USA Softball News June 2018 Rule Plays...

June 2018 Rule Plays and Clarifications

June 12, 2018, 10:27 a.m. (ET)

June 2018 Plays and Clarifications


Plays and Clarifications

Play:  No out and R1 on 3B, all defensive players in a normal position not expecting a bunt. In a) B2 hits a slow roller to F3, and has reached the 3 foot runner's lane but is in fair territoryby the time that F3 has fielded the ball. F3 throws to home to retire R1 trying to score and  hits B2 running in fair territory where B2 continues to 1B safely.  In b) the ball is hit to F6 who fields the ball and throws to F3 and retires B2 at 1B. F3 then throws to home plate trying to retire R1 from 3B and hits B2 running outside the running lane. What is the call in a) and b)? 

Ruling: In both a) and b) the umpire judged that B2 did not hinder, impede or confuse F3 from making a play. In a) R1 would be safe at home and B2 safe at 1B. In b) B2 would remain out at 1B and R1 would be safe at Home Plate. The position of B2, in or out of the running lane on play a) and on play b) has no bearing on the issue of interference. Rule 1 Definition, Rule 8, Section 2E, and Rule 8, Section 7P.

Play:With R1 on 1B and 1 out, B3 hits a fly ball toward shallow right field, R1 who has started advancing on the hit realizes it may be caught and begins to return to 1B.  As R1 returns to 1B they have to run around F3 who has started toward the ball but stopped when they saw F9 making the play on the fly ball. The base umpire signals obstruction. R1 seeing F9 drop the ball leaves 1B attempting to advance to 2B but F9 throws the ball to F6 to retire R1 prior to reaching 2B.  In a) the base umpire rules that since R1 was obstructed returning to 1B they are only protected on the way back to 1B and remain out since they were putout advancing to 2B.  In b) the base umpire rules that F9 attempting to field the batted ball was making a play on another runner and since R1 had reached the base they would have reached then R1 can be called out between the two bases where they were obstructed.

Ruling:Incorrect ruling in both a) and b).  In a) it does not matter if R1 is advancing or retreating when they are obstructed, they are protected between 1B and 2B and cannot by putout between these two bases.  In b) fielding a batted ball is not considered making a subsequent play on another runner when determining if an exception has occurred allowing R1 to be called out between the two bases where they were obstructed.  In both cases, when R1 is putout the umpire should rule a dead ball and since the batter-runner is on 1B they should award R1 2B. Rule 8, Section 5B Effect 1.

Play: B1 hits a ground ball to F6.  F6 throws the ball wildly to 1B and draws F3 into the air in the running lane and B1 stops to avoid a collision with F3 who then tags B1 and the umpire rules an out.

Ruling: Incorrect call. The Batter-runner cannot create interference on a fielder receiving a thrown ball unless it is an intentional act to interfere.  The fielder can attempt to make the play in the running lane, but if that attempt leads to F3 impeding the runner going to 1B prior to them having possession of the ball, obstruction would be the proper call.  Note that contact is not necessary to impede the progress of the Batter-runnerRule 1 Definitions: Obstruction, Rule 8, Section 5B

Play: B1 hits a ground ball to the right of F3. F3, moving to their right, dives and fields the ground ball. F4 is moving to their left and continues towards 1B. F3, still has the ball in their glove attempts to rise and run to touch 1B before B1. F3, realizing they can't beat the B1 to the bag, and with the ball in their glove, touches the glove of F4 with their glove. When the gloves touch, F4 is standing on 1B before B1 reaches 1B. The base umpire rules the runner safe. The defensive team's coach protests that F3, by making contact with the glove of F4, who is standing on 1B and before B1 reached the bag, should be called out.

Ruling: The call was the correct. F4, who was in contact with the base, was NOT holding the ball. Rule 8, Section 7 C

Play: B1 comes to the plate and strikes out.  B3 then comes up to bat and strikes out.  Now B2 comes to the plate and hits a double.  The defense then properly appeals before the next pitch that B2 is batting out of order.  What's the ruling?

Ruling: After the first pitch to B2, B3's turn at bat became legal. This makes the next legal batter B4. B4 who should have batted is now out.  B2's time at bat is negated.  B4's out is now the 3rd out of the inning and B5 will lead off the next inning. Rule 7, Section 2D [2] Effect.

Interference: Here are three links to possible interference plays. 

Obstruction / Interference:

Attached are three links to videos discussing the topic of obstruction and interference, You Make the Call.

Click here: Video 1 | Video 2 | Video 3


 June Plays and Clarifications (Word)


 June Plays and Clarifications (PDF)