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Interference interpretation


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With runners on 1st and second, batter hits ball in the infield to second base. The shortstop steps on second ...




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Old 11-29-2017, 10:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Interference interpretation

With runners on 1st and second, batter hits ball in the infield to second base. The shortstop steps on second for the force, but the runner coming in interferes with the shortstops throw to first. In the meantime, the runner from second kept going and scored. We interpreted the call as interference on the runner coming into second and called her out. Is the runner going to home also out, or is the batter baserunner going to first out because the throw that was interfered with was going to first?




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Old 11-30-2017, 05:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Umpire0209#% View Post
With runners on 1st and second, batter hits ball in the infield to second base. The shortstop steps on second for the force, but the runner coming in interferes with the shortstops throw to first. In the meantime, the runner from second kept going and scored. We interpreted the call as interference on the runner coming into second and called her out. Is the runner going to home also out, or is the batter baserunner going to first out because the throw that was interfered with was going to first?
You didn't specify a ruleset, so I'm going to assume USA Softball (ASA) here.

So let's just clean up the scenario a little bit. In your scenario, R1 is on 2nd base, and R2 is on 1st base. The batter hit the ball to the second baseman, who throws it to the shortstop to get the force out on R2. The shortstop attempts to throw to first base to get the batter-runner, but R2 interferes with the throw. Sound right?

If so, then you have interference by a retired runner. The runner closest to home would be out.

HOWEVER!

A few things about this play. One, what exactly did R2 do to create the interference? Secondly, did the defense actually have a chance to get a runner out?

The reason I ask is that there is quite a bit of confusion regarding what is or is not interference. Some umpires believe that runners have to "slide or get out of the way," which is flat out wrong. USA Softball has NEVER required a runner to "slide or get out of the way," and continuing to run towards a base, in and of itself, is not necessarily considered an act of interference. Runners are not expected to suddenly disappear once they are called out.

Secondly, in order to call interference, there actually has to be a play available to the defense that was taken away from them by the offense. If the defense has zero chance at getting the out at first base (and, in this play, the defense gets the benefit of the doubt), and if R1 is already standing on 3rd base, then there is no interference, because they never would have gotten anyone out.

So... again, what exactly did R2 do to interfere with the defense? And did the defense really have a chance at getting another out in this play?
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