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Old Sun Jan 29, 2006, 06:14pm
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2-36 Obstruction is the act of the defensive team member that... impedes the progress of a runner or batter-runner who is legally running bases, unless the fielder is in possession of the ball or is fielding a batted ball. ([SC Ump Note] I think "about to receive a thrown ball" was removed last year.)

8-4-3 A runner is entitled to advance without liability to be put out when:
(b) a fielder not in possession of the ball, not in the act of fielding a batted ball, or not about to receive a thrown ball, impedes the progress of a runner or batter-runner who is legally running bases. ([SC Ump Note] Should "about to receive a thrown ball" be here?)

That being said, what would you rule on the following:

R1 at second with no outs. B2 hits to right field. F9 throws home, but errant throw causes F2 to move up the line towards third and into the path of R1.
> In (a) R1 collides with F2 as F2 is moving to catch the ball. At the time of collision, the ball is 2 feet from F2.
> In (b) the ball arrives just at the time R1 and F2 collide, the ball hits F2's glove, but there is not time for you to see control before the collision. After the collision you see F2 has control.
> In (c) F2 catches the ball prior to any collision, but R1 decides to avoid F2 and moves around her. F2 did not have the ball at the time R1 deviated from her path to move around her.

This came up in our pre-season meeting today, and some folks who I have a lot of respect for disagreed with me. (I thought obstruction in all cases above. I think they thought "train wreck".)
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Old Sun Jan 29, 2006, 07:30pm
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IMO:
Situation A is textbook obstruction. Period.

Situation B is probably a good play. No matter (in my mind) you didn't see possession, you didn't see no possession at any time, and possession existed at the end. I don't think you can or should take possession away in this play.

Situation C is a HTBT. If runner changed her path long before any reason to do that, that was her decision. If she changed her path because the play was imminent, and there was no possession at that point, I have obstruction then, even if the ball arrives and is possessed.

Per the 2005 NFHS/Referee handout, they need to forget about a train wreck; it doesn't exist.

[Edited by AtlUmpSteve on Jan 29th, 2006 at 07:32 PM]
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Old Sun Jan 29, 2006, 07:48pm
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I agree with Steve on all three.

Hopefully the book has been corrected this year. If not, IMO, the rule supercedes the definition because it says specifics about the runner/fielder and the definition just defines "obstruction", a term not used in rule 8-4-3.

Even if "about to receive" is/was still part of the rule, it does not fit any of the three cases, although (B) could be ruled that way by some.
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Old Sun Jan 29, 2006, 11:45pm
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Unbelievable! The text "about to receive" was removed from 8.4.3 in 2005 as part of the obstruction change. But it looks like somebody left it in the computer somewhere and it snuck back in this year. Nice find, SC.

No problem with Sit. A being obstruction.

In Sit.B we cannot have simultaneous ball arrived and contact - one must have happened before the other. In my mind, if the ball disappears into the glove a millisecond before contact then I have interference and runner is out (based on the NFHS interpretation of “no train-wreck.”) However –another surprise. Runner remaining on her feet and crashing into defender has been deleted from 8.3.14 this year. Now 8.3.14 only addresses malicious contact. It appears that you now have to use the “did not legally slide/illegal contact” clause of art 13 to call interference.

I don’t have a problem with obstruction in Sit C. Remember that the defender is being drawn into the runner’s path by an errant throw. Any time that runner recognizes the danger and reacts by changing directions she has been impeded.

AtlUmpSteve: I had a “no train wreck” interpretation in a Mary Struckhoff email last spring (from a collision at 1B due to errant throw), but I did not see anything in the 2005 Softball Guide. Where did you see it?

WMB

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Old Tue Jan 31, 2006, 07:30am
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Quote:
Originally posted by AtlUmpSteve
Per the 2005 NFHS/Referee handout, they need to forget about a train wreck; it doesn't exist.
Thanks to everyone's responses.

Anyone know where I can get the text of this "no train wreck" handout?
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Old Tue Jan 31, 2006, 11:38am
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Quote:
Originally posted by SC Ump
Quote:
Originally posted by AtlUmpSteve
Per the 2005 NFHS/Referee handout, they need to forget about a train wreck; it doesn't exist.
Thanks to everyone's responses.

Anyone know where I can get the text of this "no train wreck" handout?
The 2006 case book seems to contradict the "no train wreck" interpretation.

Case Play 8.4.3, situation E: A throw from F9 draws F2 into the basepath of the R1. The ball arrives just before R1 and F2 has it in her possession. Contact occurs between F2 and R1, F2 drops the ball and R1 scores. The contact is not malicious.

