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keydetpiper

Can IFF be called after the ball is dead?

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I encountered this one in a city league slow-pitch softball game I was playing in. The rules are ASA with modifications, but I suspect that doesn't come into play for this situation. 

R1, R2, 0 out. Fly ball to F5, clear IFF, but the umpire does not call it. F5 misses the catch, retrieves the ball and steps on 3B to force out R2. Situation now R1, R2, 1 out. After the play is dead, the umpire calls infield fly, rules the batter out, and rules R2 safe at 3B because there was no tag. Ending situation R2, R3, 1 out. 

I pressed the umpire on the lack of call and she informed me that she has until a pitch was thrown to the next batter to call IFF. This doesn't smell right to me, since the outcome of the play depends on the call; F5 could have tagged advancing R2 but chose to step on the base because he thought there was a force. 

So I have two questions about this situation:

1. Can the umpire enforce IFF after the play is dead?

2. If IFF is not called, should the play simply stand as it played out? 

 

Unrelated to the outcome of the post, it was clear the umpire did not know the rule; after the ball was dead she initially announced "Infield fly, batter is out, runners return to their bases." After I pointed out that's not what IFF is, she made the ruling mentioned above. The umpires in this league are generally pretty good, but this one clearly did not know what was going on. 

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17 hours ago, keydetpiper said:

1. Can the umpire enforce IFF after the play is dead?

2. If IFF is not called, should the play simply stand as it played out? 

  1. Yes. Get it right.
  2. No. Get it right.

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In May of 2010 USA Softball (back then it was ASA) issued a case play dealing with exactly your question. It is rather long and detailed but the last sentence sums it up nicely—“The umpires should have returned all runners to the last base touched before they ruled the batter–runner out on the Infield fly rule that should have been called.”

Here’s the link to that case play and interpretation:

https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Softball/News/2010/May/31/May-2010-Plays-and-Clarifications

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May 2010 Plays and Clarifications Rule 8, Section 2I Batter-Runner is out

Play: R1 on 3B, R2 on 2B and R3 on 1B and one out. B5 hits, what appears to be, an infield fly that it is not called by the umpires. The ball was not caught and F5 picks up the ball and throws home for a force play with no tag being applied, and the runner is called out. After all play has ceased the defensive coach requests time to discuss the play with the umpires as they feel that the infield fly should have been called per ASA rules. After the umpires discuss the situation the plate umpire calls the batter-runner out on an infield fly and rules the runner that touched the plate safe for not being tagged. The offensive coach protests and asks if the umpires can legally call Infield fly after the fact?

Ruling: If after the umpires get together and agree this fly ball met the criteria of Rule 1, INFIELD FLY, and the umpire failed to make the correct call at the time, then Rule 9, Section 1A[1-4] allows the umpire to call “Infield Fly” when the opposing team brought this to the attention of the umpires.  In regards to R1 at 3B, by the umpire not calling “Infield Fly” this put both teams in jeopardy.  Rule 10, Section 3C allows for the umpire to rectify any situation in which a reversal of an umpire’s decision or delayed call places the offensive or defensive team in jeopardy.  In the above case, the batter should be ruled out for Infield Fly and return R1 to 3B.  


As to the question of whether the umpires can decide, after the fact, to call an Infield Fly or not, the following information should be noted:

1) If the umpires thought it was a fly ball that could be caught by normal effort (Rule 1 Definition Infield Fly) and did not call infield fly, then the opposing team could protest a misapplication of the playing rules under Rule 9A, Section 1-4.  

2) Not calling infield fly put both the offense and defense in jeopardy, especially the runner from 3B attempting to score.

3) Rule 10 Section 3C allows the umpires to rectify any situation in which a reversal of an umpire’s decision or delayed call by an umpire places a batter-runner, runner or defensive team in jeopardy.

In this case, if the umpires decide, under protest, that the Infield Fly Rule should have been called, then they put the defense in jeopardy by not knowing that they had to tag the runner.  The umpires should have returned all runners to the last base touched before they ruled the batter–runner out on the Infield fly rule that should have been called.

