Baseball Tagging Up Rules

Baseball Tagging Up

Tagging up is an important rule in baseball. It was put in place during the dawn of modern baseball in 1908. It prevents base runners from getting a head start when trying to advance to the next base. Below we are going to discuss the rules of tagging up and when it's required in a baseball game.


Tagging Up

Tagging up is a rule in baseball that prevents a base runner from advancing bases while the baseball is flying through the air. Tagging up is something base runners do when there are less than two outs, and a batter hits a fly ball (a baseball that is hit high and into the outfield). If an outfielder catches the baseball, the runner must touch the base he was previously at. Once the baseball is caught by the fielder, the runner is cleared to go and will try advancing to the next base.

If the runner advances without tagging up once a fly ball is hit, and the baseball is caught, the runner must go all the way back to his previous base before the fielder at that base gets the baseball.

The reason the runner must go back to his base if the baseball is caught is because he is not entitled to that next base, since the batter is out and cannot advance. However, if the runner tags up, he can take advantage of the baseball being so far in the outfield to run safely to the next base.

Gut Decisions

Baseball Fly Balls

Sometimes, if the runner can clearly tell that an outfielder is not going to be able to catch the baseball, he will advance bases without tagging up, since he predicts it will be a fair hit which entitles him to the next base anyway. However, this is something of a gamble. If the baseball is caught by the outfielder, he must run back to his previous base and risk being thrown out.

When Tagging Up Doesn't Matter

Tagging up is usually only done when there are less than two outs. If there are two outs, the runner will usually just run to the next base without tagging up. If the baseball does end up being caught, the half-inning will be over and the base runner's position won't matter anymore. If it doesn't get caught, then the runner will have had a good lead in advancing the bases.

Multiple Tag Ups

There are a few instances where a runner could theoretically tag up, but they should ultimately decide not to and stay put. For example, if there is a runner at the next base, you can not advance to the next base after tagging up unless they do the same. Multiple runners can tag up on the same play, as long as they are advancing to a base that has no current runner. Only one runner can occupy a base at any given time.

FAQ

What is Tagging Up in baseball?

Rule 8.2 in the MLB describes the rules of tagging up. Tagging up is a rule in baseball that requires a base runner to touch the base that they are on if a flyball is caught and an out is recorded. The tagging up rule exists to prevent base runners from getting a major headstart when advancing to the next base. Tagging up also exists to keep the game fair.

Why is tagging up a rule in baseball?

Tagging up exists to keep the game fair. If a player was able to run the bases while the ball was flying in the outfield and being caught, they might be able to get much farther than if they had to wait for the ball to be caught before they could leave the base. If they did not have to tag up, batters could try to hit the ball as high as possible to give their runners time to go around the bases. This rule gives the outfielders a chance to throw other runners out once they catch the ball.

Why do baseball players not tag up when there are two outs?

Baseball players do not tag up when there are two outs because if the fly ball is caught, the inning is over. If the fielder makes a mistake and drops the ball or misses the catch, then the base runner has a head start at advancing to the next base. It is in the runner's best interest to always run when there are two outs in an inning.

When can a tagged up player advance to the next base?

A tagged up player can only advance to the next base once it has been determined that the ball has hit the ground or has been caught for a recorded out. Then the player must tag up and can run to the next base.

Do baseball players have to tag up after every pitch?

No, baseball players only have to tag up when the ball is caught on a flyball. If the ball touches the ground at any point, the runner can immediately run to the next base without tagging up.

Can you tag up from first base?

Tagging up can be done from any base and should be done whenever it is needed and required by the rule.

When may the runner leave the base to tag up correctly?

It is in the best interest of a runner to be off the base when a ball is in the air and they are waiting to see if it will be caught. The runner uses his experience and judgment to determine how far to lead-off based on the type of hit. Once the ball is caught or not caught, the runner should begin to tag up.

Can a team score a run from tagging up?

It is required for a base runner to touch the base they occupied at the time a fly ball is caught. A run will not count if a base runner fails to tag up correctly on a fly ball. This has happened more often than not in a baseball game. A runner on third base may fail to tag up when a fly ball is caught. The run will not count in this case.