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Softball/Rules on a softball play


What is the correct call on the following play and what is the rule number for this?  The situation was a Runner on 2nd and Runner on 1st base.  The batter hits a shot at the pitcher.  The ball bounces off the glove between SS and 3rd base.  The 3rd baseman covers the base and the SS tries to field the ball.  The runner is going to 3rd and touches the SS while running to the bag. Inference was called and the runner is out.  Is this the right call?

Hi Charles,

They "might" be, without being there I can't tell you 100%.

ASA 8-7-j-4 The runner is out when they intentionally interfere w/ any defensive player having an opportunity to make an out w/ the deflected batted ball. So the interference must be intentional not coincidental.  This is a rare instance when interference must be intentional.

Also w/out seeing the play there is also the possibility of obstruction.  If F6 W/OUT control of the ball hindered R1.  R1 has a right to a direct line to the base w/out being hindered.

It sounds like the umpire thought R1 intentionally interfered w/ F6 by their call.  At the time of the play the manager should have asked the umpire why the out was called. A "possibility".... Ie....(M) why was R1 called out? (BU) they interfered with F6, (M) Did you see that as intentional? (BU)  No, but interference doesn't have to be intentional.  (M) in this case it does, please note I am protesting the game. (a misapplication of the playing rules).

If the answer is "yes it was intentional"....that's the call. It's a judgment call and you have to live w/ it.


please note, I believe 1 other org doesn't consider a ball deflected if F1 first touches it.  So it might depend on the org you play for.  


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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

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