 

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On 9/8/2018 at 2:25 PM, Senor Azul said:

In this case, if the umpires decide, under protest, that the Infield Fly Rule should have been called, then they put the defense in jeopardy by not knowing that they had to tag the runner.  The umpires should have returned all runners to the last base touched before they ruled the batter–runner out on the Infield fly rule that should have been called.

I think the wording "In this case" is very important here.  In the case play, it's probably the right thing to do, assuming that the runners did not attempt to advance until after the ball touched the ground.  In fact, it was probably the right thing to do in the OP, as well.

However, if the runner from 3rd (for whatever reason, including simply not being aware of the situation) had advanced immediately and been "almost home" when the ball touched the ground, it would probably be right to score that run.  And if the runner from 1st (again for whatever reason, including simply not being aware of the situation) had advanced immediately, s/he may very well be declared out because s/he would have been doubled off 1st or tagged out at 2nd as the trailing of the 2 runners standing there.

The OP umpire's (and the case play's) solution of "everybody goes back" will probably be right most of the time, but it's not a rule.

Sometimes, you have to be the umpire, make an unpopular decision, let someone (respectfully) express their disagreement/displeasure, and live with it.

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On 9/7/2018 at 5:31 PM, keydetpiper said:

Unrelated to the outcome of the post, it was clear the umpire did not know the rule; after the ball was dead she initially announced "Infield fly, batter is out, runners return to their bases." After I pointed out that's not what IFF is, she made the ruling mentioned above.

Why would you argue here?   Basically, whether or not she thinks an IFF always results in runners returning to their bases, the fact is, this should have been the correct outcome of the play.

If you're looking for the umpire to rule R2 out for a tag that never occurred, you're getting greedy.   Sure, F5 "could" have tagged R2, instead of touching the base.  And F5 "could" have dropped the ball when making the tag, just as easily as he dropped an easy fly ball.    

The likelihood remains that, based on the fact that F5 was able to easily retrieve the ball and touch third base, the only reason R2 tried to advance to third is because there was no IFF called, meaning he was forced to advance when the ball wasn't caught.  (or, he never advanced at all, assuming it should have been an IFF, or was outright confused)  Unless the ball rolled all the way over to the fence, there's very little reason for R2 to advance when F5 drops the fly ball...unless he (thinks he) is forced.  The initial lack of an IFF call put R2 in jeopardy.  

So, you had the correct outcome - one out, R1/R2 - with the proper runners on base.  You decided to get greedy, or be a know-it-all, and argued yourself into a worse outcome.

 

 

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On 9/7/2018 at 6:31 PM, keydetpiper said:

After the play is dead, the umpire calls infield fly, rules the batter out, and rules R2 safe at 3B because there was no tag. Ending situation R2, R3, 1 out

An Infield Fly Situation is defined in the Rules – there is no “Umpire Judgement” that negates that pre-pitch. During the play itself, Umpire Judgement can negate an IFF if there isn’t “routine” or “normal opportunity” by an infielder to catch it. Your situation reads as routine... you wrote so yourself (“clear IFF”)... so the gripe shouldn’t be with the umpire. The gripe should be at your F5, for not catching the pop-fly ball, and for not doing anything effective with the ball after picking it up (such as tag the Runner(s) off the base(s).

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On 9/11/2018 at 8:17 AM, MadMax said:

An Infield Fly Situation is defined in the Rules – there is no “Umpire Judgement” that negates that pre-pitch. During the play itself, Umpire Judgement can negate an IFF if there isn’t “routine” or “normal opportunity” by an infielder to catch it. Your situation reads as routine... you wrote so yourself (“clear IFF”)... so the gripe shouldn’t be with the umpire. The gripe should be at your F5, for not catching the pop-fly ball, and for not doing anything effective with the ball after picking it up (such as tag the Runner(s) off the base(s).

All this does is encourages umpires to shirk responsibility. After picking up the ball F5 did exactly what he should do when there's a force play at third base.

