Topic: Batter Interference and batters box


tomrogers    -- 04-27-2005 @ 3:21 PM
  Hello, thans for handling all of our questions.  These questions are in reguard to Little League Rules only and not FED rules.  

Particularly:
LL Rules 6.06c,  7.08g,  7.09a

1.  Batters Interference question with play at 2nd or 3rd:

Runner tries to steal

A.  Batter remains motionless in batters box - batter protected?

B.  Batter moves within batters box but does not intentionally interfere with catchers throw or fielding, but yet the catcher do have to maneuver around batter - batter protected?

C.  Batter moves within batters box but does intentionally interfere with catchers throw - is batter protected?



2.  Batters Interference question with play at home plate:

Runner tries to steal

A.  Batter remains motionless in batters box - batter protected?
     Is runner out (with less then 2 outs)?
      Is runner out or batter out (with 2 outs)?

B.  Batter moves within batters box but does not intentionally interfere with catchers throw or fielding, but yet the catcher do have to maneuver around batter - batter out?
     Is runner out (with less then 2 outs)?
      Is runner out or batter out (with 2 outs)?


3.  Can the batter be called for interference if he is motionless in the batters box while the catcher is trying to field the ball? ( 7.09a)



Thanks,

tom


greybeard    -- 04-27-2005 @ 4:17 PM
  Ok, here are my 2 cents worth:

Particularly:
LL Rules 6.06c,  7.08g,  7.09a

1.  Batters Interference question with play at 2nd or 3rd:

Runner tries to steal

A.  Batter remains motionless in batters box - batter protected?  

Yes, the batter has a right to his spot in the batter's box, he can't just disappear, he is protected.

B.  Batter moves within batters box but does not intentionally interfere with catchers throw or fielding, but yet the catcher do have to maneuver around batter - batter protected?

This depends on where and how the batter moves, it's judgment at this point as to whether the batter intereferes when his movement causes the catcher to have to change his movements.

C.  Batter moves within batters box but does intentionally interfere with catchers throw - is batter protected?

If he intentionally interferes with the catcher, dead ball, batter is out and all runners return to their base at the time of the pitch.


2.  Batters Interference question with play at home plate:

Runner tries to steal

A.  Batter remains motionless in batters box - batter protected?
     Is runner out (with less then 2 outs)?
      Is runner out or batter out (with 2 outs)?

This is tricky. In little league, the runner can't go until the ball crosses the plate. So, in a steal of home, or on a play at home, a RH batter is going to block his own runner coming in from third. If he just stands there, the runner will likely bump the batter and the catcher will likely have an easier play. What if the runner collides with the daydreaming batter and the batter then falls into the catcher, thereby preventing the catcher from making the play. In this case, I personally would be inclined to call interference on the batter. With less than two outs, the runner is out (no score). With two outs, the batter is out. See 7.08(g)

B.  Batter moves within batters box but does not intentionally interfere with catchers throw or fielding, but yet the catcher do have to maneuver around batter - batter out?
     Is runner out (with less then 2 outs)?
      Is runner out or batter out (with 2 outs)?

Same as above, if the batter hinders the catcher on the play at the plate, I will likely call interference because he has time to get out of the way. I treat this differently  from a steal of second
as the catcher has plenty of room to pop up and throw to second around the batter.

3.  Can the batter be called for interference if he is motionless in the batters box while the catcher is trying to field the ball? ( 7.09a).

The batter can't just disappear. If he remains motionless, I will usually protect him. Every situation is different. Sometimes batters try to jump out of the box to give the catcher room and them bump him accidentally and I will have to call interference because they did move (and cause the contact).

This isn't black and white, there is a lot of judgment involved. I try to base my decision on whether  the defense was disadvantaged by the actions of the batter, not the inaction of the batter(except on plays at the plate). Note that the rules you cite talk about "hinder" and "movement" of the batter, not inaction on his part.

At older levels, you see a lot of catchers actually initiating contact with batters by leaning into them on throws, trying to draw "interference" like a basketball player tries to draw a foul. I'm not buying it.

DB, what does Jaksa/Roder have to say about this? Feel free to school me.






tomrogers    -- 04-27-2005 @ 5:56 PM
  What gets me is that if the LH batter is standing still and the ball ends up behind him, if you will, and then the catcher has to get around him as such, the run is protected and does not interfere, correct?  Then as R3 comes home and the batter remains still and the catcher still has to get around the batter to make the play, the runner is called out (or batter depending on the out count) even though he did not interfere per the definition of the first rule. How can the batter or R3 be called out if no interference occured?


greybeard    -- 04-28-2005 @ 8:52 AM
  If the LH batter is standing still in his box, even if the catcher has to go around him, it is likely I won't call interference.

The batter is just doing what he is entitled to do: stand in the box and hit. The defense created the problem either via a wild pitch or passed ball, so the batter is not at fault if the catcher is scurrying around to get the ball.  In my experience, the batter has a greater chance of actually interfering with the catcher if he does try to get out of the box and then bumps the catcher. That will likley be interference because the batter did move and did hinder the catcher.

Every situation is different and it requires judgment as to whether the batter really did hinder the defense thru his actions, not his inactions.



papablue    -- 05-02-2005 @ 6:00 PM
  Tom, I had a situation in a LL Juniors game over the weekend identical to your example in 1B.  Batter was within his box, but shifted into the path of the catcher attempting to throw to out a stealing R2 at third.  Although it was unintentional, I still called batter's interference because it impaired the catcher in an attempted play.

"Umpire's heaven is a place where he works third base every game." -- Ron Luciano

This message was edited by papablue on 5-2-05 @ 6:01 PM


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