Obstruction is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner. Contact does not have to be made for the umpire to rule obstruction. Also, intent is not a factor. It is the responsibility of the runner to avoid the fielder when the fielder is making a play on the ball. However, after a fielder has had a chance to field the ball or if the fielder is not in possession of the ball and is not about to receive a throw, it is the responsibility of the fielder to relinquish space to the runner because the runner has the right of way to a clear basepath.