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LMSANS

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R3, 1 out, Fly ball to F8.  Runner tags...and here is what happened.  I know you want me on 3BX, but I have always done 1BX and can't break the habit.  Offensive coach was asking about blocking the plate without the ball.  I felt that F2 gave the back of the plate.

I made the out call after seeing the ball.

Any comments?

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3BX would be better, but habits are hard to break. On a side not see about looking into the "rails" mechanic (Not sure if this is the actual name of it or not, but that what I've always heard it referred to.) Will Little, MLB ump # 93, Showed us at a camp and it pretty awesome, at the plate or anytime you can work the whole bag. really opens the play up. 

On to your play, he looks good for OBR and NCAA rule set. Assuming this is a HS game, I'd still say he his good. Can't see the actual placement of the left foot, but it looks like he's right on, or near the foul line, which is normally what I look to determine if he's blocking the plate or not. also, part of OBS rule is did it actual effect the play, And based on your pictures I'd say no, he'd be out either way.

Good Call. 

 

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I like your call, and if you're working 'the wedge', I don't think your positioning is terrible, as you'd want to be off the catcher's left hip, which you almost are. There's more and more teaching on this at various clinics and levels, and most of them are getting away from 'the tradition' of 3rd or 1st base extended. A step or 2 toward your right (3BX) might be good, but NOT because it puts you 3BX, but because it helps create the coveted wedge we want on tag plays. I'm no expert, but regurgitating what I've learned (I hope) and was has worked for me recently. 

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R3, 1 out, Fly ball to F8.  Runner tags...and here is what happened.  I know you want me on 3BX, but I have always done 1BX and can't break the habit.  Offensive coach was asking about blocking the plate without the ball.  I felt that F2 gave the back of the plate.
I made the out call after seeing the ball.
Any comments?
LMSANS6.thumb.jpg.24e09606c16be854b0355eabd69edef0.jpg
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A couple of things I look for for obstruction are: Did the runner have to alter course or slow down because the defensive player was in the base path? (Remember the runner creates the path not the lines on the field)



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3BX would be better, but habits are hard to break. On a side not see about looking into the "rails" mechanic (Not sure if this is the actual name of it or not, but that what I've always heard it referred to.) Will Little, MLB ump # 93, Showed us at a camp and it pretty awesome, at the plate or anytime you can work the whole bag. really opens the play up. 
On to your play, he looks good for OBR and NCAA rule set. Assuming this is a HS game, I'd still say he his good. Can't see the actual placement of the left foot, but it looks like he's right on, or near the foul line, which is normally what I look to determine if he's blocking the plate or not. also, part of OBS rule is did it actual effect the play, And based on your pictures I'd say no, he'd be out either way.
Good Call. 
 

Did you mean the wedge? Here is a good video for it.



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I would firmly argue the baserunner does NOT have clear access straight into the plate.  Look at the catcher's left foot in the image just prior to him receiving the ball.  If you extend the foul line, which is still clearly visible out in front of the play, it will run into the catcher's foot .  The foul line extends into the apex of the plate, meaning the entire plate was indeed blocked.  The runner then had to deviate his path to avoid contact, which is easily OBS.  Mechanically, it is harder to see this from 1BX.  If the positioning is in 3BX, there's a better chance of recognizing this and any other possible blockage of the plate.  

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8 minutes ago, Mike D said:

Did you mean the wedge? Here is a good video for it.

Yea, I guest that is it. Good Stuff. I don't know why the camp I got to every year he calls it the rail system. He uses the analogy of train tracks to explain it, so that probably why. Just simplifying it for us i guess. 

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7 minutes ago, humanbackstop19 said:

 The foul line extends into the apex of the plate, meaning the entire plate was indeed blocked.  The runner then had to deviate his path to avoid contact, which is easily OBS.

That's the thing we can really see. DID the runner deviate. Can't really tell that from pictures. I would say no OBS based on the pictures, But could have a different thing in real time. 

And looking at the feet and there relation to the foul line is the first step in determining OBS, at least that was how I was taught. The way It was explained to me was on or inside the foul, they are good, outside the foul line then you need to start looking for the other indicators of OBS. ( and yes i Get that the Foul line extends from the point of the plate) It's possible that I was taught wrong, but that is what i have been doing for years, and it hasn't got me in trouble yet. At least not more trouble then can be expected when calling OBS at the plate.  

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58 minutes ago, LMSANS said:

R3, 1 out, Fly ball to F8.  Runner tags...and here is what happened.  I know you want me on 3BX, but I have always done 1BX and can't break the habit.  Offensive coach was asking about blocking the plate without the ball.  I felt that F2 gave the back of the plate.

