Baseball Instruction/Batter interference


BretMan wrote at 2009-05-19 00:09:11
When the catcher is playing upon a runner at first, second or third immediately after receiving a pitch, the batter's box does offer some degree of protection for the batter against being called for interference.

The rules here recognize that the batter is precisely where he's required to be as a pitch is delivered- in the batter's box! As long as the batter does nothing to intentionally interfere with the catcher or his throw, he is not guity of interference.

The catcher has the responsibility to step forward or back and create his own throwing lane to a base. If his throw hits a batter legally positioned in the box, then the ball remains live and teh batter is not out.

While the batter's box offers some degree of protection to the batter, that protection is not absolute. If the batter remains in the box, but moves into the catcher or the throw- for example, either by stepping forward or backwards, or leaning out over the plate, actions not associated with a normal stance to receive or strike at a pitch- then he is guilty of interference. His best bet is to stand his ground and not thy moving around to clear the catcher. If he moves around in the box, that can be construed as "intent" and interference can be called.

Of course, if the batter steps out of the box and interferes with the catcher or his throw, then that should always be ruled as interference. Once the batter leaves the batter's box, his protection from an interference call is gone.

These example all apply to cases of a catcher making a throw to first, second or third base immediately after receiving a pitch. With a runner advancing to home plate things change quite a bit.

In those cases, with a runner advancing to home, the batter is required to vacate any area required by the defense to make the play. Here, the batter's box DOES NOT offer protection from an interference call. If the batter impedes the defense's play on a runner advancing to home, regardless of if he is in or out of the batter's box, he is guilty of interference.

AZ Umpire wrote at 2009-09-29 04:50:40
We need to correct the answer from Andy.

1.) walks/base on balls are NOT a dead ball situation

2.) the runner is only protected to the base to which he is entitled, if the runner 1 advances past, leaves the base, wonders to clean his uniform , what ever etc, after he has made contact to achieve possession of the base - that runner CAN be put out.

schmeltz wrote at 2010-06-03 18:01:26
I am new to umpiring baseball, but it appears that a base-on-balls is a live ball situation in NFHS. I was trying to double check this and could not find the specific wording in the 2010 rule book, but I found this in the case book:

5.2.1 SITUATION C: B1 (a) hits a home run over the fence or (b) receives a base on balls or, (c) is struck by a pitched ball. In each instance B1 is unable to reach his awarded base because of an injury sustained during the play. RULING: In (a), (b) and (c), because bases are awarded, a pinch runner may replace the injured player and continue to the awarded bases. In (b), SINCE THE BALL IS LIVE, the umpire has to call "Time." He will then permit a substitute to run for the injured player according to 10-2-3g.

ldburns3 wrote at 2011-02-05 01:47:03
Intentional walks are dead ball situations. Base on balls is a live ball situation as the batter runner can elect to advance past first at his own peril

Fred wrote at 2015-10-06 23:17:57
We had a situation in a little league game this weekend.   Runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out and 3-1 count on the batter.   The runner at 1st shows attempted steal of 2nd as ball 4 is thrown.   The catcher throws to 2nd not realizing the walk leaves no way to throw out the runner.   The runner at 3rd then runs home.   Is this a legal base running move?   Can the runner decoy the catcher into throwing to an already awarded base?

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Andrew Mullins


Over 40 years as a NHFS (high school), NAIA & NCAA (college) umpire....Expert on rules & mechanics knowlege from Dizzy Dean to pro.


I also coached w/ primarily select teams (15-18) for over 15 years. I have assisted over 30 players move on to D1 & pro status.


Two college degrees & two masters.

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