The Ole Ball Game

Base runners responsibility or fielder's responsibility to avoid contact?

Steve asked: Batted ball glances off pitchers glove, shortstop collides with runner while attempting to field ball.


Rick answered: Steve, thank you for your question.

Section 21 Interference - offensive, umpire, spectator. Art 1...Offensive interference is an act (physical or verbal) by the team at bat:

a. which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play; or

b. when a runner creates malicious contact with any fielder, with or without the ball, in or out of the baseline

On contact, the play becomes a dead ball, the interferer is out, so is batter-runner if interference prevented a double play at first base.

Runner is out and so is another runner if interference prevented a double play on the latter. Other runners return.

For malicious contact the player guilty of the infraction is ejected.

As long as the ball is live, the fielders have a right to make a play on the ball, it becomes the base runner's responsibility to avoid contact with the fielder.

As described in your question, the fielder would not be considered the one who created the contact, it would be the runner.

Yours in baseball,


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