Umpires. Would you call interference on this play?

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Jul 27, 2021
278
43
I'll bite: Dead ball. Runner at 2nd obviously out, runner that crossed the plate returns to 3rd. No run scores. Batter on the play at 1st. Umpire gets a bunch of static from one side or the other. Maybe both.
I might be able to go with interference.

Interference by Retired Player preventing the double play
a) Runner to 2nd already out
b) Interference by retired runner and dead ball
c) Runner closest home is out
d) Batter-Runner awarded 1st
e) Other runners return to last legally occupied base
 
Aug 1, 2019
986
93
MN
I might be able to go with interference.

Interference by Retired Player preventing the double play
a) Runner to 2nd already out
b) Interference by retired runner and dead ball
c) Runner closest home is out
d) Batter-Runner awarded 1st
e) Other runners return to last legally occupied base
^^^OOH! OOH! OOH! Mr. Kotter, I'd like to change my answer! ^^^
 
May 16, 2016
1,034
113
Illinois
I'm curious what part of the rule they used to their advantage. By rule, it is pretty clearly interference. I believe the call wasn't made because of the positioning of the umpires.

Ump Pub Trivia ... say interference DID get called. What is the penalty here?
First, I would say that I used the wrong wording/verbiage in what I was trying to communicate. I guess a better way to say it would be to just say that it is smart base running. I believe the risk to reward factor on this play in highly in the favor of the base runner. I personally think the runner that was out at 2nd base knew what she was doing but did it in a way that it was not obvious looking, or made the pop up slide look like she was not intentionally trying to interfere with the 2nd baseman.

I would also say if this was obviously interreference the Duke coach would have came out and discussed the play.

I do not know the ruling on this play if the runner would have been called out for interference.
 
May 29, 2015
3,794
113
Correct and agreed. Yet reality on the dirt is that EVERY discussion that I have had with an ump, coach, spectator put the maximal emphasis on "contact" between players. Rarely do any of these include "interference without contact" or accepted.

None of those people would last long on a field with me.

Every rule book emphasizes the fact that contact is not necessary. We don't want to do things that encourage injuries. Shameful to the game if umpires, coaches, and parents are encouraging malicious injuries.

"Run her over!" or "Throw it at her!" gets one team warning and NO wiggle room afterwards. You better hope one of your players doesn't accidentally cause anything that looks suspicious.
 
Last edited:
May 29, 2015
3,794
113
First, I would say that I used the wrong wording/verbiage in what I was trying to communicate. I guess a better way to say it would be to just say that it is smart base running. I believe the risk to reward factor on this play in highly in the favor of the base runner. I personally think the runner that was out at 2nd base knew what she was doing but did it in a way that it was not obvious looking, or made the pop up slide look like she was not intentionally trying to interfere with the 2nd baseman.

I would also say if this was obviously interreference the Duke coach would have came out and discussed the play.

I do not know the ruling on this play if the runner would have been called out for interference.

The very fact that it was a variant of a pop up slide is what gave it away to me. A pop up slide does not take you backwards or keep you on the side you came from. The point is for your momentum to go up and forward so you are ready to be on the move to the next base.

I have to say I was amazed the coach did not go out to at least have the conversation and get an explanation.
 
Jul 27, 2021
278
43
None of those people would last long on a field with me.

Every rule book emphasizes the fact that contact is not necessary. We don't want to do things that encourage injuries. Shameful to the game if umpires, coaches, and parents are encouraging malicious injuries.

"Run her over!" or "Throw it at her!" gets one team warning and NO wiggle room afterwards. You better hope one of your players doesn't accidentally cause anything that looks suspicious.
Yep. It is a battle to educate.

Unfortunately softball and baseball are populated with little leaguers from the 70s and 80s. I co-coached a season of youth rec softball with a guy that advocated "run through them". I always told him and the girls right away that was wrong. He was only around for a short season.

I wonder what the percentage of people (casual watchers on up) think "trucking" is ok or allowed today? I am betting it is shockingly high, 7/10. Even people that should be in the know (players , coaches, etc).....don't.
 
Jul 31, 2019
495
43
Yep. It is a battle to educate.

Unfortunately softball and baseball are populated with little leaguers from the 70s and 80s. I co-coached a season of youth rec softball with a guy that advocated "run through them". I always told him and the girls right away that was wrong. He was only around for a short season.

I wonder what the percentage of people (casual watchers on up) think "trucking" is ok or allowed today? I am betting it is shockingly high, 7/10. Even people that should be in the know (players , coaches, etc).....don't.
The ongoing shortage of umpires and people interested in umpiring will only make this worse going forward.
 
Nov 29, 2009
2,975
83
I would not consider this to be interference either. I would consider this to be good base running or good coaching, or you can say using the rules to gain an advantage. I believe that being called for interference on this play would be so rare that it is worth the risk. More like just part of the game.
As for the pop-up slide itself, some baseball codes would consider that a violation of their force play slide rules. A pop-up slide is not a common slide technique on a double-play ball.

Reading the NCAA Softball verbiage, that is not violation in and of itself. The runner avoided contact, so that much was legal.

I think you could make an argument for an interference call, but it is probably a 50/50 argument based on an umpire's perspective. U1 did not have a good angle (or responsibility for the call). U3 also had no angle. PU should have picked up on it.

Just being in the throwing lane is not interference. Using an uncommon technique to put yourself in the throwing lane and hindering the throw is interference.

By rule, you could support it:

1.13 Interference
Equipment or the act of an offensive player, coach, umpire or spectator that denies the fielder a reasonable opportunity to play the ball. The act may be intentional or unintentional and the ball must have been playable

12.17.2.2

The base runner may not interfere with a fielder attempting to throw the ball.


Looking at the play it looks like the fielder was set up to make the throw to 1st trying for the next out. The runner did not impede her ability to make the play at 2nd and did not move towards fielder impeding her ability to throw to 1st.

The lead runner kept going surprising the defense forcing the fielder to make an unanticipated adjustment. The forced runner did not interfere with her ability to throw the ball. To me, what makes it look like possible interference is the base runner is taller than the fielder.

Is it incumbent on the runners to stay out of the way if the defense makes a last second adjustment that is out of the ordinary?

The fielder got caught in a bad position. I think that's why there was no interference called.
 
May 29, 2015
3,794
113
I don't remember seeing "when it is convenient for the runner" in the rule.

The video is gone, but I recall seeing the fielder having to step around the retired runner to attempt to make the play at the plate. I could have faulty memory.
 
Nov 29, 2009
2,975
83
I don't remember seeing "when it is convenient for the runner" in the rule.

The video is gone, but I recall seeing the fielder having to step around the retired runner to attempt to make the play at the plate. I could have faulty memory.
Do you think there would even be a discussion of the fielder was taller than the runner and was able to throw over the head of the runner?

Is there anything in the rules that say a runner who slides on a force play at a base must stay on the ground for X amount of time?

Again, I think it was a designed play by the offense. What made it so good was the runner did not do anything overtly that would have brought attention to her. She looked like she made a normal softball play by popping up after her slide was completed. She did not go after the fielder. No arms were extended. She made no jukes or other abnormal motions. She just stood there standing straight up on the base.

I guess a comparable play would be a right handed batter takes a called 3rd strike while the runner on 2nd steals on the pitch. Is the batter called for interference for still standing in the box after being called out forcing the catcher to make an adjustment to be able to make the throw to 3rd during the steal?
 

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