Thread: Obstruction
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Old Wed Jul 31, 2019, 11:13am
Manny A Manny A is offline
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Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
I think there is a case play in NFHS that is very similar, ground ball to F6 who throws to F5 for the force, but grabs the runner as she goes by. Ruling is obstruction and the runner is awarded 3rd base.
Richard, here's the actual case play you are referring to. It leaves a lot to be desired.


With one out, R1 on second and R2 on first, B4 hits a ground ball directly to F1 who throws to F5 for the force on R1 at third. F6 grabs R1 to prevent her from advancing to third.

RULING: The umpire will signal obstruction when it occurs, and then call time at the end of playing action or when the obstructed runner is put out before reaching the base she would have, in the umpire's judgment, had there been no obstruction. The umpire will award R1 and any other runners the base or bases they would have reached had there been no obstruction. F6 shall also be ejected for unsporting behavior. (2-36; 3-6-13c; 5-1-3; 8-4-3b)
Note there is nothing in the ruling that states R1 must be awarded third base because she cannot be put out between two bases where she was obstructed. It just says R1 and the other runners are awarded the bases they would have reached had there been no obstruction. Well, if there was no obstruction, the likelihood R1 would have reached third is practically nil.

So why would NFHS muddy the waters here with such a generalized statement for this particular case play? They kind of leave it unsaid that the runner should be protected between the two bases, and even if she wouldn't have reached third base without the obstruction, she is still awarded the base. Seems rather vague whether or not the end result of this play would be bases loaded, one out, and a new F6 having to come in.
"Let's face it. Umpiring is not an easy or happy way to make a living. In the abuse they suffer, and the pay they get for it, you see an imbalance that can only be explained by their need to stay close to a game they can't resist." -- Bob Uecker
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