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Need Rule Cite - Umpire Interference


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I volunteered to proofread our Fed Study Guide and received it yesterday.  There is a question and I know the answer, but cannot find the correct rule cite.


R1 is stealing when the catcher’s hits the umpire’s mask on the throw and the ball goes into center field. The runner tries for third and is thrown out by the center fielder.


a.       Runner on 1st is returned to second.

b.      Runner on 1st is called out if the umpire believes the interference prevented the catcher’s throw from retiring R1.

c.       This is not umpire interference; the umpire is a part of the field. The play stands.

d.      Since the initial throw by the catcher did not retire R1, umpire’s interference is enforced. The ball is dead. Return R1 to 1st base.



I have "d" as the correct answer, but cannot find a rule that backs it up.  7-4-5 Penalty discusses what to do "when an attempt to put out a runner at any other base is unsuccessful" but cannot find similar language for when an umpire interferes with the catcher's attempt to put out a runner.  Thanks.

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Thanks Rolando, but since the rule doesn't quite cover it (doesn't say that umpire's interference is treated the same as batter's interference), I checked the case book and found this:


5.1.2 Situation B:  WIth runners on third and first base, a double steal is called.  R1 attempts to steal home, and the umpire interferes with F2's throw to second base.  RULING:  The umpire gives the dead ball signal.  If R2 is not put out on F2's throw, the umpire shall declare the ball dead, and R1 and R2 must return to the base they occupied before the interference.  5-1-2c, 8-2-9)


Interesting note:  "The umpire gives the dead ball signal."  This shouldn't be here since there is no such signal any longer.  The proper mechanic, as I understand it, is to point to yourself and declare, "that's umpire interference!"  If F2's initial throw doesn't retire the runner he is playing on, call, "Time!  That was umpire interference!" and return the runner(s) to the base occupied at TOI.


Thanks again Rolo!

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