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Old Thu Aug 23, 2018, 08:35am
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How to rule on plays

This play is in the USA Softball August Plays and Clarifications.

"Play: R1 on 2B and R2 on 1B and both attempt to steal on the pitch to B3. The pitch is called a strike and F2 throws to 3B from the set position. B3
a) does not move and is watching R2 steal 2B
b) moves to get out of the way of the thrown ball.
In both a) and b) the ball hits B3 on the side of the helmet and rolls into the dugout for a dead ball. What is the ruling?

Ruling: In both a) and b) the umpire must judge if B3 actively hindered F2 from making a play. Just being hit by the thrown ball does not constitute interference.
If the umpire judges that B3 actively hindered F3 then we have a dead ball and interference, B3 is out and all runners return to the last base touched at the time of the interference.
Rule 7, Section 6S Effect."

The ruling wording implies that "does not move and is watching R2" might still be interference without giving any criteria for determining "actively hindered".

As clarification, I would have said something like "if the batter moved from their normal stance" or, in the case of a swing, "if the batter moved after completing the swing and recovering".

Do you agree that the ruling needs more clarity?
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Old Thu Aug 23, 2018, 12:57pm
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It does no good to issue a rule clarification that pretty much simply repeats exactly what the rule book says. This was just argued on a Facebook forum after a girl in the LL world series stepped back and got hit with the throw and there was no call. There were several arguments that the word actively means the interference has to be intentional. The clarification also seems to hang everything on that same word. Someone needs to define exactly what the word actively means as it pertains to the rule. I have always been told it is any movement by the batter while in the box that puts them in the way of the throw. A large number of respondents in that thread insist the box belongs to the batter and it is the catchers responsibility to work around the batter wherever they may move within the box.
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Old Thu Aug 23, 2018, 01:54pm
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Think of it this way - should you be able to get an out merely by hitting a player with the ball (like in kickball)? The player needs some protection from that.
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Old Thu Aug 23, 2018, 02:04pm
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Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
It does no good to issue a rule clarification that pretty much simply repeats exactly what the rule book says. This was just argued on a Facebook forum after a girl in the LL world series stepped back and got hit with the throw and there was no call. There were several arguments that the word actively means the interference has to be intentional. The clarification also seems to hang everything on that same word. Someone needs to define exactly what the word actively means as it pertains to the rule. I have always been told it is any movement by the batter while in the box that puts them in the way of the throw. A large number of respondents in that thread insist the box belongs to the batter and it is the catchers responsibility to work around the batter wherever they may move within the box.
Here are my opinions:

" actively means the interference has to be intentional. " one wrong
" the box belongs to the batter and it is the catchers responsibility to work around the batter" two wrong (see below)

"movement by the batter while in the box that puts them in the way of the throw" correct, except the natural course of a swing or avoiding the pitch
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Old Thu Aug 23, 2018, 02:29pm
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BUT, my point is not about the rules themselves, JUST whether a more thorough clarification was needed or at least helpful.
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Old Thu Aug 23, 2018, 04:13pm
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Yes, the clarification needs much further clarification because it doesn't say anything.
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Old Thu Aug 23, 2018, 04:14pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Ives View Post
Think of it this way - should you be able to get an out merely by hitting a player with the ball (like in kickball)? The player needs some protection from that.
The batter is protected as long as they remain stationary in the batters box. They start moving around in the box or step out and get in the way it's interference.
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Old Thu Aug 23, 2018, 05:02pm
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Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
BUT, my point is not about the rules themselves, JUST whether a more thorough clarification was needed or at least helpful.
Agree completely with your assessment the answer needed much more clarification. The same is true about the very next play:

"With less than two outs and 1B is unoccupied. B2 swings and misses strike three. F2 misses the ball and it bounds off the catcher and under the feet of B2 on their way to 1B. B2 unintentionally kicks the ball when out of the batter's box. What is the call?"
They start the response with "If the umpire judged that the kicking of the ball......" It would have been helpful if they gave some guidance on how to make that judgement. What guidelines should the umpire use to make that judgement?

Definitely more information would have been helpful for both of these plays.

