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ksgriff06

Runner Interference

Question

Happened this morning in a 14U game played under modified NFHS rules (modifications for balk warnings and bats). I'm curious to what the thoughts are by the rule book and if I'm just way off base on arguing how this could be interference.

 

The team I coach is up to bat with a runner on first base and 1 out. The batter (a lefty) hits a ground ball to the short stop who bobbles the ball and throws to first. The batter/runner is coming down the foul line in a straight path from home to first.

 

The throw from the short stop was off line causing the first basemen to come about 5-7 feet up the line and jump in the air to try and field the throw. The throw was still overthrown but while trying to catch it there is contact with the batter/runner (neither player goes down and neither is seriously impeded). Since the ball is overthrown the batter/runner advances to second base while the first basemen picks the ball up and gets it in to the pitcher.

 

The field umpire who started in position B at this point calls the batter/runner out for interference for not giving the first baseman an opportunity to field the ball. This is the first thing that starts to set me off as the other team gets an advantage for an errant throw by the shortstop on what I believe is incidental contact on both players parts.

 

After the first pitch to the next batter the umpires send my runner on third (who had started off the previously play on first) back to second. I understand this is the right call but at that point when the next play/batter has started do they have the ability/right to correct it? I believe that this should have been called before the next batter takes a pitch (what would happen if he singles?).

 

I appreciate all the feedback and pointing to anything in the rule or case book would be great.

 

 

 

 

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1. Based on your description, I tend to agree that this is incidental contact. If it were more than that, you could have an obstruction call. It should be called interference only if the batter-runner intentionally interfered with the fielder.

2. No harm, no foul on this one. Yes, it looks bad, but ultimately, the umpires want to get their calls right and the coaches should support that, even though the umpires may be clunky in their execution.

3. Correct, it should have been. See my #2 answer.

 

8 minutes ago, ksgriff06 said:

1. The field umpire who started in position B at this point calls the batter/runner out for interference for not giving the first baseman an opportunity to field the ball. This is the first thing that starts to set me off as the other team gets an advantage for an errant throw by the shortstop on what I believe is incidental contact on both players parts.

2. After the first pitch to the next batter the umpires send my runner on third (who had started off the previously play on first) back to second. I understand this is the right call but at that point when the next play/batter has started do they have the ability/right to correct it?

3. I believe that this should have been called before the next batter takes a pitch (what would happen if he singles?).

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1. Based on your description, I tend to agree that this is incidental contact. If it were more than that, you could have an obstruction call. It should be called interference only if the batter-runner intentionally interfered with the fielder.
2. No harm, no foul on this one. Yes, it looks bad, but ultimately, the umpires want to get their calls right and the coaches should support that, even though the umpires may be clunky in their execution.
3. Correct, it should have been. See my #2 answer.
 


I appreciate the answer and wanted to make sure I wasn't going crazy.

Hypothetically if I had a batter up to bat who was running outside of the running lane (fair territory) and the same situation occurred would that then be almost guaranteed interference? Or since the throw was errant (again this ball was completely uncatchable) would if not matter if the contact was not intentional/malicious?

I absolutely want the umpires to get the call right I just wasn't sure if there was a time frame or anything. For example we were playing with a large backstop and had already advanced home 3-4 times on wild pitches. If the first pitch was wild and our runner scored would they still be able to put him back on second?

The nuances of this game are amazing and so glad to be a part of it!


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16 minutes ago, ksgriff06 said:

 


I appreciate the answer and wanted to make sure I wasn't going crazy.

Hypothetically if I had a batter up to bat who was running outside of the running lane (fair territory) and the same situation occurred would that then be almost guaranteed interference? Or since the throw was errant (again this ball was completely uncatchable) would if not matter if the contact was not intentional/malicious?

I absolutely want the umpires to get the call right I just wasn't sure if there was a time frame or anything. For example we were playing with a large backstop and had already advanced home 3-4 times on wild pitches. If the first pitch was wild and our runner scored would they still be able to put him back on second?

The nuances of this game are amazing and so glad to be a part of it!


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Yes, if the BR were out of the lane, it would be interference. He can only legally be outside of the lane to avoid contact with a fielder. This would fall under my previous reference to intentionally interfering with the fielder.

There isn't a prescribed time frame for base awards and such. But umpires can't (shouldn't) undo plays like you're describing. If the umpire screws up and a subsequent play is affected, then he'll have to eat a s@!& sandwich, as we say. He made a mistake and everyone has to live with it. As unfortunate as it is, it's part of the game. It's also one reason why some jurisdictions allow coaches to file a protest.

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15 minutes ago, ElkOil said:

Yes, if the BR were out of the lane, it would be interference. He can only legally be outside of the lane to avoid contact with a fielder. This would fall under my previous reference to intentionally interfering with the fielder.

