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Umpire Interference

26 posts in this topic

Does a pitch have to be caught by the catcher for interference to be called on the PU?

For example, catcher drops the pitch and after picking up the ball ( which is right in front of him) to throw out a stealing runner his throwing hand contacts the PU and his throw does not retire the runner.

Does this qualify as umpire interference?

 

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I see nothing that says a catcher needs to catch the ball cleanly for umpire interference to be called on his attempted throw if the umpire hinders him.

OBR

Rule 6.01( f ) Comment (Rule 2.00 ( Interference)(c)) and
Comment ): Umpire’s interference occurs (1) when a plate
umpire hinders, impedes or prevents a catcher’s throw attempting
to prevent a stolen base or retire a runner on a pick-off
play; ...... Umpire interference may also occur
when an umpire interferes with a catcher returning the ball to
the pitcher.

FED

ART. 2 . . . It is umpire interference when he inadvertently moves so as to ­hinder a catcher's attempt to throw, or when a fair ball touches an umpire as in 5-1-1f, or thrown ball as in 5-1-1g.

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2 hours ago, UMP45 said:

This not umpire interference.

I think it is. If the umpire hindered the catcher, and the throw doesn't result in an out, it's INT.

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2 hours ago, UMP45 said:

This not umpire interference.

I agree with the others that this would be INT.  Why do you think it isn't?  (Seeking to understand; not to criticise)

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1 hour ago, Richvee said:

 

FED

ART. 2 . . . It is umpire interference when he inadvertently moves so as to ­hinder a catcher's attempt to throw, or when a fair ball touches an umpire as in 5-1-1f, or thrown ball as in 5-1-1g.

@Richvee..... Of all people..... citing an old rule????

Inadvertent has been struck from the rule. 

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40 minutes ago, Kevin_K said:

@Richvee..... Of all people..... citing an old rule????

Inadvertent has been struck from the rule. 

Interesting.  They removed "inadvertently" from 8-3-6, but not from 2-21-2

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I raised this issue recently at:

I am not convinced, as is more often the case of late, the full rules committee was onboard with this change of verbiage to achieve some desired result.  Otherwise it does not reflect well on NFHS' editorial staff. 

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FED says they changed the wording of the ruling to clarify that baserunners cannot advance on UI. They didn't say they changed anything to clarity if the INT was inadvertent or not. Pretty much a non issue as far as I can tell...how can UI be anything but inadvertent?  

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1 hour ago, Richvee said:

FED says they changed the wording of the ruling to clarify that baserunners cannot advance on UI. They didn't say they changed anything to clarity if the INT was inadvertent or not. Pretty much a non issue as far as I can tell...how can UI be anything but inadvertent?  

I thought that the change was to remove the suggestion that UI necessarily involves the PU moving to create contact with F2. IOW, the emphasis is not on "inadvertently" or not, but "moves" or not.

We can have UI whether the PU moves or not, and I think the amended rule reflects that definition. The key is hindrance, not movement.

I guess I would have announced this as an editorial clarification rather than a rule change. As you say, nothing substantive in the rule or penalty has changed.

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Then are we to conclude that any contact between the plate umpire and F2 (while in possession of the ball and, in the umpire's judgment, in the act of making a throw) is to ruled UI if an unforced runner advances following a pitch?  

 

Still trying to work it out in this head of mine... 

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1 hour ago, Cav said:

Then are we to conclude that any contact between the plate umpire and F2 (while in possession of the ball and, in the umpire's judgment, in the act of making a throw) is to ruled UI if an unforced runner advances following a pitch?  

 

Still trying to work it out in this head of mine... 

I'm not sure I like the word "any" in what you wrote above, but I can't think of an exception at the moment, so I do think it's correct.

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OK, let me throw out what is, in my experience, a more likely scenario.

Pitch comes in inside with R1 stealing. F2 steps on PU's shoe as he's getting up to make the throw. No contact with the arm. No movement by the umpire. Is that UI?

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9 minutes ago, kylehutson said:

OK, let me throw out what is, in my experience, a more likely scenario.

Pitch comes in inside with R1 stealing. F2 steps on PU's shoe as he's getting up to make the throw. No contact with the arm. No movement by the umpire. Is that UI?

Depends -- did it "hinder the throw" (words that I think are in the rules)?  If ti causes F2 to stumble at all, then call the UI.

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22 hours ago, maven said:

I thought that the change was to remove the suggestion that UI necessarily involves the PU moving to create contact with F2. IOW, the emphasis is not on "inadvertently" or not, but "moves" or not.

We can have UI whether the PU moves or not, and I think the amended rule reflects that definition. The key is hindrance, not movement.

I guess I would have announced this as an editorial clarification rather than a rule change. As you say, nothing substantive in the rule or penalty has changed.

The old rule was worded stupidly, for lack of a better word.  Fixing the language was also a likely goal (or should have been) along with clarifying whether an umpire has to move to create interference/hindrance.

