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Old Mon Mar 09, 2020, 05:29pm
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malicious contact - penalty?

Recently had a hypothetical discussion that I'll share. Prior to posting, I checked several threads on this subject. There were some good discussions.

Rule application/penalty might differ based on USA v NFHS...

R1 on 1B, 1 out, B3 hits a hard 1-hopper to F1 who immediately throws to F4 to retire R1 by a good margin. F4 turns and throws unimpeded to F3 but the throw is wild and goes over the fence. R1, although not initially close to 2B continued to run and did a rolling body block into F4.

Has R1 committed INT?

Has R1 maliciously contacted F4? (Let's say yes.)

Can you/do you take another out on the BR?

Slight change: runners on first and third. Same scenario plays out.

Ruling(s)?
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Old Tue Mar 10, 2020, 07:40pm
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Start with malicious contact does not require possession of the ball in NFHS.
Then, all malicious contact is INT in NFHS.
And, rule and penalty differ in the books, USA & NFHS.

Thinking about whether dead ball matters …
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Old Wed Mar 11, 2020, 08:11am
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NFHS 2-35 MALICIOUS CONTACT
Malicious contact is an act that involves excessive force with an opponent.

8-6-14 The runner is out when:
She remains on her feet and maliciously crashes into a defensive player. Malicious contact supersedes obstruction.

Penalty: The ball is dead and the runner is out. Each other runner must return to the last base touched at the time of the interference. When a runner is called out for interference, the batter-runner is awarded first base and credited with a fielder’s choice. If this interference, in the judgment of the umpire, is an obvious attempt to prevent a double play and occurs before the runner is put out, the immediate succeeding runner shall also be called out. If interference occurs by the runner on a foul fly ball, the runner is out and the ball is dead. A foul ball is called in this situation and the batter remains at bat unless it was a bunt attempt with two strikes on the batter… (Art. 14) The runner is also ejected.

Question remains: did the runner from first base interfere?
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Old Wed Mar 11, 2020, 07:46pm
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USA does not have malicious contact, it would go under unsportsmanlike conduct. USA also does not have provisions for calling an out for unsportsmanlike conduct, it would simply be an ejection.
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Old Fri Mar 13, 2020, 10:43pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
Recently had a hypothetical discussion that I'll share. Prior to posting, I checked several threads on this subject. There were some good discussions.

Rule application/penalty might differ based on USA v NFHS...

R1 on 1B, 1 out, B3 hits a hard 1-hopper to F1 who immediately throws to F4 to retire R1 by a good margin. F4 turns and throws unimpeded to F3 but the throw is wild and goes over the fence. R1, although not initially close to 2B continued to run and did a rolling body block into F4.

Has R1 committed INT?

Has R1 maliciously contacted F4? (Let's say yes.)

Can you/do you take another out on the BR?

Slight change: runners on first and third. Same scenario plays out.

Ruling(s)?

My first thought on this is how slow is the runner. For a ball to be hit to F1, thrown to F4 and then thrown out of play over the head of D3 before the interference would take a lot. (see discussion at bottom of post).

Now, as for the situation. Yes, R1 is out and ejected if you rule it malicious contact. The question comes in regarding the interference by a retired runner or not. I would think this is not interference by a retired runner. Why, the timing of the play was such that the ball was out of play by the time the malicious contact occurred, the malicious contact could not have interfered with the play. We still have an ejection for malicious contact.

Now, as for the play with the runners at first and third. Same thing. No additional out because there was no interference, but I have an ejection for unsportsmanlike contact / malicious contact .

I will say this, if there is any question if the runner interfered with an attempted play by F4, yes I am calling not only the interference by a retired, but also the extra out.

One thing to consider. If the play happened as slow as it sounds in the discussion, the runner from 3rd base likely scores prior to the interference happening (unless she is as slow as R1.).

Since the rule about interference by a retired runs requires the runners to return to the base occupied at the time of the interference, and the runner from third likely would have already reached home plate, she can't be called out. This would be a situation umpires would have to get together and determine what if anything needed to be called, and then be prepared to explain it to both coaches.


I will say I have only had one ejection for malicious contact in my umpiring career. In that call the coach completely agreed with the ejection.
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