Opinion Obstruction/Interference

  • Post
    Michael Souder
    Runner on 2nd less than 2 outs. R2 steals on the pitch as a line drive is hit to F5. F5 has to move to his left to catch the line drive but it tips off of his glove and rolls away from him far enough to where he would have to keep running a few more steps to retrieve it. F6 was moving to his right and was out of position following the missed line drive. Following the tip off of the glove, F5 take 1.5-2 steps to stop his momentum and change direction to retrieve the ball.

    R2 is about 2 strides away from F5 when the ball tipped off of the glove and had no bearing on the miss. R2 takes about 1.5-2 strides to stop his momentum to try and avoid F5.

    R2 and F5 collide with no one falling down but momentum is clearly disrupted on each player from trying to accomplish their task (get the ball/go to third.) R2 continues in to 3rd and F5 continues to get the ball. R2 was safe but over runs base and is tagged while off the base.

    Coach immediately starts screaming for the obstruction (by calling it interference ofcourse)….

    I waved it off as a train wreck feeling that the ball was too far away from F5 to be interfered with while R2 would have no problem reaching 3rd safely to warrant obstruction. Both assumptions were correct, then we had the over run. Just curious to the differing opinions on this play as this took place in an advanced scout tournament and happened at full speed.


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      If you adjudge that F6 had an opportunity to field the ball, then this is interference on R2.   Protection of a fielder can change during the course of a play as it did in this situation from F5 to F6.  As an aside, if a fielder and a runner collide, you can’t have “nothing”.  You must adjudge interference or obstruction. The only exceptions are the immediate time after a fielder has completed an attempt at fielding a thrown ball such as a 1st baseman and a runner trying to go to second base on an overthrow or tangle/untangle at home plate.
      Step and a reach. If the ball was within a step and reach to the fielder it’s interference. Sounds like that’s what it may have been but have to be there. If it was further than a step and reach and you go with obstruction then R2 is protected to third. Not past it.

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