During a forced play, batter hits a ground ball to the first base. The fielder at first base catches the ball then tags the runner while still on the base and then tags the base. Is this a double-play, or is only the batter-runner out and the runner safe?

1 Answer 1


Your description is correct and that's the way the defense needs to do it to achieve the double play.

If the base were tagged first, it would remove the force and the runner would have the right to remain (meaning only one out).

By 5.09(b)(6) A runner is out if....

(6) He or the next base is tagged before he touches the next base, after he has been forced to advance by reason of the batter becoming a runner.

So tagging the runner puts him out. Standing on the incorrect base affords no protection. As long as the force is in play, he needs to reach the next base to avoid out by tagging.

Once done, the same rule applies to the batter (now become a runner) and he is out when first (the "next" base) is tagged before he arrives.

  • I wonder what discretion the umpire can use for a runner that blatantly refuses to leave first base once the ball has hit the ground. I don't think the runner can stay put simply because they realize they will be tagged out immediately upon heading for second. The runner is forced to advance by the batter becoming a runner, not by the batter-runner reaching first base.
    – chepner
    Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 16:15
  • I'm thinking of a situation where the first baseman tags the base first rather than waiting for the runner to leave the base. It seems a bit unfair if the runner could stay safe at first simply by taking advantage of a mistake by the fielder when the rules say they must advance.
    – chepner
    Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 16:18
  • The offense has many ways that they could take advantage of imperfect play by the defense. This is just one of them. The rules don't say the runner has to advance, just that they are at risk of being tagged out. The defense still has to execute.
    – BowlOfRed
    Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 16:22
  • OK, I was reading "forced to vacate" in 5.06(a)(1) to mean the runner must leave the base, rather than he is simply not entitled to the base.
    – chepner
    Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 16:48
  • Good point. I'll withdraw my "the rules don't say" statement and just suggest that the enforcement is to be done by the defense and that the requirement is provisional on nothing removing the force at a later time.
    – BowlOfRed
    Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 17:00

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