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Discussion: interference or not

Posted Discussion
May 12
skymutt

3 posts
Runner on 1B. Ball is hit to the infield for a play at 2B and possible double play opportunity.

The runner coming from 1B runs straight toward 2B. The fielder makes the catch and force at 2B. The runner continues straight toward 2B and comes to a stop about 2 feet from the base (no hand waving or etc but he stands straight up). The fielder must move off 2B to make the throw to 1B (or throw over the head of the runner).

Intentional interference or not? I have my opinion but want to hear others.

May 12
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4359 posts
INTERFERENCE ... Your hypothetical meets my interpretation of the SSUSA Rulebook definition of interference ...

§1.45 • INTERFERENCE
Interference is the act of an offensive player or team member that impedes or confuses a defensive player attempting to execute a play. A base runner must avoid a fielder making a play.

May 12
skymutt

3 posts
well to play devils advocate....the runner did avoid the fielder by coming to a complete stop prior to the base in the base path. Not sure how this would confuse the defensive player.

What should the runner have done?
May 12
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4359 posts
Playing "Devil's Director", his actions (or inaction in NOT clearing the baseline AFTER he was put out) in my view "impede the defender making a play" ... I have his right to the baseline expiring the instant he's put out on the force at second ... I'm absolutely supporting the umpire who makes the "interference" call on that basis ... This isn't remotely close to a tough call ...
May 12
B.J.

1113 posts
sorry Dave I disagree.. per the above scenario I have no call play on.. the runner is where he belongs in his designated running lane he neither bumped the fielder or raised his hands up to block a throw ... it is the fielders job to receive the ball and then throw over or around the runner..

Dave, play devils advocate again... what would you have on this play because we just had this happen in a game.... the runner going to 2nd was called out and he was about 6' to 8' away from 2nd base... he veered out of the base path to the right, the SS was covering the bag on a throw from the 2nd baseman, the SS caught the ball and his momentum carried him across the bag and ended up bumping into the runner trying to veer off just as he was releasing the ball??? what's your call??
May 12
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4359 posts
B.J. ... We'll just have to agree to disagree on the 1st scenario ... What the runner did with his Totem-Pole stunt was totally to impede the throw to first base ... But that's the beauty of a judgment call: NO APPEAL/PROTEST ...

As for "Devil's Advocate II", let's try this ... I have "Interference" unless the umpire is willing to ignore the part of Definition §1.45 that says: "A base runner must avoid a fielder making a play." ... It's problematic that the runner has to anticipate where the fielder will be, but there doesn't appear to be an exception written in the definition ... What say you? ...

May 12
B.J.

1113 posts
Dave, yes it could be INT. or just incidental contact.. as you said earlier umpire judgment.. I have actually seen over the years many times savvy fielders who know they have no chance at a double play actually come off the bag and into the path of the veering runner and attempt a throw to 1st looking for INT. that's why I stated the runner should stay in his lane..

this sentence that you just wrote is exactly correct
(It's problematic that the runner has to anticipate where the fielder will be)... that's why the runner should stay in his lane and the fielder SHOULD make the play as he most likely learned in little league get to the bag as you are RECEIVING the ball and then come across the bag a step or 2 and make the throw to 1st

May 12
yellowjacket95
Men's 55
36 posts
Simple solution... if the runner just stops and doesn't veer off just throw the ball and if you hit the runner, the runner at first should be out as well. The runner just simply stopping will think twice about it the next time he's in the situation.

