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Baseball Instruction/Interference on the Runner or Fielder?


In a Babe Ruth district all-star game

Runner at first, one out. Batter hits a ball in the left/center gap. Runner from first makes contact with third baseman who is standing in the baseline; both fall down. Runner scores and batter makes it to third on the throw to the plate. Umpire rules that the since the runner held his hands out [to protect himself] before he contacted the third baseman, the runner is out and the batter was sent back to first base. I always thought that the base runner had the right of way and that interference should have been called. A protest was filed and the district president upheld the umpires call.

What was the right call?


The base runner doesn't necessarily have the right of way.  However, he should only be called for interference if (straight from the rulebook):

"(j) He fails to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball, or intentionally
interferes with a thrown ball,"

In this case, the fielder clearly wasn't attempting to field a batted ball so I don't think interference was the right call.  I would have let the play stand.

Hope this helps!


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Brian Flaspohler


Questions about baseball rules, general information about the game, statistical analysis, questions about players, questions about Baseball records. I am a member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and a lifelong baseball fanatic. Don't ask me questions about training - this is not my area of expertise.


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