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Mister B

LL obstruction at 1B

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So, just wondering what everyone thinks. Little League 9-11 Tournament. 

Soft ground ball up the 3BL (about 12 feet, F1 fields it and throws to F3. F3 is already got back foot on the middle of the base, with front foot straight down the 1BL. Just before the B/R reaches 1B, he slows down to avoid trucking F3 and puts out his hands  to stop. He touches F3 just before the ball hits the glove. 

I called obstruction, as the fielder hindered the runner, and I'm sticking with that call. But I've had a couple people say that the fielder has a right to be there if the throw takes him there. My issue is that while that is true in OBR, the wording specific to that doesn't exist in the green book. Green book says that the fielder must have control of the ball before moving in front of the runner. Also, the throw didn't take him there, he was there before the throw. 

I have a difficult time with all the rules put in place to protect the runner at home, but 1B always seems to be forgotten. Or I hear, "that's just baseball." I always teach my kids that back foot should be against the bag, but never on top of and that you step toward the throw once it is made. 

Any thoughts? 

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Sounds like obstruction to me. LL does not have the "In the act of fielding" provision in the definition of obstruction. The fielder must have possession of the ball.

In my experience, this call is often missed or mis-interpreted in LL and HS. I always hear people say, "well the fielder was doing what he was supposed to be doing."

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6 hours ago, Mister B said:

So, just wondering what everyone thinks. Little League 9-11 Tournament. 

Soft ground ball up the 3BL (about 12 feet, F1 fields it and throws to F3. F3 is already got back foot on the middle of the base, with front foot straight down the 1BL. Just before the B/R reaches 1B, he slows down to avoid trucking F3 and puts out his hands  to stop. He touches F3 just before the ball hits the glove. 

I called obstruction, as the fielder hindered the runner, and I'm sticking with that call. But I've had a couple people say that the fielder has a right to be there if the throw takes him there. My issue is that while that is true in OBR, the wording specific to that doesn't exist in the green book. Green book says that the fielder must have control of the ball before moving in front of the runner. Also, the throw didn't take him there, he was there before the throw. 

I have a difficult time with all the rules put in place to protect the runner at home, but 1B always seems to be forgotten. Or I hear, "that's just baseball." I always teach my kids that back foot should be against the bag, but never on top of and that you step toward the throw once it is made. 

Any thoughts? 

Correct call.  See JonnyCat's post.

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If the throw took F3 into the path of the BR, I would agree OBS should be the call.  Penalize who erred. The rules will catch up with common sense soon enough. I'm not sure F3 would be guilty of OBS here. You say F3 reached straight down the 1BL and BR puts out his hands and contacts F3 just before the ball hits his glove. INT? OBS? HTBT?  Judgement?

Unfortunately, players don't always do what they/we expect!  

If officiating were easy, everybody would do it!

Sometime we just have to umpire!

 

 

 

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F3 was set up straight down the line before the throw was even made. I stayed out (like I should), so I had a view of both the ball and F3.  He had to reach back towards the infield to make the catch. 

BR was slowing down before he trucked F3 and put out his hands to brace for contact. He was 2/3 the size of F3. So any collision would have been worse for him. 

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I'm of the HTBT camp folks.

See, even LL fields have a "runners lane"............even if it isn't marked.  The batter runner, in the last half of the distance going to first base shall.........blah blah blah.  The runner may exit by a step, stride, reach or slide. Still not sure.

How can F3 be obstructing ON the line, if the runner is in the Runners lane? 

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We teach in our district to watch for the body language of the runner, especially at this age group.

In a LL game, this level and age? I have obstruction and will award 1st. No reason F3 should be set up in the lane like this before the throw is even attempted.

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47 minutes ago, Mudisfun said:

We teach in our district to watch for the body language of the runner, especially at this age group.

In a LL game, this level and age? I have obstruction and will award 1st. No reason F3 should be set up in the lane like this before the throw is even attempted.

OP said "on the line", not the lane.  I brought up the <hint> of a possible runners lane violation...............

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7 hours ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

How can F3 be obstructing ON the line, if the runner is in the Runners lane? 

And herein lies the issue. BR is not touching 1B without some kind of hard contact. F3 is on the line, so he is blocking some of the runner's lane and he's standing straight up so he's blocking the majority of the base, unless BR makes a wide turn to 2B he's not going to be able to touch 1B. 

I realize that touching 1B is not a requirement for a safe call, but this situation puts the runner at a distinct disadvantage. 

Finally, since the throw was made and caught, there's no RLI

Can't tell you the number of times I've seen F3 catch the ball with both feet on the base. This seems like the perfect level to use the rules to enforce good mechanics as well as safety. 

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On 7/10/2018 at 10:23 AM, Aging_Arbiter said:

OP said "on the line", not the lane.  I brought up the <hint> of a possible runners lane violation...............

Lane/line... 

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On 7/10/2018 at 7:46 AM, Aging_Arbiter said:

I'm of the HTBT camp folks.

See, even LL fields have a "runners lane"............even if it isn't marked.  The batter runner, in the last half of the distance going to first base shall.........blah blah blah.  The runner may exit by a step, stride, reach or slide. Still not sure.

How can F3 be obstructing ON the line, if the runner is in the Runners lane? 

Lets try this again,

The runner slowed down because a  fielder not in possession of the ball was in his path to the base. 

That's obstruction.

LL does NOT have the "allow access" BS that FED has.

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On 7/10/2018 at 1:23 AM, Tborze said:

If the throw took F3 into the path of the BR, I would agree OBS should be the call.  Penalize who erred.

You seem to be suggesting that, because F3 set up in the runner's path, and because the runner had time to divert around him, therefore this act is not OBS.

That's incorrect. First, the runner cannot deviate from the actual 1BL (approximately) without risking RLI (throw coming from 12 feet up the line from HP).

More importantly, it puts the burden on the wrong person: the runner has the right to access the base without hindrance by a fielder without the ball.

Even in OBR, this fielder set up in the runner's path: the exception to move into the path in order to field a thrown ball does not protect this fielder because he did not move there.

I'd have OBS in all codes. Learning opportunity for a young F3.

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31 minutes ago, maven said:

You seem to be suggesting that, because F3 set up in the runner's path, and because the runner had time to divert around him, therefore this act is not OBS.

That's incorrect. First, the runner cannot deviate from the actual 1BL (approximately) without risking RLI (throw coming from 12 feet up the line from HP).

More importantly, it puts the burden on the wrong person: the runner has the right to access the base without hindrance by a fielder without the ball.

Even in OBR, this fielder set up in the runner's path: the exception to move into the path in order to field a thrown ball does not protect this fielder because he did not move there.

I'd have OBS in all codes. Learning opportunity for a young F3.

 I must have misread where F3 set up in the runners base path in the OP.  

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