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Old Fri May 13, 2005, 07:33am
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Last night 14-18 girls, Batter hits a shot to right field that is in my mind going to be a homer. BR runs into F3 stopping her, but she restarts. This is now going to cause a bang-bang play at the plate. Sure enough the catcher winds up with a broken finger on the slide play, and it was all for nothing. Somehow I am wondering if we can come up with something that would kill the potential for the bang-bang play at HOME if we are going to call safe anyway it turns out.
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Old Fri May 13, 2005, 09:11am
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It's a thought, but change your sitch to a triple and a banger at third - can't kill that one... it could turn into a 4-bagger and you don't want to penalize the offense.

I like your idea, but think the implementation would be so limited it would either be A) not worth doing, or B) misimplemented by weaker umpires to award home at inappropriate times.
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Old Fri May 13, 2005, 09:19am
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Thats why I capitalized HOME. Cant do it for plays anywhere else. If runner falls down between 2nd & third TOO BAD so we can't call it or KILL it too soon. My thought was to kill it once she rounded 3rd..to avoid the crash. You are correct that this situation would only come up once every blue moon. I am thinking when we verbalize OBSTRUCTION we follow it up with the base we are protecting the runner to. I'm thinking out loud here !
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Old Fri May 13, 2005, 09:42am
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I do see your point.

I'm just thinking that any deviation along those lines is likely to confuse players (who panic any time we say anything other than ball/strike/safe/out), and weaker umpires (who would read your revised version of the rule and send people home that didn't deserve it, or kill the play at inappropriate times).

One note - on your example, if you're awarding home, and she falls down between 2nd and 3rd... she STILL gets home. It's not "too bad". If a rule like yours were in place, we could CERTAINLY kill the play if we decided home was going to be the award, since nothing that occurs afterward could possibly matter. Your comment that we can't kill it too soon implies that if the runner fell on her own between 2nd and 3rd, you'd revise your award. Please don't do that.
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Old Fri May 13, 2005, 10:07am
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Quote:
Originally posted by chuck chopper
Thats why I capitalized HOME. Cant do it for plays anywhere else. If runner falls down between 2nd & third TOO BAD so we can't call it or KILL it too soon. My thought was to kill it once she rounded 3rd..to avoid the crash. You are correct that this situation would only come up once every blue moon. I am thinking when we verbalize OBSTRUCTION we follow it up with the base we are protecting the runner to. I'm thinking out loud here !
No, you cannot. The obstructed runner is not the only game in town. There can still be other runners, interference, missed bases, runner assistence, etc.

If you want a vanilla game, you may want to explore other options.



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Old Fri May 13, 2005, 10:12am
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You cannot rule a dead ball for OBS without changing the philosophy of the rule.

The rule's purpose is to remove the effect of the obstruction. This applies to both sides. IOW, the offense gets to get all they can get out of the play, but so does the defense, with the caveat that the defense is not allowed to benefit from the obstruction.

There are several situations whereby even after judgment the runner is protected to home, the runner would not score. Example: missed base appeal. Example: interference. Example: malicious misconduct.

If you tried to write the rule to deal with all the situations, it would be a very narrow rule, and the only object would be to prevent possible injury in a very routine softball play.

Not worth it, IMO.
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Old Fri May 13, 2005, 10:17am
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I'm ok with the last thoughts. Not OK with Crowders comments that a runner who trips over a bag, etc..and reaches 3rd because of bad base running..would be awarded home even though the obstruction happened near 1st base.
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Old Fri May 13, 2005, 10:43am
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Then reread the rule, Chuck.

Subsequent actions are, by rule, NOT to be taken into account to revise your initial assessment as to where to protect the runner to. Period. (Dakota has raised some valid questions about WHY we are to implement this way... and perhaps your example is another beef with the actual rule. But this IS the actual rule right now. Our opinions about the fairness of a particular rule should not prevent us from calling it by the book)

If you are doing so, you are not implementing the rules you are charged with implementing. Sorry if I sound like a harda$$ here, but it is what it is. The rule is exceedingly clear, and you seem to be not implementing it correctly.
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Old Fri May 13, 2005, 10:47am
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Let me ask you the reverse (I see and read this misinterpretation of the effect of obstruction more often than the one you posted)...

