Jump to content

Remove these ads by becoming a Premium Member
BradH

Runner Contact with SS After Ball deflects off of Pitchers Glove - Interference?

Recommended Posts

1. Runner on second.  Sharp ground ball to the pitcher's right, she gets her glove on it, but deflects it towards the shortstop who is charging in to get the ball.  There is contact between the runner going to third and the SS and both fall to the ground.  I call interference.  The plate umpire and I discuss, she overrules because the ball was deflected off of the pitcher's glove.

Rule 8-10 says...The Runner interferes:

a. with the field attempting to make the initial play on a fair batter ball. (Emphasis mine).

So, based on this rule, it looks like my partner was right. 

So, is this a no-call?  Can there be no interference on a deflected ball and subsequent contact between runner and fielder?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remove these ads by becoming a Premium Member

A deflection excuses a runner from interfering with the ball: the rationale for the exception is that it is unreasonable to expect the runner to adjust to the ball after deflection.

A deflection does NOT excuse a runner from interfering with a fielder: the fielder, after all, was not deflected.

It sounds as if you're asking about softball, where the rules might be different. In baseball, you would have been correct.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am talking about softball. I don't believe there would be any difference between baseball and softball on this issue. 

Your comments make sense. I understand that a deflected ball cannot be interference if it touches a runner, but I don't see how, when a runner and fielder collide and the fielder has the opportunity to make a play on the ball, how that can be a no-call even after it deflects off the glove of the pitcher in this case.  

BTW, I was referencing the HS rule book.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So. after further study, the NCAA rule book, Rule 12/Base Running says this:

12.17.2.1.5 Physical contact by the runner with a fielder attempting to field a fair batted ball shall be interference, provided the fielder had a reasonable chance to make a play.

And this:
12.17.2.1.5.3 It is still interference if a batted ball is misplayed and remains in front of a fielder such that the fielder still has an opportunity to make a play, and the runner contacts the fielder. However, if the misplayed ball bounds away or past the fielder and then contact occurs as the fielder and runner collide, this may be considered inadvertent contact, interference or obstruction subject to the opinion of the umpire.

So, this seems much clearer and I believe that interference was the correct call.  Anyone interpret this differently?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BradH said:

So. after further study, the NCAA rule book, Rule 12/Base Running says this:

12.17.2.1.5 Physical contact by the runner with a fielder attempting to field a fair batted ball shall be interference, provided the fielder had a reasonable chance to make a play.

And this:
12.17.2.1.5.3 It is still interference if a batted ball is misplayed and remains in front of a fielder such that the fielder still has an opportunity to make a play, and the runner contacts the fielder. However, if the misplayed ball bounds away or past the fielder and then contact occurs as the fielder and runner collide, this may be considered inadvertent contact, interference or obstruction subject to the opinion of the umpire.

So, this seems much clearer and I believe that interference was the correct call.  Anyone interpret this differently?

And here is the International Rule...and I believe is in ASA and Softball Canada

Sec. 9.THE RUNNER IS OUT

m. When he interferes with a fielder attempting to field a fair-batted ball, regardless of whether the ball has first been touched by another fielder, including the pitcher, or intentionally interferes with a thrown ball

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

And here is the International Rule...and I believe is in ASA and Softball Canada

Sec. 9.THE RUNNER IS OUT

m. When he interferes with a fielder attempting to field a fair-batted ball, regardless of whether the ball has first been touched by another fielder, including the pitcher, or intentionally interferes with a thrown ball

Even better.  Very clear.  Thanks for responding.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope...that's not even better! Don't just wait until somebody gives you the answer you wanted to hear, then agree with them.

The answer to this one depends on which rule set you're using. For instance, I work two sanctions- USA Softball and NFHS/high school- and they both have different rulings.

For USA softball, if the ball was deflected by the pitcher then any interference with the fielder must be ruled as intentional. The reason being that once the ball changes direction the fielder may suddenly change direction, and they don't expect a runner to predict which way a fielder might suddenly veer. So, their rule cuts the runner some slack and only calls interference if the runner does something obvious and avoidable to interfere.

