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Discussion: OBSTRUCTION

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March 26, 2014
1jonsey
11 posts
OBSTRUCTION
STAFF...this happened in our game... runner on 1st...batter/runner, running with his head down heading into 2nd base where runner from 1st is standing. B/R retreats back to 1st and gets in a run down. After going back and forth a couple times he again retreats toward 1st base and is obstructed by the 1st baseman who does not have the ball...base umpire called and signaled obstruction and runner was tagged with ball in glove. The base umpire called runner safe then awarded batter runner 2nd base and runner on 2nd advanced to 3rd. After the game the umpire was questioned again and he showed us RULE 8.4(10) A1 EXCEPTION: A base runner obstructed in a run down shall be awarded the lead base at the time of the obstruction. Any proceeding runners forced to advance by the award of bases for obstruction shall advance without liability to be put out. My question is wouldnt the "LEAD BASE" be considered 1st base because that is the way he was headed when obstructed and tagged? or doesnt it matter? Seems B/R was rewarded an extra base for boneheaded running. thx in advance for your help
March 26, 2014
swing for the fences
Men's 50
1006 posts
Umpire had it right! Anytime there is obstruction by fielder the runner is awarded next base!
March 26, 2014
SSUSA Staff
1303 posts
We concur with BOTH the umpire's ruling and swing's very concise analysis.
March 26, 2014
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2689 posts
My understanding of the obstruction rule is that if the runner was obstructed he will be awarded the next base if in the opinion of the umpire the runner would have made it if not obstructed. It's not automatic.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
March 26, 2014
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2689 posts
found it:
8.4(10)A
4. When a runner, while advancing or returning to a base, is obstructed by a fielder who neither has the ball nor is attempting to field a batted or thrown ball, or a fielder who fakes a tag without the ball, the obstructed runner and each other runner affected by the obstruction will always be awarded the base or bases that would have been reached, in the umpire's judgment, had there been no obstruction.
March 26, 2014
crusher
Men's 70
403 posts
Bruce, Sounds like the runner should have been advanced back to 1st base as that is where he would have made if not obstructed.Your 1st post on this appears to be correct.

The batter would never have made it to 2nd base in this case as it was occupied and he was headed back to 1st.

March 26, 2014
B.J.
62 posts
wow...really the runner makes a mistake by not seeing his team mate on 2nd and is lucky enough to get back to bag by obstruction call, and now you turn around and award him 2nd when he couldnt get there in the 1st place....doesnt seem right to me...I get that he gets 1st base from obstruction but 2nd also???
March 27, 2014
Garocket
Men's 55
160 posts
When a runner, while advancing or returning to a base, is obstructed by
a fielder who neither has the ball nor is attempting to field a batted or
thrown ball, or a fielder who fakes a tag without the ball, the obstructed
runner and each other runner affected by the obstruction will always be
awarded the base or bases that would have been reached, in the
umpire's judgment, had there been no obstruction. If the umpire feels
there is justification, a defensive player making a fake tag could be
ejected from the game.


Look close it says only the base or bases the umpire thought he would have gotten without the obstruction

Page 46
March 28, 2014
1jonsey
11 posts
Garocket...I agree with you but read the rule part A 1 EXCEPTION: A base runner obstructed in a RUN DOWN shall be awarded the lead base at the time of the obstruction. Any proceeding runners forced to advance by the award of bases for obstruction shall advance without liability to be put out. This takes the judgement out of the umpires hands and says the runner shall be awarded the lead base for dumb base running????
March 28, 2014
SSUSA Staff
1303 posts
1jonsey ... Actually the converse to your theory is a more accurate reflection of the intent of the rule: The defense should not be rewarded for their obstruction by depriving the runner from advancing where (s)he might have reached absent the infraction ...
March 28, 2014
stick8
1318 posts
Had a play like this last year. Men's game, bases empty, no one out. Batter hits one in the right center gap. After he rounds third he gets into a rundown. After a couple throws the batter-runner going toward home runs into a 300+ lb catcher who tried to but couldn't get out of the way and was clearly in the base path of the runner. Called obstruction right away--run scores.
March 28, 2014
1jonsey
11 posts
STAFF I understand awarding the obstructed runner the base he was GOING TO (1st base)but awarding him 2nd base? and you make the exact point that I'm arguing...quoting you... The defense should not be rewarded for their obstruction by depriving the runner from advancing where(s)"HE MIGHT HAVE REACHED ABSENT THE INFRACTION" there is no way the runner could have reached 2nd (it was occupied)and he was headed back to 1st base. Yes he could have gotten back to 1st base but was obstructed. This should be as it was in the past UMPIRE JUDGEMENT the rule now takes that away in a "RUN DOWN" I cant believe an umpire in any type of judgement would award the runner 2nd. Thx 1jonsey

