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Old Fri Mar 09, 2018, 10:31am
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Obstruction, Look Back--NFHS

NFHS varsity game. B hits line drive to right center and runs to 1B. F3 is standing on 1B. Collision results in B/R falling to the ground. FU gives delayed dead ball signal. B/R stands up and goes to 1B, making no attempt toward 2B. Meanwhile, the ball is thrown to the pitcher, who is within the circle. Fans are hollering for B/R to go to 2B because she was "interfered" with (yes, I know obstruction is correct) and is entitled to 2B. Offensive coach at 1B apparently agrees and instructs the B/R to go 2B. B/R steps off 1B toward 2B. Time had not been called. Is the B/R out?
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Old Fri Mar 09, 2018, 11:09am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredhjr View Post
NFHS varsity game. B hits line drive to right center and runs to 1B. F3 is standing on 1B. Collision results in B/R falling to the ground. FU gives delayed dead ball signal. B/R stands up and goes to 1B, making no attempt toward 2B. Meanwhile, the ball is thrown to the pitcher, who is within the circle. Fans are hollering for B/R to go to 2B because she was "interfered" with (yes, I know obstruction is correct) and is entitled to 2B. Offensive coach at 1B apparently agrees and instructs the B/R to go 2B. B/R steps off 1B toward 2B. Time had not been called. Is the B/R out?
If OBS was called, or play suspended, probably not.
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Old Fri Mar 09, 2018, 12:37pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredhjr View Post
NFHS varsity game. B hits line drive to right center and runs to 1B. F3 is standing on 1B. Collision results in B/R falling to the ground. FU gives delayed dead ball signal. B/R stands up and goes to 1B, making no attempt toward 2B. Meanwhile, the ball is thrown to the pitcher, who is within the circle. Fans are hollering for B/R to go to 2B because she was "interfered" with (yes, I know obstruction is correct) and is entitled to 2B.

Offensive coach at 1B apparently agrees and instructs the B/R to go 2B. B/R steps off 1B toward 2B. Time had not been called. Is the B/R out?
The OBS at the base means no put out between 1st & 2nd.
But, once the runner stops at a base, any advancement has to be awarded by an umpire.
In this case, I think the step off and the LBR call are separate from the runner advancing on the original play, so the "no put out between bases" would not apply.

I would call it an out.

Can we retrain the baseball coaches?
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Old Fri Mar 09, 2018, 12:46pm
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I believe there is a case play on it but not sure if I have seen it in the use or nfhs case plays.
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Old Fri Mar 09, 2018, 09:31pm
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Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
The OBS at the base means no put out between 1st & 2nd.
But, once the runner stops at a base, any advancement has to be awarded by an umpire.
In this case, I think the step off and the LBR call are separate from the runner advancing on the original play, so the "no put out between bases" would not apply.

I would call it an out.

Can we retrain the baseball coaches?
I do not see where an LBR violation is an exception allowing a OBS runner to be called out between the two bases.
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Old Fri Mar 09, 2018, 11:10pm
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Not the exact play and it is from USA, but as Irish stated, the lookback rule is not listed as an exception to the obstruction rule.

Play: With no outs, R1 on 1B, B2 hits a ground ball to the outfield. R1 rounds 2B and is obstructed halfway to 3B. B2 is standing still between 2B and 3B when the ball is returned to F1 in the circle. F1 makes no attempt to play on R1. Immediately after F1 receives the ball in the circle, R1 starts moving back toward 2B. Prior to reaching 2B, R1 reverses her direction and runs safely to 3B. What is the ruling?
Ruling: Once R1, the obstructed runner, violates the Look Back Rule, the umpire should call dead ball, and award R1and B2 the base or bases which would have been reached, in the umpire’s judgment, had there not been obstruction. Violation of the Look Back Rule does not meet any of the exceptions of protecting the runner between the bases they were obstructed. Rule 8, Section 7T [1-2] EFFECT: and Rule 8, Section 5B [2] Exception.
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Old Fri Mar 09, 2018, 11:55pm
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Since the B/R did not attempt to go to 2B but went safely back to 1B, it would seem to me that the obstruction protection between bases was off because the B/R made it safely to 1B. The LBR would now be in effect, no?
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Old Sat Mar 10, 2018, 12:04am
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The lookback rule says nothing about a runner must attempt to advance in order to be awarded a base. It is the umpires judgement as to where the runner would have reached and at the end of playing action, or when the obstructed runner is put out before reaching the base they would have the umpire is to award the runner the base or bases they would have reached absent the obstruction.

As for cancelling obstruction, per the rule, obstruction is not cancelled until the runner reaches the base the umpire judges they would have absent the obstruction, AND there is a subsequent play on a different runner.
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Old Sat Mar 10, 2018, 03:19am
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Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
As for cancelling obstruction, per the rule, obstruction is not cancelled until the runner reaches the base the umpire judges they would have absent the obstruction, AND there is a subsequent play on a different runner.
This is the key. Short of INT or malicious contact/collision, there's not much an obstructed runner can do which results in an out. If the OBS-runner violates the LBR, the ball is dead and we ignore LBR, and award bases accordingly. (EDIT to add: The rationale is that the defense erred first....we do not penalize the offense for their base running violation (LBR) on the same pitch after the defense has already violated.)

