Ask The Ump?

thavoice

Well-known member
I knew there was another weird situation that I forgot to mention. Runners on 1st and 2nd, I am in C position. Batter has a 2-2 count and literally fouls off 7 or 8 pitches in a row, loooong at bat. Next pitch is in the dirt, batter tosses bat and starts going to 1st, so runners start trotting you 2nd and 3rd, HPU immediately informs batter that’s ball 3, so he is returning to plate now. Runners already acquired 2nd and 3rd and are yelled at to get back by coach (no idea why)

so catcher throws down to 3rd and they get R2 in a rundown between 2nd and 3rd and he is tagged out.

coach wanted me to put them back at 1st and 2nd bc they “thought it was ball 4”. Told him it’s just a live ball situation and they could have stayed at 2nd and 3rd bc catcher didn’t know it was ball 3 and didn’t throw down when they jogged to the next base.

so basically everyone was unaware of count and any one of them could have taken advantage of that, but no one was, and so an out was recorded in the chaos of thinking they had to go back
We did that on purpose before to get to the next base. We were 3/3 with it growing up!
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
@thavoice, I agree if you want to nitpick , you can argue loopholes in the IFF rule, but as Allsports has mentioned, if you focus on the purpose of the rule, to protect the offense from cheap outs, as soon as the ball is not a line drive, it’s IFF. If it’s a low pop, it’s still a pop and I’m IFF that ball every time.

how am I going to discern in that split second the SS who can get that ball and the SS who can’t, and whether the one who can will use that as an advantage to get two easy outs instead of one?

ive had IFF balls drop and never had a coach argue bc all you gotta say is “coach, I was making sure they couldn’t get two outs bc your runners have to stay at their bases”
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
I
We did that on purpose before to get to the next base. We were 3/3 with it growing up!
its Not a bad strategy tbh, I’ve seen coaches tell kids to run on dropped strike 3 even if a guy is on first bc a catcher often gets confused and throws to first while runner on first gets second
 

USA70PP

Well-known member
Don't know if this is the proper place for this question or not,
After being beaten all over the place, fouled off many times and still a softball keeps being used in a game. A baseball gets thrown out of the game for the slightest reason. What am I not understanding here?
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Don't know if this is the proper place for this question or not,
After being beaten all over the place, fouled off many times and still a softball keeps being used in a game. A baseball gets thrown out of the game for the slightest reason. What am I not understanding here?
At what level you talking about?
MLB they get tossed all the time, the lower levels those bbaseballs get beat the heck and rarely get tossed.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
At what level you talking about?
MLB they get tossed all the time, the lower levels those bbaseballs get beat the heck and rarely get tossed.
The only times I dump a ball is when the seams come loose, a significant cut is evident, or the ball is severely discolored.

We're lucky to get three balls to start a game to begin with,
 

Bugsy8875

Member
Had this one tonight and filed it away mentally because I have never seen this. It was one of those "Did I just see that?".... Bases loaded with two outs, full count. Runners will be off with the pitch... Pitcher goes from the windup and the runner at 3B gets a huge jump. Ball is low and the batter swings and misses. Catcher blocks the ball and it rolls out about 3-4 feet in front of the plate. Coaches are yelling at the catcher to grab the ball and step on home.... Well, as he got to the ball, the runner from 3B has crossed the plate... catcher doesn't see this and steps on home thinking he got the force out... well he didn't because one doesn't exist now... Just a very rare situation that I had to pause and make sure I just saw what I saw..

Still working behind the mound and all is going way better than expected. Had two games tonight where both were about 1.5 hours... good baseball being played by those 4 teams.
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
Had this one tonight and filed it away mentally because I have never seen this. It was one of those "Did I just see that?".... Bases loaded with two outs, full count. Runners will be off with the pitch... Pitcher goes from the windup and the runner at 3B gets a huge jump. Ball is low and the batter swings and misses. Catcher blocks the ball and it rolls out about 3-4 feet in front of the plate. Coaches are yelling at the catcher to grab the ball and step on home.... Well, as he got to the ball, the runner from 3B has crossed the plate... catcher doesn't see this and steps on home thinking he got the force out... well he didn't because one doesn't exist now... Just a very rare situation that I had to pause and make sure I just saw what I saw..

