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Old Wed Apr 11, 2001, 02:41pm
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Since my College doubleheader was rained out this afternoon,I guess the next best thing is to "talk" umpiring.I had a situation that occured last week in which a possible obstuction called was missed.We had a runner on second base,when the batter chopped the ball down the first base side.I was the PU so my immediate priority was the ball being fair or foul,and then to watch the batter-runner for a 3 foot lane violation.My partner was in the slot behind the SS and he had to position himself to make his call at first.(which was a whacker)The third base coach called time at plays end and complained R2 was obstructed coming into 3rd.I discussed the play with my partner and niether of us were able to see the play.Fortunately,I was able to to make the coach understand what had happened without much problem.Explaining that the ball remained in the infield and obstruction didnt guarantee the runner would have been awarded home.It would have been our judgement under NHFS rules to award her the base we believe she would have reached had there been no obstruction.My question is,did we miss coverage on that play or is that just one of the trouble spots in a 2 man crew? Jeff
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Old Wed Apr 11, 2001, 03:32pm
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There are always going to be holes in the coverage of any two-man crew. As you said, your first priority is the fair/foul call. The next question I have was who fielded the ball and was the throw to 1st coming from behind the runner? If it was, then you were right to be watching for a running lane violation. If the ball was in front of the BR and it was a foot race to 1st, then you could have diverted your attention to the runner going into 3rd.

However, all in all, I think you handled the play correctly and gave the coach a valid explanation of the situation.
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Old Wed Apr 11, 2001, 03:46pm
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SamVA: Thanks for the reply.The pitcher fielded the ball about 2 feet from the first base line and fired to first for a real close play. Jeff
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Old Wed Apr 11, 2001, 05:37pm
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I remember some discussion of a similar situation where some coaches knew the limitation of the 2 umpire system and on a bunt up the right side with a runner on 2nd would have their runner cut the corner at third never touching the base.

I seem to remember that on the 60' diamond that the suggestion was for the BU to hang back just behind the baseline to try and catch this in their periferal vision.....then if the play was close at first to give it the 5 step sell call for out or a quick sell safe call winding up much closer to the play than they actually started.......hopefully the coaches won't notice that you really made the call long distance.

I agree that when the ball is hit to the right side of the infield with a runner on 2nd is a tough call for 2 umps.


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