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  #1  
Old 12-15-13, 01:11 PM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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Ask The Ump?

We've had several threads like this in the various forums and we have a certified umpire that is willing to answer questions about the rules of the game. Feel free to ask the questions in this thread.
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  #2  
Old 12-16-13, 06:33 PM
Yappi Yappi is offline
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I'll ask the first one that I was stumped with by an umpire.

Man on second base, ball is hit to the third baseman. Runner from second takes off towards 3rd base. Realizes that he is going to be tagged out and goes out of the baseline. Third baseman reaches back to tag him but misses by several feet as the runner went around him. Third baseman throws to first late and the runner going to first is safe.

In our opinion, this was a clear running out of the baseline violation. Our 3rd baseman had the ball in the base path and the runner simply ran a circle around him. He left the baseline by nearly 12 feet which was the only reason the tag was unable to be applied.

The umpire explained that it wasn't a violation because the fielder didn't make enough of an effort to chase him down. Once he missed with the tag and threw to first, the runner going to 3rd was safe. If he hadn't thrown to first, then he would have called him out.

Was this correctly called? I've looked through rulebooks and never found anything like it.
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  #3  
Old 12-16-13, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yappi View Post
I'll ask the first one that I was stumped with by an umpire.

Man on second base, ball is hit to the third baseman. Runner from second takes off towards 3rd base. Realizes that he is going to be tagged out and goes out of the baseline. Third baseman reaches back to tag him but misses by several feet as the runner went around him. Third baseman throws to first late and the runner going to first is safe.

In our opinion, this was a clear running out of the baseline violation. Our 3rd baseman had the ball in the base path and the runner simply ran a circle around him. He left the baseline by nearly 12 feet which was the only reason the tag was unable to be applied.

The umpire explained that it wasn't a violation because the fielder didn't make enough of an effort to chase him down. Once he missed with the tag and threw to first, the runner going to 3rd was safe. If he hadn't thrown to first, then he would have called him out.

Was this correctly called? I've looked through rulebooks and never found anything like it.
Runner heading to third should've been called out. Runner at first is safe.
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  #4  
Old 12-16-13, 10:52 PM
mje037 mje037 is offline
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I have a few we saw last year:

1) runners on first and second with no outs (infield fly rule in effect). Pop up hit between shortstop, third baseman, and pitcher. Short and third charge, pitcher tries to backpedal, ball drops between all three. Clearly a pop up in the field, but also clearly not an easily catchable ball as three fielders tried to catch it but couldn't get to the ball. Is it infield fly rule?

2) Runners on first and second with two outs. Pop up between pitcher and short. Shortstop charges and collides with runner running to third base. Both wipe out and ball drops. Is the correct call interference on the runner or fielder? The ball landed a few feet in front of the collision if that matters.

3) Runner on third. After a called strike the catcher comes up throwing to third. Batter ducks to get out of the way but catchers arm hits the batter and the ball goes into left field. Runner scores from third. Should that be batters interference and runner return to third (or be called out?) or does the runner get to score?

4) Runner on third. After a pitched ball, the catcher throws to third to try and get the runner. Ball hits the runner in the helmet in FAIR territory and goes into foul territory. Runner gets us and scores. Does he have to go back or does the run score?

5) Pitched ball hits dirt and then hits batter in the foot. Is it a dead ball and the runner awarded first base (hit by pitch) or just a ball because it hit the ground first?

6) Batted ball hits the pitcher rubber and ricochets into foul territory near home plate where the catcher picks it up. Fair or foul ball?
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  #5  
Old 12-17-13, 07:12 AM
AllSports12 AllSports12 is offline
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The rule (HS) reads that any runner is out when he runs more than 3 feet away from a direct line between bases to avoid a tag. (by interpretation, the baseline is established by the runner based on where he is presently on the field, then take a straight line to the base)

No mention of effort, no mention of another play..... The rule of thumb for umpires is "a step and a reach" by the fielder attempting to make a putout on the runner is 3 feet.

