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Old Sun Mar 11, 2001, 09:50pm
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Does the catcher have to actually throw the ball to have batter interference? I see no where in the rules that he must throw the ball, and even referance to attempting to throw, but I have never seen interference called when the catcher did not actually throw the ball. I only do NFHS.
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Old Sun Mar 11, 2001, 10:10pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by David Van Milligen
Does the catcher have to actually throw the ball to have batter interference? I see no where in the rules that he must throw the ball, and even referance to attempting to throw, but I have never seen interference called when the catcher did not actually throw the ball. I only do NFHS.
As long as F2 is "attempting" a throw, it is (or can be) interference on the batter. See, for example, 7.3.5A, C, D
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Old Mon Mar 12, 2001, 03:51am
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Quote:
Originally posted by David Van Milligen
Does the catcher have to actually throw the ball to have batter interference? I see no where in the rules that he must throw the ball, and even referance to attempting to throw, but I have never seen interference called when the catcher did not actually throw the ball. I only do NFHS.
NOTE: Take note. It is notable to note that the catcher is not required to even attempt to throw the ball in OBR, as long as the umpire judges the aborted attempt was a direct result of the interference.
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Old Mon Mar 12, 2001, 10:28am
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"As long as F2 is "attempting" a throw, it is (or can be) interference on the batter. See, for example, 7.3.5A, C, D"

I agree with both Bob and Jim, but in the many games I seen, I coached for 10 years and still watch as many or more games then I ump, I have never seen an interference called without the catcher actually releasing the ball.
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Old Mon Mar 12, 2001, 12:40pm
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When the catcher throws the ball you generally have compelling evidence to make the interference call. My experience is that if you call it when it is close or obvious your game will clean itself up. When players and coaches see you know the rule and are not afraid to call it they will police themselves.
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Old Mon Mar 12, 2001, 05:36pm
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I have seen it called when the catcher double-pumped a throw, and the umpire sold the call by saying the catcher HAD to double-pump or he would have hit and hurt the batter! I have also seen it called when the catcher had to reset his feet to set himself for a throw, even though a throw then was never attempted because of the lag time involved. The umpire there said, "The batter better not do anything to interfere with that attempt by the catcher to retire the runner - even if it is just making him move to avoid interference!"
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Old Thu Mar 15, 2001, 02:41pm
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Be careful here, the batter cannot turn into a wisp of smoke, and it is not generally interference if the batter is in the box and doesn't make any movement to get in the way. Batter, in box, freezes - no interference. If it was you'd see a lot of batters hit with throws.
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Old Thu Mar 15, 2001, 03:56pm
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I played ball in Illinois and seldom saw it happen. If it did, it was enforced.

I have umped in Texas since 1980. I noticed immediately in moving here that it batter interference is abundant (and many don't call it unless it is can be seen in Cleveland).

I assumed it is moreso based on the locale of the country and the degree to which it is enforced. I will bet money I can see a batter interference with the batter coming across the plate to get in the catcher's way in at least 1 of 3 if not 1 of 2 Fed games.

I will bet money on that with anyone coming through town.
Even money on the 1 of 3 games.

Steve
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Old Thu Mar 15, 2001, 05:21pm
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We have a tendency to "ignore" B I here in wyo also. It is not so much a matter of ignoring but the clarity of the rule as far as the players, managers and coaches go. I called a game last year where the coach told his catcher to actually "step into" the batter for a throw down to third.
Yes I called B I he was in the way and didn't bother trying to move. The catcher's actions were not overly blatant, he simply stepped toward third and released the ball, his hand hitting the batter in the shoulder.
I agree the batter cannot disappear, but if the batter ducks down to avoid the throw to third, he better stay down until the ball is released or the catcher feints and throws back to F1, a quick down and up is going to get my attention.

How about the BR that is put out at first and crosses the field going to the thirdbase dugout, while other runners are still on the basepaths?
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Old Thu Mar 15, 2001, 11:36pm
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Look at 8.4.1.g on page 51 of NFHS. On a third dropped strike I believe he does have to throw it.

Also in the NFHS Quarterly, your situation comes up in situation 21 page 29 and it says that the catcher must throw the ball in order for interference to be called. This seems to contradict what everyone is saying but I think that I am right if you go strictly by the rules.

[Edited by Gre144 on Mar 16th, 2001 at 12:25 AM]
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Old Fri Mar 16, 2001, 02:12am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Thane Yennie
Yes I called B I he was in the way and didn't bother trying to move.

