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Possible batter's interference


BLWizzRanger

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Sorry if this was answered before.  Sometimes one doesn't put two and two together until they experience it.

13U playing FED. R3. outs don't matter.

R3 takes off toward home on a squeeze play.  BR is up in the box, squares up, and foul tips the ball to the catcher - so the ball is live.  BR rotates toward his 3rdBC in almost the same spot as the foul tip (still in the box but I know it doesn't really mean anything) and the F2 runs directly into the back of the BR trying to get to R3.  So, the BR doesn't step back or move forward, he just rotates and starts to take a step toward is 3BC when the contact is made.  A rundown starts with the R3 finally getting tagged.

I have interference (although I didn't call it) because the BR was not trying to get out of the way on a squeeze. What do you think?

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Here’s the FED batter’s interference rule and then a case book play I think will help—

2020 NFHS rule 7-3 ART. 5 . . . Interfere with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by:

a. leaning over home plate,

b. stepping out of the batter’s box,

c. making any other movement, including follow-through interference, which hinders actions at home plate or the catcher’s attempt to play on a runner, or

d. 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.

2019 NFHS Case Book Play 7.3.5 Situation E:  With less than two outs, R2 and B2 at the plate, R2 attempts to steal third. In the process, B2, who bats right-handed, after swinging or not swinging at the pitch, (a) makes no attempt to get out of the way of F2 throwing to third or (b) is unable to make an attempt to get out of the way of F2 throwing to third. As a result, F2 cannot make a play on the runner. Is B2 out, and must R2 return to second? RULING:  B2 is not guilty of interference in (a) or (b). B2 is entitled to his position in the batter’s box and is not subject to being penalized for interference unless he moves or re-establishes his position after F2 has received the pitch, which then prevents F2 from attempting to play on a runner. Failing to move so F2 can make a throw is not batter interference.

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10 hours ago, BLWizzRanger said:

Sorry if this was answered before.  Sometimes one doesn't put two and two together until they experience it.

13U playing FED. R3. outs don't matter.

R3 takes off toward home on a squeeze play.  BR is up in the box, squares up, and foul tips the ball to the catcher - so the ball is live.  BR rotates toward his 3rdBC in almost the same spot as the foul tip (still in the box but I know it doesn't really mean anything) and the F2 runs directly into the back of the BR trying to get to R3.  So, the BR doesn't step back or move forward, he just rotates and starts to take a step toward is 3BC when the contact is made.  A rundown starts with the R3 finally getting tagged.

I have interference (although I didn't call it) because the BR was not trying to get out of the way on a squeeze. What do you think?

The primary question concerning batter INT turns on the batter's actions: did he "rotate toward his 3B coach" as part of his normal swing? You say he was bunting: the batter INT rule provides that the batter may be in the box stationary if he doesn't swing, or completing the normal motion of his swing if he offers at the pitch. Bunting does not normally turn a RH batter to 3B and "start to step."

If he does anything else AND hinders F2's play, then it's batter INT. The action of turning and stepping (it does NOT matter whether he leaves the box) makes the B liable for INT, and when F2 runs into him on his way to tag R3, that sounds like batter INT. That's a judgment call and a proper ruling would require video.

Note that "the BR was not trying to get out of the way" is irrelevant: on a squeeze play there is no time element where we would expect the B to vacate the area. This play is different from a passed ball, where there is time.

And although the batter hit a foul tip, I would treat that more like a (mere) swinging strike than a batted ball (fair or foul): it's live, the batter may complete the action of his swing, F2 has possession, the pitch is over, and F2 is entitled to make a play. Normal batter INT rules apply, IMO.

Finally: remember that R3 stealing on a play where the batter interferes invokes a special penalty. On that play ONLY, R3 is out for the batter's INT, and the batter resumes his plate appearance unless it was strike 3. 

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Sounds like pretty clear interference to me.

@maven , I think I understand what you mean when you say "as part of his normal swing", but I would use that with a caveat at the youth levels that most of us work.  A "normal" swing can be anything but with some of these kids.  This week I was BU in a game where EVERY swing a kid took landed him in the other batter's box.  You could say that was his "normal" swing, but it was also opening him up to possible interference every time.

Completion of his "normal" swing does not absolve him either.  I agree we are going to tend to not want to call something that seems part of the natural progression of play, but follow-through interference is a part of a potential batter's interference call.   

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From the 2016 BRD (section 280, pp. 181 and 182):

FED Official Interpretation:  Rumble:  If the batter interferes as he “unwinds” from his swing, that would constitute interference. (4/90)

OBR:  Authoritative Opinion:  Evans:  The batter is obligated to avoid making any movement which obstructs, impedes, or hinders the catcher’s play in any way. A swing which carries the batter over home plate and subsequently complicates the catcher’s play or attempted play should be ruled interference. Contact between the batter and catcher does not necessarily have to occur for interference to be ruled. Merely blocking the catcher’s vision to second base may very possibly be interference. (JEA/6:46)

From the 2013 Wendelstedt manual (section 9.2.1, p. 173):

A catcher stopping or altering his throw because of the actions of the batter stepping out of the box, or making another movement in the box, is interference. Another movement inside the box includes:  A recoil after the initial backswing…

Batter’s interference supersedes “backswing only” interference. If the batter hinders the catcher on his backswing, but does so while stepping out of the box, or continues out of the box and further interferes, he is still guilty of “regular” batter’s interference.

2007 NFHS Baseball Interpretations

SITUATION 20:  With R1 on first base, the right-handed batter B2 swings hard and misses the pitch. The catcher, seeing R1 slow in returning to first, attempts to pick him off. B2's follow-through by the bat hits the catcher and causes his throw to sail into right field. RULING: The ball is dead and the B2 is declared out for batter interference. R1 is returned to first base. A batter is responsible for the follow-through of a bat when he swings. (7-3-5c)

2019 NFHS Case Book Play 7.3.5 Situation F:  “A batter is entitled to an uninterrupted opportunity to hit the ball, just as the catcher is entitled to an uninterrupted opportunity to field the ball. Once the batter swings, he is responsible for his follow-through.”

2019 Case Book Play 7.3.6 Situation: “…because B1 is responsible for controlling his bat and not allowing it to interfere with a defensive player attempting a play…”

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