Follow through (backswing interference) – Can a runner advance?

  • Post
    Chris Welsh
    Keymaster
    1781
    Because it is a minor violation of the rules, backswing (follow-through) interference has a minor penalty. The ball is dead and all runners must return to previous base. Basically, it is a do-over.
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  • Replies
      Brady Hood
      Participant
      1000
      Yup, and this can only occur if there are runners on base. If it happens with no one on, it is just ignored.
        Alex Coil
        Participant
        1000
        This is something all parties need to know. I have been part of a backswing play that was called catcher’s interference instead. Yikes.
      Tyler Ricketts
      Participant
      1171
      That is interesting, Alex. I’m sure some inexperienced umpires aren’t quite sure of the difference between those two rules, or can tell the difference.
      Chris Welsh
      Keymaster
      1781
      High school rules are a different thing, though. I’ve seen a high school ump call the runner out, can this be a good call? I thought you only send him back to the previous base.
        Brady Hood
        Participant
        1000
        If the batter struck out on the pitch and then interfered with the throw, the runner would be out. Or if it is a play at the plate, runner would be out. Any other base though…That umpire was incorrect on the call
      Ben Levin
      Participant
      1000
      Under no circumstance can a runner advance if the batter commits backswing interference.

      But there is a VERY MAJOR rule difference between High School/NFHS rule code and the OBR and NCAA rule.

      In OBR and NCAA, the runners are simply returned to their bases – no one is called out.

      In High School baseball, THE BATTER IS OUT if he commits backswing interference (the NFHS rule book calls it “follow-through interference”).  This is in addition to the penalty that all runners return.  If the follow-through interference occurs on a third strike, the batter is already out, so the runner on which the play was being attempted would also be ruled out.

      mwest
      Participant
      1010
      With the exception that if multiple runners are stealing and the catcher is interfered with, but is still able to throw out one of the runners, the other runner could stay at the base he safely advanced to. The interference happened and was called, ignored, ball remains live and runner not thrown out advanced on the play. This would be the case in all rule sets.
      Greg Spencer
      Participant
      1160

      Ben Levin:
      Under no circumstance can a runner advance if the batter commits backswing interference.
      But there is a VERY MAJOR rule difference between High School/NFHS rule code and the OBR and NCAA rule.
      In OBR and NCAA, the runners are simply returned to their bases – no one is called out.
      In High School baseball, THE BATTER IS OUT if he commits backswing interference (the NFHS rule book calls it “follow-through interference”). This is in addition to the penalty that all runners return. If the follow-through interference occurs on a third strike, the batter is already out, so the runner on which the play was being attempted would also be ruled out.

      One correction: NFHS – strike 3 interference – an umpire CAN be called out but it’s not automatic. Judgement call. Say a runner gets a huge jump and no one goes to cover 2nd base. The runner is not out – he returns to first.

      Dave Johnson
      Participant
      1785

      Greg Spencer:

      Ben Levin:
      Under no circumstance can a runner advance if the batter commits backswing interference.
      But there is a VERY MAJOR rule difference between High School/NFHS rule code and the OBR and NCAA rule.
      In OBR and NCAA, the runners are simply returned to their bases – no one is called out.
      In High School baseball, THE BATTER IS OUT if he commits backswing interference (the NFHS rule book calls it “follow-through interference”). This is in addition to the penalty that all runners return. If the follow-through interference occurs on a third strike, the batter is already out, so the runner on which the play was being attempted would also be ruled out.

      One correction: NFHS – strike 3 interference – an umpire CAN be called out but it’s not automatic. Judgement call. Say a runner gets a huge jump and no one goes to cover 2nd base. The runner is not out – he returns to first.

      I get where you’re going with this; 7-3-5 Penalty says that if it’s a 3rd strike, the umpire has to judge another out was possible before calling a runner out; 5-1-1e says the ball is dead when there’s interference, and we know all runners return to the base occupied at time of interference.  However it seems a pretty narrow set of circumstances that would allow you to call interference, but send the runner back to first.  If the retired batter hinders the catcher from making a throw where he had no play in the first place, to me that’s not interference at all.  I guess the only sort of situation I can think of is where the runner has the base clearly stolen, no chance for an out, but the catcher decides to throw anyway and then the batter interferes which causes the throw to be airmailed into the outfield and the runner attempts to advance to 3B.  You can’t let the runner advance on interference, but the catcher had no play either, so you really can’t call the runner out either.  You can’t send him back to 2B because he hadn’t reached 2B at the time of interference and no runners may advance while the ball is dead, so the only choice left is to send him back to 1B.

      Both coaches are going to think you’ve screwed them, so be prepared with a really good explanation.  You’re really going to have to thread the needle to explain there was no chance of an out, but there was still interference.  “look, I only screwed you a little bit, and equally”.

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