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Yesterday at our training we got to a situation that got discussed. Bases where loaded (lets say Adam was at 1st, Bert on 2nd and Ceasar on 3rd). On a ball Adam starts to run, while Bert and Ceasar stays.

In this situation, our coach said if ball was thrown to 1st, he thought it would be a force on Adam. I feel like first baseman still need to tag Adam if i turns back.

But what if Adam gets to 2nd, can the catcher step on home plate for a force on Ceasar, since Bert should need to run for 3rd?

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    What caused Adam to start running (and nobody else)? – Jon Custer Aug 25 '17 at 12:40
  • As I understand it, he missed that he had a runner in front of him and wanted to steal second. – Linkan Aug 25 '17 at 14:50
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    Since the ball is not in play, a force out is not an option. The runner needs to be tagged out. It is, of course, made easier if the other runners don't go anywhere since getting to second for Adam doesn't do anything. During the run down to tag Adam, though, Bert and Ceasar are free to take off as well. – Jon Custer Aug 25 '17 at 15:20
  • This is just a pickoff. Whether Adam takes a few steps off first or continues towards second (regardless of how fast he goes), he still needs to be tagged out. – chepner Aug 25 '17 at 20:28
  • Does stepping on second change nothing? – Linkan Aug 26 '17 at 5:19
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In this situation, our coach said if ball was thrown to 1st, he thought it would be a force on Adam. I feel like first baseman still need to tag Adam if i turns back.

The MLB rulebook has this definition for a force play:

A FORCE PLAY is a play in which a runner legally loses his right to occupy a base by reason of the batter becoming a runner.

The batter received a ball and remained at home plate. Since the batter has not become a runner, there is no force play. Ball is not dead and runners may move to another base at their own risk. Runners need to be tagged out.

But what if Adam gets to 2nd, can the catcher step on home plate for a force on Ceasar, since Bert should need to run for 3rd?

No. Bert is still entitled to 2nd base (there is no force). So there are no outs to be made on home plate or third (or on first). They need to throw to second. 5.06(a)(2) tells us that the following runner (Adam in your example) would be out if tagged, if both Adam and Bert are on second.

5.06(a)(2) Two runners may not occupy a base, but if, while the ball is alive, two runners are touching a base, the following runner shall be out when tagged and the preceding runner is entitled to the base, unless Rule 5.06(b)(2) applies.

5.06(b)(2) is for force situations and changes which runner would be out when tagged if two occupy a base.

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