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Old Sun Oct 04, 2020, 08:08pm
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Retired runner INT?

NFHS:

Was there a case play to cover this:

R1 on 1B, B2 hits a grounder to F5, F5 throws to F4 for the force out and F4 immediately throw and hits R1 in the noggin. I remember reading a case play that says this is not INT and it remains a live ball but, since NFHS left arbiter, I cannot find anything. (it is not in the 2020 book)
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Old Mon Oct 05, 2020, 09:07pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwwashburn View Post
NFHS:

Was there a case play to cover this:

R1 on 1B, B2 hits a grounder to F5, F5 throws to F4 for the force out and F4 immediately throw and hits R1 in the noggin. I remember reading a case play that says this is not INT and it remains a live ball but, since NFHS left arbiter, I cannot find anything. (it is not in the 2020 book)
It partly depends on what the runner does relative to normal path to base, moving toward the throwing lane, etc. There is a long topic somewhere on this forum, I think.
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Old Tue Oct 06, 2020, 11:55am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
It partly depends on what the runner does relative to normal path to base, moving toward the throwing lane, etc. There is a long topic somewhere on this forum, I think.
Be careful here. NFHS removed the reference of "intentionally interferes" in rule 8-6-16c back in 2012. Now it just reads, "After being declared out or after scoring, a runner interferes with a defensive player's opportunity to make a play on another runner." Your mentioning that the runner moving toward the throwing lane implies intent to interfere, which has not been a criterion for quite a while now.
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Old Tue Oct 06, 2020, 06:20pm
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My 2 cents.
Barring intent, itís never interference if one is hit by a thrown ball.
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Old Wed Oct 07, 2020, 08:19am
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Originally Posted by robbie View Post
My 2 cents.
Barring intent, itís never interference if one is hit by a thrown ball.
Runner at third, no outs. Fly ball to center. F8 makes the catch. Retired batter trots across the diamond to go into her dugout on the third-base side while F8 throws home to make a play on the tagging runner. Ball hits the retired batter when she's between the circle and home plate.

She showed no real intent to interfere. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, she really just unknowingly put herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. But she prevented the throw from getting to F2 to make a play on the runner. Is this interference? You betcha.
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Old Wed Oct 07, 2020, 09:20am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
Runner at third, no outs. Fly ball to center. F8 makes the catch. Retired batter trots across the diamond to go into her dugout on the third-base side while F8 throws home to make a play on the tagging runner. Ball hits the retired batter when she's between the circle and home plate.

She showed no real intent to interfere. Giving her the benefit of the doubt, she really just unknowingly put herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. But she prevented the throw from getting to F2 to make a play on the runner. Is this interference? You betcha.
OK, so there we have one "extreme", which may be summarized as "player doing some action not common to the game" and thereby interfering with play. But what about the opposite extreme, wherein the retiree does some action very common to the game, and gets in the way of the ball?

If the one originally posed isn't a clear enough case of the latter because she could see the ball coming, how about this one:

1-hopper batted to 1B, fielded there. R1 with her back to the play doesn't know F3 hasn't touched the base. F3 throws to F4, and R1 does a quick turnaround to try to get back to 1B, where she thinks she'd be safe. F4 tags her in the back but she doesn't feel it, only the umpire sees the ball touch her shirt. Then F4, knowing the BR is still forced, attempts a throw that hits the already-retired runner in the back.
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Old Wed Oct 07, 2020, 12:00pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
OK, so there we have one "extreme", which may be summarized as "player doing some action not common to the game" and thereby interfering with play. But what about the opposite extreme, wherein the retiree does some action very common to the game, and gets in the way of the ball?
I was merely providing an example to counter the statement by robbie that it is never interference with a thrown ball unless there is intent. As I mentioned in my first post, NFHS no longer requires intent for there to be interference by a retired runner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
If the one originally posed isn't a clear enough case of the latter because she could see the ball coming, how about this one:

1-hopper batted to 1B, fielded there. R1 with her back to the play doesn't know F3 hasn't touched the base. F3 throws to F4, and R1 does a quick turnaround to try to get back to 1B, where she thinks she'd be safe. F4 tags her in the back but she doesn't feel it, only the umpire sees the ball touch her shirt. Then F4, knowing the BR is still forced, attempts a throw that hits the already-retired runner in the back.
I would agree with you that this shouldn't be interference because the retired runner did something "very common" as you mentioned. No different than a force play at home with the bases loaded where the retired R1 slides into F2 who still has her foot near the plate and disrupts her throw to first to double-up the BR.

