short run



  • noun a run which either or both of the batsmen fail to complete properly (by grounding the bat or part of the body over the popping crease) before turning to take another run. In the case of a short run the umpire, once the ball is dead, calls ‘one short’ and signals to the scorer by bending one arm upwards and touching the shoulder. The incomplete run is not credited to the score, but the batsmen do not – as might be expected – cross back to the opposite wickets. The regulations governing short runs were introduced in 1774 and have remained essentially unchanged. There was a proposal in 1835 that two runs be deducted rather than one, on the grounds that the batsman ‘not having run home in the first instance, cannot have started in the second from the proper goal’. This suggestion was not, however, incorporated in the revision of that year, and the modern code specifically states that ‘Although a short run shortens the succeeding one, the latter if completed shall not be regarded as short’ (Law 18 § 3).
  • noun a quickly-taken run off a ball that only travels a short distance from the wicket
    Citation ‘A safe field is generally a slow one … and, as batsmen get to know this, the short run is attempted with impunity’ (Badminton 1888)


  • noun a period of time which is so short that changes cannot be made to factors of production. This may vary from industry to industry.

Health Economics

  • (written as Short Run)

    A notional period (rather than a particular time period to which the literal-minded might be attracted) in which some but not all inputs or fac- tors of production are treated as variable. The ones treated as fixed may not necessarily be literally fixed in any technological sense (for example, the organization may be bound by a contract not to vary them). A dramatic example (not from health care) of a factor of production that might appear to be quite decidedly technologically 'fixed' - but was not - comes from railway history. When the English Great Western Railway's old broad gauge track was changed to the modern standard narrow gauge in 1892 the entire stretch of 213 miles from Exeter to Penzance was changed in one weekend. Moreover, 177 miles of this had to be altered from the old longitudinal timbers to the modern cross-sleepers (ties). Of course, it took an army of platelayers to do it - 4200 of them (L.A. Smith, 1985). The point is that almost anything is possible given sufficient resources. The key issue is what is chosen or assumed to be fixed for the purposes of the particular question being addressed.

    In general, the faster one seeks to make any change in input use, the more costly such changes will be. Some inputs are costlier, for many reasons, than others to alter and those that are costliest will tend to number amongst those most frequently treated as fixed. The real point, however, is that what to treat as fixed and what variable is itself a choice problem and any decision about this will restrict the scope of inputs to be considered variable.

Information & Library Science

  • noun a print run of only a small number of copies