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Old Sun Mar 20, 2011, 03:56pm
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From ASA 2011 March Rules Clarification

The wording is a bit confusing, but my concern is the ruling. I believe this is a major change in philosophy by NUS compared to the past. I'm not a fan of this interpretation, but it isn't my place to ignore it:

PLAY: With one out, R1 on 2B and R2 on 1B, B4 hits an extra base hit to the outfield. R1 rounds 3B and is obstructed and knocked down. R2 accidently passes R1 as R1 is lying on the ground. The ball is returned to the infield and R1 is tagged out. What is the call?

RULING: When R1 was obstructed between 2B and 3B, the base umpire should signal and call “obstruction.” (Rule 8, Section 5B) The umpire should then rule R2 out when R2 passed R1 with the ball remaining live. (Rule 8, Section 7D EFFECT) When R1 is tagged out between the two bases where the obstruction occurred, the umpire should call “time” and award R1 and all other runners the base or bases they would have reached, had there been no obstruction. (Rule 8, Section 5B[ 2] & [4] EFFECT) This would nullify the out on R2 and both R1 and R2 would be awarded the bases they would have reached had there been no obstruction. In this play, that base appears to be home.
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Old Sun Mar 20, 2011, 04:20pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
The wording is a bit confusing, but my concern is the ruling. I believe this is a major change in philosophy by NUS compared to the past. I'm not a fan of this interpretation, but it isn't my place to ignore it:

PLAY: With one out, R1 on 2B and R2 on 1B, B4 hits an extra base hit to the outfield. R1 rounds 3B and is obstructed and knocked down. R2 accidently passes R1 as R1 is lying on the ground. The ball is returned to the infield and R1 is tagged out. What is the call?

RULING: When R1 was obstructed between 2B and 3B, the base umpire should signal and call “obstruction.” (Rule 8, Section 5B) The umpire should then rule R2 out when R2 passed R1 with the ball remaining live. (Rule 8, Section 7D EFFECT) When R1 is tagged out between the two bases where the obstruction occurred, the umpire should call “time” and award R1 and all other runners the base or bases they would have reached, had there been no obstruction. (Rule 8, Section 5B[ 2] & [4] EFFECT) This would nullify the out on R2 and both R1 and R2 would be awarded the bases they would have reached had there been no obstruction. In this play, that base appears to be home.
Just trying to understand the ruling regarding the base award....was R1 obstructed rounding 3B (PLAY) or between 2B & 3B (RULING)?
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Old Sun Mar 20, 2011, 04:45pm
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Originally Posted by KJUmp View Post
Just trying to understand the ruling regarding the base award....was R1 obstructed rounding 3B (PLAY) or between 2B & 3B (RULING)?
Forget the play, the wording is misleading as previously noted. It is irrelevant to the ruling.
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Old Sun Mar 20, 2011, 08:42pm
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Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
Forget the play, the wording is misleading as previously noted. It is irrelevant to the ruling.
Yes, re-reading it I see what you mean. What I'm failing to grasp is the rationale in R2 being awarded home.
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Old Sun Mar 20, 2011, 09:26pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJUmp View Post
Yes, re-reading it I see what you mean. What I'm failing to grasp is the rationale in R2 being awarded home.
Any bases awarded are left completely up to the judgment of the umpire whenever we have obstruction. In this scenario, in the hypothetical umpire's judgment, a base hit to the outfield would have gotten R2 home had there been no obstruction.

What concerns me about this ruling is that if R1 is not tagged out, R2 remains out.
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Old Sun Mar 20, 2011, 09:54pm
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Originally Posted by NCASAUmp View Post
Any bases awarded are left completely up to the judgment of the umpire whenever we have obstruction. In this scenario, in the hypothetical umpire's judgment, a base hit to the outfield would have gotten R2 home had there been no obstruction.

What concerns me about this ruling is that if R1 is not tagged out, R2 remains out.
Why do you say that, Dave? The only effect of R1 being tagged out is that it creates an immediate dead ball, and expedites the award.

