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Old Wed May 30, 2007, 06:42am
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Obstruction?



Assuming
- the runner did NOT slow down her run
- the runner did NOT deviate her path to home plate

is this situation woth a DDB signal by the ump?

Thanks for your thoughts

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Old Wed May 30, 2007, 06:46am
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I forgot to say this is Italian League and that it's played under ISF Ruleset. If I am right the obstruction rule is the same as per ASA.
Other different rules (e.g. catcher is about to receive a thrown ball... so no problema...) are wellcome but IRRELEVANT.

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Old Wed May 30, 2007, 07:22am
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Since the runner did not slow down or did not deviate her path, as you say, if the catcher's leg or foot impedes the runner from touching home plate (slows down or prevents), then it would be OBS, or as they say in Italia, "Obstruzione!" (con alza la braccia destra)

But it does not make sense to say that the runner did not deviate her path to home plate, based on what's seen in the picture. If she was running directly from 3B, then for her not to have deviated, that would mean that either she took a path 2-3 feet in foul territory, parallel to the base line, and hoped to stick out her hand as she went by home plate (not very good/smart), or that she took a HUGE wide turn at 3B, ran around her 3B coach and ran a curved path toward home plate. Either of those is unlikely, and the play is most likely OBS.
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Old Wed May 30, 2007, 07:45am
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I don't have obstruction, based on your statements (and observations). I can easily see the case where the runner was scoring from second, so her turn took her to the foul side of the base line. And, seeing the play developing, she may easily have determined that her best (safest) base path home was to slide by to the outside, to minimize the target she gives the catcher to tag, if the ball arrives before she scores.

The fact that runners recognize the location of the defense and choose to run accordingly has to be separated from being forced to deviate (and being hindered). That remains a judgment, no matter how black and white we try to make the obstruction rule. But, the intent is certainly not to penalize the defense for simply being on the field; just to make sure that the offense has an unobstructed, unimpeded, unhindered opportunity to decide how to run the bases.
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Old Wed May 30, 2007, 07:50am
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I think that you answered your own question. It is not enough for the fielder to block the baseline. If we would have OBS on the short stop every play . The fielder has to NOT have possesion of the ball, clearly she does not, AND impede hinder or confuse the offensive player. And from your description she did not. Now as Bluefoot mentioned this picture is one that could make one jump to conclusions and think she deviated due to the F2's leg being in the baseline, but a single moment in time photo does not show us all what happened. She might be exactly in her chosen basepath and did not deviate, maybe this is a team of hook sliders, seeing the F2 setup in front of the plate she is planning on sliding in and catching the back corner on the way by to avoid a possible tag. Important thing is fielder position DOES not matter UNTIL they cause the offense to react (without the ball) then we have OBS.
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Old Wed May 30, 2007, 08:32am
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WMB posted a thread awhile back asking about the "deviation" thing.

Many times, we try to make this too analytical. As a stop-action photo, with no other information, this certanly looks like OBS, or in the next frame it WILL BE obstruction. Even if the runner did not slow, did not change paths, and was going to hook-slide all the way just to present a more difficult target for the catcher, you still have that foot between the runner's hand and the plate.

We need to be careful we do not become complete believers in our own BS (or, putting it better, in our own rules of thumb, or our own checklists, whatever).

Whether or not the runner changed her path is only one of the "checklist" items. If the runner did not change her path, that does not mean obstruction did not occur. Only that it did not cause a change in path that you could see.

While it is true that blocking the base without the ball is not in and of itself obstruction, when it is occuring while the runner is within 1 meter of the plate, that certainly seems to indicate obstruction is highly likely.

Bottom line: HTBT, but from the photo, I'm leaning toward OBS.
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Old Wed May 30, 2007, 08:39am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota
WMB posted a thread awhile back asking about the "deviation" thing.

Many times, we try to make this too analytical. As a stop-action photo, with no other information, this certanly looks like OBS, or in the next frame it WILL BE obstruction. Even if the runner did not slow, did not change paths, and was going to hook-slide all the way just to present a more difficult target for the catcher, you still have that foot between the runner's hand and the plate.

We need to be careful we do not become complete believers in our own BS (or, putting it better, in our own rules of thumb, or our own checklists, whatever).

Whether or not the runner changed her path is only one of the "checklist" items. If the runner did not change her path, that does not mean obstruction did not occur. Only that it did not cause a change in path that you could see.

