Ask the Ump!


QUESTION: In high school, baseball and softball, runner on first base, one out; batter grounds to second base person as runner collides with defender. Is this interference or obstruction? Does the fielder or runner have the right of way in this batted ball play?

ANSWER: When a fielder is in the act of fielding the batted ball, he/she has the right of way and the offense must stop, run around or avoid the fielder; hence, dead ball and interference is called with runner declared out. If action was deliberate to avoid a double play, batter-runner could also be declared out. If act was not intentional, batter would be awarded first base. (BB- Rule 5, Sec. 1, Art. 1,e; Rule 8, Sec. 4, Art. 2,g and SB- Rule 5-1-1,e; Rule 8, Sec. 6, Art. 10).

QUESTION: Runner on first base is advancing to second and is contacted by batted ball as second base person is about to make an initial play on ball. Ump calls dead ball and runner is declared out. Is batter awarded first base or does he/she bat over again?

ANSWER: Batter gains an award of first base following interference. (BB- Rule 5-1-1, e; Rule 8, Se. 4, Art.1,h) (SB- Rule 5-1-1, e and Rule 8-1-2). In both sports, batter is credited with a base hit as per Rule 9, Sec. 3, Art. 2, b.

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