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Magnum

Obstruction or Interference

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I'm umpiring a LL Major's game and there are no outs with a runner on first base.  The batter hits a slow squiggly spinning grounder between the pitcher & shorstop - however it appears as the second baseman is the superior athlete and sprints from deep second base to get the ball.

The ball lands by the pitcher - then goes around him and sort of spins towards second base... but doesn't roll that far - it stops a couple feet short of the baseline.

In the meantime, the first base runner is running full-speed towards second base and ends up colliding with the second baseman who was running full speed towards the ball.  Neither the runner nor the baseman saw each other, the collision was 100% unintentional, and both kids were really shaken up... wind knocked out of one, big swollen/bruised eye on the other, etc.

I called the runner safe at second but the fielder's coach became very upset and said his player was making a play on the ball.  However, after the coaches and officiating crew collectively discussed what happened, everyone agreed the runner should remain at second base and the game continued without incident.

I'm really confused by this, if I concede that the second baseman was making a play on the  ball - even though he was at least 10 feet away and there were other players in the vicinity, did I make the wrong call?  Should the runner have been out?

I'm thinking that even if the second baseman is trying to make a play from that far away... had no chance of getting the runner out - and unintentionally collides with the runner,  the runner should get the base. 

Any advice or clarification is appreciated.  Thanks. 

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15 minutes ago, Magnum said:

I'm umpiring a LL Major's game and there are no outs with a runner on first base.  The batter hits a slow squiggly spinning grounder between the pitcher & shorstop - however it appears as the second baseman is the superior athlete and sprints from deep second base to get the ball.

The ball lands by the pitcher - then goes around him and sort of spins towards second base... but doesn't roll that far - it stops a couple feet short of the baseline.

In the meantime, the first base runner is running full-speed towards second base and ends up colliding with the second baseman who was running full speed towards the ball.  Neither the runner nor the baseman saw each other, the collision was 100% unintentional, and both kids were really shaken up... wind knocked out of one, big swollen/bruised eye on the other, etc.

I called the runner safe at second but the fielder's coach became very upset and said his player was making a play on the ball.  However, after the coaches and officiating crew collectively discussed what happened, everyone agreed the runner should remain at second base and the game continued without incident.

I'm really confused by this, if I concede that the second baseman was making a play on the  ball - even though he was at least 10 feet away and there were other players in the vicinity, did I make the wrong call?  Should the runner have been out?

I'm thinking that even if the second baseman is trying to make a play from that far away... had no chance of getting the runner out - and unintentionally collides with the runner,  the runner should get the base. 

Any advice or clarification is appreciated.  Thanks. 

You need to decide which fielder is the one with the play on the ball.  That fielder is then protected.  No other's are. Making an attempt matters. Who knows, maybe the batter falls and there is a play on him. Is the  batter thunderfoot or swifty?

SO -  if you think 2B was making the attempted play he is protected and the runner must avoid him or be guilty of interference.

BUT - If you think the SS was the one making the attempted play then the SS is protected and 2B  would be guilty of obstruction. 

 

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2 hours ago, Rich Ives said:

You need to decide which fielder is the one with the play on the ball.  That fielder is then protected.  No other's are. Making an attempt matters. Who knows, maybe the batter falls and there is a play on him. Is the  batter thunderfoot or swifty?

SO -  if you think 2B was making the attempted play he is protected and the runner must avoid him or be guilty of interference.

BUT - If you think the SS was the one making the attempted play then the SS is protected and 2B  would be guilty of obstruction. 

 

To add a bit of confusion to Rich's post. The fielder protection can change during the play.

An example would be that you think F4 (2B) is the one to make the play. But as it develops, it becomes obvious that F6 or F1 (SS or P) will be the one to make the play. The fielder protection would shift to one of them.

Thusly... originally, the contact with F4 would be interference. The change in protection to another fielder would change it to obstruction. 

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29 minutes ago, BT_Blue said:

To add a bit of confusion to Rich's post. The fielder protection can change during the play.

An example would be that you think F4 (2B) is the one to make the play. But as it develops, it becomes obvious that F6 or F1 (SS or P) will be the one to make the play. The fielder protection would shift to one of them.

Thusly... originally, the contact with F4 would be interference. The change in protection to another fielder would change it to obstruction. 

Additionally, only one fielder can be protected at a time. So if you believe F6 should be afforded protection, then neither F4 or F1 can be protected from obstruction. 

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