Ask The Umpire Rule Seven

This section contains questions pertaining to MLB Rule Seven – The Runner. It is designed as a self-test to challenge your knowledge. Answers and rulings are given at the end.

1.  Which of the following statements is true about obstruction

    A.  a runner can be guilty of obstruction

    B.  any defensive player, including one holding the ball, can be guilty of obstruction

    C.  an obstructed runner is always awarded a minimum of one base

    D.  if no play is being made on an obstructed runner, he is not guaranteed any award

    E.  an obstructed runner can never be called out on that play

2.  With the bases loaded, R3 attempts to score on a wild pitch. The ball bounces directly back to the catcher. In the ensuing rundown, R3 is obstructed by F5. At the time of the obstruction both R1 and R2 were attempting to advance but had not yet reached the next base.

    A.  the ball is delayed-dead. Play continues and obstruction will be penalized at the end of the rundown

    B.  the ball is dead immediately. Since R1 and R2 hadn’t advanced, they are returned to their bases at the time of the pitch

    C.  the ball is delayed-dead. R3 is awarded home, but R1 and R2 are not awarded anything and are still subject to being put out

    D.  the ball is dead immediately. R3 is awarded home and R1 and R2 are awarded the bases the umpires believe would have obtained without the obstruction

3.  With runner R2 on second, R3 on third and one out, B5 hits a one-hopper to F1. F1 checks R3 at third and then turns and sees R2 halfway between second and third. F1 throws to F5 who chases R2 back toward second. F5 throws to F4 who chases R2 toward third. As R2 moves toward third, his path is illegally blocked by F5. F4 then tags R2. At that moment R3 is standing on third and B5 has rounded first, but is less than halfway to second and retreating

  A.  F5 is guilty of obstruction

  B.  F5 is guilty of interference

  C.  R2 is out

  D.  R2 is awarded third base

  E.  since you aren’t awarding R3 home, R2 is returned to second base

  F.  R3 scores

  G.  B5 is awarded second base

  H.  B5 is awarded second base only if the umpires feel he would have advanced there during the rundown

4.  With R1 on first, F1 comes set and attempts a jump turn pickoff simultaneously disengaging the pitching rubber and throwing toward first base.  F1’s throw goes into dead-ball territory. At the time of the throw, R1 was retreating toward first base

  A.  that’s a balk. The ball is immediately dead

  B.  legal pickoff move

  C.  R1 is awarded first base since that’s the base he was headed toward

  D.  R1 is awarded second base

  E.  R1 is awarded third base

5.  With R1 on first, R2 on second and two outs, B8 hits a gapper to right centerfield. R2 touches third and scores. R1 misses second, touches third and scores. B8 touches first and second and ends up on third. The defense returns the ball to the pitcher and time is called. B8 and the third base coach confer. When the ball is made live, before F1 can begin the appeal, B8 attempts to steal home. F1 properly disengages the rubber and throws home but not in time to retire B8. F1 then gets the ball back and appeals R1’s missed base

  A.  R1, R2 and B8 all score

  B.  R2 and B8 score. R1 is out on appeal for the third out

  C.  only R2 scores. R1 is out on appeal

  D.  no runs score

6.  Leading off the inning, B9 hits a fly ball to shallow left field. F5, F6 and F7 converge as B9 hustles toward first. The ball drops on the edge of the infield dirt. F6 fields the ball and throws toward first base in an attempt to retire B9 who had overrun first base. When F6 made the throw, B9 turned toward second base. However, the throw ricochets and eventually goes out of play. When the ball goes out of play, B9 had touched second base

  A.  the throw made by F6 was the first play from the infield. B9 is awarded second

  B.  B9 is awarded third since he had reached first at the time of the throw

  C.  B9 is awarded home, two bases from where he was when the ball went out of play

7.  With R1 on first, F1 makes a pitch that bounces, deflects off F2’s shin guard and heads toward dead-ball territory. R1 is stealing on the play and easily reaches second base as F2 chases the ball. F2 intentionally deflects the ball and it goes into dead-ball territory. The umpire believes the ball would have left the playing field without F2’s deflection

  A.  R1 is awarded second base

  B.  R1 is awarded third base

  C.  R1 is awarded home

8.  With R1 on first, R3 on third and one out, B5 attempts a squeeze bunt but pops it up. F1 is unable to make the catch, but R3 is caught in a rundown between third and home. During the rundown, R1 advances to third and B5 advances to second. At that moment, still in the rundown, R3 interferes with F2

  A.  the ball is immediately dead

  B.  the ball is delayed-dead

  C.  R3 is out

  D.  R1 remains on third

  E.  R1 must return to second

  F.  B5 remains on second

  G.  B5 must return to first

9.  With R2 on second and R3 on third, B7 attempts a suicide squeeze bunt. F2 interferes with B7’s attempt to bunt the ball. R3 is trying to score on the play but R2 missed the sign and was not attempting to steal third.

  A.  R3 scores

  B.  R3 returns to third

  C.  R2 advances to third

  D.  R2 remains at second

  E.  B7 is awarded first

  F.  B7 remains at the plate

10.  With R1 on first and one out, the batter hits a line drive to F5, who quickly throws to F3 in an attempt to double up R1. However, the ball is overthrown and gets lodged in the chain link fence separating the fans from the field of play. What base should R1 be awarded?

  A.  second base

  B.  third base

  C.  home

  D.  no award. The ball is dead

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