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HR; teammates physically prevent batter from entering dugout before touching home

Question

11u game at local rec league. Assume that rules are OBR.

Runner on third, one out. Batter hits an over-the-fence HR (extremely rare at this level).

Batter-runner's team is in the third-base dugout. After the batter-runner touches third, he swings over to the dugout. Teammates at the entrance to the dugout are high-fiving him. BR seems to have forgotten about touching home and is about to enter dugout. Base coach begins screaming, "HOME! HOME!" and some of the BR's teammates in the dugout push him away from the dugout's opening. BR comes to his senses, touches home, and enters dugout.

 

Does the HR stand?

 

The ruling:

Opposing coach claimed the BR entered dugout and should be called out. Umpire judged that he did not enter the dugout. UIC is called and rules that the BR is out for being physically assisted by the teammates in the dugout.

 

Bonus questions:

(1) if the BR had entered the dugout, then returned to field and touched home, would he have been out?

(2) if the 3B coach had grabbed the BR and pulled him away from the dugout, would he be out?

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I agree with "call the out."  And, I think that the coach / team should still celebrate the home run by letting the kid go first in the snack line.

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4 hours ago, Jimurray said:

Are you supposed to know who hasn't hit a HR yet? So let's put you on that field. What type of call would you make:

If the opposing team successfully appealed the 11 yo missed 1B. 

 

Why are you changing the scenario? This post is about celebrating by the dugout, not about missing a base. The two aren't similar enough to warrant a comparison, so please adhere to your own advice and not take this train off the tracks.

Regarding the OP, I've stated my opinion earlier, so re-stating it isn't gong to further the discussion, and I don't have anything new or different to offer. You and I will just have to disagree, I suppose.

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34 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

 

In a community level game where I was a volunteer umpire for a bunch of 11 year olds, on an out of park home run the kid stepped right over home plate.  F2 saw it, asked the coach what to do, appealed, and I called the kid out.

Every parent on that team yelled at me, and their coach called me a cheater.  Kid didn't touch the plate - what do you want me to do?

To me this IS the perfect learning moment - better to learn now in a community league game than in the gold medal game of a tournament or some Championship.   There are rules, and consequences to breaking them.   You can follow the rules and still have fun.

you're not wrong, however, it's a rec game, use it as a teachable moment, my $.02

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2 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

In a community level game ... their coach called me a cheater.

Not to further derail the train, but I hope this coach spent the remainder of the game in the comfort of his car.

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All this conversation about the level of play, and the "right" thing to do is all fine and dandy, however, I'd really like to know how this is supposed to be ruled in OBR. Seems FED is clear anyone but a "viable runner" can be guilty of assistance. OBR, not clear (at least to me from reading through here). 

From what I can gather, there's no definitive answer for OBR?  

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40 minutes ago, Richvee said:

All this conversation about the level of play, and the "right" thing to do is all fine and dandy, however, I'd really like to know how this is supposed to be ruled in OBR. Seems FED is clear anyone but a "viable runner" can be guilty of assistance. OBR, not clear (at least to me from reading through here). 

From what I can gather, there's no definitive answer for OBR?  

OBR, we would have to wait until @JonnyCat checks his notes or @Umpire Training Academy chimes in as agreeing with Hernandez and the WUM.

NCAA we would have to wait until @grayhawk or @MidAmUmp checks with the Bruns, the current rules guy or with Paronto, the previous rules guy as to whether the quote attributed to Paronto is accurate.

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50 minutes ago, Richvee said:

All this conversation about the level of play, and the "right" thing to do is all fine and dandy, however, I'd really like to know how this is supposed to be ruled in OBR. Seems FED is clear anyone but a "viable runner" can be guilty of assistance. OBR, not clear (at least to me from reading through here). 

From what I can gather, there's no definitive answer for OBR?  

think for a live ball we have Hernandez calling out a player who was assisted by a teammate who was not a runner, with agreement (?) that it was the correct call, and possibly some authoritative confirmation (though not found by anyone yet).

IF Hernandez was correct in the live ball situation I think we can extrapolate that it would also be correct in a dead ball situation.  Assistance isn't restricted to the two base coaches.