March 28, 2014
SSUSA Staff
1303 posts
1jonsey ... It's apparent you are not going to agree with our official position on this, but the runner will be awarded 2nd base under the proper application of the rules in the scenario presented ... And for clarification, the base he was GOING TO was 2nd base (not to be confused with the direction he might have been moving at the moment during the run-down) and the base he was RETURNING TO was 1st base ... Any other (mis)application of the rule would only serve as an incentive for a defensive player to commit obstruction ... Then the worst case condition for the defense would be returning him to the previous base and denying him the potential to extricate himself from the run-down and get to 2nd base anyway ... The umpire in this circumstance called it correctly ...

March 28, 2014
1jonsey
11 posts
STAFF thx for your responses and explanations and you are right i would have absolutley no problem awarding B/R 2nd base but it was already occupied. Thx again for your responses 1jonsey
March 31, 2014
Garocket
Men's 55
160 posts
Any rule that does not make sense should be either changed or looked at seriously. This rule makes no sense. A runner should never be called out between the bases he is obstructed between. But just advancing the runner is not a good rule.

Just my opinion. In the case above you are advancing two runners not just one.
March 31, 2014
1jonsey
11 posts
Garocket u r right i went back a couple years in old rule books and this rule was re-written in 2011-12 it didnt use to be this way it used to say umpire judgement
March 31, 2014
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
Jonesy and Garocket, you have fallen into what I call Heart Rules. Players interpret with their emotions instead of the rules. The worst ones are this (Jonesy, thank you for using the word obstruction; I usually get the player yelling "Interference" passionately when my arm is extended for the delayed dead ball waiting on the outcome), the perception of out of the box when a player is not by the rule, the "Blue, he was in fair territory when he touched the ball" when it is based on the trajectory of the ball which was foul, and sometimes the infield fly when a player is just sure that it is a dead ball. Do we as umpires always call this 100% correct based on our judgment? Sometimes not, but we should have a better understanding of the rules, but judgment is judgment after all. Will I or any umpire ever be able to convince you that we used the rules when making the ruling? Probably never. Will you talk about how it upset you in the parking lot over cold beverages? Of course. Will you ever completely understand unless you try umpiring and get some experience? It is OK; the answer is "No". I could never even convince Coachie at least on the is the ball fair or foul based on the position the fielder instead of the ball; so I gave up trying. I can hear him now saying "Stupid rule then". Would any rule change ever fix this? Never until eternity. It is OK; we as umpires are used to it. You are not going to change your mind's, and you are not going to change ours. Softball and life still go on. ;-)
April 1, 2014
Garocket
Men's 55
160 posts
Nancy, has nothing to to with heart and more to do with common sense.

I have been to many umpire schools some weekends and some the week long versions and they always teach if it does not make sense then you are usally wrong. Well this rule does not make sense.

All obstruction should be ruled the same.
I feel it should be: You can never be called out between the bases you are obstructed between, and you are protected until the base the Umpire thought you could have made without the obstruction.

If a player gets obstructed at first and he gets thrown out by 10 steps at second you do not award him second you put him back at first. However if he bumps into the 1st baseman and gets tagged as he is sliding into 2nd. close play. You award allow him second as that is where he would have gotten without the obstruction.



April 1, 2014
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
612 posts
Garocket, sorry to frustrate you. It is a Nancy Allen opinion and expression only what I call Heart Rules because players get emotional without knowing the actual rules, and they will usually never let it go because they get emotional which also has nothing to do with common sense. You do not need to agree with me, but I have seen this many times over the years with the situations that I described being the most common in my experience.

