Softball/Obstructions at second base
In a U12 game this evening, one of our players hit a line drive into the gap past the outfielders. It was definitely a double, possibly a triple. I was first base coach and told the player to try for third. However, one of the middle infielders was standing on second base waiting for a throw from the outfield. This looked to me like an obvious obstruction call. My player ending up stopping at second, before the throw came in, because she couldn't cleanly round the base without slowing down considerably.
What should I tell my player to do in this situation?
At the end of the inning, I asked the umpire if there was obstruction at second base. He said "no" since there was no contact made. When I asked him what my player should do he said she needs to brush or bump the fielder in order to draw an obstruction call.
I told my player what the ump had said and made sure that she knew she shouldn't run full-steam into the defender (I'm not sure of the terminology but I believe that would draw the equivalent of an "unnecessary roughness" call in football).
I'd appreciate your expertise on this. It will definitely help me to instruct my girls for when they are both running and covering the bases.
Thanks in advance.
The umpire is absolutely incorrect on telling you the "contact" is necessary. Here unfortunately is a case where the umpire doesn't know the basic rule and is telling you to brush or bump the defensive player. That's ridiculous, we don't need to do that in the game and risk injury. I've seen acls blown out just on a simple unintentional bump.
In fact here's the ASA def of obstruction........OBSTRUCTION:
The act of a defensive team member:
A.Who hinders or impedes a batter from striking at or hitting a pitched ball.
B.A fielder, who impedes the progress of a runner or batter-runner who is legally
running the bases unless the fielder is:
1.in possession of the ball.
2.in the act of fielding a batted ball.
NOTE: Contact is not necessary to impede the progress of the batter-runner or a runner.
If your runner is impeded or hindered, ask the umpire just as you did why they did not call obstruction. If you get this kind of answer, ask them to talk to their partner about the rule and then bring out the "P" word if you have do. It's not a question of judgment if they were obstructed but of rule. CONTACT IS NOT NECESSARY, and that is true for interference also.