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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 22, 2019, 02:20pm
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Obstruction

Surprised I haven't seen this happen before...

High level NCAA Umpire evaluation tournament...

Bases loaded, hard grounder to F6 (cheating a little to 3B), charges the ball, turns and flips to F5 at 3B, R2 from 2B runs square into F6's back (no USC).

The ball is released well before the runner contacts F6. My base partner has no OBS on the play.

Don't know what was explained to the irate #B coach, but that night over dinner, he explains it is an interpretation that, if in his judgement, the runner would not have been safe even without the OBS, it isnt called.

Any thoughts?
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Old Mon Jul 22, 2019, 03:17pm
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Have no idea about NCAA, but any other ruleset it is obstruction and Im pretty sure there are case plays with that exact situation.
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Old Mon Jul 22, 2019, 03:32pm
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Interested to hear about these case plays and such. I don't do NCAA so don't know if there are similarities to USA/NFHS.

In the INT threads, it's often mentioned that a runner can't just go "poof" - and it would seem a similar thought process that a fielder can't just go "poof" either.

So if R2 has actually been retired by F6's toss to F5 for the force play, how could she be OBS'd?
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Old Mon Jul 22, 2019, 04:01pm
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I don't think we ever apply "can't go poof" to OBS. I'm thinking about when a fielder misses the ball at a base and then impedes the runner.

Does this OP play come down to "the base she would have reached", which is none; or does the "can't be out between those bases" override?
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Old Mon Jul 22, 2019, 05:29pm
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From the OP: "The ball is released well before the runner contacts F6."

I'm reading that as a couple of seconds, maybe three seconds, after F6 made the throw to F5. So in theory, unless F6 floated a high throw to F5, R2 would likely be out by the time contact occurred. If she's out, she can't be OBS'd, but she could still INT (not saying she did in this case).

Had the runner arrived 2 seconds earlier and run into F6 as she was making the throw, we'd likely have INT (or possibly an out on a tag if F6 realized the runner was actually that close).
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Old Mon Jul 22, 2019, 05:34pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
I don't think we ever apply "can't go poof" to OBS. I'm thinking about when a fielder misses the ball at a base and then impedes the runner.
But in this case, the fielder did not miss a ball at all. She was in the process of making a play which is an attempt by a defensive player to retire an offensive player.

How long is the defender permitted to hold her position while or after making said play? You must answer this if your argument is she "can't go poof".
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Old Tue Jul 23, 2019, 06:37am
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Im on vacation and don't have access to my case books but I know somewhere there is a case play as I mentioned earlier. As I said, Im not sure about NCAA but there is no option in any other ruleset to ignore the obstruction because "the runner would have been out anyway". USA does have some wording to that effect, but only in situations where it was a caught fly ball and the runner was obstructed trying to tag up, not the situation you have described in the OP.
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Old Tue Jul 23, 2019, 06:45am
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I think there is a case play in NFHS that is very similar, ground ball to F6 who throws to F5 for the force, but grabs the runner as she goes by. Ruling is obstruction and the runner is awarded 3rd base.
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Old Tue Jul 23, 2019, 08:19am
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Thanks for the feedback guys... try to envision F6 20-25' from 3B, flipping the ball (not a lob at all), ball reaching F5 almost simultaneous to R2 reaching contact with F6. All at a pretty good clip. F6's forward motion charging the ball bringing her into R2's path...
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Old Tue Jul 23, 2019, 09:06am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
But in this case, the fielder did not miss a ball at all. She was in the process of making a play which is an attempt by a defensive player to retire an offensive player.

How long is the defender permitted to hold her position while or after making said play? You must answer this if your argument is she "can't go poof".
Come on, missing the ball was not the point; just an example of a fielder impeding without time to evade.

The is based on base runner momentum until the play ends or it passes beyond the runner.
Applying that "can't go poof" concept to the OP etc., means either the runner passes the fielder or the play is beyond them. Excluding deliberate OBS of course.
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Old Tue Jul 23, 2019, 10:10am
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If I was ever clarifying OBS with a coach (in a non-game situation, not on the field), I'd explain that it wasn't a punishment levied on the defense, but merely putting the runner where she would've been if not for the OBS.

Generally speaking, with a batted ball, fielder is entitled to absolute access to the ball.. Thrown ball, runner has absolute access to the base (up until possession by the fielder)

In the OP, IMO R2 would not have been safe at 3B, with or without OBS; the only thing protecting her was the "between the bases" aspect of the OBS rule.

But it was not my call (interp) to make.

Last edited by jmkupka; Tue Jul 23, 2019 at 10:21am.
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Old Tue Jul 23, 2019, 11:46am
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If I were the coach and came out to question the non call in the OP and the calling umpire gave me that response I would immediately file a protest. Nowhere in the obstruction rule does it have any wording to that effect.
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Old Tue Jul 23, 2019, 11:50am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
If I were the coach and came out to question the non call in the OP and the calling umpire gave me that response I would immediately file a protest. Nowhere in the obstruction rule does it have any wording to that effect.
Which part are you referring to?
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Old Tue Jul 23, 2019, 12:03pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
Which part are you referring to?
That in his opinion if the runner would not have been safe anyway the obstruction is not called. Nowhere in the rules or case plays does it give any kind of indication that is the case. If the runner is obstructed prior to being put out there is no option to ignore it, an obstructed runner cannot be put out between the 2 bases where the obstruction occurred.

And Im not referring to NCAA, I have no idea if they have that interp or not. Im talking about other rulesets.
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Old Tue Jul 23, 2019, 12:27pm
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And I agree, RKB; I base all of my rulings on whether they will hold up against a protest. I know how this is spelled out in black and white in the book, I'm not as well-versed in the "Ask Dee" NCAA interpretations to challenge a much more experienced partner...
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