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Where is the Obstructed Runner?


Kali

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This is a common enough play.  We usually see it at first base but we also see it at third.  The fielder, expecting the ball, takes up a position on the inside corner of the bag.  But the ball isn't thrown to them.  If they fail to leave that point of the bag, the runner is free to take the base behind them but they are obstructed if they try to round the base and continue.  The question then becomes how to apply rule 8-3-2 "The obstructed runner is awarded a minimum of one base beyond his position on base when the obstruction occurred."  If the runner runs around the fielder, it becomes obvious that they have attained that base and are being obstructed as they are trying for the next base.  However, if the runner attempts to hit the inside corner of the bag and runs into the fielder, it isn't as obvious.  It appears that the runner is being obstructed BEFORE touching the base but, to me at least, it's the same play and should involve the same penalty.  What say you all?

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You are mistaking type 1 and type 2 obstruction.  The rule you cited is for type 1, which is when a runner is obstructed while an attempted play/putout is being made on them, such as F3 blocking runner back into first on a pickoff .

A runner being obstructed from touching a base (rounding first or third in your example) ,while the ball is elsewhere, is type 2 obstruction.

You call obstruction , let the play play out, and have to judge where you are protecting the obstructed runner to.

For example, batter hits routine single up middle and as rounding first, F3 is just standing in his way and runner has to move bc of him, or bumps into him.  Was he going to second? No. As such, he doesn’t get second.  You can protect him back into first, so CF can’t back pick him after he was obstructed, but he does not automatically get next base.

To your question, had this happen with my 14 yo son as my base umpire.  think of a runner stealing second, SS drops leg and blocks base while waiting for throw from catcher, preventing runner from getting to bag.  My son had this, called obstruction, and awarded runner third.  I called time, met with him, and said “what do you have”. He told me, and I said “what type is this?”, he said “type 1” (correct since play being made on him) and he said “he gets one extra base”.

I said “correct, except where was runner when he was obstructed?”  He had not yet obtained second, so his one base award was making him safe at second.

had he stolen second, rounded it on a passed ball, and was obstructed in same way on backpick by catcher, now he gets third.

hope that made sense

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41 minutes ago, SH0102 said:

You are mistaking type 1 and type 2 obstruction.

The OP cited the FED rule, so type 1 or 2 obstruction does not come into play here. FED rules don't have type 1 or 2.

In FED, whenever you call obstruction, the obstructed runner is always awarded at least one base as per 8-3-2. Yes, the runner would automatically get the next base.

If the fielder obstructs the runner in any way , if said runner is attempting to advance to the next base, then at least one base shall be awarded.

In the OP's situation, if I am to understand the scenario described correctly, it doesn't matter the position of the fielder. If the umpire deems that the runner was obstructed in an attempt to advance and the umpire calls obstruction, then by rule, you must award at least one base.

There have been a couple of threads here a few years ago talking about being cautious when calling obstruction in FED, so as to not award any cheap bases.

3 hours ago, Kali said:

However, if the runner attempts to hit the inside corner of the bag and runs into the fielder, it isn't as obvious. 

That would be a good indication of obstruction if the runner was trying to advance. If so, award the next base.

The key to calling obstruction in FED is to make sure an advance was trying to take place. For instance, if a runner was obstructed while rounding 1B on a clean base hit with virtually no chance that the runner was going to advance to 2B, don't call obstruction. In FED, you don't have the luxury of 1 and 2. If you call it, you better award at least a base. If you call it and don't award, then some savvy coach may come out to have a chat. Ask me how I know! :lol:

Hopefully I'm explaining it well enough.

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12 hours ago, JonnyCat said:

In FED, whenever you call obstruction, the obstructed runner is always awarded at least one base as per 8-3-2. Yes, the runner would automatically get the next base.

image.png.cf6aa9e66469b4c79f5d3d6abb199a16.png 

Interesting. Good to know.

12 hours ago, JonnyCat said:

being cautious when calling obstruction in FED, so as to not award any cheap bases.

I'd say. 😁

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