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Old Thu May 08, 2003, 10:34pm
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Question

I was working with my buddy on a girls FP league game using ASA rules. He is out in the field behind shortstop. There is no one out and a runner at third.

Sharp hit ball on the ground to third baseman. She makes a good play at third and starts the motion to throw to first. At the moment she is about to start her throwing motion the runner at third comes off of third base and starts clapping at her yelling "HEYYYY!". The 3rd baseman turns, after facing towards first, and looks at the runner at third. She turns back towards first and throws wildly over the first baseman's glove.

My partner, an experienced umpire who I have worked many tough games with, yells dead ball and calls the runner out at third for verbal interference and puts the batter-runner at first.

The coach's are confused and say they have never heard of such a thing. We talk after the game and I tell him that I knew there was such a rule but it isn't called very often. He tells me that if the third baseman had thrown the batter-runner out at first he probably would not have called the interference.

POE #32 in ASA rulebook defines interference as "an act of an offensive player which impedes, hinders, or confuses a defensive players attempting to execute a play". Verbal distraction is included.

A lot of coach's think this is just part of the game. Even the team it benefited was confused about it. How many of you make this call?
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Old Thu May 08, 2003, 11:01pm
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How many of you make this call?

I almost did tonight. High caliber varsity game, I am in "A", batter hits towering pop fly that is coming down about 8' off 1B. F4 is camped under it. Batter-runner hits the bag and screams just as the ball is being caught. Every one nearby flinched. My hands were starting up for a dead ball call, but I dropped one hand and changed to an out call when F4 hung on to the ball.

The 1B coach immediately jumped on the runner and let her know he wouldn't tolerate that again. I said "thanks, Coach."

WMB
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Old Fri May 09, 2003, 08:58am
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Maybe I'm too "old school", but I would not have called interference on the runner in the first situation out. To me, verbal interference is more akin to WMB's situation where the yelling is solely intended to cause a fielder to misplay the ball, such as a runner on 2nd yelling "I've got it!" on a popup near the base. I do not think that runner calling attention to the fact that she is off the base is interference. F5 fielded the ball cleanly and she knew where he play was (to first), she should have just made the play and ignored the runner on 3rd.

That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

SamC
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Old Fri May 09, 2003, 10:38am
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I have made this call a couple of times in my career. However, I agree that the play offered by arkblue probably would not have been one I would have made. If F5 was prepared to throw to 1B, it must have been behind her. Now, if she called her by name or left the base path to draw her attention, that would probably be a different story.

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Old Fri May 09, 2003, 11:06am
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I tend to agree. Still the second rule book does say "or confuses a defensive player", not just impedes or hinders.

The case by arkblue sounds like F5 was confused or was it just the standard "check 3, play 1" after setting up. That seems to be the tougher issue. Just yesterday, I saw F5 bluff a throw to 1st and then get a runner at the plate.
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Old Fri May 09, 2003, 03:43pm
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Seen it done plenty, Never called: Runner on 3rd ball hit to pitcher, Coach tells the runner no matter how loud he yells "GO", Only go part of the way and come back on a ball hit to pitcher. Ball hit lightly Coach is screaming for the girl to go home. The girl runs off and comes right back which made the pitcher look long enuff to get the BR safe at 1st. Interference or Not?
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Old Fri May 09, 2003, 04:15pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dukat
Seen it done plenty, Never called: Runner on 3rd ball hit to pitcher, Coach tells the runner no matter how loud he yells "GO", Only go part of the way and come back on a ball hit to pitcher. Ball hit lightly Coach is screaming for the girl to go home. The girl runs off and comes right back which made the pitcher look long enuff to get the BR safe at 1st. Interference or Not?
Absolutely not. Coach was offering his player direction. There's no rule requiring communications between coach and player to be true.
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