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Old Mon Jun 24, 2019, 11:22pm
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When OBS turns into an "Illegal Block in the Back"

12U ASA State Tournament last weekend. R1 on 1B, batter hits a gapper to the fence. F4 sets up for a throw that is never coming on the inside corner of 2B, facing left field. I come inside the diamond between 1B and 2B (thus looking at R1's back) per USA mechanics. R1 simply runs over F4 from behind with forearms extended, at which point I call OBS as well as point and say "You can't do that, R1!". R1 rounds 2B, stops to look at me, then continues to 3B where she is caught in a rundown and tagged out in the confusion.

I call dead ball, and send R1 back to 2B, as I judged she was unlikely to make it to 3B after taking the time to flatten F4 on her way around the bases. At this point, I warn the player, head coach, and the team that no more rough play or unsporting conduct is allowed.

In the moment, I was ready to auto eject. The rundown gave me enough time to re-process what I had seen, and I decided not to toss the 12 year old. Between innings, I asked my partner if he thought I should have ejected....he said no, but in hindsight, I should have gotten his feedback at the time of the play, as I only saw the collision and did not see her extend the forearms.

What say you? Eject on the spot or warn? I think I should have tossed her.
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Last edited by teebob21; Mon Jun 24, 2019 at 11:28pm. Reason: corrected sequence of events
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Old Tue Jun 25, 2019, 07:50am
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Ejection, at the end of the play and award, would have been appropriate.
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Old Tue Jun 25, 2019, 09:45am
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A few years ago we had a similar discussion at an ASA training session. In this case, clueless F3 often just stood on first base and runners had to make their way around her. OBS was called several times with no apparent result.

Until one runner decided that the inside corner of the base was hers and she basically flattened F3 on her way by to second base. OBS was called on the play but BR made it safely to second base.

The question became what to do about the runner? F3 wasn't involved in the play, but was in the way of the runner. Can't call INT on the runner thus negating the OBS call.

Discussion moved to the difference between how NFHS handles such a situation since they do actually have an index reference for "Unsporting Conduct". ASA/USA does not specifically call out UC. NFHS has the appropriate penalty hierarchy of warning (if of a minor nature) or ejection (if repeated or serious enough the first time).

Sometimes at lower levels, players are more clumsy than malicious. That's where umpire judgment comes in. Perhaps travel teams should have higher expectations, but I've seen some pretty sorry travel teams.

If this situation was a "one of" in a game where there was no acrimony between the teams, and in a lower age group, I'd probably not jump straight to ejection.

And USA Softball doesn't even dwell on a definition of conduct or UC (that I could find). So it really does come down to the umpire's judgment.
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Old Tue Jun 25, 2019, 12:12pm
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In my opinion, you were totally out of line in with "You can't do that, R1!." My take is you should not speak directly to the player especially in 12U (as we were instructed in Indiana NSA - yes, different, but....)
Given that you did address the player, you caused her advance to be delayed - "R1 rounds 2B, stops to look at me, then continues to 3B where she is caught in a rundown and tagged out in the confusion."
Figuratively you obstructed her further.
Were I the Offensive Coach, I certainly would be calling for an award of 3B and you would be hard pressed to deny that you were contributory.

That said, the eject or no eject is a totally separate issue. You just have to go with gut and circumstances. That said, I would have to be 100% sure it was with intentional malice or I would have simply a 12 year old's reaction.
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Old Tue Jun 25, 2019, 12:15pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
Ejection, at the end of the play and award, would have been appropriate.
Because she forgot to say "may I"
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Old Tue Jun 25, 2019, 09:50pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robbie View Post
Were I the Offensive Coach, I certainly would be calling for an award of 3B and you would be hard pressed to deny that you were contributory.
My verbalization is not an ASA/USA mechanic, I admit. It's something that I picked up on advice from an NCAA clinician: paraphrased as "When something bad or potentially malicious happens during a live ball by a player which doesn't kill the play, point it out (so the coaches see it) and call it out, so the player knows, too." My call of "You can't do that" was basically a reflex. I had judged her as not reaching 3B prior to the vocalization, when I made the OBS call. I don't feel as though I put her at jeopardy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by robbie View Post
That said, the eject or no eject is a totally separate issue. You just have to go with gut and circumstances. That said, I would have to be 100% sure it was with intentional malice or I would have simply a 12 year old's reaction.
The gut said eject...but as you point out, I did not have intentional malicious contact...I didn't see the forearms extend, although my partner did. That being said, I don't care what age a player is....they can and should still be ejected for ejectable offenses.

I didn't lose any sleep over NOT ejecting, but if I had to do it again, I probably would. There's no room in the game at any level for running over a fielder with a blindside block.
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Old Tue Jun 25, 2019, 10:08pm
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Can someone please cite from where the terms malicious and intentional are coming?
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Old Wed Jun 26, 2019, 03:39pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
My verbalization is not an ASA/USA mechanic, I admit. It's something that I picked up on advice from an NCAA clinician: paraphrased as "When something bad or potentially malicious happens during a live ball by a player which doesn't kill the play, point it out (so the coaches see it) and call it out, so the player knows, too." My call of "You can't do that" was basically a reflex. I had judged her as not reaching 3B prior to the vocalization, when I made the OBS call. I don't feel as though I put her at jeopardy.
This must be "new" because I have never heard anything close to this. Maybe after a hard tag with no other action, but not during a live ball.

Is there a reference in the CAA manual?
(read: this sounds like the "clinician" was making this up)
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Old Wed Jun 26, 2019, 10:37pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Slick View Post
(read: this sounds like the "clinician" was making this up)
It wouldn't be the first time....
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Old Thu Jun 27, 2019, 01:22pm
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The OBS was there before the contact.
R1 was upright, therefore she saw F4, needs to avoid even w/o ball there.

Apparently not INT, so not immediate dead ball; but ejection after the play.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

BTW, shouldn't you be perpendicular to the runner path, not behind her?
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Old Fri Jun 28, 2019, 11:15am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
The OBS was there before the contact.
R1 was upright, therefore she saw F4, needs to avoid even w/o ball there.

Apparently not INT, so not immediate dead ball; but ejection after the play.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

BTW, shouldn't you be perpendicular to the runner path, not behind her?
With R1 at 1B and U1 starting behind F4, I didn't have any responsibilities for R1 after she passes 2B and advances to 3B. PU has lead runner at 3B and home here.

Buttonhooking inside from "B" to observe base touches by R1 and BR makes it very hard to be in front of a runner rounding 2B.
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