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NFHS Catcher Obstruction


Guest Curious

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Guest Curious

NFHS:

2 and 1 count, bases loaded, one out. All three runners are in motion when the batter swings at the pitch. The bat hits the catcher’s mitt, but the catcher secures the ball and tags R3 out sliding in home. The catcher then comes up and fires a laser to 3B, R2 executes a great swim move slide on the back side of the base, but he is called out on an even better swipe tag, for an apparent third out. What just happened??? What do you and your partner do? What should have been done?  

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On 1/24/2022 at 4:36 PM, Guest Guest Curious said:

So a delayed-dead-ball, your words "let the play finish".

Is there any scenario where the batter would remain at the plate?

e.g.. After R3 is tagged out, F2 airmails the ball down the LF line and R2 and R1 score. The Offense is given the option to take the result of the play or the Catcher's Obstruction (I still call it Catcher's Interference to) The OC determines he wants to score the 2 runs, take the out which leaves him with 2 runs scored, no runners on, 2 outs and the batter with 2-2 count?

So according to the OP the bases were loaded, 1 out, 2-1 count on the batter.

Then this example given (e.g) above changes the OP to R3 is tagged out on the squeeze for out #2, then F2 overthrows F5 and R2 and R1 score.

The batter and all runners did not safely advance at least one base. So the call is CI (or feds CO). The Offense then has the option to take the CI (which did occur, whether the ball was contacted or not) or the result of the play. They choose to take the result of the delayed-dead-ball situation. They have now scored two runs and F3's out at HP, and a 2-2 count on the batter. I can't find any FED rule, ruling, case play etc., that states that the ball has to be contacted by the bat. Only that it IS catcher's interference (CI) when the bat contacts the mitt on the forward swing. (As opposed to the back swing) 

So the questions are:

  • Was it CI? Yes
  • Can it be ignored? No
  • Why not? All runners including the BR did not safely advance one base.
  • Does the OC have an option? According to 8-1-1e. Yes

ART. 1 . . . A batter becomes a runner with the right to attempt to score by advancing to first, second, third and home bases in the listed order when:

e. the catcher or any other defensive player obstructs him. The coach or captain of the team at bat, after being informed by the umpire-in-chief of the obstruction, shall indicate whether or not he elects to decline the obstruction penalty and accept the resulting play.

And in Senor Azuls Fed 2013 Situation 14, when the OC declined the CI, the batter was allowed to remain at the plate adding the strike to his count. Granted he did contact the ball, but it was foul. I can't comprehend the difference in the foul ball being a strike or the swing that hit the mitt w/o contacting the ball being a strike, if the OC chooses to not accept the penalty for the CI.   

What am i missing???

 

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8 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

There is no difference between a foul ball strike and a swinging miss strike to get a catcher’s interference call (see NFHS case play 8.1.1 J above where the batter swings and misses)

Straw man - nobody disputed that a swing and a miss can result in CI...only questioned whether the coach can accept the play.  8.1.1 J does not answer that question.  No example or case play I've seen demonstrates a coach's ability to take the play where the batter did not hit the ball.

8 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

Here’s what you are failing to recognize. Only two opinions were offered in response to the OP asking a second question about whether a scenario existed that a batter could remain at the plate by coach choice. Those two opinions deemed by you to be from “highly respected officials” and “GREAT ADVICE” were from Mr. maven and Mr. beerguy55. They are the only ones to suggest that a batter must swing and make contact with the ball and without a single shred of proof—entirely their opinions.

To put it quite simply they were both wrong.

Well, though it's probably for OBR/pro, Jim Evans, as far as I know, offers the same opinion and he IS a highly respected official.   I'm deferring to him...it's not like I decided I was the authority figure and just magically pulled that opinion out of my ass.  

There's been enough further commentary after that post to show what I do and don't know, and to demonstrate that I'm asking questions too.  So, not really sure why you're feeling the need to bring this up, a couple of times now.   I even tried to dispel/dismiss it with some humor, but you're not letting go.   Yup, I'm wrong a lot on these boards...and once in a while I do give great advice.  Blind squirrels and all that.

