Thursday, July 18, 2019

Baseball 101 - Interference vs Obstruction

The terms "interference" and "obstruction" sometimes get confused on TV, but for an umpire, these two words carry very different definitions and the rules prescribe opposite penalties. In general, the offense interferes and the defense obstructs; the terms are not interchangeable.

We at the UEFL University have produced a short informational video on the most basic difference between offensive interference and defensive obstruction. This is part of our Baseball 101 series, so we won't be discussing much other than very simple concepts such as a baserunner who impedes a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball (interference) or a fielder without the ball who impedes a runner attempting to run the bases during a rundown or thrown ball (obstruction).

Advanced concepts such as choosing which fielder to protect during a batted ball, obstruction that occurs during a batted ball by a fielder not in the act of fielding, interference by a runner during a thrown ball, the running lane, catcher's interference (OBR/NCAA)/obstruction (NFHS), or differences amongst levels (OBR/NCAA/NFHS) aren't discussed in this rudimentary rules concept training.

Definition of Terms - Interference vs Obstruction
"Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play."
"OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner."

Click here to visit the UEFL University - Video Rulebook Home Page.

Umpires should already know this, but do share this video with your favorite broadcaster or fanbase:

Alternate Link: The Very Basic Difference Between Interference and Obstruction (CCS)


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