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Obstruction on a runner almost to base, with overthrow.


TheLovejoy

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Actual situation: R2, ball hit to 1st base where first baseman comes in to get it, throws toward 3rd where R2 was headed. 3rd baseman isn't in the base-path. Throw is high and wide, so it pulls him into the base-path and he collides with R2, (I would say the throw was right at the fielders glove, MAYBE slightly past the fielder when they collide), throw continues to go toward the short leftfield fence. Runner gets up, touches 3rd, and heads home. Left fielder, backing up the play, throws the runner out at home by a step. Since this was obstruction on a play being made on a runner, it should have been dead ball immediately, and runner placed on 3rd, correct? However, since it played out, and a dead ball was not called, and then it was clear that if the obstruction had not occurred the runner would have scored, do you handle it differently? What if the throw was clearly in front of the 3rd baseman when the obstruction occurred?

Hypothetical situation, similar idea, but R1, ball hit to first base, R1 obstructed by 2nd baseman while the first baseman overthrows the ball and it goes way out into left center field. Still kill it and keep the runner on 2nd, when they would have easily had 3rd (or possibly even scored, although I wouldn't assume that probably)? I know that obstruction on a runner that the play is being made is a dead ball, but is there leeway for situations similar to this?

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What rule set?

FED, obstruction is always delayed dead ball. Then you have to determine where the runner would have gotten with no obstruction. If it's home, then he scores but if it's third then he's liable to put out after passing third.

 

Your second situation, keep ball live and determine where the runner would have been without obstruction and he's protected up to there but can advance further at own risk. If he didn't reach base of protection, then award bases at end of play but always minimum 1 base award. 

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34 minutes ago, TheLovejoy said:

it should have been dead ball immediately, and runner placed on 3rd, correct?

Still kill it and keep the runner on 2nd, when they would have easily had 3rd

The one-base award is a minimum -- you can award more if you think the runner would have achieved more.

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1 hour ago, noumpere said:

The one-base award is a minimum -- you can award more if you think the runner would have achieved more.

This is why base coaches (like the coach in that Philly play the other night) will try to keep a fast runner moving on an obstruction play.  If they go past one base, it is ultimately up to the umpire whether the award (or protection, depending on your terminology and code) extends that far ... it is a gamble, but that coach is trying to give the umpire plenty of evidence the runner would have gotten there.

@TheLovejoy ... something weird to help you as you are starting out (this helped me anyway!) ...

Obstruction = Defense = Live

Interference = Offense = Dead

You ALWAYS have ONLY one "O" and one "D" ...

If the Offense did it, you have interference and it is Dead.

If the Defense did it, you have Obstruction and it is live.

I've been trying to think of other goofy ways to say this to help new umpires remember ... 

OI (oy!), it's a dead ball!  DO keep it live!

Or

O, I Did it! (Offense, interference, dead) ... DO Let them play! (Defense, obstruction, live)

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I'm awarding HP in play 1, and 3B in play 2, regardless of code. As I'm envisioning it, these would be the "expected calls" for both plays.

The base award is made in order to nullify the act of OBS: as described, the runner likely reaches the next base without the OBS, so award that. Benefit of the doubt goes to the offended team (the offense here).

The only difference the code makes is whether the ball is dead immediately—in codes with two types of OBS, such as OBR, it's type 1; in FED, all OBS is delayed dead.

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23 minutes ago, maven said:

I'm awarding HP in play 1, and 3B in play 2, regardless of code. As I'm envisioning it, these would be the "expected calls" for both plays.

The base award is made in order to nullify the act of OBS: as described, the runner likely reaches the next base without the OBS, so award that. Benefit of the doubt goes to the offended team (the offense here).

The only difference the code makes is whether the ball is dead immediately—in codes with two types of OBS, such as OBR, it's type 1; in FED, all OBS is delayed dead.

