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Old Tue Jul 11, 2017, 09:19am
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2 easy obstruction questions

Here are two potential obstruction situations that happened on my field this weekend. Both seem easy but after thinking (and re-thinking) I'm still asking your opinions. Maybe I'm missing something.

1. Batter pops a little blooper in between F1, F3 and F4. Ball hits ground and F1 takes control. Both F3 and F4 head toward 1st base. F3 gets there first and sets up for the throw but F4 drifts about 3-4 feet behind the orange bag. It's a close play with B1 being called out, but as she takes her final stride to the bag she hits orange and immediately makes a sharp right, potentially because she sees F4 standing a few feet in front of her. Obstruction?

2. The typical situation where F3 is standing next to 1st base when the ball is hit to the outfield with no play being made at 1st. Some runners try to hit the inside corner and have to do a swerve step to avoid F3. Other runners seem to accept that F3 is cutting off the inside portion of the bag and take a much wider turn, but with no real visible change in their running motion. So, is the fact that F3 is setting up on the corner enough to call obstruction? Or do I need to see a real deviation in the way the runner moves around 1st?
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Old Tue Jul 11, 2017, 09:33am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Jimmy View Post
Here are two potential obstruction situations that happened on my field this weekend. Both seem easy but after thinking (and re-thinking) I'm still asking your opinions. Maybe I'm missing something.

1. Batter pops a little blooper in between F1, F3 and F4. Ball hits ground and F1 takes control. Both F3 and F4 head toward 1st base. F3 gets there first and sets up for the throw but F4 drifts about 3-4 feet behind the orange bag. It's a close play with B1 being called out, but as she takes her final stride to the bag she hits orange and immediately makes a sharp right, potentially because she sees F4 standing a few feet in front of her. Obstruction?

2. The typical situation where F3 is standing next to 1st base when the ball is hit to the outfield with no play being made at 1st. Some runners try to hit the inside corner and have to do a swerve step to avoid F3. Other runners seem to accept that F3 is cutting off the inside portion of the bag and take a much wider turn, but with no real visible change in their running motion. So, is the fact that F3 is setting up on the corner enough to call obstruction? Or do I need to see a real deviation in the way the runner moves around 1st?
Yes, possibly the easiest questions you have ever posted, maybe.

1) If you judge the sharp right turn was because of F4 AND it kept BR from reaching 1st ASAP, then yes.
Hard to judge that, but 3-4 ft is pretty close.
If ruled OBS, not necessarily an award of 1st, as you then must judge if BR would have made it w/o the OBS.
The bolded part is the key and you must judge "because she sees F4".

2) Yes, as long as the runner actually makes a turn or attempts to. Again, the bolded is the key, but you do need to see a "real deviation".
"F3 is setting up on the corner" is not acceptable anytime the possibility of a turn exists, so I would call OBS.
The base coach would then ask if she gets 2nd, NO.
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Last edited by CecilOne; Tue Jul 11, 2017 at 10:54am.
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Old Tue Jul 11, 2017, 10:20am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Jimmy View Post
Here are two potential obstruction situations that happened on my field this weekend. Both seem easy but after thinking (and re-thinking) I'm still asking your opinions. Maybe I'm missing something.

1. Batter pops a little blooper in between F1, F3 and F4. Ball hits ground and F1 takes control. Both F3 and F4 head toward 1st base. F3 gets there first and sets up for the throw but F4 drifts about 3-4 feet behind the orange bag. It's a close play with B1 being called out, but as she takes her final stride to the bag she hits orange and immediately makes a sharp right, potentially because she sees F4 standing a few feet in front of her. Obstruction?
No, not as described. Unless there is something that happened prior to the base that you are not mentioning, it is nothing.

Quote:

2. The typical situation where F3 is standing next to 1st batse when the ball is hit to the outfield with no play being made at 1st. Some runners try to hit the inside corner and have to do a swerve step to avoid F3. Other runners seem to accept that F3 is cutting off the inside portion of the bag and take a much wider turn, but with no real visible change in their running motion. So, is the fact that F3 is setting up on the corner enough to call obstruction? Or do I need to see a real deviation in the way the runner moves around 1st?
If the runner isn't impeded or makes a notable change in their selected path, it is nothing. If the runner is impeded by the defender's presence, it is OBS and the runner should be protected and awarded the appropriate bases.
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Last edited by IRISHMAFIA; Wed Jul 12, 2017 at 09:27am.
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Old Tue Jul 11, 2017, 10:53am
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Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
If the runner is impeded or makes a notable change in their selected path, it is nothing.

If the runner is impeded or hindered by the defender's presence, it is OBS and the runner should be protected and awarded the appropriate bases.
Difference in bolded, or just editing??
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Old Tue Jul 11, 2017, 11:06am
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Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
Yes, possibly the easiest questions you have ever posted, maybe.

1) If you judge the sharp right turn was because of F4 AND it kept BR from reaching 1st ASAP, then yes.
Hard to judge that, but 3-4 ft is pretty close.
If ruled OBS, not necessarily an award of 1st, as you then must judge if BR would have made it w/o the OBS.
The bolded part is the key and you must judge "because she sees F4".

