Obstruction or interference


Starting Player
Two fielders (1st baseman and 2nd baseman) are moving to a fly ball in the baseline between 1st and second, calling each other off, ball is closer to 2nd base then 1st base. Runner from 1st collides with 1st baseman. 2nd baseman drop flyball, possible due to the collision distraction. Is this obstruction or interference? I've seen in baseball rules it is clearly defined that only 1 fielder is protected, is that the same in softball? And also where can I find the clarification that only one fielder is protected?


The Great and Powerful Q
Umpire's judgement on who is protected there. Likely F4. So you have F3 guilty of obstruction, but then if F4 is interfered with by the runner, regardless of the obstruction, you can still have the runner out on interference. Entirely judgement of the umpire and would have to see it to really know.


Addicted to Softballfans
I would agree obstruction by F3, no way I'm calling unintentional interference on R1 once they've been obstructed. If they intentionally interfere it's a different call.
USSSA had it in their case play emails this year that only one fielder is protected from Obstruction by being in the act of fielding a batted ball. I no longer have that email. It is entirely up to the judgement of the umpire what fielder is protected.


Living for the Cit-ay
If you really want to make a point, you call the runner out for being dumb enough to run halfway to second on a popup right in front of him/her.