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Softball/Runner interference after deflection

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Question
Situation: Runner ("R1") on first.  Pitcher deflects a ground ball towards second baseman.  Second baseman moves forward into R1's base path.  Umpire rules interference.

ASA rules supplement indicate the runner is out if, after a deflection, the interference is intentional.  Based on this, I think the umpire is correct.

However, the manager of the other team insists there is an exception that when a ball is deflected by the defense the runner has the 'right of way'.   Is he correct?

Answer
Hi Brian,

In ASA the runner as you stated is not guilty of interference unless the act is intentional.  The runner has a right to a direct line to the base but that is not an absolute in a case like this.

The question the umpire's decides is...could the runner have reasonably avoided contact with the defensive player?  If yes we would have interference even on a deflected ball.  If no, we probably have obstruction.

Usually "intentional" is pretty easy to see.

Mark

Softball

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Dr. Mark R. Ambrose

Expertise

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.

Experience

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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Amateur Softball Association (The authority in softball)

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