NFHS softball has a different philosophy. They protect the fielder at all costs. Even though deflected by the pitcher, the fielder is still considered to be making the "initial play" on the batted ball and still has 100% protection from interference, whether accidental or deliberate.

I don't know what rule set you were using in your game. There are a dozen of them out there and they might rule this interference...or they might not! There isn't a "one size fits all answer" that applies to all rule sets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, BretMan said:

Nope...that's not even better! Don't just wait until somebody gives you the answer you wanted to hear, then agree with them.

The answer to this one depends on which rule set you're using. For instance, I work two sanctions- USA Softball and NFHS/high school- and they both have different rulings.

For USA softball, if the ball was deflected by the pitcher then any interference with the fielder must be ruled as intentional. The reason being that once the ball changes direction the fielder may suddenly change direction, and they don't expect a runner to predict which way a fielder might suddenly veer. So, their rule cuts the runner some slack and only calls interference if the runner does something obvious and avoidable to interfere.

NFHS softball has a different philosophy. They protect the fielder at all costs. Even though deflected by the pitcher, the fielder is still considered to be making the "initial play" on the batted ball and still has 100% protection from interference, whether accidental or deliberate.

I don't know what rule set you were using in your game. There are a dozen of them out there and they might rule this interference...or they might not! There isn't a "one size fits all answer" that applies to all rule sets.

Interesting - though I would assume that USA Softball rule is the outlier.   

Having said that, I prefer that handling that you mention - to give the runner some slack to some degree.  

I found the NSA rule, and it only mentions interfering with a fielder playing a batted ball - no mention about whether or not it was deflected - so I assume there would have to be some case play interpretation.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, BretMan said:

Nope...that's not even better! Don't just wait until somebody gives you the answer you wanted to hear, then agree with them.

The answer to this one depends on which rule set you're using. For instance, I work two sanctions- USA Softball and NFHS/high school- and they both have different rulings.

For USA softball, if the ball was deflected by the pitcher then any interference with the fielder must be ruled as intentional. The reason being that once the ball changes direction the fielder may suddenly change direction, and they don't expect a runner to predict which way a fielder might suddenly veer. So, their rule cuts the runner some slack and only calls interference if the runner does something obvious and avoidable to interfere.

NFHS softball has a different philosophy. They protect the fielder at all costs. Even though deflected by the pitcher, the fielder is still considered to be making the "initial play" on the batted ball and still has 100% protection from interference, whether accidental or deliberate.

I don't know what rule set you were using in your game. There are a dozen of them out there and they might rule this interference...or they might not! There isn't a "one size fits all answer" that applies to all rule sets.

Fair enough, I guess you could interpret my response that way although that certainly wasn't what I was doing.  I looked up the interference rules in both the High School and NCAA rules books to compare them since that's 99% of what I work.  Although there are differences between HS and College rules, comparing them frequently provides additional insight.

The games I was working that day were 18u travel ball using KHSAA(KY High School) rules.  The KHSAA rule, like many KHSAA rules, is somewhat vague and leaves a lot of interpretation to the umpire.  The key to the HS rule is whether or not it is an "initial play".  An "initial play" is defined as: 

A fielder is considered to be making an initial play on a fair batted ball when she: a. Has a reasonable chance to gain control of a ground ball that no other fielder (except the pitcher) has touched. (8-8-6)

The college rule on the other hand, uses much more specific language which I think provides some additional clarity.  In both instances, the play that occurred should have been ruled interference under either rule set. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nobody could find the rule you were citing because it was not cited properly. It should be rule 8-6-10 (not just 8-10) and the online version refers us to the definition of the term initial play.

2015 NFHS Softball Rule 8-6-10:

A runner is out when: ART. 10 . . . The runner interferes: a. with a fielder attempting to make the initial play on a fair batted ball (2-47).

2015 NFHS Softball Rule 2-47-3a: 

SECTION 47 “PLAY BALL,” MAKE A PLAY, INITIAL PLAY

ART. 3 . . . Initial Play. A fielder is considered to be making an initial play on a fair batted ball when she:

a. Has a reasonable chance to gain control of a ground ball that no other fielder (except the pitcher) has touched.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×