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"Weak" Interference


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A video on YouTube asked the question about the rules involved in the following situations:

Batter steps in and is cranking up to address the pitch.  His bat hits the catcher's mitt BEFORE the pitch.  I seem to remember a Carl Childress explanation decades ago that the umpire should call time and re-set the situation.  No Penalty.

Same thing but pitcher starts his delivery but stops when he sees the bat contact the mitt.  Some umps ruled Balk.  I think I would have applied the same judgement.  That's nothing;  reset!

These cases are distinct from "follow-through" interference. On this, I think the PU has "god rule" authority to judge if an advantage has been gained on the swing with contact or not.

The author of the video clip is a well know guy who posts Little League World Series tournament clips, umpire training, and other Youth ball situations.  He's the gold standard for Regional Training camps.  

He asks what rules under OBR/NCAA/Fed would you rule with?

Thanks.

Mike

Las Vegas

 

 

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1 hour ago, Vegas_Ump said:

These cases are distinct from "follow-through" interference. On this, I think the PU has "god rule" authority to judge if an advantage has been gained on the swing with contact or not.

That's not a "god" rule, which gives the umpire authority to determine the penalty. The penalty for these actions, if any, is fixed by rule. All calls require judgment, and batter INT is no different in that regard. 

1 hour ago, Vegas_Ump said:

He asks what rules under OBR/NCAA/Fed would you rule with?

I don't recall this being an OBR rule, but rather either a comment or umpire guidance (M/MiLBUM, Wendelstedt, etc.). In any case, it's an immediate dead ball.

For FED, the batter INT rule is 7-3-5. What FED calls "backswing INT" is covered in 7-3-7, where it's an immediate dead ball.

Because it's an immediate dead ball, the balk never happened.

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This form of weak interference is actually considered to be catcher interference not batter interference. It is covered in 2019 Little League RIM rule 6.08(c) and in OBR in 2019 rule 5.05(b)(3) and its following Comment--

2019 OBR rule 5.05(b)(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.

Rule 5.05(b)(3) Comment: If catcher’s interference is called with a play in progress the umpire will allow the play to continue because the manager may elect to take the play. If the batter-runner missed first base, or a runner misses his next base, he shall be considered as having reached the base, as stated in Note of Rule 5.06(b)(3)(D).

If the catcher interferes with the batter before the pitcher delivers the ball, it shall not be considered interference on the batter under Rule 5.05(b)(3). In such cases, the umpire shall call “Time” and the pitcher and batter start over from “scratch.”

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