Runner hits what you judge to be a double. F3 obstructs near first base, slowing runner. F9 then throws the ball into left field (or alternately, F9 falls down before retrieving the ball). Runner continues to third, and is out on a banger as F7 (or the fallen F9) fires to F5. Do you change your protection to third? After all, if runner hadn't been obstructed, she would have beaten that throw to third.

(PS - the answer is that you SHOULD NOT change your protection because of the poor throw from F9 or the fall by F9)
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Old Fri May 13, 2005, 10:53am
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Calm down. I enjoy the discussions. Having a beef with a rule doesn't mean I call it some other way however. But I am searching for other opinions/perspectives that might shed light on what the "spirit" of the rule is or what it was when the GODS wrote it. Maybe since so many variations could come up, we thought it best to give the obstructed runner blanket protection..since that is easy to police/enforce/understand.
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Old Fri May 13, 2005, 11:32am
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BUT...

You cannot give blanket amnesty to an obstructed runner.Glance at the rule book and see that if you have interference later on during the play, the interference supercedes the obstruction (I know this was pointed out earlier...trying to reinforce a point here).

As for GODS writing the rule...the ones I know aren't GODS in their minds. If you're talking ASA, you're talking umpires just like thousands of others. Unlike the pope they are (generally) not infallible, but if they say we're gonna do this and this is how we want this called and here is why, then by gawd that's the way I am going to do it. There's almost always a tremendous reason why we do things a certain way...

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Old Fri May 13, 2005, 11:49am
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Well, since this has morphed into a more general discussion of the OBS rule interp, I do have a mild disagreement with the official ASA interpretation that the judgment of the base the runner would have reached is to be made at the time of the obstruction and not adjusted as the play unfolds.

I think a "steps" judgment (the obstruction cost the runner 2 steps, or 6 steps, etc., and then apply that to the end of the play, however it actually unfolds) is more likely to actually remove the effect of the obstruction than the instantaneous judgment that ASA wants.

But, more experienced softball minds want it the other way. I've never really heard a good explanation for why, though.
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Old Fri May 13, 2005, 01:58pm
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First let me say that I don't 100% always agree with what I'm about to say. But I do understand (I think) a little bit of WHY the rule tells us to ignore subsequent action.

Visualize a play that appears to be a stand-up double, with BR OBS by F3 just after first base (your immediate judgement is to protect to 2nd base). BR stumbles a bit, continues to 2nd. F9, seeing a possible play hurries her throw and guns it into left field, whereupon BR tries to get to third base and is thrown out on a banger by F7.

Many feel that the 4-steps BR lost rounding first should be applied to the play at 3rd and BR should be given 3rd.

Rewind this play to what happens if there is no OBS. BR ends up jogging into 2nd base on the stand-up double. F9 lobs the ball into F4 easily. There never ends up being a play at 3rd.

So those that agree with the 2-step, 6-step ideas on OBS would be wrong in assuming that BR lost 3rd base because of the OBS. She never would have tried for 3rd base if there hadn't been OBS.

You can apply this thought process to a great number of plays where action after the OBS causes the umpire to WANT to change his initial protection/award. It's entirely possible that the play would have developed in an entirely different fashion had the OBS not occurred, and the current thinking of ASA is to "make right" the situation, and not to penalize for OBS. Altering the award based on anything that occurs after the OBS can be equivalent to creating a penalty on defense for OBS.

You may disagree and feel that there SHOULD be a penalty for OBS. Heck ... so may I. But the ASA doesn't think there should be, which is why I believe the rule is written as it is and why we are asked not to alter our protection/award. (There may be more reasoning to their position than just this --- but this is my understanding of their reasoning).

Now.... my personal views? I think we should be able to award an extra base on most OBS's. Consider the "single-and-a-half"... without OBS, BR can fully round 1st base, drawing a throw to 2nd, and possibly attain 2nd if they force an error. WITH the OBS near 1st, our immediate judgement may be that she wouldn't have attained 2nd on the hit, so by rule we award only 1st (while protecting between 1st and 2nd). But to me - we are taking away the chance that aggressive baserunning could force a mistake. Again - this is just my opinion, and I continue to call it correctly, despite my views.
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