Respectfully, stop worrying about whether or not somebody thinks I'm respected or an official.  You're getting awfully angsty about a throwaway comment, on an anonymous message board, that someone you've never met made about someone else you've never met.

 

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22 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

Well, though it's probably for OBR/pro, Jim Evans, as far as I know, offers the same opinion and he IS a highly respected official.  

You've mentioned this, but this doesn't ring a bell to me (nor does it seem to make sense.) Here's an example why:

R3. We have CI on the swing and the pitch goes to the backstop, scoring R3. It makes no sense to me why the offense would be (in effect) penalized for the defense's infraction by being forced to take the penalty and lose that run. I'm imagining this situation being the winning run and trying to explain why I wiped it out because the defense broke a rule.

Do you have any way to find that from Evans? Wendlestedt's RIM doesn't address it directly.

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On 1/28/2022 at 9:52 AM, beerguy55 said:

No example or case play I've seen demonstrates a coach's ability to take the play where the batter did not hit the ball.

It’s not a matter of hitting the ball or not… it’s a matter of whether or not B became a potential BR and achieved 1B. So, if it had been an U3K, with the pitch going to the backstop, and the BR achieved 1B… with R3 scoring… the CI is disregarded. Otherwise, the B not achieving 1B compels the CI to be enforced. 

The only other way to enforce CI with R3 scoring is if R3 is in the act of stealing Home and CI occurs.

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3 hours ago, MadMax said:

It’s not a matter of hitting the ball or not… it’s a matter of whether or not B became a potential BR and achieved 1B. So, if it had been an U3K, with the pitch going to the backstop, and the BR achieved 1B… with R3 scoring… the CI is disregarded. Otherwise, the B not achieving 1B compels the CI to be enforced. 

The only other way to enforce CI with R3 scoring is if R3 is in the act of stealing Home and CI occurs.

Again...is there anything that says that? There's nothing in the rule that says the batter's change in status affects anything. 

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I was taught a while back that by omission means something applies.  A rule book can not possibly list every situation that COULD happen, they list the exceptions and how those apply.

I am with Matt here. Just bc it doesn’t say he must bat the ball to have CI, it mentions the only time CI is ignored . By that default, CI and it’s subsequent enforcements/options are enforced anytime it occurs, whether ball is batted or not, unless the batter and all runners advance one base.

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14 hours ago, SH0102 said:

I was taught a while back that by omission means something applies.  A rule book can not possibly list every situation that COULD happen, they list the exceptions and how those apply.

I am with Matt here. Just bc it doesn’t say he must bat the ball to have CI, it mentions the only time CI is ignored . By that default, CI and it’s subsequent enforcements/options are enforced anytime it occurs, whether ball is batted or not, unless the batter and all runners advance one base.

The enforcements/options are: Accept the CI... or Decline the CI and Accept the result. 

FED 8.1.1e

ART. 1 . . . A batter becomes a runner with the right to attempt to score by advancing to first, second, third and home bases in the listed order when:

e. the catcher or any other defensive player obstructs him. The coach or captain of the team at bat, after being informed by the umpire-in-chief of the obstruction, shall indicate whether or not he elects to decline the obstruction penalty and accept the resulting play.

 

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Donny7 said:

The enforcements/options are: Accept the CI... or Decline the CI and Accept the result. 

FED 8.1.1e

ART. 1 . . . A batter becomes a runner with the right to attempt to score by advancing to first, second, third and home bases in the listed order when:

e. the catcher or any other defensive player obstructs him. The coach or captain of the team at bat, after being informed by the umpire-in-chief of the obstruction, shall indicate whether or not he elects to decline the obstruction penalty and accept the resulting play.

