By Andy Konyar
There were a lot of questions this season regarding coach’s interference, i.e. what is coaches’ interference; what is the penalty, etc. In this column I will attempt to answer your questions:
Rule 7.09 – It is interference by a batter or runner when -
(i) in the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at third base or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physically assists that runner in returning to or leaving third base or first base;
Question 1: How can a base coach at third base or first base physically assist the runner at that base?
Answer: A base coach at first or third base could grab a runner to stop them from running passed the base; a base coach at first or third base could place his/her hand on the back of a base runner and give a push when a fly ball is caught to get the runner started in a tag up and advance attempt; a base coach at first or third base could step in front of a runner to get them to stop; to name just a few of the ways coaches could physically assist runners.
Penalty: The runner that is assisted is called out immediately and the ball is dead if that runner is being played on. Otherwise, the runner that is assisted is called out and the ball is dead after all other action is completed (Delayed dead ball).