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maven last won the day on February 13

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About maven

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    Rules Interpreter

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    Neck o' the Woods, OH

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  1. 2018 NFHS Exam

    Think of it this way: the purpose of the rule is to prohibit coaches intentionally helping their runners. The rule does not aim to prevent collisions. By your reasoning, when a runner slips and falls and so gets back to the base before being tagged (suppose the throw went home), the contact with the ground gave him an unfair advantage. So, we should remedy that by calling him out, because if he hadn't slipped he would have been thrown out at home? Some advantages and disadvantages are just how the ball bounces. We're not there to fix fortune. I'm guessing you're a newer official, and if so (even if not so) please allow me to share some advice. Don't pick fly poop out of the pepper. For any infraction, and especially when it is going to create or nullify an out or a score, MAKE IT BIG. When in doubt, err on the side of no-call. When we no-call action that should have been called, it's forgotten within a week. When we call something that is not there, people remember that crap for years.
  2. 2018 NFHS Exam

    Yes and no. To know whether the judgment mentioned in option (b) is correct—that the coach did not in fact physically assist the runner—requires more information. But to know that option (b) is the best answer requires no additional info: given the judgment, there is no further penalty. As described, this is not "physically assisting the runner," as it is not clearly an intentional attempt to help a runner advance or return by touching him. Merely the fact that the runner might benefit from accidental contact—which itself would be difficult to assess—does not make such contact illegal. We have to call an out for this: use it only where it is OBVIOUS. Also legal, and for the same reason.
  3. dead ball

    Building on Ives's answer: It matters where the ball is when it hits R3 on 3B. If the ball is over foul territory when it strikes R3, then it's a foul ball; if the ball is over fair territory when it strikes R3, then it's a fair ball. A runner who is hit by a foul batted ball is not out for INT: it's just a foul ball. If the ball is fair, then we have one more thing to consider, namely where F5 is playing. If he's playing "in," and the ball passes him before hitting the runner, then we play the bounce: point it fair, play on (maybe verbalize, "that's nothing! Play on!"). If F5 is playing back, then we have INT: the ball is dead, the runner is out, and other runners return. Being in contact with the base is no protection from this infraction.
  4. 2018 NFHS Exam

    Incorrect: read 'assistance' narrowly to mean physically helps the runner advance or return by touching him. You are right that (c) and (d) are incorrect, and this reading explains why. Also, as a test-taking strategy, look for responses like (b) that give away the answer: obviously, if we judge that there's no physical assistance, there will be no penalty for violating the "no physical assistance" rule. Correct, and since they're testing you on the rules, that's how you should answer. The rest of your considerations pertain to the fairness of the rule (not our concern in the test or on the field) and game management (which is very important on the field but not on the test).
  5. Opening the Season

    No snowman. I did stop a game to remove a groundhog, however.
  6. Batter interference on strike 3

    FED also gives PU the option not to go to BU on a checked swing. No umpire should use either option. Either the batter hindered F2, in which case we should rule R1 out for the (retired) batter's INT; or there was no hindrance, in which case there is no penalty. There is no situation where we would properly return R1 to 1B (that's the option allowed by rule but that we should never use).
  7. Defensive Shift and NFHS Question

    The 2009 interps use the phrase, "considered at the time of the play," which suggests something like the functional definition I was proposing. This case play describes a batted ball that is neither clearly in the outfield, nor clearly in the infield. An infielder (positioned normally at TOP) gets to it first, and makes the first play. I'm good with the ruling (TOP award) on that basis. I agree with your statement that, if F9 instead had reached it first, we'd go with a TOT award. Often infielders allow outfielders to get these, as their momentum vector is directed better for fielding and a subsequent throw (coming in, rather than running out).
  8. Defensive Shift and NFHS Question

    That's a natural reading, but not the only one possible. The language of the rule clearly defines three FIELDS (left, center, and right), but not necessarily three FIELDERS ("The players in..." those three fields....). I disagree with the rationale for the interpretation: coaches usually shift in order to position another infielder to make a play on the BR at 1B, not in order to have another outfielder. Where they want another outfielder, he's placed much deeper (as in 2009/SITUATION 20 posted above), and he typically has no play on the BR at 1B. One way to finesse the issue is to judge the play by action on the field. In the case from the DOD bulletin, we have an extra outfielder backing up an infielder on a batted ball over his (F4's) head. His (F5's) throw out of play should be a TOT award. Had the fielders lined up the same way and the batter grounded directly to a shifted F5, who made a wild throw to F3 in plenty of time to retire the BR (had the throw been good), then I'd have it as the first play by an infielder and make a TOP award. This approach uses a functional definition of 'infielder' rather than a positional definition, given the ambiguity of the latter in this case. It also yields the "right" rulings for the 2009 interps.
  9. Excellent! When UPS delivers my time machine and I go to PBUC 30 years ago, I'll nail it!
  10. Check Swing Question

    Yes, and he should, in all codes, every time. Yes, and he should, in all codes, every time. As BU, I give what I've got.
  11. Thank you for the clarification. I should have said "automatic" instead of "accidental." Automatic appeals are, of course, even more objectionable, as the fielder doesn't need to do anything at all: the appeal just happens. I get the rationale, though: basketball and football players don't have to appeal infractions to get a call (and indeed are generally prohibited by rule from doing so), so why require that in baseball?
  12. I was looking at 5.09(c)(3), specifically, "He overruns or overslides first base and fails to return to the base immediately, and he or the base is tagged prior to the runner returning to first base;" 5.09(b)(11) is clearer in distinguishing playing action—a move to 2B, which requires tagging the runner—from non-playing action, such as going to the dugout or returning to his position on the field, in which case either the runner or base may be tagged to appeal the infraction.
  13. Interference

    He can't throw out the runner. The ball is dead. Also, throwing out a runner is not a double play. With no INT, the defense never gets 2 outs for D3K.
  14. Interference

    Sounds like no INT. No hindrance = no INT. There might be some 1 in a million scenario where we could have D3K, genuine INT by the BR, and somehow F2 still has a shot at a double play. That still doesn't satisfy the description of an "obvious double play." At the end of the day, guys are going to call what they're going to call.
  15. Interference

    First off, the OP has R2, not R1. Go to the book. For OBR, to get 2 outs on INT, we have to judge the INT to be "a willful and deliberate" attempt to break up a DP. There's hardly ever a DP possible on D3K: when F2 fields it, he has to pick either 1B or 3B, and the other runner is going to be safe. If no DP is possible, then the BR can't reasonably intend to break one up (and we don't impute unreasonable intent just to get another out). BR out for his INT, R2 returns. For FED, which has a lower standard for getting 2 outs (if the INT "prevents a possible DP"), we still can't get 2 outs, because there was never going to be a DP on this play. So the INT didn't prevent one. BR out for his INT, R2 returns. That's the rule. No obvious DP here. That's a judgment call, of course, and your partner might disagree. But 2 outs is a severe penalty, and (for game management, if for no other reason) we want this judgment to be really obvious before we go there.