The Official Forum  

Go Back   The Official Forum > Softball

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old Tue Oct 11, 2005, 11:15am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 964
Normally interference is defined as hindering a defender from making a play. (Play = fielding or throwing.) However, when a ball is deflected off one defender, ASA rules that interference must hinder a second defender from making an out.

Due to player speed on the small base paths, unless a ball is deflected near the base or the batter-runner, the defense is not going to get an out if they don't field the ball cleanly on their first opportunity. So the rule makes sense, because the defense should not get an out they had no chance even had interference not occured.

However, ASA puts a kicker in the rule by requiring that the act of interference be intentional. Now, IMO, we can rob the defense of a legitimate out. Suppose a line drive deflects off the pitcher towards 2B. Ball, fielder, and runner arrive at the same spot at same time. F4 should be able to pick up ball and either tag R1 or 2B and get an out, but F4 collides with R1 and is unable to field the ball.

Suppose the ball deflects off F1 across the foul line towards 1B. F3 and B-R collide in the 3' lane and F3 is unable to pick up ball and tag B-R.

In both cases we have an accident, not deliberate contact by the runner. So you cannot call interference and the defense is robbed of a possible out.

I do not believe that the word "intentional" belongs in this rule. What say you?

WMB
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old Tue Oct 11, 2005, 11:46am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 14,551
Quote:
Originally posted by WestMichBlue
Normally interference is defined as hindering a defender from making a play. (Play = fielding or throwing.) However, when a ball is deflected off one defender, ASA rules that interference must hinder a second defender from making an out.

Due to player speed on the small base paths, unless a ball is deflected near the base or the batter-runner, the defense is not going to get an out if they don't field the ball cleanly on their first opportunity. So the rule makes sense, because the defense should not get an out they had no chance even had interference not occured.

However, ASA puts a kicker in the rule by requiring that the act of interference be intentional. Now, IMO, we can rob the defense of a legitimate out. Suppose a line drive deflects off the pitcher towards 2B. Ball, fielder, and runner arrive at the same spot at same time. F4 should be able to pick up ball and either tag R1 or 2B and get an out, but F4 collides with R1 and is unable to field the ball.

Suppose the ball deflects off F1 across the foul line towards 1B. F3 and B-R collide in the 3' lane and F3 is unable to pick up ball and tag B-R.

In both cases we have an accident, not deliberate contact by the runner. So you cannot call interference and the defense is robbed of a possible out.

I do not believe that the word "intentional" belongs in this rule. What say you?

WMB
If the batted ball starts one way, how is a runner to know that a DEFENDER caused the ball to go another? The DEFENDER who missed their opportunity to field the ball is the individual who caused the problem to start. More often than not, such an event will occur too quickly for the coaches to provide any guidance.

Just as I submitted a rule change for interferring with a U3K, anytime the defense is the cause of a change in direction of a ball, you cannot expect the offense to avoid something they believe is going elsewhere that is not in front of them. The offense did not cause the situation to occur and should not be held liable for the defense's action.

That is why it requires intent and I don't believe it will be changed anytime soon. Personally, this sounds like someone trying to apply a baseball mentality to an ASA softball rule.
__________________
The bat issue in softball is as much about liability, insurance and litigation as it is about competition, inflated egos and softball.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old Tue Oct 11, 2005, 10:11pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 964
"Personally, this sounds like someone trying to apply a baseball mentality to an ASA softball rule."

Personally, this sounds like someone trying to be a jerk. Why must you always be so sarcastice and insulting, Mike. Why can't you understand that umpires come here trying to learn something and better themselves.

No, it is not baseball! It is from a play that happened to me in a college softball game a couple weeks ago. Line shot down 3B line, ricochets off F5 towards F6. R1 and F6 collide, preventing F6 from getting to the ball. BU is basically a NFHS umpire and he is applying a HS rule and calling the runner out for interference. I am thinking ASA rule on deflected ball and don't believe an out could have been made. None of us, including coaches, are positive of the college rule, so we go with ASA. BU is not sure that he could judge whether or not an out could have been made, so the interference call stood. Coaches were angry. Later I read that NCAA is not the same as ASA for they have the words "make a play. So it should have been interference, except that NCAA and ASA have the "intentional" word in the rule. (BTW - college doesn't have a "deflected" ball. NCAA has a "ricochet!")

"anytime the defense is the cause of a change in direction of a ball"

What part of "deflect" do you not understand? It is not necessarily an error; often this becomes a base hit. So the line drive "deflects" off the pitcher's head and you say "Oh, tooo bad, you blew it. Now we are not going to protect your teammates from being run down by the runner," when they still think that they have a chance to make a play (or out, whatever).