2) Yes, as long as the runner actually makes a turn or attempts to. Again, the bolded is the key, but you do need to see a "real deviation".
"F3 is setting up on the corner" is not acceptable anytime the possibility of a turn exists, so I would call OBS.
The base coach would then ask if she gets 2nd, NO.
Cecil:
I'm curious to the meaning of your statement above. Given the OBS ruling, what would be a circumstance where you would not award 1st?
Is it not true that even if you feel BR would not make it safely sans the OBS, he / she cannot be put out between bases where OBS occurred. That would be home and first.
I only do NSA and we would definitely award 1st.
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Old Tue Jul 11, 2017, 11:12am
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Originally Posted by robbie View Post
Cecil:
I'm curious to the meaning of your statement above. Given the OBS ruling, what would be a circumstance where you would not award 1st?
Is it not true that even if you feel BR would not make it safely sans the OBS, he / she cannot be put out between bases where OBS occurred. That would be home and first.
I only do NSA and we would definitely award 1st.
Partly, to state a general principle of the rule.

IF BR running full speed, but out by 2-3 steps, then pulls up or turns sharply, the OBS can be called w/o an award as confirmation that it was seen.
Yes, then there is the question of which bases; but if out easily and F4 impeded a turn, the OBS occurred after 1st.
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Old Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:15pm
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Irish,
Are you saying that there needs to be some act before the runner reaches 1st base for obstruction to be called? The situation described has a player without possession of the ball standing in B1's chosen path (through the bag). The fact that B1 made an abrupt shift to her right at the moment she touched the orange bag seems enough to at least consider obstruction.

For what it's worth, I was plate and my partner was in the standard A position for the safe/out call. At the moment I felt I should defer to her on the call/no call.
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Old Tue Jul 11, 2017, 01:29pm
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Originally Posted by Little Jimmy View Post
Irish,
Are you saying that there needs to be some act before the runner reaches 1st base for obstruction to be called? The situation described has a player without possession of the ball standing in B1's chosen path (through the bag).
Interesting concept here. Is the overrun considered part of the basepath, or are they only protected "between the bases"?

Example (not intending to derail the thread): Bunt in front of the plate, thrown to 1B. F4, backing up the play, positions herself on the foul line three steps behind on the outfield side of 1B. BR checks up to avoid crushing F4, and is thrown out on a bang-bang play. OBS on F4, award BR 1b??
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Old Tue Jul 11, 2017, 03:02pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Jimmy View Post
2. The typical situation where F3 is standing next to 1st base when the ball is hit to the outfield with no play being made at 1st. Some runners try to hit the inside corner and have to do a swerve step to avoid F3. Other runners seem to accept that F3 is cutting off the inside portion of the bag and take a much wider turn, but with no real visible change in their running motion. So, is the fact that F3 is setting up on the corner enough to call obstruction? Or do I need to see a real deviation in the way the runner moves around 1st?
I see this happen a lot, especially in high school and USA play where F3 really doesn't know any better (that, or she sets herself up there on purpose to make the BR widen her turn at first base). I call obstruction every time. As you mention, runners are taught to round first on the inside corner, and F3 has no business setting up there to take that away.

Sometimes you just have to be a student of the game.
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Old Tue Jul 11, 2017, 05:10pm
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Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
Interesting concept here. Is the overrun considered part of the basepath, or are they only protected "between the bases"?

Example (not intending to derail the thread): Bunt in front of the plate, thrown to 1B. F4, backing up the play, positions herself on the foul line three steps behind on the outfield side of 1B. BR checks up to avoid crushing F4, and is thrown out on a bang-bang play. OBS on F4, award BR 1b??
What does the obstruction rule actually state? We should start (and probably end) there.

Was she hindered or impeded before she was out? That's all we should need to determine; between the bases relates to the effect.
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Old Wed Jul 12, 2017, 01:54am
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Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
What does the obstruction rule actually state? We should start (and probably end) there.

Was she hindered or impeded before she was out? That's all we should need to determine; between the bases relates to the effect.
Steve, as always, great response.

In my hypothetical, IMO yes, the runner was impeded before she was out, as she changed her stride before the base due to F4. As a self-acknowledged "black and white" rules guy, I should know better than to try to envision third-world plays without remembering what the rules dictate.
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Old Wed Jul 12, 2017, 01:55am
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Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
I see this happen a lot, especially in high school and USA play where F3 really doesn't know any better (that, or she sets herself up there on purpose to make the BR widen her turn at first base). I call obstruction every time. As you mention, runners are taught to round first on the inside corner, and F3 has no business setting up there to take that away.

Sometimes you just have to be a student of the game.
This is why my left shoulder muscle is considerably bigger than my right.
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Old Wed Jul 12, 2017, 11:17am
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Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
This is why my left shoulder muscle is considerably bigger than my right.
You call more obstructions than strikes or outs???
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Old Wed Jul 12, 2017, 11:32am
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Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
You call more obstructions than strikes or outs???
WMB used to quote physiology to us, so maybe he would say something about leverage when extended, etc,
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Old Wed Jul 12, 2017, 09:07pm
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You call more obstructions than strikes or outs???
I was joking, but Cecil's comment about extension is on point. Grab two bags of sugar next time you go to the grocery store. With one in each hand, signal DDB and then signal an out. Which is tougher on the shoulder?

Congratulations: your local grocery store employees now think you are weird.
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