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Old Wed Sep 28, 2011, 10:18am
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Interferance / Obstruction

Let me first say I saw this through Daddy goggles not my umpire goggles. FED rules, 0 out R1 on 2b, R2 on 1b, F6 playing maybe a step in back of base line. Sharply hit ball up the middle, maybe 3ft to F6 side of 2B. R1 and F6 run into each other. From view in stands, I thought ball was past F6 and she had no play on the ball anyway, and should have been OBS. BU call R1 out for interference. Fans on our side go nuts. I realize this is HTBT territory and I try to be objective, but any chance this could have been OBS? I do ASA and couple other alphabets but not FED.
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Old Wed Sep 28, 2011, 10:26am
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Sure. It COULD have been OBS. It could have also been INT. Seems your umpire thought it was the latter, and it is his judgment that matters in this case.

If you want us to make a decision on which it was based on the limited data that you can supply, it just isn't posisble.
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Old Wed Sep 28, 2011, 10:30am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softballaddict View Post
Let me first say I saw this through Daddy goggles not my umpire goggles. FED rules, 0 out R1 on 2b, R2 on 1b, F6 playing maybe a step in back of base line. Sharply hit ball up the middle, maybe 3ft to F6 side of 2B. R1 and F6 run into each other. From view in stands, I thought ball was past F6 and she had no play on the ball anyway, and should have been OBS. BU call R1 out for interference. Fans on our side go nuts. I realize this is HTBT territory and I try to be objective, but any chance this could have been OBS? I do ASA and couple other alphabets but not FED.
Obviously HTBT, but IMHO, very unlikely. There would need to be literally ZERO chance of a play for this to not be interference. If F6 is trying to field the batted ball, she has the right of way.

I think for me to rule the other way, it would have to be after F6 obviously knew she had no play and gave up. Others may differ, but if there's ANY benefit of doubt here it's going to the fielder.
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Old Wed Sep 28, 2011, 10:33am
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Initial Play

Quote:
Originally Posted by softballaddict View Post
Let me first say I saw this through Daddy goggles not my umpire goggles. FED rules, 0 out R1 on 2b, R2 on 1b, F6 playing maybe a step in back of base line. Sharply hit ball up the middle, maybe 3ft to F6 side of 2B. R1 and F6 run into each other. From view in stands, I thought ball was past F6 and she had no play on the ball anyway, and should have been OBS. BU call R1 out for interference. Fans on our side go nuts. I realize this is HTBT territory and I try to be objective, but any chance this could have been OBS? I do ASA and couple other alphabets but not FED.
FED has an additional protection for the defense that ASA does not have. It's called "initial play". In the OP, lets assume that F6 was playing the ball and it deflected off of her glove. If the ball is within a step and a reach the defense is still protected. In ASA, this would be considered a deflected ball and interference would have to be intentional. So the ball could be behind F6 and the runner called out for interference. If the ball got by her without a deflection I doubt I would call interference. But it is a HTBT as you say. I could see OBS.
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Old Wed Sep 28, 2011, 10:35am
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Rereading the rule just now, it seems clear to me that if the fielder is TRYING to play the batted ball (no matter how unrealistic her chances at getting there), the runner has to avoid her. Same in both codes I just read.
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Old Wed Sep 28, 2011, 10:36am
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Talking

Thanks, I just wanted to know if it was POSSIBLE to judge it OBS given the limited information supplied. I know it was his judgement not mine that counts. Sometimes I am the lone voice of reason in our stands when a call doesn't go our way, even when the umpire is right So I was just curious if others thought the OBS could have been a correct call if that was the umpires judgement. Again, thanks.
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Old Wed Sep 28, 2011, 11:55am
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Yes, but....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbcrowder View Post
Rereading the rule just now, it seems clear to me that if the fielder is TRYING to play the batted ball (no matter how unrealistic her chances at getting there), the runner has to avoid her. Same in both codes I just read.
If the ball is by her and there's no chance she can reach it I have obstruction. Most balls hit up the middle are moving rapidly. She had her shot at it and missed. She put herself in a difficult spot by playing so close to the baseline. I know there is no requirement for her to be out of the baseline but if I notice a player playing that close to it, she doesn't get any protection unless she is fielding a batted ball. In this case I doubt she could have a play on the ball.
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Old Wed Sep 28, 2011, 12:55pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbcrowder View Post
Obviously HTBT, but IMHO, very unlikely. There would need to be literally ZERO chance of a play for this to not be interference. If F6 is trying to field the batted ball, she has the right of way.

I think for me to rule the other way, it would have to be after F6 obviously knew she had no play and gave up. Others may differ, but if there's ANY benefit of doubt here it's going to the fielder.
Factor in the FED definition of Initial Play on a batted ball; it includes the phrase "reasonable chance".

Whether stated in ASA or not, the fielders just can't be blindly protected every time they head in the direction of a batted ball. Look at ASA 8-8.C, and FED 8-8-3; in both, the runner is not out if (OK, applies to multiple fielders attempting) contacts one that cannot make an out. So, you are looking at these as isolated rules that can't be taken together; so that if a SINGLE fielder chasing cannot reasonably make an out, but contacts the runner, you would have interference solely on the word "attempting"?

While not necessarily in love with the FED definition and the need to define initial play, I think they got the "reasonable chance" part right in the definition.

I believe there have been such discussions in ASA, too; but the people I have heard discuss it don't think there is need to further refine what they think should already be understood (even if it isn't). Not the first time they have chosen not to to clarify wording that is ambiguous if taken literally.
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Old Wed Sep 28, 2011, 03:15pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
wording that is ambiguous if taken literally.
I'm glad someone defined "rule book".
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Old Wed Sep 28, 2011, 03:50pm
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Honestly, Steve, I suspect that if you and I viewed 100 such hits and possible INT/OBS situations, we'd rule the same on all of them. I was not implying that the fielder has free reign regardless. Just trying to emphasize to the OP that it's gotta be OBVIOUS that she has no play for an OBS call to come from this play.
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Old Thu Sep 29, 2011, 11:53am
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Some good umpires I know don't realize that in NCAA is says another infielder has a reasonable chance to make a play, where as NFHS says another fielder has a reasonable chance to make an out. Big difference here. Dave
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Old Thu Sep 29, 2011, 12:29pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
Some good umpires I know don't realize that in NCAA is says another infielder has a reasonable chance to make a play, where as NFHS says another fielder has a reasonable chance to make an out. Big difference here. Dave
Um, no it doesn't. (Unless you're referring to a runner hit by a ball... which is not what this is about - this is about interference or obstruction)
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Old Fri Sep 30, 2011, 09:04pm
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Although some codes have specifically added the "step and a reach" in the rule book, this is the ASA interpretation also.
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Old Fri Sep 30, 2011, 09:08pm
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The defense is initially protected so that they can make a play on a batted ball. There must be a reasonable chance to make the play. Otherwise, defenders would have free reign to run into runners and cry "But I was playing the ball." That, obviously, could not be tolerated. Keep in mind that the play may merely involve stopping or slowing the ball down. It may not require having an opportunity to execute an out. The defense has the right to slow the ball down so that R2 on 2nd base doesn't round 3rd and score.
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Old Sat Oct 01, 2011, 12:05am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EsqUmp View Post
Although some codes have specifically added the "step and a reach" in the rule book, this is the ASA interpretation also.
This is not true in ASA.
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