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Softball/play at first


This is an ASA girls fastpitch question with a double bag at first.
I had a play where the ball was hit to third base and she threw to first base.
The ball pulled the first baseman from the white bag to the colored bag.
The first baseman was covering both of the bases at first.
It looked like the runner slowed down at the base to avoid the collision.
The first baseman caught the ball before the runner got there.
This would still be considered obstruction since the girl slowed down running to first to avoid the collision.
With the first baseman covering both bases there was no where for the batter runner to touch.

Rule 8 section 2-M-5 states that "On an errant throw pulling the defense off the white portion of the base into foul ground, the defense and the batter-runner can use either the white or contrasting color portion"."

Thank You

Hi Bud,

This seems to be the play of the week.  I had someone else want a private answer to this question, worded just a little different a few days ago, and I see Tom also has this one.

1st how a q is asked w/even slight differences can alter the answer, the other q was worded slightly different.
2nd this is a HTBT situation, this may have been obstruction or it may not have been depending on exactly what happened.
3rd  8-2m5 really has nothing to do with this particular play.  It is not a free pass for F3 to obstruct the b-r. In your OP a bad throw and F3 having to use the orange has nothing to do w/ obstruction. Both F3 and the b-r are simply allowed to use either in order to minimize collisions.  

Where was the b-r and where was the ball when F3 was "was covering both of the bases at first."  If the b-r was about to or very close to touching the bag and in the umpire's opinion that act of F3 hindered them from doing that w/out F3's possession of the ball, (It looked like the runner slowed down at the base to avoid the collision.) then that is obstruction.

If the ball arrived and was in possession of F3 and the runner slowed then that is no problem.  A defensive player w/ the ball cannot obstruct and the b-r cannot remain upright and crash into them.

So you see everything depends on when F3 had possession of the ball while in a position of blocking the base.  It is the umpire's judgment on what transpired.  


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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

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