The Rules for Fielder Right of Way
by Nick Browne
Watching a baseball game can be a relaxing, enjoyable experience. However, not everyone knows the basics of baseball. If you want to be able to follow the action on the field and truly understand the game, you’ll need to know its rules, especially the most basic ones. In subsequent posts, we’re going to look at many of the rules of the game. In this post, we’ll talk about the fielder’s right of way.
Regardless of the type of play, a fielder has the right of way to any area of the field needed to make a play on the ball, including both dugouts and bullpens.
According to MLB rules, “Players, coaches, or any member of a team at bat shall vacate any space needed by a fielder who is attempting to field a batted or thrown ball. If a member of the team at bat (other than a runner) hinders a fielder’s attempt to catch or field a batted ball, the ball is dead, the batter is declared out and all runners return to the bases occupied at the time of the pitch. If a member of the team at bat (other than a runner) hinders a fielder’s attempt to field a thrown ball, the ball is dead, the runner on whom the play is being made shall be declared out and all runners return to the last legally occupied base at the time of the interference.”
There is also defensive interference, which is an act by a fielder that hinders or prevents a batter from hitting a pitch.