 

 

 

Umm thanks? I was answering the previous rhetoric about whether that option exists when the ball is not put in play but a play occurs (runners stealing, passed ball, etc)

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On 1/29/2022 at 6:27 AM, Matt said:

You've mentioned this, but this doesn't ring a bell to me (nor does it seem to make sense.) Here's an example why:

R3. We have CI on the swing and the pitch goes to the backstop, scoring R3. It makes no sense to me why the offense would be (in effect) penalized for the defense's infraction by being forced to take the penalty and lose that run. I'm imagining this situation being the winning run and trying to explain why I wiped it out because the defense broke a rule.

Do you have any way to find that from Evans? Wendlestedt's RIM doesn't address it directly.

No, I've only been able to find mention of it, not the actual source.   And the more I look the  more I see that if he said/wrote it, he probably did so in the 90's.  And if he did say it, it's probably just another example of an experienced official outsmarting himself.   

It doesn't particularly make sense to me either, for the exact scenario you're talking about and it does seem to contradict the OBR rule which talks about a play already in progress before CI - that to me seems to imply no batted ball is needed.

That's why I'm asking the question. It seems it's come up more than few times on many message boards in the past few decades...I'm just surprised to not find anything official, to the specific scenarios of the batter missing the ball because enough people are asking.

Having said that, a passed ball/wild pitch that results from the CI (ie. R3 doesn't leave until after CI) isn't a "play already in progress".   The problems with killing the run in your scenario aside, I can see, and live with, an argument that if no baserunners are stealing/running on the pitch, and the ball isn't hit, then there's no option to decline, in order to shut down the scenario where the batter hitting the catcher's glove causes both the batter and the catcher to miss the ball.  I know it's self inflicted, I know the defense broke a rule, but it's also a SH*# show.   I don't know if I'd make that decision if I was a rules official...I'm simply saying I could live with it.   The defense is still getting penalized (batter goes to first)...it's simply unfortunate that in that particular scenario the penalty has no impact.  That's not the only rule in the game that has this issue from time to time.

Having said that, if your scenario does occur I could ask you, while I'm nodding my head, if in your judgment R3 was stealing...at least in FED.  "Any runner attempting to advance (i.e., steal or squeeze) on a catcher’s obstruction of the batter shall be awarded the base he is attempting."  :HD:

 

The FED  example earlier in the thread, though a foul ball, clearly indicates there doesn't even really need to be a "play", per se, to accept...in that case, the coach just accepted the foul ball for a strike, because he wanted to keep that batter at the plate, likely due to a weak on deck batter (as the opposing coach that would telegraph that I should IBB the batter).   My personal opinion, that's not the spirit of the rule.  But, it's likely the best black and white line we can draw and measure against, if any pitch is indeed a play (or does it need to be a foul ball?).   And I know it's two different rule sets, but this position would make  the OBR statement of "a play already progress" redundant.

 

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1 hour ago, beerguy55 said:

No, I've only been able to find mention of it, not the actual source.   And the more I look the  more I see that if he said/wrote it, he probably did so in the 90's.  And if he did say it, it's probably just another example of an experienced official outsmarting himself.   

It doesn't particularly make sense to me either, for the exact scenario you're talking about and it does seem to contradict the OBR rule which talks about a play already in progress before CI - that to me seems to imply no batted ball is needed.

That's why I'm asking the question. It seems it's come up more than few times on many message boards in the past few decades...I'm just surprised to not find anything official, to the specific scenarios of the batter missing the ball because enough people are asking.

Having said that, a passed ball/wild pitch that results from the CI (ie. R3 doesn't leave until after CI) isn't a "play already in progress".   The problems with killing the run in your scenario aside, I can see, and live with, an argument that if no baserunners are stealing/running on the pitch, and the ball isn't hit, then there's no option to decline, in order to shut down the scenario where the batter hitting the catcher's glove causes both the batter and the catcher to miss the ball.  I know it's self inflicted, I know the defense broke a rule, but it's also a SH*# show.   I don't know if I'd make that decision if I was a rules official...I'm simply saying I could live with it.   The defense is still getting penalized (batter goes to first)...it's simply unfortunate that in that particular scenario the penalty has no impact.  That's not the only rule in the game that has this issue from time to time.

