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Be careful - different versions of the rule exist.   WHEN:   LL and FED: Obstruction unless the fielder actually has the ball.   OBR and NCAA: Can block if the ball is in flight and close enough

buy the best cup and supporter you can find.  I recommend the Nutty Buddy. 

Wear two if you can.

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No problem with eyeglasses under a mask. If fogging is a problem. There's stuff called cat crap that works great. 



As for obstruction. Read the rule, get a basic understanding of it, and search this forum for "obstruction" in the trhead titles and you'll be inundated with info. The more threads you read, the better you'll start grasping the rule.



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hi. i am a new ump and am unfamiliar with ubstruction and when to call it. It seems vague to me. What is the correct understanding and rule?


Also is it ok to wear prescription glasses under my mask?


I am starting umpiring younger kids, what protection do i need- i have chest, shins, facemask?

Plate shoes.


Obstruction is when the defense gets in the way of the offense when the defense does not have the "right of way" -- iow when they are not fielding a batted ball or receiving a thrown ball is not imminent.  Most collisions will be train wrecks -- not interference and not obstruction.  You put the runners where you think they would have gotten without the obstruction, but if a play is being made then you must award that runner at lease one base.

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Be careful - different versions of the rule exist.




LL and FED: Obstruction unless the fielder actually has the ball.


OBR and NCAA: Can block if the ball is in flight and close enough that the fielder has to be there.


Without the ball (given the above):


FED:  Must allow access to the base.


Everyone else: Cannot block the base




LL and FED: A fake tag is obstruction.


OBR and NCAA: A fake tag is a legal deke.




Given the above conditions, when the fielder's position causes the runner to need to alter his path to the base or slow down, or slide unnecessarily. Within reason. If the runner is 50' away and slows that's on him.

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As for gear, here's a tip that I wish someone had told me: Buy pro gear.


You'll need a mask, chest protector, cup, shin guards and plate shoes. Expect to pay around $100 for a great mask, $125 on a chest protector, $30 for Nutty Buddy (the best), and around $100 for plate shoes. Shin guards, IMO, are the only piece of gear you can go cheap on.


That's a lot of dough, but think of is this way: Like Mr. Taylor said, if you don't buy the good stuff now, you will at some point. And you won't get much money for the cheap stuff on eBay. Pro stuff has pretty good resale value, so your net cost is a whole lot less, plus you get pro protection. (at least that's the way I've been selling it to my wife for the last 15 years!)

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Hey. thanks everyone for helpful responses. Surprised how helpful everyone has been with advice. I will definitely buy nutty buddy from ump-attire.com

 like someone mentioned. Is that the best website. What are the best websites for quality equipment for good reasonable(hopefully low prices. Of course quality is most imporant.


And i was going to purchase new balance plate shoes. I am usually a 9  to 9 1/2 D width.  What size would be best for those shoes?


Also i was going to get Wilson 6" Throat Protector.

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