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Old Wed Jul 15, 2009, 04:09pm
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On-deck batter and blocked Ball or live Ball?

ASA and FED


Just thinking out loud and was wondering what you guys and gals think!

If a thrown ball hits the on-deck batter in the on-deck circle and they did not interfere with a play is the ball live or is this considered a blocked ball? My thinking is that it hinges on whether or not the on-deck batter is considered involved in the game. I would say they are when they leave the on-deck circle to direct a runner advancing home from third. So if they are hit by the ball at that time I'd say it's a live ball. However, if it hits their bat, I'd kill it as it is a blocked ball. Their bat is not part of the playing field at this time. I'd then declare an out or just put runners back depending on whether or not there was interference. But if they are in the on-deck circle I would say possible not. I'm leaning toward a block ball if they are in the on-deck circle and possible interference if there was a play possible.
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Old Wed Jul 15, 2009, 06:56pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwest View Post
ASA and FED


Just thinking out loud and was wondering what you guys and gals think!

If a thrown ball hits the on-deck batter in the on-deck circle and they did not interfere with a play is the ball live or is this considered a blocked ball? My thinking is that it hinges on whether or not the on-deck batter is considered involved in the game. I would say they are when they leave the on-deck circle to direct a runner advancing home from third. So if they are hit by the ball at that time I'd say it's a live ball. However, if it hits their bat, I'd kill it as it is a blocked ball. Their bat is not part of the playing field at this time. I'd then declare an out or just put runners back depending on whether or not there was interference. But if they are in the on-deck circle I would say possible not. I'm leaning toward a block ball if they are in the on-deck circle and possible interference if there was a play possible.
Unless they are in position to direct a runner, as permitted and it is completely accidental, I'm ruling a blocked ball. If it does interfere with a possible play, that will be the call.
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Old Wed Jul 15, 2009, 08:04pm
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So just to clarify

Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
Unless they are in position to direct a runner, as permitted and it is completely accidental, I'm ruling a blocked ball. If it does interfere with a possible play, that will be the call.
If the on-deck batter on the third base dugout side is in the on-deck circle and as the lead runner rounds third base the ball is overthrown by the center fielder and it hits the on-deck batter. You would rule, if not interference, a blocked ball and return the runner to 3rd base, correct?

What if the on-deck batter had left the on-deck circle to direct the runner to slide. If the ball hit the on-deck batter and again there was no interference, then we would have a live ball.

The reason for the difference is, in my opinion, the on-deck batter is not involved in the game while in the on-deck circle. But in the second scenario he is just like a base coach at first or third. So as long as the on-deck batter did nothing to interfere, its a DMCF (Dumb Move Center Fielder) and a live ball.

Agree/Disagree?
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Old Wed Jul 15, 2009, 09:29pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwest View Post
If the on-deck batter on the third base dugout side is in the on-deck circle and as the lead runner rounds third base the ball is overthrown by the center fielder and it hits the on-deck batter. You would rule, if not interference, a blocked ball and return the runner to 3rd base, correct?
If there is an active runner advancing, it is going to be INT. You need to remember the "circle" has zero relevance It is strictly a designated area to which the ODB is restricted until the release of the pitch. It is not a sanctuary or a safe haven for the ODB to avoid INT.

Quote:
What if the on-deck batter had left the on-deck circle to direct the runner to slide. If the ball hit the on-deck batter and again there was no interference, then we would have a live ball.
Depends. The ODB is permitted to leave the circle to direct a runner coming from 3B to home. That permission is not a safeguard protecting the ODB from an INT call.

Quote:
The reason for the difference is, in my opinion, the on-deck batter is not involved in the game while in the on-deck circle. But in the second scenario he is just like a base coach at first or third. So as long as the on-deck batter did nothing to interfere, its a DMCF (Dumb Move Center Fielder) and a live ball.
The ODB is not involved in the game at any point. Players and coaches are specifically offered protection when in defined areas or performing specific functions. The ODB is not.

That said, when in place to direct a runner and cannot avoid an errant throw, I will probably give the ODB the benefit of the doubt.
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Old Wed Jul 15, 2009, 09:58pm
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I agree with everthing but....

Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
If there is an active runner advancing, it is going to be INT. You need to remember the "circle" has zero relevance It is strictly a designated area to which the ODB is restricted until the release of the pitch. It is not a sanctuary or a safe haven for the ODB to avoid INT.



Depends. The ODB is permitted to leave the circle to direct a runner coming from 3B to home. That permission is not a safeguard protecting the ODB from an INT call.



The ODB is not involved in the game at any point. Players and coaches are specifically offered protection when in defined areas or performing specific functions. The ODB is not.

That said, when in place to direct a runner and cannot avoid an errant throw, I will probably give the ODB the benefit of the doubt.

In both ASA and FED an opportunity to get an out is required. ASA words are "The on-deck batter may not interfere with a defensive player’s opportunity to make an out". FED words are "if there is no obvious play". Different words but basically the same meaning. There has to be a chance for an out. If the the ODB is hit by an overthrow of the third baseman and there was no opportunity to make an out, I've got a dead ball and not interference. No out on this play.
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Old Wed Jul 15, 2009, 10:00pm
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Another thing....

Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
If there is an active runner advancing, it is going to be INT. You need to remember the "circle" has zero relevance It is strictly a designated area to which the ODB is restricted until the release of the pitch. It is not a sanctuary or a safe haven for the ODB to avoid INT.



Depends. The ODB is permitted to leave the circle to direct a runner coming from 3B to home. That permission is not a safeguard protecting the ODB from an INT call.



The ODB is not involved in the game at any point. Players and coaches are specifically offered protection when in defined areas or performing specific functions. The ODB is not.

That said, when in place to direct a runner and cannot avoid an errant throw, I will probably give the ODB the benefit of the doubt.

If the ODB is never involved in the game even when directing a runner coming from third, shouldn't we declare the ball dead and not give the ODB the benefit of the doubt?
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Old Wed Jul 15, 2009, 10:05pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwest View Post
If the ODB is never involved in the game even when directing a runner coming from third, shouldn't we declare the ball dead and not give the ODB the benefit of the doubt?
No, because they are justified in being in that part of the field. However, it's still their responsibility to avoid hindering the defense.
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Old Wed Jul 15, 2009, 10:10pm
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I can buy that

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCASAUmp View Post
No, because they are justified in being in that part of the field. However, it's still their responsibility to avoid hindering the defense.
However, it sounds like they are involved in the game at that point. Maybe its just schematics, but I interpret the ODB to not be involved in the game when they are in the ODC, but involved when they leave it to direct a runner. The results are the same. If they are involved they can't hinder the defense but they do have some protection. A bad throw by the defense that hits them and in no way hinders is a live ball. Had that same throw hit them while they were in the ODC, then we have a blocked ball.
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Old Wed Jul 15, 2009, 10:43pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwest View Post
However, it sounds like they are involved in the game at that point. Maybe its just schematics, but I interpret the ODB to not be involved in the game when they are in the ODC, but involved when they leave it to direct a runner. The results are the same. If they are involved they can't hinder the defense but they do have some protection. A bad throw by the defense that hits them and in no way hinders is a live ball. Had that same throw hit them while they were in the ODC, then we have a blocked ball.
I'll admit that I've not seen anything from ASA that addresses this specific event on the field, nor have I encountered anything definitive enough in the rule book to say with absolute authority exactly how this should be handled. The only exception to that statement is an act of interference, which would be a no-brainer.

I'm on the fence with whether or not the ODB is "involved in the game," but here are the facts:
  1. They certainly just as much right to be outside of the dugout as the base coaches do (ASA 7-1-A and 7-1-C)
  2. Coaches are afforded "protection" from an INT call if a ball hits them, so long as they didn't intentionally interfere (ASA 8-7-O)
  3. The ODB is subject to the same interference rules as base coaches (ASA 7-1-D)

I had a play a couple of years ago where the ODB was struck by a thrown ball. It hit his foot (despite his attempt to avoid it), popped up a couple of feet into the air, and was caught by F1 backing up the throw. F1 was then able to quickly throw to F2 to attempt a play on a runner heading home. In my judgment, if the ball hadn't hit the ODB's foot, there would have been NO chance whatsoever on the runner. As such, I ruled that no INT was committed, and I also did not rule a blocked ball. In my judgment, the actions committed by the ODB could not warrant either call.

