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Scotty_Ump

Catcher's balk situation?

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12u playing FED rules.

With R1 stealing 2B, F2 would move up on the pitch and catch the ball with his glove over home plate. Batter was taking all the way. First time, I told F2 to stay back - more out of safety concerns than rules.

It happened again later (batter takes) and I did hear DC call out to F2 from bench about staying put and out of the way of bat.

Then it happens a third time (batter was taking all the way again) and OC now wants me to call "catcher's balk" and award batter 1B and R1 moves to 2B. I tell him I've got nothing unless batter attempts swing and contacts F2 -  unless runner is attempting steal of home.

Thankfully F2 didn't do it again and we didn't have any issues going forward.

But I don't think I got this one right.  Thinking about it,  that means F2 could legally catch ball standing on home plate and throw out R1 without penalty if the batter doesn't swing and contact F2...

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23 minutes ago, Scotty_Ump said:

But I don't think I got this one right.  Thinking about it,  that means F2 could legally catch ball standing on home plate and throw out R1 without penalty if the batter doesn't swing and contact F2...

Your second thought is correct. Although there is no "catcher's balk" in FED, this is catcher OBS by rule, whether the batter swings or not (hopefully not).

Quote

*8.3.1 SITUATION B: R3 is on third and R2 is on second. R3 breaks from third in an attempted suicide squeeze play. As B3 attempts to bunt, F2 touches tip of bat or steps across home plate, catches the ball and tags R3. R2 remains on second.

RULING: Catcher obstruction. The umpire awards B3 first base and R3 home. Since R2 was not attempting to steal or was forced, he remains on second.

Although in this play the batter did attempt to hit the pitch, that's not essential to the play, as 8-3-1c makes clear.

Also: this IS the play where the offense has a choice: if the batter puts the ball in play, and if the BR or runners do not all reach their advance base safely, then the offense has the option to take the penalty or play (similar to such choices in football). When the batter does not put the ball in play, we simply enforce the penalty: the ball is dead, the BR is awarded 1B, stealing runners get their advance base, and other runners advance only if forced.

FED does not charge a balk here, so non-stealing runners stay put. This often affects just R2, when we start with R2 only, so some folks (I'm looking at you, grayhawk) call this the "stupid R2 rule."

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In Fed, it's catcher's obstruction whether there is an R3 advancing or not.  If the catcher steps on or across home plate to reach for the pitch, he had committed obstruction even if the batter was taking all the way.  In a 12U game, I think that first warning was fine (though he would learn better just by having it called on him).

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5 minutes ago, maven said:

Your second thought is correct. Although there is no "catcher's balk" in FED, this is catcher OBS by rule, whether the batter swings or not (hopefully not).

Although in this play the batter did attempt to hit the pitch, that's not essential to the play, as 8-3-1c makes clear.

Also: this IS the play where the offense has a choice: if the batter puts the ball in play, and if the BR or runners do not all reach their advance base safely, then the offense has the option to take the penalty or play (similar to such choices in football). When the batter does not put the ball in play, we simply enforce the penalty: the ball is dead, the BR is awarded 1B, stealing runners get their advance base, and other runners advance only if forced.

FED does not charge a balk here, so non-stealing runners stay put. This often affects just R2, when we start with R2 only, so some folks (I'm looking at you, grayhawk) call this the "stupid R2 rule."

Hmm, must be someone else.  I don't have a problem with Fed requiring runners to be stealing or forced to advance.

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4 minutes ago, maven said:

Your second thought is correct. Although there is no "catcher's balk" in FED, this is catcher OBS by rule, whether the batter swings or not (hopefully not).

Although in this play the batter did attempt to hit the pitch, that's not essential to the play, as 8-3-1c makes clear.

Also: this IS the play where the offense has a choice: if the batter puts the ball in play, and if the BR or runners do not all reach their advance base safely, then the offense has the option to take the penalty or play (similar to such choices in football). When the batter does not put the ball in play, we simply enforce the penalty: the ball is dead, the BR is awarded 1B, stealing runners get their advance base, and other runners advance only if forced.

FED does not charge a balk here, so non-stealing runners stay put. This often affects just R2, when we start with R2 only, so some folks (I'm looking at you, grayhawk) call this the "stupid R2 rule."

 

2 minutes ago, grayhawk said:

In Fed, it's catcher's obstruction whether there is an R3 advancing or not.  If the catcher steps on or across home plate to reach for the pitch, he had committed obstruction even if the batter was taking all the way.  In a 12U game, I think that first warning was fine (though he would learn better just by having it called on him).

There is a semantic issue in OBR and NCAA where if the batter does not swing and the catcher does not step on or across the plate but reaches across to catch the pitch, normally to tag a stealing runner at HP, but also possible on a steal at any other base, there is no violation of the NCAA/OBR rule.

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57 minutes ago, Scotty_Ump said:

Thinking about it,  that means F2 could legally catch ball standing on home plate and throw out R1 without penalty if the batter doesn't swing and contact F2...

