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1246 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Jul 20, 2010 5:28 AM by Manny_A RSS
mjplake Rookie 3 posts since
Jul 14, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Jul 18, 2010 12:06 PM

Obstruction/Interference Ruling

B1 hits a ball to F6.  F6 throws the ball innacurately and in order to catch the ball and make a play on B1, F3 steps off the bag toward home.  As F3 is catching the ball, B1 is running in fair territory (one foot inside the base line, the other foot in foul territory) and collides with F3.  F3 is unable to make the catch and the ball goes to the fence which allows B1 to advance to 2nd without a play being made.  The offensive coach says to the home plate umpire "The batter-runner was in fair territory during the collision, she should not be on 2nd base."  The home plate umpire then awards the batter-runner 3rd base because the first baseman, while catching the ball "blocked the 1st base bag which is obstruction." 

 

The coach (me) argued that the first baseman was making a play on the runner and that obstruction is not even possible since the ball got to F3 at the same time as the collision.  The coach (me)went further in saying because the batter-runner was in fair territory that she was guilty of interference meaning that she should at best only get 1st base and could be called out if the umpire thought the interference prevented an out from being made.

 

This was an event being played under ASA rules with no local or league rules pertaining to the play.  Can someone help me to learn from this situation.  I am sure that rules are being mis-applied (even by me) and would like to hear from umpires regarding the proper application of ASA rules in this case.

  • JEL_4 Rookie 6 posts since
    Aug 15, 2003
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Jul 18, 2010 2:36 PM (in response to mjplake)
    Re: Obstruction/Interference Ruling

    Sounds like all were confused although in the end the proper ruling MAY have been made.

     

    First, The runner must run in the lane or be called out IF SHE INTERFERES WITH THE FIELDER TAKING THE THROW. For that to happen there must be a throw that is a "quality" throw. You said "F6 throws the ball innacurately and in order to catch the ball and make a play on B1, F3 steps off the bag toward home" That was not a quality throw. The fielder has now encroached into the Batter/runners territory. I can't see a lane violation there.

     

    Second, You said "The coach (me) argued that the first baseman was making a play on the runner and that obstruction is not even possible since the ball got to F3 at the same time as the collision." It doesn't matter when the ball gets anywhere. If a runner's progress is impeded by a fielder who does not have the ball in their posession, obstruction has occured. In the process of making a play still works in NCAA, but not ASA or HS.

     

    Third, the offensive coach's statement "The batter-runner was in fair territory during the collision, she should not be on 2nd base." Fair or foul territory doesn't matter. If she is obstrucred, the award is based on the umpires judgment alone.

     

    The umpire apparently didn't make an initial obstruction award, but should have.

     

    The umpire should judge at the time of obstruction where the runner would end up if there had been no obstruction. If he determined that the runner could have advanced all the way to third on the errant throw then he should make that award without prodding from the coach.

     

     

  • Manny_A Legend 841 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Jul 19, 2010 11:34 AM (in response to mjplake)
    Re: Obstruction/Interference Ruling

    First, The runner must run in the lane or be called out IF SHE INTERFERES WITH THE FIELDER TAKING THE THROW. For that to happen there must be a throw that is a "quality" throw.



    I know that in baseball umpiring, we require a "quality" throw in certain rule sets. In FED baseball, a "quality" throw is no longer required.

    But is the same true in ASA? I looked in the rule book and case book, and I didn't see anything regarding a quality throw to first base.

    Second, You said "The coach (me) argued that the first baseman was making a play on the runner and that obstruction is not even possible since the ball got to F3 at the same time as the collision." It doesn't matter when the ball gets anywhere. If a runner's progress is impeded by a fielder who does not have the ball in their posession, obstruction has occured. In the process of making a play still works in NCAA, but not ASA or HS.



