Monday, July 29, 2019

Little League Obstruction - Two Fielders Impede Runner

The Little League Intermediate World Series West vs Central game featured a rundown between third and home plate resembling Thursday's obstruction play in Chicago when 1B Umpire Chris Segal ruled that an infielder without the ball obstructed a runner during a rundown.

Baseball history repeats itself, and quite often when we review one principle—such as obstruction—that same concept has a tendency to manifest across the sport in rather short order.

Accordingly, the Little League West-Central clash (LL uses the same base rules code that MLB does—OBR) featured a similar play of potential obstruction during a rundown. In the top of the 1st inning of the West-Central game, with runners at the corners and two out, the West runner from first attempted to steal second base. Central's catcher threw the ball to the pitcher in order to draw West baserunner R3 off of third base (sometimes called a trap play), setting up a rundown during which two Central fielders blocked R3's base path such that the runner hesitated and stutter stepped while trying to figure out how to progress toward home plate—this is textbook obstruction (Type A / 1), just like the play in Chicago.
Related PostObstruction in Chicago - Fielder Must Avoid Runner (7/25/19).

To recap, "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." The penalty for OBS A (6.01(h)(1)) is a dead ball and minimum one-base award for the obstructed runner. All other runners are placed according to umpire judgment.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: West vs Central Little League game features rundown (CCS)


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