If the second fielder has a chance to make an out, then why shouldn't they be protected in their pursuit of that deflected (or ricocheted) ball?

WMB

Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old Tue Oct 11, 2005, 10:20pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 382
My opinion .
Once a deflection happens then effectively it is no longer a batted ball and if a fielder moves into the path of a runner I would have obstruction .
The defence have had their chance and their mistake caused the collision so why punish the offense
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old Wed Oct 12, 2005, 07:58am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: West Michigan
Posts: 964
"My opinion"

ISF, like NFHS rules do not address deflected balls. Therefore you are left with the normal Interference rules subject to varying interpretations. Like yours above. However - both ASA and NCAA have specific rules for this.

NCAA 9-13 (e) "Interference occurs when the ball ricochets off one defensive player, and another player still has the opportunity to make a play, but the runner intentionally interferes with the second fielder.

ASA 7.J.5 "When the runner interferes intentionally with any defensive player having the opportunity to make an out with the deflected batted ball.

So both groups recognize the legitimacy of making a play on a deflected batted ball, but then effectively negate the rule by adding the word "intentional."

That doesn't make sense to me. Interference is interference, whether it is accidental or deliberate.

WMB
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old Wed Oct 12, 2005, 08:22am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 21
The way I read it is that intentional means that the runner did not try to avoid interferring with the fielder attempting to make an "out" or a "play". It the deflection makes it impossible for the runner to avoid contact with fielder attempting to field the deflected ball, no interference. If it is possible for the runner to avoid the fielder attempting to make an "out" or a "play", it is interference.

We actually will have to use our judgement as umpire. That is a unique concept that the rule book cannot cover every situation (this is sarcasm). It is frustrating to work with umpires who want the rule book to cover every play that can happen. Use the rules and apply them. Sometimes you can't make everyone happy, but that is why you get paid. Anyone can umpire a game when all the calls are obvious.

And Mike, I like your reference to baseball umpires, they frustrate me the most.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old Wed Oct 12, 2005, 09:50am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Little Elm, TX (NW Dallas)
Posts: 4,047
Wow, KBoy - you just reversed the intent of the rule.

INTENTIONAL interference means you interfered intentionally. It does not mean you failed to avoid accidentally interfering.

As to the other commentary - I think you guys are putting way too much responsibility on the runner. They saw where it went when it was hit, and then concentrate on their running. You can't put the additional burden of having to follow and adjust to a deflected ball on them. The defense had their chance, and failed. I fail to see the reason some of you WANT this to be inteference.
__________________
"Many baseball fans look upon an umpire as a sort of necessary evil to the luxury of baseball, like the odor that follows an automobile." - Hall of Fame Pitcher Christy Mathewson
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old Wed Oct 12, 2005, 10:15am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Posts: 414
I'm with Debeau. The Defense had their chance, they don't get unlimited opportunities. "Intentional" is good & fair.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old Wed Oct 12, 2005, 11:37am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 21
Mcrowder- I think you're reading into what I said. Choosing not to avoid, means you had an opportunity to avoid and didn't. I consider that intentional. I still the runner the benefit of the doubt, but.

I think from what else you say, we would be calling this the same way. Just the written word can sometimes be interpreted differently.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old Wed Oct 12, 2005, 01:48pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 541
Send a message via AIM to TexBlue
Quote:
Originally posted by mcrowder
......INTENTIONAL interference means you interfered intentionally. It does not mean you failed to avoid accidentally interfering.

As to the other commentary - I think you guys are putting way too much responsibility on the runner. They saw where it went when it was hit, and then concentrate on their running.
Just an observation here, but if this "interference" happens as originally stated, the ball has just gotta be in front of the runner. It is going to be hard to interfere on a ball hit behind you. If the runner sees the fielder coming in to make a play, bending down to make the play on the ball, the runner is obligated to alter his/her path. If he/she doesn't, this is definitely intentional and is iterference. Now, as stated, this is all judgemental on the umpire's part. If the umpire doesn't believe the play can be made and this scenario happens, then you have obstruction.

I also agree with the statement that we may all call it the same, for the most part. Some may not. We're just coming at it from different directions.
__________________
Rick
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old Tue Oct 18, 2005, 06:33pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Posts: 3,100
I've had this play many times, typically when the ball goes off the pitcher and the runner from 2B runs into F6 trying to field it. It's usually a no call. I interpret "intentional(ly)" as "couldn't be expected to avoid." If I thought that the interference could reasonably have been avoided--that an alert runner would not have interfered--then I would call it. But I haven't seen that one yet.

Is there any difference between "make a play" and "make an out"?
__________________
greymule
More whiskey—and fresh horses for my men!
Roll Tide!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:47am.



Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.0 RC1