I still go back to the catch all common sense - though OBR only specifically mentions the base coaches I can't envision that the framers were prepared to allow a bench coach to come out and assist a runner.

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30 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

OBR, we would have to wait until @JonnyCat checks his notes or @Umpire Training Academy chimes in as agreeing with Hernandez and the WUM.

NCAA we would have to wait until @grayhawk or @MidAmUmp checks with the Bruns, the current rules guy or with Paronto, the previous rules guy as to whether the quote attributed to Paronto is accurate.

I see no reason for an updated interp from Bruns, mostly because I think what Paronto said makes a ton of sense.  There is no language in NCAA rules to prevent a player from assisting another player - only coaches are prevented from assisting.  And for me, it's exactly the same in OBR.  I think Wendelstedt is reaching considering the rule he cites has absolutely no language about players assisting their teammates.  It was called that way by Hernandez in a game, but to my knowledge, it was not protested so there is no official interpretation anywhere that should make me believe that the rule itself is incomplete.

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38 minutes ago, grayhawk said:

I see no reason for an updated interp from Bruns, mostly because I think what Paronto said makes a ton of sense.  There is no language in NCAA rules to prevent a player from assisting another player - only coaches are prevented from assisting.  And for me, it's exactly the same in OBR.  I think Wendelstedt is reaching considering the rule he cites has absolutely no language about players assisting their teammates.  It was called that way by Hernandez in a game, but to my knowledge, it was not protested so there is no official interpretation anywhere that should make me believe that the rule itself is incomplete.

Didn't Paronto agree with Hernandez call?

"

Quote:
Originally Posted by umpjong View Post
The NCAA rulebook has the similar wording, but in reviewing the 2009 Study Guide for NCAA that is put out by Referee magazine they have this rule interpreted as a base coach or another runner physically assisting him being grounds for an out. An e-mail has been sent for clarification since there is no interp citation of either a NCAA rules person nor a cite that it comes from MLB. 
Will post (or JJ will) when an answer comes in. This is interesting since according to the study guide another base runner cannot physically assist while on the base paths. Hopefully this is not the authors own interp and we can track down the origin. Otherwise we are still where we are now........ Its unusual that an interp in this book is not cited by either a NCAA person or MLB.


Jim Paronto (NCAA) and Kyle McNeely (FED) both came back in agreement with the MLB call of out. Since the runner who scored is no longer considered a runner and he clearly assisted a runner who was making no attempt to return home, the runner is out for assistance.

JJ"
 
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16 hours ago, Jimurray said:

Didn't Paronto agree with Hernandez call?

"

Quote:
Originally Posted by umpjong View Post
The NCAA rulebook has the similar wording, but in reviewing the 2009 Study Guide for NCAA that is put out by Referee magazine they have this rule interpreted as a base coach or another runner physically assisting him being grounds for an out. An e-mail has been sent for clarification since there is no interp citation of either a NCAA rules person nor a cite that it comes from MLB. 
Will post (or JJ will) when an answer comes in. This is interesting since according to the study guide another base runner cannot physically assist while on the base paths. Hopefully this is not the authors own interp and we can track down the origin. Otherwise we are still where we are now........ Its unusual that an interp in this book is not cited by either a NCAA person or MLB.


Jim Paronto (NCAA) and Kyle McNeely (FED) both came back in agreement with the MLB call of out. Since the runner who scored is no longer considered a runner and he clearly assisted a runner who was making no attempt to return home, the runner is out for assistance.

JJ"
 

Unless something official comes out, I am officiating this by the letter of the rule, which only states that base coaches can't assist runners.  If it's not illegal, then it's legal, right? 

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4 minutes ago, grayhawk said:

Unless something official comes out, I am officiating this by the letter of the rule, which only states that base coaches can't assist runners.  If it's not illegal, then it's legal, right? 

It appears that someone, JJ, emailed in 2010 and got an official reply from Paronto, the then current NCAA rules interpreter, and Mckneely, the FED interpreter. Perhaps Paronto thought, as @beerguy55 does, that it was common sense and didn't need an interp. But it would be nice to have more on paper. I'm using the WUM cite in OBR, FED has a ruling and I would use that in NCAA. You don't have to.

