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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 06:57pm
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Scenario: Runner trapped in a rundown between 3rd and home. The runner is obstructed.

In ASA, unlike other sets of rules, all forms of obstruction result in a delayed deadball. The signal is for the umpire to extend a clenched fist parallel to the ground.

In my opinion, this is an umpire signal. I don't think players, coaches, or fans would recognize or notice that signal.

So, in all likelihood, the rundown would continue even though there is no possibility that this runner can ever be put out while trapped between these two bases. Kind of silly, really, if you think about it. (That's just a bit of editorializing that is not relevant to the question I'm about to ask.)

To which base is this runner awarded? How is that determined?

Let's say the runner was scampering back toward third when obstructed. The rundown continues and the runner is ultimately tagged out at the plate. What is the award?

David Emerling
Memphis, TN

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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 08:14pm
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Straight from ASA POE #35

When the runner is obstructed during a rundown, a delayed
dead ball is called. If the runner is tagged out after being
obstructed, a dead ball is ruled, and they are awarded the base
they would have made had there been no obstruction.


So if in your case you thought the runner would have ultimately
achieved HP, then award HP. If you felt runner would not have made
HP, then put 'em on 3Rd. But they cannot be put out between the
two bases. HP & 3RD.

glen
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Old Mon May 05, 2003, 10:28pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by whiskers_ump
Straight from ASA POE #35

When the runner is obstructed during a rundown, a delayed
dead ball is called. If the runner is tagged out after being
obstructed, a dead ball is ruled, and they are awarded the base
they would have made had there been no obstruction.


So if in your case you thought the runner would have ultimately
achieved HP, then award HP. If you felt runner would not have made
HP, then put 'em on 3Rd. But they cannot be put out between the
two bases. HP & 3RD.

glen
And that determination has to be made at the time of the obstruction? Because, what I envision is an obstruction call, with several more throws in the rundown with the runner switching directions several times until she is ultimately tagged out. At the time of the obstruction, the runner was heading in the direction of 3rd. So, how can you award the runner any base OTHER than 3rd?
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Old Tue May 06, 2003, 05:49am
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Thumbs up

David,

It is a judgement call. I agree with what you have
said. In your case, I would have awarded runner 3rd.
I would not give an OBSD runner a base I don't think
they would have achieved. That is one reason I was
glad to see FED change their ruling on OBS.

GLEN
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Old Tue May 06, 2003, 10:34am
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Thumbs up

Pony has a special obstruction rule for rundowns. A miniminum of an award to the next base. This adds a penalty for obstruction if occures with runner going back to last base.

Roger Greene
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Old Tue May 06, 2003, 10:56am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Roger Greene
Pony has a special obstruction rule for rundowns. A miniminum of an award to the next base. This adds a penalty for obstruction if occures with runner going back to last base.

Roger Greene
Sorry, Roger, but I consider that contrary to the purpose of the rule. It is similar to what the Fed rule was and I, along Glen and quite a few other umpires of which I am aware, couldn't have been happier to see it go away.

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Old Tue May 06, 2003, 11:13am
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Quote:
Originally posted by David Emerling
Scenario: Runner trapped in a rundown between 3rd and home. The runner is obstructed.

In ASA, unlike other sets of rules, all forms of obstruction result in a delayed deadball. The signal is for the umpire to extend a clenched fist parallel to the ground.

In my opinion, this is an umpire signal. I don't think players, coaches, or fans would recognize or notice that signal.
You don't give them enough credit. In my experience, from local rec ball to international play, those folks are very aware of this signal.

Quote:
So, in all likelihood, the rundown would continue even though there is no possibility that this runner can ever be put out while trapped between these two bases. Kind of silly, really, if you think about it. (That's just a bit of editorializing that is not relevant to the question I'm about to ask.)
It's only silly if you don't understand the rule. Obstruction is a rule meant to protect runners when their progress is impeded, most often unintentionally, by a defender. It is a matter of protection, not penalty.

