Obstruction rule in softball is called when the defense blocks the way of the baserunners of the opposing team. It was developed to create fair gameplay.
The rule equally treats the base runners and the defensive side, with the runners having a clear path to their base. It still acquires umpires' interpretation in the game.
The runners may get into contact with the defender when they attempt to touch the plate if the defender is in front of the base.
They are marked safe if the defense blocks the way before gaining possession. Since softball is not a contact sport, this rule will help the game to be played without any physical injuries.
As compensation for the runners for their path hindrance, they are awarded the next base in the game. Sometimes the umpire gives his final warning to the fielders or even kicks them out of the game if they intentionally hurt the runners.
The NCAA rule 9.5 obstruction suggests that obstruction occurs when a fielder acts to field a batted ball and avoids the runner's making contact with the home base running legally on a live ball.
It can be unintentional or intentional. The most common place of obstruction calls is at home plate, as the catchers are advised to prohibit the running lane before the balls arrive.
In 2021, in the Women's College World Series game between Oklahoma and Florida, the obstruction was called by the umpire. It was ruled out after the Oklahoma catcher Lynnsie Elam obstructed the runner of the Florida St.