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Guest Nick

Blocked ball and a tree limb obstruction

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Guest Nick

  One of the fields in our girls  Fastpitch softball league has an Oak tree which has a limb that now overhangs the left-field foul line past 3rd base. The city refuses to cut the tree limb because it's an ancient oak.  So I have a two questions  blocked ball question, batted and thrown.

a) batted ball hits the tree limb that is overhanging in FAiR territory - ball lands fair - ball is caught in the air before it lands - ball is deflected into and lands in foul territory (sorry I guess this was a 3 parter)

b) a fielder throws the ball in from left field and it hits the tree limb 

 

 

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21 minutes ago, Guest Nick said:

  One of the fields in our girls  Fastpitch softball league has an Oak tree which has a limb that now overhangs the left-field foul line past 3rd base. The city refuses to cut the tree limb because it's an ancient oak.  So I have a two questions  blocked ball question, batted and thrown.

a) batted ball hits the tree limb that is overhanging in FAiR territory - ball lands fair - ball is caught in the air before it lands - ball is deflected into and lands in foul territory (sorry I guess this was a 3 parter)

b) a fielder throws the ball in from left field and it hits the tree limb 

 

 

Should be a groundrule in place.

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34 minutes ago, Guest Nick said:

a) batted ball hits the tree limb that is overhanging in FAiR territory - ball lands fair - ball is caught in the air before it lands - ball is deflected into and lands in foul territory (sorry I guess this was a 3 parter)

b) a fielder throws the ball in from left field and it hits the tree limb

As Ives says, you need a ground rule to handle these cases. Here's a recommendation:

a) When a batted ball contacts the tree, the ball is dead. The ball cannot be caught for an out. If the ball hits the tree over fair territory, ground rule double. If over foul, foul ball.

b) When a thrown ball hits the tree, the ball is live. Play the bounce.

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As stated, decide on a ground rule - doesn't really matter if it's softball or baseball.  The ground rule simply determines if the ball hitting the tree is live or not, in the scenario presented.  Then the game's rules determine what to do with a dead ball or live ball that is either batted (fair or foul) or thrown.

Maven's suggestions probably work best.

It wouldn't bother me if it was ruled the tree was live for batted balls, and a caught ball off the tree would be an out - like some MLB ballpark speaker/roof ground rules.

For simplicity it might be easier to say the tree is always live or always dead.

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3 hours ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

c) break out your own chain saw.  Just don't send a bill to the city.

Someone would turn you in and you'd be in a heap o' trouble. Seriously.

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19 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

 

For simplicity it might be easier to say the tree is always live or always dead.

Don't do that. Players would learn to just throw the ball into the tree to kill a play.

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3 hours ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

c) break out your own chain saw.  Just don't send a bill to the city.

 

32 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

Someone would turn you in and you'd be in a heap o' trouble. Seriously.

Rich is right.

A chainsaw is WAY too loud. You'd get caught.

I recommend a battery operated Sawzall in a night operation!

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Guest CJK
41 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

Don't do that. Players would learn to just throw the ball into the tree to kill a play.

Players throw the ball out of play all the time.  Award bases and play ball.

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15 minutes ago, Guest CJK said:

Players throw the ball out of play all the time.  

Not intentionally.  The tree invites a deliberate act to kill a play.

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14 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

Not intentionally.  The tree invites a deliberate act to kill a play.

I'm not sure how the tree invites this anymore than the existing fence or dead-ball line.

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16 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

Not intentionally.  The tree invites a deliberate act to kill a play.

I mean, doesn't the fence next to the dugout offer the same invite?

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17 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

Not intentionally.  The tree invites a deliberate act to kill a play.

Yes, and what happens when you throw a ball out of play?

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13 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

Not intentionally.  The tree invites a deliberate act to kill a play.

I would think that the subsequent two-base time-of-throw award would discourage intentional throws out of play.  

 

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Guest CJK

I don't understand.  In what case will it be advantageous for a player to throw the ball into the tree versus just throwing the ball over the fence?

If the answer is "none" (which I think it is), then there's no difference, so there's really no more discussion to be had.  Award bases and move on.

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1 hour ago, Rich Ives said:

Y'all need to spend some time coaching so you learn how to connive.  

Oh, I'm pretty good at that.  A significant (and IMO very fun) part of the game is seeing what you can do, and get away with, in plain sight of the officials.

 

I'm just failing to see how giving the runners two bases from time of the throw is advantageous to my team.   Unless I'm so far away from the play that the runner will advance three bases before I get the ball back to the infield.  Or some weird dead ball appeal situation.   Either way, I can just throw the ball into the stands...I don't have to try to hit a tree limb.

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