The language "inadvertently moves", taken literally, means that the umpire didn't mean to move - eg. he tripped or lost his balance.   My guess is that is not what the framers meant, but that is exactly what they said.  (who knows, maybe it is what they meant - if the umpire trips into the catcher, it's UI, but if the umpire moves exactly as he is supposed to move, then it's not)

So, if they meant "inadvertent" to be a qualifier of the interference itself, then, the presence of the word "inadvertent" creates a very unpleasant implication - that on occasion an umpire's interference could be intentional.  Since we know that that isn't the case (if it ever is we've got a bigger problem than the rule book - or Frank Drebin is impersonating an umpire), then the word inadvertent is redundant.   Players, coaches, even fans, can have both intentional and unintentional interference.  UI can/should only ever be unintentional/inadvertent.

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20 hours ago, noumpere said:

I'm not sure I like the word "any" in what you wrote above, but I can't think of an exception at the moment, so I do think it's correct.

Umpire judges that there is no way on God's green Earth the catcher was going to throw the runner out, regardless of the contact.  eg. Runner gets one of those jumps where the pitcher starts his delivery to the plate after the runner has already taken three full steps.  Or ball in the dirt, catcher bobbles it, and by the time he comes up with it runner is sliding into second.

Otherwise you're going to see an increase in "lost cause" situations where the catcher comes up throwing hoping he can somehow get interference...or even accidentally on purpose making contact with the umpire.

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1 hour ago, beerguy55 said:

Umpire judges that there is no way on God's green Earth the catcher was going to throw the runner out, regardless of the contact.

No hindrance = no INT. Beyond a certain level, F2 won't be coming up throwing on such a play; if he does, the UI is back on the table.

Below that level, there's no telling what runners will do — turn around and return to 1B for instance — so UI is back on the table.

In short: benefit of the doubt to the defense. Of course, contacting an umpire on purpose to draw a call should be recognized for what it is.

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This rule change is unfortunate for several reasons, not least is to make UI a big deal (see this thread).

It's not a big deal, it doesn't happen often (I can't recall the last time I interfered = more than 10 years ago), and neither the criteria for UI nor the penalty have substantially changed.

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1 hour ago, maven said:

This rule change is unfortunate for several reasons, not least is to make UI a big deal (see this thread).

It's not a big deal, it doesn't happen often (I can't recall the last time I interfered = more than 10 years ago), and neither the criteria for UI nor the penalty have substantially changed.

I'm guessing an "incident" occurred, likely in a game of importance (important to whom, we may never know), and enough political stink was created to force this action.

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6 hours ago, kylehutson said:

OK, let me throw out what is, in my experience, a more likely scenario.

Pitch comes in inside with R1 stealing. F2 steps on PU's shoe as he's getting up to make the throw. No contact with the arm. No movement by the umpire. Is that UI?

See this:

 

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2 hours ago, maven said:

This rule change is unfortunate for several reasons, not least is to make UI a big deal (see this thread).  It's not a big deal, it doesn't happen often (I can't recall the last time I interfered = more than 10 years ago), and neither the criteria for UI nor the penalty have substantially changed.

Sounds like a quote from the TV show Friends when Rachel yells at Ross, "Hey, just so you know, it's not that common, it doesn't happen to every guy, and it is a big deal!"

59 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

I'm guessing an "incident" occurred, likely in a game of importance (important to whom, we may never know), and enough political stink was created to force this action.

Regrettably, the remedy can neither fix what has already happened in a past game of importance nor, while remaining in editorial conflict within the rulebook, assure to all that it won't happen again.     

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, maven said:

No hindrance = no INT. Beyond a certain level, F2 won't be coming up throwing on such a play; if he does, the UI is back on the table.

Below that level, there's no telling what runners will do — turn around and return to 1B for instance — so UI is back on the table.

In short: benefit of the doubt to the defense. Of course, contacting an umpire on purpose to draw a call should be recognized for what it is.

I guess that's the question for me.  Hindering what?  Hindering his ability to make a play where he has a semi-legitimate chance of getting the runner either advancing to second or returning to first (giving any reasonable benefit of the doubt to the defense)...or hindering his ability to throw a ball to F6 when R1 is now standing on second base, to apply a tag, simply because that is what their coach has taught them to do?  Keeping in mind that at the lower levels, F2 could be throwing under any circumstances because that is all he knows to do - he hasn't developed the cognitive skills to realize the throw is pointless when the runner has already reached the base.  Or, at the higher level, F2 may be throwing because R1 (now R2) has gone a little far around second base.  So, in determining what to do with the runner, is UI based on TOP or TOI?  In the spirit of the game, and how most people would want the game officiated, sending R1 back to first base in that scenario seems patently unfair...preventing R1 from further advancing to third on an errant throw caused by UI would be appropriate.  The rule does say "preventing a stolen base"...well, at TOI the base is already stolen.

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1 hour ago, Kevin_K said:

See this:

 

Nice discussion, there. Thanks!

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51 minutes ago, kylehutson said:

Nice discussion, there. Thanks!

The treasure trove of discussions here is wide and varied. One of the really great things about this place is that so many are willing to share their experiences not only on the field, but with past discussions as well.

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