Obstruction?

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marriard

Not lost - just no idea where I am
Oct 2, 2011
4,137
113
Florida
If that is OBS they have another rule to fix. She did not obstruct the runner's path. (slow her down or change her coarse). I fact see does an excellent job of avoiding obstructing the runner with her bull fighter tag. Ole. I see it as a great play by the catcher.

This is actually is already the fix in NCAA. Over the past few years, they have intentionally have looked at ways to take umpires judgement of player behavior out of more and more rules. The idea is that you have a very clear black and white thing to look for and that you don't have to decide any 'I believe' or "I judge that'. So for obstruction they took away judging whether the runner was impeded or looked to be impeded or what impeding actually is, etc, etc. Now it is purely where the fielder sets up without the ball and whether the runner is heading towards them. for a play

It is the same idea they have employed with HBP in the batter box. You no longer have to judge whether the batter attempted to get out of the way of the pitch or what constitutes an attempt to get away and so on.
 
Apr 20, 2018
3,202
113
SoCal
This is actually is already the fix in NCAA. Over the past few years, they have intentionally have looked at ways to take umpires judgement of player behavior out of more and more rules. The idea is that you have a very clear black and white thing to look for and that you don't have to decide any 'I believe' or "I judge that'. So for obstruction they took away judging whether the runner was impeded or looked to be impeded or what impeding actually is, etc, etc. Now it is purely where the fielder sets up without the ball and whether the runner is moving towards them

It is the same with HBP in the batter box. You don't have to judge whether the batter attempted to get out of the way of the pitch o what constitutes an attempt to get away.
So imagine this situation. Baserunner rounds third and is about half way home when she realizes she is hosed. If the catcher happens to be in the baseline or even crossed over into foul territory (meaning she was obviously in the base path during the play) then she should just continue home (avoid the pickle) and get the obstruction call?
 

marriard

Not lost - just no idea where I am
Oct 2, 2011
4,137
113
Florida
So imagine this situation. Baserunner rounds third and is about half way home when she realizes she is hosed. If the catcher happens to be in the baseline or even crossed over into foul territory (meaning she was obviously in the base path during the play) then she should just continue home (avoid the pickle) and get the obstruction call?

If there looks like there is going to be a play and the catcher has set their position and they don't have the ball, the call for obstruction already will be made. The runners actions in the play are irrelevant in NCAA. The rule clearly states you must catch THEN block.

If they are far enough back that there is clearly not going to be a play, that is not an obstruction call, So if example, if they just rounded the base for example. So in your example it is going to depend on if there going to be some sort of play and how hosed she really is. If it is just a step or two, yep, Obstruction whether she continues on or tries to return.

Crossing the base line is OK as long as you don't set up to block or that crossing caused an obstruction.

I know I keep bolding NCAA - it is because it is JUST NCAA.
 
May 7, 2015
679
93
SoCal
I get it, people get upset that an ump calls it or an ump doesn't call it. Like posted above by @marriard , in NCAA it seems like they are trying to take the judgement out of the call, this is good. For USA, USSSA, etc, I get it, the real question is "was the runner impeded??" That's a freaking tough call to make in the heat of the moment. I would say a vast majority of the games that our DD's play, OBS is rarely called when it could've or maybe should've been.

Want a fool proof way for the catcher (or any fielder for that matter) to not get called for obstruction? Yep, stay in fair territory for catchers and leave a lane!

I feel bad for throws that bring the defensive player into the path of the oncoming runner (DD has done this on many occasions), but this was just a bad setup on the catchers part (uneccesary to be in foul territory). That was the only cut-n-dry part of the play. It was a perfect throw and she didn't need to move before the catch to get the girl out.
 
Jan 22, 2011
1,179
83
Yup, in rec games I probably err on the side of not calling it when I could, unless there is contact between the players.
 
Last edited:
Jan 11, 2015
77
18
Blame those who made the rules, not the blues calling them at written.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
For NCAA its coaches that make these rule changes


here is an example of a run down that was being talked about earlier in the thread for NCAA obstruction. Maybe this got overshadowed because of the whole giving the middle finger to the umps that happened next inning
 
Last edited:
Aug 30, 2015
279
28
NFHS 2022 Case Book Obstruction 2.36 SITUATION C

F2 (a) with the ball, or (b) without the ball, is blocking home plate. R1 slides in to F2 and is tagged out.

In (a), R1 is out. in (b), the umpire would call obstruction and signal a delayed dead ball. The runner would be awarded the base, in the umpire's judgement, the runner would have reached had there been no obstruction.


This makes it pretty black and white in high school ball. Player blocking a base without the ball is obstruction.
 
Oct 24, 2010
294
28
That's not what the NFHS case play is trying to clarify. In CB 2.35C (a) and (b), R1 slides into F2.
If F2 does not have the ball (or is fielding a batted ball), it is obstruction.

The rule is clear: 2-36 Obstruction is the act of a defensive team member that [...] impedes the progress of a runner or batter-runner who is legally running the bases, unless the fielder is in possession of the ball or is making the initial play on a batted ball. 8-4-3 A runner is entitled to advance without liability to be put out when: (b) a fielder not in possession of the ball or not making an initial play on a batted ball, impedes the progress of a runner or batter-runner who is legally running bases.

There is nothing in 2-36 or 8-4-3 about blocking a base. The umpire must judge the runner was impeded. That's marriard's point about the NCAA trying to eliminate judgment of what it means to be impeded. The impediment in CB 2.35C is the contact, but could have been deviating from the runner's path, slowing down, sliding early, etc.

When NCAA introduced "blocking the whole base/plate or base path without the ball" as obstruction, it also made an exception for "The umpire determines the runner is clearly beaten by the throw." ("Determines" is a fancy word for "judges"!) The OP was asked if the umpire called the runner out. If so that's the reason. In the video, the catcher may have the ball in the first or second frame the runner appears on the left.
 
Feb 13, 2021
790
63
MI
Had a situation the other day under NFHS rule set. BR hits grounder to F6 who does not field cleanly and rushes throw to F3 to retire BR. Throw is very high and F3 leaps straight up to try to catch ball. If F3 had been able to reach throw, it would have been in plenty of time to retire BR. However, F3 did NOT catch throw from F6 and BR collides with her at the base as F3 returns to ground without possession of the ball. The two end up in a pile on the ground, the ball rolls to the fence where it was eventually retrieved by F9. BR would have easily made it to 2B had there been no collision.

I ruled obstruction and awarded 2B. Had a post-game break down with other umpires who happened to be at the game. The consensus among them was that they would not have called it obstruction but rather incidental contact. I stand by my interpretation and ruling, but wonder what others have to say.
 

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