Still working behind the mound and all is going way better than expected. Had two games tonight where both were about 1.5 hours... good baseball being played by those 4 teams.
Hmm, I was expecting a doozy, that just sounds like a bone headed play by coach first, catcher second. How do you not realize there is no runner coming home? Just get the easy out at first...but I digress.

When you said “huge jump”, I thought there was going to be some kind of interference or obstruction happening
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
I’ve got a hypothetical situation...my son swears he watched a video of an MLB player doing this, I’m convinced it was a movie, but got me thinking “what in the heck if that did happen”...

guy lays down a perfect bunt or little chopper, no chance to get him at first as ball is trickling right up the 3B line. My son “said” the player was blowing on the ball to try and get it foul.

got me thinking, that has to be against the rules, but technically never touches it either.

told my son id humor him (Still don’t believe it happened) and ask on here
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
Wow, just found online that an MLB player in 2012 did in fact do that, wow...(didn’t work)

the same article said it is “unofficially illegal” to “ alter the course of the ball”.

Is there an official rule in NFHS?

follow up question...can a batter purposely strike himself out on a wildly errant pitch?

say the count is 0-2 and pitch is 5 feet behind him and catcher has little to no chance of catching it. Can you swing and take off for first?
 

Bugsy8875

Member
Hmm, I was expecting a doozy, that just sounds like a bone headed play by coach first, catcher second. How do you not realize there is no runner coming home? Just get the easy out at first...but I digress.

When you said “huge jump”, I thought there was going to be some kind of interference or obstruction happening
It was a bonehead play for sure, but it just looked weird the way the whole thing progressed. Never seen anything like that.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Wow, just found online that an MLB player in 2012 did in fact do that, wow...(didn’t work)

the same article said it is “unofficially illegal” to “ alter the course of the ball”.

Is there an official rule in NFHS?
Lenny Randle did it in 1981... It worked to the extent that he blew it foul, but the crew ruled it fair. (invoked the God rule)

A 2008 NFHS Official Rule Interpretation makes this play a fair ball.

SITUATION 1: With runners on first and second and no outs, the batter bunts a slow roller down the third-base line. The third baseman, seeing that he has no play on any of the runners, starts blowing on the ball from his hands and knees, trying to make the ball go foul. The ball eventually rolls into foul territory where it comes to rest.

RULING: This is a fair ball. The fielder is using artificial means to induce the ball to become foul. As soon as a fielder blew on the ball, it would be judged to be the same as if he had touched it. So, if the ball was on fair ground when he blew on it, the ball is fair; if the ball was over foul ground when he blew on it, it would be foul. (2-5-1, 2-16-1)
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Lenny Randle did it in 1981... It worked to the extent that he blew it foul, but the crew ruled it fair. (invoked the God rule)

A 2008 NFHS Official Rule Interpretation makes this play a fair ball.

SITUATIOs aN 1: With runners on first and second and no outs, the batter bunts a slow roller down the third-base line. The third baseman, seeing that he has no play on any of the runners, starts blowing on the ball from his hands and knees, trying to make the ball go foul. The ball eventually rolls into foul territory where it comes to rest.

RULING: This is a fair ball. The fielder is using artificial means to induce the ball to become foul. As soon as a fielder blew on the ball, it would be judged to be the same as if he had touched it. So, if the ball was on fair ground when he blew on it, the ball is fair; if the ball was over foul ground when he blew on it, it would be foul. (2-5-1, 2-16-1)
I believe teh 1981 incident you are talking about was on many a blooper/highlight videos that were all the rage in the 80s and 90s!
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
Couple of things happened this past weekend...

