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Old Sun Nov 01, 2009, 10:32pm
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3' running lane violation on BB?

Hi everyone. Long time lurker here. Here's a situation that has been bothering me for years, and I've received varying answers from fellow umpires. Fortunately, this situation has never arisen during play but is one that I've thought of as a possible problem.

For example, with a runner on third with any number of outs and the batter issued a walk... It is common practice by some teams to throw the ball to the first baseman to ensure that the batter does not take second on the walk. Is it possible that if the batter is running down to first in fair territory, that she might be out for interference if the thrown ball contacts her? I know that the batter is entitled to "advance without liability to be put out;" however, the same goes for a runner obstructed by a fielder (cannot be put out between the bases she was obstructed), but an interference call would override the obstruction. Could the same be considered for the walk situation? That an interference call could override the "not liable to be put out?"
If this is not the case, I could envision a situation that the ball hits the batter and rolls away, enabling the runner to score from third. Confusing, since in a batted ball situation, the batter would be out.

How would you rule this situation, both ASA and Fed?

Straight from the NFHS website, under the video clips: "A base on balls does not negate the batter-runner's requirement to use the 3' lane."
Three-Foot Running Lane Violation - Dartfish.tv
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Old Sun Nov 01, 2009, 10:40pm
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Why in the world would a catcher throw to first base on ball four with a runner on third?
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Old Sun Nov 01, 2009, 10:48pm
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Ok Just because...

2 outs, runner on third... Catcher throws to first and hits batter / runner out of running lane and hits her... What do you call ?
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Old Sun Nov 01, 2009, 11:35pm
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NFHS case study Rule 8 Page 49. Ruling, If the umpire judges that the batter-runner interfered with a legitimate play by the catcher, she should be called out.

My question is how would this be considered a legitimate play? The batter-runner received a base on balls and is entitled to 1st base without liability to be put out. Im not sure I see a legitimate reason for the catcher to be throwing to 1st, especially with a runner on 3rd.

Based on the video, however, I see a real potential for a coach to abuse the rule to try and get a free out.

Dont have an ASA case study book and dont see anything regarding a walk and running lane violation in the rules supplements.

Last edited by RKBUmp; Sun Nov 01, 2009 at 11:43pm.
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Old Mon Nov 02, 2009, 02:06am
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RKBUmp if you will please note the comment listed with Rule 8 on page 49...8.2.5 SITUATION B:

COMMENT: All bases must be run legally, even awarded bases.

So a award of a walk ( base on balls) is not a free pass to first base... There is still liability to be put out...

Same in ASA...

A walk is still a live ball situation...
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Old Mon Nov 02, 2009, 07:33am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umpirebob71 View Post
Why in the world would a catcher throw to first base on ball four with a runner on third?
To prevent the runner going to 2nd.

R1 on 3rd, B2 walks. Less than 2 outs. In the "early leagues" (12U and under?), I don't think it's unusual for the offense to send B2 to 2nd base (don't stop on 1st at all, just round and run. If successful, now you have R1 on 3rd, R2 on 2nd.

How do you defend? I've seen some teams throw the ball to 1st, make sure the BR stops, then throw to the pitcher. Other teams will have the pitcher try to make a play, others will just let it happen. If the D tries to make any kind of play on the BR, R1 will generally score (unless you've got some great playmakers on D).
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Old Mon Nov 02, 2009, 07:38am
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I realize that it states the bases must be run legally, but, it also states there must be a legitimate play. There is no play on a walked batter at 1st base until they pass the base and turn toward 2nd, so F3 has no reason to be setup on the bag.

Merely being out of the lane and getting hit by the ball is not automatically interference. Was there a play? Was the throw on target and catchable? Did the catcher try to bean the BR on purpose?
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Old Mon Nov 02, 2009, 08:23am
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Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
I realize that it states the bases must be run legally, but, it also states there must be a legitimate play. There is no play on a walked batter at 1st base until they pass the base and turn toward 2nd, so F3 has no reason to be setup on the bag.
As stated before walk is a live ball situation, other runners on base or not the runner has the option to run to 2B after getting to 1B. I would not try to lock down that runner by throwing to 1B, but... it is a legitamate defensive strategy, just not a great one because the when F3 throws back to the pitcher the runner can take off for 2B because it's still a live ball until LBR kills the play.

Some coaches assume that if they can lock down runner on 1B and F3 has relatively short throw home then R1 on 3B will retreat, but reality is that F3's throw to 3B is long and R1 has no reason to not continue to lead off until ball is returned to the pitcher.
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Old Mon Nov 02, 2009, 08:25am
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I'm not there to supplement crappy defense... so I'd have to really see int.

So .. probably nothing from me unless there really was an act of int which did not include simply trotting to 1b while a catcher makes a bad throw.
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Old Mon Nov 02, 2009, 09:51am
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Seems to me there's plenty of opinion to go 'round on this topic ... and a lot of it seems to be in direct violation of the rules.

Whether or not a defense is, in our opinion, making a smart play, or not, has no bearing on this play whatsoever. The rules are the rules. If the BR is out of the running lane and she interferes with the throw, she is out.

Another instance where a defense may throw to first is late in the game with a one-run lead or a tie. You have to let the defense play defense. And the offense is obligated to play within the rules.

Remember, the running lane starts 30' from home, so the likelihood is the throw is made prior to the BR getting to the lane.
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Old Mon Nov 02, 2009, 10:16am
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Originally Posted by RadioBlue View Post
Whether or not a defense is, in our opinion, making a smart play, or not, has no bearing on this play whatsoever. The rules are the rules. If the BR is out of the running lane and she interferes with the throw, she is out.
The definitions section defines what a play is. If the throw, as stated earlier, is to keep the runner from continuing to 2nd rather than recording an out, I'm not sure it meets the criteria of a play. There is no out at 1B while the BR is on his/her way there. I would have nothing.
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Old Mon Nov 02, 2009, 11:15am
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To the OP request for both NFHS and ASA rulings:

In ASA, I have nothing but a stupid play by F2; and if taught to keep the runner on 1st, an equally stupid coach. It does not meet the ASA definition of making a play, and should be treated as an errant throw, with results whatever happens.

In NFHS, we have a specific ruling (for whatever reason) from the Rules Editor (who has the authority to speak for the Rules Committee) that this is a play; the fact that we don't consider it a legitimate play, isn't material anymore, the ruling is there. Unless you judge this was not a quality throw that could have been caught by the defender at first, or simply a blatent attempt to hit the runner (USC), you must rule this INT in NFHS.

Not because I say so, or even believe so; because Mary Struckhoff says so.
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Old Mon Nov 02, 2009, 01:26pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRabbit View Post
RKBUmp if you will please note the comment listed with Rule 8 on page 49...8.2.5 SITUATION B:

COMMENT: All bases must be run legally, even awarded bases.

So a award of a walk ( base on balls) is not a free pass to first base... There is still liability to be put out...

Same in ASA...

A walk is still a live ball situation...
As Steve notes, it is NOT the same in ASA.
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Old Mon Nov 02, 2009, 01:34pm
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Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
...Not because I say so, or even believe so; because Mary Struckhoff says so.
I don't understand your issue with this ruling, Steve. It is clearly backed up by Rule 4.3-G.1

The Official Rules
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Old Mon Nov 02, 2009, 02:03pm
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Originally Posted by dakota View Post
i don't understand your issue with this ruling, steve. It is clearly backed up by rule 4.3-g.1

the official rules
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