Malicious Contact
You may remember the conversation during the rules meeting: “Runners are never required to slide but can get themselves into trouble if they do not.” This refers to malicious contact. Coaches need to emphasize to their players that running over a defender is about the worst decision they can make on a baseball field. It is an automatic ejection. I do not believe any rules book out there allows that type of play. Let us coach it and officiate it out of existence.

Game is Suspended
Weather moves into the area and you are unable to complete your game. The NFHS rule gives definition of a completed game by a state adopted run rule, natural conclusion, or if five innings have been completed. If the suspension of the game comes in the third inning, then we have a true suspended game. We must come back and start back up right where we left off. (By mutual agreement of the school’s administration, if the score is 20-0 in the top of the third, then they may agree that the game is over.) The key is five innings played or 4.5 innings if the home team is winning. So, if in the bottom of the fifth inning and the home team is winning the game is over. Find NFHS Rule 4-2-2 for reference.

Runners on first and third, one out. On the pitch, the runner on first breaks for second. The batter takes ball four and is called by the umpire as such. The catcher not waiting for the call by umpire make his throw to second (no play to be made obviously since we have ball four). The shortstop receives the throw and sees the runner from third break for home. The batter taking his time to get to first, is still at the plate collides with the catcher trying to receive the throw from the short stop. What do we have? We have interference on the batter. Batter-runner in this case is out, runner returns to third and runner may stay on second base since he obtained second prior to interference. Real example from the season and umpires did a good job getting the call correct.

Umpire Mechanics-Ball to Outfield
A quick reminder of the correct mechanic for baseball umpires with no runners on base and a ball hit to the outfield: The field umpire needs to get inside, pivot, watch runner touch first and then prepare to take the runner to second or third. Unless you have chased the ball to short right field to get a good look at a close ball to fair/foul or diving catch you need to get inside.

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