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Obstruction or Interference? You make the call – baseball rules.

Obstruction or Interference? You make the call – baseball rules.


The rules governing obstruction and interference
are two of the more misunderstood rules in baseball. Watch this clip of a youth baseball game and
you make the call. Very quickly before the clip starts. Obstruction: Obstruction is a rule that prevents
the fielder obstructing the runner in his attempt to advance bases. Interference: Interference is anytime the
runner impedes the fielders ability to field a ball. That’s the clip in its entirety. Post in the comments what your opinion is
on if this should be considered obstruction or interference or neither and where should
the runner be placed or should he be called out? And share this video with your favorite youth
baseball coach, player or umpire and see what they think is the right call. If you just want the answer, check out the
comments left by others or wait a week or two and the video description will be updated
with the correct call and why with rules listed in full. You can also check out our many other videos
discussing the rules of obstruction & interference. For more youth baseball content, don’t forget
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when new videos are uploaded.

49 comments

That's runner's interference. The runner didn't let the 1st baseman go to the spot where the fielded was going to catch the ball from team mate throwing the ball back to the 1st Baseman.

Obstruction on the 1st baseman. Runner awarded 2nd. The 1st baseman cannot be "in the act of fielding a ball." The ball is not thrown to him. It is overthrown to the 2nd baseman, and is out in no-man's-land. Therefore, type 2 obstruction has occurred, it is a delayed dead-ball, and the runner cannot be put out between 1st and 2nd base. Once the tag is applied, I would call time and award the runner 2nd base, as that is the base which, in my judgement, was the one he could have/would have reached without the obstruction.

Obstruction on the first baseman because when the runner tried to advance the first baseman just pushed him and the runner should be placed at second base.

I don't know if I've missed a few videos or if this format is something you're testing this time but I much prefer the description of the rules in the videos. While the comments are clear as to the correct call based on your loving of only obstruction comments having it in the video would be preferable in my opinion. Coming back in a week is not something I'd regularly be able to do because there's so much other new content to consume by that time and this video only shows up in my feed once.

The first baseman was obstructing the runner. The first baseman wasn't Fielding the ball we was trying to save the runner from getting extra bases on a bad throw or bad relay. The first baseman did end up stopping the runner though… By trying to run through him 😂.

A note about the umpire. While officiating a game solo is very tough, there are two things which this umpire did not do, which would make any call (whatever it may be) questionable: 1) he did not come into the infield, which would have made it easier to get any angle or close any distance on a play, and 2)he did not remove his mask until all play had ceased. This is not merely bad form, but unnecessarily impairs his ability to see the plays and sell his calls.

Not a flagrant attempt to obstruct the runner. To be obstruction it has to be a flagrant attempt to trip the runner. Fielder has the right of way. He was attempting to field a ball that was overthrown. Say it with me, fielder has right of way. This is a "nothing". Runner out advancing to 2nd. I wouldn't call interference on the runner because it wouldn't have altered the defense ability to get an out.

Interference? Not possible, R1 did not initiate contact or confuse/hinder/etc. F3
Nothing? Wrong.
Obstruction? YES, F3 clearly obstructed the runner in chasing after a ball he could not be considered in the process of fielding for the purposes of the rules. Play was not being made on the obstructed runner, so we have delayed dead ball, award bags appropriately after play is over.

Obstruction, the 1st baseman ran in to the runner and interfered with his running. So I would give the runner 2nd base

Actually, maybe the 1st baseman was trying to field a thrown ball. I'm an umpire. I should know whether it was an obstruction or runner's interference. Damn, I need to learn the rules. 😫

Obstruction it looked like the 1st basemen tripped him on purpose going to get the ball, and I play travel baseball too

Interference for me . In my judgement lead runner was blocking first base to catch the ball
Runner is out!
Many other has different opinions . I am umpire myself , young one.

Now i'm not a smart man but that has got to be something. I'm thinking there is a strong case for obstaference right here.

Obstruction the fielder cleary ran into the base runner . The was in the outfield he had no play on the ball.Give the runner 2nd base.

Don't get hung up on who ran into who. The question is, "Who has the right of way?" The answer is the runner, because the fielded is not in the act of fielding a HIT ball. Thus, the fielder is in violation of obstruction and the umpire uses his discretion as to where to place the runner. In this case it is clear that without the 1st baseman running into him, he would have been safe at second. Obstruction, the runner gets 2nd.

Whether or not this is obstruction or interference is easy. It is obstruction, and it falls under type 2. However, the question then becomes whether or not the obstruction caused the out. I would call for a conference and get the opinions of the other umpires in the crew as whether they think the runner would have been safe if not for the obstruction, and in the event of a tie on all fronts (or I AM the crew!), I'd not enforce the obstruction. It would be a no call. The play is not close enough at second for me to make the determination that the obstruction definitively caused the out. The runner also hesitated, although you could make the blanket assumption that there would have been no hesitation if not for the obstruction. If it's bang-bang at second, no brainer, obstruction, no conference, nothing. Safe at second. Here? I'd lean more toward he would have been out anyway because the play wasn't even close at second. Those in the comments saying type two obstruction are correct, but the entire REASON it is type two – in that it is a delayed call – is because you need to let the play continue in order to make the determination as to whether or not the runner would have been out anyway. If you determine that obstruction occurred, that's just setting up the potential for an obstruction call – it's not just an automatic enforcement of the obstruction call.

As an umpire, I'd love to never have to make any calls like this. No umpire who appreciates the game of baseball more than his own power to change the outcome of plays would like making that call. I would not change the outcome of a play unless it was absolutely necessary, and I am absolutely certain of what the outcome would have been. That level of certainty just isnt here for me in this case.

Just getting back into umpiring and using the NFHS book. In this book there is no defined type 1 or 2 obstruction. I had always thought that obstruction could be called but it didn't necessarily mean the baserunner is awarded the extra base (ie the umpire did not believe the baserunner would have made it safely to the next base regardless of the collision or not). when checking out these rules, 2-22-1 (playing terms) states that when occurs, ball is dead at end of play and umpire has AUTHORITY TO DETERMINE which base(s) shall be awarded. However in 8-3-2 (baserunning) when runner is obstructed while advancing or returning to base, umpire shall award one base beyond when obstruction occurred. Can also award additional bases.

To me, the first rule sounds like the umpire can make that determination where as the 2nd rule suggests that the runner gets the base(s) regardless. In this video, the outfielder backs up the play perfectly and the kid is out by several steps. even if the collision didn't occur i believe he would have been out. Lets take it step further; lets say that the outfielder backs up that play and immediately throws to 2nd. while the ball is on that way to 2nd, the runner decides to go and him and 1st baseman collide. there's absolutely no way he was going to beat that throw regardless of the collision. according to the NFHS book, do you still call obstruction and give him 2nd?

I never do whatever I want sir; I do what is acceptable and fair and legal. It’s a judgement call. If your judgment is the runner is out at second then do be it. Hope you aren’t an umpire.

Neither it looked like incidental contact it didnt look like any side purposely hit one another and i say that bc when the runner was knocked down by the first baseman, the first baseman wasnt paying attention to the runner.

Doesn't matter if the obstruction was not committed on purpose… Good on the base coach for telling the runner to keep going…

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