Ruling: There is no obstruction or interference. This is viewed simply as a collision. The run scores.

To my thinking - this means that a "train wreck" is a possibility.
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Old Tue Jan 31, 2006, 02:12pm
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Let me restate, please. Based on the 2005 rule, 2005 handout, and the Mary Struckhoff clarifications, the defense cannot legally cause an innocent collision, inadvertant contact, or train wreck, without having possession of the ball. Going after the ball, or anything otherwise known as "doing their job" in baseball vernacular, without possession, which in any way impedes the runner is obstruction in NFHS softball. The definition is absolute; fielder may not impede without possesion, unless fielding a batted ball. There can be no train wreck without the fielder being in possession.

If the fielder secures possession prior to impeding the runner, then it isn't obstruction. If, in that instance, the runner is unable to avoid contact, and the contact is not malicious, that is a "no call", incidental, train wreck, whatever term you might use.

Is that more accurate?
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Old Wed Feb 01, 2006, 12:29am
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Is that more accurate?

Yes - and you are correct.

However - I believe there remains an exception to the no wreck philosophy. That is on a batted ball in front of the plate where there is inadvertant contact between the catcher and the batter within a step or two away from the plate. I believe this is still a "no call" in NFHS play.

WMB
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Old Wed Feb 01, 2006, 09:03am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Andy
Quote:
Originally posted by SC Ump
Quote:
Originally posted by AtlUmpSteve
Per the 2005 NFHS/Referee handout, they need to forget about a train wreck; it doesn't exist.
Thanks to everyone's responses.

Anyone know where I can get the text of this "no train wreck" handout?
The 2006 case book seems to contradict the "no train wreck" interpretation.

Case Play 8.4.3, situation E: A throw from F9 draws F2 into the basepath of the R1. The ball arrives just before R1 and F2 has it in her possession. Contact occurs between F2 and R1, F2 drops the ball and R1 scores. The contact is not malicious.

Ruling: There is no obstruction or interference. This is viewed simply as a collision. The run scores.

To my thinking - this means that a "train wreck" is a possibility.
A ball arriving before the runner and in fact F2 has possession before contact is not to my understanding a "train wreck" - which is more simultaneous. Once they have possession they can be in the basepath. I don't think that case play contradicts the rule as it should be written or the "no train wreck" idea.

That said, I do find it aggravating that the language was put back; the coaches will be liking seeing that back in there.

The first ump to have to tell a coach that the rule book is wrong should win a fruit basket or something.
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Old Wed Feb 01, 2006, 12:32pm
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by wadeintothem
Quote:

The first ump to have to tell a coach that the rule book is wrong should win a fruit basket or something.
Get that fruit basket ready,
We start a pre-season tournament on Thursday, tomorrow, and I am sure that with the coaches we deal with this issue will arise.

I predict that by 3:00PM tomorrow, someone will have won the prize.
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Old Wed Feb 01, 2006, 12:47pm
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SC UMP,

In "A" there is obstruction as the fielder may not impede a runner without possesion of the ball, unless fielding a batted ball.

However, in situation "B" it appears there should the umpire should judge that possession was in place because the ball was held during the collision and rule no obstruction and the runner out.

Situation "C" is similar to the play I posted titled "So what's the call here"?, except in my play the fielder was not in the pathway of the runner and had the ball in her possession... In Sit."C" we have the fielder in the path-way and no possession of the ball. Therefore obstruction should be called and the runner given home plate.


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Old Wed Feb 01, 2006, 01:10pm
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by scottk_61
Quote:
Originally posted by wadeintothem
Quote:

The first ump to have to tell a coach that the rule book is wrong should win a fruit basket or something.
Get that fruit basket ready,
We start a pre-season tournament on Thursday, tomorrow, and I am sure that with the coaches we deal with this issue will arise.

I predict that by 3:00PM tomorrow, someone will have won the prize.
Not fair!! We don't have high school ball in Georgia until August!!
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Old Wed Feb 01, 2006, 01:46pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by AtlUmpSteve


Not fair!! We don't have high school ball in Georgia until August!!
Steve...looks like you will just have to live vicariously through the rest of us for awhile!
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Old Wed Feb 01, 2006, 01:59pm
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A pox on both of you ... I shovelled snow this morning.
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Old Wed Feb 01, 2006, 03:04pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dakota
A pox on both of you ... I shovelled snow this morning.
Male persons over 40 should not shovel snow unless they get free heart attack treatment.
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