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Old Tue Oct 09, 2018, 05:22pm
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OBS call protested

We held a Fall Ball USA tournament this past weekend for 16U teams.

My last game Sunday afternoon resulted in my first ever game protested by a coach.

Top of the first inning, R1 on 2B, 2 outs. B4 hit a squirrelly little ground ball to the pitcher's right. F1 fielded it and threw to F3, but the throw was down by the BR's feet. Between F3 reaching for the ball and B4 trying to get to 1B, there was a collision and both players went down. The ball caromed off the players to the fence. As B4 tried to get up to go to 2B, she was OBS by F3 trying to chase down the loose ball.

At that point I called OBS. R1 rounded third and headed for home when she saw the ball go to the fence.

Once B4 got up, she started to go to 2B with the coach yelling at her to "Go! Go! Go!" By this time F3 had retrieved the ball and started back toward the infield. B4 thought better of trying to go to 2B and instead headed back to 1B. Now it was a race to see who'd get there first.

I had come inside once the ball got past F3 and had taken a couple of steps toward 2B when B4 initially thought about going. Now I had to try to get closer to 1B for the play there.

Both players dove for the base. I clearly did not have the preferred 90-degree angle and was probably about 15' away from 1B when I called the runner safe.

By this time, R1 had scored. I called time out, and because I had the OBS call, announced that I had OBS on F3, but that B4 would remain at first base.

I thought we'd be good until the Defensive HC came out to tell me about a rule I didn't know about. According to him, once the runner had rounded first, she was committed to second base and could not return to first. And he wanted her to be called out. (We never did get into a discussion about the runner who scored, but that was in the back of my mind.)

I told the coach that his argument was incorrect. And he told me that he was 100% sure that he was right because he had seen it in the rules book. So we danced a bit more and he finally decided that he was going to protest the game.

We got the TD and UIC over to discuss it and they denied the protest. And we played on.

The top of the 6th inning was going to be the last inning (time limit - unless a tie happened). We entered the inning tied 6-6. The first batter hit a grounder to an infielder who made a low throw to F3 who trapped it but ended up with an inverted "snow cone" catch with the ball on the ground. I ruled safe. Visitors ended up scoring 2 runs and shut down the home team in the bottom of the 6th.

As we were walking out, my partner mentioned the play at first base. I said I was surprised the coach didn't come out to challenge. She said that one of his assistant coaches suggested that he do so, but he made some comment about how I was an idiot and wouldn't have changed it anyway.

So all good!

My only ever other "protest" wasn't official because it was regarding an out call on a LBR violation at third base. Coach said he wanted to protest and I told him he couldn't protest a judgment call. He refused to continue until speaking with the UIC.

Now with more years of experience, I might ask if he was refusing to continue the game, and if he said yes, declare it a forfeit. But that would be on a bad day. Wouldn't want to cheat the girls from playing because one of them had a dad who was an @$$h0!3 coach.
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Old Tue Oct 09, 2018, 10:10pm
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If I'm reading this right, the OBS was between home and 1B. If that is the case, your protection would have to be to 2B for protection to exist beyond 1B. That means your award should have been 2B. However, by making the award 1B, you have basically stated your protection ended @ 1B.

The OBS occurred the moment the collision occurred, not after subsequent action.

However, R4 had every right to return to 1B, so that call is absolutely good.

AFA your second, it isn't your job to keep going for the girls. Not saying you should have forfeited the game, but if it was necessary, sometimes it just has to happen.
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Old Wed Oct 10, 2018, 08:08am
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Good job, Ted.
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Old Wed Oct 10, 2018, 08:13am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
If I'm reading this right, the OBS was between home and 1B. If that is the case, your protection would have to be to 2B for protection to exist beyond 1B. That means your award should have been 2B. However, by making the award 1B, you have basically stated your protection ended @ 1B.

The OBS occurred the moment the collision occurred, not after subsequent action.

However, R4 had every right to return to 1B, so that call is absolutely good.
I read "As B4 tried to get up to go to 2B, she was OBS by F3 trying to chase down the loose ball[" as OBS occurring at or after 1st; so protected between 1st and 2nd.

I don't read any chance of the runner reaching 2nd, so why award 2nd?
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Old Wed Oct 10, 2018, 08:22am
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Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
I read "As B4 tried to get up to go to 2B, she was OBS by F3 trying to chase down the loose ball[" as OBS occurring at or after 1st; so protected between 1st and 2nd.
OP states BR was trying to reach 1B. The OBS occurred prior to BR reaching 1B

[quote]F1 fielded it and threw to F3, but the throw was down by the BR's feet. Between F3 reaching for the ball and B4 trying to get to 1B, there was a collision and both players went down. The ball caromed off the players to the fence. As B4 tried to get up to go to 2B, she was OBS by F3 trying to chase down the loose ball.

