Should fans be more seriously punished for interfering with a ball in play? (Image Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports)

Proposing Consequences for Interfering With a Ball in Play


Far too often we are watching or are at a baseball game, and we watch a ball in play either fly deep to the track or go down the line into foul territory get touched by a fan trying to retrieve a ball for themselves. When fans interfere with a ball in play at AT&T Park, they are supposed to get kicked out, but I don’t watch these guys get escorted off the premises. I’m not sure what the policies of other parks are, but I say it’s time for action. It’s time we stand against these people that get caught up in the moment of wanting a baseball and make them sign a contract when purchasing their front row (or front two-five rows) tickets that they understand that if they touch a ball in play, there will be heavy consequences against them. You may be asking, “Stuart, is this really that serious of an issue? After all, they’re not hurting anyone.” To which I say, “Yes, it’s a serious issue, and they’re hurting my enjoyment of the game.” Maybe those don’t even out. Anyway, the contract I propose:

To the fan(s) purchasing these tickets that are close to the field of play,

By purchasing these high quality tickets, you understand that it is important to pay attention to the game at all times, for a ball (or bat, if you’re seated near the dugouts) may come your way. You also must be aware of our policy of interfering with any plays of the game, namely, if a defender is trying to catch a ball on the field, or you are reaching over the wall to grab a ball in play. Should you, or any of your party interfere with any plays of the game, there will be consequences for your actions. Those consequences for the individual will be:

1) Fan will be escorted off the premises, with no refund for the game’s tickets, nor may those game’s tickets be exchanged for attendance at a future game 

2) Fan will not be allowed to purchase tickets in the first eighteen rows of any lower level section, nor will be able to be a member of a party seated in the first five rows of any lower level section for forty home games

If the person that interferes with a ball in play is found out to be a season ticket holder, the barcodes of those season ticket holder’s tickets will not be accepted, and will be exchanged for other tickets that will be picked up at will call for the next ten home games. If there is a shared season ticket plan, our representatives will be in touch with your group to solidify the dates that these tickets will have different seats. 

In an effort to hold every fan accountable for their identity, we ask that each ticket holder provide their name, and ID number or credit card number. Your information will not be sold or given out to other agencies, but are only used to identify the person that is holding the ticket. 

We take fan interference very seriously, and we appreciate your complying with our policies to help keep the game as uninterrupted as possible. 

Enjoy the game!,

Team

There would then be spots for them to fill out their party’s information. While these fans are not history’s greatest monsters, I realize my stance is pretty strong, and may even be over the line in terms of wanting to hold fans accountable for their identity. Still, there has to be some way to really discourage fan interference besides putting up tall metal bars. It’s great that fans can be as close to the game as they are right now, but there are some adults that are really ruining it, and they should know better.

What do you think teams should do to further discourage fan interference? What consequences would you throw down if you had the power?

Tags: Fan Interference San Francisco Giants