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Old Tue May 07, 2013, 12:12am
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Interference Pop Foul First Base?

Fed question. I've read about 30 posts trying to find a similar situation but have failed to find one.

Runner on first. First baseman playing in front of base to guard against bunt. Batter swings and pops the ball up. Runner remains in contact with the base (actually trying very hard to keep out of the way while keeping one toe on the base). 1B never looks and backs into the runner. Ball drops foul about two feet behind first base and the runner, uncaught. No intent by runner to interfere.

I had nothing. Agree? Rules references in you have them please.
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Old Tue May 07, 2013, 09:05am
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Speaking NFHS rules, I think you have interference here, the runner is out, batter returns to hit:

Casebook 8.6.10E: R1 on third and R2 on first. B5 hits a fould fly ball near the third base line (a) with less than two outs or (b) with two outs. R1 interferes with F5 who attempts to catch the foul ball. RULING: in both a and b, the ball is dead immediately and R1 is called out for interference. Additionally, in (a), R2 must return to the last base touched at the time of the interference and B5 is charged with a foul ball.

Yes, there are a couple of differences with this play and the OP: first base side versus third base side (which I doubt makes a difference) and runner on base versus off base. However, after combing through the rules and case book, I don't see an exception for a runner being exempt from interference while on base except if it was an infield fly situation or if the batter is struck by a batter ball. In this case, neither applies, so I think you have to call the out and prepare for an unhappy coach.
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Old Tue May 07, 2013, 09:07am
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Originally Posted by falsecut View Post
Fed question. I've read about 30 posts trying to find a similar situation but have failed to find one.

Runner on first. First baseman playing in front of base to guard against bunt. Batter swings and pops the ball up. Runner remains in contact with the base (actually trying very hard to keep out of the way while keeping one toe on the base). 1B never looks and backs into the runner. Ball drops foul about two feet behind first base and the runner, uncaught. No intent by runner to interfere.

I had nothing. Agree? Rules references in you have them please.
Nothing. Rule references are difficult when there's no call to make. But the runner breaks no rule in the interference section.
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Old Tue May 07, 2013, 10:02am
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8.6.10 c

IMHO, 8.6.10 C seems to be more relevant.

The runner, on the base, is not out unless she intentionally interferes.
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Old Tue May 07, 2013, 10:36am
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Originally Posted by Chess Ref View Post
IMHO, 8.6.10 C seems to be more relevant.

The runner, on the base, is not out unless she intentionally interferes.
This situation applies to a runner hit by the ball while in contact with the base. OP has the fielder making contact with the runner.
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Old Tue May 07, 2013, 10:40am
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Originally Posted by MD Longhorn View Post
Nothing. Rule references are difficult when there's no call to make. But the runner breaks no rule in the interference section.
8-6-10 has the runner guilty of interference when the fielder attempts to make a play to field a ball over fair ground AND fly balls over foul ground.

I'm still not seeing an exemption for the runner being safe while in contact with the base when contact is made with a fielder. I'd likely make the expected call here and, well, make no call, but I'd feel better is something more concrete could be found (in any rule book at this point, not just NFHS).
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Old Tue May 07, 2013, 11:27am
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Dont have rule quotes at the moment, and on way out door so dont have time to look them up, but know ASA does state somewhere that the runner must do something intentional to interfere if they are standing on a base in a situation as posted. Otherwise the rule would require the runner to give up the base and be forced into getting doubled off.
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Old Tue May 07, 2013, 11:45am
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Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
Dont have rule quotes at the moment, and on way out door so dont have time to look them up, but know ASA does state somewhere that the runner must do something intentional to interfere if they are standing on a base in a situation as posted. Otherwise the rule would require the runner to give up the base and be forced into getting doubled off.
Yes, but he's looking for a Fed ruling, not ASA.
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Old Tue May 07, 2013, 11:45am
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Only one I have is NCAA Softball

12.19.1.4.1 When the defensive player, while watching the flight of a
ball, bumps a runner who is standing on a base and fails to make a
catch on a catchable ball, the runner shall not be called out unless
the hindrance is intentional. A runner must vacate any space needed
by a fielder to make a play on a batted ball, unless the runner has
contact with a legally occupied base when the hindrance occurs.
This is an exception to the rule that defensive players must be
given the opportunity to field the ball anywhere on the playing
field without being hindered.

BTW: All baseball rules are the same - if in contact with the base interference must be intentional.
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Old Tue May 07, 2013, 12:26pm
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I am looking for a FED rule but as TwoBits said a little earlier, I'll settle for anything written at this point which seems to be coming in from NCAA and ASA.