At that point I called OBS. R1 rounded third and headed for home when she saw the ball go to the fence.

Quote:
I don't read any chance of the runner reaching 2nd, so why award 2nd?
Didn't say award R4 2B, but she ran out of protection once she touched 1B and headed toward 2B.
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Last edited by IRISHMAFIA; Wed Oct 10, 2018 at 08:25am.
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Old Wed Oct 10, 2018, 09:59am
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The ball went to the fence. The OBS happened as F3 was going for the ball.

Looks like the batter would have reached 2B easily.
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Old Wed Oct 10, 2018, 11:53am
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Here's how I viewed this play.

We didn't have a violent collision. More like 2 players trying but unable to get out of each other's way. They fell in a heap, literally on first base.

Had the ball just remained on the ground in the vicinity of the base, I probably wouldn't have called anything. Runner on the base, ball on the ground, "no ball, no call", etc.

Since the ball squirted through the players and rolled to the fence, both players were looking for it. Runner saw the ball and attempted to get up to go to 2B. F3 saw the ball and tried scrambling OVER B4 to get it. That's when I called OBS. And keep in mind all this happened in a matter of seconds.

Once B4 got to her feet, she seemed unsure about going to second. Perhaps the coach yelling for her to go gave her some incentive so she took only a few steps before thinking better of it. Coach may have known the OBS rule which is why he tried to get her to go.

At this point, I have the runner protected between 1B and 2B, but in my judgment, there was no way she would have been safe at second base absent some other weirdness on this play. A good throw from F3 to F6 would have her out easily.

The fence on this field is not that far from the foul lines. Maybe 15-18'. And the deflection was more towards the coach's box than down the RF line.
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Old Wed Oct 10, 2018, 01:17pm
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The OP description is well written and detailed.
Still, I think and hope that all 4 of us would be more in sync seeing the actual play, rather than the written description.
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Old Wed Oct 10, 2018, 03:55pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
Here's how I viewed this play.

We didn't have a violent collision. More like 2 players trying but unable to get out of each other's way. They fell in a heap, literally on first base.

Had the ball just remained on the ground in the vicinity of the base, I probably wouldn't have called anything. Runner on the base, ball on the ground, "no ball, no call", etc.

Since the ball squirted through the players and rolled to the fence, both players were looking for it. Runner saw the ball and attempted to get up to go to 2B. F3 saw the ball and tried scrambling OVER B4 to get it. That's when I called OBS. And keep in mind all this happened in a matter of seconds.

Once B4 got to her feet, she seemed unsure about going to second. Perhaps the coach yelling for her to go gave her some incentive so she took only a few steps before thinking better of it. Coach may have known the OBS rule which is why he tried to get her to go.

At this point, I have the runner protected between 1B and 2B, but in my judgment, there was no way she would have been safe at second base absent some other weirdness on this play. A good throw from F3 to F6 would have her out easily.

The fence on this field is not that far from the foul lines. Maybe 15-18'. And the deflection was more towards the coach's box than down the RF line.
F3 didn't have the ball, she knocked the BR to the ground and that wasn't obstruction. I agree that it's hard to exactly rule on a written description, but it sure sounds like you had a runner obstructed twice. Once at the collision and then again after she got up. No?
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Old Wed Oct 10, 2018, 07:57pm
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Originally Posted by youngump View Post
F3 didn't have the ball, she knocked the BR to the ground and that wasn't obstruction. I agree that it's hard to exactly rule on a written description, but it sure sounds like you had a runner obstructed twice. Once at the collision and then again after she got up. No?
F3 did not knock the BR to the ground. There was a slight crossing of paths, bumping, and falling down.

Again, in a matter of 4-5 seconds, each player was scrambling to get up and resume their softball activities. It's just that when F3 did so, she didn't go around the opponent.

For those who wish to break the play down into nano-seconds, perhaps there were multiple OBS offenses.

I called one that hindered the runner getting up and proceeding to second base, and as a result, had her protected between first and second.
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Old Thu Oct 11, 2018, 08:32am
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Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post


I called one that hindered the runner getting up and proceeding to second base, and as a result, had her protected between first and second.
According to the OP, the OBS occurred on a BR (before reaching first) By rule, the BR is protected between home & 1B. If you were going to extend that protection, it means, at least to me, that you believed the runner could have reached 2B safely and the award should have been 2B, not 1B.