Once an IFF situation exists, the final determination of whether or not the play is an IFF is fully the umpire's judgment...both whether it is, or is not.  It doesn't matter at all whether the coach or players think it's a clear IFF.  It only matters what the umpire thinks.   And if the umpire has given zero indication that he/she thinks it's an IFF (ie. caught with ordinary effort) then fielders and runners are going to act accordingly...or should.   The umpire needs to give a loud and clear verbal confirmation that there is an IFF (not that there isn't), that the batter is out, not that he isn't.

So, if the ball does drop, R2 is going to run (or should) because the umpire hasn't indicated that the batter is out, so R2 has every reason to think he is forced - no matter how wrong he thinks the umpire's judgment is...there's nothing he can do about it, he has to assume the umpire's judgment is there is no IFF.

Likewise for F5 - why would he tag the runner?  The batter hasn't been called out, so the force is on.   Why would he go to the runner who may still be 40 feet away when by rule he can just touch the base?  He can touch third, and try to throw to second for the cheap DP - which is, after all, why the IFF rules exists in the first place.

Your implication is if F5 did indeed tag R2, instead of the base, that the fault lies with R2, not the umpire, for running on a "clear IFF".   That is simply irresponsible to think that way.  The umpire's lack of call put R2 in jeopardy.

I know full well what is and isn't a foul ball, and the rules and scenarios that govern it.  But if a ball lands three feet in foul territory, and every player, coach and fan in the ball park sees it land in foul territory, it doesn't change a damned thing if the umpire judges it to be a fair ball...not because he misapplied the rules, but because that's what he saw.   Ultimately the only thing that makes a ball foul is the umpire saying so.  Same thing with an IFF.   The difference is, at least on a fair ball you'll see the umpire point (usually)...there is no mechanic for "that wasn't an IFF", and I've never seen an umpire give a safe signal when a fielder drops a can of corn.

We all (mostly) know the rules...and we all (think) we know what the umpire's judgment should be - but all that matters is what the umpire's judgment IS.   And the players are trained from an early age to act based on what the umpire says, not what they should say.

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I don't disagree with you in principle, @beerguy55, but every umpire makes mistakes, experiences brain cramps, misses a call due to poor timing, or whatever.  Sometimes, we don't really have a way to fix it.  This thread contains a good example of an instance where an umpire might err, putting one or both teams in jeopardy, but has a way to right the wrong.

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On 9/11/2018 at 3:24 PM, CJK said:

I don't disagree with you in principle, @beerguy55, but every umpire makes mistakes, experiences brain cramps, misses a call due to poor timing, or whatever.  Sometimes, we don't really have a way to fix it.  This thread contains a good example of an instance where an umpire might err, putting one or both teams in jeopardy, but has a way to right the wrong.

That's ultimately my point.  Own the mistake, and correct it.  It's pretty easy (usually) on an IFF to determine what would have happened if IFF was (or wasn't) called properly.

Blaming the players for acting upon a judgment call, or lack thereof, for assuming the umpire consciously made their decision, (ie. expecting the players to act on what the umpire should have called, rather than what they did call) is hypocritical, and that's to what I was responding.

Can't have it both ways - can't want an environment where players/coaches never dispute judgment calls, where no umpire's judgment call is "obviously" wrong, and then ask the players to apply their own judgment to what an umpire will/should call at their own risk.

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20 hours ago, millerforrest67 said:

Its the players & coaches responsibility to know when the IFF is in effect even if the umpire does not declare it verbally.

 

More on my opinion above.   You're effectively telling the players/coaches that they are expected to read an umpire's mind to their JUDGMENT, and saying that both an umpire and player will ALWAYS judge "ordinary effort" the same way.

Otherwise, how does the runner know if the umpire didn't call IFF because, A) he simply had a brain cramp/hesitated, or B) that was his intent - ie. he didn't think the ordinary effort standard was met.

The conditions of an IFF situation are defined by rule and players/coaches should know that - R1/R2 less than two out...check.  That's the easy part.  The determination of "could be caught with ordinary effort" is a judgment call that can only be made by an umpire (no matter how "obvious" everyone else on the field thinks it is - only the opinion of the umpire matters here).  Any shift of blame of that duty is irresponsible and hypocritical.

