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QUESTION: Hi Dr. Mark -

We had a situation regarding interference.  I'll try and explain the play;
R1 off on contact from first.  Ball is popped over first baseman who back peddles to try and make the catch.  
R1 attempts to return to first, and makes contact with the first baseman who STILL makes the catch.  
What is the call?

Q2: Hypothetical: same play, catch is made in foul territory..

Thank you again for your education and help.

ANSWER: Hi Mike,

1) If R1 impeded or hinder F3 attempting to make a play,  we have a dead ball, interference and R1 is out.  B2 is also out if the interference prevented (in this case it didn't but the actual catch doesn't matter) from catching w/ ordinary effort a routine fly ball.  If the fair fly ball could not be caught w/ ordinary effort the b-r would be awarded 1st base.

2) In ASA  both R1 and B2 would be out because a foul ball interfered with that could be caught w/ ordinary effort is an out on the batter, the same as a fair fly ball. On a foul ball that could not be caught w/ ordinary effort, R1 is out and a strike on B2.


[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for the reply.  I have had several conversations regarding this situation with the coaches involved.  The argument to your answer (and I don't know how to refute them) is; If interference by the runner creates a dead ball, how can there be a second out recorded on the catch?   Seems as if it should be a delayed dead ball call.  
Please advise if I am misenterpreting your reply.  Thanks in advance.  -Mike

Hi Mike,

Except for 1 case of umpire interference, interference is always a dead ball. The out is not on the catch, because the ball is dead, but could it have been caught? It is strictly the umpire's judgment if the batted fly ball, fair or foul, was routine and could be caught with ordinary effort.  Obviously if after the interference if the ball was caught it makes the call easier but the catch itself does not cause the batter to be called out.

Here's how to refute them.....because we have a rule...start w/ ASA 8-7-J-1   The runner is out... and then after L Sec 7J-L NOTE, the batter runner is awarded 1st base..."EXCEPTION  If the interference prevents the fielder from catching a routine fly ball, fair or foul, the batter is also out."



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Dr. Mark R. Ambrose


I can answer all questions about book rules and "case book" rules governing the playing of ASA softball. Have a REAL situation that happened and are not sure the proper rule was applied, ask me.


I am a registered ASA umpire, a MASA "At-Large" umpire since 1996 and a retired District Umpire-In-Chief. I have very extensive experience in MASA State Championship and ASA national qualifying tournament play both as an umpire and an Umpire-In-Chief. I completed 3 ASA National Schools including the ASA national advanced umpire school in Ok City("Bernie" for those who know him was the lead clinician, I survived the week and couldn't let my kids watch the game tapes when I got home. No, I love you Bernie). I was one of 4 "Yankee" umpires selected to umpire the Men's D National East Championship in 2002 in Winter Haven FL

Amateur Softball Association (The authority in softball)

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