Until I hear something from OKC that addresses this specific case (or someone finds something compelling in the rule book), I see no reason to rule otherwise under the above-mentioned circumstances.
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I haven't decided if I should call it from the dugout or the outfield. Apparently, both have really great views!

Screw green, it ain't easy being blue!

I won't be coming here that much anymore. I might check in now and again.
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Old Wed Jul 15, 2009, 10:58pm
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If the ODB leaves the circle to instruct runners to slide or not, and leaves 2 bats in the ODC and a ball hits a bat, does that automatically become a blocked ball?

If the throw should hit one of those bats [the ODB's bats, not the BR's bat] and then goes out of play, would the award be two bases from the time of the throw?
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Old Wed Jul 15, 2009, 11:07pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
If the ODB leaves the circle to instruct runners to slide or not, and leaves 2 bats in the ODC and a ball hits a bat, does that automatically become a blocked ball?

If the throw should hit one of those bats [the ODB's bats, not the BR's bat] and then goes out of play, would the award be two bases from the time of the throw?
If the ODB drops the bats, and they block the ball, it is a dead ball, and either interference (if an out can be made) or dead ball, blocked ball, runners return to last base touched prior to the blocked ball. This is discarded equipment left on the field; only the batter's bat is allowed to be left unattended.
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Old Wed Jul 15, 2009, 11:07pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
If the ODB leaves the circle to instruct runners to slide or not, and leaves 2 bats in the ODC and a ball hits a bat, does that automatically become a blocked ball?
Yes (ASA 8-5-G-3)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
If the throw should hit one of those bats [the ODB's bats, not the BR's bat] and then goes out of play, would the award be two bases from the time of the throw?
It's the same rule (ASA 8-5-G-3). Once it hits the bats, the ball is dead. Where it goes after that makes no difference, with the exception of if it interferes with the defense's ability to get an out.

Read the rule very carefully. It seems like a simple rule, but the wording is very critical.
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I haven't decided if I should call it from the dugout or the outfield. Apparently, both have really great views!

Screw green, it ain't easy being blue!

I won't be coming here that much anymore. I might check in now and again.
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Old Wed Jul 15, 2009, 11:10pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
If the ODB drops the bats, and they block the ball, it is a dead ball, and either interference (if an out can be made) or dead ball, blocked ball, runners return to last base touched prior to the blocked ball. This is discarded equipment left on the field; only the batter's bat is allowed to be left unattended.
This can be avoided by some preventive umpiring. I do not let teams leave a bat laying against the fence on the field of play. I'll hold up the pitch and make them either hold onto it or put it in the dugout. They usually figure it out after a couple of reminders.
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I haven't decided if I should call it from the dugout or the outfield. Apparently, both have really great views!

Screw green, it ain't easy being blue!

I won't be coming here that much anymore. I might check in now and again.
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Old Wed Jul 15, 2009, 11:49pm
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Steve, Can you address the other statements in this thread?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
If the ODB drops the bats, and they block the ball, it is a dead ball, and either interference (if an out can be made) or dead ball, blocked ball, runners return to last base touched prior to the blocked ball. This is discarded equipment left on the field; only the batter's bat is allowed to be left unattended.
What is the status of the ODB? Is he involved in the game when they leave the ODC (On Deck Circle)? Is he not involved in the game while in the ODC? If he is hit with a thrown ball while in the ODC and we don't rule interference, is it a blocked ball because he is not involved in the game? If he is hit while out of the circle and directing a runner coming home, is it a live ball if we don't rule interference?

This is one area where I'd like ASA to be more clear on the status of the ODB.

Also in FED are the answers to my question above the same? And can you provide rule references? I believe I've looked at them all, but just in case I missed one.

Thanks!
Randall
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