Last edited by josephrt1; Thu Aug 23, 2018 at 05:04pm.
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Old Thu Aug 23, 2018, 11:15pm
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I don't see the issue. "Actively hindered" was a last minute change when they moved to remove "intentional" from most rules. I wasn't a fan of the removal for the sole reason that some umpires would start calling everything that didn't seem right to them as INT.

At the time, their reasoning was that the word "intentional" wasn't part of the definition. I thought they were out of their mind since the "intent" wasn't supposed to be part of the rule, but a condition under which the rule is applied.

As I understand it, the "actively hindered" was added after a RUIC pointed out the catcher could just clock the batter for an INT call. I believe part of the reason it was removed was because there were umpires justifying a "no call" with a "I can't read the guy's mind" excuse. And yes I have heard that from umpires in real life and in social media.

"Actively hindering" simply means the batter acted in a manner which hindered the catcher from making a play on a runner. Finishing up a swing or staying still in the box to allow the catcher to make a throw is not actively hindering the catcher.

One of the comments made during the council meeting was that only the wording was changing, but the manner in which the INT rules applied should remain as before the change.
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Old Fri Aug 24, 2018, 10:52am
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Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
I don't see the issue. "Actively hindered" was a last minute change when they moved to remove "intentional" from most rules. I wasn't a fan of the removal for the sole reason that some umpires would start calling everything that didn't seem right to them as INT.

At the time, their reasoning was that the word "intentional" wasn't part of the definition. I thought they were out of their mind since the "intent" wasn't supposed to be part of the rule, but a condition under which the rule is applied.

As I understand it, the "actively hindered" was added after a RUIC pointed out the catcher could just clock the batter for an INT call. I believe part of the reason it was removed was because there were umpires justifying a "no call" with a "I can't read the guy's mind" excuse. And yes I have heard that from umpires in real life and in social media.

"Actively hindering" simply means the batter acted in a manner which hindered the catcher from making a play on a runner. Finishing up a swing or staying still in the box to allow the catcher to make a throw is not actively hindering the catcher.

One of the comments made during the council meeting was that only the wording was changing, but the manner in which the INT rules applied should remain as before the change.
I've seen you run through this history before and I think I get it but I'm not super confident. As I understood the rules, a above is not interference. Standing still is not actively hindering the catcher. B moving to get out of the way which results in getting in the way is actively hindering the catcher.
But that's not really what the "clarification" says. It says judgment needed beyond the description in both cases.
If my understanding is wrong, could you give me an example in a that would cause you to judge interference and one in b that would cause you not to?
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Old Fri Aug 24, 2018, 12:22pm
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Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
The batter is protected as long as they remain stationary in the batters box. They start moving around in the box or step out and get in the way it's interference.
That's not what the ruling in the OP says. Case a) has the batter not moving and the ruling says interference inn umpire judgment.
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Old Fri Aug 24, 2018, 12:42pm
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Originally Posted by Rich Ives View Post
That's not what the ruling in the OP says. Case a) has the batter not moving and the ruling says interference inn umpire judgment.
How does the bolded happen?
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Old Fri Aug 24, 2018, 08:33pm
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Originally Posted by Rich Ives View Post
That's not what the ruling in the OP says. Case a) has the batter not moving and the ruling says interference inn umpire judgment.
I think this pretty much covers it. "Just being hit by the thrown ball does not constitute interference."
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Old Fri Aug 24, 2018, 08:59pm
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Originally Posted by youngump View Post
I've seen you run through this history before and I think I get it but I'm not super confident. As I understood the rules, a above is not interference. Standing still is not actively hindering the catcher. B moving to get out of the way which results in getting in the way is actively hindering the catcher.
But that's not really what the "clarification" says. It says judgment needed beyond the description in both cases.
If my understanding is wrong, could you give me an example in a that would cause you to judge interference and one in b that would cause you not to?
I assume it was stated as such because that is what the rule states. There are probably some who would think that "not moving" refers to the feet. But what if the upper body moves? Maybe the batter crouches down and is now hit by the ball or the ball hits the bat. Or the area the catcher was going to throw is now occupied by a knee, arms or ass. That could be INT even though the batter didn't actually move from his/her position.
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Old Mon Aug 27, 2018, 07:22pm
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1) If a batter didn't move, how in the world could she "actively interfere?
2) Since she is not required to move unless there is a play at the plate, hoe could it be INT to stand still?

Moving=active.
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