I think that the idea that being in contact with the base gives you protection seems to be fair to both sides. Had the girl in my OP removed herself from the bag to avoid the fielder, she would have been in real jeopardy of being doubled off as the first baseman could have easily stood on the bag while making the catch.
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Old Tue May 07, 2013, 12:46pm
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Originally Posted by falsecut View Post
Had the girl in my OP removed herself from the bag to avoid the fielder, she would have been in real jeopardy of being doubled off as the first baseman could have easily stood on the bag while making the catch.
Ahh, but doesn't an appeal, by rule, require the defense to request a ruling from the umpire? The mere act of catching a fly ball while in contact with a base would not, in and of itself, constitute a simultaneous appeal of the runner who is off that base, IMO. Someone on defense would have to make it clear to the umpire that they are appealing that leaving base too soon violation.

That said, I have a hard time believing that FED Softball would be alone here. As others have pointed out, all other rule sets in softball and baseball don't require a runner to disengage from a base to let a fielder catch a fly ball near that base. I don't have my reference material with me since I'm on travel, but there should be something in the FED rule book or case book that addresses this.
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Old Tue May 07, 2013, 01:16pm
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Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
Ahh, but doesn't an appeal, by rule, require the defense to request a ruling from the umpire? The mere act of catching a fly ball while in contact with a base would not, in and of itself, constitute a simultaneous appeal of the runner who is off that base, IMO. Someone on defense would have to make it clear to the umpire that they are appealing that leaving base too soon violation.
Perhaps, but I don't think so. If she had left early to go to second and the throw back beat her you wouldn't have to appeal it, she'd just be out. To be honest your speculation sounds ore like baseball's "accidental appeal" than a softball situation but I welcome correction on that. She could have potentially as easily caught the ball and swipe tagged the runner in any event.

Quote:
That said, I have a hard time believing that FED Softball would be alone here. As others have pointed out, all other rule sets in softball and baseball don't require a runner to disengage from a base to let a fielder catch a fly ball near that base. I don't have my reference material with me since I'm on travel, but there should be something in the FED rule book or case book that addresses this.
I agree but I couldn't find it. I might be blind and just missed it (I am an umpire after all) but as was also stated earlier by MD Longhorn rules references are difficult when there is no call to make (very well said by the way).
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Old Tue May 07, 2013, 01:28pm
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Perhaps, but I don't think so. If she had left early to go to second and the throw back beat her you wouldn't have to appeal it, she'd just be out.
Actually, that is recognized as an appeal. After all, why else would they defense do that but to be appealing that the runner left too soon, especially when the runner is trying to return to the base?

Conversely, let's say that runner made it safely to third, beating F5's tag. You wouldn't acknowledge the tag as an appeal of second. Or let's say the outfielder who made the deep catch throws the ball in to an infielder acting as a cutoff person behind second base in the grass, and as the infielder trots, in to give the ball to the pitcher, she steps on the bag but she--nor anyone else on defense for that matter--gives no indication whatsoever that the reason she stepped on it was to appeal. Would you ring the runner up?
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Old Tue May 07, 2013, 02:19pm
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Perhaps, but I don't think so. If she had left early to go to second and the throw back beat her you wouldn't have to appeal it, she'd just be out. To be honest your speculation sounds ore like baseball's "accidental appeal" than a softball situation but I welcome correction on that. She could have potentially as easily caught the ball and swipe tagged the runner in any event.
But what we need for an appeal on leaving early is evidence that they are making that appeal. Generally - they are throwing back to that base on purpose, and the whole world knows why - the evidence of the appeal is the throw itself.

If the player catches a fly while unintentionally touching the base - there's no evidence they are trying to appeal. If a fielder is obviously trying to keep their foot on the bag while making the catch - that's also enough evidence (for me at least). But lacking that, if the fielder just casually happens to touch a base left early after catching a fly ball - we need SOMETHING to make us call this an appeal.
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Old Tue May 07, 2013, 02:33pm
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Both Manny and MD make good points.

MD, I agree we need evidence they are making that appeal. I think the throw is that which is why I said that you wouldn't need to appeal the throw back to first. I suppose I was thinking more of a verbal as opposed to an "action" appeal.

I think on further reflection I take Manny's point as well. I was not intending to muddy the waters by bringing appeals into the situation really. My intent with my statement that she could have stood on the base was not to imply an appeal but to demonstrate how close the ball fell to the base itself and why forcing the runner to abandon the base would not be fair to the offense.
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