Interfering with the defensive player (take-out slide)
attempts to block a player from reaching home plate
Sliding can sometimes be used as a means of interfering with the play of the opposing defensive player who is covering the base being approached. For example, when it is possible that a double play
might occur, and the baserunner approaching second base has already been put out, he might still try to slide toward the defensive player who intends to throw the ball to first base. If the defensive player moves away from second base as he prepares to throw the ball toward first, the baserunner may still slide directly toward the defensive player, even though that means sliding away
from second base itself. This has the effect of hampering that defensive player's ability to complete the play, either directly by making physical contact with him, or indirectly by distracting him by making him fearful of such contact. A slide performed exclusively for the purpose of hampering the play of the defense is called a "take-out slide".
Whether a particular instance of a take-out slide is legal within the rules of baseball is a judgement call made by the umpire
, usually based upon how close the baserunner comes to the base they are approaching during the slide. If a baserunner strays too far from the base when attempting a take-out slide, the umpire may declare the slide to be an example of illegal interference
and call an extra out. As a general (but not absolute) guideline, even if the baserunner clearly slides toward the defensive player and away from the base, so long as the baserunner comes close enough to the base that he is able to touch it with some part of his body during the slide, the slide will be ruled to be legal. On the flip side, the fielder will often be granted the neighborhood play
under such circumstances.
high school applications, but a good read of examples: http://www.umpire.org/writers/force.html
official rule 7.08 and 7.09
Any runner is out when --
(a) (1) He runs more than three feet away from his baseline to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball. A runner?s baseline is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely; or (2) after touching first base, he leaves the baseline, obviously abandoning his effort to touch the next base;
Rule 7.08(a) Comment: Any runner after reaching first base who leaves the baseline heading for his dugout or his position believing that there is no further play, may be declared out if the umpire judges the act of the runner to be considered abandoning his efforts to run the bases. Even though an out is called, the ball remains in play in regard to any other runner.
This rule also covers the following and similar plays: Less than two out, score tied last of ninth inning, runner on first, batter hits a ball out of park for winning run, the runner on first passes second and thinking the home run automatically wins the game, cuts across diamond toward his bench as batter-runner circles bases. In this case, the base runner would be called out ?for abandoning his effort to touch the next base? and batter-runner permitted to continue around bases to make his home run valid. If there are two out, home run would not count (see Rule 7.12). This is not an appeal play.
PLAY. Runner believing he is called out on a tag at first or third base starts for the dugout and progresses a reasonable distance still indicating by his actions that he is out, shall be declared out for abandoning the bases.
(b) He intentionally interferes with a thrown ball; or hinders a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball;
Rule 7.08(b) Comment: A runner who is adjudged to have hindered a fielder who is attempting to make a play on a batted ball is out whether it was intentional or not.
If, however, the runner has contact with a legally occupied base when he hinders the fielder, he shall not be called out unless, in the umpire?s judgment, such hindrance, whether it occurs on fair or foul territory, is intentional. If the umpire declares the hindrance intentional, the following penalty shall apply: With less than two out, the umpire shall declare both the runner and batter out. With two out, the umpire shall declare the batter out.
It is interference by a batter or a runner when --
(a) After a third strike he hinders the catcher in his attempt to field the ball;
(b) Before two are out and a runner on third base, the batter hinders a fielder in making a play at home base; the runner is out;
(c) Any member or members of the offensive team stand or gather around any base to which a runner is advancing, to confuse, hinder or add to the difficulty of the fielders. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate or teammates;
(d) Any batter or runner who has just been put out hinders or impedes any following play being made on a runner. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate;
Rule 7.09(d) Comment: If the batter or a runner continues to advance after he has been put out, he shall not by that act alone be considered as confusing, hindering or impeding the fielders.
(e) If, in the judgment of the umpire, a base runner willfully and deliberately interferes with a batted ball or a fielder in the act of fielding a batted ball with the obvious intent to break up a double play, the ball is dead. The umpire shall call the runner out for interference and also call out the batter-runner because of the action of his teammate. In no event may bases be run or runs scored because of such action by a runner.
(f) If, in the judgment of the umpire, a batter-runner willfully and deliberately interferes with a batted ball or a fielder in the act of fielding a batted ball, with the obvious intent to break up a double play, the ball is dead; the umpire shall call the batter-runner out for interference and shall also call out the runner who had advanced closest to the home plate regardless where the double play might have been possible. In no event shall bases be run because of such interference.
(g) In the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at third base, or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physically assists him in returning to or leaving third base or first base.
(h) With a runner on third base, the base coach leaves his box and acts in any manner to draw a throw by a fielder;
(i) He fails to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball, or intentionally interferes with a thrown ball, provided that if two or more fielders attempt to field a batted ball, and the runner comes in contact with one or more of them, the umpire shall determine which fielder is entitled to the benefit of this rule, and shall not declare the runner out for coming in contact with a fielder other than the one the umpire determines to be entitled to field such a ball;
Rule 7.09(i) Comment: When a catcher and batter-runner going to first base have contact when the catcher is fielding the ball, there is generally no violation and nothing should be called. ?Obstruction? by a fielder attempting to field a ball should be called only in very flagrant and violent cases because the rules give him the right of way, but of course such ?right of way? is not a license to, for example, intentionally trip a runner even though fielding the ball. If the catcher is fielding the ball and the first baseman or pitcher obstructs a runner going to first base ?obstruction? shall be called and the base runner awarded first base.
(k)A fair ball touches him on fair territory before touching a fielder. If a fair ball goes through, or by, an infielder, and touches a runner immediately back of him, or touches the runner after having been deflected by a fielder, the umpire shall not declare the runner out for being touched by a batted ball. In making such decision the umpire must be convinced that the ball passed through, or by, the fielder, and that no other infielder had the chance to make a play on the ball. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the runner deliberately and intentionally kicks such a batted ball on which the infielder has missed a play, then the runner shall be called out for interference.
PENALTY FOR INTERFERENCE: The runner is out and the ball is dead.