In baseball, if a ball is hit, can a fielder such as the shortstop or third baseman pretend to have caught or fielded the ball to trick a runner into not running, or a batter into not advancing?

What are the limitations, if any? Could the player tag the runner, or could the whole team jog to the dugout in hopes of making the runners think the inning is over?

1 Answer 1


A fielder can act like however they want as long as they are not impeding any runners. There are no rules that cover this because it is not against the rules.

Tagging a runner would just be interference. You are not allowed to touch a runner if you do not have the ball.

Jogging to the dugout... I am not sure how this works. Who is going to tag a runner out if everyone is in the dugout? The runner unless we are talking about 8 year old baseball would be looking at an umpire to make an out call. Also any good umpire would signal a strong "safe" call or shout out the number of outs if they felt there was confusion.

The only limitation of a hidden ball play where players act like they are going to the dugout is the pitcher must not be a stride from the rubber. If he is, that is a balk.

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