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Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken, outfielder plays close backup and tags runner.


NGuzman

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With no outs in an inning, H1 bats a ball to F6 who makes a wild throw to F3, the ball goes other F3 but F9 plays close back up and catches the ball. With the impending wild throw, the 1st basecoach instructs H1 to run to 2nd. With the position that F9 is in, he is able to catch the ball and catches H1 attempting to make it to 2nd, and tags H1 before H1 safely reaches second, and the play ends. Time is called out and the basecoach and manager of the hitting team approach and exclaim that a tag by an outfielder is obstruction. 
Within the CalRipken/BabeRuth Rule book there is no scenario I have found that accurately describe this play and what the approved ruling would be. 
My call on the field is an out occurred on the tag, and that the tag id legal because the outfielder is a fielder, which is defined as "any defensive player." I ruled with the definition of a tag which I have a screenshot below of, which F9 did legally. I ruled obstruction did not occur with the definition of obstruction in mind, and also it is below.

Is this the correct ruling?

A36769B4-431B-43C2-B69E-68C7EC74278B.jpeg

E8871243-A21E-44F4-923F-3F7A5EF55689.jpeg

E7944F41-6EEF-40E3-8CDF-1D0DE01F10D8.jpeg

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8 minutes ago, NGuzman said:

Time is called out and the basecoach and manager of the hitting team approach and exclaim that a tag by an outfielder is obstruction.

 

Coaches claim the wildest things.  Sit them down and let them try to find the (non-existent) ruling to support their claim.

 

(and only the head coach / manager should have been making any such claim)

 

 

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40 minutes ago, NGuzman said:

With no outs in an inning, H1 bats a ball to F6 who makes a wild throw to F3, the ball goes other F3 but F9 plays close back up and catches the ball. With the impending wild throw, the 1st basecoach instructs H1 to run to 2nd. With the position that F9 is in, he is able to catch the ball and catches H1 attempting to make it to 2nd, and tags H1 before H1 safely reaches second, and the play ends. Time is called out and the basecoach and manager of the hitting team approach and exclaim that a tag by an outfielder is obstruction. 
Within the CalRipken/BabeRuth Rule book there is no scenario I have found that accurately describe this play and what the approved ruling would be. 
My call on the field is an out occurred on the tag, and that the tag id legal because the outfielder is a fielder, which is defined as "any defensive player." I ruled with the definition of a tag which I have a screenshot below of, which F9 did legally. I ruled obstruction did not occur with the definition of obstruction in mind, and also it is below.

Is this the correct ruling?

A36769B4-431B-43C2-B69E-68C7EC74278B.jpeg

E8871243-A21E-44F4-923F-3F7A5EF55689.jpeg

E7944F41-6EEF-40E3-8CDF-1D0DE01F10D8.jpeg

Were the coaches incoherently claiming obstruction occurred when the firstbaseman, F3, had missed the ball and he, very possibly, did obstruct the batter-runner? The problem is that coaches become incoherent even when they might have a case, except for @beerguy55 and a few others who admit to being coaches on this site.

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39 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

Were the coaches incoherently claiming obstruction occurred when the firstbaseman, F3, had missed the ball and he, very possibly, did obstruct the batter-runner? The problem is that coaches become incoherent even when they might have a case, except for @beerguy55 and a few others who admit to being coaches on this site.

Some background information for context, this is an 8u machine pitch game, the base coach is really the pitching machine operator and head coach is at 3rd. Immediately after the play ends the machine operator chirps to head coach "we got a problem, outfielder can't come into the infield and tag a runner." Head coach looks at him and then at me and says with eyebrows raised "obstruction!" I immediately say no, gave him a quick explanation of what is in the rules, and that fielder is the word used in defensive scenarios within the book, fielder once again can be anybody, and a tag can be made by any fielder according the the term definitions within the book. Base coach then comes over and says "I've known baseball all my life and this has never been legal, T-ball, 8u, 10u, an outfielder can't make a tag." Also in the stands is the parks commissioners wife who sides with coaches and claims in the one in the wrong. 
I did some digging between innings and found a little bit of evidence that supported my explanation. 
Also said base coach gave me a hard time earlier in that teams season when they sent a runner from third to try and score who ended up being beat by a mile by the throw from F3 and eventually being tagged out in a pickle wanted an "interference" call because the catcher stood on the first base side of the plate while the runner was maybe 10 feet past 3rd in the initial throw from F3.

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Mr. NGuzman, did your game have 4 outfielders for each team? And was there a chalk demarcation line about 10-20 feet behind the base line? If so, those coaches and the commissioner's wife may have been right.

I did some research and found several local leagues have a rule stating that the outfielders must remain behind that line. In addition the outfielders were prohibited from recording unassisted outs in the infield.

So it's not as ludicrous an idea as we first thought. Anyway we can't dismiss it out of hand. I would recommend checking further.

 

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On 11/7/2023 at 8:13 PM, NGuzman said:

Some background information for context, this is an 8u machine pitch game, the base coach is really the pitching machine operator and head coach is at 3rd. Immediately after the play ends the machine operator chirps to head coach "we got a problem, outfielder can't come into the infield and tag a runner." Head coach looks at him and then at me and says with eyebrows raised "obstruction!" I immediately say no, gave him a quick explanation of what is in the rules, and that fielder is the word used in defensive scenarios within the book, fielder once again can be anybody, and a tag can be made by any fielder according the the term definitions within the book. Base coach then comes over and says "I've known baseball all my life and this has never been legal, T-ball, 8u, 10u, an outfielder can't make a tag." Also in the stands is the parks commissioners wife who sides with coaches and claims in the one in the wrong. 
I did some digging between innings and found a little bit of evidence that supported my explanation. 
 