Otherwise, the runner ran outside of her protection and is liable to be put out
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Old Thu Oct 11, 2018, 09:19am
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Top of the first inning, R1 on 2B, 2 outs. B4 hit a squirrelly little ground ball to the pitcher's right. F1 fielded it and threw to F3, but the throw was down by the BR's feet. Between F3 reaching for the ball and B4 trying to get to 1B, there was a collision and both players went down. The ball caromed off the players to the fence. As B4 tried to get up to go to 2B, she was OBS by F3 trying to chase down the loose ball.

At that point I called OBS. R1 rounded third and headed for home when she saw the ball go to the fence.

Once B4 got up, she started to go to 2B with the coach yelling at her to "Go! Go! Go!" By this time F3 had retrieved the ball and started back toward the infield. B4 thought better of trying to go to 2B and instead headed back to 1B. Now it was a race to see who'd get there first.

I had come inside once the ball got past F3 and had taken a couple of steps toward 2B when B4 initially thought about going. Now I had to try to get closer to 1B for the play there.

Both players dove for the base. I clearly did not have the preferred 90-degree angle and was probably about 15' away from 1B when I called the runner safe.

By this time, R1 had scored. I called time out, and because I had the OBS call, announced that I had OBS on F3, but that B4 would remain at first base
.
-------------------------------------------------------------

It looks like there were 2 OBS, although the before 1st is not clear; collisions are not always OBS or INT. The OBS at/after 1st is clear as called. That OBS occurred.
We apply the result of an OBS based on where we judge the runner would have ended up without the OBS. With the ball quickly retrieved by F3, there appears no chance the runner could reach 2nd safely. The runner is protected from being out between 1st and 2nd because of the later OBS; therefore is placed at 1st.
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Old Thu Oct 11, 2018, 09:41am
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Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
If you were going to extend that protection, it means, at least to me, that you believed the runner could have reached 2B safely and the award should have been 2B, not 1B.
So if I saw F3's OBS, and didn't think runner could have reached 2B, I'd be better off not calling OBS??

We've all seen this scenario: base hit to the outfield; BR hustling all the way and takes a hard turn at first base when 3 or 4 steps later she runs right into F3 who is standing there. Runner did not intentionally run into F3, but couldn't avoid her.

Ball is fielded cleanly and returned promptly to the infield.

I have OBS, runner protected between first and second, but don't believe she would have made second absent the OBS.

What usually happens is the runner returns to first base, the first base coach complains about the OBS, and I say, yes, runner was OBS and I made that call.

Next batter.
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Old Thu Oct 11, 2018, 10:41am
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Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
[COLOR="Blue"]... collisions are not always OBS or INT. ...
Point of order (chair recognizes the gentleman from PA). In USA Softball:

A - If a runner and fielder collide while the fielder is playing (rule 1: play) on a batted ball, this is INT.

B - If a runner and fielder collide while the fielder is not playing the ball and NOT in possession of the ball, this is OBS.

C - If a runner and fielder collide (and is the only "hindrance" i.e. there is no other hindrance or impediment) while the fielder is not playing the ball and the ball and runner "arrive at the same time", then you would not have obstruction. However, this is a very narrow "window" of time to happen.

D - If a runner and fielder collide while the fielder is not playing the ball and in possession of the ball, this could be: a) nothing, b) crash (8 8 Q 1,2) with an out only or c) crash with an out and ejection (8 8 Q 4).

While your statement is true, we need to train to make the judgement scenarios A and B. Scenario C is very very very low probability. Collisions will most likely have some result other than "nothing." The bad throw that pulls F3 into BR is obstruction.
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Old Thu Oct 11, 2018, 01:01pm
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Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
So if I saw F3's OBS, and didn't think runner could have reached 2B, I'd be better off not calling OBS??

We've all seen this scenario: base hit to the outfield; BR hustling all the way and takes a hard turn at first base when 3 or 4 steps later she runs right into F3 who is standing there. Runner did not intentionally run into F3, but couldn't avoid her.

Ball is fielded cleanly and returned promptly to the infield.

I have OBS, runner protected between first and second, but don't believe she would have made second absent the OBS.

What usually happens is the runner returns to first base, the first base coach complains about the OBS, and I say, yes, runner was OBS and I made that call.

Next batter.
The distinction between what you've just described and the above is where the obstruction occurred. A runner obstructed between home and first can only be protected to second if you think she was going to get there absent the obstruction. We've also made the point here that a runner bumped before first and still stumbling after first is obstructed both between home and first and between first and second.
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