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Old Wed Apr 11, 2001, 09:29pm
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Location: Gulf Coast of TX to Destin Fl
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Question

After my youngest daughters game tonight I was approached by a board member of one of the Cities that we call and asked for my opinion on a play that their BOD was having to consider for protest.....they have to rule by tommorow night.

This is the play (third hand)........

Runner on 2nd (R1) and ball hit to F4 (hit and run on).......F4 throws to F5 and the ball deflects off of F5's glove to the fence........

F5 turns to chase ball (15-20 feet away) and runs into R1 who is attempting to go home......

F7 is backing up the play and throws out R1 by 2 steps at the plate.

BU calls obstruction on F5 and awards R1 home.

Defensive coach goes nuts........saying that R1 interfered with F5's attempt to get to the ball........and lodges a protest.........

My Answer to board member........

The BU got the call 100% correct........

Unless the ball was in close proximity to F5 (step and a reach).......you have got obstruction on this play......

This board member was leaning towards calling this incedental contact and awarding the out.

I told him that the only way it would be incedental was if the throw pulled the fielder into the path of the runner.......

I said that in this case.......the fielder already had an attempt at the catch and blew it.......if the ball was further than a "step and a reach" beyond the fielder........she obstructed the runner.

Hope the BOD gets this one right.......(if it happened the way it was explained to me).

BTW........only 2 of the 6 Associations we call for have umpires on their boards.......and none of the association's by-laws call for our UIC to sit in on protests........I find that strange that the BOD be the final say-so on rules questions....

Also.......do y'all believe this was protestable........or strictly judgement?

As I stated........I got this third hand.......so the protest may have been stated differently.

Joel

BTW........9yo went 3 for 3 with a single/double/home run (okay....a double with a couple of errors)....(grin)





[Edited by Gulf Coast Blue on Apr 11th, 2001 at 09:31 PM]
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Old Wed Apr 11, 2001, 10:10pm
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Obstruction all the way. Even the argument of "within reach" really doesn't work since the ball was moving away from the fielder, not toward her.

The fielder has no right impede the runner chasing a missed thrown ball, whereas, the runner has every right to her basepath.

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Old Thu Apr 12, 2001, 09:40am
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I have to admit that this is one of my hotspots. There is no way that the play as you described it can be anything but obstruction. Once F5 muffs the throw and the ball gets away from her, she has forfeited her priviledged status and has to avoid the runner. The BU 100% correct as you said.

And congrats to your daughter.
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Old Thu Apr 12, 2001, 12:16pm
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Joel,
It sounds to me that the BU had the call all the way. From the way you have described the situation, it could be nothing but obstruction. I also don't see how this could be protestable. Aren't most of our calls in these type of situations judgement calls that we have to stop and go through the play again in that split second to make the call that we saw? How can they protest our judgement? We will always have a different angle than the coach or fans and it may or may not be the best angle but we hae to do what we can to get there and make the call.
Congrats to your daughter! I can't wait for my kids to start playing sports.

Ricko
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Old Thu Apr 12, 2001, 01:59pm
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Thumbs up

I agree with all posters.Absolutely Obstruction,no ifs ands or buts.Obstruction strictly being a judgement call,no protest should even be entertained.Good call!!
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