Interference question

by DC Zimmer
(Lancaster, CA)

Runner on third, one out. Batter hit soft pop up near third base line. Runner immediately upon contact are four steps or so and then upon seeing pop up returns directly to base. In that time third baseman trying to catch ball, that will eventually fall in foul territory, cannot take a direct path to ball. Ball was likely catchable if she had dirct path to ball. Runner ran back to avoid being doubled off and did not intentionally interfere with fielder, just retreated back to bag directly. I ruled ball as foul. Was I correct and if not what rule number,her please, thanks.

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Umpire's Judgement
by: Coach Dan

In Rule 8 (Batter-Runner and Runner), Section 8 (The Runner is Out), paragraph J, the umpire has the discretion of the call to call interference if the umpire believes the runner interfered intentionally to stop a double play. From your description, does not sound like the runner was intentionally trying to interfere, so your call was correct.

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interference
by: Anonymous

Virtually all references to intentional have been removed from the interference rules in USA (formerly ASA) softball. Either the runner interfered or they didnt, intent plays no part of the rule. The defense must give the offense the room they need to make a play on a batted ball. Further, in USA softball, if the interference occurs on a fly ball fair or foul catchable with normal effort, both the runner committing the interference is out as well as the batter.

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