Always a judgment call by an umpire, but disappointing to hear that he interjected something into the standard that does not exist.
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  #6  
Old 12-17-13, 09:20 AM
NEOHGTI NEOHGTI is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllSports12 View Post
The rule (HS) reads that any runner is out when he runs more than 3 feet away from a direct line between bases to avoid a tag. (by interpretation, the baseline is established by the runner based on where he is presently on the field, then take a straight line to the base)

No mention of effort, no mention of another play..... The rule of thumb for umpires is "a step and a reach" by the fielder attempting to make a putout on the runner is 3 feet.

Always a judgment call by an umpire, but disappointing to hear that he interjected something into the standard that does not exist.
Agree completely.

FWIW - NFHS Rule 8-4-2:

"ART. 2 . . . Any runner is out when he:
a. runs more than three feet away from a direct line between bases to avoid being tagged or to hinder a fielder while the runner is advancing or returning to a base;
1. This is not an infraction if a fielder attempting to field a batted ball is in the runner’s proper path and if the runner runs behind the fielder to
avoid interfering with him.
2. When a play is being made on a runner or batter-runner, he establishes his baseline as directly between his position and the base toward which he is moving."
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  #7  
Old 12-17-13, 07:47 AM
AllSports12 AllSports12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mje037 View Post
I have a few we saw last year:

1) runners on first and second with no outs (infield fly rule in effect). Pop up hit between shortstop, third baseman, and pitcher. Short and third charge, pitcher tries to backpedal, ball drops between all three. Clearly a pop up in the field, but also clearly not an easily catchable ball as three fielders tried to catch it but couldn't get to the ball. Is it infield fly rule?

2) Runners on first and second with two outs. Pop up between pitcher and short. Shortstop charges and collides with runner running to third base. Both wipe out and ball drops. Is the correct call interference on the runner or fielder? The ball landed a few feet in front of the collision if that matters.

3) Runner on third. After a called strike the catcher comes up throwing to third. Batter ducks to get out of the way but catchers arm hits the batter and the ball goes into left field. Runner scores from third. Should that be batters interference and runner return to third (or be called out?) or does the runner get to score?

4) Runner on third. After a pitched ball, the catcher throws to third to try and get the runner. Ball hits the runner in the helmet in FAIR territory and goes into foul territory. Runner gets us and scores. Does he have to go back or does the run score?

5) Pitched ball hits dirt and then hits batter in the foot. Is it a dead ball and the runner awarded first base (hit by pitch) or just a ball because it hit the ground first?

6) Batted ball hits the pitcher rubber and ricochets into foul territory near home plate where the catcher picks it up. Fair or foul ball?
1) Always should be declared an infield fly. The standard for whether or not a ball could have been caught with ordinary effort does not kick in until the ball is in the outfield. Remember, the infield fly rule was written to help prevent the defense from getting a cheap out (or outs) based on the nature of the play. By not having this, the runner(s) are put in an unfair position.

2) Interference on the runner. Interference is an act which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders, or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play........ The offensive team interferes. The defensive team obstructs. (World Series)

3) Purely a "had to be there" situation to determine if interference has occurred.. While a batter does not have freedom to do what he wants in the batters box, it's rare that a duck would be judged as a hinderance

4) Unless the runner intentionally (rules by the umpire) caused the ball to hit him, this ball is live and the run scores.

5) A pitch hitting the ground is still a pitch. The pitch does not end until the ball is secured by the catcher,, comes to rest, goes out of play, is hit by the batter (other than a foul tip) or becomes dead. The batter can swing and legally hit the ball, he can swing and miss (strike) or he can be hit by the pitch (ball is now dead) In your situation, the ball becomes dead once the pitch hits him, he is awarded first base and any runner on base must return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.

6) Foul Ball in all rule codes
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  #8  
Old 12-17-13, 09:03 AM
NEOHGTI NEOHGTI is offline
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Originally Posted by AllSports12 View Post
1) Always should be declared an infield fly. The standard for whether or not a ball could have been caught with ordinary effort does not kick in until the ball is in the outfield. Remember, the infield fly rule was written to help prevent the defense from getting a cheap out (or outs) based on the nature of the play. By not having this, the runner(s) are put in an unfair position.
I disagree with the ordinary effort part kicking in only for fly balls that reach the outfield. That may be something an association discusses with their rules interpreter at the start of the season - in an effort to be consistent throughout the association, but NFHS Rule 2-19, under 'Definitions', states no such condition:

"An infield fly is a fair fly (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, (rule does not preclude outfielders from being allowed to attempt to make the catch) and provided the hit is made before two are out and at a time when first and second bases or all bases are occupied.