Obstruction only protects that one runner. That doesn't mean that the defense loses the opportunity to make an out on another, unobstructed runner. If you kill the ball, you are denying the offense of advancing and possibly scoring.

Quote:
To which base is this runner awarded? How is that determined?

Let's say the runner was scampering back toward third when obstructed. The rundown continues and the runner is ultimately tagged out at the plate. What is the award?

David Emerling
Memphis, TN
The award is applied after the obstructed runner is put out or all play is obviously complete. The obstructed runner, and any other runner the umpire judges to have been affected by the obstruction, is awarded the base to which the umpire believes they would have attained had the obstruction not occurred.

In your scenario, it seems to be 3B, but under your belief that ASA rules are often wrong because they do not get situation-specific enough as that fustercluck of a rulebook, OBR does, you would have the play ruled dead and that runner loses the chance to score which isn't as impossible as many believe.

BTW, I believe we have had this discussion a couple of times, either here or over in McGriffs the last couple of years. I think the answer has always been the same.
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Old Tue May 06, 2003, 11:45am
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Quote:
Originally posted by IRISHMAFIA
Quote:
Originally posted by David Emerling
Scenario: Runner trapped in a rundown between 3rd and home. The runner is obstructed.

In ASA, unlike other sets of rules, all forms of obstruction result in a delayed deadball. The signal is for the umpire to extend a clenched fist parallel to the ground.

In my opinion, this is an umpire signal. I don't think players, coaches, or fans would recognize or notice that signal.
You don't give them enough credit. In my experience, from local rec ball to international play, those folks are very aware of this signal.

Quote:
So, in all likelihood, the rundown would continue even though there is no possibility that this runner can ever be put out while trapped between these two bases. Kind of silly, really, if you think about it. (That's just a bit of editorializing that is not relevant to the question I'm about to ask.)
It's only silly if you don't understand the rule. Obstruction is a rule meant to protect runners when their progress is impeded, most often unintentionally, by a defender. It is a matter of protection, not penalty.

Obstruction only protects that one runner. That doesn't mean that the defense loses the opportunity to make an out on another, unobstructed runner. If you kill the ball, you are denying the offense of advancing and possibly scoring.

Quote:
To which base is this runner awarded? How is that determined?

Let's say the runner was scampering back toward third when obstructed. The rundown continues and the runner is ultimately tagged out at the plate. What is the award?

David Emerling
Memphis, TN
The award is applied after the obstructed runner is put out or all play is obviously complete. The obstructed runner, and any other runner the umpire judges to have been affected by the obstruction, is awarded the base to which the umpire believes they would have attained had the obstruction not occurred.

In your scenario, it seems to be 3B, but under your belief that ASA rules are often wrong because they do not get situation-specific enough as that fustercluck of a rulebook, OBR does, you would have the play ruled dead and that runner loses the chance to score which isn't as impossible as many believe.

BTW, I believe we have had this discussion a couple of times, either here or over in McGriffs the last couple of years. I think the answer has always been the same.
My question was mostly to clarify which base an obstructed runner was awarded during a rundown. True, I never fail to take a shot at any system of rules that allows play to be continued on a player that can't be put out.

There are some systems of baseball rules that maintain a live ball on obstruction (NFHS) but, at a minimum, the runner is awarded the NEXT base.

There are some systems of softball rules that kill the play whenever there is an immediate play on an obstructed runner. (I believe NSA may be an example of that)

I think ASA is unique in that it may actually award the runner the LAST base occupied when they are obstructed during a rundown. You could almost use the rule to your advantage by giving her a big bear hug while she's being chased back toward 3rd. Tag her out. The umpire will kill the play and put her BACK at 3rd.

But, of course, this is the same system of rules that would call out the improper batter, another runner, and the proper batter all on one play in a batting-out-of-order situation. Now that's what I call a penalty! [g]

Believe me, I understand what obstruction is. It's like pornography ... I know it when I see it. Here, my only desire was to make it clear how it is administered under ASA as opposed to other system of rules. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping them all clear. I find ASA to one of the more convoluted.