This is what was getting me. I've only been studying the Type 1 vs Type 2. 
I believe Little League is always delayed now that I think about it.

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27 minutes ago, TheLovejoy said:

This is what was getting me. I've only been studying the Type 1 vs Type 2. 
I believe Little League is always delayed now that I think about it.

Nope, normal OBR Type A/B (or 1/2, however you want to think about it) in Little League.

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I'm awarding HP in play 1, and 3B in play 2, regardless of code. As I'm envisioning it, these would be the "expected calls" for both plays.
The base award is made in order to nullify the act of OBS: as described, the runner likely reaches the next base without the OBS, so award that. Benefit of the doubt goes to the offended team (the offense here).
The only difference the code makes is whether the ball is dead immediately—in codes with two types of OBS, such as OBR, it's type 1; in FED, all OBS is delayed dead.

I agree with your assessment, and that’s how it ‘should’ be. But if the rule says that the ball is dead for obstruction on that runner who they are making a play on for type 1, and he gets one base from the last touches, then how do we justify it by giving them an extra base? Even though that was the most likely outcome. I got myself twisted now


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7 minutes ago, TheLovejoy said:


I agree with your assessment, and that’s how it ‘should’ be. But if the rule says that the ball is dead for obstruction on that runner who they are making a play on for type 1, and he gets one base from the last touches, then how do we justify it by giving them an extra base? Even though that was the most likely outcome. I got myself twisted now emoji17.png


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See 6.01(h)(1) for obstruction:

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

  (1) 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. Any preceding runners, forced to advance by the award of bases as the penalty for obstruction, shall advance without liability to be put out.

Rule 6.01(h)(1) Comment: When a play is being made on an obstructed runner, the umpire shall signal obstruction in the same manner that he calls "Time," with both hands overhead. The ball is immediately dead when this signal is given; however, should a thrown ball be in flight before the obstruction is called by the umpire, the runners are to be awarded such bases on wild throws as they would have been awarded had not obstruction occurred. On a play where a runner was trapped between second and third and obstructed by the third baseman going into third base while the throw is in flight from the shortstop, if such throw goes into the dugout the obstructed runner is to be awarded home base. Any other runners on base in this situation would also be awarded two bases from the base they last legally touched before obstruction was called.

 

Note the rule is 'at least 1 base', and the comment clarifies that a wild-throw gives an extra base if the umpire judges he would have gotten it without the obstruction.  The 'at least 1 base' is particularly interesting/putative when it is a 'going back to a base' in a rundown or pickoff/etc.

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@maven used the magic phrase "The base award is made in order to nullify the act of OBS".  That phrase bothers me.  I totally agree it should  be for the purpose of nullifying whatever damage the obstruction did.  But is it really when we are giving a runner a base they weren't going to?  That clause has always caused me some consternation.

I'm not making any argument not to do it, because that is what the rules state.  I'm saying that it really is a penalty, not a correction, if a runner diving back into first base is awarded second base.

I will say this is where I like the wording many softball codes use.  There is not a minimum award (one base past the last base touched), but a minimal protection (may not be called out between the two bases where the obstruction occurred) WITH the correction of awarding whatever bases you judge would have been reached (even allowing for a return to the last base touched).  

NFHS Softball

PENALTY: (Art. 3b) When any obstruction occurs (including a rundown), the umpire will signal a delayed dead ball. The ball will remain live. a. If the obstructed runner is put out prior to reaching the base that would have been reached had there not been obstruction, a dead ball is called and the obstructed runner and each other runner affected by the obstruction will be awarded the base or bases which would have been reached, in the umpire's judgment, had there not been obstruction. An obstructed runner may not be called out between the two bases where she was obstructed.

Side story: I had this dispute from a coach in a USA Softball State tournament.  Runner got into a rundown between first and second.  The rundown never got past halfway between second and first.  The runner was obstructed (minor and probably insignificant, but it happened) at one point while going towards second (I'd say roughly 20 feet off of first base).  I call and signal obstruction and the play continues with a few more turns.  They finally tag the runner out as she is diving back into first base.  I call "Out, Time.  Obstruction." and then point to first and signal safe.  The coach wanted me to award her second base.

