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Discussion: Interference?

Posted Discussion
Feb. 3, 2021
Randall
37 posts
Interference?
With a runner on first base, there is a ground ball hit to deep short. The fielder throws the ball to the person covering second base. The runner has no intention of stopping at second. The throw arrives, there is a collision at second, the umpire rules that the runner beat the throw to second base. Both the runner and fielder are lying on the ground. The umpire rules no interference. My take on this was that there was interference on the runner, not allowing the fielder to make a defensive play. Others insist that since the runner beat the throw, that there was no interference. Not that it matters, but this runner has attempted this play several times. It is not a good base running play. There was a collision. Is this interference on the runner or the fielder or no interference at all? The fielder took the throw on the third base side of second. The runner had the back half of the bag available to him, but chose the front inside corner of the bag in order to make the turn heading to third.
Feb. 3, 2021
B.J.
825 posts
Randall.. this call is a tough one.. it would be the judgment of the umpire .. the runner has every right to go to the bag he also has the right to run by the bag without touching it to avoid a collision and should be called safe if he beats the throw.. and yes that is the safest play..

that being said the defensive player IS NOT allowed to block the bag while waiting for a throw if he does that is considered obstruction... your scenario is that the defensive player took the throw on the third base side of the bag but also that the runner beat the throw.. so it doesn't sound like the fielder blocked the bag BUT also the runner did beat the throw and then bumped the fielder.. unless in my judgment the runner was actually trying to take out the fielder with the bump I would have the runner safe and incidental contact.. call time and hope both players are OK .. If in my judgment the runner bumped into the fielder with excessive force in order to cause harm I would still have a safe call but also eject the runner from the game..

we have this problem in our local leagues.. I try to explain that since many teams play with the extra infielder that camps out by the bag that this occurs more often.. remember a defensive player should try to time there footwork on getting to the bag as the ball is getting there receive the ball touch the bag and keep on going.. as you know this doesn't happen very often



Feb. 3, 2021
STL0
Men's 55
212 posts
Based on the scenario as described, I could see the second baseman being upset about getting run over on a force out situation. That wouldn't go over very well if it happened to me. The runner needs to slide or give himself up but I agree with BJ on the ruling. Seems like careless base running to me.
Feb. 3, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
71 posts
Rule 8.6 "If in the umpire’s judgment the
runner fails to avoid a collision with a defensive player involved in the play, the ball will be declared dead and that runner called out."

There is a reason that fielders are protected from runners in the fact that the fielder can't watch the flight of the ball and the runner at the same time.

There is also a reason why we all learned the simple bent leg or pop-up slide when we were in little league, the quickest and safest method of arriving full speed at a bag and sliding to "pop upright" on the bag.

in the scenario above, the fielder did not block the bag, in order to "block" the bag he would have to be on the first base side of the second base and in the base path of the approaching runner without having received the throw from the shortstop.

Also in Rule 8.6 " A player may slide or dive into
second or third bases, or when returning to any base. A runner must make
every effort to avoid colliding with opposing players while running the bases or sliding or diving"

i got the runner as an OUT per 8.6 for running over the defensive player, the original post clearly states, "both the fielder and runner are lying on the ground"
Feb. 3, 2021
stick8
1853 posts
Randall, tough play to call. It sounds to me that since the umpire ruled the runner beat the throw, the collision which resulted in both players going down, was a case of incidental contact. This is strictly an umpire judgement.