1) Runners on 2nd and 3rd, either 0 outs or 1 out (can't recall which). Slow grounder towards 3rd base, R3 starts for home and then changes mind and heads back to third, crashing into F5 who was coming in to field the ball. Interference is called on R3 and he is out, but batter was given 1st base (and R2 sent back to 2nd). Shouldn't batter-runner be out too? It wasn't like this was a double play where umpire has to judge whether the interference negated the opportunity for a DP, it would have been first play...

2) This is the one I thought was really wrong...no one really complained about #1 above, but this one set off some yelling...runners on 1st and 2nd. Slow grounder to 1st base. F3 comes charging in, turns to throw to 1st, no one is covering....finally F4 comes running over and F3 throws the ball wildly high, hits off the glove of F4 and goes pretty far into right-field. After the ball goes off F4 glove, he lands and collides into batter-runner, knocking him to the ground. The BU correctly pointed and declared "Obstruction" and held the call at first as it is a delayed dead ball, but the batter-runner was hit and landed hard and didn't get up, so time was called to tend to him. When the dust settled, the batter was given 1st base, and R1 and R2 were given 2nd and 3rd base respectively.

I made the point that the runners should at least be given one extra base for the obstruction but they weren't. In short, wasn't the defense "rewarded" for causing the obstruction? Luckily the next couple batters both got hits so runs ended up scoring anyways, but the obstruction essentially prevented any runners from advancing on the bad throw....

Shouldn't it have been one extra base (batter to 2nd, R1 to 3rd, R2 gets home)? Can you award even more given that the ball was rolling into foul territory of right field and the F9 was not backing up the play/throw? (Judge they would have gotten 2 extra bases had obstruction not occurred)

Was it the right call to call time when batter didn't get up? Should you let R1 and R2 run as long as they can before the ball comes back in and the play ends?
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Couple of things happened this past weekend...

1) Runners on 2nd and 3rd, either 0 outs or 1 out (can't recall which). Slow grounder towards 3rd base, R3 starts for home and then changes mind and heads back to third, crashing into F5 who was coming in to field the ball. Interference is called on R3 and he is out, but batter was given 1st base (and R2 sent back to 2nd). Shouldn't batter-runner be out too? It wasn't like this was a double play where umpire has to judge whether the interference negated the opportunity for a DP, it would have been first play...
The second out isn't automatic. However, if the umpire judges that the action by R3 prevented an out at first base, then the batter-runner could be ruled out as well. Your situation you present is a tough one.

2) This is the one I thought was really wrong...no one really complained about #1 above, but this one set off some yelling...runners on 1st and 2nd. Slow grounder to 1st base. F3 comes charging in, turns to throw to 1st, no one is covering....finally F4 comes running over and F3 throws the ball wildly high, hits off the glove of F4 and goes pretty far into right-field. After the ball goes off F4 glove, he lands and collides into batter-runner, knocking him to the ground. The BU correctly pointed and declared "Obstruction" and held the call at first as it is a delayed dead ball, but the batter-runner was hit and landed hard and didn't get up, so time was called to tend to him. When the dust settled, the batter was given 1st base, and R1 and R2 were given 2nd and 3rd base respectively.

I made the point that the runners should at least be given one extra base for the obstruction but they weren't. In short, wasn't the defense "rewarded" for causing the obstruction? Luckily the next couple batters both got hits so runs ended up scoring anyways, but the obstruction essentially prevented any runners from advancing on the bad throw....

Shouldn't it have been one extra base (batter to 2nd, R1 to 3rd, R2 gets home)? Can you award even more given that the ball was rolling into foul territory of right field and the F9 was not backing up the play/throw? (Judge they would have gotten 2 extra bases had obstruction not occurred)

Was it the right call to call time when batter didn't get up? Should you let R1 and R2 run as long as they can before the ball comes back in and the play ends?
Under NFHS rules, the award for obstruction is a minimum of one base past the base the runner or batter runner has attained. If in your case the obstruction occurred after the BR reached first base, then by rule he is awarded a minimum of second base. (after the ball becomes dead) If there are runners preceding the obstructed runner, those runners would also be awarded an extra base if the original base award for the obstruction forces that runner forward to the next base.