While it mentions OFs aren't precluded, there is no inference that 'ordinary effort' applies only to balls that reach the outfield.

But a good point is made - in mentioning balls hit to the outfield. One of the biggest misconceptions, IMHO, about the Infield Fly rule is the notion/myth that it can't apply to a ball hit to the outfield. I can't tell you how many times I've had to explain to coaches that the rule simply doesn't mention territory - only the infielder's ability to catch it with 'ordinary effort'. If the fly is high enough and the Infielder talented enough, the ball can easily travel 10-15 ft (or more) into the outfield and still be caught with 'ordinary effort' by an infielder - the critical criteria for an infield fly ruling.
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  #9  
Old 04-09-14, 10:24 AM
FightingEagles FightingEagles is offline
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Originally Posted by AllSports12 View Post
1) Always should be declared an infield fly. The standard for whether or not a ball could have been caught with ordinary effort does not kick in until the ball is in the outfield. Remember, the infield fly rule was written to help prevent the defense from getting a cheap out (or outs) based on the nature of the play. By not having this, the runner(s) are put in an unfair position.

2) Interference on the runner. Interference is an act which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders, or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play........ The offensive team interferes. The defensive team obstructs. (World Series)

3) Purely a "had to be there" situation to determine if interference has occurred.. While a batter does not have freedom to do what he wants in the batters box, it's rare that a duck would be judged as a hinderance

4) Unless the runner intentionally (rules by the umpire) caused the ball to hit him, this ball is live and the run scores.

5) A pitch hitting the ground is still a pitch. The pitch does not end until the ball is secured by the catcher,, comes to rest, goes out of play, is hit by the batter (other than a foul tip) or becomes dead. The batter can swing and legally hit the ball, he can swing and miss (strike) or he can be hit by the pitch (ball is now dead) In your situation, the ball becomes dead once the pitch hits him, he is awarded first base and any runner on base must return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.

6) Foul Ball in all rule codes
What am I missing? #6. A ball hits the pitching rubber, which is in fair territory, and caroms into foul territory and you say it's a FOUL ball??? But it hits a base and it is a FAIR ball!! Doesn't seem right.
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  #10  
Old 12-17-13, 12:41 PM
NEOHGTI NEOHGTI is offline
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BTW - full disclosure...I am NOT Yappi's designated answer guy. I am a rules interpreter for an ASA assn, and also do a lot of Varsity BB in a few OHSAA HS conferences. Just trying to help out - this stuff is a passion of mine. Hope y'all don't mind.
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  #11  
Old 12-17-13, 01:08 PM
AllSports12 AllSports12 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NEOHGTI View Post
BTW - full disclosure...I am NOT Yappi's designated answer guy. I am a rules interpreter for an ASA assn, and also do a lot of Varsity BB in a few OHSAA HS conferences. Just trying to help out - this stuff is a passion of mine. Hope y'all don't mind.
I invite any fellow arbiter to chime in. However, we have to be on point if we are putting rulings out there.

Cutting and pasting (not saying you are doing this) rules is not a sure-fire way to answer rules questions. There are countless interpretations that are not published in the rule book or case book that clarify rules in any sport.
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Old 12-17-13, 01:19 PM
NEOHGTI NEOHGTI is offline
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Originally Posted by AllSports12 View Post
I invite any fellow arbiter to chime in. However, we have to be on point if we are putting rulings out there.

