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A runner is out if the defense is playing on him and (1) he does not slide legally, causing illegal contact or thus alters the actions of a fielder in the act of making a play; or (2) on a force play when he slides he does not slide in a direct line between the bases. Penalty: Interference. The ball is dead, and both the runner and the batter-runner are out.

Note 1: A runner on a force play may slide away from the fielder to avoid interference.

Note 2: The runner establishes his base path as a direct line between his position and the base to which he must go.

Note 3: The runner is never required to slide. If he does slide, it must be legal. If he does not slide, he must avoid interfering with the play.

Note: The OBR has no such rule.

Legal slide: A legal slide may be either head first or foot first. In a foot-first slide one leg and buttock must be on the ground. The runner must be able to reach the base with either a hand or a foot.

Illegal slide:
The runner may not use a rolling, cross-body, pop-up, or leg thrashing slide if he makes contact or alters the play. A raised leg must be no higher than the fielder’s knee when he is standing. The runner may not slide beyond the base and make contact or alter the play. The runner may not attempt to injure the fielder.

Representative plays:

Play 2: R1. B1 hits to the second baseman, who shovels the ball to F6, crossing the bag. R1 swings to the outfield, and the throw to first is wild. Ruling: The runner slid toward the fielder and not in a direct line between bases. R1 and B1 are out.

Play 3: R1. B1 hits to the shortstop, who shovels the ball to F4, standing in front of the bag. R1 slides directly into the base, with one leg raised as high as the fielder=s knee. The fielder cannot make a throw. Ruling: Legal slide, not interference.

Play 4: R1 moving on the pitch. B1 hits to the shortstop, who tries – not in time – for the out at second. The second baseman throws the ball to first, and R1 pops-up on the base, jostling the fielder. Ruling: The contact occurred after the throw and did not alter the fielder’s play. Not interference.

Play 5: R1 moving on the pitch. B1 hits to the shortstop, who shovels the ball to F4. F4 throws to first, and the ball hits R1 in the helmet. At the time R1 was: (a) six to eight feet from the bag; or (b) twenty to twenty five feet from the bag. Ruling: Interference in (a) but not in (b).

Play 6: R1 moving on the pitch. B1 hits to the shortstop, who shovels the ball to F4. F4 throws to first, whereupon R1, standing up, crashes into him. The umpire judges the contact was malicious. Ruling: R1 is out and ejected. B1 is out. Though the contact occurred after the play, malicious contact is always defined as an attempt to injure the fielder, which made the runner’s action illegal.

Slide or avoid
General baserunning rules
The running lane
Hurdling, leaping, jumping, diving
Malicious contact
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