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Softball/Batter-Runner Interference


First thank you for your time and effort in answering tons of questions.

My question has to do with two separate but similar calls made by the same umpire crew.  
Situation #1  Dropped third strike and the batter-runner runs directly from the batters box to first base (Single base;not an orange/white double base) in a straight line.  She does not run on the foul side.  The catcher retrieves the ball and throws to the covering defensive player.  However, her throw is to the bag and the throw is on the same line as the runner.  The receiving defensive player misses the ball and the runner arrives at the base.  The Ohio OHSAA umpire rules the batter out due to running outside the baseline by not running in foul territory.
Situation #2  same as above only with a bunted ball.  

If I have read your previous answers correctly, the out for running outside the base path is incorrect.  My question is could this be interference on the throw?  If so, how could the runner know they are interfering if the throw is from behind and make adjustments to not interfere?
Last, could you please quote the section so this could be presented to a governing body for review and edification?

Again thank you for your time.
Sincerely, John Higgins Hilliard, Ohio

Hi JP,

I don't know what previous answers you have read but each situation in a case like this is individual.  You don't tell me if the b-r had advanced to the 3' lane or not and that can make a huge difference.  I assume you are talking about the 3' lane when you mention base path.  There is no base path here in this scenario.

If the B-R was  outside the 3' running lane and in the umpire's judgment interferes with the fielder taking the throw at 1st base that would be interference.  The b-r could also be outside the lane and may not be guilty of interference if hit w/ a throw or the defense's ability to field it depending on the circumstances of that individual play.

A B-R may run anywhere in the field of play, they need not run on the foul side however the 3' lane provides a lane that allows them to advance to the base without being ruled out for interference for affecting a defender's attempt to receive the ball at 1st base unless it was intentional.  So that is 1 way a b-r can avoid an interference call.

The rule does not change on a DK3 or bunted ball, it makes no difference.

The best I can give you the rule says, ASA 8-2-e, the umpire's judgment (and it is strictly a judgment call)did the b-r outside the lane, (once they have reached it), interfere w/ the defensive player taking a throw at 1st.  If so, we have a dead ball out.  If not, a no call.  You could see 2 very similar looking situations and 1 would be an out and the other a no call.



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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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