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Old Mon Sep 06, 2021, 08:34am
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Retired runner interference?

I had a NFHS varsity game the other day. Runner on first and defense tries to turn a double play. The runner going from first to second is plunked by the ball when she is only halfway to second base. I did not rule interference on the retired runner but maybe I should have. The rule says if a retired runner interferes the runner closest to home would be declared out. I didn't know what the declared runner could do since she was only halfway between first and second but maybe that does not come into consideration.

Last edited by shipwreck; Mon Sep 06, 2021 at 08:37am.
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Old Tue Sep 07, 2021, 11:37pm
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Because she is retired and unfortunately she prevented the DP we have another out.
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Old Sat Sep 18, 2021, 09:09pm
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Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
I had a NFHS varsity game the other day. Runner on first and defense tries to turn a double play. The runner going from first to second is plunked by the ball when she is only halfway to second base. I did not rule interference on the retired runner but maybe I should have. The rule says if a retired runner interferes the runner closest to home would be declared out. I didn't know what the declared runner could do since she was only halfway between first and second but maybe that does not come into consideration.
My concern is what did she do to interfere? She was present on the field of play, and got hit with a thrown ball.

There is a casebook play that clearly says if the retired runner hinders the fielders attempt to make a play, in the umpires judgment, it is interference.

This is where I have a problem with these rules. Simply running base to base, should not be ruled interference, assuming no other action to interfere is made.

Here is an example of why this is an issue.

R1 on first, B2 hits a ground ball to F6, who passes over but fails to touch second base then attempts to throw to first base for the double play. R1, thinking she is out at second stops running and attempts to get out of the way of the throw. The throw gets B2 at first. F3, realizing B2 wasn't called out at 2nd base, runs over and tags R1 for the second part of the double play. We have allowed this to happen because we penalize the runner for running between bases and getting hit with a throw, when there is a chance that the play may not be out (we have to give some reaction time for an umpires call on the play, the runner to hear the call, and react to the call.)

If the runner clearly does something to hinder a throw for a double play, then absolutely it should be interference, but simply asking a player to disappear isn't realistic IMO.
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Old Tue Sep 21, 2021, 07:13am
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But the rules and the case book are clear. Intent doesn't matter. Whether the player was "doing what they are supposed to" doesn't matter. If a retired runner "interferes" with the double play, that is if the play would have been made if they hadn't been there, then it's interference.

You have to determine whether the throw would have put the BR out at first had it not hit the retired runner.
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Old Tue Sep 21, 2021, 10:42am
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Why throw to 1B? Just hit the runner.

And that's why OBR rules say that just continuing to run is not interference,
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Old Wed Sep 22, 2021, 09:13am
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OBR is meaningless to Fed softball.

Intentionally throwing at someone, even to draw interference, is unsportsmanlike, however.
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Old Wed Sep 29, 2021, 09:31am
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I think Rich was trying to draw a parallel with baseball, where retired runners are not out just for continuing to run. He has a point, because a retired runner can't just disappear from the basepath once declared out.
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Old Fri Oct 01, 2021, 08:46am
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That's the thing that makes these fielding-and-baserunning games both charming and vexing: You have opposing teams racing to do different things in the same space, yet they're not allowed to assume control of that space.

You have sports like swimming races, where the competitors are racing to do the same thing, but in lanes of their own so they can't interfere with each other. You have court-and-net games like volleyball and tennis, where the sides are confined to their own space and alternate the same actions. And there are games where you have to use the same space, but take turns, such as bowling and darts; in some of those games your shots are allowed to affect your opponent's directly (i.e. bocce), and in others not.

And then you have object-and-goals games, where you're allowed to tackle the opponent or at least steal the ball or puck from them and get in the way of their passes. You have to share the same space at the same time, but that's OK because you're vying for control of what goes on in it. And that's to say nothing of combat sports like boxing, wrestling, and paintball, where you use your opponent's body as an object.

But these fielding-and-baserunning games have opposing action, doing different things, forced to use the same space at the same time. Not only are you not allowed to tackle the runner or the fielder, and not allowed to intercept their passes, but you can't even get in the way accidentally of what the opponent's trying to do, by doing what the game makes you do. In some pinball machines, having the ball hit certain targets causes the runners to move in their own separate compartment from the ball, while in others the runners are represented by lights and couldn't possibly interfere with the ball.

The only other class of games I can think of where opponents are forced to use the same space and not interfere with each other are court-and-wall games like court handball, paddleball, and squash.

Last edited by Robert Goodman; Fri Oct 01, 2021 at 08:48am.
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Old Mon Oct 04, 2021, 12:43pm
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Originally Posted by Rich Ives View Post
Why throw to 1B? Just hit the runner.

And that's why OBR rules say that just continuing to run is not interference,
Which is the same in any intelligent set of softball rules. This is what happens when you have coaches involved in rule changes. Absolutely no intelligence or common sense.
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Old Thu Oct 07, 2021, 11:31am
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Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
Which is the same in any intelligent set of softball rules. This is what happens when you have coaches involved in rule changes. Absolutely no intelligence or common sense.

Hey Mike. Glad to see you are still doing well.
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