Outfield interference by a lawn mower

by roger
(NJ)

Ok here is what happened to us this weekend. Girl up at bat hits a long deep drive to left. There is no fence to speak of. The tournament has the lawn mower/tractor parked deep in left but in fair territory, I guess no one thought anyone would hit it out that far. Ball goes deep down the line left fielder chases it. The ball does not hit the mower nor does the girl running after the ball get affected by the mower. The girl that hit the ball scores on a HR. The defensive calls interference. The umpires all 3 of them as this was the championship game after a conference agree interference and call the girl back to third. We have to go into extra innings and lose.


Question is if the object in left did not alter the balls trajectory or the girl running after it was it interference?

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Lawnmower Interfernce?
by: Dan

Hi Roger,

Well, that is a very odd situation. As you said, I guess no one thought a ball would be hit that far. I cannot find anything in the rule book addressing obstruction by something in the field of play. I would have thought that if it was not addressed pregame as part of the coaches' briefing, then it would just play as part of the field. As there is no specific rule that I could find, then that leaves it as umpire judgement (Rule 10, Section 6). The field umpire(the one originally responsible for the "no call"), in conference with his/her fellow umpires, can then overturn his/her original decision.

Best of luck this week, and hopefully no further adventures this season.

Dan

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