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The Umpire Corner

Another Obstruction Question?

Rule question? Get it answered here.

by AustinGreyson » Fri May 22, 2020 4:53 am

Had this one last weekend in ASA State Tourney. Batter hits single to left field. As she rounds first, 1B was standing a step or so off the bag towards second in the baseline and batter-runner collides with her. Umpire signals obstruction with extended arm and fist. All OK, so far. Throw from LF goes towards second, but goes over 2B head and into short right field. Batter-runner sees this, pauses briefly, because she doesn't think she'll make it, then sees umpire signalling obstruction, and jogs to second. Ball is picked up and thrown back to second and the batter-runner is tagged before reaching second. Batter-runner is called out and that's umpires final call. Coach questions about the obstruction and the umpire stated that it was his discretion to make any call and since the runner hesitated and then jogged to second, he was calling her out. It was coaches contention and also my understanding of the rule, that when obstruction occurs, the runner cannot be put out between the bases that it occurred (first and second in this case) and the only way that protection is cancelled is if there is a play on another runner first. Not sure why the batter-runner jogged to second, as that insured there was no way she would be awarded it, and it looked bad as well, but I still interpret the rules to say she should have been put back on first. Was this the right call and I'm just missing something?
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