Cutting and pasting (not saying you are doing this) rules is not a sure-fire way to answer rules questions. There are countless interpretations that are not published in the rule book or case book that clarify rules in any sport.
I cut and paste straight from the NFHS 2013 rule book - but only as support/facts for the commentary I make.
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Old 12-17-13, 01:26 PM
NEOHGTI NEOHGTI is offline
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Originally Posted by AllSports12 View Post
I invite any fellow arbiter to chime in. However, we have to be on point if we are putting rulings out there.
Agreed. But I think you have to be careful - in that Yappi isn't an official OHSAA/NFHS rules interpretation source. Every interpretive answer here would have to be viewed as being the personal 'opinion' of the respective commenter. I'd think only the OHSAA UIC can really answer a question with absolute statewide authority, in terms of a specific interpretation.
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Old 12-17-13, 02:46 PM
Airborne88 Airborne88 is offline
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Well, I don't think anyone participating on this blog believes it to be the official opinion of OHSAA! Fact of the matter is that the umpires can call what they want and if a coach is educated and savvy enough can either get it reversed or can appeal the decision if it is a Non-judgment call.
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Old 12-17-13, 03:19 PM
NEOHGTI NEOHGTI is offline
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Originally Posted by Airborne88 View Post
Well, I don't think anyone participating on this blog believes it to be the official opinion of OHSAA! Fact of the matter is that the umpires can call what they want and if a coach is educated and savvy enough can either get it reversed or can appeal the decision if it is a Non-judgment call.
Geez - I'd hope so. But you know the adage - if it's on the internet, it must be true! LOL

Not sure what you mean by 'appeal' - but FYI protests are not allowed in OHSAA baseball. Not even for rules interpretations.

I agree with your comment about a coach being savvy to the rules. It's the main reason I try not to stray from being literal about them. If the official knows the rules by rote as much as possible, he/she then has at least a better-than-fair chance to answer the coach's questions as to what they saw and why they ruled the way they did. A really knowledgeable coach can instantly jump on a discrepancy. I would, if I were in their shoes.

But it has to be settled on the field, during the game, in Ohio.

Last edited by NEOHGTI; 12-17-13 at 03:58 PM.
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  #16  
Old 12-18-13, 11:04 PM
Baseballmom13 Baseballmom13 is offline
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This is more of an official score/stat question. Does anyone know the proper way to keep strike to ball ratio or strike percentage for pitchers?

For example: 1st 2 pitches are strikes. Count 0-2.
Next 2 pitches are balls. 2-2.
Then the batter fouls off 5 pitches on a row. Count remains 2-2.
Would it be correct to say the ball to strike ratio is 2:2 and the strike percentage is 50%, at this point for the pitcher?
Next question:
Next pitch is a ground ball 6-3 out. Is that pitch counted as a strike, ball, or nothing and the above stats remain?
Pitchers always like to know their totals for the game/season, so any insight on the correct way would be appreciated.
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  #17  
Old 12-19-13, 08:29 AM
TigerLB TigerLB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baseballmom13 View Post
This is more of an official score/stat question. Does anyone know the proper way to keep strike to ball ratio or strike percentage for pitchers?

For example: 1st 2 pitches are strikes. Count 0-2.
Next 2 pitches are balls. 2-2.
Then the batter fouls off 5 pitches on a row. Count remains 2-2.
Would it be correct to say the ball to strike ratio is 2:2 and the strike percentage is 50%, at this point for the pitcher?
Next question:
Next pitch is a ground ball 6-3 out. Is that pitch counted as a strike, ball, or nothing and the above stats remain?
Pitchers always like to know their totals for the game/season, so any insight on the correct way would be appreciated.
the way it is done is to count the number of pitches, subtract the number of pitches called "ball' and the rest are strikes.

even if the pitch went over everybody's head and the batter swung at it, it is a strike, right? a pitch up in the batter's eyes..... the kid tomahawks it and hits it over the fence is a strike.

the stat is of limited utility. in reality, only the pitcher or catcher knows (thinks he knows) whether any particular pitch was in the "strike zone" which is a subjective judgement call, in the first place. some pitches the pitcher knows are balls, are called strikes, and other pitches the pitcher knows are in the strike zone, are called balls.