If R1 isn't tagged out, when all play has ended, the umpire is to call a dead ball, and make any and all awards to both R1 and any other runner affected by the obstruction that which would negate the affect of the obstruction, If you judge R2 was only put because R1 was obstructed, then you fix that; in either case.

Mike, I also see this as a change; but I think it is a good change. The old ruling didn't allow us to truly fix what the obstruction may have created in this case play. It is also now consistent with thw NFHS ruling, where consistency is always a good thing.
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Old Sun Mar 20, 2011, 10:36pm
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Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
Why do you say that, Dave? The only effect of R1 being tagged out is that it creates an immediate dead ball, and expedites the award.

If R1 isn't tagged out, when all play has ended, the umpire is to call a dead ball, and make any and all awards to both R1 and any other runner affected by the obstruction that which would negate the affect of the obstruction, If you judge R2 was only put because R1 was obstructed, then you fix that; in either case.

Mike, I also see this as a change; but I think it is a good change. The old ruling didn't allow us to truly fix what the obstruction may have created in this case play. It is also now consistent with thw NFHS ruling, where consistency is always a good thing.
The interpretation that I was always handed was that R2 would still be out, regardless. I don't see it as a consistent award.
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Old Mon Mar 21, 2011, 07:45am
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Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
Mike, I also see this as a change; but I think it is a good change. The old ruling didn't allow us to truly fix what the obstruction may have created in this case play. It is also now consistent with thw NFHS ruling, where consistency is always a good thing.
I don't believe it is. For starts, it is going to open up so many "what if's" for umpires that I can see a flood of using this as justification for some really absurd rulings.

Secondly, nowhere, NOWHERE in the rules is there an allowance for protecting anyone other than the OBS runner. IMO, a runner is responsible for completing their tasks. You are referring to a runner who has two coaches to direct her and has 10 strides to realize the runner in front of her is not advancing.

The previous ruling would allow the umpires to place the runners affected by the OBS as they deem appropriate without committing any violations.

I can see it now, a succeeding runner is tagged out by the defense and an umpire is going to rule that the OBS 60+ feet ahead of the runner caused her to slow down, therefore, she really isn't out.

If they are going to do this, they need to adjust other rules (for example the other thread here) which holds other runners accountable for INT calls even though affected by an OBS runner.
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Old Mon Mar 21, 2011, 07:59am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post

If they are going to do this, they need to adjust other rules (for example the other thread here) which holds other runners accountable for INT calls even though affected by an OBS runner.
Mike, you beat me to the punch. I was surprised when this interpretation was presented. I, like you, do not see where there is explicit protection for the non obstructed runner to violate any other rules. As you said, it does open "what if's"; mine was "the runner you called out, then draws a throw which is ruled as interference . . ." Now what? Additionally, how can we have runners out of sequence?

And for the record, I do not like that NFHS and NCAA has explicit rules that protect a runner from passing an obstructed runner with ZERO effect.

However, the Keystone Kontengent develop a solution that I have proposed to my regional UIC and I'm also submitting this to NFHS. Change the effect of obstruction to " . . . the ball is deal when the obstructed runner is put out or ANY RUNNER EFFECTED BY OBSTRUCTION IS PUT OUT." (the change in caps). Therefore, at the time R2 passes R1, the ball is dead, then make the awards.
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Old Mon Mar 21, 2011, 09:30am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCASAUmp View Post
The interpretation that I was always handed was that R2 would still be out, regardless. I don't see it as a consistent award.
By the old interpretation, R2 would have been out for passing, whether R1 is put out (creating an immediate dead ball) or if not (dead ball at the end of the play). That is true.

By the new interpretation to consider the effect the obstruction may have had on other runners, there is no difference if R1 is or isn't put out; the only effect is when the ball becomes dead. You would still make the same award relative to R2 (deciding to protect as affected, or not, if you believe the passing wasn't caused by the obstruction). You make that decision because it was obstruction, not because R1 was put out. There is no inconsistency here.

Mike, I understand your position, I just don't think the prior ruling was completely meeting the intent to negate the affect of the obstruction. Certainly following runners could stop; but why should they have to? Yes, they have coaches that can tell them to stop, but that stopping means the defense now has gained an advantage that the rules don't intend them to have. The defense didn't make a play that the offense needs to react to, the defense violated the offense's right to run the bases unhindered.

