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Discussion: strange play

Posted Discussion
March 9, 2013
curty
Men's 60
103 posts
strange play
the scenario: runners on second and third, no outs. ground ball is fielded by second baseman, throws to first for the out, then first basemen throws toward home to complete double play BUT the throw hits the bat of the batter/runner going to first carrying his bat, about halfway to first. Whats the proper call?
March 9, 2013
jackbrun
Men's 60
13 posts
Interference by a retired base runner. Runner closest to the plate is out.
March 14, 2013
1billyd
29 posts
curty, you didn't say whether the batter/runner was inside or outside the first base line.
March 14, 2013
curty
Men's 60
103 posts
the runner was outside the baseline, however the throw hit the bat inside the line as it was in his left hand. This should not affect the call as he was already out and only about 1/2 way to first base. The double play would have ended the inning. The offensive team was allowed the run that scored on the play and then scored twice more. They went on to win by 1 run.
March 14, 2013
mad dog
Men's 60
3929 posts
same as if he was running to 2b...as long as the runner did nothing intentionally to try and block the throw it is play on....carrying the bat is legal also.....
March 14, 2013
1billyd
29 posts
Until the batter drops the bat, it is part of his person. Outside the line, means completly outside the line. If the bat was inside the line, I go with jackbrun.
March 15, 2013
stick8
1271 posts
Interesting situation. As the play is described I'd go with jackbrun's call. But I'd have to witness it to make an accurate call. Suppose the batter runner in this situation was walking back to the dugout and ball struck his bat while he was carrying it?
March 15, 2013
garyheifner
354 posts
I think the rule says you can carry a bat to 1st but if in the umps opinion it endangers the 1st baseman, you can be called out. I would think if was simply be carried the play should go on but if his arm/hand made even the slightest move toward the ball with the bat, it should be an out.

Would this be the same general area as a throw to home from the outfield that hits a bat on the ground and deflects away from the catcher? Tough luck for the defenders???
March 15, 2013
bigcat5
3 posts
I'm not sure if rule in softball is the same as baseball if it is the batter runner does not need to be outside the base line until the last third, thats why they chalk the line out there. @ Gary the dropped bat becomes part of the field thats why cacthers are taught to kick the bat out of the way so it does not interfere with any plays.
March 16, 2013
Wayne 37
196 posts
jackbrun, you at least got the answer right for high school baseball rules.

You don't have be inside a running lane on a ball hit to second.

Runner cannot just disappear.

There is no rule saying you can't run with your bat.

E3, play on McDuff.

See if softball has a casebook for their rules.
March 17, 2013
stick8
1271 posts
USSSA rule is dead ball, runner closest to plate at the time of the pitch is out.
March 17, 2013
Wayne 37
196 posts
stick8,

But the issue remains, was this interference? Just throw the ball at the batter/runner next time, and see if you can drill them.
March 17, 2013
Allan55
79 posts
In a situation that closely resembles your scenario, if a runner is on first and a ground ball is hit to the shortstop, when he throws the ball to second, the runner proceeding to second is out and must not interfere with the play. When the throw is made to first, it doesn't matter if the runner tried to interfere with the ball or not. If the ball hits the runner, the batter/runner is out if the umpire feels the thrown ball would have completed the double play. I agree with you jackbrun.
March 18, 2013
stick8
1271 posts
Wayne, the way the play is described by curty yes, it is interference.
Consider this scenario I had umpiring a USSSA C nit last year:
Runners on 1st and 2nd, 1 out. Base hit to right field. Runner on 2nd is coming in to score so the rightfielder throws home. Throw is up the third base line, gets by the catcher and hits the batting teams manager (who ran out to tell the runner to stand up). I immediately called dead ball and called the runner closest to home out at the time of the pitch(runner that was on second). They argued that the runner had already crossed the plate when the throw hit the manager. That does not matter one bit. Curty's situation is the same thing.
That's why umpires need to do a better job of keeping all bats and except for the on deck batter all players in the dugout.
That's a big sticking (no pun) point when I umpire.
March 19, 2013
southernson
257 posts
stick8,
"That does not matter one bit"? If the runner had not crossed home plate, I agree. But if he had crossed home plate before the dead ball incident, I respectfully disagree. The runner crossed home plate already and you took the run off the board because??? And it doesn't matter??? If the run had already scored before the ball made contact with a "coach", then the run scored before any dead ball situation occurred. And the other umpire should be a help with that timing.