This is why the batter doesn't have to swing to make this OBS.   You don't want to have a rule that requires one player to inflict serious/fatal injury on another before the penalty is invoked.   No different than on the base paths - runners and fielders don't have to physically collide to cause INT/OBS.

Because the catcher is standing on the plate you have, practically speaking, removed the batter's ability to hit the ball  (even if you knew he was taking all the way) - and 99% of the time the batter isn't swinging because most people are inherently good, and he doesn't want to kill the catcher.  Don't force him to make the symbolic gesture of squaring to bunt and giving him a love tap with the bat to call it.

 I run across far too many umpires who believe  that contact is required in any case of INT/OBS.  All they're doing is encouraging players to embellish, advertise or create contact to ensure they get the call they should be getting anyway.   That's when people get hurt, and fight, and when baseball turns into a SH*#show.

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1 hour ago, grayhawk said:

Hmm, must be someone else.  I don't have a problem with Fed requiring runners to be stealing or forced to advance.

Sorry, thought that was you!

1 hour ago, grayhawk said:

In a 12U game, I think that first warning was fine (though he would learn better just by having it called on him).

The OP is right: this is a substantial safety concern. I'd call it the first time and hope he learns quickly.

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2 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

This is why the batter doesn't have to swing to make this OBS.   You don't want to have a rule that requires one player to inflict serious/fatal injury on another before the penalty is invoked.   No different than on the base paths - runners and fielders don't have to physically collide to cause INT/OBS.

Because the catcher is standing on the plate you have, practically speaking, removed the batter's ability to hit the ball  (even if you knew he was taking all the way) - and 99% of the time the batter isn't swinging because most people are inherently good, and he doesn't want to kill the catcher.  Don't force him to make the symbolic gesture of squaring to bunt and giving him a love tap with the bat to call it.

 I run across far too many umpires who believe  that contact is required in any case of INT/OBS.  All they're doing is encouraging players to embellish, advertise or create contact to ensure they get the call they should be getting anyway.   That's when people get hurt, and fight, and when baseball turns into a SH*#show.

I think more and more coaches are realizing that it is a difficult call for umpires with many things happening at once and some questions about the letter of the rule so they might actually be telling their batters to swing. This one might have:https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-adk-adk_sbnt&hsimp=yhs-adk_sbnt&hspart=adk&p=ncaa catchers interference on a steal of home&guccounter=1#id=1&vid=3959e31821344ac26906136140522f58&action=click  

I think we had a thread on that play. And even MLB umps pass on the CI call sometimes.

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FED case book play 8.1.1 F might be a bit more illustrative--

NFHS Case Book Play 8.1.1 Situation F:  R2. After B2 takes his position in batter’s box, F2 clearly reaches out over home plate (a) prior to; (b) after F1 has made a movement that has committed him to pitch; or (c) to receive the pitch. RULING:  It is catcher obstruction in both (b) and (c), and B2 is awarded first base and R2 is awarded third base only if he was stealing on the pitch. F2 may not catch the pitch until it has passed home plate. In (a), there is no violation provided F2 and his equipment are removed from the area over home plate before pitcher has made a movement that committed him to pitch. (8-3-1c)

Also, it should be mentioned that FED has a unique take on the award. If a runner who is stealing is trying for an already occupied base where the runner is not attempting to advance, if the penalty for catcher’s obstruction is enforced, the stealing runner is allowed to keep the new base which forces the previous runner also to advance. (8.1.1 N)

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Sometimes F2s are moving to receive the pitch at the bottom of the zone to catch it at the top. Or whatever term catching coaches use. 

Don't get out a microscope with this. If you have it, you have it, but don't try to be too precise with something like this. 

Grab the strike. Esp in 12U where strikes are likely at a premium. 

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On 5/25/2018 at 4:01 PM, Jimurray said:

I think more and more coaches are realizing that it is a difficult call for umpires with many things happening at once and some questions about the letter of the rule so they might actually be telling their batters to swing. This one might have:https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?fr=yhs-adk-adk_sbnt&hsimp=yhs-adk_sbnt&hspart=adk&p=ncaa catchers interference on a steal of home&guccounter=1#id=1&vid=3959e31821344ac26906136140522f58&action=click  

I think we had a thread on that play. And even MLB umps pass on the CI call sometimes.

Man...the plate umpire in that video is a freaking stud. 

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On 5/26/2018 at 2:58 PM, MidAmUmp said:

Man...the plate umpire in that video is a freaking stud. 

Heard he may be a friend of yours....

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Does anybody have OBR citation to support calling catcher interference (or catcher's balk) when F2 reaches across or stands on/in front on home plate to receive a pitch and the batter make contact with F2 on the swing? All I can find is 6.01(g) which only applies when runner is stealing home or attempting squeeze play.

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The OBR is 5.05(b)(3)--

5.05(b) The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when:

(3) The catcher or any fielder interferes with him. If a play follows the interference, the manager of the offense may advise the plate umpire that he elects to decline the interference penalty and accept the play. Such election shall be made immediately at the end of the play. However, if the batter reaches first base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batsman, or otherwise, and all other runners advance at least one base, the play proceeds without reference to the interference.

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