Additional bases can always be awarded based on the judgement of the umpires.

As far as the status of the play for the batter-runner staying down..... Pure judgement by the umpires. If any inkling that the player is in jeopardy, you kill the play.
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
The second out isn't automatic. However, if the umpire judges that the action by R3 prevented an out at first base, then the batter-runner could be ruled out as well. Your situation you present is a tough one.



Under NFHS rules, the award for obstruction is a minimum of one base past the base the runner or batter runner has attained. If in your case the obstruction occurred after the BR reached first base, then by rule he is awarded a minimum of second base. (after the ball becomes dead) If there are runners preceding the obstructed runner, those runners would also be awarded an extra base if the original base award for the obstruction forces that runner forward to the next base.

Additional bases can always be awarded based on the judgement of the umpires.

As far as the status of the play for the batter-runner staying down..... Pure judgement by the umpires. If any inkling that the player is in jeopardy, you kill the play.
So since the obstruction occurred about a step before first base, it was correct to only award him first base?

again, just seems crazy on an overthrow that the defense benefited bc they committed obstruction?
 

AllSports12

Moderator
So since the obstruction occurred about a step before first base, it was correct to only award him first base?
Yes

again, just seems crazy on an overthrow that the defense benefited bc they committed obstruction?
They don't benefit....

The BR is awarded a base he had not attained and if the overthrow would have resulted in the BR reaching second, then the umpires would have been within their jurisdiction to award the BR second.

Awarding a base that a runner would not have safely attained would put the defense at a disadvantage.
 
I


its Not a bad strategy tbh, I’ve seen coaches tell kids to run on dropped strike 3 even if a guy is on first bc a catcher often gets confused and throws to first while runner on first gets second
Yes, it's not a bad strategy if you are playing very low level ball. But there are 9 year old teams (and maybe even lower when coaches remind them of the situation prior to the pitch) that will throw down to 2nd and take another easy out if you want to give it to them.
 

rossford_resident

Active member
Saw a game end last night when the catcher threw behind the runner at first base after he'd taken too much of a secondary lead. The first baseman was standing right next to the base waiting for the throw - runner attempts to get back standing up and can't get around first baseman - actually initiates a slight collision with the first baseman who looks to be about 6' and 190 lbs. and doesn't even notice. 1B catches the throw and tags the runner. Umpire calls runner out. Visiting parents lose their minds because "he was blocking the base" and tell the umpire to read up on the rules before his next game. 13U playing HS rules, presumably, but did not look to be an OHSAA ump...
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Saw a game end last night when the catcher threw behind the runner at first base after he'd taken too much of a secondary lead. The first baseman was standing right next to the base waiting for the throw - runner attempts to get back standing up and can't get around first baseman - actually initiates a slight collision with the first baseman who looks to be about 6' and 190 lbs. and doesn't even notice. 1B catches the throw and tags the runner. Umpire calls runner out. Visiting parents lose their minds because "he was blocking the base" and tell the umpire to read up on the rules before his next game. 13U playing HS rules, presumably, but did not look to be an OHSAA ump...
When not in possession of the ball the fielder must give the runner access to the base.

This does not mean that a clear path is required. Just, in the judgment of the umpire, access to a part of the base.
 
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rossford_resident

Active member
When not in possession of the ball the fielder must give the runner access to the base.

This does not mean that a clear path is required. Just, in the judgment of the umpire, access.
So, judgment call? I think it was probably the wrong call, as the runner would have had to alter his path to get back. He was taking a direct line back to the base and ran into the fielder. The umpire told the parents that the fielder was not obstructing the runner because "he was trying to catch the ball."
I would agree with that description - he was in the act of catching the throw but, perhaps, not actually in possession. It was pretty close as to whether the fielder caught the ball before the collision or as the collision was happening. Fielder was right next to the bag.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
So, judgment call? I think it was probably the wrong call, as the runner would have had to alter his path to get back. He was taking a direct line back to the base and ran into the fielder. The umpire told the parents that the fielder was not obstructing the runner because "he was trying to catch the ball."
I would agree with that description - he was in the act of catching the throw but, perhaps, not actually in possession. It was pretty close as to whether the fielder caught the ball before the collision or as the collision was happening. Fielder was right next to the bag.
Yes, it's 100% judgment.

