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Discussion: Interference or Obstruction or no call

Posted Discussion
Dec. 13, 2021
14 posts
Interference or Obstruction or no call
This happened at a local rec league game and I need the assistance of a more seasoned umpire. Man on first with two outs. The batter hits a base hit to right field and runner from first continues to third and stops. The throw from the outfield eludes all the infielders and slowly rolls across the third base foul line and lands against the wall a few feet from third base. The pitcher who is chasing the ball is crossing the foul line to retrieve the ball. At the same time the runner at third wakes up and realizes that the ball is rolling away from the pitcher. He starts towards home and runs into the opposing pitcher who immediately shouts out interference. The runner continues home and scores. The umpires decide that the pitcher is correct and call the runner out. After the game a number of managers and umpires confer and I hear everything from interference to obstruction to no call. Our league also has a strict policy about runners avoiding contact with defensive players and we employ a run by rule. Please help.
Dec. 13, 2021
Men's 70
154 posts
Tough one here to call without seeing the play unfold. I initially have a problem with the pitcher declaring “interference” as soon as the base runner and he collide. Almost sounds as if he wants or needs this collision, otherwise the runner scores???!!! Don’t know what is foremost in his mind.

The post says that the runner ran into the pitcher , but who caused the collision? Who ran into whom? Or, who blocked whom from their path to the scoring plate without the ball? The fielder can’t block the runners access to the bag without the ball and as every rule book states, the runner should make every attempt to avoid colliding with a defensive player making a play on the ball, either fielding or receiving a throw from another fielder.

Without seeing the play, and using best judgment with what has been described, I would probably make a no call, play on ruling as the pitcher could just as easily caused the collision or avoided the runner as he was not involved in either fielding the ball or receiving a throw from the initial play.

Tough one here without seeing it in person.
Dec. 14, 2021
973 posts
BillC... hmmm did you happen to attend my umpire clinic in The Villages yesterday??

because I was asked this same question and I knew you didn't care for my answer .. LOL...

I agree with T2 that without seeing the actual play it's a tough call.. BUT.. as I stated yesterday whenever the defense is given the opportunity to make an out and BECAUSE of a bad throw the fielder is now chasing after a ball and the runner is in his running lane I would tend to lean more toward an OBS. call than INT. .. You stated the runner ran into the pitcher??? .. I would look at it that the pitcher ran into the runner

if you read the INT. rule below it states.. INT. is if the offensive player impedes or confuses a defensive player ATTEMPTING TO EXECUTE A PLAY .. the pitcher wasn't executing a play .. he was chasing after the errant throw

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.

as to a no call.. ​I would definitely not have a no call on any collision
Dec. 14, 2021
14 posts
HI BJ & Turning2- Thank you both for your responses. An no, I was not at your session in The Villages. I live in CA. and I appreciate your insight.
March 15, 2022
19 posts
A question occurred relative to the interference rule in our senior league which doesn't seem to be explicitly covered and I am wondering if anyone has dealt with this question. The rule says if a offensive player confuses a defensive player attempting to execute a play. Does this apply to a batter who dances around, waves his hands when the pitcher is in the process of pitching, with the obvious intent of causing the pitcher to throw a ball. Is the batter interfering with the pitcher and if so what is the penalty?
March 15, 2022
973 posts
Hmmm.. I thought you said this was a senior league and not a 10 and under... as long as the batter is in the batters box before the pitcher begins his delivery and doesn't actually interfere with the pitched ball I would have no call play on..
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