The play that keeps being brought up every year (there's even a video of it from a HS game in NJ) is the one like the OP where R1 is retired at second base on the front end of the DP, and then when F4 turns to throw to first base, R1 is still upright very close to second base and gets hit with the throw. Many umpires argue that R1 did nothing wrong, that she just can't disappear after being retired, or some other argument to claim there was no interference.

But to me, the "very common" move that R1 should execute in this play is sliding into second base. Going in standing up on such as close force play at second is not good fundamental softball. It shows no intent to get to the bag safely. Frankly, I even feel that when a runner does that, she IS intent on hindering F4's throw to first.

Even the NCAA feels that way, given this case play:

Quote:
A.R. 12-60. With a runner on first base, the batter hits a ground ball to the second baseman. She fields the ball cleanly and tosses it to the shortstop for the first out of the inning. As the runner is in the baseline between first and second, the shortstop attempts to throw the ball to first base to complete a double play, however, her throw hits the runner or her attached equipment or the actions of the base runner cause the fielder to have to alter her throw. The batter-runner reaches first.

RULING: The benefit of the doubt goes to the defense who must be allowed the opportunity to make or complete a play since retired runners are not afforded the same protection as live runners. The base runner closest to home would be declared out if a retired runner interfered with a defenderís opportunity to make a play. The umpires must consider these factors: (1) Does the retired runner make a legitimate attempt not to interfere with the throw (e.g. slides if sheís close enough to the bag, veer to get out of the throwing lane or drop/duck to avoid the thrown ball)? (2) Does the defensive player intentionally try to throw at the retired runner whose actions would otherwise not impact the throw? (3) Is it simply an errant throw? In these three situations, the retired runner would not be charged with interference and the ball would remain alive. These same three factors would apply to a batter who has struck out and is still in the batterís box when she interferes with catcherís attempt to throw out a baserunner.
(Rules 12.17.2.3 and 11.20.3 EFFECT and Exception)
Unfortunately, there is nothing similar in writing that I could find for any other sanction, which is what Joe is looking for.
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Old Wed Oct 07, 2020, 01:51pm
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"Frankly, I even feel that when a runner does that, she IS intent on hindering F4's throw to first."

That is exactly my point - The rule does not call for intentional, but you deem it as such and thus call it.

Likewise, if the retired BR "trots across the diamond to go into her dugout on the third-base side while F8 throws home to make a play on the tagging runner" - the only way Im calling that is IF I think he / she was there intentionally AND interfered.

Step further, BR obviously realizes the potential to interfere so she purposely runs faster to the 3b side of field and the "bad" throw hits her. No way is that interference.

No we are into judging whether throw are "good" or not.

One still has to interfere for there to be interference. Being hit by a thrown ball cannot be deemed interference in itself.
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Old Wed Oct 07, 2020, 02:36pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbie View Post
One still has to interfere for there to be interference. Being hit by a thrown ball cannot be deemed interference in itself.
I agree that not every time that a retired runner is hit by a thrown ball, it is interference. A runner who just scored is heading to the dugout, and the ball is thrown over F1's head in the circle and hits that runner while she's just about to enter the dugout. Yeah, that's not going to get an interference call from me.

But being hit by a thrown ball that directly prevents a potential play by the defense is gonna be interference, whether the retired runner did something intentional or not. You cannot offer to the defensive head coach, "Well, the retired runner didn't intend to get hit by that throw." Again, intent is not relevant.

