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Mister B

Ball stuck in/on offensive player('s uniform)

Question

LL Majors District Tournmant, Defense has a couple 6 foot 200 pound players. R1 and R2, F2 fires a bullet to F3, but instead of the glove it hits R1 in the gut. R1 instinctively grabs his midsection, not realizing the ball is still there. U1 signals safe after F3 shows him an empty glove. After a second or two, R1 drops his arms and the ball falls to the ground, rolling right next to 1B. Defense has no idea where the ball is, nor do 2 of the umpires. PU and U1 we both blocked. U3 sees it, but, correctly, doesn't say anything. R2 sees it as well and takes off for 3B, then heads for home when he realizes nobody is covering. Initial ruling, after a 3 minute discussion, is that both runners are safe. Defensive coach, then asks for interference. After another meeting, ruling stands. 

I was in the stands (my son's team was on offense), but got called into the post-game meeting. The question was, could this be considered interference? U3 and I agreed that it has to be intentional. Other's are wondering if it could be an example of ball trapped in gear/uniform. PU was wondering if they should have moved R2 back to 3B. I didn't think so, as the ball was live and at least 2 people on the field, knew where it was at. Finally, it was asked if the UIC should have been called in. I said, absolutely as LL does not want protests. 

You guys have anything else? 

This happened in the bottom of the 5th, score 8-0. R1 eventually scored the 10th run, invoking mercy rule. 

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I agree with your logic in all the points you made. It wasn't intentional, and it wasn't lodged. Play on.

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I definitely do not have interference. The defensive team made a poor throw, hit the runner with the ball and then the DHC wants him called out since he grabbed his body where he was hit, just by happenstance delaying the ball dropping to the ground? Sorry coach... I am not bailing your team out that far.

 

I have nothing on this play other than a safe at first and play on.

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