I agree the batter cannot disappear, but if the batter ducks down to avoid the throw to third, he better stay down
Thane,

I don't know if it's any different in FED, but in OBR your call would have been incorrect.

A batter is not required to get out of the way. It is perfectly legal for him to freeze in the batter's box, and make no other movement. If this complicates the catcher's play, it's just too darn bad.

The batter cannot be expected to diappear. He has a right to be there and to do what batters do. A batter has a right to do what batters do naturally, including offering or not offering at a pitch, dodging a bean ball, or simply standing still in the box.

It is only when he makes some other movement, or if he steps out of the box (and is not avoiding a pitch,) then he is guilty of interference.

"Some other movement," includes a movement to get out of the way of the catcher's throw. Yes, even though a batter is trying to get out of the way, he can be quite guilty of illegal interference for that action.

So, to summarize, a batter may:

1. Offer or not offer at the pitch
2. Avoid the pitch
3. Freeze in the box

A batter may not:

1. Step out of the box
2. Make any other movement
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Old Fri Mar 16, 2001, 10:20am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gre144
Look at 8.4.1.g on page 51 of NFHS. On a third dropped strike I believe he does have to throw it.

Also in the NFHS Quarterly, your situation comes up in situation 21 page 29 and it says that the catcher must throw the ball in order for interference to be called. This seems to contradict what everyone is saying but I think that I am right if you go strictly by the rules.

[Edited by Gre144 on Mar 16th, 2001 at 12:25 AM]
Situation 21 seems to me to say just the opposite, GRE --"since the catcher did not attempt to throw, there is no batter interference."
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Old Fri Mar 16, 2001, 04:23pm
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Question

Jim,

So you are saying that the batter by crouching (ducking) is actually in violation and should be called out on interference?
In my original play, being last summer (I have trouble remembering yesterday BG), I can't recall the actual placement of the batter. It seems the batter (RH) stepped backwards out of the box (1/2 step) after the pitch and the catcher took a crow hop towards third before releasing the ball, and ran into the batter. This is definitely something we need more clarification on. Anymore help out there??
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Old Fri Mar 16, 2001, 11:53pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Thane Yennie
In my original play, being last summer (I have trouble remembering yesterday BG), I can't recall the actual placement of the batter. It seems the batter (RH) stepped backwards out of the box (1/2 step) after the pitch and the catcher took a crow hop towards third before releasing the ball, and ran into the batter. This is definitely something we need more clarification on. Anymore help out there??
Thane,

I'm not Jim, but I'd like to comment here. Jim is correct in everything he said about what a batter can and cannot do to avoid interfering with the catcher. On the original play you quoted, he was also correct in suggesting that freezing was a better option than ducking.

The problem I have is that your second recollection of the circumstances is vastly different than the first. It is different in the sense that the original recitation didn't include the fact that the batter "stepped backwards out of the box". That action much more clearly defines batter's interference than your original situation intimated.

OTOH, you say that you believed the catcher was coached to deliberately step into the batter. Inherent in any act of interference is the implicit understanding that the fielder was making a legitimate attempt to make a play. Otherwise there is usually nothing with which to interfere. If the catcher was more concerned with bumping into the batter to draw a call than actually making the play, then you might have a case to ignore the interference on the ground the catcher was not making a legitimate play. Generally speaking, however, the batter's action of leaving the box and hindering the catcher's fielding or throwing will usually result in a call of batter's interference.

Cheers,
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Old Sat Mar 17, 2001, 03:36am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Thane Yennie
Jim,

So you are saying that the batter by crouching (ducking) is actually in violation and should be called out on interference?
Thane,

Not exactly, but almost.

I'm saying that, if a batter crouches to get out of the way, and this crouch does not get him out of the way but instead causes a hindrance on the catcher, and he interferes with the catcher's play, then he has illegally interfered. The most common occurrence that I can imagine would be a batter who ducks, but his bat interferes with the catcher.

You see, the catcher is required to play around the batter. Because of this, the catcher should not have to expect the batter to do anything other than what is natural as a batter.

When the pitch hits the mitt, the catcher chooses a path around the batter at that moment. He has nothing to go on except the batter's natural reaction to the pitch. If the batter then moves, he could potentially move into the catcher's chosen path. This movement can include ducking. That's what the OBR means by, "...any other movement." And that is the recipe for interference.

Reaction to the pitch, and standing still - that's all a batter is allowed to do. If he makes any other movement, and the movement interferes, he is guilty. If he steps out of the box and interferes, he is guilty.
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