Holding the plate rule

General Discussion of Topics Related to Softball and/or Individual Leagues

Holding the plate rule

blouderback
Double A Poster
blouderback
Double A Poster
Joined: 28 Aug 2015, 14:26

06 Nov 2017, 16:33 #1

Dear Rules Committee:

Over the winter, perhaps it would be possible to revisit the "holding home plate if there is a play" rule.  I certainly understand the intent and need for some rule to help protect the safety of the catcher and runner, however, I have not seen this rule applied consistently enough. Additionally, I have seen a potential for runners to get hurt while trying to hold a slippery, flat, semi-buried in the ground home plate.  It's not like a base/bag in the field which has some girth to help the runner stop (and give way if necessary)  - it's flat, slippery, and sometimes has small edges protruding that do not give way .  One time a runner behind me (I'm fat old, and slow), caught up to me at the plate, I held the plate, as I felt there was going to be a play on me, and next thing I know, my legs are being taken out from under me because the runner behind me slid into my legs!

I have seen other leagues that use a line halfway between home and 3rd - once a runner crosses that, it becomes a force out at home.  I'm not sure I'm a fan of that, but it's worth discussing.  Maybe use that in co-ed leagues where often times the catcher is an Eddy of some sort.

I've heard of other leagues that have a 2nd home plate for the runner.  Definitely not a fan of that.

Maybe we should follow more closely to the ASA/USA softball rule, which I think states that the runner is not allowed to crash into the catcher, and the catch is not allowed to block the plate. Allow the umpire to decide if there was intentional, significant, dangerous contact, and by whom (sometimes the catcher gets a little rough, too).

Thanks,

-Bob
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sixofdiamonds
Major League Poster
sixofdiamonds
Major League Poster
Joined: 02 Jun 2005, 00:23

06 Nov 2017, 17:48 #2

We will not be using a commit line anytime soon. Same for a 2nd home plate. If a runner coming to home plate slows enough, holding the plate is a non-issue. The problem arises when a runner tries to beat the throw and then abruptly stops to hold the plate. That can be dangerous, especially on a wet plate. Slide, surrender, or slow enough to hold the plate. You can't have it every which way.

Allowing runners to run full speed through home plate when there is a play at the plate and then enforce the rule if contact is made is a train wreck waiting to happen and a lot like closing the barn door after the horses get out.
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