Besides that....
Is it a dead ball if it hits a player in the on deck circle? A coach in the coaching box? A fallen shoe of a baserunner? A bat on the ground that was just used by a batter? Those are all live balls right?

TIA
March 19, 2013
Wayne 37
196 posts
Stick8

I've never done softball, but umpired High School baseball for several years, so I don't really have a clue to what we in baseball called "third world plays".

I do agree that the manager shouldn't have left the dugout. The on deck hitter should have been coaching the runner. Like I say, no softball rule experience, but in HS school baseball I would have killed the ball at the time of the interference, scored the run, and put B/R back to his last legally obtained base.

I wholeheartedly agree with enforcing safety rules due to liability issues. I had to "baby sit" coaches, and players quite often on those rules..........lol

Register here at this link, and see what answer you might get.

http://forum.officiating.com/softball/
March 23, 2013
Wayne 37
196 posts
Sent this question to an officiating board, and this is one reply out of three..........well it is slow pitch.............

If it is NCAA, it's going to be interference.....

ASA rules do not prohibit the batter/runner from carrying their bat with them. This play is governed by the rule regarding interference by a retired offensive player. I don't have the exact reference available right now.

If the umpire judges that the retired batter-runner did something to interfere with the throw to home and the defense had a chance to get the out at home, then there is interference by a retired runner, dead ball, runner closest to home is out.

The fact that the thrown ball hit the bat makes no difference in judging whether the retired batter-runner interfered with the play.
March 24, 2013
stick8
1271 posts
Southernson that's USSSA rules. Other associations including senior ones may be different. That's why it's imperative when your team is batting stay in the dugout and keep bats in the dugout to avoid a situation like that.
March 24, 2013
stick8
1271 posts
Allan55 that's not necessarily true in USSSA. Contrary to popular belief there is no rule that specifies a runner must slide or get out of the way in your scenario. Now in a low level house league I'd likely call interference. The rule is The runner cannot do anything that is deemed to interfere with the throw. Is running straight to the bag considered interference?
March 25, 2013
southernson
257 posts
stick8,
Thanks for the info, appreciate it.
March 25, 2013
Allan55
79 posts
stick8,
I never mentioned the player must slide or get out of the way. I mentioned the player must not interfere with the play. I have witnessed this play in USSSA and NSA about ten times (give or take) in leagues and open USSSA tournaments. Each time (in USSSA) the player at first was called out if (in the umpire's opinion) the throw would have beaten the runner to first base. In league, it was 50/50 because the umpires were clueless. In those cases, players threw up their hands and deflected the ball.

However, stick8, I have a situation for you that I have seen once. There is a runner on first with one out. The batter pops the ball up three feet from the first base bag, directly in the line. The runner took off thinking there were two outs. After his team yelled at him to get back, he turned and raced back to the bag. The problem was that the ball was coming as he approached the bag...with the fielder directly in his path. He did not have time to go around the fielder, so he made contact with the fielder, who dropped the ball. What is the call?
March 26, 2013
stick8
1271 posts
Allan55, The way you describe it I have interference on the runner. That baserunner cannot intentionally or unintentionally interfere with a defensive player attempting to make a play on a batted ball.
March 26, 2013
Allan55
79 posts
stick8,

You nailed it. Interference is correct. The sad thing regarding the play was the number (and I mean more than a few) of players arguing the runner had the right to the base as long as he was in the baseline. If I have any questions in the future, I will be sure to ask you.
March 27, 2013
stick8
1271 posts
Appreciate it Allan55. Keep in mind I can give the USSSA answer on most situations. Other associations including seniors may have different rules depending on the play.
It is amazing to me that many veteran players don't know some of the rules.
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