Interesting play today in the 10-11 LL SE Reg Tourney...R1 on 3rd, R2 on 2nd. Batter hits a ground ball shot down third baseline. It appears to be fair from my vantage point (scorekeeper adjacent to home plate just up from right hand batter's box), but it's so "bang-bang" & I'm looking thru the fence it's hard to tell what's happening. As it goes past 3rd, it hops the bag & the 3rd BU leaps to avoid the ball & it strikes him in the leg. R1 has crossed plate & R2 has rounded 3rd and is 2/3 of way down the 3rd baseline to home as 3rd BU appears to throw hands in air & then "switches" to pointing fair ball as it hits him. He then calls "dead ball", loudly & emphatically, and orders R2 back to 3rd. I wasn't sure if his "hands in air" were a foul ball call or part of his avoiding being hit & as he then points the ball fair. As play is stopped, PU comes up 3rd baseline & confers with 3rd BU.
Meanwhile, the defensive team coaches & fans have their "hair on fire" as to what the call is & should be. The PU & 3rd BU rule the ball fair, then dead for hitting BU and return R2 back to 3rd. One run scored (R21). Both coaches get explaination from PU, seem to be satisfied & play resumes. Fans for the defensive team still have their "hair on fire" & loudly complaining. "He can't change his call, he signaled foul first, it hit him in foul territory!!!" Etc, Etc. They're maintaining is since it hit the BU & they thought him to be in foul territory, it's a foul ball. Even though I was close to play, I wasn't sure if BU was in fair or foul territory when hit him, just that he was in the air when he was hit.
IMO, to their credit, both BU & PU did not seem to be in doubt AT ALL & stood by BU's call of "dead ball & R2 returns to third". This all ends up being much ado about nothing as team on offense ends up 10 runnig the defensive team in the bottom of next inning. After the game I ask the Ups what their exact ruling was & was told by PU "I had it fair all the way, it bounced on the chalk just in front of bag, went over the bag still fair & then hit BU. He (the BU) made the correct call of "fair & then dead"".
As they say "go to a baseball game & see something new every time".
Both Umps in this case were young guys (30"s, young to me) and very experienced in both LL & HS ball. The potential for a problem was here (it was an elimination game) but I think I think our guys did a great job, especially in conferring and advising both managers.
Blown big time. If the called umpire interference, which they must have to make it dead, then BOTH runners have to go back and the BR gets 1B.
Please use R1 for the runner who was on first at the start of the play, R2 for the one on 2B, and R3 for the one on third. It is MUCH easier to visualize it that way because you then know which runner was whewre instantly.
Both hands in the air is "time", not foul.
@Rich – Don't you think this should have been play on live ball. LL at 10-11 the BU is out behind the fielders and if hit it is a live ball. Umpire interference is a dead ball if BU is inside in front of fielders. Was there something that had him playing in?
SE REGIONAL at 10-11? I didn't know they did this.
Now, there are some special games where some states in the SE Region have invitationals for the 10-11 level. (I thin they play in N. carolina.) Or is this some other kind of play?
Anyway, this is a seriously blown call!
Fair ball behind the infield that hits an umpire is "play on!" The ump is a legal object on the field in this case.
Begs the question, why was U3 in fair territory to begin with? With 3 or 4 umpires, U3 should have bailed to the fence to get out of the way of a bounding ball. And his signals were very "Konyar-esque".
"Both umps were 'experienced' in LL and HS ball?" YGTBSM! Not with positional mechanics and rule explanations like that!
That ruling was FANTASTIC!
Mike: You are correct, this is a Special Games Tournament not a "Regional" Tournament.
That is, the Region/Williamsport are "not" involved.
If there is a Protest it gets resolved at the Tournament, calls do not go to the Region/Williamsport for rulings.
The Southeastern Region has Special Games Tournaments for 9-10s and 10-11s in both Baseball and Softball.
The Winners of the State Tournaments in these age groups/divisions are invited to participate.
As for the call, you are also correct, they booted this one.
All I said was that IF they called interference then they blew the runner placement. And the only way they could have killled the play was that they ruled unpiire interference.