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2 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

It appears that someone, JJ, emailed in 2010 and got an official reply from Paronto, the then current NCAA rules interpreter, and Mckneely, the FED interpreter. Perhaps Paronto thought, as @beerguy55 does, that it was common sense and didn't need an interp. But it would be nice to have more on paper. I'm using the WUM cite in OBR, FED has a ruling and I would use that in NCAA. You don't have to.

I think it's more common sense to allow players to assist their teammates.  They are participants in the game, coaches are not.  To each his own.

I would normally agree with using the WUM where no official interp exists, but since the rule language that Wendelstedt quotes says nothing about players, I don't see how it holds water.  I'll email Bruns to see what he says for NCAA.

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1 hour ago, grayhawk said:

I think it's more common sense to allow players to assist their teammates.  They are participants in the game, coaches are not.  To each his own.

I would normally agree with using the WUM where no official interp exists, but since the rule language that Wendelstedt quotes says nothing about players, I don't see how it holds water.  I'll email Bruns to see what he says for NCAA.

Though I don't disagree with your assessment of common sense, I'm looking at this a little more holistically.

The OBR rule specifically talks about a first or third base coach, assisting a runner in leaving or returning to first or third base.   If we were to limit assistance to that, then:

1. A bench coach can assist runners

2. A base coach can assist runners on second base or at home

3. A bat boy, water boy, towel boy, mascot, manager, trainer, or parents/friends in the stands can assist runners

4. Any player on the bench, whether in the lineup or not, on the roster or not, can assist runners - even an ejected/restricted player (at the risk of suspension) could

5. The on deck batter, the batter, any retired runner or any scored runner can assist runners

6. A runner can assist a runner

7. A member of the opposing team can assist a runner

8. An umpire can assist a runner

9. A random passer-by who is wondering why nobody is helping the kid who just tripped over third base can assist a runner

In the context of the game of baseball, I can't envision any scenario in any universe or dimension where the framers wanted to allow 1-5 to occur.   And frankly, though I'm supportive of #6, I have no problem with a rule prohibiting that one too.

My opinion is the rule was written because the writers could actually foresee (or actually witnessed) a scenario where a base coach helped a runner.  They likely didn't foresee someone running off the bench to help a runner who tripped.

 

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Though I don't disagree with your assessment of common sense, I'm looking at this a little more holistically.

The OBR rule specifically talks about a first or third base coach, assisting a runner in leaving or returning to first or third base.   If we were to limit assistance to that, then:

1. A bench coach can assist runners

2. A base coach can assist runners on second base or at home

3. A bat boy, water boy, towel boy, mascot, manager, trainer, or parents/friends in the stands can assist runners

4. Any player on the bench, whether in the lineup or not, on the roster or not, can assist runners - even an ejected/restricted player (at the risk of suspension) could

5. The on deck batter, the batter, any retired runner or any scored runner can assist runners

6. A runner can assist a runner

7. A member of the opposing team can assist a runner

8. An umpire can assist a runner

9. A random passer-by who is wondering why nobody is helping the kid who just tripped over third base can assist a runner

In the context of the game of baseball, I can't envision any scenario in any universe or dimension where the framers wanted to allow 1-5 to occur.   And frankly, though I'm supportive of #6, I have no problem with a rule prohibiting that one too.

My opinion is the rule was written because the writers could actually foresee (or actually witnessed) a scenario where a base coach helped a runner.  They likely didn't foresee someone running off the bench to help a runner who tripped.

 

 

I'm looking at it from the perspective that we have game PARTICIPANTS who are allowed to be in live ball territory and we have everyone else (coaches, bat boys, umpires, bench players, photographers - some of whom are allowed on the field but are not an active participant).

 

It doesn't make sense for bench coaches, for example, to be prohibited from assisting because they're not allowed on the field anyway.

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22 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

IF Hernandez was correct in the live ball situation I think we can extrapolate that it would also be correct in a dead ball situation.  

