When you’re on deck and there’s runners on, be mindful of the runner coming home and if and when he should “stay up”, or “get down -slide”.
Always, the batter on deck stays away from the action, being careful not to interfere with the plate umpire, the catcher, or the catcher’s backup. The batter on deck should be mindful of the potential for a close play at home – signaling the base runner to either remain upright when crossing the plate to score, or to get down for the slide at home scoring. This is a skillful motion that shouldn’t be attempted by just any player in the on deck circle. There’s a host of reasons and perceptions that the on deck batter has to be groomed to understand and reasoned with. Amateur clubs rarely have time and the personnel to work this skill out properly. Two of the most important attributes of an on deck batter for this motion is calmness and perception to what’s going on in front of him.
In addition to what’s been said, there must be one signal and one signal only that’s used by all batters on deck, if and when these two signals are given – stay up or go down. Avoid creative animation with the body and arms, because this can only distract a base runner coming home to score. Sometimes creative animation can sometimes encourage the base runner to go out of the base path or miss scoring completely.
The only exception, in most cases, is when a base runner from third is trying to score while there’s a batter still in the box. But that topic is complex and not to be attempted by the amateur player in most cases. That motion requires a lot of team meetings and is subjective to each player’s attention span and a variety of other intangibles.
However, field conditions that pertain to the integrity of the surface area at and around home plate must be reviewed by the coaching staff prior to and during the game, governing such a call by the batter on deck. If the surface conditions at home plate are such that any slide could result in injuries – broken angles, fractures in the leg, and so forth, everyone should be on board with respect to coming into home plate on close plays.