Jump to content
  • 0

Obstuction - USSSA Softball


Guest rick.klimo@cox.net

Question

Guest rick.klimo@cox.net

Good afternoon, 

USSSA tourney -

Batted ball to left center, runner MISSES first base and runs into the first baseman upon returning to the bag, then turns back to second base and STOPS two/three steps off first. The ball is now being thrown into second base when the third base coach yells at the runner to continue on to second base claiming "OBSTRUCTION". The ball is now at second base and the runner is midway to the bag, then tagged when she reaches second. The umpire grants the runner second base based on her discretion.  Keep in mind that the runner initially missed first base and ran into the first baseman upon her return to the first base bag, then stopped after taking two/three steps off first, no further contact was made.

Understanding that this is a judgement call by the umpire, what is the rule when the runner returns to the bag on their own, then stops advancing. There was no reasonable way for the runner to reach second base after they had missed first base initially.

 

Thank you.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Answers 20
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters For This Question

Top Posters For This Question

Popular Posts

Why are either of you talking baseball when this was a softball question!  

This is incorrect. Since the obstruction occurred between first and second, the award is second base. If the runner doesn't go back to correct his base running error prior to touching second, then he

Finally ... you guys have some use for my softball expertise! First thing, none of your major softball orgs (USA, USSSA, PGF, NFHS, or NCAA) have any “automatic advancement” award.  @aaluck is ri

20 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

It's still ultimately a judgment call to what would have happened if the obstruction had not occurred.   It doesn't really matter which way they're going - the ump makes a judgment to where the runners would have ended up if there was no obstruction.

The runner stopping on their own doesn't necessarily matter - they may have stopped because they see the ball coming in...or, more accurately, now they see they have no chance of making it...it's up to the ump to determine if the runner would have been able to successfully touch first, and then get to second, if the obstruction hadn't occurred.

And giving second certainly isn't automatic...the "award" could simply be first, ie. BR was obstructed from returning to first, not from advancing to second.

 

To my knowledge there's no provision in any softball rules (though i don't know FED) that auto-grants the next base...here are the Official Rules of Softball for International play - I'm pretty sure USSSA is verrrry close to this...

 

When any obstruction occurs (including a rundown)

1. A Delayed Dead Ball should be signaled, with the ball remaining alive until the end of the play.

2. The obstructed runner, and each other runner affected by the obstruction, will always be awarded the base or bases they would have reached, in the umpire's judgment, had there been no obstruction. If the umpire feels there is justification, a defensive player making a fake tag could be ejected from the game.

3. If the obstructed runner is put out prior to reaching the base he would have reached had there not been obstruction, a dead ball is called. The obstructed runner and each other runner affected by the obstruction will be awarded the base, or bases, they would have reached, in the umpire's judgment had obstruction not occurred.

4. An obstructed runner may never be called out between the two bases where he was obstructed:,

EXCEPTION: 1: If the obstructed runner commits an act of interference after the obstruction is ruled, or the runner is legally appealed for

(a) Missing a base, unless the runner has been obstructed at that base and the obstruction prevents him from touching the base, or

(b) Leaving a base before a fly ball was first touched, or

(c) After passing the base he would have reached had there not been obstruction, the obstructed runner may be called out and the ball remains alive.

2: If the obstructed runner safely obtains the base he would have been awarded, in the umpire’s judgment, and there is a subsequent play on a different runner, the obstructed runner is no longer protected between the bases where the runner was obstructed, and may be put out. The ball remains alive.

5. Catcher obstruction on the batter is covered under Rule 8, Sec. 1d

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I'm not a softball guy, but I can tell you baseball Fed rules. 

“When a runner is obstructed while advancing or returning to a base, the umpire shall award the obstructed runner a minimum of one base beyond his position on base when the obstruction occurred. The umpire shall award the obstructed runner and each other runner(s) any additional bases that would nullify the obstruction.” Excerpt From: NFHS. “2018 NFHS Baseball Rules Book.” iBooks. https://books.apple.com/us/book/2018-nfhs-baseball-rules-book/id1314997555

In FED you would get ONE BASE. In this case that would be first, as you have not obtained first (your position) when the obstruction occurred. However, As beergut has pointed out (underlined above)--if I believe she could have retuned to touch and still obtained second I could award that as well.

The coach calling obstruction is foolish. If the umpire would have disagreed she would be out. If he agreed she would have been given second anyway.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, aaluck said:

 

In FED you would get ONE BASE. In this case that would be first, as you have not obtained first (your position) when the obstruction occurred. However, As beergut has pointed out (underlined above)--if I believe she could have retuned to touch and still obtained second I could award that as well.

 

This is incorrect. Since the obstruction occurred between first and second, the award is second base. If the runner doesn't go back to correct his base running error prior to touching second, then he would be out on proper appeal for missing first. As you said, this is for Fed baseball. No idea what the softball ruling would be.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Finally ... you guys have some use for my softball expertise!