Having said that, if your scenario does occur I could ask you, while I'm nodding my head, if in your judgment R3 was stealing...at least in FED.  "Any runner attempting to advance (i.e., steal or squeeze) on a catcher’s obstruction of the batter shall be awarded the base he is attempting."  :HD:

 

The FED  example earlier in the thread, though a foul ball, clearly indicates there doesn't even really need to be a "play", per se, to accept...in that case, the coach just accepted the foul ball for a strike, because he wanted to keep that batter at the plate, likely due to a weak on deck batter (as the opposing coach that would telegraph that I should IBB the batter).   My personal opinion, that's not the spirit of the rule.  But, it's likely the best black and white line we can draw and measure against, if any pitch is indeed a play (or does it need to be a foul ball?).   And I know it's two different rule sets, but this position would make  the OBR statement of "a play already progress" redundant.

 

All fair points, but I still think the best thing to do is to let it play out and allow the offense to accept batter to first (others if forced) or the result of the play.

By rule, this is allowed and perhaps the D even gets an out if the offense doesn't want to take the run off the board (I had this in D3 college game last season, team took the out and run, though it was on a ball batted in play)

I understand what you are saying, the catcher couldn't catch it because his glove was smashed with the bat, but by definition, CI should not happen.  If he couldn't catch it b/c he got hit with the bat, then don't commit the CI in the first place. <shrug>

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20 hours ago, SH0102 said:

 

I understand what you are saying, the catcher couldn't catch it because his glove was smashed with the bat, but by definition, CI should not happen.  If he couldn't catch it b/c he got hit with the bat, then don't commit the CI in the first place. <shrug>

Yup, and I don't disagree.  Like I said before, it's self-inflicted.  I'm just wondering if it's a SH*# show that should be avoided.

For me, it's a difference between something that happens in spite of CI vs something that happens because of CI.   IMHO, the spirit of the rule is to allow the offense to decline the play if they end up benefiting in spite of CI.   That would mean not accepting a strike to keep the batter at the plate, as they didn't benefit.  And it would mean shutting down anything that only occurs because CI happened.   But that's me.

I also understand that for FED, the simplest solution is often the best.  Allow coach to decline in any scenario.  Easy peasy.

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2 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

I also understand that for FED, the simplest solution is often the best.  Allow coach to decline in any scenario.  Easy peasy.

Maybe I didn't follow this thread close enough, and not trying to reopen the debate, but I thought the context on whether the ball has to be hit for the coach then to have the option was a Fed only thing (so tuned out a bit).

OBR 6.01(c) Catcher Interference

The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when 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.

"If a play" - a play would be anything that happens (e.g. runner advances on a pitch that has CI and the ball goes to the backstop), no?

 

 

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4 hours ago, Velho said:

Maybe I didn't follow this thread close enough, and not trying to reopen the debate, but I thought the context on whether the ball has to be hit for the coach then to have the option was a Fed only thing (so tuned out a bit).

OBR 6.01(c) Catcher Interference

The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when 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.

"If a play" - a play would be anything that happens (e.g. runner advances on a pitch that has CI and the ball goes to the backstop), no?

 

 

Yes, that is correct.  It does not say that a ball must be put into play by the batter to have the option to decline the INT.

I think Beerguy was saying that in a situation where a batter hits the glove, causing the catcher to miss the pitch, runners are running all over, plays may be made at bases, outs may occur, would it be easier just to say thats CI, batter go to first (and others advance if forced).

My understanding and how I will officiate unless I learn otherwise, is I will always offer the option to decline the INT unless the batter and all runners advance one base or more.

I agree it may be a ***show as Beerguy said, but so would me telling the offensive coach who just won the game when R3 scored that his runner has to go back because the catcher had no ability to catch the pitch after CI and only the batter gets first and R3 wasn't forced to advance

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1 hour ago, SH0102 said:

I think Beerguy was saying that in a situation where a batter hits the glove, causing the catcher to miss the pitch, runners are running all over, plays may be made at bases, outs may occur, would it be easier just to say thats CI, batter go to first (and others advance if forced).