I do find it very interesting that any umpire clinic would ever tell the umpires about a rule making sense or not. I have never heard that in all the ones that I have been to over the years. There have been rules over the years that I did not agree with, but as an umpire it is my job to enforce the rules as they are, not as how I think or feel that they should be. Sometimes those rules change if there are enough issues with them; sometimes the changes are even worse.

I really have no opinion on the situation described. I was not there; so I do not have enough information to really comment on it. I do not have a pony in this race; I just thought that I would share something from an umpire's perspective; so I am not agreeing or disagreeing with anybody. I think that we only learn by discussion, maybe not though.
April 1, 2014
Garocket
Men's 55
160 posts
Nancy I do not have a horse in the race either. I have been umpiring since 1985 and I understand that an umpire must call a ruling by the way it is written in the book. And I do, But bringing it up for discussion and pointing out the good parts compared to the bad or not so good points is what brings them up for discussion at the National Conventions. Not saying anything would get changed but at least a discussion is taken place.

The 4 base award gets brought up each year and I enforce it the way it is written.
But it does take some defense out of the game

Example if an outfielder climbs the fence and tries to make a great catch and he touches it but does not catch it he is penelized for trying to play great defense as the homerun is now a four base award and the offensive team is allowed to have another homerun.

Do not agree with the ruling but I understand it and call it that way.
April 1, 2014
1jonsey
11 posts
Nancy, i appreciate what you are saying and do agree that many players have no idea of the rules. I think the point Garocket and i are trying to make is that there used to be a rule in place if you go back and read i believe the 2010 rule book it left the umpire with the judgementon where to put a runner, and that is where it should be, on the field. The rule now since 2011-12 rulebook change rewards a player for dumb base running. Read O/P on scenario. Senior Softball does make mistakes on rule changes last year they changed Rule 8.3 H I even discused this with UIC's at tournaments and they agreed rule did not make sense....a few months later a notice came out it was a "TYPO". Go back and check your old rule books and see. Again sometimes changes are not thought out well in all scenarios and sometimes the players DO know the rules 1jonsey
April 1, 2014
stick8
1318 posts
Here's a situation to ponder;
Bases empty, no outs. Batter gets a base hit to left. A fast runner, the batter-runner is looking to go to second. After rounding first he decides to go to second but runs into or trips over the first baseman who's just standing & watching the play in left field. The batter-runner falls down and immediately gets up and retreats safely back to first. Would you call obstruction on the firstbaseman?
Note: I know the USSSA rule on this but I'm not certain on the SSUSA rule which may be different.
April 1, 2014
neck10
504 posts
Just play ball ump'a will take care of rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!here's one for you master's las vegas last year our pitcher taks a swing like a girl because 2nd base man has moved in outfield grass pitcher hits ball right to 2nd baseman ball travels lets say 85feet ,pitcher beats it out to first .first base ump signals safe,all ill is good.other team starts whinning that pitcher didn't take a ful swing there for should be out so ump calls him out.we protest,I go to umpire & ask did the ball hit the bat or did the bat hit the ball he said he did swing but not hard enough.I think the rule reads the bat must strike the ball,if the ball strikes the bat then its a bunt.doesnt matter we lost.
April 1, 2014
neck10
504 posts
stick rob said he talked with you,he called me on Friday to tell me he wouldn't be here the prior Tuesday.
April 1, 2014
stick8
1318 posts
Yes, I had a nice conversation with the Motor City Madman last week. He's eligible in November. He will love senior softball!!
April 1, 2014
Garocket
Men's 55
160 posts
Stick If the runner never tried to leg it out to second the umpire just cannot assume he would make it so the runner stays at first, However if he had tried to go to second and was close the ump would have his arm out and call obstruction but since he got back to 1st no other ruling.


Neck there is not rule that says how hard you have to hit the ball. It says you cannot bunt or chop downward on the ball.

Does not sound like the play above was either one of them so the runner would be safe.

