Baseball Instruction/Catcher Interference

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Question
Can you explain what the ruling is with this situation. The batter struck the catcher's mitt on a swing and grounded out. The only runner at the time, on third, came in and scored. The umpire called interference after the put out, put the batter back on 1B and let the runner from 3B score. Is that right?

Answer
Neil;

Little League rule 6.08 (c) states:

"The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided said runner advances to and touches first base) when... The catcher or any fielder interferes with the batter. If a play follows the interference, the manager of the offense may advise the plate umpire of a decision to decline the interference penalty and accept the play. Such election shall be made immediately at the end of the play... "


In situations where the manager wants the “interference” penalty to apply, the following interpretation shall be made of 6.08(c):

If the catcher (or any fielder) interferes with the batter, the batter is awarded first base.

If, on such interference a runner is trying to score by a steal or squeeze from third base , the ball is dead and the runner on third scores and batter is awarded first base.

If the catcher interferes with the batter with no runners trying to score from third on a squeeze or steal, then the ball is dead, batter is awarded first base and runners who are forced to advance, do advance. Runners not attempting to steal or not forced to advance remain on the base they occupied at the time of the interference.


In your situation it sounds like there was no steal or squeeze, but rather a runner moving on the hit. So the offensive manager has one of two options:

(1) Take the interference and have runners at 1st and 3rd, or;
(2) Decline the interference and have the runner from 3rd score and the out at 1st.


I hope this has helped.

-Martin Hoover

Baseball Instruction

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Martin Hoover

Expertise

Questions regarding the Rules and Regulations of Little League Baseball and Softball. Questions regarding the history and organization of Little League Baseball at local, state, regional, and international levels. Advise regarding certain operational procedures and recommendations to Local League representatives.

Experience

Volunteer Little League Umpire since 2000; 2003 Little League, Junior League, Senior League and Big League Softball European Regional Umpire; 2005 Little League Softball Western Regional Umpire; 2007 Junior Softball Western Regional Umpire; 2011 Little League Softball World Series Umpire; Hesperia National (Hesperia, CA) Little League Board of Directors (2003-2012); President- Hesperia National Little League Board of Directors (2005-2011); Little League District Administrator (2012-present).

Organizations
Little League Baseball, Inc is the main operational center. I fall under Little League Western Region, and California District 49. I currently serve as a Little League District Administrator.

Education/Credentials
Western Regional Junior Umpire School(2000)(Named Outstanding Junior Umpire of the Western Region Area); Have instructed at numerous umpire schools & clinics.

Awards and Honors
Outstanding Junior Umpire of the Western Regional Area(2000)

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