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Batter Interference - Little League


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I do mainly 60' Little League, and I always have arguments about the following situations:

R2, batter takes a Wild Pitch/Passed Ball.  R2 breaks for 3rd and after the catcher gathers the baseball..........

1.  Batter remains in the box and the catcher does not attempt a throw to 3B.

2. Batter remains in the box or even starts backing out; catcher winds up to throw but balks because batter is in the way.

3. Batter is backing out and the catcher throws and hits the batter or throws wild to 3B.

What's you call?  Feel free to rule by other rulebooks too.

I toss this up because new umps in LL will get a lot of gas from either manager, and no doubt you will hear, "the batter's box is a sanctuary!"  Wanted to see your options and what judgement you would need to make under any of the circumstances.  I'll add discussions later.  Thanks for the tutorial.

Mike

Las Vegas

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Correct. In order to grab BI you have to have the batters action hinder/impede F2's ability to make a play. INTENT DOES NOT MATTER (my emphasis). 

From the 2018 Little League Make The Right Call:

Rule 6.06c Situation:  The Phillies have a runner on 2nd when the right handed batter swings and misses the pitch. The catcher fails to catch the pitch and the runner breaks for 3rd. As the catcher retrieves the ball and prepares to throw to 3rd, the batter steps backward out of the box to get out of everyone’s way. As he/she steps out, he/she accidentally gets into the catcher’s throwing lane and the catcher does not throw to 3rd base.

Ruling:  Even though there was no deliberate attempt to alter the play the batter is guilty of interference and should be called out. (Notice the difference between this play and the case of the running lane violation where a throw is required before interference can be ruled.)

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From the 2019 LL RIM rule 6.06(c) interfering with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by:

(1) stepping out of the batter’s box, or;

(2) making any other movement that hinders the catcher’s actions at home plate or the catcher’s attempt to play on a runner, or;

(3) failing to make a reasonable effort to vacate a congested area when there is a throw to home plate and there is time for the batter to move away.

EXCEPTION: Batter is not out if any runner attempting to advance is put out, or if runner trying to score is called out for batter’s interference.

INSTRUCTOR’S COMMENTS:

Notice that there is no mention of intentional. Again, umpire’s judgment.

If the batter interferes with the catcher, the plate umpire shall call “interference.” The batter is out and the ball dead. No player may advance on such interference (offensive interference) and all runners must return to the last base that was, in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference.

If the catcher’s throw directly retired the runner, the interference is disregarded. Play proceeds as if no violation occurred. The runner is out, the ball remains alive and any other runners on base may advance.

If a batter strikes at a ball and misses and swings so hard he/she carries the bat all the way around and, in the umpire’s judgment, unintentionally hits the catcher or the ball in back of him/her on his/her follow-through before the catcher has securely held the ball, it shall be called a strike only (not interference). The ball will be dead, however, and no runner shall advance on the play.

While this rule will most often come into play in the Intermediate (50-70), Junior, Senior League Baseball and Little League (Major), Junior, Senior League Softball programs, it can occur in all divisions on passed balls or wild pitches. The batter must avoid interference. Period

Contact is NOT necessary for interference to be called.

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18 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

As the catcher retrieves the ball and prepares to throw to 3rd, the batter steps backward out of the box to get out of everyone’s way. As he/she steps out, he/she accidentally gets into the catcher’s throwing lane and the catcher does not throw to 3rd base.

OK, if the catcher just gives up and does not attempt to throw, I got nothing.  If he balks the throw because the batter is in the way (or throws wild) I have Offensive Int.  Is that what your post suggests?

That's where I think we have a fine line.

Mike

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On 1/12/2021 at 1:56 PM, Vegas_Ump said:

OK, if the catcher just gives up and does not attempt to throw, I got nothing.  If he balks the throw because the batter is in the way (or throws wild) I have Offensive Int.  Is that what your post suggests?

That's where I think we have a fine line.

Mike

Correct. In order to grab BI you have to have the batters action hinder/impede F2's ability to make a play. INTENT DOES NOT MATTER (my emphasis). 

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OK, do you see a difference between "Batter Interference" and "Interference by a teammate--Definitional 'Offensive Interference'"

I think so, and intent is differently interpreted.  Especially in lower levels, the batters may just not have a clue but their standing in the way of a throw could constitute Offensive Interference as defined.  This is where the little kids need help and judgement.

On the other hand, if a pitch is CAUGHT, and the batter tries to get in the way of F2 and his throwing morion to retire a stealing runner, you have BI.  And you must judge a lot more intent.

Hence the main reason for my OP.  A lot differs if the pitch is caught or not.

Welcome more discussions.

Mike

Las Vegas

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