When is a play over when the runner misses the plate and no tag is made?
Is the runner out when he returns to the dugout?
This came up during the Ravens Steelers game when there was a fumble and the ball sat on the ground for a few seconds before a Raven player realized there was no whistle and picked the ball up and scored a touchdown. I was talking to a friend and stated it reminded me of a play at the plate.
If the defense makes no appeal that the runner missed the plate the count the run. The only thing going in the dugout does if make it so the runner can't retouch. This is why we teach umpires not to point at the plate when a runner scores. If he misses the plate and you don't point then you are alerting the defense. If you do point then you are saying he touched and didn't.
Jay, as Mike mentioned, this is not an "automatic" out like you would have when a runner abandons a base. The defense has to appeal a miss of home plate, per rule 7.10(d). Until the runner goes into the dugout, he can return back and touch home.