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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Tue Aug 02, 2005, 12:40pm
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So many of the advanced girls now routinely use the wide/reach-back style slide at home. It appears that they actually run from 3B to a point 3' wide of the plate. (Probably because catchers have been blocking the plate for so many years.)

So how would you know if a runner has been obstructed? Assume that R1 is going home, and F2 is blocking the plate w/o the ball. R1's path is to the foul side of home. R1 is into her slide when F2 catches ball, pivots, and tags R1 just before hand touches plate.

What is your call? OUT? Or Dead Ball, OBS, award home?

How do you know if R1 slid wide because she was obstructed, or if because she automatically does that?

WMB

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Old Tue Aug 02, 2005, 12:42pm
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I'd base it on whether she altered her path because of the catcher. In other words, if she headed from 3rd toward a spot just wide of home, she's not altering to get around. If she curves wide 8 feet short of home, then she did alter to get around the catcher.
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Old Tue Aug 02, 2005, 05:26pm
Tex Tex is offline
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I agree with Mcrowder except that I am looking for any deviation (altering) of her selected path from 3rd to home. I am not dependent on any certain distance from home. Therefore the umpire must be a position to see the whole path, altering, catcher, etc. and not just focus on a possible close play at home. In described case, I have an out.

[Edited by Tex on Aug 3rd, 2005 at 06:19 PM]
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Old Tue Aug 02, 2005, 07:47pm
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Cool Good Topic

Good question...............it can be tough to see the whole play (ball, F2 Set-up, and runner) with suggested mechanics............

I have been guilty a time or two of setting up a bit too close at plays at the plate..............oh well, even at other bases....................

Maybe back off a few feet to get a bit of a better look...........

I will go along with mc and Tex on this one.............I may not be able to define it in words..........but I will know it when I see it..................grin

When I coached.............I never taught my F2's to put themselves in harms way by blocking the plate prior to receiving the ball..............but there are many SB coaches out there that seem to have the MLB mentality that F2's job is to absolutely keep a runner from scoring.............no matter the danger.........by blocking the plate before the ball arrives............

Oldest (was) and youngest (is + F1) have played quite a few games as F2/F1 with no serious injuries.............and were/are pretty darn effective setting up the way their dear old dad taught them.............

JMHO

Joel
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Old Wed Aug 03, 2005, 01:25pm
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GCB? A comment from GCB? Great to see something from Joel again!

Not that you need my answer in such elite company, but I agree with it basically being altered path versus intended. I'm pretty sure WMB knows that and it does not really answer the question entirely. Even if the path is straight from 3rd to the "point 3' wide", we don't know when the runner or coach observed the fielder who is blocking. I think we have to call OBS only if it is a visible alteration in the runner's path after facing home or the target base.
Then we have to factor in whether the delay from the OBS was enough to cause the distance from the plate/base where the tag occurred.

On the play described, if " R1's path is to the foul side of home" in a straight line from 3rd, I would rule an out.
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Old Thu Aug 04, 2005, 08:51pm
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Talking

Cecil.........thanks for the welcome back..............

Just a note though...............when I first got on the internet exploring umpire forums.............(circa 1997-1998 I think????)...........(well..........back then there was only one message board which will always be know as............McGriffs..............prior to that there was RSO (Rec Sports Officiating).........eteamz and this one (along with SB on umpire.org and the NFHS site) came later......eteamz was probably second........but had some issues early............

Mike Rowe was already established as an internet authority............and freely gave advice to anyone who came along................Mike probably answered 99.9% of the questions at RSO..........(was a good time for me..........I spent 99% of my time in the rule book.........and ALWAYS the answer was there before I could reply........."

But...........it was probably because Mike was the only one who knew how to figure out their convoluted threading and posting protocol.............

Also unfortunately........back in the day (and today also)............there were more umpire haters than umpires looking for information.....................many, many flamewars broke out............mainly because everything was anonymous...........we still probably see that today..........

When I came along (seriously.........cannot remember the year.......but after my divorce......so had to be around 97-98).............Mike and SteveM.........were the two standards..........always giving of advice freely.........and NEVER argumentative.........(BIG grin)..........I am sure Mike wanted to kill me a time or two....................I think I about drove him and Steve nuts.................(I don't think Steve would have wanted to kill me..............but maybe wanted Mike to)..........

I learned so much from those two guys..............you would not believe...........

