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Incorrect Rule Interpretations - a running list

May 30, 2013
1,331
63
Binghamton, NY
Ok, I'm curious to hear all the incorrect rules understandings you have heard at games.
Coaches, players, fans, umpires - doesn't matter.
let's post our favorite examples?

Heard a good one this past weekend:
1. Batter bunts.
2. Catcher fields bunt.
3. Batter-Runner is (slightly) inside the baseline running to 1B.
4. Catcher has bad angle to make throw, and elects to hold the ball.

Coach then proclaims: "Catcher, next time just make the throw. If the Runner is in fair territory and you hit her with the ball, she is out."
 
May 29, 2015
1,344
113
It doesn’t have to hit her for the interference nor is it interference on the catcher’s play if you are running out of the lane.

Coach was kind of right though ... We can’t call anything if the catcher doesn’t make the throw.
 
Jul 22, 2015
298
43
If you aren't in the running lane and get hit with throw it's not an automatic out,but there is a high probability you will be called out.
Have to disagree. You most likely SHOULD be called out, but I rarely see it called at any level, including NCAA when it seems like an obvious call.
 
Dec 15, 2018
141
43
CT
“Infield fly, dead ball, batter is out!” - actual call from yesterday (not to mention called with runners only on 2nd and 3rd). It was one of many beauts we got this weekend...there were a ton of end of season tournaments, and as 10u we got the litter runts of the umpire universe.
 
May 30, 2013
1,331
63
Binghamton, NY
It doesn’t have to hit her for the interference nor is it interference on the catcher’s play if you are running out of the lane.

Coach was kind of right though ... We can’t call anything if the catcher doesn’t make the throw.

So, let's think about this.

Correct me if I am wrong, but simply running up the line or even slightly "inside" of it should NEVER constitute an "interference" call, by itself.
For it to be interference, the Batter-Runner would have to had *purposefully* disrupted the path of the thrown ball, or *purposefully* altered her direct path to the base to block the throwing lane. Judgement call for the Umpire. But simply getting hit with a thrown ball between the batter's box and 1st base (in fair territory) isn't enough. Please note: a RHB *always* starts her direct path to 1B from "inside" the foul line, and thus is in fair territory for 1/2 to 2/3 of the total base path. Actually, the entire base is in fair territory, correct? Therefore, being "inside the line" is poor criteria for interference.

So, if the catcher made the throw, and let's say it hits the Batter-Runner in the Helmet, and careens out into RF somewhere; and the RF has already sprinted to back up the throw at 1B. The Umpire does not rule interference. and the speedy Batter-Runner rounds the bases for a triple*. Might have been a good choice by the Catcher to hold the ball. lol

Side note: of course, this example play is only a problem if the 1B player doesn't understand how to position herself to receive the throw. (or 2B player covering, if 1B crashed on the bunt)

* I say "triple" because making the throw to 1B and hitting the Batter-Runner doesn't constitute an Error, does it?
 
Last edited:
Oct 2, 2011
3,492
113
Florida
So, let's think about this.

Correct me if I am wrong, but simply running up the line or even slightly "inside" of it should NEVER constitute an "interference" call, by itself.
For it to be interference, the Batter-Runner would have to had *purposefully* disrupted the path of the thrown ball, or *purposefully* altered her direct path to the base to block the throwing lane. Judgement call for the Umpire. But simply getting hit with a thrown ball between the batter's box and 1st base (in fair territory) isn't enough. Please note: a RHB *always* starts her direct path to 1B from "inside" the foul line, and thus is in fair territory for 1/2 to 2/3 of the total base path. Actually, the entire base is in fair territory, correct? Therefore, being "inside the line" is poor criteria for interference.

So, if the catcher made the throw, and let's say it hits the Batter-Runner in the Helmet, and careens out into RF somewhere; and the RF has already sprinted to back up the throw at 1B. The Umpire does not rule interference. and the speedy Batter-Runner rounds the bases for a triple*. Might have been a good choice to hold the ball. lol

* I say "triple" because making the throw to 1B and hitting the Batter-Runner doesn't constitute an Error, does it?
The running lane starts 1/2 way to 1B to allow the runner the chance to get into the running lane. So INTENT is not part of this - the rule allows the runner to get to where they need to be. There is no judgement here - they are either in the running lane or not. So yes, just being hit by a thrown ball can absolutely be enough for the call.

There is a case ruling which goes like this....

Q: Batter-runner is past half way to 1B and is running with her left foot landing inside the line (fair) and the right foot is landing outside the line (foul) - thrown ball from catcher hits her. Ruling?

A: If the left foot (fair) was the last step she is out, if the right foot (foul) was the last step she is safe.

And yes, if the ball careens off a helmet out to RF and the batter was in the running lane (or the umpire blows the call) that is scored an error on the player throwing it.
 
Jun 11, 2013
2,084
63
As far as misquoted rules I like when someone argues when a hitter gets hit on a low pitch that it hit the ground prior to hitting the batter so they shouldn't get first base.

Another big one is that a foul ball has to be over the batters head for it to be an out.
 
May 29, 2015
1,344
113
Correcting you Corley ... :giggle:

So, let's think about this.

Correct me if I am wrong, but simply running up the line or even slightly "inside" of it should NEVER constitute an "interference" call, by itself.
For it to be interference, the Batter-Runner would have to had *purposefully* disrupted the path of the thrown ball, or *purposefully* altered her direct path to the base to block the throwing lane. Judgement call for the Umpire. But simply getting hit with a thrown ball between the batter's box and 1st base (in fair territory) isn't enough. Please note: a RHB *always* starts her direct path to 1B from "inside" the foul line, and thus is in fair territory for 1/2 to 2/3 of the total base path. Actually, the entire base is in fair territory, correct? Therefore, being "inside the line" is poor criteria for interference.

So, if the catcher made the throw, and let's say it hits the Batter-Runner in the Helmet, and careens out into RF somewhere; and the RF has already sprinted to back up the throw at 1B. The Umpire does not rule interference. and the speedy Batter-Runner rounds the bases for a triple*. Might have been a good choice by the Catcher to hold the ball. lol

Side note: of course, this example play is only a problem if the 1B player doesn't understand how to position herself to receive the throw. (or 2B player covering, if 1B crashed on the bunt)

* I say "triple" because making the throw to 1B and hitting the Batter-Runner doesn't constitute an Error, does it?
,

USA Softball
Rule 8 - Batter-runner and Runner
Section 2 - The Batter-runner is Out When
E. When the batter runner runs outside the three-foot lane and, in the umpire’s judgment, interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base; however, the batter-runner may run outside the three-foot lane to avoid a fielder attempting to field a batted ball. When the defensive player uses the foul portion of the double-base, the batter-runner can run in fair territory when the throw is coming from the foul side of first base, and if hit by the thrown ball, it is not interference. If intentional interference is ruled, the runner is out.

NFHS Softball
Rule 8 Batter-Runner and Runner
SECTION 2 BATTER-RUNNER IS OUT
ART. 6 . . . She runs outside the three-foot (0.91m) lane and, in the judgment of the umpire, interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base (there must be a throw); however, the batter-runner may run outside the three-foot (0.91m) lane to avoid a fielder attempting to field a batted ball. A runner is considered outside the running lane if either foot is completely outside the lane and in contact with the ground.
 

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