Somehow, I completely screwed up a situation similar to this last weekend (the OBS-runner was rounding 3B). The runner was going to score, but was obstructed. She fell down and returned to 3B where she was tagged after reaching safely. My brain fell out, and I did not properly award home.
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Last edited by teebob21; Sat Mar 10, 2018 at 03:24am.
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Old Sun Mar 11, 2018, 09:14am
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Originally Posted by fredhjr View Post
Since the B/R did not attempt to go to 2B but went safely back to 1B, it would seem to me that the obstruction protection between bases was off because the B/R made it safely to 1B. The LBR would now be in effect, no?
Yes, but as noted above, the LBR is not an exception which negates an OBS call
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Old Sun Mar 11, 2018, 09:14pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
The OBS at the base means no put out between 1st & 2nd.
But, once the runner stops at a base, any advancement has to be awarded by an umpire.
In this case, I think the step off and the LBR call are separate from the runner advancing on the original play, so the "no put out between bases" would not apply.

I would call it an out.

Can we retrain the baseball coaches?
Rule citation?
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Old Mon Mar 12, 2018, 12:41pm
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The 2 elements needed for the exception were not in effect, but at what point is all play to have been considered stopped (which I thought was an element as well)?

How long, with the pitcher in possession in the circle, can the runner (standing still on 1B) wait before taking off for 2B, and still be protected by the original OBS call?
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Old Mon Mar 12, 2018, 03:24pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmkupka View Post
The 2 elements needed for the exception were not in effect, but at what point is all play to have been considered stopped (which I thought was an element as well)?

How long, with the pitcher in possession in the circle, can the runner (standing still on 1B) wait before taking off for 2B, and still be protected by the original OBS call?
It seems to me that the BU, as soon as all play has come to its conclusion, should go ahead and call Time, announce that he/she had obstruction, and then announce where he/she is placing the runner. Either he/she says, "Time; Obstruction on the First Base Person. Runner goes to second," or "...Runner stays at first."

To me, this shouldn't be a case where the BU just says nothing if he/she judges the runner is already on the awarded base. A little bit of preventive medicine goes a long way.
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Old Sun Mar 25, 2018, 09:29am
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This thread kind of revived some points on obstruction from a post last year about when exactly is obstruction over. As to the original play in this thread, the lookback rule is not an exception to the obstruction rule, so the runner cannot be called out for committing a lookback violation. However, there was a comment about when the runner returned to 1st base, the obstruction was cancelled. That is not the case.

The obstruction rule has 2 elements that must be met to cancel the obstruction. 1, the obstructed runner must reach the base the umpire judges they would have absent the obstruction, AND 2, there must be a subsequent play on a different runner. Unless both of those elements are met, the obstruction is still in place and the runner cannot be put out between the 2 bases where obstructed.

There was a long draw out thread last year on a FB NFHS softball forum about a play involving a pick off at 2nd base and the runner thrown at attempting to advance to 3rd. The umpires ruled the obstruction was cancelled when the runner returned to 2nd and the out at 3rd stood. There was even a UIC on site that confirmed the ruling. In response I posted a play I had where a batter/runner was obstructed rounding 1st on a bad throw, F9 was backing up the play and after initially starting toward 2nd, the runner thought better of it and returned to 1st base. The ball was thrown to the pitcher who was not in the circle when suddenly the 1st base coach tells the runner, he called obstruction, you get 2nd base and the runner just started trotting toward 2nd. The pitcher ran over and tagged the runner. Again, the vast majority of responses where the out stands because the runner returned to 1st base cancelling the obstruction. Many even claimed the exception did not apply because there were no other runners on base. Someone managed to get the play sent to NFHS national and they just replied this week with their answer.

Quote:
RULING: When the runner is tagged by F1 the umpire should call time and kill the play. The runner is then returned to 1B (the base she would have gotten to had there been no obstruction) as the hit was a routine single.

An obstructed runner may not be called out between the two bases where obstructed. EXCEPTION: When an obstructed runner, after being obstructed, safely obtains the base they would have been awarded had there been no obstruction AND there is a subsequent play on a different runner.

"AND there is a subsequent play on a different runner". <<<<

Last edited by RKBUmp; Sun Mar 25, 2018 at 09:32am.
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Old Sun Mar 25, 2018, 07:24pm
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RKB, that is the play I'm questioning:

Ordinary single to F9. BR rounds 1B and is obstructed. Returns to 1B and stands on it.

Ball is relayed from F9 to F5 to F1 (in the circle).

BR takes off for 2B:
1. after F5's relay, but before ball is caught by F1.
2. after ball is caught by F1.

In either case. BR is tagged out at 2B.

In 1, BR is still protected, and returned to 1B, because both elements of the exception are not met.
In 2, is it not a LBR violation? And if not, how long does F1 have to have possession before it is?

We don't call time and award the base (if she's on the awarded base), so what else ends the play?

Last edited by jmkupka; Sun Mar 25, 2018 at 07:36pm.
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