I don't agree. Remember McGwire's record-breaking HR?

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From the 2016 BRD section 328 titled: 

Interference by: Runner: Assists Other Runner during Live Action

OBR:  Point not covered

Official Interpretation: Wendelstedt:  No member of the offensive team, other than another runner running the bases, can physically assist a runner in advancing or returning to a base. (WRIM section 8.4.2.e, p. 160)

Section 310, p. 207—Interference by: Coach:  Assists Runner during:  Dead Ball

NCAA:  Point not covered.

Official Interpretation:  Paronto:  “There is no coach’s interference during a dead ball unless the coach’s actions provide an advantage for the offensive team.” (email to cc, 12/21/11)

OBR:  No provision. Treat as in NCAA.

Play:  R1 tries for third on B1’s single, but F9’s throw goes dead. R1 rounds the bag (he will be awarded home) but does not touch it. The coach grabs R1 by the arm and yells: “Go back and touch third.” Ruling:  At all levels, there is no penalty.

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7 minutes ago, Senor Azul said:

 

Official Interpretation:  Paronto:  “There is no coach’s interference during a dead ball unless the coach’s actions provide an advantage for the offensive team.” (email to cc, 12/21/11)

OBR:  No provision. Treat as in NCAA.

Play:  R1 tries for third on B1’s single, but F9’s throw goes dead. R1 rounds the bag (he will be awarded home) but does not touch it. The coach grabs R1 by the arm and yells: “Go back and touch third.” Ruling:  At all levels, there is no penalty.

Well, if that action isn't considered an advantage in a dead ball play I can't imagine what could possibly provide an advantage.

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15 hours ago, Matt said:

I don't agree. Remember McGwire's record-breaking HR?

 

15 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

Well, if that action isn't considered an advantage in a dead ball play I can't imagine what could possibly provide an advantage.

I agree with the quoted in the BRD, but I don't agree with the play result (iow, I agree with beerguy).

 

In the McGwire play, the coach first grabbed McGwire to give a congratulatory hug (no advantage -- allowed).  He then stepped back and pointed to first (no physical assistance -- allowed).  Had the coach grabbed McGwire to pull him back to the base, the out would (or should) have been called.

And, yes, the "advantage bar" can move during a dead ball award, and during a rare record-breaking event.  But, it doesn't disappear.

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Thanks to all for the discussion... I found it very interesting.

 

For what it's worth, I ran into the same plate umpire (not the UIC who made the final call) at another game and he brought up the incident and told me, "That was a home run."

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On 7/11/2017 at 11:47 AM, noumpere said:

1) Here's the provision from JEA:

Professional Interpretation: Being “even” with a preceding running shall not be construed as passing him.
A following runner may assist a preceding runner who has fallen as long as he does not pass him in the umpire’s
judgment.

 

2) A coach *can* sometimes help a runner up -- it depends on whether the ball is live (not allowed) or dead  (allowed -- but read on) AND whether the action is just helping him up (allowed) or is "pointing him back to a missed base" (not allowed).

Here's how JEA puts it:

Professional Interpretation: “Physically assisting” implies that the coach did something by touching the runner
which improved that runner's chance of accomplishing his goal as a runner. In other words, touching alone does
not constitute physically assisting. The umpire must be convinced that the runner is trying to get back to a base or
is trying to advance with a sense of urgency.

 

That last part is what clarifies it. There was no missed base to return to, so that does not apply. And since it is a 4 base award, there is no advancing with a sense of urgency. 

There can be no play against the runner, since the ball is dead via the home run, so there is no ability to assist him. While the runner would have been called out had he entered the dugout, he did not. 

Most importantly,while definitely a teachable moment for him,  do not rob a 11u player a home run because he had a brain fart. 

the home run should stand. 

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On 07/10/2017 at 4:48 PM, bbrages said:

BR's teammates in the dugout push him away from the dugout's opening.

 

On 08/01/2017 at 10:58 AM, Guest cjk said:

or dead  (allowed -- but read on) AND whether the action is just helping him up (allowed) or is "pointing him back to a missed base" (not allowed).