That said, it very well could have been a live ball play on. If that was the case they still blew it big time.
The alignment at 3B is very fluid as fielders move in and back (if playing properly) so without a video or better description we won't know on that aspect.
Ok guys I understand I was not clear enough....1. Yes, this is a "special games" tourney called the "Tournament of State Champions" with teams from LL in the SE who have won their state championships (which is where 10-11 actually ends) so you are correct on what I should have called it. It is a "regional tourney", but you guys are correct on it being a "special games".
2. Rich, you are right on the "R1, R2" mistake I made.
Now to a couple of other questions I would like to ask after clarifying some...the BU ump was in foul territory when hit, but had apparently ruled the ball fair for hitting baseline in front of bag and going over the bag still fair. (Which the PU confirmed.) I believe his basis for "dead ball" was because he was in FOUL territory when he was hit, as he was trying to avoid the ball and "moving" into foul territory. Again, this happened very quickly. I realize in my original post I was not clear on this point. So I'm asking you guys- if, since BU was in foul territory wasn't the dead ball call correct then?
And if- R3 had crossed the plate & would have if play continued as the ball would have resulted in, at the very least a single for the batter "playing on", shouldn't that run count (as was rulled)? And R2 stopped at third (as was also ruled)?
Sorry if I wasn't clear, I'm asking for your opinions so I can learn the correct calls. Thanks.
The only time the play is killed when the ball hits a base umpire, is if he's positioned ahead of the infielders, i.e. he's working inside the diamond, like on the 90' field.
So, if the ball bounces over the bag, thus being fair, then strikes the umpire (no matter where he is) it's a live ball. What the umpires did was "fix" a blown TIME call, the best they could. It's as simple as that.
BTW. The 9-10's have a similiar tournament held each year in Ceredo-Kenova, WVA. The 9-10's have been holding their tournament since 2005 and the "Tournament of State Champions" for the 10-11's we have been fortunate to host the last two years is patterned after the WVA tourney.
And to be clear, these are "special games" with LL state championship winning teams participating that wish to continue playing after their respective state championship.
Thanks Kyle. I think your analysis is correct, as Rich pointed out the "hands in the air" which the BU did after being hit, means "time out" not "foul". And once "time" was called they tried to correct it to your point. Thanks
Umpire interference requires that the umpire be touched by a fair ball in fair territory (fair ball in foul territory is not sufficient), in front of a fringe infielder. So, if BU3 was properly positioned (in foul territory, deeper than F5), there's no way for umpire interference to occur.
What we know:
- Batted ball was ruled fair
- Batted ball touched BU3
What we don't know:
- if BU3 was in fair or foul territory (he should be in foul territory)
- if BU3 was deeper than F5 (he should be)
If BU3 was in foul territory, then this is a "live ball, play on" situation.
If BU3 was in fair territory, and he was behind F5, then this is a "live ball, play on" situation
If BU3 was in fair territory, and he was in front of F5, then it's interference, dead ball, BR gets 1B, other runners advance if forced.
Sounds to me as if this call was booted, but not for the reason the spectators think.
There's no possible way that U3 is in front of F5 on a small diamond game, so it does not matter where the umpire is positioned when he's struck by a fair batted ball.
I thought I gave the BU3's position earlier- he was behind F5. The fair ball strikes him in foul territory. Since threw his hands in the air & then, pointed fair and called "dead ball" when it hit him (making an incorrect "time" and "dead ball" call if I read you guys right) the PU and BU3 attempt to correct by allowing R3's score to stand and R2 back to third.
So the call was "blown" on "dead ball" & should have been "play on". Since play was stopped then the only correct way to "fix" was to position the baserunners? Is this right? Thanks.
I am glad to see this discussion for another reason. I worked this tournament last year, and I am a big advocate for it. Great people involved all the way around, and some great baseball. I'd like to see them be able to get umpires from all the states represented instead of having to depend on mostly local umpires. Don't get me wrong the crews I worked with last year did an outstanding job, but I think it adds something when you can have the "regional" type atmosphere with umpires as well. I am sorry a call was blown, but it happens.
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