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michgol

Batters interference, what is a play

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I was PU for fast pitch softball little league all-star tournament last night and my partners and I had some debate after the game on a call I made in terms of how I interpreted a rule. 

Situation runner on second takes off on the pitch to steal 3rd. The batter steps out of the box right as the catcher comes up to throw and winds up right in the line of where the catcher was going. I notice the catcher start forward to throw, but stop to avoid running into the batter. There was no throw and no contact. However, the catcher did remove the ball from the glove and start a throw. I called interference on the batter.

After the game there was debate on what is required to call interference. Does the catcher have to throw the ball to get the call? What we saw in the book was there has to be a play. However, it was not clear what is a play in this case.  My read was they have to initiate a throw in some way and stop at a minimum. 

FWIW: the OC did ask a question about what I called. However, I told him what I had and he was happy with the answer and accepted the penalty without asking me to talk to my partners so we moved on and the debate with my partners was after the game. 

 

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51 minutes ago, michgol said:

I was PU for fast pitch softball little league all-star tournament last night and my partners and I had some debate after the game on a call I made in terms of how I interpreted a rule. 

Situation runner on second takes off on the pitch to steal 3rd. The batter steps out of the box right as the catcher comes up to throw and winds up right in the line of where the catcher was going. I notice the catcher start forward to throw, but stop to avoid running into the batter. There was no throw and no contact. However, the catcher did remove the ball from the glove and start a throw. I called interference on the batter.

After the game there was debate on what is required to call interference. Does the catcher have to throw the ball to get the call? What we saw in the book was there has to be a play. However, it was not clear what is a play in this case.  My read was they have to initiate a throw in some way and stop at a minimum. 

FWIW: the OC did ask a question about what I called. However, I told him what I had and he was happy with the answer and accepted the penalty without asking me to talk to my partners so we moved on and the debate with my partners was after the game. 

 

To my knowledge, the only time a throw is REQUIRED for interference is when the batter/runner is outside the running lane on a play to first base - baseball and softball are the same in this regard.

This is from the Official Softball Rules, for international play, where all other softball codes are derived - so it would depend if LL has modified this or not - I'd like to see/hear exactly what the book you saw says:

According to the International ORS your situation is an out:

Batter is out...

When he:

1. Hinders the catcher from catching or throwing the ball by stepping out of the batter's box, or

2. Intentionally hinders the catcher while standing within the batter's box, or

3. (FP ONLY) Interferes with a play at home plate.

4. Intentionally interferes with a thrown ball while in or out of the batter’s box

 

 

And, for reference, the batter/runner is out...

When he:

1. Runs outside the one meter (3 ft.) line and, in the umpire's judgment, interferes with

(a) The fielder taking the throw at first base, or

(b) The thrown ball, preventing a fielder from making a play at first base.

NOTE: A thrown ball striking a batter-runner does not necessarily constitute interference.

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I do softball, and no throw is required. The batter hindered the fielder from making a play (even if just an opportunity to make a play), so the batter is out and the runner is sent back to 2nd.

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I have always been taught that an aborted throw is a play. A pump fake, a ball into hand and coming up, etc. He/she doesn’t have to purposely throw it off their ear hole to draw a call (and I’d prefer they don’t). Show me that you were going to try to make a play, is all. 

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