While it is true that blocking the base without the ball is not in and of itself obstruction, when it is occuring while the runner is within 1 meter of the plate, that certainly seems to indicate obstruction is highly likely.

Bottom line: HTBT, but from the photo, I'm leaning toward OBS.
Would you say: probably "by the book" OBS -- that no one is ever going to or should call.

Because that is what I think.

I know I'm probably not calling that OBS right there. If this play is unfolding like countless others I've seen like it, this is softball.
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Old Wed May 30, 2007, 09:01am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadeintothem
Would you say: probably "by the book" OBS -- that no one is ever going to or should call.

Because that is what I think.

I know I'm probably not calling that OBS right there. If this play is unfolding like countless others I've seen like it, this is softball.
Well, from one millisecond in time, it is hard to say what the call should be. My point was you have to see the play and make your judgment. The rule says nothing about blocking the base and it says nothing about the runner deviating. All it says is the runner may not be impeded. Was this runner impeded? Yes, OBS; no, nothing.
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Old Wed May 30, 2007, 09:02am
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I, like others, are having SOME trouble with the assumptions. However, given the assumptions, this is not yet obstruction. It appears that it's ABOUT to be, even given the assumptions, as if the fielder has to go through or around that foot before F2 has the ball, it will be OBS.

Back to the assumptions though. The slide, already, looks to me like she's not taking her chosen path and has already reacted to the catcher being in her path.

Besides --- look at her face. It appears she's confused already - totally obstruction.
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Old Wed May 30, 2007, 09:20am
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Look at the coach. You can tell he's frustrated by F2 - just look at his hand! It must be OBS.
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Old Wed May 30, 2007, 09:44am
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I'll stand with Steve on this. With the photo and information provided, an OBS call is NOT imminent.

This is not an unusual path for a runner, even some which start the play at 3B. To avoid being hit in fair territory by a batted ball, many runners advance on the foul side of the line, often by more than 3-4 feet.

Unless the runner's hand is prevented from touching the plate by the catcher, or the catcher moves and blocks the runner prior to receiving the ball, there is no OBS call on this play.
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Old Wed May 30, 2007, 09:55am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota
Well, from one millisecond in time, it is hard to say what the call should be. My point was you have to see the play and make your judgment. The rule says nothing about blocking the base and it says nothing about the runner deviating. All it says is the runner may not be impeded. Was this runner impeded? Yes, OBS; no, nothing.
I agree of course - I was basing my thoughts on the following premise:

It is faster to run through than to take an altered path and hook slide. Obviously, hook slide is the proper move for this player due to positioning of the catcher and by the looks of the play - ie, the runner is forced to perform a slower move... impeded.

I dont think this should or will get called in most cases - but that is an alternate POV on possible impeding for discussion purposes... based on a 1 millisecond in time capture of this play.
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Old Wed May 30, 2007, 10:01am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadeintothem
I agree of course - I was basing my thoughts on the following premise:

It is faster to run through than to take an altered path and hook slide. Obviously, hook slide is the proper move for this player due to positioning of the catcher and by the looks of the play - ie, the runner is forced to perform a slower move... impeded.

I dont think this should or will get called in most cases - but that is an alternate POV on possible impeding for discussion purposes... based on a 1 millisecond in time capture of this play.
So you are stating that it COULD be ruled OBS based on the umpire's belief that a hook slide would have been more beneficial to the runner though there is absolutely no evidence that a hook slide ever entered the runner's mind.
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Old Wed May 30, 2007, 11:18am
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I see the hook slide at home on a close play quite a bit in the upper levels of ball that I call. I have usually determined that the ruuner was choosing the hook slide path for strategic purposes as others have mentioned. The runners usually start going more into foul territory well before they get to the area of the plate, so I don't judge that as being hindered by a catcher in the baseline.

I think that each instance of a play of this type needs to be judged seperately, but I think I am leaning toward giving the benefit of the doubt to the runner.
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Old Wed May 30, 2007, 07:43pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA
So you are stating that it COULD be ruled OBS based on the umpire's belief that a hook slide would have been more beneficial to the runner though there is absolutely no evidence that a hook slide ever entered the runner's mind.
The photo shows what is generally called hook slide.. if you want to nitpick and call it a "go by slide" .. or whatever, fine.. that was not the point of the post in any case.. nice strawman though (for whatever reason)..... that or the runner is collapsing due to Myocardial Infarction.
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