Interference Rule on Slide into Catcher

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Jan 11, 2015
61
18
Yeah the only problem is the rule isnt written like that at all. There would need to be changes to the rule book
 

RADcatcher

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Dec 13, 2019
4,349
113
California
" Cant see that in travel tho. No overseeing authority "

there is for many games (PGF, USSSA, USA/ASA) and certainly for all school ball there is (btw, more likely IMHO in school ball, which this was, rivalries can get nasty, while in TB, more likely for players on different teams to know each other, have played together before, play HS together, etc.), gotta use what we have, not complain it is not 100% effective.
How will travel ball apply penalties to future?

Especially when the venues dont oversee eachother.
&
With players who can switch rosters and coaches switching teams.

Its going to be hard to regulate is all.
No interlinking system.
 
May 6, 2015
2,398
113
cannot find the rule text itself, but gist is a retired runner must avoid interfering with defense, no mention of except if breaking up a double play. again, I dont expect them to defy physics, but if they start slide away from HP, towards defender, after they are already out, how is it legal? DD got called for interference once simply for stopping half way between 1B and 2B, didnt move, pretty much watched rest of play unfold.
 
May 6, 2015
2,398
113
How will travel ball apply penalties to future?

Especially when the venues dont oversee eachother.
&
With players who can switch rosters and coaches switching teams.

Its going to be hard to regulate is all.
No interlinking system.

suspend coach, suspend player,

enforcement might be spotty, but again, better than nothing. at least with USSSA, players are all registered and rostered.

maybe send something to their insurer. potential loss of insurance will get coaches attention for certain.
 
Jan 30, 2019
7
3
I don't say much, but I will say I am with RAD on this. After watching the video of the OP, I agree there is interference, but no malicious contact. The runner did adjust her base path to take her into the fielder, to break up the double play, which is interference. Not all contact is malicious. Do not confuse the terms of Base Line and Base Path, they are complete different. The Base Line is the direct line between the bases and the Base Path is the direct line between the Runner and the base they are going towards. The Path is set by the runner. To use the fair/foul line as a point of reference for the runner and the base. Use the image with the extended line that bmakj post on #122, the runner is going directly towards home plate as home plate is completely in fair territory. The runners outside knee appears to be just over the fair/foul line, mean with the catcher at that location (not saying she shouldn't be there), the runner would slide directly over home plate.

To answer RADs question about number of girls I have ejected as an umpire. I can count them on one hand over a 20 year career, most where behavioral ejections, i.e. malicious contact (the fewest), & cussing at me about a call.

For the JMU game, this was interference, however it was not for the slide into the foot. I watched the the game live and when the umpires got together you can hear the 2nd base umpire say the runner contacted the body of the fielder during the throw when she popped out of her slide which caused the interference.
 
May 6, 2015
2,398
113
I don't say much, but I will say I am with RAD on this. After watching the video of the OP, I agree there is interference, but no malicious contact. The runner did adjust her base path to take her into the fielder, to break up the double play, which is interference. Not all contact is malicious. Do not confuse the terms of Base Line and Base Path, they are complete different. The Base Line is the direct line between the bases and the Base Path is the direct line between the Runner and the base they are going towards. The Path is set by the runner. To use the fair/foul line as a point of reference for the runner and the base. Use the image with the extended line that bmakj post on #122, the runner is going directly towards home plate as home plate is completely in fair territory. The runners outside knee appears to be just over the fair/foul line, mean with the catcher at that location (not saying she shouldn't be there), the runner would slide directly over home plate.

To answer RADs question about number of girls I have ejected as an umpire. I can count them on one hand over a 20 year career, most where behavioral ejections, i.e. malicious contact (the fewest), & cussing at me about a call.

For the JMU game, this was interference, however it was not for the slide into the foot. I watched the the game live and when the umpires got together you can hear the 2nd base umpire say the runner contacted the body of the fielder during the throw when she popped out of her slide which caused the interference.
so you are OK with doing something against the rules likely to cause potentially serious injuries with no reprecussions? so pitchers are free to throw at batters all day long intentionally, and the award of 1B is sufficient?

and if the runner was sliding directly into home plate, how come they had to roll over and schooch to HP (in order to disguise where they slid)?

and I guess when DD gets up after being taken out by this, and pegs runner with the ball as they go back to dugout, it is just an errant throw, hey, defense can throw the ball whereever they like?

sorry, intent is clear here, if you cannot see it you need to reevaluate. catcher was out at top of batters box, well ahead of HP. runner was not going for home, was going for catchers legs.
 