The play continues leading to greater possible chaos. What many umpires have called "Third World Plays." Fielders are put into extremely awkward positions, like having to deal with runners that can't be put out - yet are almost compeled to continue to try to get them out. Other runners are given opportunities to advance ONLY because the defense is tied up with an immune runner.

Whose that blonde body builder with the short hair who used to say, "Stop the insanity!"?

David Emerling
Memphis, TN
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Old Tue May 06, 2003, 11:47am
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The ASA and NFHS version is better than PONY or OBR because it reflects protecting the runner, not penalizing anyone unnecessarily.

Also, the "would have reached" judgement is made after the play, never at the moment of the obstruction.
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Old Tue May 06, 2003, 11:58am
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Quote:
Originally posted by CecilOne
The ASA and NFHS version is better than PONY or OBR because it reflects protecting the runner, not penalizing anyone unnecessarily.

Also, the "would have reached" judgement is made after the play, never at the moment of the obstruction.
Oh - that's different!

So, let's see if I got this right.

A runner is trapped between 3rd and home. The runner is obstructed during a phase of the rundown where she is clearly heading in the direction of 3rd base. Yet, the rundown continues for several more throws with the runner reversing directions several times. Ultimately, the runner is tagged out in the vicinity of home and while advancing in that direction.

Now, having said all that - are you saying that the umpire can award her home on the bases that she "would have reached" home had the obstruction not occurred?

Tough sell.

I think it's pretty obvious in the scenario above, the only logical award under the ASA "would have reached" criteria is 3rd base. Awarding home would be completely illogical since the effects of the obstruction would be rendered moot by the length of the continuation of play following the obstruction.

And this is why I think it is rather senseless to allow the play to continue. Killing the play and awarding the runner home would be logical.

Oddly, NFHS high school rules also allow the play to continue (like ASA), but the runner is ALWAYS going to be awarded the NEXT base. So, at a minimum, the defense at least can abort the rundown and focus on the other runners and not be forced to get a runner "out" who can never be out. As soon as the obstruction is signaled, the defense KNOWS that the runner is awarded home. In ASA, once they know that obstruction has been called, they won't know what the umpire's intended award is going to be ... so they have to play on assuming that the award will be to the LAST base ... so they have to prevent her from advancing by getting her "out" ... which really amounts to nothing more than returning to 3rd.

I maintain ... it's really kind of illogical.

David Emerling
Memphis, TN
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Old Tue May 06, 2003, 12:15pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by David Emerling
Quote:
Originally posted by IRISHMAFIA
Quote:
Originally posted by David Emerling
Scenario: Runner trapped in a rundown between 3rd and home. The runner is obstructed.

In ASA, unlike other sets of rules, all forms of obstruction result in a delayed deadball. The signal is for the umpire to extend a clenched fist parallel to the ground.

In my opinion, this is an umpire signal. I don't think players, coaches, or fans would recognize or notice that signal.
You don't give them enough credit. In my experience, from local rec ball to international play, those folks are very aware of this signal.

Quote:
So, in all likelihood, the rundown would continue even though there is no possibility that this runner can ever be put out while trapped between these two bases. Kind of silly, really, if you think about it. (That's just a bit of editorializing that is not relevant to the question I'm about to ask.)
It's only silly if you don't understand the rule. Obstruction is a rule meant to protect runners when their progress is impeded, most often unintentionally, by a defender. It is a matter of protection, not penalty.

Obstruction only protects that one runner. That doesn't mean that the defense loses the opportunity to make an out on another, unobstructed runner. If you kill the ball, you are denying the offense of advancing and possibly scoring.

Quote:
To which base is this runner awarded? How is that determined?

Let's say the runner was scampering back toward third when obstructed. The rundown continues and the runner is ultimately tagged out at the plate. What is the award?

David Emerling
Memphis, TN
The award is applied after the obstructed runner is put out or all play is obviously complete. The obstructed runner, and any other runner the umpire judges to have been affected by the obstruction, is awarded the base to which the umpire believes they would have attained had the obstruction not occurred.

