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Another OBS situation


humanbackstop19

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Mr. Jimurray, you may have noticed that the current NCAA baseball obstruction rule was nearly completely rewritten. The reason listed is clarification. Since the college study guide I was quoting from is the 2019-2020 edition I had to check the old NCAA rule books before telling you what your friend George wrote about Type 2 obstruction. As far as I can tell the NCAA did not actually change anything in the rule—they just rewrote it for clarification sake. So here are some quotes from the 2019-2020 College Baseball Study Guide.

“If a play is subsequently made on the obstructed runner (after umpire allows play to continue) and such play results in the runner being tagged out before reaching the base he would have been awarded, the umpire shall not call time until all other playing action has ceased. He will then make the obstruction award.”

“However, the ultimate decision in awarding bases shall not be made until all play has ceased…”

“Following runners are allowed to retain whatever base they attain before playing action ceases. If a following runner is thrown out in action subsequent to the play on the obstructed runner, the out stands.”

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Just for giggles here’s the Federation softball rule that has very similar language in its rule 8-6-4 about a following runner passing a preceding obstructed runner and their case play illustrating how that rule is applied in a game situation (and how I think it should be and probably is handled in baseball)--

ART. 4 . . . The runner physically passes a preceding runner before that runner has been put out. If this was the third out of the inning, any runs scoring prior to the out for passing a preceding runner would count. A runner(s) passing a preceding obstructed runner is not out. (8-4-3b PENALTY c)

2019 NFHS Softball Casebook
8.6.4 SITUATION E: With R2 on second and R1 on first, B3 hits a ball safely to the outfield fence. After R2 takes off from second, she is obstructed by F6 and knocked down and may be injured. The umpire signals obstruction on F6. Both R1 and B3 pass R2 (who is still on the ground) and subsequently score. F8 finally throws the ball to F6 who tags R2 between second and third base. RULING:  There is no infraction assessed for passing an obstructed runner. Both R1 and B3 score on the play. R2 is also awarded home and scores, as this is the base she would have achieved had there been no obstruction.

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That's (the softball case) essentially how I would rule in the OP for FED baseball.  The defense messed up twice -- OBS and throwing the ball into right field (or wherever).  I have a hard time rewarding them for that by leaving R1 at third and BR at second.  And yes, I know that just "penalizing the team that messed up" is NOT always (or maybe ever) the right way to suss out plays; imo allowing the runs to score is the resultthat would have happened  (or the best we can assume in this case) absent the OBS; so awarding the bases is the right way to nullify the OBS.

 

Edit:  There's also the "if a decision (in this instance the "out") is reversed, the umpires should 'make it right' " rule to apply here -- also leading the both runs scoring.

 

I do agree it's a 10-2-3 (or whatever the rule is) situation -- until FED puts out a specific case as did softball.

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1 hour ago, Senor Azul said:

Mr. Jimurray, you may have noticed that the current NCAA baseball obstruction rule was nearly completely rewritten. The reason listed is clarification. Since the college study guide I was quoting from is the 2019-2020 edition I had to check the old NCAA rule books before telling you what your friend George wrote about Type 2 obstruction. As far as I can tell the NCAA did not actually change anything in the rule—they just rewrote it for clarification sake. So here are some quotes from the 2019-2020 College Baseball Study Guide.

“If a play is subsequently made on the obstructed runner (after umpire allows play to continue) and such play results in the runner being tagged out before reaching the base he would have been awarded, the umpire shall not call time until all other playing action has ceased. He will then make the obstruction award.”

“However, the ultimate decision in awarding bases shall not be made until all play has ceased…”

“Following runners are allowed to retain whatever base they attain before playing action ceases. If a following runner is thrown out in action subsequent to the play on the obstructed runner, the out stands.”

George may be right for NCAA. There are a few instances where they rewrote a rule thinking they were going with the OBR interp but actually were not in line with the interp. You’d have to peruse the BRD to see where Carl Childress points this out. But the CCS article shows how OBR does it. Play was killed when the obstructed runner was tagged out. 

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21 hours ago, Jimurray said:

George may be right for NCAA. There are a few instances where they rewrote a rule thinking they were going with the OBR interp but actually were not in line with the interp. You’d have to peruse the BRD to see where Carl Childress points this out. But the CCS article shows how OBR does it. Play was killed when the obstructed runner was tagged out. 