I explained the difference in baseball and softball and agreed that in baseball she would get second.  Softball, however, is not as generous.  In my judgment, she never would have gotten to second base since the rundown never even reached the halfway point.  The obstruction was not enough that it would have caused her not to get to second base.  The best I could do is protect her back to first.  (Coach was satisfied with the explanation since he still had a runner on first and the out negated.)

 

 

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@TheLovejoy I think I see where the confusion is coming in.  Let me know if I am wrong ... You are reading where it says that the ball becomes dead "if a play is being made on the obstructed runner".  You are wanting to kill it when a play initiates after the obstruction, not when it is reaches its conclusion.  If you read part (2), I think the intent is to kill it at the conclusion of the play, not as soon as somebody goes after the runner (which I agree that is "a play being made").

Again, this is a place where I believe softball has better wording.  You leave it live until the obstructed runner is tagged "out" (do not call the out), then immediately call "Time!" and make the awards.

2021 OBR

[quote](h) Obstruction

When obstruction occurs, the umpire shall call or signal “Obstruction.”

(1)  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. Any preceding runners, forced to advance by the award of bases as the penalty for obstruction, shall advance without liability to be put out.

Rule 6.01(h)(1) to 6.01(h)(2) 72 Rule 6.01(h )(1) Comment: When a play is being made on an obstructed runner, the umpire shall signal obstruction in the same manner that he calls “Time,” with both hands overhead. The ball is immediately dead when this signal is given; however, should a thrown ball be in flight before the obstruction is called by the umpire, the runners are to be awarded such bases on wild throws as they would have been awarded had not obstruction occurred. On a play where a runner was trapped between second and third and obstructed by the third baseman going into third base while the throw is in flight from the shortstop, if such throw goes into the dugout the obstructed runner is to be awarded home base. Any other runners on base in this situation would also be awarded two bases from the base they last legally touched before obstruction was called.

(2)  If no play is being made on the obstructed runner, the play shall proceed until no further action is possible. The umpire shall then call “Time” and impose such penalties, if any, as in his judgment will nullify the act of obstruction.

Rule 6.01(h)(2) Comment: Under Rule 6.01(h)(2), when the ball is not dead on obstruction and an obstructed runner advances beyond the base which, in the umpire’s judgment, he would have been awarded because of being obstructed, he does so at his own peril and may be tagged out. This is a judgment call. NOTE: The catcher, without the ball in his possession, has no right to block the pathway of the runner attempting to score. The base line belongs to the runner and the catcher should be there only when he is fielding a ball or when he already has the ball in his hand. Rule 6.01(h) Comment: If a fielder is about to receive a thrown ball and if the ball is in flight directly toward and near enough to the fielder so he must occupy his position to receive the ball he may be considered “in the act of fielding a ball.” It is entirely up to the judgment of the umpire as to whether a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball. After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the “act of fielding” the ball. For example: An infielder dives at a ground ball and the ball passes him and he continues to lie on the ground and delays the progress of the runner, he very likely has obstructed the runner.[/quote]

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1 hour ago, The Man in Blue said:

@TheLovejoy I think I see where the confusion is coming in.  Let me know if I am wrong ... You are reading where it says that the ball becomes dead "if a play is being made on the obstructed runner".  You are wanting to kill it when a play initiates after the obstruction, not when it is reaches its conclusion.  If you read part (2), I think the intent is to kill it at the conclusion of the play, not as soon as somebody goes after the runner (which I agree that is "a play being made").

Again, this is a place where I believe softball has better wording.  You leave it live until the obstructed runner is tagged "out" (do not call the out), then immediately call "Time!" and make the awards.

