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Batter running to first on strike two play

Jul 9, 2019
4
1
Watched a trick play run on another team tonight. Runner in third, 2 outs. Third base coach confers with batter, 1-1 count, then Batter swings at strike TWO in the dirt, and takes off to first. Catcher throws to 1b and runner on 3b scores. My contention is this is interference on the batter as it was an act intentionally to confuse the catcher. Asa and nfhs both mention the confusing act as interference.

The run was allowed to score after conference. Catcher was injured at home on the play and the injury took precedence for the coach rather than the rules interpretation. What say you?
 
Jun 22, 2008
3,314
63
Yes, the rule does say confuse, but there are many many things that may confuse the defense that are not interference. There are case plays in boty NFHS and USA stating it is the defenses responsibility to know the situation and make the appropriate play. The defense should know there are only 2 strikes and that there is no play on the batter/runner running to first base. The same applies when a batter runs on a D3k when 1st is occupied with less than 2 outs, defense must know the appropriate play.

Now, that being said, NFHS does also have a case play which says if the umpire feels this is being done on purpose they can eject the coach and the player for unsportsmanlike conduct.
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
721
43
Yes, the rule does say confuse, but there are many many things that may confuse the defense that are not interference. There are case plays in boty NFHS and USA stating it is the defenses responsibility to know the situation and make the appropriate play. The defense should know there are only 2 strikes and that there is no play on the batter/runner running to first base. The same applies when a batter runs on a D3k when 1st is occupied with less than 2 outs, defense must know the appropriate play.

Now, that being said, NFHS does also have a case play which says if the umpire feels this is being done on purpose they can eject the coach and the player for unsportsmanlike conduct.
In a situation like the one described, and if the umpire believes that the confusion is deliberately caused, can the umpire call "dead ball" and reset any baserunners?
 
Jun 22, 2008
3,314
63
There are no provisions in the rules that would allow an umpire to kill a live ball play.

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Oct 2, 2011
3,264
113
Florida
Watched a trick play run on another team tonight. Runner in third, 2 outs. Third base coach confers with batter, 1-1 count, then Batter swings at strike TWO in the dirt, and takes off to first. Catcher throws to 1b and runner on 3b scores. My contention is this is interference on the batter as it was an act intentionally to confuse the catcher. Asa and nfhs both mention the confusing act as interference.

The run was allowed to score after conference. Catcher was injured at home on the play and the injury took precedence for the coach rather than the rules interpretation. What say you?
As an umpire it is REALLY hard to be certain on this being an intentional instruction from a coach or an action by the batter. In this case I don't know what they talked about. Is it suspicious - well it could be but even a strong belief is really not enough for you to make the call. I can't read minds unfortunately. Most times - and it has thankfully been extremely rare - I have warned a coach that next time I will have to consider it intentional and they will be ejected along with the player.

As an umpire group it was called in once last year in high school. Repeat offender coach who had been warned previously that is was not on - in his case he was instructing his players to go to first on a third ball as well. He was suspended for two games. In his hearing he argued how it could be told it was intentional. However there was video from the teams previous 10 games that showed they did it twice a game on average.

Last time I personally called it was because a$$hole coach celebrated how clever he was in telling the batter to do it. Well, that removed all doubt on their plan. He got suspended for that and was removed from the position. If he hadn't celebrated like that I would have had nothing though.
 
Last edited:
Jul 9, 2019
4
1
I have read the onus on the defense to know the count, etc. however this is not a codified rule, where does that line of thought originate from? The only rule that clearly applies is "confusion" which it is certainly intended to do, with a secondary rule violation as the 10 seconds for batter to retake the box.

Even as a coach, i might know the count as 1-1, but seeing a batter take off makes me question my knowledge, and with a 12 yo thats even more confusing for them.
 
Jun 22, 2008
3,314
63
It comes from the various organizations in their case plays, rulings and clarifications. It is the defenses responsibility to know the situation and make the appropriate play. There is no play at first base so there should not be a throw.
 

MTR

Jun 22, 2008
3,412
48
It comes from the various organizations in their case plays, rulings and clarifications. It is the defenses responsibility to know the situation and make the appropriate play. There is no play at first base so there should not be a throw.
Really? Expect the coach to teach the players how to play the game? :eek:
 
May 29, 2015
762
63
I have read the onus on the defense to know the count, etc. however this is not a codified rule, where does that line of thought originate from? The only rule that clearly applies is "confusion" which it is certainly intended to do, with a secondary rule violation as the 10 seconds for batter to retake the box.

Even as a coach, i might know the count as 1-1, but seeing a batter take off makes me question my knowledge, and with a 12 yo thats even more confusing for them.
It is possible the “onus on the defense” theory comes from a misapplication of this:

NFHS:

SECTION 6 THE RUNNER IS OUT

A runner is out when:

ART. 16 . . . Any coach or member of the offensive team, other than a runner, interferes with a defensive player’s opportunity to make a play. This includes, but is not limited to:

c. After being declared out or after scoring, a runner interferes with a defensive player's opportunity to make a play on another runner. A runner continuing to run and drawing a throw may be considered a form of interference. This does not apply to the batter-runner running on the dropped third strike rule.
 
We had the same “trick play” pulled on us but it was so obvious because the batter/runner rounded 1st and jogged to 2nd beging for a throw. With pitcher holding the ball in the circle.
 

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