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Old Sun Feb 17, 2019, 04:38pm
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runner interference clarification

Rule 8-7-J-1 says runner out for interfering "with a fielder attempting to field a fair batted ball".

J-2 and J-3 are about throws. With no intervening wording about deflection or exception:
Rule 8-7-J-4 says "Intentionally with any defensive player having the opportunity to make an out with the deflected batted ball".

Ignoring the inconsistent grammar, is there a rule cite or published clarification for:
- separating deflected from any batted ball
- why J-4 requires intent
- why J-1 does not apply to all batted fair balls, regardless of deflection?
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Old Sun Feb 17, 2019, 07:36pm
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I'm a lurker, not an umpire, but I'm pretty sure that...

Intent is not required to call interference when interfering with a defender about to field a ball.

On a deflected ball, the fielder doesn't have protection from unintended interference. You must see a deliberate intent to make the call. Only one defender has protection from interference.

I'm probably not answering what you are asking.

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Last edited by kennyc1; Sun Feb 17, 2019 at 07:43pm.
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Old Mon Feb 18, 2019, 09:49am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
Rule 8-7-J-1 says runner out for interfering "with a fielder attempting to field a fair batted ball".

J-2 and J-3 are about throws. With no intervening wording about deflection or exception:
Rule 8-7-J-4 says "Intentionally with any defensive player having the opportunity to make an out with the deflected batted ball".

Ignoring the inconsistent grammar, is there a rule cite or published clarification for:
- separating deflected from any batted ball
- why J-4 requires intent
- why J-1 does not apply to all batted fair balls, regardless of deflection?
I'm a little confused by what you're asking. Is there a rule citation for why the rules are different? No, but there never is. Is there a rule citation for why these plays are treated differently? Yes, 8-7-J-1 and 8-7-J-4.
If you're asking why the rulebook isn't more clear, well, that's a longer rant.

Maybe this is the answer? In USA softball, the intent is to only protect the initial fielder on a play since she should field it cleanly and not bail her out if she happens to muff it toward a teammate who is in the way of the runner. In NFHS, by contrast they still choose to favor the defense in this situation.
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Old Mon Feb 18, 2019, 04:20pm
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The difference between the two rules boils down to the fact that a runner should not be held accountable to realize as she's running to a base that a batted ball was deflected in a different direction than when she originally saw the ball go off the bat.

Runner at first thinks the ball is heading behind her as it was batted toward F3, and has no clue that it deflected off F3 and is now going toward F4. F4 moves toward the ball that is rolling from F3 toward second base, and R1 crashes into her. That's not going to be interference on R1 unless he/she does something intentional.

So if the ball is not deflected, then J1 applies. If it is deflected, J4 now comes into play. I honestly don't understand why that's difficult to differentiate.

BTW, I think it's dumb that Fed treats a batted ball that deflects of F1 differently than if it deflects off any other fielder. Why hold the runner accountable on a ball he/she thought was going up the middle, and then gets deflected 90-degrees off F1 toward F4. It's nothing if R1 tangles with F4 unintentionally in every other sanction. But in NFHS, F4 is still protected. Go figure.
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