I tend to insist there are 7 ways for a batter to reach 1st base (hit, walk, error, fielders choice, hit-by-pitch, dropped 3rd, obstruction). A buddy of mine showed me a list of "23 ways to reach 1st base" and at first I said that all of them are one of the seven.

But suppose a spectator rushes onto the field just as a batter hits the ball for what would be a single, and plows into the batter-runner, knocking him down. Of course, immediate dead ball (5-2-1-c) and the umpire can place him on 1st (8-3-3-e). But how would this be scored?

It doesn't meet the conditions for a hit or for obstruction, which is an act by the defensive team.

I would call it a hit by analogy to OBR 9.06(e), which awards a two- or three-base hit on obstruction or other base awards. But there is no analogy for this in NFHS that I can find, and even then, there is no provision for a one-base award. But it doesn't seem fair to charge the defense with an obstruction call either. (Or does this matter since this isn't a recorded statistic?)

Original Post

I was curious and pulled out my NFHS rule book. My interpretation is to score it as a hit based on rule 9-4-2.

A. It's a fair hit and doesn't meet any of the exceptions listed

And because B and C do not come into play here.

Thinking logically, the batter did not reach on an error (in other words would have been a put out) so he should get credited with a hit.

In this year's book on page 68 it further defines spectator interference as any impedence to the game and in the base awards table that leads to umpires judgment for base awards. If I was Umpire in this situation, I'm awarding first at the minimum. As the score keeper, I'm giving a hit.

If the batter-runner gets hit en route to 1b, gotta score it a hit

If he knocks the assailant out cold give him a 10, perfect score.

@SpeedDemon posted:

If he knocks the assailant out cold give him a 10, perfect score.

So that leads to a different question - if a spectator runs onto the field at the batter-runner, and the B-R lowers his shoulder and maliciously takes out the spectator, is that malicious contact or just another "clean hit".

Really short answer - who cares.... Invoke 4-3 via 10-2-3(e) and leave. Let the state association handle sorting out what happens next.

I'm still trying to picture the parent / spectator that's fast (stupid) enough to accomplish running onto the field and into the BR path. How many world class sprinters (or perhaps professional defensive linemen in the NFL) spend their afternoon / evenings at a HS baseball field (and would do such a thing).

Unrelated, but if you've been to your child's HS or college game - you know the scorers are very liberal with what's considered an error - it highly dependent on whether the official scorer is a parent of a pitcher or batter. At my son's college it was another student looking for extra money and quite friendly with the non PO's. He had no idea how to score "error" I believe ;-) - both ways...

In terms of the OP, how do you know it's the defensive team that would rush the field? Could it be some jilted parent of the offensive team who's son was just pinch hit for when some college scout showed up at the field? Maybe their child was 1-hit from the cycle and they're upset in that lopsided victory... In any case, it's interference which is a dead ball and you cannot assume anything where awards are essentially BR based. Think of the umpire interference situation - R1, R2, batted ball his umpire. Dead ball, BR to 1st, other runners pushed up even though the SS was in position to catch a line drive or start a possible double play or the ball would have made it to the OF with a very fast runner on 2nd who you know would easily score and win the game in the bottom of the 15th inning. Similar for serious injury situation (5-2-1(d) which this "could" be). This is different from obstructing the batter which is a delayed dead ball and base awards are judgemental. FWIW, 8-3-3-e is technically about spectators who reach into live ball territory and less about someone physically entering the field. To me the latter is a safety concern (players and mine).

Since folks are talking scoring - how would this get scored batter, fielder, and pitcher....

1st batter up...hits foul pop-up...1B parks underneath and proceeds to drop the ball.  Next pitch batter hits one out for a home run.

I have heard how it should be scored but have zero official knowledge so asking to confirm (I use it as a trivia question).

(note, this is NFHS rules not OBR)

From my "interpretation", an error is charged whenever a fielder's misplay prolongs an AB (9-5-5). Therefore, the fielder IS charged with an error. However, 9-3-2 which defines a base hit being credited only calls out: "A base hit is credited to a batter when the batter advances to first base safely: (a) because of the batter's fair hit (rather than because of a fielder's error)." For the pitcher, 9-6-3 would call it out as unearned because if you walk it back, the error would have retired the batter preventing the home run.

My reading of this would say that you score an error on the fielder (because not all errors require an advancement of a base like most people think), a hit/home run for the batter (the FAIR hit was not a fielder's error), and an unearned run for the pitcher.

I'll also add, there is ambiguity here that could allow you to justifiably score it the other way, but I will not. Scoring is 90% science and 10% art - and this is probably one of those "art" situations.