We were taught that in HS and then it was reiterated in summer baseball in FL.
May 12
Turning2
Men's 70
204 posts
skymutt - good scenario

DaveDowell - i disagree with you as the runner simply stopped, whether 2' or 22' from the bag, no intent to interfere either with verbal or excessive gesture like waving your arms

B.J. - i agree with you, no intent to interfere

yellowjacket95 - i would hate to zero the runner between the eyes or full on in the sternum, but you are correct that the fielder has every right to make his continuation throw to first and if it hits the runner the umpire has every right to call the batter/runner out also to complete the double play

I had this very play last Thursday from my middle fielder position, took throw from 3rd, came across bag toward pitcher side of the bag, runners big head was right in my line to throw so i re-cocked and throw was late to first base but no complaint from our side as we were using a single umpire and he had come out from behind the plate as far as he could, but he can't see everything.
May 12
yellowjacket95
Men's 55
36 posts
T2... no one wants to drill someone but you have every right to throw the ball as you normally would. The runner should either veer off or slide. Simple enough. If the runner veers to the pitcher side and the 2nd baseman comes across the bag to the inside and the runner is still in the way, its the umpire's judgement call.

A runner stopping and standing in the way IS impeding the throw to 1st base. Both FL sanctions in FL (FHC and ProAm) have a rule the the runner just can't stop. They have to peel off or slide. Seems to work well. Sure the umpires sometimes miss the call and the runner doesn't peel off and no double play is called. Umps are human too!
May 12
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4359 posts
Turning2 ... I don't lose too much sleep over people disagreeing with me ... But I am amused at the lengths some will go to in order to support that opposition ... Just for laughs, you are absolutely incorrect to equate the stopped runner as not making a difference, as you describe it, "..whether 2' or 22' from the bag.." ... At 22', the base runner is irrelevant and we're not having this conversation ... But at 2", he is invading the personal space of the defender, is close enough to be socially uncomfortable, and can propose NO reasonable explanation OTHER THAN his likely successful attempt to block the throwing lane of the defender ... I've got "interference" all day long in the 2' scenario and if you stand 2' from another ballplayer, that's also going to be your inescapable conclusion ...

May 12
Turning2
Men's 70
204 posts
yellowjacket95 - I didn't say i would drill the runner, just the throw to first could hit him with much force when you are trying to get a double play. As to some Fl league having some additional, home town, or local rule in place (copy the written rule and post it), that's their business and not related to this forum which is Senior Softball USA and i'll elaborate below on the rules.

DaveDowell - You, my friend, are the one that is wrong.

§1.45 • INTERFERENCE
Interference is the act of an offensive player or team member that impedes or confuses a defensive player attempting to execute a play. A base runner must avoid a fielder making a play. This is the rule that you originally posted. How can you or anyone else determine that a runner that stops 2' before a bag to keep from running into the fielder is invading his personal space or make things socially uncomfortable? Where in any rule book are these words or does this reasoning come into play? He followed the rule by avoiding a fielder making a play. That runner has every right to run as hard as possible, slide if he chooses, slam on the brakes and come to a dead stop, or anything other than verbally and physically obstructing the continuation play of throwing to first.

8.3.E Batter-Runner is Out - When he interferes with a fielder attempting to field a batted ball or intentionally interferes with a fielder attempting to throw the ball. This runner stopped dead in his tracks and did not violate this rule either.

8.6 When sliding is optional - avoiding collisions - Only one sentence excerpt from this rule "A runner must make every effort to avoid colliding with opposing players while running the bases or sliding or diving". Runner stopped dead in his tracks to avoid a collision, once again no violation of the rule book.

8.7(4) • AVOIDING COLLISIONS
A runner must make every effort to avoid colliding with opposing players while running the bases. If, in the umpire’s judgment, a runner misses a base to avoid a collision with a defensive player, the runner will not be called out. (See §8.6.)

Please show me where this runner violated any of these rules or any other rule that you can find in the SSUSA Rule book. You can find the rule book in it's entirety on the homepage of this website for reference.

Problem with many so-called umpires is they tend to interpret the rules to suit themselves. "Invading the personal space of the defender"?? "Is close enough to be socially uncomfortable" ?? Wow, these are nowhere to be found in a competitive sports event like softball, and certainly not in a rulebook. I'm sure with this type of reasoning you are one of the first officials to present everyone with a participation trophy, doesn't matter who won the game.