so the only way to calculate it: total pitches minus balls equals strikes.
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Old 12-22-13, 03:05 PM
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As far as the infield fly rule only one thing really applies here. Did the umpire call it "infield fly" !! If he did it is if he did not it is not.
I was upming a LL state tourney game and had close to this same play. REMEMBER 60' bases w/small infield runners on 1st and 2nd no outs.
batter hits a blooper between pitch an short. I start to call inf. fly but only say INFIELD because I realize its going to be a harder play than i first thought. Ball hits ground infront of SS who stopped running. SS picks it up and throws to third for a "force out" as both runners take off when ball hits ground.
Batting teams coach comes walking out and says very calmly "if you called Infield fly that should not have been a force play , they had to tag him"
I told him you are right but I never finished the call. which I screwed up it was not fair to defense to think they had a force OR to put runners in jeapordy .
So he is what we are going to do. NO MATTER WHAT you are having runners on 1st & 2nd w/ 1 out. (coach on 3rd would never have called runner over IF he thought IN Fly was called) Now do you want batter out put other 2 back on bases or do you want batter safe and runner who was on 2nd to start the play called out.
He thought for a second and said OK lets let the play stand as is.
I screwed up the call and this was I thoiught the fairest ruling.
Both managers handled it great I give them credit for understanding
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  #19  
Old 12-22-13, 10:54 PM
AllSports12 AllSports12 is offline
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Originally Posted by ratterbox View Post
As far as the infield fly rule only one thing really applies here. Did the umpire call it "infield fly" !! If he did it is if he did not it is not.
Not true under High School rules.

Understanding that the IFF rule is to prevent the defense from getting one, two, or potentially three cheap outs, the declaration of "infield fly batter is out (if fair)" is for the benefit of the runners.

If the umpire does not declare the infield fly when he should have, the rule is still in force and the batter is out.
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  #20  
Old 01-01-14, 06:30 PM
sig4969 sig4969 is offline
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Home team at bat, bases are loaded no outs
Batter hits a ground ball to third base
Fielder throws home. First out
Catcher takes 1 ro 2 steps up first base line
Runner from third base runs in front of catcher
Catcher double clutches then throws to first
Runner at first is call safe.
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Old 01-02-14, 01:06 AM
SteelerNation SteelerNation is offline
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Originally Posted by ratterbox View Post
As far as the infield fly rule only one thing really applies here. Did the umpire call it "infield fly" !! If he did it is if he did not it is not.
which I screwed up it was not fair to defense to think they had a force OR to put runners in jeapordy .
So he is what we are going to do. NO MATTER WHAT you are having runners on 1st & 2nd w/ 1 out. (coach on 3rd would never have called runner over IF he thought IN Fly was called) Now do you want batter out put other 2 back on bases or do you want batter safe and runner who was on 2nd to start the play called out.
Not true in LL Rules either.
Remember, the rule is designed to protect the base runners, not the defense, regardless of whether or not you messed up the Infield Fly call. If this was an infield fly situation, then in your case, the runners would have been at 2nd and 3rd at the end of the play, not at 1st and 2nd as you stated. Batter is out, both runners advanced at their own risk, runner advancing to 3rd was not tagged, so he is safe at 3rd. Don't ever assume what a coach will or won't do. Also, LL runners tend to run even when their coach is telling them to stay.
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  #22  
Old 02-25-14, 12:54 PM
OSUBuckeye2001 OSUBuckeye2001 is offline
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Last Year was my sons senior year at Highland and we had a play at the plate play vs Medina. What happened was our catcher caught the ball and was going to put the tag down (ball got there a few seconds before the runner) and the kid from Medina lowered his shoulder into the catcher and took him out. Catcher held on to the ball and the kids was out. Now the kid wasn't tossed because the umpire who was pretty old and had trouble seeing the whole game said the contact wasn't what he considered extreme. I thought ( I could be wrong I get confused with slide or give up rule in high school) that you cant plow the catcher over. With the rule changes in the MLB with blocking the plate, I wonder if at all this will change rules at the High School level
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  #23  
Old 02-25-14, 04:33 PM
sig4969 sig4969 is offline
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Did your catcher have the whole plate block ?
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  #24  
Old 02-26-14, 08:40 AM
AllSports12 AllSports12 is offline
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Originally Posted by OSUBuckeye2001 View Post
Last Year was my sons senior year at Highland and we had a play at the plate play vs Medina. What happened was our catcher caught the ball and was going to put the tag down (ball got there a few seconds before the runner) and the kid from Medina lowered his shoulder into the catcher and took him out. Catcher held on to the ball and the kids was out. Now the kid wasn't tossed because the umpire who was pretty old and had trouble seeing the whole game said the contact wasn't what he considered extreme. I thought ( I could be wrong I get confused with slide or give up rule in high school) that you cant plow the catcher over. With the rule changes in the MLB with blocking the plate, I wonder if at all this will change rules at the High School level
The presence of a collision at the plate is not in and of itself illegal. Sometimes you have a train wreck that's violent, but legal. That's baseball.
Then again, at times you have contact that can and should be avoided.

