Tag Up is a term used in baseball to describe how the base runner has to remain on the base until the fielder reached or touched the base. If the base runner leaves the starting base and was caught by a defensive player from the other team, then the opposing defensive player can throw the ball to his teammate, forcing the base runner to leave. The batter also has to be the sacrifice fly, so the base runner and the fielder can score easily.

Conditions for Tagging Up

Players of the same team must coordinate when executing tagging up. All they have to ensure is they already have a runner on the base with less than 2 outs, and the runner should reach and touch the base when the fielder caught the ball. If one of these conditions fails, it would be difficult for the team to catch up and execute tagging up. If they already have 2 outs, the inning would end when the opposing defensive player caught the ball.

How Tagging Up Works

Never leaving too early is one of the most important rules of tagging up. When the first batter didn’t swing at 4 pitches in the strike zone, he would become the first runner on the first base. Then he must calculate that the defensive player has a good chance of catching the ball, so he has to retreat when this happens. If the defensive player catches the ball, the runner should decide whether he can make it to the second base or just remain at the starting line.

How Many Bases Can a Runner Advance during Tagging Up?

Once you’re already tagging up with your team, you are not limited anymore as to how far can you go in advance. All you have to ensure to yourself and the team is to safely make it through the second base before the defensive player throws the ball.