I was an ex baseball guy who just happened to have daughters..............and had only been umpiring softball a few years...................and wanted answers to some of my knottier problems in softball........................
I am sure there are other guys here that started at or about the same time that I did...........and evolved just the same way.............

There are too many guys that came along at around the same time I did.....Glen, Tom, Scott, Tom, etc., etc........(if I missed you..............sorry.............)........and if I did.........chime in........................

And you know what................we have all improved........all gotten better.........I bet even Mike and Steve are better umpires than they were 5-10 years ago...........

Joel

[Edited by Gulf Coast Blue on Aug 5th, 2005 at 08:12 AM]
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Old Fri Aug 05, 2005, 10:07am
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Sorry Tex, I agree with MC on this. A runner can not be obstructed from 40' away. Unless I misunderstand your position, by your logic, when the runner rounded the bag at third, you would consider obstruction if the pitcher crossed the third base line near home on her way to back up the play and the runner deviated her path based on this action (regardless of the location of the catcher).

I don't believe obstruction can occur until the runner and fielder are in positions to create obstruction. By that I determine obstruction to be when a runner is forced to alter her path due to an impending blocked path. This is of coarse where the grey comes in. At exactly what point does that occur, that depends on the situation. The runner will establish a base bath within a few steps of rounding a bag (all situations with catcher blocking without the ball):

1- If s/he runs straight to the corner of the plate and makes contact with the catcher prior to the catcher receiving the ball, easy obstruction.

2- If her/his path is directed to the outside of the plate setting up a sweep slide and passes the catcher prior to the catcher receiving the ball, no obstruction.

3- If the runner runs straight to the corner of the plate and in the last few steps decides to deviate to the outside for a sweep slide, obstruction.

4- If the runner starts straight to the corner of the plate and deviates half way, I determine that to be by choice as there is nothing immediately impeding her progress. Again this is where the grey lies, when is the runner close enough to be impeded and to that I can only go with GCB - I know it when I see it.

In the original situation, I don't have obstruction as the runner elected to run where she did, (situation 2) she was not forced to.

In this case, I believe NCAA coaches were teaching runners to do this and were getting the obstruction call which prompted Jeff Hanson to provide clarification at mid-season that this was not to be called obstruction. Of course, NCAA differs slightly from ASA and NFHS but the basic premise is the same.
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Old Fri Aug 05, 2005, 12:12pm
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As with any rule change, there are always some officials who will go to the extreme, as in Celtic's reference to NCAA and Jeff Hanson. But that, usually, and in this case means paying more attention to the change than the full rule. Which means calling OBS whenever a base line/path is blocked without possession of the ball, ignoring that the rule requires the runner to be impeded.

Therefore, "call OBS only if it is a visible alteration in the runner's path " AND the fielder causes the alteration (i.e., impedes) without possessing the ball.

In my mind, that does not have a distance restriction.
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Old Sun May 11, 2014, 11:30am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
As with any rule change, there are always some officials who will go to the extreme, as in Celtic's reference to NCAA and Jeff Hanson. But that, usually, and in this case means paying more attention to the change than the full rule. Which means calling OBS whenever a base line/path is blocked without possession of the ball, ignoring that the rule requires the runner to be impeded.

Therefore, "call OBS only if it is a visible alteration in the runner's path " AND the fielder causes the alteration (i.e., impedes) without possessing the ball.

In my mind, that does not have a distance restriction.
To me there is one key part of this ruling. The path is blocked and the runner is impeded. The base path is the path the runner chooses to take to get to the base. She can take any path she so desires (within certain limitations) until the defense is in possession of the ball attempting to make a tag on the runner, at which time her base path shall be a direct line to the base.

This really is a HTBT situation, and it's like porn, you know it when you see it.
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Old Sun May 11, 2014, 11:57am
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Originally Posted by chapmaja View Post
To me ... it's like porn, you know it when you see it.
??????
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Old Sun May 11, 2014, 03:56pm
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Old Sun May 11, 2014, 05:15pm
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Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
A nine year old thread coming back to life? Yeah....pretty much.
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Old Mon May 12, 2014, 11:14am
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Originally Posted by Skahtboi View Post
A nine year old thread coming back to life? Yeah....pretty much.
It is posted as Memory Lane, good material, some long-missed posters.
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Old Thu May 22, 2014, 11:37pm
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Still here and check in every now an then. Had a pretty crappy nine months or so and will probably not umpire again until I get new hips. Been in the hospital several times since mid December and am not looking forward to going back.

Glad everyone here is doing well and I will still check by periodically when I get the chance.

Joel
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