For those lurking and @Senor Azul I did some further digging. NCAA changed their obstruction rule back to the pro rule in 2011 and referenced emulating the pro rule as they had prior to 2004 in their 2012 preseason guide. We don't know if they wanted to emulate the pro mechanic from the PBUC/MiLBUM/MLBUM interp regarding Note 1 but NCAA did actually copy that into their rule. That note would not be necessary if you say it applies only to a single runner on the bases. A tag of that runner would comply with all play ceasing. An clarification of the original wording of when to call time appears in my 2017 MLBUM. The word "exception" was added sometime between 2012 and 2017: "The ball is not dead, however, and the umpire will allow all play to continue until all play has ceased and no further action is possible (see exception in NOTE (1) below)." But further reading of the interp manuals will bring up play 6 in the "Obstruction and Interference Plays - Approved Rulings" which has been there at least since my 2004 PBUC:

"(6) Runner on first base, no one out. On a hit-and-run play, the batter hits a fair ball down the right-field line. In rounding second base and heading for third, the runner from first collides with the shortstop and falls down. Because of the collision, the runner is not able to advance to third base and returns to second as the ball is being thrown back to the infield. Had the runner not collided with the shortstop, the runner would have easily advanced to third base.
Ruling: Obstruction is called when the collision occurs, but the ball remains in play because no play was being made on the obstructed runner at the moment such runner was obstructed. “Time” is called when all action has ceased, and the obstructed runner is awarded third base because that is the base such runner would have reached had no obstruction occurred. The batter-runner would also be placed at the base such batter-runner would have reached had no obstruction occurred (either first or second, depending on the umpire’s judgment).
NOTE: In this play, if the runner from first had been thrown out going back into second base, the umpire would call “Time” the moment the runner is tagged out. The obstructed runner would then be awarded third base (assuming that is the base such runner would have reached had no obstruction occurred), and the batter-runner would also be placed at the base the batter-runner would have reached, in the umpire’s judgment, had no obstruction occurred."

We don't know if NCAA wanted to emulate the rule and the mechanic or just the rule and use a different mechanic but NCAA put the actual Note 1 verbiage in their rule. We do know that the Referee Study Guide is not an official NCAA publication and they have been wrong before.

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Mr. Jimurray, I am very disappointed that you chose to use our grumpy veterans’ main debate tactic of casting aspersions on the source/man (whichever expert or text is cited). You have already tried to disparage George Demetriou and his publisher Referee Enterprises so I am going to cite two more acknowledged experts for you to find fault with.

In the Introduction to the 2019-2020 College Baseball Rules Study Guide we are told the following (emphasis added)—

“Many people have contributed greatly over the years to the author’s understanding of the rules, and hence to the writing of this book. Very special thanks go to Larry Gallagher, Crystal, Minn., and Jim Paronto, the NCAA secretary-rules editor, who provided invaluable assistance by reviewing the manuscript and offering helpful comments…”

Jim Paronto served as the Secretary-Rules Editor to the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee, from 2003 –September 2015. I must admit I did not know who Larry Gallagher is but after some research let’s just say he is eminently qualified after 59 years as an umpire to review a rules interpretation manual. But I am sure they have been wrong before since they are human after all.

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11 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

Mr. Jimurray, I am very disappointed that you chose to use our grumpy veterans’ main debate tactic of casting aspersions on the source/man (whichever expert or text is cited). You have already tried to disparage George Demetriou and his publisher Referee Enterprises so I am going to cite two more acknowledged experts for you to find fault with.

In the Introduction to the 2019-2020 College Baseball Rules Study Guide we are told the following (emphasis added)—

“Many people have contributed greatly over the years to the author’s understanding of the rules, and hence to the writing of this book. Very special thanks go to Larry Gallagher, Crystal, Minn., and Jim Paronto, the NCAA secretary-rules editor, who provided invaluable assistance by reviewing the manuscript and offering helpful comments…”

Jim Paronto served as the Secretary-Rules Editor to the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee, from 2003 –September 2015. I must admit I did not know who Larry Gallagher is but after some research let’s just say he is eminently qualified after 59 years as an umpire to review a rules interpretation manual. But I am sure they have been wrong before since they are human after all.

