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Obstruction Rule on a Steal?

Jul 14, 2010
710
18
NJ/PA
Can there be obstruction called on a 1B for impeding the runner's path on a steal? Let's assume for the sake of argument that the 1B does not intentionally get in the runner's way.
 
Jun 22, 2008
3,373
63
If a defensive player who does not have the ball and is not Fielding a batted ball impedes a runners progress it is obstruction. Did f3 have the ball? Was f3 Fielding a batted ball? Did f3 impede the runner? That will give you your answer.


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Jul 14, 2010
710
18
NJ/PA
F3 was in position and the runner ran into her on her way to second. Ball was being pitched to the catcher when contact was made.
 
Sep 14, 2011
768
18
Glendale, AZ
F3 was in position and the runner ran into her on her way to second. Ball was being pitched to the catcher when contact was made.
Sounds like a textbook case of obstruction to me.

This situation is one that I bring up when talking to umpires about obstruction. With a runner on first, I have seen teams that will have F4 positioned directly in the baseline between first and second base. The intent is to force the stealing runner to have to go around F4. In a two umpire system, the BU will be moving to see the potential play at second base and may not see the obstruction.
 

MTR

Jun 22, 2008
3,435
48
F3 was in position and the runner ran into her on her way to second. Ball was being pitched to the catcher when contact was made.
I find that hard to buy unless F3 was 3-5 feet from 1B in a direct line from the runner to 2B. But that is irrelevant to the OBS.

As Comp noted, if the runner is impeded by F3 while not fielding a batted ball, and the runner did not go out of her was to draw an OBS call, a delayed dead ball should be signaled (for the OBS) and any awards would be made after all obvious play is finished and/or the ball becomes dead.

Please note, the award may be 1B if the umpire judged that the runner would not have safely reached 2B had the OBS not occurred.
 
Aug 23, 2016
249
28
If a defensive player who does not have the ball and is not Fielding a batted ball impedes a runners progress it is obstruction. Did f3 have the ball? Was f3 Fielding a batted ball? Did f3 impede the runner? That will give you your answer.


Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
So the ball has to be batted, not thrown, for the defender to be entitled to the base path?

Just curious because DD was caught stealing twice in a weekend and both times SS parked in her path waiting for the throw from C. The first time DD tried to run around SS (as well as CF who had come in to cover), the second time she stopped short of the bag because SS, 2B and CF were all converged and the only way to get to the bag was through one or all of them.

Both times, ump said no obstruction because SS was making a play on the throw from C.
 

MTR

Jun 22, 2008
3,435
48
With a runner on first, I have seen teams that will have F4 positioned directly in the baseline between first and second base. The intent is to force the stealing runner to have to go around F4.
An old trick of the Japanese team. :)
 
Oct 11, 2010
7,474
38
Chicago, IL
Few teams we played starting in way of runner then stepped forward before release of ball. I think they are doing this to stop runner from leaving early.
 

2br02b

Trabant swing
Jul 25, 2017
226
28
Few teams we played starting in way of runner then stepped forward before release of ball. I think they are doing this to stop runner from leaving early.
We had a base umpire try to move our F4 before the play began. He stated she was "standing on the base path". We argued that the runner creates the path and told her not to move. He waited till the next pitch, called obstruction and then moved the runner on 1st to 2nd.
 
Jun 22, 2008
3,373
63
So the ball has to be batted, not thrown, for the defender to be entitled to the base path?

Just curious because DD was caught stealing twice in a weekend and both times SS parked in her path waiting for the throw from C. The first time DD tried to run around SS (as well as CF who had come in to cover), the second time she stopped short of the bag because SS, 2B and CF were all converged and the only way to get to the bag was through one or all of them.

Both times, ump said no obstruction because SS was making a play on the throw from C.
Defense has no rights to a thrown ball. They are either in possession of the ball or they are not.

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