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Home plate collision!!

Collision ejection

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#1 Bobby Z

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 04:30 AM

During a junior league tournament game there was a play at the plate, the runner, who was out by 5 steps, curled his shoulder & ran into my catcher standing up. The collision knocked the catcher back two steps but was not overly aggressive. Call was out on the tag, no ejection. I argued vehemently that the base runner should be tossed because he did not avoid contact. Ump stated that the base runner was slowing down & was trying to absord contact by tucking his shoulder & he didn't think the collision was malicious. I didn't appeal the interpretation of the rule that he should be automatically tossed because contact was made. Is this a judgement call? What's your take. Could I have appealed his call?

The catcher at the time had a little weight to him, if the kids that started was in he wouldve knocked him off his feet.

Thanks
Bob Z

#2 Jeremy

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 05:39 AM

It's a judgment call on "malicious contact"......He should have slid or tried to avoid the tag, had he knocked the ball out of f2s glove he would have still been out.

#3 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 11:07 AM

Two issues here:
1) Catcher had the ball and was waiting to make the tag so the runner has to slide or attempt to get around the catcher (7.08(a)3).
First thing, attempt to get around does not mean there can't/won't be contact.
In your case it sounds like the runner was in violation of the rule so the runner is "out" and, as Jeremy said, the runner would be out even if the catcher had dropped the ball upon contact.
That said, the umpire "could have judged" that the runner did "attempt to get around" the catcher and if that was the case (although it doesn't sound like it here) if the catcher dropped the ball the runner would have been safe and that would not be protestable.

2) Was the runner guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct for running over your catcher and should the runner be ejected (9.01(d)).
Sounds like the umpire "judged" that the contact was not unsportsmanlike so there was no ejection. This is purely a judgment call by the umpire and is not protestable.

FYI, the term malicious does not appear anywhere in the LL Rulebook, the correct term is unsportsmalike.
LL does not have a malicious contact rule although many (me included) think they should.
In my opinion malicious contact would result in an out and an ejection and an immediate dead ball.

#4 Dave Poe

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 12:24 PM

Idk Lou. I was leaning toward a malicious contact rule but after reading several forums, I don't thinkni can advocate it. You would definately have situations were kids are being ejected (and suspended) on calls were there wasn't any malicious action. I'm afraid that a majority of train wrecks would result in ejections. I am also afraid that legit calls of obstruction against F2s would become fewer and far between because it's easier for an umpire to understand "malicious contact" than what obstruction really constitutes.

Back to the OP - it's a judgement call so you can't really appeal it.

#5 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 12:37 PM

I don't see a problem with a malicious contact rule.
As of now if I think the contact was malicious I'd eject the player for "unsportsmanlike conduct" so what's the difference/problem?

My problem is the "result" would be different with a malicious contact rule.
That is, currently if a runner maliciously runs into the catcher he is not out and his run counts.
Sure, he gets ejected but what if his run was the winning run or there were 2 outs in the inning so the half inning continues even after he is ejected.

If malicious contact resulted in an out and an ejection to me that would be better (again, just my opinion).

Maybe instead of a new malicious contact rule all you do is revise 9.01(d) and say if a runner is guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct the runner is out and ejected???

#6 Mike_Hirschman

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 02:10 PM

The difference is, Lou, you could have an obstructing catcher that "creates" an out because a runner knocked him over. (And you and I have already debated the rule, so... ;-) )

 

In the play described above, you have to see it to give an informed opinion. There is no appeal. It is umpire's judgment that he made an attempt to avoid contact... whether you felt that judgment was accurate or not. 

 

Now, if he said there is no eject because the contact isn't malicious, you could ask him to point to a malicious contact rule in the book and then have a protest. But, at the same time, if he is saying he slowed to avoid that, you probably don't have an argument for unsporting, either. 



#7 richives

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 02:11 PM

I'm with Dave.  It would get misinterpreted. MISINTERPRETED. REALLY MISINTERPRETED.

 

Way too many people scream bloody murder at any hint of contact. Not a good idea.



#8 amutz

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 04:24 PM

I'm with Lou on rule needing more 'teeth'; the runner has eye on home plate and the catcher in front of him while the catcher is looking for the ball.  Runner should "attempt to avoid contact" and be out as well as potentially ejected if no attempt is made.    