Feb. 3, 2021
UMP AR
8 posts
In my opinion, if the runner reaches the base and declared safe and the contact occurred after the "safe" call with incidental contact...if I determine the the runner had ill intent by contacting the fielder, the runner is then out because of his action...I would consider it unsportsmanship activity.
Feb. 3, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
71 posts
stick8 and UMP AR Rule is clear as a bell - Rule 8.6 "If in the umpire’s judgment the runner fails to avoid a collision with a defensive player involved in the play, the ball will be declared dead and that runner called out." Also a part of 8.6 " A player may slide or dive into
second or third bases, or when returning to any base. A runner must make
every effort to avoid colliding with opposing players while running the bases or sliding or diving"

Read the original post, no intention of even stopping at second base ???? The runner "failed to avoid a collision" verdict - dead ball, runner out, matters not one bit that the runner beat the throw to second base

I couldn't justify incidental contact with both the runner and the fielder lying on the ground. The word "incidental" is not a part of the SSUSA Rule 8.6

Feb. 3, 2021
B.J.
825 posts
turning.. over the years I have seen the above scenario a few times before .. where the runner does have every intention on a close play at 2b of touching the inside corner of the bag and then continuing onto 3rd and in doing so confuses the hell out of the infielders.. to me it's crazy but I have seen it done with real fast runners and it has worked for them.. so if the runner was planning on doing that he has every right to go to the inside corner of the bag .. he also DID BEAT THE THROW and then collided with the fielder who was on the edge of the bag "WITHOUT THE BALL" waiting for the throw... so if in my judgment the runner didn't intentionally run into the fielder again I have the runner safe
Feb. 3, 2021
stick8
1853 posts
Turning2, I’d have to see the play Randall describes before I can make a call. I only posted why the umpire may have made the call he or she did based on Randalls description.
You correctly cite the rule but ask yourself what is the intent of the rule? Obviously to try and avoid collisions!
Key words in the rule are: “fails to avoid a collision”
Baserunners and fielders can certainly try to avoid collisions but could still end up in a collision. It’s unfortunate but sometimes it happens, it’s ghe nature of the game we play. Thankfully it doesn’t happen too often.
The important part of rule says “in the umpires judgement.”
Given a situation, a collision could happen but the ump could rule that in his judgement a base runner or fielder tried to avoid a collision and thus he wouldn’t have a call.
It’s all based on umpire judgement.
Feb. 3, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
71 posts
To BJ this is my last comment, Randall, the original poster stated that the fielder covering second base had the ball so your last response is incorrect, he collided with the fielder with the ball on the third base side of the bag. The fielder did everything correctly, allowing the runner access to second base. He also would have zero knowledge that the runner was going to continue on to third base and the onus is on the base runner to avoid colliding with a fielder. No other call can be made than runner is OUT per Rule 8.6 as it does not distinguish between intentionally or non-intentionally running into the fielder, the end result is the same, the fielder is lying on the ground, hopefully without serious injury. This is the reason the rule is written as is, to protect the fielder who many times has his back turned to the runner bearing down on him.

To stick8 also last comment, yes sometimes collisions are unavoidable but with Randall's original statement, runner clearly had no intention of stopping at second base, fielder RECEIVED the throw on the third base side of the bag, runner is obligated under rule 8.6 to - . "A runner must make
every effort to avoid colliding with opposing players while running the bases or sliding or diving" EVERY EFFORT to avoid collision with fielder Dead ball, runner is out. Lastly, Randall states that this runner has attempted this same baserunning tactic on more than one occasion, apply rule 8.6 correctly and maybe, just maybe he won't run over you or me on the next attempt to make a put out on him at second base.

Feb. 4, 2021
stick8
1853 posts
Turning2, you may not be wrong in what you say about the play but again I’d have to see the play in order to make a call.
Question: if a baserunner made every effort to avoid a collision but still collided with him would you call that baserunner out?
Feb. 4, 2021
mck71
237 posts
So simply reading the scenario and NOT KNOWING ANY HISTORY, I STILL might have called the runner out because the fielder (again based on what I am reading) didn't do anything wrong (i.e. NOT blocking the base) AND the runner RAN HIM OVER anyway. My HOPE would be the fielder was ok and still had the ball and simply tagged the runner while off the base and then it's a simple out call.

Now, IF the runner, after realizing he just ran the fielder over and then scrambled back to the base to avoid being tagged, then I probably call him on "GP" and can site the rule T2 provided so he wouldn't run over another fielder again (as Randall stated, they have done this before).