    In ASA, this could be what is known as a "wreck." Per the rule book under the Rules Supplement on Crashing into a Fielder:

    G. When the ball, runner and the defensive player arrive at the same time and place, and contact is made, the umpire should not invoke the crash rule, interference, or obstruction. This is merely incidental contact, or what some persons commonly call, "a wreck."

  • VC_Blue Amateur 8 posts since
    Jun 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Jul 19, 2010 1:48 PM (in response to Manny_A)
    Re: Obstruction/Interference Ruling

    No such thing as a "Quality Throw" in ASA, however in order for it to be interference on a B/R running in fair territory (does not matter how much, just that some position of the body is their) the fielder must be touching the white portion of the base (8-2-M-9). Per the OP you either have OBS or a Train Wreck (RS13-G). This sounds like a train wreck to me. Live ball.

  • Delaware ASA UIC Pro 76 posts since
    Jan 9, 2001
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Jul 19, 2010 4:36 PM (in response to VC_Blue)
    Re: Obstruction/Interference Ruling

    In ASA, this could be what is known as a "wreck." Per the rule book under the Rules Supplement on Crashing into a Fielder:

    G. When the ball, runner and the defensive player arrive at the same time and place, and contact is made, the umpire should not invoke the crash rule, interference, or obstruction. This is merely incidental contact, or what some persons commonly call, "a wreck."

     

    Antiquated comment.  No problem with not calling it INT due to a crash, but since the OBS rule changed to having possession of the ball instead of "about to receive", I will rule OBS if it is warranted.

     

    Regardless of this RS, why would you not protect a runner from OBS because the defense cannot throw or catch?

  • VC_Blue Amateur 8 posts since
    Jun 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Jul 19, 2010 7:11 PM (in response to JEL_4)
    Re: Obstruction/Interference Ruling

    Because it is a wreck and supported by rule.

  • Manny_A Legend 841 posts since
    May 25, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Jul 20, 2010 5:28 AM (in response to VC_Blue)
    Re: Obstruction/Interference Ruling

    Antiquated comment.



    It's still in the rule book, though. Hard to convince someone that it is no longer applicable.

    Regardless of this RS, why would you not protect a runner from OBS because the defense cannot throw or catch?

     

    I'd like to, trust me.  It would put the situation in line with the FED rule on OBS.

  • JEL_4 Rookie 6 posts since
    Aug 15, 2003
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Jul 21, 2010 5:17 AM (in response to Delaware ASA UIC)
    Re: Obstruction/Interference Ruling

    >>>In ASA, this could be what is known as a "wreck." Per the rule book under the Rules Supplement on Crashing into a Fielder:<<<

     

    You didn't complete the title! The title of the rule supplement is "Crashing into a fielder WITH THE BALL"

     

    A-E have the fielder holding the ball, F has the flight of the ball pulling the fielder into the runner. F negates the crash rule.

     

    While G. may negate OBS, if the runner was impeded BEFORE the ball got there, you can still have OBS.

     

    BTW, You won't find the term "quality throw" in any rule book I am aware of, but it is taught in clinics by NUS staff as well as GHSA (in my case) staff.

  • Delaware ASA UIC Pro 76 posts since
    Jan 9, 2001
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Jul 21, 2010 6:23 PM (in response to Manny_A)
    Re: Obstruction/Interference Ruling

    Because it is a wreck and supported by rule.

     

    Actually, it is not in the rules, but the Rules Supplements which also state that a defender cannot block a base without the ball and we all know that isn't true.

     

    Think about it.  A BR going to 1B gets flattened by a defender chasing a wild throw that hits the defender's glove just before the crash.  The catcher goes over, picks up the ball and tags out a BR taken out by poor defense.

     

    The "RULE" clearly states that if a defender impedes the runner without the possession of the ball, it is OBS.

     

    You are correct, the RS makes that statement, but a comment was also made in 2003 in Orlando that the change to require possession also removed the "wreck" scenarios.  I dont completely buy that, but if a runner in illegally impeded, I'm ruling OBS.

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