I'm fine with the no call. The camera angle is no better to judge OBS than the one you had, and that's part of the problem. But without a conclusive look, I defer to the official on the field (even though you didn't have a good look either).

"Can't break the habit?" The only people who can't change their habits are dead people, who arguably don't have habits. This strikes me as an out of character excuse for laziness, Larry. (I sound like a coach: "C'mon, you're better than that!")

We want to be on 3BLX for many reasons, including having a great look at OBS.

Attached is a training video we use to discuss OBS: skip ahead to 3:20 to see exactly why we have to be at 3BLX for these plays. None of the 3 MLB guys would get these calls right were they positioned where you are in your photos.050294d979f496f75f33e9a84e0fb2a958418.mp4

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12 minutes ago, maven said:

Attached is a training video we use to discuss OBS: skip ahead to 3:20 to see exactly why we have to be at 3BLX for these plays. None of the 3 MLB guys would get these calls right were they positioned where you are in your photos.050294d979f496f75f33e9a84e0fb2a958418.mp4

I had some down time at work, so i watched it. Good stuff, but not sure I agree with the OBS call in the second clip. He was for sure blocking the plate, no doubt, but it in no way hindered or impeded the  the runner IMO. 

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Two quick things, Maven great post. Secondly, FED has dumbed this down for us. We might not like it, but it's simple. Did F2 block the plate prior to possession of the ball?

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Just now, KenBAZ said:

Two quick things, Maven great post. Secondly, FED has dumbed this down for us. We might not like it, but it's simple. Did F2 block the plate prior to possession of the ball?

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and hinder the runner? I have no doubt that you (Ken) know this, but it seems like an important clarification that gets overlooked a lot when discussing OBS. 

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Thanks, my understanding of the term "block", makes this simple for me. Maybe I should qualify my question. Did F2 Block the plate prior to possession of the ball when there was a play at the plate? Again, I am talking about Fed only here.

 

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Perhaps this play will help resolve the issue for FED. Although hindrance is the primary concept for OBS, a secondary concept is denial of access. So if we have: (a) runner sliding straight into base, and (b) fielder denying access without the ball, then we still have OBS even without "other" hindrance (runner is not trying to "go around" the fielder without the ball).

2.22.1 SITUATION C: R1 is advancing to score when F7 throws home. F2 completely blocks home plate with his lower leg/knee while (a) in possession of the ball or (b) while juggling and attempting to secure the ball or (c) before the ball has reached F2.

RULING: Legal in (a); obstruction in (b) and (c) if the catcher denied access to home plate prior to securely possessing the ball.

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I had deep seeded doubts and recognize that OBS in this type situation (this was actually my second one this week) is something I need to become more cognizant of.

Thanks for all the feedback.

Why I have been on U-E for over 9 years.

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10 hours ago, kstrunk said:

I like your call, and if you're working 'the wedge', I don't think your positioning is terrible, as you'd want to be off the catcher's left hip, which you almost are. There's more and more teaching on this at various clinics and levels, and most of them are getting away from 'the tradition' of 3rd or 1st base extended. A step or 2 toward your right (3BX) might be good, but NOT because it puts you 3BX, but because it helps create the coveted wedge we want on tag plays. I'm no expert, but regurgitating what I've learned (I hope) and was has worked for me recently. 

The wedge approach to this play at the plate would have @LMSANS much closer to the fair corner of the LH batter's box and rotating to his right as the F2 turned to his left. Changing the mechanic will take a conscious effort to break the muscle memory learned over many years, but I think once you make the change, you will embrace it.

The video is from COG/MAC and they are offering a 3 man camp and a 2 man camp in June where it will be taught. I highly recommend their camps. I will be at the 3 man.

The second image in the sequence shows F2 in possession of the ball. The first image shows R3's shadow outside the foul line. It does not seem as though R3 deviated from his path to the plate nor was obstructed in getting to the plate prior to F2 receiving the ball.

As @maven indicates, the angle in the images is very similar to the on-field official, so I would agree with his sentiment to deferring any judgment on obstruction.

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1 hour ago, Kevin_K said:

As @maven indicates, the angle in the images is very similar to the on-field official, so I would agree with his sentiment to deferring any judgment on obstruction.

The rub is that by being on 1BLX, he's got conflicting things to key on in different areas of his field of view. In the temporally first pic, we can see where the catcher is and part of the runner's foot. This is where the aforementioned hindrance comes in...if the runner was further outside to this point and was moving closer to the foul line, I don't think I would have obstruction, most likely. OTOH, if he had been more inside to this point (unlikely, but possible,) I definitely have obstruction. And you know what the fix is? Being somewhere from POP to 3BLX. You can see the lateral movement of the runner as he makes his path to the plate and see how his path changes as he reacts to F2.

He may not have had obstruction on this play, but with his angle, I don't think he can make a definite statement either way.

