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Monday, April 18, 2011

Baseball Coaching Digest - Illegal Use of the Courtesy Runner Rule

Baseball Coaching Digest - Illegal Use of the Courtesy Runner Rule
By guest author: Nick Dixon

Baseball coaches must be alert for one way that opposing offensive teams may illegally use the Courtesy Runner or Speed-Up rule.

How does a team illegally use a courtesy runner? Here is the procedure outlined:

Coaches should always be alert for the opposition misusing the this base runner rule. There are a couple of ways that coaches do this.

The first way that they cheat using the "speed-up" runner rule is that they will use a designated hitter for their catcher and if the opposition does not catch it, they will use a courtesy runner to run for the designated hitter who is actually hitting for the catcher.

Sounds crazy doesn't it? Well it has been done many, many times by coaches that pull this on unsuspecting coaches and inexperienced umpires.

Another way that coaches will misuse the "speed-up" runner is that they run for a pitcher or catcher that they say is going out on defense, for the first time, in the next half of the inning. They put a substitute in the catcher's batting slot. They tell the umpire that he is catching or pitching. The player bats and gets a hit. The coach then uses a "speed-up" runner for the sub who he says is now his catcher or pitcher. The runner comes in the game and runs. However, the sub is pulled and the starting catcher is put back in the game when the defense takes the field.

These are rule violations. You must always be alert and watch for such violations by your opposition. Don't think that such trickery will not happen to you. If you do not have a good score bookkeeper to help you be alert, you may not catch it.

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Hello Baseball Friend,
I welcome any comments or suggestions. If you have a question or a topic that you would like to read about, please leave a comment and I will try to address that topic as soon as I can. Good luck in the coming season!
Have a great day, Nick