If the umpire mentioned that the fielder was not obstructing because he was in the process of catching the ball, the umpire was 100% wrong. (employing another rule set)

That said, I'm confused >>>>> On one hand you said the runner was taking a direct line back to the base and on the next you say the fielder was "right next to the bag".

That's a huge difference and also the main reason why we only discuss rules and mechanics on this thread rather than discussing specific judgements by umpires.
 

rossford_resident

Active member
Yes, it's 100% judgment.

If the umpire mentioned that the fielder was not obstructing because he was in the process of catching the ball, the umpire was 100% wrong. (employing another rule set)

That said, I'm confused >>>>> On one hand you said the runner was taking a direct line back to the base and on the next you say the fielder was "right next to the bag".

That's a huge difference and also the main reason why we only discuss rules and mechanics on this thread rather than discussing specific judgements by umpires.
I meant he was almost literally standing on the bag - right next to it in fair territory. The runner attempted to return to the base standing up and collided with the first baseman. And yes, the umpire justified calling the runner out by stating that the fielder was in the process of catching the ball. I appreciate the clarification of the rule.
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
To add my two cents...

1) How many umpires were working the game? I ask b/c if it was one man, that is a brutal call to have to make as to whether he was blocking all access to the bag prior to possessing the ball and no one should be losing their minds over it.

2) The umpire should not be talking to the parents anyways, especially on a controversial call. If I am making that call, at best, I would tell the head coach something courteous like "I apologize if I missed that sir, good luck to your team this season" and would not speak to a single parent on the way out. If they follow me to my car, police are being called.

3) This has nothing to do with umpiring, but how many times as a player or coach or fan have you heard a player be told "you would have been safe if you had slid"? If you get too far off the base and the throw can beat you back, you better be sliding/diving into the base. I think the coaches and fans should concentrate on coaching up their player rather than accosting an umpire about a judgment call that they are looking at from a good distance away.
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
AllSports, follow up question....based on my last question where you said obstruction = 1 base minimum from the base last safely occupied.

Let's say in Rossford's example, the umpire does call obstruction on F3, you giving R1 second base?

I could see the D parents "losing their minds" over that call too, since he was never attempting to achieve 2nd base and wasn't obstructed from getting there.

Welcome to the world of umpiring right? :)
 

rossford_resident

Active member
To add my two cents...

1) How many umpires were working the game? I ask b/c if it was one man, that is a brutal call to have to make as to whether he was blocking all access to the bag prior to possessing the ball and no one should be losing their minds over it.

2) The umpire should not be talking to the parents anyways, especially on a controversial call. If I am making that call, at best, I would tell the head coach something courteous like "I apologize if I missed that sir, good luck to your team this season" and would not speak to a single parent on the way out. If they follow me to my car, police are being called.

3) This has nothing to do with umpiring, but how many times as a player or coach or fan have you heard a player be told "you would have been safe if you had slid"? If you get too far off the base and the throw can beat you back, you better be sliding/diving into the base. I think the coaches and fans should concentrate on coaching up their player rather than accosting an umpire about a judgment call that they are looking at from a good distance away.
Yes. One man crew. He was behind the plate. Visiting parents were already salty because they were losing and getting no hit. Visiting coach basically told them to zip it as he came out of the dugout to line the kids up for the ceremonial hat tip.

We had our first 14U game on Friday. One ump calling the game from behind the mound. Literally the second pitch to the first batter in the bottom of the first before I heard a parent bitching about the strike zone. Unreal.

I never say anything to an umpire after a game other than "thank you."
 
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