 

Where the players should be on the hook is if an ump calls an IFF in a non-IFF situation.  eg. only R1, or two outs.   If an ump calls IFF, the players should know the ump is wrong (by rule, not by judgment), and play accordingly.

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It would be MY assumption that this is why it is determined to be a "correctable situation" if Umpires fail to call it.

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2 hours ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

It would be MY assumption that this is why it is determined to be a "correctable situation" if Umpires fail to call it.

That's what I would hope.   Any assertion that the players or coaches should know better flies in the face of that position.   Based on that attitude it is very apparent that a subset of umpires don't believe it should be a correctable situation....the players should have known better so tfb.   I just can't fathom how anyone who understands the game can come to that conclusion, except for a firm grasp on any opportunity to say "it's not my fault".

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5 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

More on my opinion above.   You're effectively telling the players/coaches that they are expected to read an umpire's mind to their JUDGMENT, and saying that both an umpire and player will ALWAYS judge "ordinary effort" the same way.

Best case in point of this is the fact that the IFF called by Sam Holbrook in the playoffs against the Braves so many years ago still gets brought up every so often.

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On 9/21/2018 at 10:18 AM, beerguy55 said:

More on my opinion above.   You're effectively telling the players/coaches that they are expected to read an umpire's mind to their JUDGMENT, and saying that both an umpire and player will ALWAYS judge "ordinary effort" the same way.

Otherwise, how does the runner know if the umpire didn't call IFF because, A) he simply had a brain cramp/hesitated, or B) that was his intent - ie. he didn't think the ordinary effort standard was met.

The conditions of an IFF situation are defined by rule and players/coaches should know that - R1/R2 less than two out...check.  That's the easy part.  The determination of "could be caught with ordinary effort" is a judgment call that can only be made by an umpire (no matter how "obvious" everyone else on the field thinks it is - only the opinion of the umpire matters here).  Any shift of blame of that duty is irresponsible and hypocritical.

 

Where the players should be on the hook is if an ump calls an IFF in a non-IFF situation.  eg. only R1, or two outs.   If an ump calls IFF, the players should know the ump is wrong (by rule, not by judgment), and play accordingly.

All I posted was its their responsibility to know WHEN the IFF is in effect (i.e. bases loaded or 1st & 2nd with 0 or 1 outs). NEVER did I post they must know what "oridnary effort" is. Please dont read something thats NOT there.

 

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On 9/21/2018 at 2:01 PM, beerguy55 said:

That's what I would hope.   Any assertion that the players or coaches should know better flies in the face of that position.   Based on that attitude it is very apparent that a subset of umpires don't believe it should be a correctable situation....the players should have known better so tfb.   I just can't fathom how anyone who understands the game can come to that conclusion, except for a firm grasp on any opportunity to say "it's not my fault".

Have you ever forgotten to verbal "Infield Fly" & your partner doesnt verbal it either even though its in effect? Guess what? Just because neither umpire forgets to verbalize it, it is still in effect! Maybe after you umpire 35 years, you may understand some of these things.

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On 10/10/2018 at 3:40 PM, millerforrest67 said:

All I posted was its their responsibility to know WHEN the IFF is in effect (i.e. bases loaded or 1st & 2nd with 0 or 1 outs). NEVER did I post they must know what "oridnary effort" is. Please dont read something thats NOT there.

 

Ummm....noooooo...you specifically said "when the umpire doesn't declare it verbally" - umpires NEVER verbally declare an IFF situation beforehand (nor should they), so that's a non-issue, and that's not what you were saying - don't try to hide behind that now.  By adding that language you are very clearly saying that players should know if the ball, when hit in the air (the only point where an umpire would verbally declare anything), is indeed an IFF, even if the umpires don't verbalize it.     In other words, you stated the players' should know that the batter is out, even if the umpires didn't indicate it.

On 10/10/2018 at 3:44 PM, millerforrest67 said:

Just because neither umpire forgets to verbalize it, it is still in effect! Maybe after you umpire 35 years, you may understand some of these things.

