Kickball The Baserunner

Chapter 7.1

What is a baserunner? What are his goals during a game? Get ready to learn about the baserunner in kickball.

Introduction

We've already learned about kicking and when a team is at-bat (on offense). When a kicker makes contact with a pitched kickball, he becomes a kicker-runner.

Rookie Road Kickball Kicker Transitions Image

In this tutorial, we will learn what happens when the kicker-runner gets safe on-base and becomes a baserunner.

Baserunners

A kicker becomes a baserunner (also called runner) when he safely reaches a base. Once he safely occupies a base, he is considered to be on-base, and his primary goal is to reach home plate to score.

Rookie Road Kickball Baserunner Image

Baserunning

Baserunners must follow specific rules when running the bases. They must run counterclockwise, from first base to second base to third base and finally to home plate.

The Circuit of Bases

As they are advancing bases, they must touch each base in that order; they cannot skip a base or run past a base without touching it. Additionally, there can only be one baserunner occupying each base. Runners are forced to advance to the next base if a runner behind them is trying to advance to their current base.

Rookie Road Kickball Advance Image

The Base Path

Baserunners also may not stray too far from the base path when running; for example, a runner cannot run into the outfield on his way from first to second base. He must stay a certain distance within the base path. We will learn more about this rule later in this chapter.

Rookie Road Kickball Baseline Image

Running Arc

The running arc is a three-foot (3ft) wide lane that begins halfway between home plate and first base, and ends at first base. When a kicker-runner is advancing to first base, he must run within that lane, or else he may be called out on interference. However, he may step out of the lane when he is within vicinity of the base, if stepping out will allow him to reach the base. This rule is sometimes only enforced under the umpire's discretion.

Rookie Road Kickball Running Arc Image

Overrunning

Overrunning is a tactic used by kicker-runners when trying to reach first base. Often, if a kickball is not hit hard, the kicker is only concerned with reaching first base -- he can worry about second base and third base later.

Rookie Road Kickball Overrun Image

Therefore, his running path is straight to first base. Since it is hard to stop exactly at first base when sprinting, kicker-runners will often let their momentum carry through, and end up running past first base. In this process, if he touches first base before an infielder can tag or throw him out, he is safe. However, he must return to first base immediately after overrunning it, or he may be called out.

REMEMBER: Overrunning is only allowed for kicker-runners going to first base.

Man on First, Man on Second, Man on Third

If a runner is occupying a base, the situation is referred to as there being a man on the base he is occupying. For example, if a runner is occupying second base, you might say, There is a man on second. The phrase is only used to describe the situation, not the baserunner himself. For example, if a baserunner is on second base, you would not say, He is a man on second.

Runners in Scoring Position

If there are baserunner(s) on second base, third base, or both, that is considered a situation where there are runners in scoring position (RISP). Second base and third base are considered scoring position because it usually only takes a single being hit to drive them to home plate.

Rookie Road Kickball Scoring Position Image

Rundown/Pickle

A rundown, sometimes called a pickle, is when a baserunner is stranded between two (2) unoccupied bases, with a fielder on either side of him having the kickball. This sometimes happens when a kicker-runner overestimates which base he can get to safely before the infielders get the kickball. As the runner tries to reach one of the bases he is stuck between, two (2) infielders will surround him, and toss the kickball to each other depending on which direction the runner is going. Often, the runner will switch directions with the kickball, or try to run past the fielder to avoid being tagged out.

Rookie Road Kickball Pickle Image

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