In your scenario, it seems to be 3B, but under your belief that ASA rules are often wrong because they do not get situation-specific enough as that fustercluck of a rulebook, OBR does, you would have the play ruled dead and that runner loses the chance to score which isn't as impossible as many believe.

BTW, I believe we have had this discussion a couple of times, either here or over in McGriffs the last couple of years. I think the answer has always been the same.
My question was mostly to clarify which base an obstructed runner was awarded during a rundown. True, I never fail to take a shot at any system of rules that allows play to be continued on a player that can't be put out.

There are some systems of baseball rules that maintain a live ball on obstruction (NFHS) but, at a minimum, the runner is awarded the NEXT base.

There are some systems of softball rules that kill the play whenever there is an immediate play on an obstructed runner. (I believe NSA may be an example of that)

I think ASA is unique in that it may actually award the runner the LAST base occupied when they are obstructed during a rundown. You could almost use the rule to your advantage by giving her a big bear hug while she's being chased back toward 3rd. Tag her out. The umpire will kill the play and put her BACK at 3rd.

But, of course, this is the same system of rules that would call out the improper batter, another runner, and the proper batter all on one play in a batting-out-of-order situation. Now that's what I call a penalty! [g]

Believe me, I understand what obstruction is. It's like pornography ... I know it when I see it. Here, my only desire was to make it clear how it is administered under ASA as opposed to other system of rules. Sometimes I have a hard time keeping them all clear. I find ASA to one of the more convoluted.

The play continues leading to greater possible chaos. What many umpires have called "Third World Plays." Fielders are put into extremely awkward positions, like having to deal with runners that can't be put out - yet are almost compeled to continue to try to get them out. Other runners are given opportunities to advance ONLY because the defense is tied up with an immune runner.

Whose that blonde body builder with the short hair who used to say, "Stop the insanity!"?

David Emerling
Memphis, TN
The insanity is that you keep coming back with the same questions as if the answers are going to change if you ask the question enough. What are you, a reporter on the political desk?

It is my opinion that you don't want to get it. You ask the same questions on multiple boards, argue with the answers, find a way to bring your baseball "experience" into the fray and then denounce the organizations which have rules with which you disagree, or cannot grasp.

There are hundreds of thousands of players, coaches and umpires in 165 countries that completely understand and play by these rules. They play with a variation of rule books, mostly ISF or a local similarity, which were or still are based on the ASA rule book. Even NFHS has been making some big moves to bring much of their book back in line with ASA's on major points.

This isn't baseball. ASA rules are so plain and simple at some points, it's almost ridiculous that some discussions even arise.


Just my personal opinion,

Mike
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Old Tue May 06, 2003, 12:44pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by IRISHMAFIA

The insanity is that you keep coming back with the same questions as if the answers are going to change if you ask the question enough. What are you, a reporter on the political desk?

It is my opinion that you don't want to get it. You ask the same questions on multiple boards, argue with the answers, find a way to bring your baseball "experience" into the fray and then denounce the organizations which have rules with which you disagree, or cannot grasp.

There are hundreds of thousands of players, coaches and umpires in 165 countries that completely understand and play by these rules. They play with a variation of rule books, mostly ISF or a local similarity, which were or still are based on the ASA rule book. Even NFHS has been making some big moves to bring much of their book back in line with ASA's on major points.

This isn't baseball. ASA rules are so plain and simple at some points, it's almost ridiculous that some discussions even arise.


Just my personal opinion,

Mike [/B]
Man, don't take my disagreement with a single rule so personal! I can live with the rule. I was just trying to understand it better. In the process of trying to understand it better, I simply stumbled across what I think is a glaring hole in it. But that scenario hardly ever happens so nobody is losing a lot of sleep over it.

This is an umpire forum. Things are often discussed on a purely academic basis.

Hey, I can think of a lot of rules that I think could be better in EVERY system of rules. Even baseball!

