occupy the base.

Out on the Overslide at 2nd

Sources: MLB 7.08(a.1) and (c); NFHS 8.4.2(a) and (h.1)

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