First thing, none of your major softball orgs (USA, USSSA, PGF, NFHS, or NCAA) have any “automatic advancement” award.  @aaluck is right for baseball, but keep that over there.

All softball codes provide two things when obstruction occurs: 1) the runner generally can NOT be called out between the two bases where the obstruction occurred (yes, there are a few exceptions), and 2) the runner should end up at the base she would have attained (in the umpire’s judgment) had the obstruction not occurred.

As soon as the runner was tagged, the ball immediately becomes a dead ball.  At that point, the umpire has two options, and none of the turning around or stopping matters:

*If the umpire does not believe she would have reached second base had no obstruction occurred, the runner should be placed on first base.

*If the umpire believes she would have reached second base had the obstruction not occurred, the runner should be placed on second base.

Now here is the kicker ... if the runner is placed on second and she didn’t/doesn’t touch first before going, the defense can still appeal the missed base for the out (obstruction does not nullify a missed base).

From the way you described it, I have the runner safe and on first base.

 

(Here is the link to the USSSA rule book: https://usssa.com/docs/2018/2018_USSSA_FPRB_rev2.pdf)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
8 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

 

First thing, none of your major softball orgs (USA, USSSA, PGF, NFHS, or NCAA) have any “automatic advancement” award.  @aaluck is right for FED baseball, but keep that over there.

 

Added.

 

OBR (aka "Standard" ;) )and NCAA don't have an "automatic advancement" in this play, either. (They do have such an award if the OBS occurs while a play is being made on that runner.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
18 hours ago, grayhawk said:

This is incorrect.

I disagree.  In the OP the BR had NOT obtained first base and as such he would awarded one base, first. Otherwise, that is a two base award as the runner had not obtained first at the time of the obstruction.

 

20 hours ago, aaluck said:

"beyond his position on base when the obstruction occurred"

His position on base is still a better/runner that has not obtained first.

That being said I have looked into the casebook and not found an on point discussion, so this is how I read the rule.

  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) offers just about every kind of softball program such as Slow Pitch, Fast Pitch (boys or girls ages 6-18), Senior, and GSL. I mention that because the OP did not specify which set of softball rules his game was played under. To be honest, I am not sure if that makes any difference at all. But each of the levels has its own set of rules. I was able to find a set of rules and a case book for USSSA Fast Pitch online.

Here’s the definition of the term obstruction from the 2020 USSSA Fast Pitch softball rule book and two case plays from February 2017 case book.

OBSTRUCTION. Obstruction is the act of a defensive team member which hinders a runner or changes the pattern of play or when a catcher or fielder hinders a batter unless the fielder is in possession of the ball or making an initial play on a batted ball. The act may be intentional or unintentional, physical or verbal…

SITUATION B: B1 rounds first base on a hit. F3 is in her way, but B1 does not elect to try for second, because the ball was already at second base. Is this obstruction? RULING: Yes. The umpire should call obstruction, but would not advance the runner if, in the umpire’s judgment, the runner would not have reached second base had the obstruction not occurred. (3-43)

SITUATION E: B1 collides with F3 when rounding first base after hitting a single (a) with no chance to advance, or (b) while attempting to advance on a hit. RULING: In both (a) and (b), the umpire would call a delayed dead ball when the obstruction occurred. In (a), the umpire would leave the runner at first since she had no chance to advance to second base. In (b), the umpire could award second base if the umpire’s judgment the runner would have reached second base had there been no obstruction. (3-43; 8-13)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, aaluck said:

I disagree.  In the OP the BR had NOT obtained first base and as such he would awarded one base, first. Otherwise, that is a two base award as the runner had not obtained first at the time of the obstruction.

 

His position on base is still a better/runner that has not obtained first.

That being said I have looked into the casebook and not found an on point discussion, so this is how I read the rule.

There is a difference between his position on base and his last legally acquired base. The award is second base.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, grayhawk said:

There is a difference between his position on base and his last legally acquired base. The award is second base.

7.06 When obstruction occurs, the umpire shall call or signal "Obstruction."

(a) If a play is being made on the obstructed runner, or if the batter runner is obstructed before he touches first base, the ball is dead and all runners shall advance, without liability to be put out, to the bases they would have reached, in the umpire's judgment, if there had been no obstruction. The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base he had last legally touched before the obstruction.

In the OP it is clearly stated the runner MISSED first base. If you send him to second you have awarded him two bases, not one--unless you think he would have gotten there after going back to first anyway.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 minutes ago, aaluck said:

7.06 When obstruction occurs, the umpire shall call or signal "Obstruction."

(a) If a play is being made on the obstructed runner, or if the batter runner is obstructed before he touches first base, the ball is dead and all runners shall advance, without liability to be put out, to the bases they would have reached, in the umpire's judgment, if there had been no obstruction. The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base he had last legally touched before the obstruction.

