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Old Fri Apr 21, 2017, 01:32pm
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Catcher Obstruction/Batter Interference

Here is my other play that happened to me this week.

10U select game. 2nd time I had this team in the same day. Number 9 batter with terrible swing mechanics. Lefty. Every time she swung at the ball she is bringing her foot towards the catcher and bat wayyyyy back towards the catcher. In all but her last at bat, no contract between catcher and batter. In last at bat, bases loaded, 1 out, 2 strikes. To start the pitch catcher and batter are a good distance apart. I would not have predicted contact. Pitch down the middle of the plate, batter takes a giant step back and reaches back with the bat and gets all of the catcher’s glove. She was still in the batter's box.

I called batter's interference. The catcher didn't reach for the ball or do anything to initiate the contact.

But reading the USA Rule Book, RS 8 says the catcher must, at all times, still avoid catcher’s obstruction as the batter has the right to the entire batter's box.

RS 24 also talks about batter interference on a follow-through or second swing. (Not what happened in my game). But the batter is called out for interference if it is intentional. This was not intentional, just very bad swing mechanics!

Pretty sure I should have called it obstruction but it was entirely batter's fault.
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Old Fri Apr 21, 2017, 02:05pm
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Nope, it was entirely the catcher's fault.

As long as the batter's in the BB, catcher must do everything necessary to avoid interfering with the swing.
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Old Fri Apr 21, 2017, 03:34pm
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Originally Posted by jmkupka View Post
Nope, it was entirely the catcher's fault.

As long as the batter's in the BB, catcher must do everything necessary to avoid interfering with the swing.

Yes ............

as long as you judge the "swing" was an attempt to hit the ball. A "swing" that you judge to be an attempt to contact or interfere with the catcher is batter interference.

Rarely true, and you better be SURE, but I hate "absolutes" in rulings.
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Old Fri Apr 21, 2017, 03:55pm
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Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
Yes ............

as long as you judge the "swing" was an attempt to hit the ball. A "swing" that you judge to be an attempt to contact or interfere with the catcher is batter interference.

Rarely true, and you better be SURE, but I hate "absolutes" in rulings.
Intent is not required (at least not for NFHS; don't have the USA née ASA books available now). I'm not saying I would judge differently, just being a bit pedantic.
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Old Fri Apr 21, 2017, 04:42pm
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Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
Intent is not required (at least not for NFHS; don't have the USA née ASA books available now). I'm not saying I would judge differently, just being a bit pedantic.
What exactly are you trying to say here?

To judge a swing to be interference on the batter ... you DARN WELL better be judging intent on the batter's part to hit the catcher and not the ball.
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Old Sat Apr 22, 2017, 10:36am
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Originally Posted by MD Longhorn View Post
What exactly are you trying to say here?

To judge a swing to be interference on the batter ... you DARN WELL better be judging intent on the batter's part to hit the catcher and not the ball.
If this was a higher level game, catcher is not crowding the batter, and the batter takes a "giant step back" and reaches wayyyy back into the catcher with her bat...???

What I am saying is interference requires an act of interference, not an intentional act of interference.

If this was 16U A game, I can certainly see interference as a legitimate call.

It's only "clearly" an attempt to swing because of the age and low level of play, IMO.
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Old Sat Apr 22, 2017, 07:34pm
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Originally Posted by josephrt1 View Post
Here is my other play that happened to me this week.

10U select game. 2nd time I had this team in the same day. Number 9 batter with terrible swing mechanics. Lefty. Every time she swung at the ball she is bringing her foot towards the catcher and bat wayyyyy back towards the catcher. In all but her last at bat, no contract between catcher and batter. In last at bat, bases loaded, 1 out, 2 strikes. To start the pitch catcher and batter are a good distance apart. I would not have predicted contact. Pitch down the middle of the plate, batter takes a giant step back and reaches back with the bat and gets all of the catcher’s glove. She was still in the batter's box.

I called batter's interference. The catcher didn't reach for the ball or do anything to initiate the contact.

But reading the USA Rule Book, RS 8 says the catcher must, at all times, still avoid catcher’s obstruction as the batter has the right to the entire batter's box.

RS 24 also talks about batter interference on a follow-through or second swing. (Not what happened in my game). But the batter is called out for interference if it is intentional. This was not intentional, just very bad swing mechanics!

Pretty sure I should have called it obstruction but it was entirely batter's fault.
Batter owns the box. There is no rule forbidding the batter from moving within the box If the catcher moves up, it is at his/her own peril. Unless I am sure the batter is not making an attempt to strike the ball, but trying to hit the catcher, the call will be OBS
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Old Mon Apr 24, 2017, 09:11am
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it's been a while, but there is still the occasional batter who squares to bunt, then while pulling back, brings the bat waaay back directly towards the catcher while R1 breaks for 2B.

I'd have no problem ruling INT with this, but I've never had F2 actually attempt a throw on the runner in these cases. And it's happened at least 1/2 dozen times through the years.
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Old Mon Apr 24, 2017, 09:36am
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Originally Posted by jmkupka View Post
it's been a while, but there is still the occasional batter who squares to bunt, then while pulling back, brings the bat waaay back directly towards the catcher while R1 breaks for 2B.

I'd have no problem ruling INT with this, but I've never had F2 actually attempt a throw on the runner in these cases. And it's happened at least 1/2 dozen times through the years.
We have a high school coach here who teaches that. The batter will square to bunt with a runner on base and then make a very long draw back of the bat directly into the catchers face.
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Old Mon Apr 24, 2017, 09:59am
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Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
We have a high school coach here who teaches that. The batter will square to bunt with a runner on base and then make a very long draw back of the bat directly into the catchers face.
Is that then intentional?
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Old Mon Apr 24, 2017, 10:00am
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when my kids were still playing they had a teammate who did that. As an ump I would have rung her up on a couple of occasions but she got away with it every time.
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Old Mon Apr 24, 2017, 10:25am
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Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
Is that then intentional?
Yes it was intentional. They only did it with runners on base, any other bunt attempt they just pulled the bat back against their shoulder. I saw them do it as a base umpire so wasnt my call. Few weeks later I had them again as plate umpire. They did it but didnt affect the play and catcher threw out the steal attempt, but I did call time and went down and had a little chat with coach about it. Didnt happen again the rest of that game.
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Old Mon Apr 24, 2017, 10:41am
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Like I said, the throw was never made in my cases. If it was, I would call INT when I saw it, and not wait to see the result of the play (as I have been taught on this forum). Batter out, R1 back to 1B.
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