In Game Management Principles Two we discuss “Play Anticipation” and what play anticipation allows.
Play anticipation allows:
- The umpire getting into proper position.
- Allows the umpire to focus on elements pertinent to the call.
- Remember, surprise reduces the chance of getting the play correct.
Watch for these surprises:
- Dropped ball on an infield fly
- There could be confusion
- Base runners may decide they do not need to run and the fielders may panic, thinking they need to get the ball quickly and make a hurried throw
- Umpires must remember that the ball remains live
- The batter is automatically out and there are no runners forced to a base
- Runners need to know that they need not run
- Runners may advance at their own risk
- If there is a play on a runner, it will be counted
Base Runner passes another:
- If a runner passes another runner that was not obstructed on the bases
- The runner who passes is out
- Umpires should let the play continue
- The baseball remains live
- The out is immediate
- An obstructed runner that is passed is ignored
- The play continues
- Play is sorted out when the obstruction award is made by the umpire
What if a base coach comes in contact with the ball or a runner? There are three different situations that a base coach can interfere!
- If contact is intentional, the runner is out
- If contact is not intentional, the ball is live and in play
- Whether he is in the coach’s box or not does not matter
- If contact is in fair territory, it is considered intentional
Contact with a fielder:
- Coaches must avoid fielder in the act of fielding, a batter or thrown ball
- Interference in fair territory is considered intentional
- With multiple runners the umpire shall call out the runner that benefited the most from the interference, most likely the lead runner
Physically assisting runners:
- The runner is out if a base coach physically assists a runner in returning to or leaving a base
- The ball remains live until playing action ends (delayed dead ball)
- Advancing runners will be allowed
- Physical assistance means doing something to improve the chance of attaining his goal
- Touching alone is not physical assistance
- If touching or collision outside the coach’s box is not interference
- Offensive teams may not say anything to confuse the members of the defense
- If I rule verbal interference, the baseball is dead immediately