I find it interesting when so many organizations see a single event is such different ways. They all mostly agree on the infraction but differ wildly on how to enforce the penalty. It's my opinion, that some organizations have a more logical penalty system. No big deal!

For years, people have criticized NFHS baseball rules. And, over a period of time, the NFHS has adapted has been somewhat responsive to many complaints - to their credit. The common complaint was that it needlessly strayed from more common expectations and interpretations of baseball as people have grown to know the game. Let's face it, OBR has been around a lot longer than NFHS. I'm not saying that makes it better, but it is what people seem to expect from a baseball game. People shouldn't have to go to a baseball game and be surprised by the rule applications?

I have a daughter who plays competitive fastpitch softball. We play in many ASA tournaments throughout the season. They're great! A great organization. The rules seem to work ... but that doesn't mean there aren't "holes" in those rules.

I think delaying an obstruction call with a lingering uncertain award that could go either way happens to be a bad rule.

Man, don't get angry! I don't expect the world to change just because *I* don't agree with it.

Hey, you don't have candles burning around an ASA rulebook that you pay homage to on a nightly basis, do you? [g]


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Old Tue May 06, 2003, 01:45pm
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This thread has gotten long and heated, but may I point out some things that may help clarify why obstruction is a delayed dead ball?

Consider the application of the rule with the scenario changed. If the run down is between 2nd. & 3rd., whether obstructed or not, the runner could not only advance to 3rd., but also home. And all trailing runners could attempt to do so too, and possibly be legally put out. Also, if the obstructed runner ever reaches the next base (as a part of the rundown, or afterwards, after the defense goes after another runner), obstruction is removed. Protection is no longer needed, as she advanced in spite of the obstruction. And the runner now on 3rd. could then try for home, and possibly be put out.

So an immediate dead ball could potentially penalize both the defense and the offense. Perhaps this will help with understanding why the rule is the way it is.

As to differing penalties, I agree, I wish the several bodies could be more consistant, on a number of matters. It would help reduce the confusion wherever umpires, coaches, players, fans, media, etc. are involved with more than 1 sanction & level. But that has been beat to death here before.
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Old Tue May 06, 2003, 04:19pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Panda Bear


As to differing penalties, I agree, I wish the several bodies could be more consistant, on a number of matters. It would help reduce the confusion wherever umpires, coaches, players, fans, media, etc. are involved with more than 1 sanction & level. But that has been beat to death here before.
The problem here is the priorities of the sanctioning bodies and coaches input.

Different sanctioning bodies are that because they disagree with where they have already been.

Those who have worked NCAA ball for the past decade have probably seen the side of coaching input into the rules when the NFCA began developing a rule book for NCAA, same with NFHS.

Both of those organizations previously used slightly modified ASA rules. Now, as the coaches and ADs have gotten involved in the rule business, there are some things in there which are a little goofy to some of us.

I'm not saying that they shouldn't have some input into the rules, but instead of taking them as placed on paper, they should be bounced off those with the experience of the enforcement. This is one problem I have with ASA. Too often, rules are proposed, and sometimes get through, without taking the actual on field ramifications into account. By the time we reach championship play the following year, it's a little late to say, "Well, it looked good on paper!"
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Old Tue May 06, 2003, 04:29pm
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First of all, David, the way that Mike described is the way that obstruction is enforced in every code that I work, which is ASA, NFHS, USSSA and Dixie. (Though Dixie actually wants the umpire to drop a flag when it occurs to denote the delayed dead ball, most umpires use the "normal" delayed dead ball signal.)

I have read and reread this thread, and do not understand what is so difficult about the application of this rule. If a runner is obstructed, she is awarded the base to which the umpire felt she would have made had the obstruction not occurred. What is so difficult about this? Killing the ball right then and there has the potential to punish the offense, which is the side that has been offended, in much the same way that you do not kill the ball immediately on an illegal pitch. (Which is in the event that the batter hits the ball, and could possibly gain more than the penalty prescribes.)

Scott
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