 

That doesn't change the interpretation above though, where the ump determined 'attempt to avoid' had indeed been made -- the runner slowed down.  

 

I haven't watched Babe Ruth to see if there are frequent misinterpretations of the rule.  Is it a major problem?



#9 Bobby Z

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 04:52 PM

Thank you guys. I definitely felt the contact wasn't an all out runover but could've been easily 'avoided'. Either way it wasn't a hugh play in the game. I was just trying to protect my catcher on the play. In addition, it was the 3rd out in an inning. I wonder how the call would've went if he did drop the ball.

#10 Ron

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 05:53 PM

I would like some clarification for my own edification.  I volunteer umpire several games a year.  I am not a full time umpire. I am not discussing the ejection possibility.

 

I believe what the player did, just "slowing down" is not enough to comply with the rule.  He must slide or "attempt to get around".  If he truly was 5 steps away and had time to curl up for contact, he could have turned a little.  If there is contact so be it, but at least attempt to get around, or just run fast and slide good.  You may just avoid the tag.

 

Does anyone believe that simply slowing down is enough to comply with the rule?



#11 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 05:58 PM

Again, umpires judgment.
In the play described I would judge the runner did "not" attempt to avoid contact (slowing down is not trying to avoid) so the runner is out (whether or not the catcher held the ball after the tag or not).
Since the ump said the runner "slowed down" I would not have ruled the contact "malicious" so I would not have ejected the runner for "unsportsmanlike conduct".

#12 amutz

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 06:00 PM

The rule states the runner is out if she "does not slide or attempt to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag."  

 

The umpire owns the judgement call about 'attempt to get around'.   Personally I think 'attempt to get around' mandates more than just trying to slow down... because no lateral movement was made.  Still the umps call.



#13 Mike_Hirschman

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 06:12 PM

One of the reasons this is so frequently a HTBT to know is that you have to judge what both individuals are doing. If the catcher is lunging to make a tag at a runner that is beginning to veer, it can get very ugly, very quickly. You can also have the play where the catcher is extending high for a throw, into the runner's path and that can REALLY get ugly.

 

The second-largest misconception about this rule (only behind MUST SLIDE) is the forgotten fact that the catcher has to be in possession and waiting to make a tag. The rule is designed to protect the fielder that has the runner dead to rights, but the runner decides to knock him into the next county in an effort to score. If the fielder doesn't have the ball, he doesn't have a right to be in the basepath... nor does the runner have a right to go after the fielder. That is where you can have OBSTRUCTION and an EJECTION. 

 

With all of that said... I spent virtually all of my Little League career as a catcher and did get knocked over a couple of times. So I am all about protecting the catchers but only if they are doing what they should be doing in accordance with the rules. 



#14 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 08 July 2015 - 06:37 PM

How many of you seen this rule (I'm sure some have):

(1) The runner must make an actual attempt to reach the base (plate).
PENALTY—If the runner attempts to dislodge the ball or initiates an avoidable collision, the runner shall be declared out, even if the fielder loses possession of the ball. The ball is dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the interference.

(2) The runner may not attempt to dislodge the ball from the fielder. Contact above the waist shall be judged by the umpire as an attempt by the runner to dislodge the ball.
PENALTY—If the contact is flagrant or malicious before the runner touches the plate, the runner shall be declared out and also ejected from the contest. The ball is immediately dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the interference.

(3) The runner must attempt to avoid a collision if he can reach the base without colliding.
PENALTY—If the contact is flagrant or malicious after the runner touches the base (plate), the runner is safe, but is ejected from the contest. The ball is immediately dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the interference. If this occurs at any base other than home, the offending team may replace the runner.
If the contact occurs after a preceding runner touches home plate, the preceding runner is safe. The ball is immediately dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the contact.

(4) If the runner’s path to the base is blocked and (1), (2) and (3) are fulfilled, it is considered unavoidable contact ...

#15 richives

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 03:49 AM

STOP SAYING "AVOID CONTACT"!

 

Way too many people think it means you must not make any contact at all.