 

I agree it may be a ***show as Beerguy said, but so would me telling the offensive coach who just won the game when R3 scored that his runner has to go back because the catcher had no ability to catch the pitch after CI and only the batter gets first and R3 wasn't forced to advance

To clarify - I'm of the belief that the easiest approach (at least for FED) is to simply allow a coach to decline/accept CI anytime it happens regardless (unless everyone advances a base).   That doesn't mean it's the "best" approach, but I'm a pragmatist...and especially when it comes to a collection of amateur/inexperienced umps with FED, as opposed to pro umps with MLB, simple is usually a more appropriate approach.  Frankly, an even easier approach would be to eliminate the option to decline altogether.  CI is immediate dead ball.  Period.   Why the powers that be chose that one rule to allow coaches to decline, and not others, I'll never know...though I suppose its origin was more about OBR, and it's probably the only case in OBR where it's an issue...FED got cute with it when applying it there.

To your second point - the baseball rule book has several instances and scenarios where offenses lose apparent runs on defensive penalties, and other plays, because of how the rule is laid out.  (eg. FED immediate dead ball balk - 1/2 second before the batter hits a grand slam...two base award when R1 is five steps from home when ball goes out of play, etc) 

If you can defend those SH*# shows and "injustices" using the rule book then that's that.  At least everyone's on the same level.

I simply do not believe that some of the potential CI "coach decline" scenarios adhere to the spirit of the rule...that is just my opinion within the workings and history of the game itself.  Specifically:

  • runners that advance only after CI occurred, because CI occurred, where the batter missed the ball (this includes U3K)  (ie. CI entirely causes the play in question)
  • accepting a strike (foul or miss) to keep a batter at the plate  (there are reasons there is no rule allowing a coach to decline a HBP - conceptually this isn't any different - IMO a pitch isn't a play, neither is a swing, and neither is a (uncaught) foul ball - so there is no "play" to accept - IMHO FED's ruling on that case play is wrong, but it is what it is - so written, shall it be)

They do indeed adhere to the letter of the rule, and without official interpretation I think you have little choice.  But I find it interesting that an experienced and respected FED umpire and rules interpreter on this board believes (believed?) that the option to accept the play in lieu of CI only occurs when the batter hits a fair ball.  I wonder if he was taught such, or got an official ruling/instruction/interpretation.  And I wonder if there is any true consensus among state administrators on how to interpret the rule in question.  (otherwise, we must fall back to the letter of law)

And though I understand they are different rule sets, and there are differences for good reasons, the OBR rule does specifically mention "a play in progress before CI" which means, to me, runners on the move BEFORE CI occurs.  If a pitch was actually a "play" the book wouldn't have to make that statement, otherwise every pitch is a play in progress.  I can only guess that my two examples above would not be allowed in OBR.  But I'm guessing if R2 was stealing the coach could choose to take the stolen base and give up the strike - in FED you could enforce CI and R2 would still get third.

 

 

 

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The 2021 OBR rule 6.01c covers after, during, and before the catcher’s interference is committed. And the option to take the result of the play or decline the penalty entered the rule book in 1962.

(c) Catcher Interference

The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when 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 6.01(c) 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 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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6 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

To your second point - the baseball rule book has several instances and scenarios where offenses lose apparent runs on defensive penalties, and other plays, because of how the rule is laid out.  (eg. FED immediate dead ball balk - 1/2 second before the batter hits a grand slam...two base award when R1 is five steps from home when ball goes out of play, etc) 

Had one of these balk, 3 run homeruns in a playoff game this past season. Thankfully me nor the other 3 umps either didn't see it or like me weren't quick enough to call it. 

And to your point about Fed Rules giving one team or the other an advantage... You would think that it shouldn't matter which dugout you were in, but in Fed you would be wrong. 

An untagged batter who has technically struck out on a ball in the dirt is not considered OUT until he/she enters the dugout. If you happen to be in the 1B dugout you are likely at least halfway to 1B. 

