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-   -   Interference on routine fly ball (https://forum.officiating.com/softball/5532-interference-routine-fly-ball.html)

greymule Thu Aug 01, 2002 11:50am

This year ASA added some wording to its note on 8-8-J through L, and I'm wondering exactly how to apply it.

Note: Section 8 J-L: When runners are called out for interference, the batter-runner is awarded first base and credited with a fielding [<i>sic</i>] choice. <b>Exception: If interference prevents the fielder from catching a routine fly ball (fair or foul) with ordinary effort, the batter is also out.</b>

I understand this to a certain degree. R1 on 1B, batter hits pop to F4. R1 runs over F4 on his way to 2B. Call both runner and batter out. Even last year, the umpire could have ruled that the interference prevented an obvious double play and called both out.

Do I call both runner and batter out in the following situations?:

1. R1 on 1B, no outs. Batter hits fair pop in the area of 1B. R1, running on the swing, gets tangled with F3, untangles, and returns to 1B. F3 catches the ball.

2. Same situation, but F3 drops the ball.

3. Same situation, but F4, seeing the tangle, comes over near 1B and catches the ball.

4. R1 on 2B. Batter hits short bloop in front of F6. F6 dives for the ball as R1 collides with F6. F6 then catches the ball.

5. Same situation, but F6 cannot reach the ball on what would have been an extraordinary catch.

SamNVa Thu Aug 01, 2002 03:26pm

The thing to remember on interference is that it is <b>an immediate call</b>. We umpires don't have the luxury of waiting to see what happens before we make the call (like on the play you described in an earlier thread where the catcher and the batter got tangled up and the batter ended up safe at 1st. It looks really bad to subsequently call the batter out for interference after the offense has screwed up twice trying to get him out.)

So when the ball is hit, you have to make an immediate decision as to which player you think has the best chance of fielding the ball (the protected player), and if the offense contacts that player before s/he has a chance to catch the ball and make a throw, you have INTERFERENCE, an immediate dead ball and at least 1 out.

With that in mind, here's my answers to your questions.

<i>1. R1 on 1B, no outs. Batter hits fair pop in the area of 1B. R1, running on the swing, gets tangled with F3, untangles, and returns to 1B. F3 catches the ball.</i>

Interference on R1, and according to the new rule, both he and the BR are out.

<i>2. Same situation, but F3 drops the ball.</i>

Same answer as #1

<i>3. Same situation, but F4, seeing the tangle, comes over near 1B and catches the ball.</i>

If in your judgement, F3 was the logical player to make the catch, then the answer is still the same as #1. OTOH, if F4 was the protected player, then you've got nothing or possibly obstruction on F3 if F4 does not make the catch.

<i>4. R1 on 2B. Batter hits short bloop in front of F6. F6 dives for the ball as R1 collides with F6. F6 then catches the ball.</i>

Interference on R1, but the BR is not out since the catch couldn't be made with <b>ordinary effort</b>. In fact, the BR would be awarded 1st in this case even though F6 ultimately caught the ball, since the interference by R1 before the catch resulted in an immediate dead ball.

<i>5. Same situation, but F6 cannot reach the ball on what would have been an extraordinary catch.</i>

Same answer as #4.

SamC


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