a. Malicious contact is to be penalized whether committed by an offensive or defensive player.
Contact shall be considered malicious if:
i. the contact is the result of intentional excessive force, and/or
ii. there is an intent to injure.
b. The umpire shall determine whether contact was avoidable or unavoidable. If the fielder blocks the base path, the runner may make contact, slide into or collide with the fielder as long as the runner is making a legitimate attempt to reach the base/plate.
c. Runners are instructed to slide or attempt to avoid making contact with a fielder. A player who maliciously runs into another player is to be declared out (unless he/she has scored prior to committing the infraction) and is to be automatically ejected (whether or not declared out).
d. If the defensive player blocked the base path clearly without possession of the ball, obstruction shall be called. The runner is safe and a delayed dead ball is called.