Rule of the Week – Catcher Interference Won’t Always Stop the Show

How should an umpire respond to catcher interference? Watch the video!


This week we’re discussing catcher interference. Catcher interference is when a batter swings and touches the catcher’s glove. The umpire points and calls out, “that’s catcher interference” – but the ball remains alive and the play develops!

If the batter gets a base hit, he gets credit for a base hit. If he swings and misses, hits a foul ball or makes an out, the umpire will call time and award the batter 1B on catcher’s interference.

The most interesting thing about catcher interference is that the manager of the offense can decide to take the play instead of the catcher interference! For example, if a batter hits a sacrifice fly and brings a run home, the manager might prefer that over the catcher’s interference penalty. The offensive team manager has to be on his toes and know the rule, since he has a choice to take either the penalty or the play that ensued.

So, catcher interference doesn’t need to stop the game.
However, there are great examples in history of possible catcher interference – see below!

This case study details catcher interference and catcher’s balk
(and Jackie Robinson’s dramatic steal of home in the 1955 World Series!)

Read the official rule:
Rule 6.01(c): Catcher Interference

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