Topic: Interference call


1blindump    -- 03-25-2004 @ 12:42 PM
  Here is the scenario: High school JV batter pops up along the first base line very near foul territory. F3 comes charging down the line to attempt catch. Batter-runner runs as taught down the baseline, and moves into the "runner's lane" when appropriate. BR never sees play developing as ball is high and slightly behind him. As ball drifts into foul territory, F3 crosses basepath in front of BR. A major collision occurs. The ball falls untouched to the ground and rests in foul territory. After BR falls, he gets up and continues to first base. He is ntoiceably limping and is in pain. My call was "Foul Ball", as I went to check on BR. All pandemonium broke loose as F3's Head Coach become incredibly irate screaming for interference. I regained control by stating that my primary focus was for BR. AFter ensuring BR was uninjured and able to continue play, I declared that the collision was incidental contact and neither BR nor F3 was guilty of interference or obstruction as both opposing Coaches had demanded. The scene became incredibly volatile and unfortunately I ejected the Head Coach from F3's team for conduct VERY unbecoming. From this explanation, was the call correct? Thank you very much.



This message was edited by 1blindump on 3-25-04 @ 12:49 PM


1blindump    -- 03-25-2004 @ 12:47 PM
 



This message was edited by 1blindump on 3-25-04 @ 12:50 PM


Jim_Thompson    -- 03-25-2004 @ 2:48 PM
  Ejecting the head coach correct? Absolutely. If in your judgment there was no interference or obstruction your call was correct. This is a "Ya gotta be there" play so it depends on your judgment. "Unfortunately" is a poor choice of words. He deserved to go.

Jim


greybeard    -- 03-25-2004 @ 2:59 PM
  This is a "you had to be there," but from what you describe, the batter-runner interfered.  The fielder always has a right to field the ball and the runner is not required to be in the basepath unless a play is being made on him.

The whole thing sounds very unfortunate, but batters need to be cognizant of the fielders and the batters' obligation to give them an opportunity to field the ball.  You were right to check on the runner and should be applauded for making that your first concern, but I think the defensive coach had a point, notwithstanding his behavior.  He could have done a much better job of getting his point across.

Train wrecks are part of the game, but they are usually the result of bang-bang situations in which neither the fielder nor the runner have much chance to get out of the way. In this case, it sounds like the runner had the chance to avoid the fielder given it was a pop fly.

I was doing the bases once and a similar thing happened except that F1, F3 and F2 all converged on a pop fly. The poor runner was trying to avoid all three guys bearing down on him and bumped F3.  F1 dropped the ball and my partner called the runner out for interference. I waited for the offensive coach to argue obstruction on F3 (only one fielder can be protected on that play, and since F1 dropped it, he could have argued he was the only one protected) but he let it go.

These are always tough calls, and even tougher sells with coaches.


DelawareBlue    -- 03-25-2004 @ 5:57 PM
  This is a "you had to be there," but from what you describe, the batter-runner interfered.  The fielder always has a right to field the ball and the runner is not required to be in the basepath unless a play is being made on him.

Without being there (but based on the play as described), I'm with greybeard on this one.  The BR (or runner) must avoid the fielder at all costs when the fielder is making a play on a batted ball (unless the defensive player misplays the ball and moves from his initial position).  Check rule 8-4-2g: Any runner is out when...he hinders a fielder on his initial attempt to field a batter ball...  

Remember, intent is not necessary for interference on a batted ball.  Sounds like it was interference and an out to me.  But I wasn't there.


jhhaglund    -- 04-06-2004 @ 11:22 AM
  Oddly enough we had a very similar question come up in practice last night (16-19 Babe Ruth).  Batter hits a high pop-up right along the 1st base line, fielder comes to attempt to make the catch right at the spot where batter is running up the line.  If batter makes contact, even unintentional, e.g. running with his head down full bore toward 1st, is that interference?  If he goes out of the baseline to "avoid contact at all cost," will he not be called out?  


DelawareBlue    -- 04-06-2004 @ 1:18 PM
  If batter makes contact, even unintentional, e.g. running with his head down full bore toward 1st, is that interference?

In your play as described, yes.  Interference, out.  

Rule 7.09 It is interference by a batter or a runner when: (l) He fails to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball... PENALTY FOR INTERFERENCE: The runner is out and the ball is dead.

If he goes out of the baseline to "avoid contact at all cost," will he not be called out?

No, not if the umpire knows the rule.

Rule 7.08
Any runner is out when (a) (1) He runs more than three feet away from a direct line between bases to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball;


AgentDad    -- 04-09-2004 @ 2:53 PM
  I agree with greybeard. Actually this exact play happened to my team with my son (Pitcher). The only difference was that he held onto the ball somehow. Even if he had dropped it the runner would have been out by runner interference.

AgentDad

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