Umpire Interpretations(view all)
(©MLB Umpire Manual)

10. CATCHER’S INTERFERENCE

10. CATCHER’S INTERFERENCE

Rules 5.05(b)(3), 5.06(b)(3)(D), 6.01(g)[former Rules 6.08(c), 7.04(d), 7.07]:

Under Official Baseball Rule 5.05(b)(3) [former OBR 6.08(c)], if catcher’s inter-ference is called with a play in progress, the umpire will allow the play to contin-ue because the manager may elect to take the play—unless the batter reaches first base and all other runners advance one base, in which event the play stands and the manager has no option to take the interference penalty. The umpire should indicate catcher’s interference by pointing at and calling the infraction. The manager shall make the election to take the play or take the interference penalty by advising the plate umpire immediately following the play, and once made, such election cannot be changed. If the batter-runner misses first base, or a runner misses his next base, he shall be considered as having reached the next base, as referred to in the Note to Official Baseball Rule 5.06(b)(3)(D) [former OBR 7.04(d)] and as stated in the Approved Ruling of Official Baseball Rule 6.02(a) [former OBR 8.05]:

A runner who misses the first base to which he is advancing and who is called out on appeal shall be considered as having advanced one base for the purpose of this rule.

If a runner is attempting to steal a base when the catcher interferes with the batter, the runner is awarded the base on the interference.  Runners not attempt-ing to steal or not forced to advance remain on the base they occupied at the time of the interference unless Official Baseball Rule 6.01(g) [former OBR 7.07] applies. Under Official Baseball Rule 6.01(g) [former OBR 7.07], if a runner is stealing home when the catcher interferes with the batter, the additional penalty of a balk is invoked, which enables all runners on base to advance (whether or not they were stealing).

See also Official Baseball Rules 5.05(b)(3), 5.06(b)(3)(D), and 6.01(g) [former OBRs 6.08(c), 7.04(d), and 7.07].