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Old Mon Mar 26, 2012, 08:13pm
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Blocked Ball?

USSSA Florida Mens Softball Division E

Runner on first base when batter hits a single to left field. R2 heading to second base does not advance to 3rd and stays on second base.

Outfielder throws the ball into third base where the ball tips off the 3rd baseman glove and hits the in-the-hole batter who after the hit came out of the dougout to pick up on-deck batters bat "close" to 3rd base, in case there was a potential play at 3rd.

Umpire calls runner on 2nd base out due to a blocked ball by the on "in-the-hole" batter, who was next up to be on deck.

__________________________________________________ ________

Ruling from what I was told is:

Effect Sec 5 B-E. It is a dead ball immediately and the involved base runner is out.

K. When a member of the offensive team of their equipment causes a blocked ball.

Effect Sec 5 F-K. The infraction constitutes INTERFERENCE. All play stops; the ball is dead and the MOST ADVANCE RUNNER IS CALLED OUT. NOTE: In "G" immediately above, team members include all other persons who are on the teams bench.

______

Interference is defined as:

Is an act where players or others interfere with a players opportunity.. There are three types of interference:

A) Offensive interference - When a player interferes with or impedes or confuses a defensive player while he is attempting to make a play. This can occur by either physical or vocal actions.

B) Spectator interference - Occurs when a person not engaged in the game touches a live batted or thrown ball which could prevent a blocked ball to occur or when a person not engaged in the game physically interferes when a players opportunities.

C) Umpire Interference - Doesn't apply.


Blocked Ball Definition: is a batted or thrown ball that is touched, stopped, or handled by a spectator or person not engaged in the game, or that touches any object which is not part of the legal official equipment, or which hits or goes beyond a designated out of play area.


___________________________


So the argument really is "a player engaged in the game". From research on MLB.com rules, a player is engaged in the game if he's on the roster. That constitutes pitchers in the pin, runners on base , players in the doug out and yes, even players that are in the wrong place at the wrong time near the 3rd base side in foul territory.

A player not engaged in the game is someone like a police officer, a players kid in the dougout, a security guard, a fan etc.

Where in this case, it can't be deemed a "blocked ball", which would not apply to the above rule where advanced runner would be out.

It was my understanding that "interference" must be with a fielder "ATTEMPTING TO MAKE A PLAY". A "PLAY" is an act of throwing, a tag attempt of a runner or a base. An out is not simply called because the fielder could have, or should have, or would have, or might have, had a play.

Therefore neither blocked ball or interference apply and the play is just dead, no runners advance and there is no out.

Correct?

Thanks
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Old Mon Mar 26, 2012, 10:02pm
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This is the only time the word "engaged" or any form of that word, is noted in MLB rules:

BENCH OR DUGOUT is the seating facilities reserved for players, substitutes and
other team members in uniform when they are not actively engaged on the playing field.

What you defined is clearly a blocked ball in all games with which I am familiar (U-trip not one of them).

Whether it is INT is purely up to the umpire and I do not believe it is absolute.
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Old Mon Mar 26, 2012, 10:19pm
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I'd answer, but to be honest, there are a LOT of cases in which USSSA has a "well, you know what we meant" approach towards writing their rules. I've had one hell of a time getting straight, rule-based interpretations from them.

Not trying to mock the association, but... well... Yeah, it is what it is.

In ASA, a ball striking the on-deck batter would be considered a blocked ball. If it did not interfere with the defense's ability to make a play on the runner, the ball just becomes dead. If it did interfere, then the ball is dead and the runner being played upon is out.
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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 Tue Mar 27, 2012, 09:39am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
This is the only time the word "engaged" or any form of that word, is noted in MLB rules:

BENCH OR DUGOUT is the seating facilities reserved for players, substitutes and
other team members in uniform when they are not actively engaged on the playing field.

What you defined is clearly a blocked ball in all games with which I am familiar (U-trip not one of them).

Whether it is INT is purely up to the umpire and I do not believe it is absolute.
Well, if you want to play the baseball card then you should note that the on-deck batter is on the field legally, and in fact required to be there.
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Old Tue Mar 27, 2012, 09:42am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umpire12 View Post
"In ASA, a ball striking the on-deck batter would be considered a blocked ball. If it did not interfere with the defense's ability to make a play on the runner, the ball just becomes dead".

so, in order to make this true, the on deck batter would have to be considered not engaged in the game, unlike coaches..correct?
That's what I'm saying.

We had a very lengthy discussion about this very topic a couple years ago. The on-deck batter is allowed on the field, but is not considered to be "engaged in the game." An on-deck batter is not required to even be on the field. They can come straight from the dugout to the plate if they so desire.
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Dave

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 Tue Mar 27, 2012, 06:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Ives View Post
Well, if you want to play the baseball card then you should note that the on-deck batter is on the field legally, and in fact required to be there.
Rich, did you read the thread?

If so, you would have seen the OP raised this issue and stated that according to MLB, any player on the roster was considered as "engaged" in the game. I was just pointing out that MLB rules do not make that statement.
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