Personal example: past TOC, I was running towards 2nd, ball hit to deep SS, he does bobble and I am running hard when I see the bobble, I SHOULD have slid but the SS made a nice recovery, hit the 2B at the bag and I veered to the right at the last minute to avoid contact BUT umpire ruled DP anyway saying I "interfered with the 2B making the attempt to throw out batter/runner". There was NO WAY the batter runner was going to be out and I did veer off but again, this was the umpires JUDGEMENT so while I disagreed, the call stood.

NOTE: had I slid I probably would have messed that guys leg up because it would have been a hard, late slide and I really didn't want to do that.

Stay safe everyone!
Feb. 4, 2021
UMP AR
8 posts
I suspect that T2 is a middle infielder...not really matters....but I have to I to agree with Stick8...this is a situation better reviewed and addressed as the play happens.
Feb. 4, 2021
DCPete
395 posts
To mck71, pretty sure there's no rule that says a runner Must slide at any base which you seem to be saying is the only way you would not have been called Out
Feb. 4, 2021
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
mck71,

I had something similar happen to me a few years back, only F4 dropped the throw. I was peeling a little off towards the outfield as he was getting ready to turn and pivot. After the drop, I righted myself, and went into 2B standing up making slight contact.

One umpire, so he called me out for interference, and the B/R out as well. Now if I had slid, I had every right to take him out as he was standing directly on the base.

Being that it was a sunbaked field down in College Station, TX and probably hadn't had any water on it in weeks, sliding on that field I didn't want to skin myself all up more than likely. Also my left knee was not something I wanted to slide on as I generally fold it under me and do a pop-up slide.

So essentially I was avoiding contact, but the greenhorn we had doing the game didn't have a clue. Also, we always played the same teams every tournament, so I wasn't looking to injure anyone to begin with. The reason I didn't slide mostly.
Feb. 5, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
71 posts
Earlier i had stated that i wouldn't comment further but since a couple of messages have mentioned me directly, i will respond responsibly.

First to all on this message thread, go to the link below to SSUSA Rule book and read 8.6 and 8.7, then come back and read these messages starting with Randall's original post.

https://seniorsoftball.com/wc/wc2019/SSUSA-Rulebook-2019-Web.pdf

Stick8 - your last post you said i may not be wrong, thanks for semi-agreeing. A better statement would have been, "you may be correct" but you would have to see the play to make the call, Randall's description should be all anyone would need to make the proper call and based on his original post, I am correct and i will explain further.

Mck71 Your post more or less agreed with what "I also saw" when reading Randall's description of the play

UMP AR - Yes i am a middle infielder, i also was a sanctioned ASA umpire in NC from 1976 thru 1997 before leaving the state. I worked local leagues, district tournaments, and state tournaments primarily in Mecklenburg, Union, Anson, and Richmond counties. I was also a member of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and officiated/umpired every Sr and Jr high sport except football and track. And you are correct, seeing the play and using the rules as established by the association that you are umpiring as the basis for your judgment is paramount in providing fair and equal decisions to participants. I "saw" enough in Randall's original post to render a fair and equitable judgment for both teams.

DC Pete you are correct there is no rule or requirement that you must slide, there is a rule that requires all baserunners to use every effort to avoid any collision with a fielder when making a play, either fielding or receiving a throw from a fellow fielder

Wayne 37 I will only quote one sentence from your last post " Now if I had slid, I had every right to take him out as he was standing directly on the base." A slide in baseball and softball is used for two reasons, to avoid a tag and to slow a runner down and enable him to arrive at the next base in a safe manner for himself and the fielder(s) involved in the play. Sliding late to "take out" a fielder? That is the perfect example of why rules are written, to protect the others on the playing field for reckless play. When an umpire allows a fielder to be run over by a runner standing up coming into a base, or someone sliding late to "take them out" he becomes an enabler and to the fans, players, other officials witnessing plays like this, they in turn think it is allright?