No my friend, you are wrong and have attempted to present some scenario that sounds like it is coming straight out of liberal Hollywood to justify your answers. And no, it doesn't amuse me when people go to great lengths to try to justify what they say, it annoys me because there are many people that seek out knowledge that they can take into their daily lives that are based on...............written rules.


May 12
yellowjacket95
Men's 55
36 posts
T2... I was simply letting you know what is done here Who are you to tell me what can and can't be posted in this forum??

You certainly are abrasive and like to argue and be right. Good luck with that. I'm out. It was a simple discussion. It's people like you that ruin a great conversation.
May 12
DaveDowell
Men's 70
4359 posts
Turning2 ... You're looking a lot like one of those "..gotta have the last word.." guys here, so this is probably the second to last post in this thread ... I've seen a lot of your type as the Moderator of this Message Board (since 2011) in addition to being a former Chairman of the National Rules Committee (two years: 2014-15) and the SSUSA's Rulebook Editor since 2012± ... You lecturing me on that rule book, and employing the insult-based approach to do so, is both quite reckless while at the same time being quite hilkarious ... But let's run quickly through your analysis one section at a time ...

§1.45 • INTERFERENCE - Section is completely relevant because an umpire would be totally within his authority to reach a judgment that the base runner impeded the ability of the defender to make a throw by (in the original hypothetical) standing 2' away ... Having been the tournament director in somewhere around 10,000± SSUSA games over the past 20 years, I'd support an umpire making such a judgment call in the area of about 101% of the time ...

§8.3.E Batter-Runner is Out • When he interferes with a fielder attempting to field a batted ball or intentionally interferes with a fielder attempting to throw the ball. ... Blocking the throwing lane to first base, from merely 2' away, AFTER HAVING BEEN PUT OUT meets the threshold of interference contemplated in the rule ...

§8.6 When sliding is optional • Completely irrelevant section (no mention of a slide in the fact pattern)
§8.7(4) • AVOIDING COLLISIONS • Completely irrelevant section (no mention of a potential collision in the fact pattern ... Remember, he was standing still)

The references to personal space and comfort zones were to illustrate to you JUST HOW CLOSE the runner (who had been put out) was to the defender ... There was no indication by me that they are part of the rule, but sometimes guys like you need to have the picture drawn more clearly ... This is a judgment call, and it's fully supportable by rule if an umpire agrees ... "Impeding the defense" is a very broad canvas upon which the picture can be drawn ...

Proceed with caution as it relates to the tone and attitude of your (inevitable) response ... I'm reasonably certain that continuing your personal insult and demeaning attitude will not be in your best interests in the long term ...

May 12
Turning2
Men's 70
204 posts
DaveDowell-Since your final position is this call is a judgment call on the part of the umpire, as a player now and not an umpire currently, in my judgment it is not interference on the runner. We simply disagree, in your judgment you get an out and in my judgment, I have no interference.

I introduced rules as stated in the current SSUSA rule book and in my judgment, I have interpreted and enforced those rules correctly in the judgment that I made. You see it differently, which is perfectly fine by me.

My umpiring experience differs from yours but not enough to discount my position. I was a sanctioned ASA umpire from 1973 - 1998 in NC. I also was a member of the NCHSAA (North Carolina High School Athletic Association) for the same approximate time period in an umpire/referee/rules official capacity.

I ask that you reflect back to my post of May 12th and then your post of the same date. You chose to begin the catty or sarcastic nature of conversation, not me. I have respect for the rules makers or moderators or whatever those in position to keep things moving and in a civil manner on these softball forums. I addressed words and phrases that don’t exist in the rule book that you used, while I quoted rules directly from the rule book. You have chosen to respond in a condescending nature and attempt to use your position to bully or squelch the opinion of another poster that used a basis of fact that is cemented in the rule book. Your threat to censor or band me from this forum is another indication of misuse of authority.

So if you think I am out of line or should no longer contribute please exercise your right to terminate my sign on and other pertinent information. I will hold no ill feelings toward you or anyone else associated with SSUSA.
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