There isn't a prescribed time frame for base awards and such. But umpires can't (shouldn't) undo plays like you're describing. If the umpire screws up and a subsequent play is affected, then he'll have to eat a s@!& sandwich, as we say. He made a mistake and everyone has to live with it. As unfortunate as it is, it's part of the game. It's also one reason why some jurisdictions allow coaches to file a protest.

Did the runner interfere with F3 gloving a quality throw coming from behind the runner? A batter runner can run anywhere legally, but if he is out of the lane and other stuff happens it might be RLI. This wasn't.

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19 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

Did the runner interfere with F3 gloving a quality throw coming from behind the runner? A batter runner can run anywhere legally, but if he is out of the lane and other stuff happens it might be RLI. This wasn't.

That isn't the criteria for NFHS. The OP stated they were playing under FED rules. I quoted the rule here:

The batter-runner is out when he runs outside the three-foot running lane (last half of the distance from home plate to first base), while the ball is being fielded or thrown to first base; or 1. This infraction is ignored if it is to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field the batted ball or if the act does not interfere with a fielder or a throw.

So in the OP's hypothetical, if it interfered with the throw and the BR was outside of the lane, it's RLI.

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38 minutes ago, ElkOil said:

That isn't the criteria for NFHS. The OP stated they were playing under FED rules. I quoted the rule here:

The batter-runner is out when he runs outside the three-foot running lane (last half of the distance from home plate to first base), while the ball is being fielded or thrown to first base; or 1. This infraction is ignored if it is to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field the batted ball or if the act does not interfere with a fielder or a throw.

So in the OP's hypothetical, if it interfered with the throw and the BR was outside of the lane, it's RLI.

FED does have a caseplay where a batter running out of the lane on the fair side is hit by a throw from a DTK on the foul side. While they don't ascribe to "quality throw" they do ascribe to common sense, or you should.

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That isn't the criteria for NFHS. The OP stated they were playing under FED rules. I quoted the rule here:
The batter-runner is out when he runs outside the three-foot running lane (last half of the distance from home plate to first base), while the ball is being fielded or thrown to first base; or 1. This infraction is ignored if it is to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field the batted ball or if the act does not interfere with a fielder or a throw.
So in the OP's hypothetical, if it interfered with the throw and the BR was outside of the lane, it's RLI.


RLI is not possible on a throw from the shortstop in Fed. The throw must come from behind the BR. 2010 NFHS Interpretations, Situation 7.
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11 hours ago, Jimurray said:

FED does have a caseplay where a batter running out of the lane on the fair side is hit by a throw from a DTK on the foul side. While they don't ascribe to "quality throw" they do ascribe to common sense, or you should.

 

10 hours ago, grayhawk said:

 


RLI is not possible on a throw from the shortstop in Fed. The throw must come from behind the BR. 2010 NFHS Interpretations, Situation 7.

 

F@%$ing case plays.

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1 hour ago, ElkOil said:

 

F@%$ing case plays.

But that makes sense... a ball being thrown from 3rd, SS or 2nd? How would the runners lane come into play really? The B/R is not going to interfere with a quality throw with a ball coming from that direction and more than likely a crappy throw that takes F3 off the mark is going to bring F3 and B/R together at the last moment and most likely at the point on the track where we would expect B/R to come into fair territory to achieve 1st base. Getting RLI on that? I would expect an EJ to promptly follow.

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1 hour ago, Mudisfun said:

But that makes sense... a ball being thrown from 3rd, SS or 2nd? How would the runners lane come into play really? The B/R is not going to interfere with a quality throw with a ball coming from that direction and more than likely a crappy throw that takes F3 off the mark is going to bring F3 and B/R together at the last moment and most likely at the point on the track where we would expect B/R to come into fair territory to achieve 1st base. Getting RLI on that? I would expect an EJ to promptly follow.

It does make sense. My thinking on it was that -- according to the rule without the benefit of the case play -- it also makes sense that were BR out of the lane and F3 pulled off the bag, he would be interfering with the play.

This is neither the first nor last time I am wrong. But now I know.

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2 hours ago, Mudisfun said:

But that makes sense... a ball being thrown from 3rd, SS or 2nd? How would the runners lane come into play really? The B/R is not going to interfere with a quality throw with a ball coming from that direction and more than likely a crappy throw that takes F3 off the mark is going to bring F3 and B/R together at the last moment and most likely at the point on the track where we would expect B/R to come into fair territory to achieve 1st base. Getting RLI on that? I would expect an EJ to promptly follow.

The interference is with the fielder's ability to field the throw, not the throw itself. That's how.

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Guest LVAve

You could also rule that since the F3 did not have the ball he can not make contact with the runner.  When there is contact in most cases there has to be either obstruction or interference.  Not a fun call.

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12 hours ago, Guest LVAve said:

When there is contact in most cases there has to be either obstruction or interference.

Not true on a thrown ball

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