It's impossible for anyone without being on the field to say what should have been ruled on your play. You say the player lowered his shoulder into the catcher and the umpire judged differently.

A few things to remember.......

- A runner is never required to slide, however, if he does slide it must be done legally. (judgment call)

- A fielder must give a runner access to a base when he is not in possession of the ball. The access is not required to be the "most desired" for the runner. (judgment call)

- A runner may not intentionally attempt to dislodge the ball from a player attempting to make a play (tag) on the runner. That act is at minimum interference and potentially malicious in nature resulting in an ejection as well as an out. (another judgment call)

The NFHS already has rules in place that cover collisions at the plate. The MLB change has no effect on what is done now, or what will be done in the future.
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Old 02-26-14, 01:03 PM
sig4969 sig4969 is offline
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I though two years ago NFHS change the rule, the fielder may not block 100% of the base even with the ball.





But I have never seen this call. this being a fielder block 100% of the base, so the runner is safe.
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  #26  
Old 02-26-14, 03:21 PM
AllSports12 AllSports12 is offline
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Originally Posted by sig4969 View Post
I though two years ago NFHS change the rule, the fielder may not block 100% of the base even with the ball.
In July of 2007, effective for the 2008 season, the committee changed Rule 2-22 (Obstruction) to read...

ART 3: The fielder, without possession of the ball denies access to the base the runner is attempting to achieve.



No change has been made since then to prohibit a fielder with the ball from blocking access to the base.
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Old 03-03-14, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by AllSports12 View Post
In July of 2007, effective for the 2008 season, the committee changed Rule 2-22 (Obstruction) to read...

ART 3: The fielder, without possession of the ball denies access to the base the runner is attempting to achieve.



No change has been made since then to prohibit a fielder with the ball from blocking access to the base.


The NFHS wanting to get away for having “train wreck”. Change the rule in 2011.

I will look up the rule, but 2011 the fielder may not block 100% of the base,
Why ? If the fielder blocks 100% of base, the runner has to make contact to get to base.
So fielder is initiating the contact by blocking 100% of base.
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  #28  
Old 02-26-14, 06:30 PM
OSUBuckeye2001 OSUBuckeye2001 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AllSports12 View Post
The presence of a collision at the plate is not in and of itself illegal. Sometimes you have a train wreck that's violent, but legal. That's baseball.
Then again, at times you have contact that can and should be avoided.

It's impossible for anyone without being on the field to say what should have been ruled on your play. You say the player lowered his shoulder into the catcher and the umpire judged differently.

A few things to remember.......

- A runner is never required to slide, however, if he does slide it must be done legally. (judgment call)

- A fielder must give a runner access to a base when he is not in possession of the ball. The access is not required to be the "most desired" for the runner. (judgment call)

- A runner may not intentionally attempt to dislodge the ball from a player attempting to make a play (tag) on the runner. That act is at minimum interference and potentially malicious in nature resulting in an ejection as well as an out. (another judgment call)

The NFHS already has rules in place that cover collisions at the plate. The MLB change has no effect on what is done now, or what will be done in the future.
Ok Thanks!! Always wondered what the rule was exactly
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Old 02-28-14, 04:37 PM
Baseballfan20 Baseballfan20 is offline
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After looking back on last year, I and other coaches have seen a trend of umpires that are just using the excuse of "I didnt see it" as a end all to every bulk, interference, and obstruction call. Is this something that they are teaching at umpire school? We just found it funny that we all had the same trends all year. Please do not take this as bashing umps, I had some really good one along with the really bad ones. The crews that OHSAA sent out for tournament games were top notch. If they are teaching it then really it is genius, bc what can a coach do but yell when the ump doesnt see it. We all know yelling usually just gets you tossed which is to expensive these days.
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Old 02-28-14, 04:45 PM
sig4969 sig4969 is offline
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Do you think the Ump is not calling it because it is the easy way out ?
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