Obstruction by Catcher?

Discussion in 'The Umpires Life and Rulings' started by tschromm3, Jul 21, 2020.

  1. tschromm3

    tschromm3 Member

    Is this obstruction by the catcher? Hard to see the plate but she is literally blocking the entire thing. Without the ball. Picture shows runner starting her slide before catcher has the ball, and shes clearly blocking any path to home for the runner.
    Obstruction.JPG
     
  2. PaulP

    PaulP Member

    Looks like obstruction to me. If catcher straddles the plate, feet need to be behind the leading edge of the plate.
     
  3. Danno

    Danno Member

    Looks to me like she will have the ball way before the runner can get there.
     
  4. tschromm3

    tschromm3 Member

    Correct. She was entirely in front of it on 3rd base side. Our runner is already starting her slide with no path to the plate. In the picture, I’m already telling to the home plate ump, “SHE CANT BE THERE!” And he still said he didn’t see obstruction.
     
  5. PaulP

    PaulP Member

    I think a couple of years ago they changed the obstruction rule to prevent catchers from doing what is shown in the photo. We had a play this year where my daughter (a catcher) set up inside of the third base line, in fair territory. Throw from left field went into foul territory. She collided with the baserunner as she went across the front side of home plate to get the ball. My daughter never saw the runner as she was following the flight of ball. Luckily no one was hurt. Other coach wanted obstruction called and my daughter ejected; neither happened. The catcher can no longer block the runners path to the plate without the ball, but they can still move across the front of the plate to get catch the ball. I remember when Pete Rose barreled him over Ray Fossi at home and ended his career. Catchers need to be taught to stay out the base runner path without the ball.
     
  6. Captain_Thunder

    Captain_Thunder Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ray Fosse suffered through many injuries during his 12 year playing career. The collision with Pete Rose happened in 1970.
    Fosse played thru the 1979 season...Def did not end his career. Injuries cost him parts of various seasons...
     
  7. Stedman00

    Stedman00 Active Member

    100% obstruction
     
  8. SonicMojo

    SonicMojo Active Member

    I think you posted the wrong picture.
     
  9. tschromm3

    tschromm3 Member

    Here is the very next frame. Soon as her left foot lands from previous frame, shes sliding. Catcher had just caught the ball. Regardless, she cannot be where she was without the ball. Period. Not with the runner right there and starting her slide with no clear route to the plate. Obstruction 2.JPG
     
    mroby5172 likes this.
  10. BretMan2

    BretMan2 TSZ/OFC Umpire in Chief

    The catcher can set up anywhere she wants to. There’s nothing illegal about being in the base path waiting for the throw.

    What is illegal is be in the runner’s path without the ball AND to actually impede the runner’s progress. Unless BOTH happen, you do not have obstruction.

    As for the comments about the fielder moving into the runner’s path to catch the ball, that doesn’t excuse the fielder from an obstruction call. It would still be obstruction if the runner was impeded before the fielder had possession of the ball.
     
    Tallmadge Force Gold likes this.
  11. Bob45429

    Bob45429 New Member

    So no obstruction then since the ball will be caught before the runner arrives. Right? My DD is a catcher, so I wanted to be sure.
     
  12. PaulP

    PaulP Member

    I’m not close to being an expert but what my daughter has been told and what I found on the internet is that the catcher can not stand in front of the plate. That said, there seems to be several governing rules so maybe not all are aligned. NFHS Rules 2017 states the catcher “shall not step on or in the batter-runner or runner’s path without the ball.” Suggest looking at https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...=xU5YxvysrKQ&usg=AOvVaw1n1Cq-ctYIXKOoMY1P8aFS
     
    BretMan2 likes this.
  13. BretMan2

    BretMan2 TSZ/OFC Umpire in Chief

    The umpire in the video seems knowledgeable. But just be aware that the video is discussing the NCAA rule, which is quite a bit different than all of the other amateur rule sets, like USA, USSSA, high school/NFHS, etc.

    Some of the points in the video have no bearing on rule sets other than NCAA.

    I’m not sure what NFHS rule you are quoting, as that phrase does not appear in their obstruction rule. Do you have a rule number?
     
  14. PaulP

    PaulP Member

  15. Danno

    Danno Member

    There is no way the runner arrives before the ball.
     
  16. PaulP

    PaulP Member

    Seems like some rules allow the catcher to set up in front of the base without the ball and others don’t regardless of where the ball is. Hard to tell from one photo showing a moment of time, but it looks like the runner may have started to slide too early and may not have even reached homeplate, perhaps because the catcher is a few feet in front of the base? In the end, it’s the judgement of the ump.
     
    daboss likes this.
  17. daboss

    daboss Well-Known Member

    There will always be discussion about this kind of a call. PaulP is right. Bretman's technical explanation is right. Bottom line, you had to have been there and the ones that were there are the ones that will form an opinion to agree or disagree. This call has structure by the rules but only the umpire working in the moment can make the call. We simply have to live with it.
     
  18. DanMaz

    DanMaz Super Moderator Staff Member

    if the ump had instant reply he could break it down but a split second call.... man i am glad i am not the ump. was watching 12u games yesterday and the old saying goes.... the LOUDER the parents are.. the younger the team is that's playing.
     
    tschromm3 likes this.
  19. Bob45429

    Bob45429 New Member

    Refreshing my memory I found this rule on obstruction.
    "It is obstruction if the player blocks the base, catches the ball, and makes the tag."
     
  20. BretMan2

    BretMan2 TSZ/OFC Umpire in Chief

    That sounds like some oversimplified explanation of the rule, because it’s not the actual rule.

    Simply blocking the base alone isn’t illegal. To get obstruction you need two elements: A fielder without possession of the ball in the basepath AND the runner must actually be impeded in some way. If the runner isn’t impeded, then it’s not obstruction, no matter where the fielder is standing.
     

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