Rules Review: Baserunner & Fielder Interference

Every Season with have some confusion over Specific BASL or ASA Rules and we figured we’d go over the particularly troublesome rules.

BASL is a recreational softball league and we want to make sure everyone is safe so we’d like to review a rule that comes up often in regards to plays at Home Plate but it is applicable to a play at any base.

BASL does NOT require runners to slide, but if a player does slide it is required to be a “clean” slide. Most importantly runners must not crash into a fielder who has the ball, and they must give a fielder an opportunity to field a batted ball. Beyond that, fielders must stay out of the way of runners (even if they are waiting to receive a throw).

Here are a few Scenarios:

  1. If a shortstop is fielding a ground ball and a baserunner makes contact with the shortshop, the baserunner will be called out for interference.
  2. If a catcher is preparing to receive a throw for a play at home plate, the catcher is responsible for staying out of the baserunner’s path. This can be done by setting up IN FRONT of the plate and giving the baserunner a running lane behind the catcher.
    1. If a fielder waiting for a throw DOES block a base he/she could be called for obstructing the path of the runner.
  3. If the catcher is already in possession of the ball, the runner is now responsible for avoiding contact and this can be done by either sliding, attempting to return to third base or by giving themselves up and accepting the tag.
    1. In this scenario if a baserunner remains upright and crashes into the catcher they are will automatically be called out, the ball is ruled dead and all other baserunners will be required to return to the base last touched. The offending baserunner could also be ejected at the discretion of the umpire.
    2. NOTE: While the rules in this case maybe be in the baserunner’s favor, we do request that baserunners still do their best to avoid collisions with fielders. We are a recreational league and would look to take every measure to avoid collisions and injuries. Some players may be unaware of the rules, the dangers or may just get caught up in the moment trying to field a ball. If there is a fielder blocking the base path, try your best to avoid the collision and take some time to explain the rules to a new player, the player’s coach or the umpire.