Jan 30, 2019
7
3
As mention, the intent was to prevent the double play, so yes there is intent, but not to injure as I see it. I watch things in real speed as that is all I get when I'm on the field. In real speed at without being able to do a slow-mo replay/analysis. My call would be out at home on the force and then the runner from 2nd would be out for a retired runner interference, but no ejection. Its softball not tiddlywinks, hard plays happen. Just because someone gets hurt does not automatically make it malicious contact. I had a friends DD break a fielders hand when they went to field the ball, it was a hard, low line drive. The intent was to hit the ball hard. Should the batter be ejected, because her intent was to hit a hard ball towards the direction of the player. Watch the film again, the roll-over/scooch for home plate was the contact and again the out-side bent leg was over the plate.

Using your locations of the the catcher being at the front of the batters box (which she was) and your geometry of 6" of exposed area of the batters box on the outside which (which is also true). Then the runner would have had to contact the field with her outside leg. The films show the contact is with the inside leg. Unless a HS player is less than 6" wide your logic of not being able to hit the base with her legs doesn't hold. Not mention it has been stated many times that the runners do not have to slide directly at the base, but with in reach of the base, which is clearly done.

For your other examples, no the pitcher is not free to intentionally aim at a batter, I have ejected a pitcher for that. And the catcher retaliating by throwing the ball at the runner is an other issue, that would warrant an ejection.

Again, out at home (force), runner on second is out (interference by retired runner), no ejection. We will just have to agree to disagree on this.
 
May 29, 2015
2,375
113
Sorry, not going to catch up on a full five pages, so here are some random thoughts on different topics brought up ...

Sanctioning bodies -- the VAST majority of contests played under a sanctioning body's rules are NOT governed by that sanctioning body. Typically the sanctioning bodies are not governing contests outside of championship (not weekend tournament, state championship and above) play. If you really think USA, USSSA, NFHS, and NCAA care what one player does in one case, then you are naïve. They may care about trends and patterns which result in injuries, so you see rule changes to prevent that. No sanctioning body is taking any action in this. I'm trying not to be rude, but it is laughable if anybody thinks the sanctioning body would be involved. At best, you have a tournament director who takes action for the two days the team is there, or the people organizing the league taking action. (The sad reality is, neither of them likely will either because it might make a paying customer mad.)

"It was legal" -- No, it was not. Just because something fits within the defined rules does not make it legal. Cars are legal, but it is illegal to deliberately run somebody over. It may not have been an illegal slide, but that does not make it a legal play. As I said, I can see how another umpire may think differently in real time.

"Pitchers" -- I may eat crow because I did not look it up in all codes, but please point to the rule that states a pitcher cannot deliberately throw at a batter. There is not one. This would fall under unsporting behavior. Again, because something fits within the language of a rule does NOT make it legal.

"Bad catchers" -- as a former catcher, I have no quarrel with the criticisms of this catcher's poor positioning and footwork. However, that does NOT provide the runner a license to kill.

"Retired runner" -- This is an area that is sticky in the rulebook. I think I said this before, but she technically was a retired runner, as she had been put out. However, I have a difficult time considering her a retired runner for the penalty aspect as her actions were ongoing from her status as a runner. You cannot expect a player barreling towards a base on a close play and fractions of a second away from sliding to know "I am out, I should stop." No, I am giving her some latitude on that. Again, that does not excuse her actions, it only changes what penalty may be applied:
  • Runner interference = runner is out, dead ball, BR gets first base, immediate succeeding runner* is called out for the interference on a double play, all other runners return to last touched base.
  • Retired runner interference = runner was out on the call, dead ball, runner closest to home is out, all other runners return to last base touched. (The penalty does not state this, but if it is not three outs, I am awarding the batter runner first base as you would with any other dead ball situation where the batter was unable to complete her obligation.)
*Note: This rule is written with traditional double plays in mind, where the interference is occurring on the lead runner and the interfered with play is on the runner behind them. Even though this is is a home-to-first double play attempt, the interference occurs with the runner going home, so the "immediate succeeding" runner ends up being the closest runner to home anyway. (Also note, many times the batter runner would be the immediate succeeding runner, the award of first base does NOT override or conflict with the awarded out on that same batter runner. The awarded out takes precedence.)
 

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