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Old Mon Jun 17, 2013, 07:00pm
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Retired runner proceeds straight to base -- do you have interference? (ASA)

Speaking ASA.

R1 on first, no outs. B2 hits a grounder to F6, who throws to F4 for the force out. R1 is halfway between bases at the time of the force and continues running straight toward 2B. F4 attempts to complete the double play by throwing to F3.

For the situations that follow, R1's actions are the same (she just runs straight toward 2B), it is only F4's actions that are different. In all cases B2 reaches the 1B bag just before the ball is caught by F3.

For each of situations, do you have interference by a retired runner (dead ball, B2 out), or B2 safe (live ball)?


(1) F4, apparently to avoid hitting R1, takes a step toward home and then fires a bullet to F3. B2 barely beats the throw.

(2) F4, apparently to avoid hitting R1, makes a throw to F3 with a perceptible arc just over R1's head. B2 barely beats the throw.

(3) F4 throws the ball as if R1 weren't there. The ball skips off R1's shoulder, slowing it down significantly before it is caught by F3. B2 barely beats the throw.


Thanks for the guidance!

Scott
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Old Mon Jun 17, 2013, 08:44pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbatten View Post
Speaking ASA.

R1 on first, no outs. B2 hits a grounder to F6, who throws to F4 for the force out. R1 is halfway between bases at the time of the force and continues running straight toward 2B. F4 attempts to complete the double play by throwing to F3.

For the situations that follow, R1's actions are the same (she just runs straight toward 2B), it is only F4's actions that are different. In all cases B2 reaches the 1B bag just before the ball is caught by F3.

For each of situations, do you have interference by a retired runner (dead ball, B2 out), or B2 safe (live ball)?


(1) F4, apparently to avoid hitting R1, takes a step toward home and then fires a bullet to F3. B2 barely beats the throw.

(2) F4, apparently to avoid hitting R1, makes a throw to F3 with a perceptible arc just over R1's head. B2 barely beats the throw.

(3) F4 throws the ball as if R1 weren't there. The ball skips off R1's shoulder, slowing it down significantly before it is caught by F3. B2 barely beats the throw.


Thanks for the guidance!

Scott
Don't see your point, but I don't see INT either.
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Old Tue Jun 18, 2013, 08:09am
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1) Safe
2) Safe
3) Safe
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Old Tue Jun 18, 2013, 08:53am
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Perhaps the OP would benefit from a bit of a discussion about why.

Here's one principle: an active runner can't just go "poof".
Here's another: interference requires an "act" of interference.
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Old Tue Jun 18, 2013, 09:31am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
Here's one principle: an active runner can't just go "poof".
Here's another: interference requires an "act" of interference.
Here's another: Not all "acts" considered by the defense to be interference are interference.
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Old Tue Jun 18, 2013, 11:57am
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Originally Posted by nopachunts View Post
Here's another: Not all "acts" considered by the defense to be interference are interference.
WAIT A MINUTE! You mean the defense doesn't get to decide that?
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Old Tue Jun 18, 2013, 12:18pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbatten View Post
Speaking ASA.

R1 on first, no outs. B2 hits a grounder to F6, who throws to F4 for the force out. R1 is halfway between bases at the time of the force and continues running straight toward 2B. F4 attempts to complete the double play by throwing to F3.

For the situations that follow, R1's actions are the same (she just runs straight toward 2B), it is only F4's actions that are different. In all cases B2 reaches the 1B bag just before the ball is caught by F3.

For each of situations, do you have interference by a retired runner (dead ball, B2 out), or B2 safe (live ball)?


(1) F4, apparently to avoid hitting R1, takes a step toward home and then fires a bullet to F3. B2 barely beats the throw.

(2) F4, apparently to avoid hitting R1, makes a throw to F3 with a perceptible arc just over R1's head. B2 barely beats the throw.

(3) F4 throws the ball as if R1 weren't there. The ball skips off R1's shoulder, slowing it down significantly before it is caught by F3. B2 barely beats the throw.


Thanks for the guidance!

Scott
I think the ruling on this really depends on the timing of the play. How long was R1 running towards second after the putout? If it was only one or two strides, then I have a hard time calling anything on 1 or 2. One 1 and 2 I really can't call anything anyway because the throw was not interfered with.

In 3 we have an issue. Since the throw hit the runner who had already been retired we are now in the territory of interference. 8-7-P could be put into affect. Since the runner closest to home in this situation is the batter-runner the batter-runner could be declared out on the play. This would be a judgement call by the umpire if the retired runner's contacting of the ball prevented the double play from being completed.

Cited: Definition of Interference, Definition of Play, rule 8-7-P


I will say this has been a long debated issue regarding what a retired runner is allowed to do when it comes to the double play. We have had this discussion every year in my local league. The timing element because important in this play. If the player takes 5 or 6 steps knowing full well that they were retired on the force at 2nd base and then they are hit by the throw, they, by continuing to run to the base are hindering the play by the defense. If they have only taken a step or 2, or are in the process of slowing up knowing they've be retired and they get hit by the ball then it's much harder to call anything under the "they can't just go poof" idea.

I will say this though. There are some umpires, including some tourney UIC's that don't believe in the can't go poof idea.

