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Baseball Injuries-Trucking Catchers-Obstruction Rules

Baseball Injuries-Trucking Catchers-Obstruction Rules


In this video we will visit once again the
rule of obstruction, probably one of the more misunderstood rules and more difficult for
an umpire to call. Baseball obstruction and interference rules
are in part made in an attempt to avoid collisions between runners and fielders. Back in the day it wasn’t uncommon for collisions
to occur, sometimes with violent results. Little League and other youth baseball leagues
were the first to adopt stricter rules to help avoid collisions for the player’s safety. Fielders are only allowed to block baselines
when fielding a hit ball or while in possession of the ball. They may not block the runner’s ability to
advance if they are waiting for thrown ball. It is not true that a fielder has equal access
to the baseline when fielding a ball thrown to him. In order to be granted that access he must
have possession of the ball. The runner, however, is required to give the
fielder access to field a hit ball. Also the runner, when approaching a player
attempting to make a play, must attempt to get around or slide to avoid a collision. There is no “must slide” rule in any youth
league I am aware of and Little League specifically prohibits its local leagues from adopting
a “must slide” requirement. And yes, runners in Little League may jump
over fielders if doing so is an attempt to avoid a collision. Those rules help prevent intentional collisions
such as trucking the catcher. The runner never has the right to intentionally
run over a fielder. Major League Baseball has now also adopted
the same rules as Little League…and, given the amount players are paid these days, you
can imagine why owners would want to adopt such rules. Now, understanding this, we see a play at
first base, the one base where most baseball collisions still occur. Watch this play and let us know in the comments
if you, as an umpire, would make an obstruction call…or call the runner out. Keep in mind that even though video replay
is available at the Little League World Series, that isn’t the case for most umpires. They need to make that call with one look
in real time…not slow motion. Also, obstruction is not a reviewable play
for this game. The coaches may not ask the umpires to review
the video to see if obstruction occurred. You, however, have the replay and slow motion,
so what is your call?

20 comments

Absolutely safe. Pitcher gets on the base line, doesn't have the ball, isn't trying to get to the ball (he's past it by then), and isn't even trying to tag the player. It does look like he tries to get out of the way, but he still fails at that and stops the runner.

Yes, obstruction. But I believe the runner touched first base before the first baseman touched the bag and therefore is safe anyway. Ignore the obstruction.

you can run at full effort with your head turned, interference, safe.
only home plate ump could have made call and was not likely looking at the head, was probably looking waist down. no blame.

Wow runners should be called out every time they truck a catcher while he's holding the ball? What if he's standing there without the ball in the baseline? Truckable? What if it's bang-bang catcher collision at the plate? Should the runner be called out then?

The key here is that the first base man fielded the batted ball, and the pitcher was attempting to receive a thrown ball. The pitcher was in the base path without the ball in anticipation of a thrown ball. That is obstruction and the base runner should have been called safe since the player he ran into was 1) on the base path, 2) Did not already have the ball and 3) was not trying to field a batted ball and therefore could not be called for interference. The base runner was attempting to avoid the pitcher as best the could and reach the base.

Most leagues and all tournaments I’m aware of that I’ve played in have a 1 warning must slide rule

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