Monday, June 26, 2023

Umpire Hit By Batted Ball - It's Not INT So Why "Time"?

2B Umpire Jeff Head took a line drive off the ribs during LSU's dominating College World Series win Monday, but some of you asked whether his "Time" call after being struck by the batted ball was proper, given that it is not interference when an umpire gets hit by a fair ball after it has already passed an infielder.

Although the citation regarding umpire's interference is correct—the only two types of umpire interference (plate umpire interferes with catcher's throw/play after a pitched ball or base umpire hit by a fair batted ball before it passes an infielder [not including the pitcher, provided that it is not interference if it DOES touch the pitcher before the umpire]) do not apply here as the umpire was working outside the infielders—the "Time" question is fairly technical.

And the answer to this question is to look at the play holistically: the game situation when this occurs is none out and none on, meaning that the only runner to pay attention to is the batter-runner, who, on this play, safely advances to, and remains on, first base.

NCAA Rule 6-5-d pertains to calling time when a potential injury occurs (umpire getting struck by a line drive may or not may not be an actual injury, but it could be a potential one), and states, "Time shall be called by the umpire and play is suspended when an umpire or player is injured, except that if injury occurs during a live ball, time shall not be called until no further advance or putout is possible; If a player is injured and cannot proceed to the awarded base(s), a substitute runner may be used to complete the play."

Thus, from a technical rulebook standpoint, the "Time" call is covered under NCAA 6-5-d, though from a more holistic point of view, it hardly matters whether or not "Time" is called—the result of either calling or not calling time is that the batter-runner advances safely to, and remains on, first base.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Umpire hit by line drive during CWS...answering questions about calling "Time"


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