This is where it would be important to understand the league rules and bi-laws, as opposed to the overarching rule set.  And, at the same time, it would be up to the coach to understand that this is a specific league or tourney rule.

There are settings (it's more common in slow pitch) where there is a line in the outfield, and outfielders may not pass it at anytime (and others where they may not cross it until the ball has been hit).   

I can definitely see this in an 8U machine pitch league where you would want to prevent a team from putting it's entire defense in the infield.

EDITORIAL: at this level there should be no outfielders.  And I've seen this work.  You draw a line at the outfield grass boundary, or some closely equivalent distance.  If 7 year old Susie or Achmad hits the ball past that line (by ground or air) they get a homerun.  Advantages include, but are not limited to:

  • smaller rosters and lineups ensure more at bats (the most important skill to learn at this level)
  • smaller rosters give you ability to have more teams
  • coaches who conduct practices can focus on infield skills - save outfield for later years
  • players don't immediately learn to resent outfield as "boring", as the ball just doesn't go out there nearly as often at this age
  • kids get to have fun and do a home run trot once in a while

I believe baseball should be taught and administered in levels.  Kids should not start at, but systematically graduate to, things like outfield play, infield fly, dropped third strike, stealing, bunting, etc.

EDITORIAL OFF

 

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11 hours ago, NGuzman said:

Some background information for context, this is an 8u machine pitch game, 

Maybe the adults in the room need to be reminded of this.  They probably are the same kind of people who have cutthroat games of Candyland.

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15 hours ago, noumpere said:

Coaches claim the wildest things.  Sit them down and let them try to find the (non-existent) ruling to support their claim.

 

(and only the head coach / manager should have been making any such claim)

 

 

I'm working a 12U tournament a few weeks ago. R1, 0 outs, base hit to RF and R1 is heading to third.  The throw from RF sails over the 3B's head, over the fence out of play. I signal the runner to score and the HC comes out of the dugout and says "Wait a minute blue, HE SCORES?? I don't think that's right, I think he stays at third", and he's dead serious. I look at him like what, you're kidding. I did tell him, "Joe, your player threw the ball out of the park but if you want to look that one up on your phone in the dugout, we'll get the game going again and if you find anything please let me know.

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7 hours ago, Vegas_Ump said:

Calvin Ball......

Hobbes...pitching? Am I picking up what you are putting down here, brother?

~Dawg

P.S. I am having a seriously difficult time processing the need for umpires of ANY kind on an 8U machine pitch ballfield. Curious about your market, @NGuzman...do you guys have a deep roster of trained umpires that you're able to cover all levels of amateur ball in the market to INCLUDE 8U machine pitch? I'd hate to think there's some varsity, Legion or senior showcase out there without umpires but, there's a guy on the 8U machine pitch field...By the way, all you LL brothers? I still love you guys...nuttin' but love, seriously. However, I am now putting 8U machine pitch umpires into the P1 slot of umpires I hold in the highest esteem with LL brothers now P2. God bless you, 8U brothers and I hope you all know there is a WORLD of amateur baseball awaiting you beyond 8U.

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I'm not familiar with Babe Ruth or Cal Ripken, but my kids' league at 8U (coach-pitch) had a rule that outfielders were not allowed to make plays in the infield. 

Your exact scenario could not have happened in my kids' league, because they were not allowed to run on overthrows from the infield. (If the ball was hit past the dirt, the batter and any runners could run until the ball was controlled in the infield by an infielder. If the ball was hit within the infield, they could only advance one base, regardless of overthrows in any direction.)

The rules did not specify a penalty for outfielders making a play in the infield, and we did not use umpires except for one umpire for the championship game at the year-end tournament, but in practice it was treated as Type 1/A obstruction. The most common scenario was, with a force play at second, the center fielder would take a sharply hit ball and run it to second. Time, the runner is safe, all runners can advance one base from where they started (assuming they were running or forced). 

So if your league has a local rule, I'm inclined to agree with the incoherent coach---but also, if I'm umpiring that game and they don't give me the written local rules ahead of time, I'm letting the play stand and not relying on a coach's interpretation of them. 

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On 11/8/2023 at 1:26 AM, ousafe said:

Ummmm...8u machine pitch and an umpire. That's precious.

I feel you - I do - but I've done it before when I was in Texas.  My philosophy is "any league that wants to pay me folding US currency for working machine pitch, can do so, and I *refuse* to be offended by that."

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Plate meeting is where all of this should have been handled... Coaches, are there any local rules for this division of play that I need to be aware of? 5 run rule, ball hits the machine it is dead and BR is awarded 1st? Outfielders cannot make plays, etc... If not disclosed at the meeting, then today we are playing book rules. And really, they should have 1 adult from the HT and 1 from the VT to be the plate/base umpires. No need for an actual 'official' umpire... It's 8U...

 

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20 hours ago, Mudisfun said:

And really, they should have 1 adult from the HT and 1 from the VT to be the plate/base umpires. No need for an actual 'official' umpire... It's 8U...

 

22 hours ago, Lou B said:

Any league that pays umpires for non-competitive divisions (T-Ball, Machine Pitch, ...   ) is wasting money.  Save the money and reduce fees by a similar amount.

Is this an opportunity for new umpires to learn, or does this level do more harm than good?

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On 11/8/2023 at 1:26 AM, ousafe said:

Ummmm...8u machine pitch and an umpire. That's precious.

Hey @NGuzman, just curious...in my market we have varsity games played frequently with one umpire. Do you guys actually get good coverage on those 8U machine pitch games? If so, how has your market generated that level of interest in local, amateur umpires?

~Dawg

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