Here's another one in the realm of the possibility. R1 at third and R2 at first. Batter bunts the ball back to F1, and there's no play to be made on R1, so F1 throws the BR out. R2 never hesitates on her way from first to third, and F3 throws to F5, but the ball is in the dirt and trickles away from F5. R2 gets up from her slide and tries to score as F5 chases the ball down.

R1 who already scored was on her way to the third base dugout when she realized the bat was still near home, so she turns back to get it. She's oblivious to the fact that her teammate is trying to score. She picks up the bat and starts to head to the dugout, and puts herself right in the path of F5's throw home to play on R2. The ball hits R1 in the helmet.

Intent? No. Interference? Absolutely.
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Old Wed Oct 07, 2020, 04:01pm
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Let's go back to the OP.

NFHS interpretations have historically followed ASA (now USA) any time there wasn't a clear rule or case play distinction. In this case, that has meant:

Runners are expected to attempt to advance to be safe at the next base; doing that, and only that, isn't interference. Once put out (and acknowledging they don't immediately disappear in that instant), they are obligated to "not interfere". That means:

If the runner is out and struck by an immediate throw while properly attempting to advance directly to the base, that isn't interference. If the runner veers into a path where struck by the throw, intentionally or NOT ("she was trying to avoid"), that IS interference. A runner that stays up (rather than slide) probably ISN'T trying to advance safely, and could easily be considered interfering.

In these other scenarios, use the "reasonable man" theory. If a runner could have avoided interfering and didn't, that's interference. If a defender would reasonably mistake a retired runner for an active runner, that's interference.
The "runner didn't know" isn't a defense, that's why they have base coaches; once retired, the onus is on the runner to NOT interfere, just like the onus is on the defense to not obstruct.
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Old Thu Oct 08, 2020, 12:14pm
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Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
The play that keeps being brought up every year (there's even a video of it from a HS game in NJ) is the one like the OP where R1 is retired at second base on the front end of the DP, and then when F4 turns to throw to first base, R1 is still upright very close to second base and gets hit with the throw. Many umpires argue that R1 did nothing wrong, that she just can't disappear after being retired, or some other argument to claim there was no interference.

But to me, the "very common" move that R1 should execute in this play is sliding into second base. Going in standing up on such as close force play at second is not good fundamental softball. It shows no intent to get to the bag safely.
I don't get that. If it's a force play, why wouldn't I rather stay on my feet so I can easily round the base if the throw goes into the outfield? The difference in time in getting my foot on the bag between running and sliding is so minuscule, the only advantage to sliding is avoiding overrunning the base (and that's not assured either), but that sacrifices time in getting to the next base if the opportunity presents.

Seems to me somebody has to be screwed by the physics of the situation. Either the runner has to sacrifice the advantage of running vs. sliding, or the fielder has a body in or near the line of the likely throw. If Fed wants the screwing to fall on the runners that's fine, but it should be recognized that it is a screwing nevertheless.
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Old Thu Oct 08, 2020, 01:12pm
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Originally Posted by Robert Goodman View Post
I don't get that. If it's a force play, why wouldn't I rather stay on my feet so I can easily round the base if the throw goes into the outfield? The difference in time in getting my foot on the bag between running and sliding is so minuscule, the only advantage to sliding is avoiding overrunning the base (and that's not assured either), but that sacrifices time in getting to the next base if the opportunity presents.

Seems to me somebody has to be screwed by the physics of the situation. Either the runner has to sacrifice the advantage of running vs. sliding, or the fielder has a body in or near the line of the likely throw. If Fed wants the screwing to fall on the runners that's fine, but it should be recognized that it is a screwing nevertheless.
I've played and watched both baseball and softball for a lot of years, and it is very rare that a runner doesn't slide into second base on the front end of the DP. It's also very rare that a runner goes into second base standing up on a straight steal; they don't approach second with the mind-set that if they go in standing up and the catcher's throw gets past the infielder at second base, they're much more able to round the base and keep going to third.

The next time I hear a coach yell at his/her runner, "Next time go in standing up so that you can make it to third quicker should the ball get through!" will be the first time.
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