 

And NOBODY ANYWHERE EVER calls it on the catcher, even if he steps in front of an oncoming runner. It's ALWAYS the runner's fault. Always.

 

That's why a MC rule would be bad.

 

It's "attempt to get around".  BIG difference. Learn it!



#16 richives

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 03:51 AM

How many of you seen this rule (I'm sure some have):

(1) The runner must make an actual attempt to reach the base (plate).
PENALTY—If the runner attempts to dislodge the ball or initiates an avoidable collision, the runner shall be declared out, even if the fielder loses possession of the ball. The ball is dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the interference.

(2) The runner may not attempt to dislodge the ball from the fielder. Contact above the waist shall be judged by the umpire as an attempt by the runner to dislodge the ball.
PENALTY—If the contact is flagrant or malicious before the runner touches the plate, the runner shall be declared out and also ejected from the contest. The ball is immediately dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the interference.

(3) The runner must attempt to avoid a collision if he can reach the base without colliding.
PENALTY—If the contact is flagrant or malicious after the runner touches the base (plate), the runner is safe, but is ejected from the contest. The ball is immediately dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the interference. If this occurs at any base other than home, the offending team may replace the runner.
If the contact occurs after a preceding runner touches home plate, the preceding runner is safe. The ball is immediately dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the contact.

(4) If the runner’s path to the base is blocked and (1), (2) and (3) are fulfilled, it is considered unavoidable contact ...

 

NCAA



#17 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 10:59 AM

Rich is the winner !!!
The rule(s) I cited are from the NCAA Rulebook.

I guess the NCAA umpires must be of a much higher quality since they can have a malicious contact rule and not have a problem enforcing it whereas many seems to think in LL umpires would not be able to distinguish malicious contact from normal contact!

Again, if you can recognize and eject a runner for "unsportsmanlike conduct" then, in essence, you can recognize and eject a runner for "malicious contact" (in MY opinion).

===================================
By the way, here is a 2015 Rule Change for Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken:
(All Divisions) Contact Rule – If a runner attempting to reach home plate or another base intentionally and maliciously runs into a defensive player in the area of home plate or a base, he will be called out and ejected from the game.

I wonder how Cal Ripken umpires can understand how to enforce it but many think LL umpires can't?
I guess they think CR has better/more knowledgeable umpires.

#18 Mike_Hirschman

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 02:27 PM

Many BR/Cal umpires are paid professionals. And that change was made to mimic OBR. 

 

I just don't think it is such a big issue that we need to change it. Like last year when the proposal about keeping a foot in the box was presented... why? Do we have time of game issues that I haven't heard about? Because that is why MLB put it in. Just because something is put into the OBR doesn't mean we need to have it, do we??? 



#19 richives

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 02:59 PM

Rich is the winner !!!
The rule(s) I cited are from the NCAA Rulebook.

I guess the NCAA umpires must be of a much higher quality since they can have a malicious contact rule and not have a problem enforcing it whereas many seems to think in LL umpires would not be able to distinguish malicious contact from normal contact!

Again, if you can recognize and eject a runner for "unsportsmanlike conduct" then, in essence, you can recognize and eject a runner for "malicious contact" (in MY opinion).

===================================
By the way, here is a 2015 Rule Change for Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken:
(All Divisions) Contact Rule – If a runner attempting to reach home plate or another base intentionally and maliciously runs into a defensive player in the area of home plate or a base, he will be called out and ejected from the game.

I wonder how their umpires can understand how to enforce it but many think LL umpires can't?

 

Many HS umpires can't distinguish it.

 

As soon as you put "contact" on the table people will scarf it up and start calling any contact.  I've heard way too many LL folks over the years ranting and railing about (legal) contact. They can't (won't perhaps) separate the OK from the MC.



#20 amutz

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Posted 09 July 2015 - 03:15 PM

Collisions at the plate are dangerous.  Its no fun to deal with them as coach or ump.   The rules should discourage both fielders and runners from entering situations which will cause collisions...  

 

I think it's actually simpler to have an 'attempt to get around' rule whether the fielder has ball or not, and then ump still has obstruction against the fielder (who is in the WRONG PLACE if she doesn't have the ball.)    There should not be a situation which is 'open season' on the fielder who is in the wrong place for whatever reason.





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