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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Sun May 25, 2008, 10:01pm
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Obstruction/Interference on same play

This is a play that happened at a recent Jr College tournament.
I wasn't there, but one of the umpires involved was discussing the play with a group of us during a break in another recent tournament.
I'm curious what the correct ruling would be.

R1 on 1B. 1 out.
Catcher obstructs B2 during her swing. Ball ends up grounding towards F4.
R1 Interferes with F4 making the play.
BU kills the play.
What happens next?
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Old Sun May 25, 2008, 10:15pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umpharp
This is a play that happened at a recent Jr College tournament.
I wasn't there, but one of the umpires involved was discussing the play with a group of us during a break in another recent tournament.
I'm curious what the correct ruling would be.

R1 on 1B. 1 out.
Catcher obstructs B2 during her swing. Ball ends up grounding towards F4.
R1 Interferes with F4 making the play.
BU kills the play.
What happens next?

R1 is out on the interference. BR gets first on the obstruction.
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Old Sun May 25, 2008, 10:47pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Maeder
Offensive coach gets his option. Take result of the play (obviously not), or the award for catchers obstruction. Batter awarded first base and advancing all runners if forced. I would not reward the defense because the catchers obstruction may have prevented the batter from hitting the ball some where other then to F4.
If this were ASA, I'd say Ed hit it on the head. The result of the play is, of course, what azbigdawg said - R1 is out on the INT, and B2 is award 1B. However, it all bounces back to the coach having the option since not all runners advanced at least one base.
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Old Sun May 25, 2008, 10:58pm
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I deleted my post because I am now wondering if I was Correct. Granted this was NCAA rule set, but ASA rules state that " Should an act of interference occur following ANY obstruction, enforcement of the interference penalty has precedence." This seems to be a case where the defense would gain an advantage by the catchers obstruction. What do others have to say?

Last edited by Ed Maeder; Sun May 25, 2008 at 11:00pm.
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Old Sun May 25, 2008, 11:50pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Maeder
I deleted my post because I am now wondering if I was Correct. Granted this was NCAA rule set, but ASA rules state that " Should an act of interference occur following ANY obstruction, enforcement of the interference penalty has precedence." This seems to be a case where the defense would gain an advantage by the catchers obstruction. What do others have to say?
"Note 2" states "any interference". Paragraph 1 (immediately following that note specifically mentions the obstructed runner committing the INT as does the RS.

However, let's address the INT committed by another runner. That runner would have been ruled out and the BR awarded 1B unless the umpire believes the INT was committed to prevent a double play. Since there is no indication this was the case, I would think the result of either violation would have resulted in the same set-up for the following play. The difference would be if there were other active runners.
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Old Mon May 26, 2008, 12:18am
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That's why I deleted my original post. I felt that the option of the offensive coach for the catchers obstruction was voided by the interference, since the Note 2 says the interference takes precedence. Thanks!
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Old Mon May 26, 2008, 07:21am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Maeder
That's why I deleted my original post. I felt that the option of the offensive coach for the catchers obstruction was voided by the interference, since the Note 2 says the interference takes precedence. Thanks!
1) Is there a difference between "interference takes precedence" and "obstruction is voided"? IOW, does the INT eliminate the OBS ruling and penalty altogether?
2) Let's say the F4 was interfered with, but still throws out the BR at 1st. If the OBS is completely voided, that's 2 outs and no option.
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Old Mon May 26, 2008, 08:13am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne
1) Is there a difference between "interference takes precedence" and "obstruction is voided"? IOW, does the INT eliminate the OBS ruling and penalty altogether?
2) Let's say the F4 was interfered with, but still throws out the BR at 1st. If the OBS is completely voided, that's 2 outs and no option.
No, not 2 outs. The ball is dead on the interference, so the second out didn't happen.
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Old Mon May 26, 2008, 08:44am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota
No, not 2 outs. The ball is dead on the interference, so the second out didn't happen.
Yeah, wasn't thinking this early. The only further out is if "the umpire believes the INT was committed to prevent a double play" as Mike said, then BR out would occur as a penalty for the INT, even with the dead ball.

However, back to my Q1. Does the INT by a non-obstructed runner eliminate the OBS ruling and penalty altogether, and with it "the coach having the option"? No other runners would have been forced, given the INT, but let's say a runner on 2nd or 3rd was running on the pitch and advanced a base before the INT.
Or, am I still asleep?
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Old Mon May 26, 2008, 10:33am
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Caveat: the OP was under (presumably) NCAA rules. So, speaking ASA

I submit that the note under ASA Rule 8-5-B does not apply due to context. Rule 8-5-B is not applicable to the OP situation. 8-5-B is concerning obstructing the progress of a runner or BR who is legally running the bases. The OP was the catcher obstructing the batter attempting to hit the ball.

The applicable rule is 8-1-D, which carries no exception for subsequent interference by the BR or anyone else. This makes sense to me since the presumption is the CO may have impacted the flight of the ball and hence subsequent play.

Therefore, I would rule the OC has two choices: result of the play (R1 out, BR on 1B), or the enforcement of the penalty (BR on 1B, other runner advanced in forced). I can guess which one he would take.
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Old Mon May 26, 2008, 10:46am
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Catcher's OBS is a unique situation in which the entire play has, potentially, been affected. As Ed correctly pointed out in his deleted post (that I quoted), B2's ability to hit the ball has been affected. As a result, the ball could have gone many other places than where it did in the OP.

In my interpretation, 8-5-B does not apply.
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Old Mon May 26, 2008, 10:48am
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thanks for the great replies.

Its a good thing this doesn't happen very often because I don't think there is a way to enforce both.

If you enforce the Obstruction, then R1 gets away with interference.
If you enforce Interference, then the coach never gets his choice and thus the catcher gets away with Obstruction.

I would think that calling R1 out and giving BR 1B might be the easiest sell, but in either case, I'm thinking you're gonna have a heck of an argument.
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Old Mon May 26, 2008, 10:59am
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Do you know what the ruling was on the field?
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Old Mon May 26, 2008, 11:03am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umpharp
thanks for the great replies.

Its a good thing this doesn't happen very often because I don't think there is a way to enforce both.

If you enforce the Obstruction, then R1 gets away with interference.
If you enforce Interference, then the coach never gets his choice and thus the catcher gets away with Obstruction.

I would think that calling R1 out and giving BR 1B might be the easiest sell, but in either case, I'm thinking you're gonna have a heck of an argument.

I'd think that calling R1 out and giving BR 1B would be the tougher of the two sells for the reason I outlined previously. If you've got a smart coach who knows the catcher obstruction rule, you'll have a hard time convincing them that they, in the end, DON'T have a choice.

Catcher's OBS is completely different from other instances of OBS - the offensive coach can have a choice in the matter. In all other instances of OBS, it's the umpires who decide where the runners go, not the coach.

F2 hindered the batter's ability to hit the ball where they wanted, and the play was affected from the get-go. R1 should be given 2B, and B2 given 1B.
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I haven't decided if I should call it from the dugout or the outfield. Apparently, both have really great views!

Screw green, it ain't easy being blue!

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  #15 (permalink)  
Old Mon May 26, 2008, 11:27am
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This is where the Note 2 comes into play. "Should an act of interference occur following any obstruction, enforcement of the interference penalty has precedence." This takes the offensive coaches options away and gives the defense an advantage for the obstructing the batter. Maybe some wording change in this rule is in order.
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