 

On 08/01/2017 at 10:58 AM, Guest cjk said:

There was no missed base to return to,

There certainly was.....home was missed and he was heading to the dugout, and he was assisted in returning to touch.

 

Once again, don't get me wrong, it's the $hi**y end of the stick and probably the "wrong" call to make in a 11u rec game, but for the purpose of "strictly by the rules", I believe he's out.

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34 minutes ago, Richvee said:

 

 

There certainly was.....home was missed and he was heading to the dugout, and he was assisted in returning to touch.

 

Once again, don't get me wrong, it's the $hi**y end of the stick and probably the "wrong" call to make in a 11u rec game, but for the purpose of "strictly by the rules", I believe he's out.

While I believe that would be the correct ruling as per Wendelstedt, Angel Hernandez and Paranto, we haven't heard from @JonnyCat, @grayhawk or the umpire school as to what the current thinking is. Apparently the umpire school school did not prepare @JonnyCat for this rare occurrence. Apparently, @grayhawk has not heard back from the current NCAA rule interpretator. Possibly awaiting some back and forth about who is correct. And TUS is silent even though this website lets them promote  while giving nothing back such as a ruling on this insignificant thing that would rarely happen, except it did once in an MLB game and once inthe OP.

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2 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

While I believe that would be the correct ruling as per Wendelstedt, Angel Hernandez and Paranto, we haven't heard from @JonnyCat, @grayhawk or the umpire school as to what the current thinking is. Apparently the umpire school school did not prepare @JonnyCat for this rare occurrence. Apparently, @grayhawk has not heard back from the current NCAA rule interpretator. Possibly awaiting some back and forth about who is correct. And TUS is silent even though this website lets them promote  while giving nothing back such as a ruling on this insignificant thing that would rarely happen, except it did once in an MLB game and once inthe OP.

I did hear back from Randy Bruns, though it took him a while since he thought he had already answered.  Then I forgot which thread was the reason for me contacting him in the first place.  In any case, here is his answer.  The "current rule situation" that he is talking about is Paronto's quote in the BRD:

"I'm ok with the current rule situation and have no problem with an assist from a teammate. I wouldn't want to call out a runner who ran into a teammate rounding first, for example, as long as they didn't pass each other. If a teammate got pushed to assist in avoiding a tag, this should be an out, but I've never seen that and no one has ever suggested we need another rule about that."

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25 minutes ago, grayhawk said:

I did hear back from Randy Bruns, though it took him a while since he thought he had already answered.  Then I forgot which thread was the reason for me contacting him in the first place.  In any case, here is his answer.  The "current rule situation" that he is talking about is Paronto's quote in the BRD:

"I'm ok with the current rule situation and have no problem with an assist from a teammate. I wouldn't want to call out a runner who ran into a teammate rounding first, for example, as long as they didn't pass each other. If a teammate got pushed to assist in avoiding a tag, this should be an out, but I've never seen that and no one has ever suggested we need another rule about that."

That is clear as mud. Is he saying an active runner can not assist his preceding or succeding teammate/runner as in pushing off of a base when they are both at risk when both are on the base or any other possible sit? The question was could anyone other than an active runner be guilty of coach interference. We don't need another rule about that. @Richveejust needsaffirmation about the two codes ruling in case it happens to him in the next twenty years. I don't need affirmation. I'm calling it like Angel and Wendelstedt. What about you @grayhawk?

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That is clear as mud. Is he saying an active runner can not assist his preceding or succeding teammate/runner as in pushing off of a base when they are both at risk when both are on the base or any other possible sit? The question was could anyone other than an active runner be guilty of coach interference. We don't need another rule about that. [mention=1964]Richvee[/mention]just needsaffirmation about the two codes ruling in case it happens to him in the next twenty years. I don't need affirmation. I'm calling it like Angel and Wendelstedt. What about you [mention=1498]grayhawk[/mention]?


In NCAA, I'm only calling an out for a coach physically assisting a runner. If a runner, retired runner, runner who has scored assists (as in the OP), I've got nothing.

In OBR, I guess I'd go with Wendelstedt since there's no other guidance.

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