I never said otherwise.  Maybe you can clarify what you mean by "in effect"..."in effect" can mean it's an IFF situation (R1/R2, less than 2 out)...and "in effect" can also mean that the umpire determined it is an IFF and the batter is out.  Which one are you really talking about?  The umpires only verbalize when the batter is out.  They don't verbalize when you have R1/R2 less than two out and the batter is coming to the plate (ie. IFF in effect).  And they don't verbalize that the batter is NOT out because it was a ground ball. 

What I'm saying is, you can't expect the players to read your mind and know IFF has been determined and the batter is out, when all the umpires forget to say so  - so, when this happens the umpires should take ownership of their mistake (rather than saying the players "should have known") and correct the situation as best they can.

The issue isn't whether it's an IFF situation.  The issue is whether or not the batter is out.  The IFF situation is clearly defined in the rules and is black and white.  The question of whether or not the batter is out when he hits a fly ball is purely a judgment call by the umpire.  If the batter is out, the runners and fielders have one set of options...if the batter is not out, the runners and fielders have a different set of options, and obligations.   When nobody knows whether or not the batter is out, either the defense or the offense can be in jeopardy, depending on which way things go.

I once had an argument with an umpire who "called" IFF by basically telling the catcher - that's really how "loud" his announcement was - basically saying to the catcher, and no one else, "batter's out".  He claimed that was as far as his obligation went - he just needed to notify "someone".  A clear cut case of an umpire who never played the game, never understood the game, never understood why the IFF existed, never understood it was to protect the offense, not the defense.  Yeah, he had umped for 20-30 years...but really hadn't learned much.

Edited by beerguy55
edited for dumb typo

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2018 NFHS Case Book Play 10.2.3 Situation G: 

With R2 and R1 and no outs. B3 hits an infield fly, but the umpire fails to call “infield fly.” Is the infield fly in effect or not? Ruling:  Even though the infield fly was not announced by the umpire, it is still in effect. Both teams have the responsibility to know when conditions exist for an infield fly.

FED Official Interpretation:  Rumble:  When an infield fly occurs but is not declared, if any other runner is put out, that out will also stand.

And the following is a note that appears in the 2016 BRD written by Carl Childress—

“The huge problems with the case play and the interpretation above are: (1) The umpires must subsequently agree that the batted ball was an infield fly and not a hump-backed, soft line drive. Some people don’t like to admit mistakes, so they make a bigger one trying to cover up the first. (2) How are high school kids supposed to know, EVERY TIME, that a questionable fly ball will—subsequently—be declared an infield fly? As an umpire, I declare the rule is simply unworkable and indefensible. Three times it happened to me: I called out the batter and left the runners TOP. I welcome opinions to the contrary.”

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1 hour ago, Senor Azul said:

2018 NFHS Case Book Play 10.2.3 Situation G: 

With R2 and R1 and no outs. B3 hits an infield fly, but the umpire fails to call “infield fly.” Is the infield fly in effect or not? Ruling:  Even though the infield fly was not announced by the umpire, it is still in effect. Both teams have the responsibility to know when conditions exist for an infield fly.

FED Official Interpretation:  Rumble:  When an infield fly occurs but is not declared, if any other runner is put out, that out will also stand.

And the following is a note that appears in the 2016 BRD written by Carl Childress—

“The huge problems with the case play and the interpretation above are: (1) The umpires must subsequently agree that the batted ball was an infield fly and not a hump-backed, soft line drive. Some people don’t like to admit mistakes, so they make a bigger one trying to cover up the first. (2) How are high school kids supposed to know, EVERY TIME, that a questionable fly ball will—subsequently—be declared an infield fly? As an umpire, I declare the rule is simply unworkable and indefensible. Three times it happened to me: I called out the batter and left the runners TOP. I welcome opinions to the contrary.”

Childress was spot on.   Rumble's wrong, and the continued NFHS defense of that position is inexcusable.   Yes, the IFF is in effect, and yes, the batter is out - defending and upholding anything else that occurred as a result of the umpire failing to fulfill his duties in calling the IFF is a cop out.

