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Old Tue Mar 07, 2006, 06:23pm
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It's been talked about a million times, and childress even wrote an article on it, but i think the rule is changing, and i would like some input...

Situation: Fed Rules. 1 out, R1 on third. Batter hits a ball to shallow left, which is caught by the third baseman. Fast Runner tags and goes, running into the catcher just before home. the ball is bobbled by the third baseman, and:

a) just thrown on the way to the catcher (not within the home plate cutout)or
b) already thrown inline with the plate, within the bounds of the homeplate cutout (dirt surrounding home)or
c) not thrown or
d) already caught by the catcher

The collision seems incidental, not malicious, and it appears that both the catcher and runner tried to avoid each other.

Not too interested in C or D as they are clear cut. Discuss.
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Old Tue Mar 07, 2006, 06:38pm
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I'm having a tough time invisioning the play as you described it.

Where was the ball when the contact occurred?
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Old Tue Mar 07, 2006, 07:58pm
DG DG is offline
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Not enough information to conclude anything. However, if the catcher is blocking the plate while receiving a ball in flight and near enough to the catcher so he must occupy the position to field the ball then it is not obstruction. It is entirely the umpire's judgement as to whether he is in act of fielding a thrown ball, although I am sure I read somewhere that a rule of thumb is if the ball is in flight above the dirt cutout portion, ie 13 feet from the plate, then not obstruction. So based on this I would a) is obstruction and b) is not.
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Old Wed Mar 08, 2006, 08:38am
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Quote:
Originally posted by phillips.alex
It's been talked about a million times, and childress even wrote an article on it, but i think the rule is changing,
I don't think this rule has recently changed in FED. IF a play is "imminent" (and that's judgment) then F2 is allowed to be there.

In NCAA, F2 must have the ball.

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Old Wed Mar 08, 2006, 08:53am
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Exactly

Quote:
Originally posted by bob jenkins
Quote:
Originally posted by phillips.alex
It's been talked about a million times, and childress even wrote an article on it, but i think the rule is changing,
I don't think this rule has recently changed in FED. IF a play is "imminent" (and that's judgment) then F2 is allowed to be there.

In NCAA, F2 must have the ball.

Thanks for being very clear Bob. Many times umpires try to make this very hard and its a lot easier than it seems.

NCAA has changed their ruling in the last few years about having to have the ball etc., I believe that might be what the original poster was talking about.

But FED hasn't changed much in the last couple of years that I recall.

Thansk
David
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Old Wed Mar 08, 2006, 04:09pm
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i understand the idea that the play must be imminent, but i am looking for a more specific interpretation than that. ie, does the ball have to be in the air, in the cutout at home, etc. I am basically looking for what my judgement should be based upon....

And yes, the play i made up is quite contrived, but i needed to make up a situation where a throw would require the catcher to be in the base line.

Any thoughts?
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Old Wed Mar 08, 2006, 04:17pm
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hmmm,

Alex, sometimes you just have to umpire.

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Old Wed Mar 08, 2006, 05:50pm
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To me, and many I work with, "imminent" tends to mean that the ball is going to beat the runner there. If the runner beats the ball there, the play was not "imminent".

This interpretation, however, is definitely the ONLY interp out there.
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Old Wed Mar 08, 2006, 06:23pm
DG DG is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by mcrowder
DG, go re-read your rules. You're stuck in the 1990's.
This is current.
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Old Thu Mar 09, 2006, 10:06am
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Re: hmmm,

Quote:
Originally posted by Tim C
Alex, sometimes you just have to umpire.

Exactly. Basing upon a set of "made up" criteria will only get you into trouble.

Umpire the game, make the call to the best of your ability and go on with life.

You have the rules, go with it.

Safe, out, or obstruction.

This is also similiar to malicious contact. Everyone wants to say "this is malicious" but this is NOT.
Its malicious if based upon my judgement at that moment in time I think its malicious.

Tomorrow based on that days critieria, it could all change (g)

Thanks
David
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Old Thu Mar 09, 2006, 10:28am
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Alex:

Right or wrong I'll tell you how I interpret "in the act of fielding." I think like a catcher on this play. A good catcher will try to field the throw to a point just in front of the plate to the third base side to avoid obstruction. He won't go up into the basepath to set up and try to field the ball to that spot. If he does then I have obstruction. However if he sets up just out of the basepath and has to move into it to field an errant throw, absent MC, I have nothing if contact should occur.

I guess you need to ask yourself did he need to be there to field the throw, or did he set up there before the throw to field the ball to that spot to block the runner off of the plate.


Tim.
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Old Fri Mar 10, 2006, 12:50pm
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by mcrowder
[B]To me, and many I work with, "imminent" tends to mean that the ball is going to beat the runner there. If the runner beats the ball there, the play was not "imminent".

If we use this as our guidepost, then the word imminent has no meaning. Either the ball beat the runner or it didn't. This would make FED more like OBR. But FED does use the word imminent, so we do have to interpret its meaning.

Lets also keep in mind, using FED rules, I would believe that a quality umpire would want to determine if the runner was "legally attempting to avoid the fielder". (8-4-2-c) Just because the ball beat the runner does not mean we are going to have interference.

[Edited by smoump on Mar 10th, 2006 at 01:28 PM]
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Old Fri Mar 10, 2006, 01:11pm
DG DG is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by smoump
Quote:
Originally posted by mcrowder
To me, and many I work with, "imminent" tends to mean that the ball is going to beat the runner there. If the runner beats the ball there, the play was not "imminent".

This interpretation, however, is definitely the ONLY interp out there.
So.... you have the ability to calculate the speed and trajectory of the ball and the runner and project their location at a given time. Wow, you are good!

Further, using your logic, if a runner does not beat the ball there, it is imminent and we have runner interference.

Lets keep in mind, however, using FED rules I would believe that a quality umpire would want to determine if the runner was "legally attempting to avoid the fielder". (8-4-2-c) Just because the ball beat the runner does not mean we are going to have interference.
I can't see runner interference unless he does something really stupid looking like throw his left arm out to block the throw.
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Old Fri Mar 10, 2006, 03:57pm
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i am liking the idea of whether or not the catcher needed to be there to field the ball, or if he was just creating obstruction. I added the part about both the catcher and runner trying to avoid as to stay away from any ideas popping up about malicious and interference. Thanks for the replies (the good ones, anyways)

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Old Fri Mar 10, 2006, 05:01pm
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I understand why so many posters are concerned with obstruction. I have to deal with it, too, several times a year, and I admit that on many calls, I'm not really sure. I probably err on the side of NOT calling OBS when I should.

However--

I played LL in 1960-1961, school 1963-1966, Legion 1964-1967, college 1967-1970, and semipro through 1972. In those many games, and in many others I simply watched, I cannot remember ever having seen a single obstruction call. I also can't remember any manager claiming to an umpire that he should have called OBS but failed to. Of course, my memory might be faulty, but OBS seemed like something that existed purely in theory, not in reality.

What has happened since?
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