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Old Fri Mar 19, 2010, 08:01pm
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ASA March Rules Clarifications

Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA)

Rule 8, Section 70 and Rule 5, Section 5B Interference and Does the run score:

This question comes from a play in a recreation league game playing by the ASA Official Rules of Softball and involves interference and does the run score. In this case both the rule governing interference and the rule that determines whether a run scores or not came into play and were applied to come up with the correct ruling.

Play Bottom of the 7th inning score tied, two outs, R1 on 3B and R2 on 1B B5 gets a base hit scoring R1 from 3B. During the excitement of the winning run scoring, R2 never touches 2B. As the players are celebrating the offensive coach picks up the ball that has been returned to the infield and throws it to the other coach in the dugout. The defensive team protest that the runner from 1B never touched 2B and because the ball was thrown out of play they were unable to make a play on R2.

Ruling: Rule 8 Section 7O states: When a coach intentionally interferes with a batted or thrown ball, or interferes with the defensive team’s opportunity to make a play on another runner

Effect: The ball is dead. The runner closest to home is out. Runners not out must return to the last base legally touched at the time of the interference.

In this case the interference was caused by the coach after R1 had legally scored and the next runner closest to home would be R2.
Now we go to Rule 5 Section 5B [1] that states no “run shall score if the third out of the inning is the result of a batter-runner being called out prior to reaching first base or any other runner forced out due to the batter becoming a batter-runner.”

Since R2 never touched 2B and even though they were called out as the result of interference the force out is still in effect. Therefore no run shall score, inning over and play on.

I think they overthought this scenario.

To start, unless a defender is attempting to obtain the ball, I don't see interference here. For that matter, it seems that for the OC to be able to retreive the ball, the defense has probably already abandoned it on the field.
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Old Fri Mar 19, 2010, 09:01pm
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I believe it is even more simple than that.

Once offensive team members enter the field, and/or OC touches the live ball, we have a dead ball. If an umpire is still on the field, why isn't their "protest" simply a dead ball appeal of a missed base? Interference doesn't even need to come into play; the run doesn't score.
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Old Sat Mar 20, 2010, 05:03am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
I believe it is even more simple than that.

Once offensive team members enter the field, and/or OC touches the live ball, we have a dead ball. If an umpire is still on the field, why isn't their "protest" simply a dead ball appeal of a missed base? Interference doesn't even need to come into play; the run doesn't score.
Makes perfect sense to me.
However, after re-reading the ASA clarification, it seems that they never addressed the fact that the DC asked for an appeal, (which was part of the original sitch that occurred in the local rec league). I agree with Mike...I don't see interference.
To look at this from another perspective. We all know what our end of game responsibilities are in run scoring game ending situations in regards to runners touching their bases if forced, being alert for any type of appeal, location of the defensive players (should they want to make an appeal), etc. I've never read anything, or been instructed in a clinic that I need to make sure a coach or player doesn't interfere with a "thrown ball" after a game ending run has scored. BTW...the OP states that "the ball was returned to the infield" that to me does not equate to a "throw" as defined by the rules. I mean what if the ball had been picked up and handed to an umpire? Do we rule interference in the same sitch?
There was a similar sitch posted a few weeks ago. My feeling then, as now, is that when a game ending run scores, by definition, the game is over. Game over=ball is dead. Defense wishes to appeal, dead ball appeal rule(s) are in effect.

Last edited by KJUmp; Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 05:45am.
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Old Sat Mar 20, 2010, 09:53am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJUmp View Post
However, after re-reading the ASA clarification, it seems that they never addressed the fact that the DC asked for an appeal, (which was part of the original sitch that occurred in the local rec league).
I had to reread that a couple times myself, but the original scenario states that the defensive team (not the coach) requested the appeal.

Since it wasn't stated otherwise, all other conditions required to make a DBA were met.

BTW, I still have to think the INT was OOO as posted.

Now, if it stated that the throw came into the IF and the OC picked up the ball and prevented the defense from gaining control (assuming they were trying to do so), then I can see a possible INT call.
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Last edited by IRISHMAFIA; Sat Mar 20, 2010 at 10:00am.
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