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tankmjg24

Possible Obstruction

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I know that a picture does not tell an entire story, but let's take a look at the following picture and determine if there is a chance for OBS to be called. 

Photo finish...

Home plate can be (somewhat) visualized underneath the catchers left shin guard.  The ball is in the air a few feet from the glove.  The runner is sliding directly towards home plate.  Runner was safe as the tag was delayed, however the sliding runner did make contact with the catcher.  

I am not exactly sure how we got to the point in this picture as I was not umpiring and that information was not relayed to me.  The question that was posed to me was what is the criteria to call OBS when the catcher is set up over home plate.

Thoughts?  

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From the picture, the runner has direct access to HP (runner's leg would touch HP before he got to the shin guard). No OBS.

The criteria is- the fielder, without possession of the ball, hinders the runner or alters the play. Here I don't have F2 hindering or altering as there is direct access to the plate behind the F2's left knee.

If F2 was more up the 3B line when receiving this throw, then I would have OBS more prominent in my mind as the play developed.

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First, I can't see the plate, can't tell where F2 has set up, can't tell what angle the runner has to the plate. I have no visual evidence to rule on OBS here. In general, we need a look up the 3BL to judge OBS, similar to what a properly positioned umpire would see.

Second, regarding criteria for calling OBS: if the runner has access to any part of the plate, then F2 will not be liable for OBS. Ordinarily, they set up in front of the plate and swipe back toward the runner (if the throw is on line) or adjust to the ball (if it isn't). If the throw takes them into the path, the rule set might make F2 liable for OBS (FED has no allowance for the throw taking F2 into the runner's path).

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I'll tweak the scenario a bit...if the catcher was indeed blocking the entire plate with his shin AND had been camped out there the entire time (meaning didn't end up there while making  a play on the ball) then it would clearly be OBS. As was said before...by FED rules even if he were making a play on the ball it would still be OBS in that case...but those things do not appear to be the case in this instance from your description.

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1 hour ago, ofhs93 said:

I'll tweak the scenario a bit...if the catcher was indeed blocking the entire plate with his shin AND had been camped out there the entire time (meaning didn't end up there while making  a play on the ball) then it would clearly be OBS. As was said before...by FED rules even if he were making a play on the ball it would still be OBS in that case...but those things do not appear to be the case in this instance from your description.

Just to clarify, even if F2 camped out in front of home plate the entire time, if the ball arrived early enough to where the runner wasn't hindered you wouldn't have OBS. You would actually need the runner to alter his path/be prevented from reaching the plate because of F2 before he possesses the ball. 

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8 minutes ago, Stk004 said:

Just to clarify, even if F2 camped out in front of home plate the entire time, if the ball arrived early enough to where the runner wasn't hindered you wouldn't have OBS. You would actually need the runner to alter his path/be prevented from reaching the plate because of F2 before he possesses the ball. 

Agreed...I was thinking of a scenario where F2 is sitting just up the 3b line or on the plate without the ball and the runner arrives before the ball gets to F2.

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This is obstruction in LL rules.  The catcher doesn't have the ball.  There is no "act of fielding" provision in LL.  There is no "allow access" provision in LL.

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