Monday, April 22, 2019

Pizza Delivery Car Drives on Field During Game

Sure, the umpire can eject a player or coach from a ballgame. Umpires can even throw out bad fans, but does the umpire have the authority to eject a mid-sized sedan that drives onto the field during a game?

This play comes to us from New Hampshire's Seacoast Online, where a Winnacunnet vs Alvirne High School baseball game was briefly interrupted when a pizza delivery that the Alvirne Broncos had ordered made its way onto the field in the fifth inning.

Said Winnacunnet coach and athletic director Aaron Abood, "Alvirne coach Mike Lee likes to try exotic pickoff plays and even though we were in the field, I thought it was some sort of play he set up."

Order was quickly restored when the home plate umpire persuaded the delivery driver to leave the field.

For what it's worth, yes, the umpire can eject a car. The relevant rules are as follows:
Professional Baseball OBR 8.01(e): "Each umpire has authority at his discretion to eject from the playing field (1) any person whose duties permit his presence on the field, such as ground crew members, ushers, photographers, newsmen, broadcasting crew members, etc., and (2) any spectator or other person not authorized to be on the playing field."
College NCAA 4-7: "Only the following people shall be allowed on the playing field: players, coaches in uniform, athletic trainers, umpires, team managers, bat persons, authorized news media (at the discretion of the home team) and authorized home-field attendants."
And NCAA 3-6-b: "Each umpire is an approved official of the institution, league or conference
and is authorized and required to enforce each SECTION of these rules."
High School NFHS 10-1-6: "No umpire may be replaced during a game unless he becomes ill or is
injured. His right to disqualify players or to remove non-players for objecting to decisions or for
unsportsmanlike conduct is absolute. Ejections will be made at the end of playing action."
And NFHS 5-1-1l: "The umpire has the authority to remove any member of the media for not staying in or keeping their equipment in the designated dead ball area."

As for spectator interference by a car not authorized to be on the field, refer to the following video:

Alternate Link: Red car interferes with shortstop attempting to make a play in Los Angeles (NKG)


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