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F5 obstruction on R2 steal attempt


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#1 SeattleSooner

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 06:59 PM

1. Little League Juniors Baseball.
2. R2 attempts to steal third.
3. Catcher throws to third.
4. F5 must move to the inside of the base and go low to make the catch.
5. R2 slides into F5 before F5 had possession of the ball.
6. F5 makes the catch and puts the tag down.
7. Field ump is in proper position and calls R2 out.
8. Manager of R2 asks about obstruction on F5 for blocking the base citing the obstruction definition on page 76 of the 2018 rulebook. Manager felt that F5 was blocking the base without having possession of the ball.

I didn't think obstruction because F5 was making a play on the ball and there was no intent to obstruct.

Thoughts?

#2 Robin Barradio

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 07:35 PM

I can't say for sure if it was obstruction or not as I wasn't there. However, based on the LL rules, there may have very well been obstruction.

In LL under the definition of obstruction, there is no "in the act of fielding" like in Official Baseball Rules. In order for the fielder to block the base or runner, he must be in possession of the ball. He cannot be in the act of fielding and impede the runners progress. The rule is very clear, see the definition of obstruction in the LL rulebook.

Also, intent has nothing to do with it. Obstruction can be either intentional or unintentional.
Many cases of obstruction are unintentional.

Based on your point #5, there probably was obstruction.

#3 SeattleSooner

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 07:58 PM

Initially, F5 was in good position to make the catch but moved away from the base, a few feet inside the field of play, and down on one knee to make the catch - the catcher's throw was offline...inside and low.
As F5 went down on one knee, that's when R2 made the slide and contact was made before F5 caught the ball.

#4 Lou Barbieri

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:04 PM

The LL Rule was changed a number of years ago to take out the "in the act of fielding" with the intent to cut down on collisions/trainwrecks.

As such, if the fielder impedes the runner while not in possession of the ball it's obstruction.

LL Rulebook, Rule 2.00, Definitions:
OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball, impedes the progress of any runner...


Sounds like the manager was right.
That said, Obstruction is a "judgement" call by the umpire.

Now, what the manager should do is ask a question like "Why wasn't that Obstruction?" and if the ump says "The fielder was in the baseline because he was waiting to catch the throw" then the next two words from the manager should be "I Protest".
At that point it's not a judgement call it's an incorrect rule interpretation.
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#5 Ron

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:37 PM

When you say R2 slides into F5, does this mean R2 physically stopped moving because he slid directly into F5 like he was a wall?

Alternatively, I can envision R2 sliding past while making contact with F5 but not completely stopping.

#6 SeattleSooner

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:57 PM

Look at my post above Lou's response.
F5 went down on his left knee and R2 slid into F5's left leg.
Nothing violent.
No one was hurt.
F5 is a big, strong kid.
R2 was blocked and stopped in his tracks.

#7 richives

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 02:44 AM

Look at my post above Lou's response.
F5 went down on his left knee and R2 slid into F5's left leg.
Nothing violent.
No one was hurt.
F5 is a big, strong kid.
R2 was blocked and stopped in his tracks.

 

That's obstruction.


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