Sign in to follow this  
Steve Renshaw

Fielders obstruction after dropped tag

Recommended Posts

Runner attempting to steal third.  Catchers throw towards second base side.  Third baseman comes up line and catches the ball and tags a sliding runner knocking the ball lose. Runner slide is short of the base so fielder is trying to pick up the ball and tag runner.   Umpire calls defensive obstruction on the third baseman.  She was not holding her down, pulling on her or anything. Just trying to get the ball.  Umpire said that if she held into the ball he would have called her out but since she dropped the ball and the runner had not reached the base it was obstruction. Can someone explain this stupidity for me?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But to try and answer the question, my take is that because the runner's progression to the base was impeded by the player making the attempt to get the out and subsequently dropping the ball. Because the runner didn't have a clear path to the base, obstruction was called. 

Edited by slapshot
removed reference to edited post

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What the rule was originally intended to be called, it's to keep infielders from deliberately blocking the path when they aren't involved in the play, such as first base standing on top of the bag so the runner has to take a wide path to second base. It has been called in that situation described however because the base runner may have been forced, per the umpire's decision, to step outside the base path by the infielder prior to applying the tag. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But if the third baseman was blocking the path to the base, why would the umpire say he would have called her out if the third baseman hung on to the ball? Isn't she blocking the path either way?

 

EDIT: Per West University Softball Association's "What is Obstruction?" article:

 

Quote

When a fielder does not have the ball and is not in the act of fielding a batted ball, an obstruction occurs if that fielder impedes the progress of a base runner.

 

So after the ball was knocked loose, that would have constituted the fielder not having the ball and not being in the act of fielding the batted ball, I guess? Which at that point constitutes obstruction?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was the obstruction called for the botched tag or for her getting in the way of the baserunner after she dropped the tag? The first would seem non-sensical, the latter would seem correct.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, crashcarson15 said:

Was the obstruction called for the botched tag or for her getting in the way of the baserunner after she dropped the tag? The first would seem non-sensical, the latter would seem correct.

Botched tag. She did not get in her way per se after the ball came out of the glove.  It was one continuous play. The runner slid into her as she was making the tag.  But just did not slide far enough to get to the bag.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Umpire here.

 

Obstruction does not need to be intentional. Your description seems to be missing some information to make a definitive decision. After the fielder dropped the ball, did she in any way contact the runner?

 

A fielder in the act of catching a thrown ball or fielding a batted ball generally takes precedence over the baserunner. While this is happening, it's the runner's directive to avoid contacting the fielder, or in any way hindering that play. If the ball gets past the fielder, or is dropped, then the fielder is no longer in the act of making a play, and it's the umpire's judgment if obstruction has now occurred.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/18/2018 at 9:56 PM, Steve Renshaw said:

Runner attempting to steal third.  Catchers throw towards second base side.  Third baseman comes up line and catches the ball and tags a sliding runner knocking the ball lose. Runner slide is short of the base so fielder is trying to pick up the ball and tag runner.   Umpire calls defensive obstruction on the third baseman.  She was not holding her down, pulling on her or anything. Just trying to get the ball.  Umpire said that if she held into the ball he would have called her out but since she dropped the ball and the runner had not reached the base it was obstruction. Can someone explain this stupidity for me?

If the defensive player does not have the ball in hand or glove, the base runner must have a clear path to the base.

 

https://www.ncaa.com/news/softball/article/2017-06-29/softball-panel-recommends-obstruction-rule-change

 

I'm assuming you watched a NCAA game over the weekend.  For this season, NCAA rules were updated to mirror ASA and NFHS which previously removed "in the act of catching" from their rulebooks years prior to the 2017 NCAA softball rules committee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this