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14 minutes ago, Matt said:

The rub is that by being on 1BLX, he's got conflicting things to key on in different areas of his field of view. In the temporally first pic, we can see where the catcher is and part of the runner's foot. This is where the aforementioned hindrance comes in...if the runner was further outside to this point and was moving closer to the foul line, I don't think I would have obstruction, most likely. OTOH, if he had been more inside to this point (unlikely, but possible,) I definitely have obstruction. And you know what the fix is? Being somewhere from POP to 3BLX. You can see the lateral movement of the runner as he makes his path to the plate and see how his path changes as he reacts to F2.

He may not have had obstruction on this play, but with his angle, I don't think he can make a definite statement either way.

Ergo, my suggestion to defer judgment on obstruction

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12 hours ago, maven said:

I'm fine with the no call. The camera angle is no better to judge OBS than the one you had, and that's part of the problem. But without a conclusive look, I defer to the official on the field (even though you didn't have a good look either).

"Can't break the habit?" The only people who can't change their habits are dead people, who arguably don't have habits. This strikes me as an out of character excuse for laziness, Larry. (I sound like a coach: "C'mon, you're better than that!")

We want to be on 3BLX for many reasons, including having a great look at OBS.

Attached is a training video we use to discuss OBS: skip ahead to 3:20 to see exactly why we have to be at 3BLX for these plays. None of the 3 MLB guys would get these calls right were they positioned where you are in your photos.050294d979f496f75f33e9a84e0fb2a958418.mp4

We had a guy in our unit who didn't like to call the upper part of the strike zone.  Would say, "I just can't call that high strike."  My reply? "You just called it a high strike."  Call the whole strike zone.  Change your game to see 3bx.  I agree Maven.  100%.  If I were an Evaluator I would definitely ping on that.

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9 hours ago, Kevin_K said:

Ergo, my suggestion to defer judgment on obstruction

I should clarify what I was saying about deferring to the official on the field.

We can use video (or as here, still photos) for at least two instructional purposes: to assess judgment on judgment calls (yes it was a strike/tag/catch or no it wasn't), and to assess mechanics (official was/was not in the best position by the book/for this particular play, and why).

For assessing judgment, camera angles are crucial. We're interested here in the fact of the matter, not what this or that official saw. If we don't get the right angle, then we can't make a decisive assessment of the right call. In that case, we should defer to the official who was right there.

For evaluating mechanics, camera angles are less relevant, as the official either is or is not in the best position to make any given call (and sometimes that's not what the book prescribes).

With the stills provided in this thread, we can't do much to assess the correctness of the OBS no-call. We'd need a look down the 3BL to be sure about that. Since we can't assess, the "call stands."

But we can still talk about mechanics and why 3BLX is the only place for any umpire at any level to take plays at the plate with the ball coming from fair territory. Since pro ball's collision rule for HP, this is true at every level.

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Every time over many years that I have read through obstruction threads there seems to be an objective, among many posters at least, to find a reason to not call obstruction.  Why?  Doesn't the offense deserve as much consideration as the defense?

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Perhaps the consideration for the offense comes when the same people require a similarly high threshold for interference.

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10 hours ago, Rich Ives said:

Every time over many years that I have read through obstruction threads there seems to be an objective, among many posters at least, to find a reason to not call obstruction.  Why?  Doesn't the offense deserve as much consideration as the defense?

It seems to me that the obstruction being discussed is a new standard that is evolving or has just evolved, whereas most interference has been the same standard for quite a while.  Not a scientific evaluation, just my perception.

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I keep reviewing those photos, and something jumps out at me, especially when we place this play within its apparent context. Depending on one question's answer, not evident in the photos, is what I need to determine OBS or not – is that F2's set-up position, or did the throw take him there?

If that is where the F2 – and he's a fairly stout HS-age kid – set up, that's quite a ways up the 3BL towards 3B. Keep in mind this is a straight line from a 3B tag-up to the Plate, not a Runner rounding 3B and swinging wide, coming from foul territory. With that distance of set-up, I've got OBS and here's why: we have hyper-coached HS and youth ball players to avoid (nearly all) contact, and drilled into them they have to slide. We've got them so conditioned to slide, we're actually surprised when I kid goes into a bag standing without creating contact. Coaches actually look at us cross-eyed with, "Didn't he have to slide?" We've had to implement a penalty OBS (NFHS Rule) on a fielder faking a tag – even the mere motion of it – because that triggers a Runner to slide. In this case, the Runner is (incorrectly) judging that the plate is probably beneath or just adjacent to F2.

If F2's IP was indeed further back (by the plate) and he has shuffled up the line to receive the throw as it's coming in, then this is just a helluva baseball play, and an Out.

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