 

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5 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

Ummm....noooooo...you specifically said "when the umpire doesn't declare it verbally" - umpires NEVER verbally declare an IFF situation beforehand (nor should they), so that's a non-issue, and that's not what you were saying - don't try to hide behind that now.  By adding that language you are very clearly saying that players should know if the ball, when hit in the air (the only point where an umpire would verbally declare anything), is indeed an IFF, even if the umpires don't verbalize it.     In other words, you stated the players' should know that the batter is out, even if the umpires didn't indicate it.

I never said otherwise.  Maybe you can clarify what you mean by "in effect"..."in effect" can mean it's an IFF situation (R1/R2, less than 2 out)...and "in effect" can also mean that the umpire determined it is an IFF and the batter is out.  Which one are you really talking about?  The umpires only verbalize when the batter is out.  They don't verbalize when you have R1/R2 less than two out and the batter is coming to the plate (ie. IFF in effect).  And they don't verbalize that the batter is NOT out because it was a ground ball. 

What I'm saying is, you can't expect the players to read your mind and know IFF has been determined and the batter is out, when all the umpires forget to say so  - so, when this happens the umpires should take ownership of their mistake (rather than saying the players "should have known") and correct the situation as best they can.

The issue isn't whether it's an IFF situation.  The issue is whether or not the batter is out.  The IFF situation is clearly defined in the rules and is black and white.  The question of whether or not the batter is out when he hits a fly ball is purely a judgment call by the umpire.  If the batter is out, the runners and fielders have one set of options...if the batter is not out, the runners and fielders have a different set of options, and obligations.   When nobody knows whether or not the batter is out, either the defense or the offense can be in jeopardy, depending on which way things go.

I once had an argument with an umpire who "called" IFF by basically telling the catcher - that's really how "loud" his announcement was - basically saying to the catcher, and no one else, "batter's out".  He claimed that was as far as his obligation went - he just needed to notify "someone".  A clear cut case of an umpire who never played the game, never understood the game, never understood why the IFF existed, never understood it was to protect the defense, not the offense.  Yeah, he had umped for 20-30 years...but really hadn't learned much.

Players & coaches are supposed to know when the SITUATION is a possible IFF even if it isnt declsred an IFF by the umpires! That is a rule! Youre just ignorant & combative! And what levels have you "coached"? oh with a name like yours probably slow pitch softball!

 

 

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OBR Official Interpretation:  Wendelstedt:  If an umpire does not declare an infield fly because he is unaware that it is an infield fly situation, that is a correctable umpire error. The error can be corrected by calling out the batter-runner and placing runners where they would have ended up had the infield fly been declared immediately. That will usually result in placing the runners back on the bases where they started. However, if an umpire does not declare an infield fly because, in his judgment, it could not be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, this cannot be changed after the play has completed. (email to Childress, 7/13/12)

Play:  R1, R2, no outs. B1 hits a towering pop fly on the infield. F4 moves only a step or two before settling under the ball. Inexplicably, the umpires fail to declare the infield fly. At the last moment F4 steps back, and the ball falls to the ground untouched. Both R1 and R2 attempt to advance. F4 recovers the ball on one bounce, tags R1 and throws to third in time for a tag of R2 sliding in. Ruling:  In FED, the defense has secured a triple play. In NCAA/OBR, the umpires must declare a dead ball, rule BR out on the infield fly, and return R1 and R2 TOP.

Note from Carl Childress concerning this play and ruling—“Since the FED umpires can protect either team put at a disadvantage when an umpire’s call is changed, the umpires must be sure their failure to call an infield fly did not unfairly penalize the offense, whom the rule is designed to protect…In the play above, the triple play should probably stand:  There could be little doubt the popup conformed to the conditions for an infield fly. But if the umpires in another situation simply change their minds (it was an infield fly they should have called but didn’t), then BRD recommends:  Call out BR and leave the other runners on the bases occupied TOP.”

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21 hours ago, millerforrest67 said:

Players & coaches are supposed to know when the SITUATION is a possible IFF even if it isnt declsred an IFF by the umpires! That is a rule! Youre just ignorant & combative! And what levels have you "coached"? oh with a name like yours probably slow pitch softball!