One of our league umpires was working a major tourney and had a similar play occur. The throw from F6 to F3 hit the runner who had been retired on the force and was called out for interference by a retired runner. In that case there was a runner on 3rd base. The runner on third was declared out because of the interference by a retired runner 8-7-P, which ended the game. The team protested a misapplication of the rules "arguing that the retired runner did nothing to actually interfere with the throw and couldn't just disappear. The UIC upheld the decision of the umpiring and basically stated that the runner disappears once they are declared out.

I personally had a similar play working a one man game last summer. I ruled interference because the runner threw her arms up (not to intentionally interfere, but out of disgust, and the throw hit her arm.
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Old Tue Jun 18, 2013, 12:23pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
Perhaps the OP would benefit from a bit of a discussion about why.

Here's one principle: an active runner can't just go "poof".
Here's another: interference requires an "act" of interference.
Where in the rules does it say the runner can't just go poof? Also, what is defined as an act of interference?

An act can be defined as simply putting yourself into a position to be hit by the throw, which by continuing to run, the runner in the OP has done.

Let's look at a slightly different play. Very slow runner on first. Hard shot to F4, who throws to F6 for the force. F6 then guns to first to try getting B2 at first. The throw hits R1 who knows they are out and has stopped. This prevents the double play. By stopping has R1 committed an "act of interference?" What if he/she had just been slowing jogging/walking and to second knowing they were put out at 2b. Where is the act of interference or lack of an act of interference on that.

(Yes some of the church league game I do have players that big and slow that this could be an issue.)
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Old Tue Jun 18, 2013, 12:33pm
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Originally Posted by chapmaja View Post
Where in the rules does it say the runner can't just go poof?
It says so in my physics book. Unless, of course, the Rapture happened right at that moment, and R1 was a believer...
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Old Tue Jun 18, 2013, 12:58pm
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Originally Posted by MD Longhorn View Post
It says so in my physics book. Unless, of course, the Rapture happened right at that moment, and R1 was a believer...
Well, there's always the Hogwarts Book of Spells.
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Old Tue Jun 18, 2013, 01:04pm
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This seems to be one of the least resolved issues in umpiring.
Is there any way to get this clarified/ruled/interpreted officially; short of asking each tournament UIC how they interpret it?
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Old Tue Jun 18, 2013, 01:50pm
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Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
This seems to be one of the least resolved issues in umpiring.
Is there any way to get this clarified/ruled/interpreted officially; short of asking each tournament UIC how they interpret it?
Only among those that won't listen is this unclarified. And it should not be interpreted differently by different UIC's. Let me try...

Here's one principle: an active runner can't just go "poof".
Here's another: interference requires an "act" of interference.
Here's another: Not all "acts" considered by the defense to be interference are interference.

I think I might have heard those recently....
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Old Tue Jun 18, 2013, 04:29pm
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Thanks to all for the discussion. As noted by two posters...

Quote:
Here's another: Not all "acts" considered by the defense to be interference are interference.
I brought the topic up because I had the situation of the defense changing her actions (moving a step toward the infield) to avoid hitting the retired runner with the throw. The throw was late but close. I called the batter-runner safe, no interference.

The defensive coach politely but strenuously disagreed. She said I should have called a double-play because of the runner's actions. I explained to the coach a runner simply continuing in her forward momentum she was not committing an act to hinder the defense, and that as long as she wasn't committing some other act (like throwing up her arms to block a throw, or running into F4 while she was making the throw) she was not interfering.

I know this topic has been discussed here before and I thank you all for letting me air it out again. The coach had me second-guessing myself afterwards.

Scott

Last edited by sbatten; Tue Jun 18, 2013 at 04:36pm.
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Old Tue Jun 18, 2013, 10:14pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sbatten View Post
Thanks to all for the discussion. As noted by two posters...



I brought the topic up because I had the situation of the defense changing her actions (moving a step toward the infield) to avoid hitting the retired runner with the throw. The throw was late but close. I called the batter-runner safe, no interference.

The defensive coach politely but strenuously disagreed. She said I should have called a double-play because of the runner's actions. I explained to the coach a runner simply continuing in her forward momentum she was not committing an act to hinder the defense, and that as long as she wasn't committing some other act (like throwing up her arms to block a throw, or running into F4 while she was making the throw) she was not interfering.

I know this topic has been discussed here before and I thank you all for letting me air it out again. The coach had me second-guessing myself afterwards.

Scott
This is a subject that is way overthought and people try to make something out of nothing.

A runner has every right to attempt to advance to a base. A runner should never be expected stop playing the game based on an assumption the call was out.

A runner should be expected to always maintain what would be the path to the base. Not altering a path is not an act of INT. ASSUMING an out and moving anywhere away from that path would be an act that if it affected the defense's ability to make a play on another runner should be ruled INT.

This train of thought is not new and has been in place since I've been umpiring softball (25 years).

Other than the point that the NCAA has callously opened season on runners the last couple of years, the only reason I can figure someone thought things changed was when ASA removed the "intent" notations to many of the INT rules.

When that occurred, there was no intention, pardon the pun, to change the manner in which the "acts" of interference were to be judged.
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Old Tue Jun 18, 2013, 11:14pm
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Originally Posted by MD Longhorn View Post
It says so in my physics book. Unless, of course, the Rapture happened right at that moment, and R1 was a believer...
I'm not arguing that, BUT, where in the rules does it say that? The rules don't always completely agree with logic.
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