In all my playing career, i have never, ever, not once run over a fielder or slide late to force a dropped throw or "take out" a fielder for two reasons. One, it's not sporting and i would not want this to happen to me as a fielder, and two, the runner is equally as liable to become injured as the fielder.

Hope you rethink your approach to this thread as well as play on the field. Lot of guys, like me, that play hard, place winning right next to fairness and fellowship with our fellow players will appreciate you much more.

Feb. 5, 2021
stick8
1853 posts
Turning2, I’m not trying to get into a nitpick battle here.
Again, if a baserunner made every effort to avoid a collision with a fielder but collided with him would you call that baserunner out?
Feb. 5, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
71 posts
Stick8 You’ll get no argument from me on any topic. If a base runner made every effort to avoid a collision, as an umpire I then would weigh the facts, circumstances and use years of experience to render a fair and equitable call, and yes, I could find the runner to be safe, as well as out. Being on top of the play gives a good opportunity for the umpire to use their judgment in these cases.
Feb. 6, 2021
stick8
1853 posts
You’re actually reiterating what I posted earlier Turning2. Umpire judgement!!
But when you state you would render a “fair and equitable” call that might sound good but I take a different approach. In all the years I’ve umpired every clinic, every UIC and pretty much every umpire that I know all stress one thing. Get it right!!
Keep in mind, the right call may not be fair and equitable.
Feb. 6, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
71 posts
Stick8 - you say you don’t want to “get into a nitpick battle here” but yet you go on...........

On Randall’s original post - with play as he described, runner out, dead ball, rules dictate this ruling. I would think you would agree.

On your question asked, “again, if a baserunner made every effort to avoid a collision with a fielder but collided with him would you call that baserunner out?” My answer that I could find the runner to be safe, as well as out. Not pat answer, circumstances dictate how I, as an umpire exercise my judgment, same as you, also as an umpire.

If the umpire uses good judgment based on “the facts, circumstances, and experience” he WILL GET IT RIGHT, and therefore the right call is fair and equitable. How can it be anything different.

As I stared earlier, I’m not here to argue and hopefully neither are you.
Feb. 6, 2021
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
Dear Turning2,

I'm fully aware of what is a legal slide and what isn't legal. Played a lot of middle infield myself and knew how to protect myself also. So if you're implying I'm a dirty player, you'd be wrong.
Feb. 7, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
71 posts
Wayne 37 - I implied nothing, nor am i wrong on anything that i have posted on this website.

These are your words..........."Now if I had slid, I had every right to take him out as he was standing directly on the base."

Are these the words of a dirty player?

Since you are fully aware of what is a legal slide and what isn't legal, please give us a proper description followed by a reference to a rule in any published rule book, start with ASA, USSSA, or SSUSA that distinguishes between a legal slide and an illegal slide or even uses the wording "legal or illegal slide".

You have picked the wrong person to get into either a discussion, argument, or rules interpretation with.
Feb. 7, 2021
B.J.
825 posts
to all... for the most part we all agree on what the rule is... what every play comes down to is what the umpire sees and then his JUDGEMENT on whether or not INT. should be called..
Feb. 7, 2021
stick8
1853 posts
Turning2, maybe I’m reading this wrong but I’m of the opinion you’re getting slightly agitated here. No one posting is disagreeing with the rule, what you say, how you rule or is trying to put you under the bus. The main point of what I’m conveying here is umpire judgement dictates what is called in most every situation.
In my 30 years of umpiring slow pitch (ASA, ISA, SSUSA, USSSA, Conference USSSA, One Nation) I’ve come up with one phrase that my crew has adopted:
“Umpires aren’t always right but they’re never wrong”
Feb. 7, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
71 posts
stick8 - not agitated at all, simply supplying fact vs supposition in my posts, some on here can't or won't accept fact over opinion which is fine by me, and you are well within your right to state your opinion

Would you simply turn a deaf ear or a blind eye to some of the posts on here? or try your best to have others to see the error in misleading others with information or opinion that cannot be founded? The person who talks the loudest or the most isn't necessarily the one that is right.

as for your phrase, catchy phrase but to say that something "never" happens is an all encompassing statement that i can't agree with. I have been wrong before ................... I can admit this

Feb. 7, 2021
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
T2,

You're a hoot. Seems you like to answer questions with a question.

