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13U Travel, Fed rules, regular season game. We have a tie game in the top half of the 7th, no outs, nobody on and I am in A. We have a high popup behind the plate which is caught by F2. After getting a 2nd out, the HT makes a pitching change. During the change, HTM comes over and asks peaceably, "Blue, what's the rule regarding shouting from the dugout and potentially verbally interfering with a catch?" And I said (referring to Rule 2-21, ART. 1A), "Offensive interference is an act (physical or verbal) by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders, or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play." And HTM says, "My coaches thought they heard DROP IT! shouts coming out of the other dugout..." and I said, "I was 90 feet away and didn't hear anything. You're welcome to check with my partner but, given that nothing was called and the play is over and resulted in an out, there is nothing to be done about that now." He returned to the dugout, the game resumed. They got the third out. We played the bottom half, hit the time limit and the game ended in a tie.

Still...this situation gnawed at me...because it's a rule and also because sportsmanship is something I take seriously. And now, less than a week after suggesting to @wolfe_man that engaging after a game ends is not a good choice. I chose to engage the VTM after the game and said, "Coach's Name, verbally shouting from the dugout at a fielder while they are attempting to make a play can be ruled interference. We always strive for good sportsmanship, of course so, I know you'll address this with your team." Sincerely, he said, "That's not the kind of conduct I expect from my players. Thank you for bringing this to me and I will talk to them."

My partner and I left the field and discussed this in post-game. He said he "heard yelling" from the VT dugout on the play but did not hear DROP IT!. I said ok, cited him the rule (which he said he did not know could be ruled interference) and we finished our post-game and went home.

Is yelling DROP IT! enough to grab an offensive interference call? I'm not so sure...if, however, someone yelled from the dugout I GOT IT! Yes, I have interference there. It's judgement...I know. What's a proper standard/expectation here?

Everything was peaceful on this...no raised voices, sarcastic remarks or anything negative spoken whatsoever...what I could I or my partner and I have done differently and or better here?

~Dawg

 

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9 hours ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

13U Travel, Fed rules, regular season game. We have a tie game in the top half of the 7th, no outs, nobody on and I am in A. We have a high popup behind the plate which is caught by F2. After getting a 2nd out, the HT makes a pitching change. During the change, HTM comes over and asks peaceably, "Blue, what's the rule regarding shouting from the dugout and potentially verbally interfering with a catch?" And I said (referring to Rule 2-21, ART. 1A), "Offensive interference is an act (physical or verbal) by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders, or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play." And HTM says, "My coaches thought they heard DROP IT! shouts coming out of the other dugout..." and I said, "I was 90 feet away and didn't hear anything. You're welcome to check with my partner but, given that nothing was called and the play is over and resulted in an out, there is nothing to be done about that now." He returned to the dugout, the game resumed. They got the third out. We played the bottom half, hit the time limit and the game ended in a tie.

Still...this situation gnawed at me...because it's a rule and also because sportsmanship is something I take seriously. And now, less than a week after suggesting to @wolfe_man that engaging after a game ends is not a good choice. I chose to engage the VTM after the game and said, "Coach's Name, verbally shouting from the dugout at a fielder while they are attempting to make a play can be ruled interference. We always strive for good sportsmanship, of course so, I know you'll address this with your team." Sincerely, he said, "That's not the kind of conduct I expect from my players. Thank you for bringing this to me and I will talk to them."

My partner and I left the field and discussed this in post-game. He said he "heard yelling" from the VT dugout on the play but did not hear DROP IT!. I said ok, cited him the rule (which he said he did not know could be ruled interference) and we finished our post-game and went home.

Is yelling DROP IT! enough to grab an offensive interference call? I'm not so sure...if, however, someone yelled from the dugout I GOT IT! Yes, I have interference there. It's judgement...I know. What's a proper standard/expectation here?

Everything was peaceful on this...no raised voices, sarcastic remarks or anything negative spoken whatsoever...what I could I or my partner and I have done differently and or better here?

~Dawg

 

Yelling “drop it” in of itself, no.  I would need to see a physical reaction on the part of F2 (or whoever is making the play).  If they flinch or draw back at the exact instance the dugout screamed, you can get it and be justified.

The other thing I’d look for is the timing of it and what led before it...if they’re just praying aloud for it be dropped the whole time, and don’t say “I got it” or “watch the fence” (nowhere near it) or something of the sort, I’ve got nothing.

If it’s eerily quiet and then right before the moment of action (catch) they scream in unison, that’s a clear attempt to distract the fielder and you can get it.

In most cases , the penalty will be the same as the result, out on the batter, as most fielders won’t fall for it, the difference being no runners can advance, which they usually wouldn’t on a ball in the INF anyways.

So when 95% of the time, the penalty matches the result, I think a good warning to the coach/team is good, bc it lets them know, one; you heard it and recognize it and are watching it, and two, that one time the result doesn’t match the penalty, you’re enforcing it and they’re hurting themselves

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1) Yes, it can be INT.  But, there has to be INT to call it, and it doesn't sound like it in your case.

2) If you didn't hear it, there's no need to go to the visiting coach.

3) If you do go to the visiting coach, especially since you didn't hear it, I wouldn't phrase it to him as if his team was guilty (of yelling; not necessarily of INT) just based on the accusations of the other team.

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From the 2016 BRD (section 325, p. 214):  FED:  Members of the offense may not do or say anything that might confuse the defense. (2-21-1)

2019 NFHS Case Book Play 2.21.1 Situation A:  With R2, B2 hits a grounder to F6. Just as F6 starts to throw to first base, R2 on his way to third base, yells at F6, which startles F6, causing him to throw the ball over F3’s head into dead-ball territory. RULING:  R2 is called out immediately for verbal interference, and if in the judgment of the umpire the interference prevented a possible double play, B2 also would be called out.

FED Official Interpretation: Rumble:  B1 grounds to short. R2 shouts at the shortstop as he passes in front of him. It is offensive, verbal interference, and R2 is out.

From the 2016 BRD (section 281, p. 183):

Play 140-281:  B1 pops up in foul territory between home and first. The ball drifts slightly foul as the first baseman sets up to make the catch. B1, as he passes the fielder, yells: “Drop it!” The first baseman is clearly startled and drops the ball. Ruling:  In FED/NCAA, BR is out. In OBR, it’s simply a foul ball.

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