Like I said, Referee has been wrong before but that is not an aspersion. I’ve been wrong before. What it is saying is that we don’t know if all those guys wanted to emulate the OBR rule and mechanic or only wanted to emulate the rule and specifically wanted to change the mechanic. Them having reviewed the manuscript seems to indicate that they did only want to emulate the rule and found fault with the MLBUM interp. While we can see that an immediate time call on a tag can eliminate confusion maybe NCAA wanted to continue as to get more outs or runs. Or they were not aware of the MLBUM interp or glossed over the review. 

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4 hours ago, Jimurray said:

Like I said, Referee has been wrong before but that is not an aspersion. I’ve been wrong before. What it is saying is that we don’t know if all those guys wanted to emulate the OBR rule and mechanic or only wanted to emulate the rule and specifically wanted to change the mechanic. Them having reviewed the manuscript seems to indicate that they did only want to emulate the rule and found fault with the MLBUM interp. While we can see that an immediate time call on a tag can eliminate confusion maybe NCAA wanted to continue as to get more outs or runs. Or they were not aware of the MLBUM interp or glossed over the review. 

I can only add that on Type 2 obstruction, professional baseball has wanted "time" called when an obstructed runner is subsequently tagged out (if still "protected" by the umpire at the time he was tagged out).  It doesn't matter if all playing action had not ceased.  This was how it was taught in umpire school in 1997 and this is set forth in the sixth edition of the Jaksa/Roder Manual (which was our umpire school textbook).  I even put a bold underline under that passage in the J/R so that I would remember it as the "exception" to the rule on our umpire school test.  

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On 9/20/2021 at 9:55 PM, Senor Azul said:

Mr. Jimurray, I am very disappointed that you chose to use our grumpy veterans’ main debate tactic of casting aspersions on the source/man (whichever expert or text is cited). You have already tried to disparage George Demetriou and his publisher Referee Enterprises so I am going to cite two more acknowledged experts for you to find fault with.

In the Introduction to the 2019-2020 College Baseball Rules Study Guide we are told the following (emphasis added)—

“Many people have contributed greatly over the years to the author’s understanding of the rules, and hence to the writing of this book. Very special thanks go to Larry Gallagher, Crystal, Minn., and Jim Paronto, the NCAA secretary-rules editor, who provided invaluable assistance by reviewing the manuscript and offering helpful comments…”

Jim Paronto served as the Secretary-Rules Editor to the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee, from 2003 –September 2015. I must admit I did not know who Larry Gallagher is but after some research let’s just say he is eminently qualified after 59 years as an umpire to review a rules interpretation manual. But I am sure they have been wrong before since they are human after all.

Yours truly was also involved in (actually, more as a nagging mayfly, to borrow MLK's analogy) some of those conversations during the early part of the past decade. I have reached out to get clarification on the NCAA enforcement.

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As far as mechanics go (in FED), if BU calls obstruction on F-5 as R-2 comes into 3rd, and F-5 then tags R-2 before he gets to 3rd, whaddya do?

Call him out, knowing that you're going to nullify the out and award him 3rd or Home depending on what happened next? Call him out? What if there's 2 outs? You call the 3rd out, knowing it's not going to be the 3rd out? Make no call whatsoever and try to sort the SH*#-storm out afterwards? Repeat the obstruction call and let play go on? "He was obstructed!" Under FED Rules he gets at least 3rd no matter what--aren't both the offense and defense supposed to just know that R-2 will be awarded one base, and play on accordingly? I've actually done that in a game, because of the ongoing play and runners advancing to other bases:  "He was obstructed, he's safe at 3rd!" and I then let play continue. Although, I'm not sure that was proper of me. I called time! only after all playing action on other bases and on other runners stopped, and reiterated the obstruction call. In that situation, R-2 never tried for home. (Note:  I think that was improper of me, because the obstructed runner is not awarded a base or bases until time! is called).

I think there's wisdom in the MLB preference (if it still exists) to kill the play once an obstructed runner is tagged or forced out, and take that as the logical end to playing action. At the same time, we don't make the Rules, we just enforce them. However, I've also called time! when an obstructed runner was tagged out in an FED game--just to avoid a cluster. And nobody but me noticed that I did what I did and that it might not have been in conformity with the FED obstruction rules. Killing the play at that point where an obstructed runner is subsequently tagged out is what some experienced umpires in our association advocate doing (of course, they're also NCAA umpires).

I don't know the proper answer, which is why I'm asking, Whaddya do??