In the OP it is clearly stated the runner MISSED first base. If you send him to second you have awarded him two bases, not one--unless you think he would have gotten there after going back to first anyway.

Why are you quoting OBR when we were talking specifically about Fed?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
10 minutes ago, grayhawk said:

Why are you quoting OBR when we were talking specifically about Fed?

Honestly, I cannot see where fed addresses this senecio, so I tried to find something for reference.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 minute ago, aaluck said:

Honestly, I cannot see where fed addresses this senecio, so I tried to find something for reference.

Fed does address it, by using the phrasing "position."  Carl Childress addresses this in his last BRD:

52. ALSO: OFF INTERP 58-36: WENDELSTEDT: For the purpose of an obstruction award, a runner guilty of missing a base or leaving a base too soon is considered to have touched or left the base legally. After the award, if the runner fails to correct his infraction, he will be declared out on proper appeal.

Note 49: OBR OI 58-36 above is important because it harmonizes the way umpires should officiate all three codes. But don’t forget § 376 157.
Play 42-36: Following a single BR misses first, tries to return, and is obstructed by the first baseman, who tags him out. Ruling: At all levels the umpire awards BR second.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
18 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

Why are either of you talking baseball when this was a softball question!  :P

LOL. Hey, I was just correcting a statement made in error by aaluck!

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

MiB said: “First thing, none of your major softball orgs (USA, USSSA, PGF, NFHS, or NCAA) have any “automatic advancement” award. . . "

 

Well here’s my .02:  IMHO, Little League Softball should be INCLUDED in the “major softball orgs”. LL has age groups same as the others and also has a World Series.

aaluck quoted Rule: 7.06 When obstruction occurs, the umpire shall call or signal "Obstruction." which is verbatim with the addition to section (b) added to LL 7.06

(a) If a play is being made on the obstructed runner, or if the batter runner is obstructed before he touches first base, the ball is dead and all runners shall advance, without liability to be put out, to the bases they would have reached, in the umpire's judgment, if there had been no obstruction. The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base he had last legally touched before the obstruction.

:-)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, SJA said:

MiB said: “First thing, none of your major softball orgs (USA, USSSA, PGF, NFHS, or NCAA) have any “automatic advancement” award. . . "

 

Well here’s my .02:  IMHO, Little League Softball should be INCLUDED in the “major softball orgs”. LL has age groups same as the others and also has a World Series.

aaluck quoted Rule: 7.06 When obstruction occurs, the umpire shall call or signal "Obstruction." which is verbatim with the addition to section (b) added to LL 7.06

(a) If a play is being made on the obstructed runner, or if the batter runner is obstructed before he touches first base, the ball is dead and all runners shall advance, without liability to be put out, to the bases they would have reached, in the umpire's judgment, if there had been no obstruction. The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base he had last legally touched before the obstruction.

:-)

 

I actually debated that ... and opted instead to include that list in case anybody interprets LL as a "major softball org".  As much as I like their product (a community-based program FOR kids), I wouldn't consider them a "major" in the world of softball.  Same goes for PONY.

I know we could add PONY to the list of "no automatic advancement" as I did call PONY for a few years.  I have never called LL and don't have access to their rule book.  LL is virtually non-existent around here (closest program is an hour away in a few smaller, rural pockets).

Again ... softball rules, not baseball rules.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

What I posted was LL Softball Rule 7.06, NOT Baseball. . .  hummm,  "a community-based program FOR kids" . . . It's a "World Wide community". What's the cut-off age for the "KIDS" in the other orgs?? . . . think about it.

PS, You can get LL Softball & Baseball Rule info @: https://www.littleleague.org/ . . . if you're interested in gaining more knowledge.

:-)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
16 hours ago, SJA said:

What I posted was LL Softball Rule 7.06, NOT Baseball. . .  hummm,  "a community-based program FOR kids" . . . It's a "World Wide community". What's the cut-off age for the "KIDS" in the other orgs?? . . . think about it.

PS, You can get LL Softball & Baseball Rule info @: https://www.littleleague.org/ . . . if you're interested in gaining more knowledge.

:-)

 

I get what you are saying, so a little clarity on what I said:

LL starts at a community-based level.  Programs have residency requirements (ask the Illinois team that won it all a few years ago).  You can't fly in kids from all over the country to barnstorm a tournament.

Orgs like USA Softball and USSSA cover everything from coach pitch to senior (citizen) leagues ... thus their rules are NOT written with kids in mind.  They are written with adults in mind and then modified to try to adapt.  When a rule change occurs, it usually does not make sense on one end of the spectrum or the other because it is a reaction to something that happened at a different level.  Yes, I know LL uses modified OBR, but that is not quite the same IMO.  They still put out a separate LL rule book that IS for the kids' game.  PONY does not even dabble in the adult game, so they are good.

 

Thanks for the link ... I still have to buy the book though, don't I?  (I'll have to check the link later, sorry!)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.






×
×
  • Create New...