NCAA Obstruction rule change

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May 13, 2023
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Is a bad route an illegitimate reaction?
Not certain anything could be considered illegitimate, but one reaction could be better than another. Simply promoting applying the non contact route would be better. After all they still don't want contact. But seems they are trying to give a little bit more ability to get to the ball.

Imo, a route not being a "legitimate reaction" would require a level of malice, so obstruction when the fielder has a ball thrown towards them arguably becomes a judgement call on malice, no?
This comes to mind.

It is difficult for the Umpire to determine intent. Malice would imply an intent to cause a corruption. Hard to determine that.
Particularly because,
Not all players are going to make the smartest decision on angle to the ball= trajectory to it.

Then this scenario
Specifically catcher going up the Third Base Line trying to catch an errant throw either cutting it off in Fair territory or going to foul territory to try and go get it. One would be staying out of the runner's way and the other would be crossing the runners path. That's going to be a tough call.
 
Jun 18, 2023
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Then this scenario
Specifically catcher going up the Third Base Line trying to catch an errant throw either cutting it off in Fair territory or going to foul territory to try and go get it. One would be staying out of the runner's way and the other would be crossing the runners path. That's going to be a tough call.

That's not a reaction. If the catcher runs to catch in fair territory, and then cuts over when the runner gets close, that's obstruction. You're reacting to the runner, not a new throw. The catcher could certainly charge right up the line to intersect the ball, the reaction is to field it on the line, but the runner simply needs to take a step outside. If she doesn't, it's interference, if the catcher adjusts to continue to block the runner it's obstruction.
 
Apr 14, 2022
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Keep in mind the purpose of the Buster Posey rule change was to reduce collisions. It was not to advantage the runner.
Watching a very small % of games I do not recall a player not going after a thrown ball. So it did not reduce collisions. I do not see any harm in returning that as to what it was before.
 
May 13, 2023
1,538
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That's not a reaction.
It is because, Whatever the player decides to do is the reaction.


Then there is the topic of how the play preceded to take a look at.
examples~ like the scenarios you and I gave.
If the catcher

Add this example
The catcher is not always going to know exactly where the runner is when they are going for the ball.
Even though they're reaction may be directly to the ball inadvertently Also may be in the runner's path.
* this is saying they can make a legitimate reaction to the trajectory of the ball after it is thrown. Can now go to the ball and I like it! Look at that last bolded sentence - Additionally if in the Umpire judgment the runner would have clearly been out, then obstruction is *ignored. imagine that.
Screenshot_20231228-145412_Chrome.jpg

💥There are going to be multiple perspectives on how to diagnose the different instances.
 
Last edited:
Apr 20, 2018
4,668
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SoCal
A lot of umps never understood the last rule change so hear we go again. Catching is hard. But it just got harder.
So what happens if a throw from left field takes the catcher10 feet up the line towards 3rd base? Is the catcher now allowed to field the ball and the runner is expected to change route in order to avoid contact?
 
Last edited:
May 29, 2015
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a legitimate reaction to the trajectory of the ball after it is thrown.”

Nothing there says the fielder has to be making an attempt to catch the ball. It just says the player has to be reacting to the trajectory of a thrown ball. “I ran into the basepath because I was going to get into position to back up the relay to the cut off … and I figured the ball was headed out of play so I’d go get a drink.”

Additionally, if in the umpire's judgement the runner would have clearly been out, then obstruction is ignored.”

We spend odd-numbered years removing “umpire judgement” clauses from rules and even-numbered years creating new ones to take back out on odd-numbered years.
 
May 29, 2015
3,851
113
Keep in mind the purpose of the Buster Posey rule change was to reduce collisions. It was not to advantage the runner.
Watching a very small % of games I do not recall a player not going after a thrown ball. So it did not reduce collisions. I do not see any harm in returning that as to what it was before.
That’s because OBR’s “Buster Posey Rule” never had a clause that prevented the catcher from going after the ball. In fact, it expressly allowed it. It was about where the catcher could set up and what the runner could and could not do.
 
Apr 14, 2022
608
63
A lot of umps never understood the last rule change so hear we go again. Catching is hard. But it just got harder.
So what happens if a throw from left field takes the catcher10 feet up the line towards 3rd base? Is the catcher now allowed to field the ball and the runner is expected to change route in order to avoid contact?
The catcher will do the same thing they do today. Go field the ball. There was no negative consequences of not fielding the ball. If they do not field the ball runner will be safe, past rules the field the ball obstruct runner safe. Kind of like intentional grounding might as well try because penalty is the same as a sack.
 

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