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15 hours ago, Recontra said:

As far as mechanics go (in FED), if BU calls obstruction on F-5 as R-2 comes into 3rd, and F-5 then tags R-2 before he gets to 3rd, whaddya do?

Call him out, knowing that you're going to nullify the out and award him 3rd or Home depending on what happened next? Call him out? What if there's 2 outs? You call the 3rd out, knowing it's not going to be the 3rd out? Make no call whatsoever and try to sort the SH*#-storm out afterwards? Repeat the obstruction call and let play go on? "He was obstructed!" Under FED Rules he gets at least 3rd no matter what--aren't both the offense and defense supposed to just know that R-2 will be awarded one base, and play on accordingly? I've actually done that in a game, because of the ongoing play and runners advancing to other bases:  "He was obstructed, he's safe at 3rd!" and I then let play continue. Although, I'm not sure that was proper of me. I called time! only after all playing action on other bases and on other runners stopped, and reiterated the obstruction call. In that situation, R-2 never tried for home. (Note:  I think that was improper of me, because the obstructed runner is not awarded a base or bases until time! is called).

I think there's wisdom in the MLB preference (if it still exists) to kill the play once an obstructed runner is tagged or forced out, and take that as the logical end to playing action. At the same time, we don't make the Rules, we just enforce them. However, I've also called time! when an obstructed runner was tagged out in an FED game--just to avoid a cluster. And nobody but me noticed that I did what I did and that it might not have been in conformity with the FED obstruction rules. Killing the play at that point where an obstructed runner is subsequently tagged out is what some experienced umpires in our association advocate doing (of course, they're also NCAA umpires).

I don't know the proper answer, which is why I'm asking, Whaddya do??

If there’s no other play being made call time and announce the award.  Otherwise, I would give a half hearted safe mechanic, as in a U3K, and allow play to continue. 
I may even throw in with the mechanic, “on the OBS” with a point. 
As far as your NCAA guys, isn’t the OBS rule similar to FED?  Seems that way from others above. 
 

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On 9/21/2021 at 9:45 AM, Jimurray said:

Like I said, Referee has been wrong before but that is not an aspersion. I’ve been wrong before. What it is saying is that we don’t know if all those guys wanted to emulate the OBR rule and mechanic or only wanted to emulate the rule and specifically wanted to change the mechanic. Them having reviewed the manuscript seems to indicate that they did only want to emulate the rule and found fault with the MLBUM interp. While we can see that an immediate time call on a tag can eliminate confusion maybe NCAA wanted to continue as to get more outs or runs. Or they were not aware of the MLBUM interp or glossed over the review. 

I have confirmed that the mechanic in the manual intentionally differs from the pro mechanic as they felt letting play continue was the better choice. (And made it clear that I don't agree during that discussion...lol.)

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3 minutes ago, Matt said:

 

I have confirmed that the mechanic in the manual intentionally differs from the pro mechanic as they felt letting play continue was the better choice. (And made it clear that I don't agree during that discussion...lol.)

You might advise them that in rewriting the rule in 2011 they added the actual MLBUM interp wording that kills the play if the runner is tagged out. 

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Letting play continue is a mess. One of the "big dogs" or a power five team will have to mess it up in order to necessitate a change. Even when we're right, our recommendations tend to fall on deaf ears. Nice work everyone. 

I guess if I were giving advice to new umpires...I would recommend that they kill it and place runners...but if I'm being honest, I'd just hope that somebody on the field would see it and call it....and ideally, enforce it properly.

Nobody on the field would disagree with killing it and placing runners. After all, obstruction is a defensive penalty....why give the defense the opportunity for even more outs? 

We kill runner interference immediately..even in times where the defense could've made the play or maybe even turned a double play...in my mind killing it at the time of the "out" call makes sense and is consistent with other types of mechanics/enforcements. 

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5 minutes ago, johnnyg08 said:

Nobody on the field would disagree with killing it and placing runners. After all, obstruction is a defensive penalty....why give the defense the opportunity for even more outs? 

As for your first claim here: it depends on who's on the field.

The point of making it delayed dead is to give the offense the opportunity to advance farther, and not to penalize them for a defensive infraction. Otherwise, all they'd need to do to keep runners from moving up behind the lead runner is to obstruct him.

That said, I agree that the best mechanic is to kill it when the obstructed runner is apparently retired, assuming that happens at or before his awarded base. If he has advanced beyond, then I think it better to leave it live.

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