 

 

Yes, that must be it.  I like beer so I'm a slow pitch guru.

I've coached fast pitch to National Championships, with half a dozen players I coached currently playing on NCAA scholarships, and I played decades of competitive baseball, including one summer of semi-pro.  I know baseball and softball inside out.  And though I'm always learning, what I am very clear on is the history, and why things are the way they are, and the context of the rules to how the game is played, in a practical matter, not just on paper.

Not that it's relevant, the IFF rule is the same in baseball, fast pitch and slow pitch - the only real difference is the FED, and only FED, position to move culpability from the umpires to the players.

Knowing the situation is mostly irrelevant.  Yes, it's very easy to know that we have R1/R2 less than two out...great.  It's an IFF situation.   Yup, I'm R2 and I know that.  Doesn't help me yet.  I know I need to go on a ground ball.  I know I need to tag up on a fly ball.  I know I need to hesitate on a line drive.  Yay.  And, now the batter hit the ball high in the air.  So, yes, we now have a fly ball, in the infield area.  Could be an IFF...maybe not.  Great...well, I know it's not a ground ball.  And, I know I can't leave my base until a fielder touches it, or risk an appeal play.  Yay.   I still don't know the umpire's judgment to "ordinary effort" and whether or not the umpire has determined that the batter is indeed out.  And, so, I don't know if the ball falls to the ground if I'm forced to third or not.  If the ball is caught, it's easy.  Not if it drops.  All I know is if the umpire hasn't said anything I have to assume the batter isn't out, and I am forced. And since I've seen balls land three feet foul where the umpire pointed fair, I can not, in any universe, determine what is or is not, what should or should not be, an "obvious" call.   There's no such thing.  The rules about me not being allowed to argue judgment calls say so.  The inevitable ejection that would occur if I berated an umpire for missing an "obvious" call that everyone else in the ball park saw differently says so.  Jim Joyce and Don Denkinger had obvious calls too.  They just saw it differently.  Not blaming anyone - it simply happens.

If you do live in that world where the players always know exactly the umpire's judgment, then you don't really need the umpires, do you.

So, yes, I know the IFF is in effect.  It hasn't done me a shred of good.  And you want to blame me if I run, and get tagged out, when the ball lands and nobody called the batter out, because it actually was an IFF and the batter actually was out (you just didn't tell anyone), so I wasn't forced to run.  And you want to blame me if I don't run and get forced out, because you actually didn't call IFF because you judged it wasn't, so no, the batter wasn't out, and what I thought was an "obvious" IFF wasn't.

High fives for your awesomeness.

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Mr. beerguy55, you may want to edit this statement you made earlier, “never understood why the IFF existed, never understood it was to protect the defense, not the offense.” I know you know that the purpose of the infield fly rule was to protect the offense not the defense. Here’s some evidence provided in a treatise found in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review (Vol. 123, p. 1477).

Whether because the men who oversaw the rules of baseball during the 1890's were unwilling to make a more radical change than was necessary to remedy a perceived problem in the game, or because they were unable to perceive the need for a broader change than was actually made, three changes in the substantive rules, stretching over a seven-year period, were required to put the Infield Fly Rule in its present form. In each legislative response to playing field conduct, however, the fundamental motive for action remained the same: To prevent the defense from making a double play by subterfuge, at a time when the offense is helpless to prevent it, rather than by skill and speed. (emphasis added)

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11 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

Mr. beerguy55, you may want to edit this statement you made earlier, “never understood why the IFF existed, never understood it was to protect the defense, not the offense.” I know you know that the purpose of the infield fly rule was to protect the offense not the defense. Here’s some evidence provided in a treatise found in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review (Vol. 123, p. 1477).

 

Thank you - pure typo.    Some defense dropped one on purpose, got a double (or triple) play - so they changed the rule.   Like the dropped third strike with runner on first.   Kind of like the must wait for the ball to be caught before  you leave - then someone juggled the ball back to the infield...change it to "touch".   Same with the running the base backwards travesty of the game rule.  Most of the rules were developed after someone found some clever way to get an advantage.

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