I suppose when you say illegal slide, you're referring to illegal contact? Or you won't find the words illegal slide in the rulebook?

I'm not here to play stupid mind games.

Never underestimate your opponent. No matter how long the odds, they're still going to play the game.
Feb. 7, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
71 posts
Wayne 37 - You’re the one that said illegal and legal slide, not me.

I thought your next post/response would enlighten everyone with what constitutes a legal and an illegal slide and where they would be referenced in a rule book. You did state earlier that you were fully aware of each? Educate all the rest of us.

I’m not playing any mind games, nor do I want to make enemies, just have some interaction with others that enjoy discussing softball. Having to respond to your posts is not fun. Without any basis of fact in your posts, there is no need to continue attempting to discuss this , or probably any other topic.
Feb. 7, 2021
Rumplestilskin
5 posts
This is not a difficult call. The runner attempted to avoid the RULE by running through the bag while the fielder was making a play and receiving the ball. He did not attempt to avoid the defender. He ran him OVER. OUT. OUT. No dispute. He did not make ANY attempt to avoid the defender. He made an attempt to avoid the RULE. What does "every effort" mean? EVERY EFFORT. He made NONE.
Feb. 7, 2021
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
T2,

You're one of those that I sometimes come across who are just so wrong that you can't even have a decent discussion with them because the sheer amount of BS they are spewing is too overwhelming.

I've been around these forums so long, especially officiating, to see right thru you. You believe belittling someone makes you look smart. Saying somebody is wrong doesn't necessarily make you right. You're one of those that I generally refer to as Smitty. However, you're Smitty Classic.

If you want to discuss softball, feel free. I've worked big boy ball being behind the plate with the pitcher throwing 95 MPH where you have to bear down on every pitch for three hours. Up and down. Up and down......9 or sometimes more, innings, 100-degree heat, full plate gear........then work a second game on the bases.....or vice versa.

Funny how as you use the term, picking nits. As of right now, you are picking more nits than a father/son gorilla tandem who knows they're being filmed by National Geographic. As far as the enlightening of the forum, I'll leave that to you, Mr. Big Dog.

Now if you want to play nice, I will respond similarly. As of right now, you have two options. 1)STHU 2)See # 1

I could elaborate further, but you ain't worth the time and trouble.
Feb. 8, 2021
Turning2
Men's 70
71 posts
Wayne 37 - I'll once again take your bait and respond.

Rumplestilskin joined this thread on Feb 7th and looks like he went back to the original post of Feb 3rd by Randall, read all the responses, and agrees 100% with what i posted.

Picking nits? I didn't introduce that term into this forum string, that was done by Stick8.

I have not tried to belittle anyone, only to ask for an explanation, definition, or possibly a rule for reference for posts from you on several occasions. Once again, if you have been an umpire, and a successful umpire for as long as you stated above, you should easily be able to back up what you say with facts.

Last time i will ask, please teach me and all the other readers the difference between a legal and an illegal slide, and show me their definitions in a published rule book.

You are the one that stated "."Now if I had slid, I had every right to take him out as he was standing directly on the base."

i have played nice, no name calling, no acronym like STHU unlike you.

i am glad that guys like you have been around this forum a long time, lot of stories that you guys can tell. I have plenty that i could share also as i'm 70 yrs old and share many memories of wearing a mask, chest protector, cup, and shin guards in 100 degree temps.

it's a good feeling when either a coach or kid's parents come up to you after a game and thank you for a well called ball game, makes all the hard work worth the effort. Hope you can continue umpiring if that is what you are currently doing.
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