2021 OBR

[quote](h) Obstruction

When obstruction occurs, the umpire shall call or signal “Obstruction.”

(1)  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. Any preceding runners, forced to advance by the award of bases as the penalty for obstruction, shall advance without liability to be put out.

Rule 6.01(h)(1) to 6.01(h)(2) 72 Rule 6.01(h )(1) Comment: When a play is being made on an obstructed runner, the umpire shall signal obstruction in the same manner that he calls “Time,” with both hands overhead. The ball is immediately dead when this signal is given; however, should a thrown ball be in flight before the obstruction is called by the umpire, the runners are to be awarded such bases on wild throws as they would have been awarded had not obstruction occurred. On a play where a runner was trapped between second and third and obstructed by the third baseman going into third base while the throw is in flight from the shortstop, if such throw goes into the dugout the obstructed runner is to be awarded home base. Any other runners on base in this situation would also be awarded two bases from the base they last legally touched before obstruction was called.

(2)  If no play is being made on the obstructed runner, the play shall proceed until no further action is possible. The umpire shall then call “Time” and impose such penalties, if any, as in his judgment will nullify the act of obstruction.

Rule 6.01(h)(2) Comment: Under Rule 6.01(h)(2), when the ball is not dead on obstruction and an obstructed runner advances beyond the base which, in the umpire’s judgment, he would have been awarded because of being obstructed, he does so at his own peril and may be tagged out. This is a judgment call. NOTE: The catcher, without the ball in his possession, has no right to block the pathway of the runner attempting to score. The base line belongs to the runner and the catcher should be there only when he is fielding a ball or when he already has the ball in his hand. Rule 6.01(h) Comment: If a fielder is about to receive a thrown ball and if the ball is in flight directly toward and near enough to the fielder so he must occupy his position to receive the ball he may be considered “in the act of fielding a ball.” It is entirely up to the judgment of the umpire as to whether a fielder is in the act of fielding a ball. After a fielder has made an attempt to field a ball and missed, he can no longer be in the “act of fielding” the ball. For example: An infielder dives at a ground ball and the ball passes him and he continues to lie on the ground and delays the progress of the runner, he very likely has obstructed the runner.[/quote]

This... Ok...This make sense, and also addressed my thought process. You're completely correct in your assessment of my confusion. Without that 2nd paragraph addressing it, I was thinking this exact scenario. "If the umpire sees the obstruction, and calls it as soon as he recognizes it, he should be calling time...so, how could you award him an extra base when the rule clearly states one base from the previous occupied?" Most of the google searches I've found don't clearly address that 2nd paragraph, my question exactly, if a ball is in flight or there are other outlying forces. The way @maven mentioned it made sense, I just couldn't SEE the rule that belonged to that. I was only seeing the one base award.

Thank you guys so much.

@The Man in Blue I've only done softball umpiring the last 5 years....I'm just diving into this baseball world, so I totally know what you mean. Learning a lot of these new rulesets when I'm used to USA Softball has been the hardest problem.

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I started there too @TheLovejoy!  I actually started to write a softball version of the BRD last summer (comparing NCAA, NFHS, USA, and USSSA).  I need to take the project back up and get it done, but not having any notable softball around me down here led me to put it on the back burner for now.

I'm possibly biased, but I do believe USA Softball has the best written rulebook.  I may not like or agree with everything they do, but they have written their rules well and they try to keep them cleaned up.  It is a good place to start for that reason.

After that, things get challenging sometimes.  😉

I still contend NO non-professional organization should be using OBR with or without modifications.  That rulebook is not written or maintained in a way that is conducive to the amateur and youth game.  Can you imagine actually enforcing the following rule at a 10u game? "Players in uniform shall not address or mingle with spectator, nor sit in the stands before, during, or after a game. No manager, coach or player shall address any spectator before or during a game. Players of opposing teams shall not fraternize at any time while in uniform."  Yet, it is rule 4.06 if they say they are using OBR.  What about police presence?  Required under 4.07.

