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Softball/Play at the plate- possible obstruction


Runner at third. Pitch caught by catcher, who then pops up and fires to third base. Runner, who was fifteen feet of base, takes off for home. Third baseman fires ball to catcher, who at time of throw was standing inside the diamond just in front of home plate. Catcher sees that throw is high and rising steps toward third, jumps up and catches ball as the catcher is coming down the runner collides with catcher in the batters box area. Runner thumps to the ground, stunned by the collision. Catcher lands then steps back, then steps forward and takes runner out. Is this obstruction or since catcher caught ball first does the out stand?

Hi Jeff,

This is a very close play and is most likely a HTBT situation, it go either way based on the umpire's judgment of what transpired...

If F2 has possession of the ball, they are allowed to block the base, and this would be an out. ("since catcher caught ball first does the out stand?")

If the ball, the defense and the offense all arrive at the same place at the same time, this would be a no call and an out.

If F2 did not yet have possession of the ball and obstructed the runner in their line to HP it would be obstruction.  I don't really get that from your OP.

WITHOUT seeing the play and based on your OP I mostly likely would have an out in this situation.



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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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