Next thing you know someone will want a rule about a player hitting it to hard LOL
April 1, 2014
Garocket
Men's 55
160 posts
I was just looking thru the internet and found this

Why is SSUSA different, I looked at little league and it is the same as SSUSA

OBSTRUCTION DURING RUN DOWN
USSSA 8.13 award base would have reached
ASA 8.5.b.1 / NFHS 8.4.3 award base would have reached
NCAA 9.3.1 award base runner would have reached unless warned previously then additional one base award
April 2, 2014
neck10
504 posts
stick big arm will have to hire me to keep Robbie out of trouble!!!!!!!!!!!!
April 2, 2014
neck10
504 posts
stick all kidding aside rob will hit long ball with anyone you got,he also can keep it in the park.He hit some tape measure shots for us in league over the years.
April 2, 2014
SSUSA Staff
1303 posts
We're not sure why this call is leading to so much debate ... The SSUSA Rulebook is quite specific and simple ... This is not even close to a difficult call ... The "lead base" being awarded eliminates any potential debate on "what might have happened" in the balance of the run-down ... If the obstruction call is correct, the remedy is simple and straight forward, which is a good thing ...
__________

RULEBOOK 8.4(10)A.1. (pages 45-46) ... EXCEPTION: A base runner obstructed in a run down shall be awarded the lead base at the time of the obstruction. Any proceeding runners forced to advance by the award of bases for obstruction shall advance without liability to be put out..."
__________

For those who may not like the rule, the SSUSA Rules Committee meetings are open to public attendance and participation ... They are held at the annual convention in late November or early December ... This year's site is Tupelo, MS ... Until then, the playing rules for 2014 are set and will not be changing mid-season ...

April 2, 2014
softball4b
Men's 60
765 posts
And you had to ask that question Why.....Kind of like talking to my ex-wife...but, Honey you told me to pick up the kids unless you said not to...I told you to pick up the kids after you fixed the fence...did you fix the fence..and it went nowhere after that....at least the kids did not have to walk home from school.
April 2, 2014
stick8
1318 posts
Garocket your technically correct. In my scenario, the USSSA rule is if after running into the firstbaseman, the batter runner gets up and continues to second then obstruction is called. If the batter-runner gets up and retreats back to first, it's nothing. Now if in the judgement of the umpire, that firstbaseman intentionally, deliberately or blatantly obstructed the batter runner and the runner went back to first my right arm goes out and I wait until the play is over and then call obstruction. It's all umpire judgement.
April 2, 2014
stick8
1318 posts
Neck I know Robbie all too well. I played league ball with him and on occasion festival type tournaments with him. I've also played against him when he played with the big boys. It's much more fun playing with him!!
He can do it all--hit, run, he can go get it in the outfield and has a HOSE of an arm. If you go to Mike Macenko's website there's a link to an excellent article about the basics of outfield play that Robbie authored. It's a good read--easy and simple to understand.
And yes, at times he can be outspoken. But knowing him like I do I believe that comes from a great passion he has for the game. Once he gets a taste of playing senior ball I can envision him being a great promoter of the game!!
April 2, 2014
joel 1975
60 posts
stick he's a handful but really likes rickey & billy from kinnco rickey gives him free golf lol
April 3, 2014
stick8
1318 posts
How do I get in on this free golf gig? lol
April 4, 2014
Garocket
Men's 55
160 posts
Ok i more time and I will let it die LOL

Runner gets a bae hit to right field, he rounds first with no intent to go to second. The right fielder guns it back to first and catches him off base. he gets in a short rundown that is never more than 20 ft off 1st base and he gets obstructed by the 1st baseman that gets in his way back to 1st. Now we have to tell the defense that his intentions was never to go to second but because he was bumped into and obstruction was call we are going to give him second base.


If you will buy that I have some Oceanfront property in Death Valley to sell LOL


Don't take me to serious Dave just pointing out the flaw in the rule. And I know a lot of rules have flaws. And I will say the way SSUSA has this one written makes it very easy to apply
May 7, 2014
txnighttrain
17 posts
I umpire USSSA.There is no rule 8.13. The rule is Rule 8 Sec 7.E. It is basically the same as SSUSA. The runner must be awarded one base past the last one obtained.
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