Does the home team have at least one dozen regulation reserve baseballs to use?  4.01d

 

 

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13 hours ago, TheLovejoy said:


I agree with your assessment, and that’s how it ‘should’ be. But if the rule says that the ball is dead for obstruction on that runner who they are making a play on for type 1, and he gets one base from the last touches, then how do we justify it by giving them an extra base? Even though that was the most likely outcome. I got myself twisted now emoji17.png


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Pretty sure the rule says  ".... AT LEAST one base ...."

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2 hours ago, noumpere said:

Pretty sure the rule says  ".... AT LEAST one base ...."

"The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base he had last legally touched before the obstruction."

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Guest Guestfish

Not to stir the pot any further but the OP did say the 3b was not in the base path and the throw was at or near the 3b's glove; doesn't this mean a play on the ball is imminent?  Similar to a play at the plate where catcher is making a play on the ball or similar to a high throw @ 1B that may end in a collision with a BR and 1st baseman?  Can there be an argument for a "train wreck " and play on?  I would consider the accuracy of the throw in making a decision on Obstruction or not.

 

 

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I'm late to the party but why are you all calling this type 1/A? Once the throw is missed it's type 2/B. MLBUM has several examples of this. They use the phrase "no play is being made on the runner at the moment such runner is obstructed".

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42 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

I'm late to the party but why are you all calling this type 1/A? Once the throw is missed it's type 2/B. MLBUM has several examples of this. They use the phrase "no play is being made on the runner at the moment such runner is obstructed".

I guess my thought was that while the fielder was moving to get the ball, his momentum carrying him to get in the way of the runner was him still in the act of making the play. If you're standing still, and jump to your right to reach for the ball, and come down, mid flight, and obstruct the runner, you'd still be in the act of making a play on that runner. Something like that. But I can see what you mean.

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1 hour ago, Guest Guestfish said:

Not to stir the pot any further but the OP did say the 3b was not in the base path and the throw was at or near the 3b's glove; doesn't this mean a play on the ball is imminent?  Similar to a play at the plate where catcher is making a play on the ball or similar to a high throw @ 1B that may end in a collision with a BR and 1st baseman?  Can there be an argument for a "train wreck " and play on?  I would consider the accuracy of the throw in making a decision on Obstruction or not.

 

 

I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing it's because they are playing 'possession'. Where if he doesn't have the ball in glove, you can't obstruct in any way. 

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10 hours ago, TheLovejoy said:

I guess my thought was that while the fielder was moving to get the ball, his momentum carrying him to get in the way of the runner was him still in the act of making the play. If you're standing still, and jump to your right to reach for the ball, and come down, mid flight, and obstruct the runner, you'd still be in the act of making a play on that runner. Something like that. But I can see what you mean.

You can see what the MLBUM means. The ball passes the fielder, there is no play on the runner in that moment.

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On 6/21/2022 at 2:10 PM, The Man in Blue said:

This is why base coaches (like the coach in that Philly play the other night) will try to keep a fast runner moving on an obstruction play.  If they go past one base, it is ultimately up to the umpire whether the award (or protection, depending on your terminology and code) extends that far ... it is a gamble, but that coach is trying to give the umpire plenty of evidence the runner would have gotten there.

@TheLovejoy ... something weird to help you as you are starting out (this helped me anyway!) ...

Obstruction = Defense = Live

Interference = Offense = Dead

You ALWAYS have ONLY one "O" and one "D" ...

If the Offense did it, you have interference and it is Dead.

If the Defense did it, you have Obstruction and it is live.

I've been trying to think of other goofy ways to say this to help new umpires remember ... 

OI (oy!), it's a dead ball!  DO keep it live!

Or

O, I Did it! (Offense, interference, dead) ... DO Let them play! (Defense, obstruction, live)

Obstruction is an ODD play, because it's Only Done by the Defense.

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