We can certainly play what-if's until the cows come home, but if the whole concept of an obstruction award is to negate any advantage the defense may have gained, and any disadvantage to the offense that may have resulted, we just shouldn't be ignoring the impact on following runners. If trailing R2 misses 2nd base because she just missed 2nd, of course honor that appeal. If R2 causes interference, make that ruling. But if R2 is kept from running the bases because R1 was knocked in the dirt, then I think we should be protecting all the affected runners.

To do otherwise only promotes the general consensus that the defense really loses nothing but committing obstruction. At worst (to the defense), the offense gets what it would have had; but sometimes, the offense gets less. This is one attempt at fixing that.
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Old Mon Mar 21, 2011, 10:12am
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Steve - I like your philosophy and completey agree with your reasoning.

Mike - I agree that this ruling will open up the possibility of some "interesting" rulings by some umpires.

In my experience, teaching the obstruction rule and how to call and administer it is a challenging task to begin with, especially to new umpires.

Adding this wrinkle to the rule is not going to make it any easier to teach, in my opinion. I think it is a good change, but I don't think there will be a consistant application of it across the country.....
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Old Mon Mar 21, 2011, 08:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
Mike, I understand your position, I just don't think the prior ruling was completely meeting the intent
you just had to use that word, didn't you
Quote:
to negate the affect of the obstruction. Certainly following runners could stop; but why should they have to?
Because that would help them avoid violating the rules
Quote:

Yes, they have coaches that can tell them to stop, but that stopping means the defense now has gained an advantage that the rules don't intend them to have. The defense didn't make a play that the offense needs to react to, the defense violated the offense's right to run the bases unhindered.

We can certainly play what-if's until the cows come home, but if the whole concept of an obstruction award is to negate any advantage the defense may have gained, and any disadvantage to the offense that may have resulted, we just shouldn't be ignoring the impact on following runners.
The defense gains absolutely no advantage. And you say, "Balderdash! How do they not gain an advantage?!?!" And my response would be, "because I will award every runner affected by the OBS the bases they would had attained had the OBS not occurred, just like every umpire is supposed to do.

Quote:
If trailing R2 misses 2nd base because she just missed 2nd, of course honor that appeal. If R2 causes interference, make that ruling. But if R2 is kept from running the bases because R1 was knocked in the dirt, then I think we should be protecting all the affected runners.

To do otherwise only promotes the general consensus that the defense really loses nothing but committing obstruction. At worst (to the defense), the offense gets what it would have had; but sometimes, the offense gets less. This is one attempt at fixing that.
See, I don't think anything needed fixing. Now, if you are suggesting that the interpretation was changed to counter inept umpiring, well.........well, there are so many ways I could go with that.
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Old Tue Mar 22, 2011, 03:51pm
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Guess I'm not sure what the big issue here is. R1 was obstructed, had the obstruction not occurred R2 wouldn't have passed R1 so once the play is dead or the obstructed runner is put out (R1 in this case) you undo what harm was done to the offense as a result of the obstruction. Seems like it's the right thinking to me.
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Old Tue Mar 22, 2011, 06:18pm
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Originally Posted by DaveASA/FED View Post
Guess I'm not sure what the big issue here is. R1 was obstructed, had the obstruction not occurred R2 wouldn't have passed R1 so once the play is dead or the obstructed runner is put out (R1 in this case) you undo what harm was done to the offense as a result of the obstruction. Seems like it's the right thinking to me.
Okay, that's fine, but where is the rule? And have they gotten wrong for the past few decades?

The rules already protect the offense without the need to violate the rules. Is it possible that the mentality will come to the point that coaches will instruct their players to just keep going then challenge the umpire when they don't get what they want?

As I have stated before, I don't agree with it because I don't believe it is necessary. But if that's what they want, that's what I will go with. Just wish they would adapt the rules to the interpretation.
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Last edited by IRISHMAFIA; Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 06:42pm.
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Old Wed Mar 23, 2011, 09:31am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
Just wish they would adapt the rules to the interpretation.
So propose a rule change... you have that power, ya know.
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