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Softball/legal play on a runner at a base


Does a defensive player have the right to the baseline as long as they are waiting to receive the ball?

Hi Marc,

In ASA and most other orgs, the answer is absolutely no!  The defensive player cannot impeded the progress of the runner w/out possession of the ball.  "About to receive" the ball or the ball is on it's way, doesn't count.  The player would be guilty of obstruction.

You must first catch the ball, block the base or basepath and then make the tag.



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Dr. Mark R. Ambrose


I can answer all questions about book rules and "case book" rules governing the playing of ASA softball. Have a REAL situation that happened and are not sure the proper rule was applied, ask me.


I am a registered ASA umpire, a MASA "At-Large" umpire since 1996 and a retired District Umpire-In-Chief. I have very extensive experience in MASA State Championship and ASA national qualifying tournament play both as an umpire and an Umpire-In-Chief. I completed 3 ASA National Schools including the ASA national advanced umpire school in Ok City("Bernie" for those who know him was the lead clinician, I survived the week and couldn't let my kids watch the game tapes when I got home. No, I love you Bernie). I was one of 4 "Yankee" umpires selected to umpire the Men's D National East Championship in 2002 in Winter Haven FL

Amateur Softball Association (The authority in softball)

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