The Ole Ball Game

Runner Interference

by Jordie
(Kelowna)

A few weeks ago in a game, I was on 2nd and a ball was hit towards the ss playing at the edge of the infield.


I started running and as the ball was coming at me, I stopped and jumped over it.

The ss was coming in to make the play and stopped as well. I did not make contact with the SS or the ball and was within my base path, would I be ruled out for interference or would the play continue?

I can't recall if she came up with the ball or it rolled through,if that matters.

Rick answered: Jordie, thank you for your question.

Rule 2-21 Offensive Interference 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.

The base runner cannot interfere with a fielders ability to make a play. If the fielder is in the runner's basepath and attempting to field a ball, the runner has the obligation to avoid contact with the fielder.

In the situation you describe, it would fall to a judgement call by the field umpire as to whether, when you stopped to jump over the ball, that stop forced the ss to stop also, to avoid running into you.

If, in the umpire's judgement that did occur, interference should have been called.

The actual result of the play may have some bearing. If the umpire felt that, due to the close proximity to the ss, your stop caused her to miss the ball, it would make a difference.

The umpire would also need to look at whether the ss stopping did not allow her to make the out on the batter, where if she had come through the ball and made the play, would she have gotten the out.

Base runners have the right to jump over the ball to avoid being hit, or to stop and let the ball go by, then start again. It sometimes becomes vague when the runner stops, then jumps as to whether it was, in the umpire's opinion, an attempt to hinder the fielders play.

You didn't say what the call was on this play, offensive interference or no call. Either way, I would guess there was a pretty healthy debate as to why it went as called, no matter which one it was.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

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