Playing a little league game we had a runner on first and the batter hit a ground ball. Runner on first went to second and stopped, batter made it to first and then turned trying to go to second, but realizing that there was someone there came back to first. The defense got the ball to the first baseman after the batter initially got to first, but before he got back.

Once the batter turned and attempted for second he was no longer protected by the over-run rule, so since second was occupied did it turn the play at first into a force out or did he have to be tagged?

I assume it should be a force since there is no where else for the batter to go.


It was not a force-out at first base because that only happens when a runner is required to go to that base (but it would have been possible to advance to second while the other advances to third, although it probably wouldn't be a good idea). If the runner could manage to reach first base without being tagged (which is possible although unlikely), he would be ruled safe at first base.


With MLB rules, this is a tag play.

5.09(a) details how the batter may be out before becoming a runner. None of these apply in this situation.

5.09(b)(6) details force plays. It explicitly says the force is removed once the base is touched the first time.

...The force is removed as soon as the runner touches the base to which he is forced to advance, and if he overslides or overruns the base, the runner must be tagged to be put out.

That leaves 5.09(b)(4), which requires the runner be tagged while off the base.

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