Advantage 1B Dugout Team

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On 1/24/2022 at 4:36 PM, Guest Guest Curious said:

So a delayed-dead-ball, your words "let the play finish".

Is there any scenario where the batter would remain at the plate?

e.g..After R3 is tagged out, F2 airmails the ball down the LF line and R2 and R1 score. The Offense is given the option to take the result of the play or the Catcher's Obstruction (I still call it Catcher's Interference to) The OC determines he wants to score the 2 runs, take the out which leaves him with 2 runs scored, no runners on, 2 outs and the batter with 2-2 count?

Where did this end up? Is there any consensus about a batter being able to stay at bat in nfhs? I think if the catcher messes up and sticks their glove out, then snap throws to a base...

Even If a batter doesn't make contact with the ball.

It's a delayed dead ball so if the catcher makes a throw and it leads to a snowball fight I think the offense should be allowed to accept that. Or is there language stating that time is to be called whwn the batter misses?

 

 

As it was pointed out:

 

2013 NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations

 

SITUATION 14: With one out, a runner on second base who is not moving on the pitch, and a count of 1-0, the batter attempts to hit the pitch to right field. The catcher reaches out for the ball and obstructs the batter, causing him to foul off the pitch. The coach, wanting the batter to stay at bat, tells the plate umpire he does not want the award for obstruction on his batter, and he elects to take the result of the play. RULING: The coach may decline the obstruction penalty and accept the result of the play. The game continues with a runner on second base, one out and a count of 1-1. (8-1-1e)

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Mr. Toggy, we at Umpire-Empire are fortunate to be able to count among our membership a former member of the NFHS rules committee, Mr. lawump. He served a five-year term on the committee (2015-2020 I think). He told us something that I have re-posted a few times--

"The NFHS case book tells umpires how to interpret and apply the rules. It does not make suggestions as to how one should apply the rules on the field during the game. Rather, it tells umpires how they must apply the rules during a game. The case book is binding authority just like the rule book."

The online interpretation I posted is not a suggestion that is open to debate. No "consensus" can supersede it. It definitively states that a batter, under certain circumstances, can remain at bat after catcher's obstruction (interference).

Related topic from the 2021 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 6.15, page 105):

(concerning catcher's interference) If the interference occurs on a wild pitch or passed ball, the plate umpire should call the interference while keeping the ball alive and in play as if the ball had been batted.

 

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3 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

Mr. Toggy, we at Umpire-Empire are fortunate to be able to count among our membership a former member of the NFHS rules committee, Mr. lawump. He served a five-year term on the committee (2015-2020 I think). He told us something that I have re-posted a few times--

"The NFHS case book tells umpires how to interpret and apply the rules. It does not make suggestions as to how one should apply the rules on the field during the game. Rather, it tells umpires how they must apply the rules during a game. The case book is binding authority just like the rule book."

The online interpretation I posted is not a suggestion that is open to debate. No "consensus" can supersede it. It definitively states that a batter, under certain circumstances, can remain at bat after catcher's obstruction (interference).

Related topic from the 2021 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 6.15, page 105):

(concerning catcher's interference) If the interference occurs on a wild pitch or passed ball, the plate umpire should call the interference while keeping the ball alive and in play as if the ball had been batted.

 

Awesome. 

Yeah in the case play the batter made contact and I was trying to figure out if there was any language that or case play that described killing the ball on a swing and miss. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Toggy said:

Awesome. 

Yeah in the case play the batter made contact and I was trying to figure out if there was any language that or case play that described killing the ball on a swing and miss. 

 

 

I wouldn't see any reason to "kill it" on a swing and miss - if that swing and miss was a U3k then batter could advance...and if the batter and all runners advance a base CI is ignored.

Likewise, since you don't need to have a swing for CI, ball four could have the same scenario.

Having another look at the rules, I'm not sure what I missed last year.  The FED rule doesn't mention anything about a requirement for the coach to take the play (except that all runners advancing means CI is ignored)...and the OBR rule (not the comment) says "if a play follows the interference".

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