The rule for coach pitch interference was changed for baseball in 2020 and is now consistent with softball rules. The coach should make every effort (think Neo in the Matrix) to avoid contact with a hit or thrown ball. However, if the coach is hit by the ball, the ball is LIVE and play will continue.

While this rule only applies to the Pioneer leagues, it is a very important rule to remember, because coaches are often pitching entire games, and they too get tired. It is especially important because a DEAD ball (RIP) due to interference stops all play.

This reminds me of a softball game way back in 2019 during playoffs when a very seasoned veteran umpire aka “Chief” called coach interference on what would have been at least a double into center field. The ball grazed the coach pitcher as he froze on the mound. The batter was called out and that was the end of our rally that inning as we were down by 1 run. Fortunately, we rallied again in the next inning and won by only 1 run. YAY! As you can see, I will haunt Chief for that call for years to come. =)

Again, we all make mistakes as umpires and coaches, but if you Know Your Rules and stay calm, the baseball & softball gods will make it alright.

Reference Rule 4.05 (3)