Jump to content

Remove these ads by becoming a Premium Member
  • 0
Double Up

Excluding the Defensive Catcher, all fielders must be completely in fair territory?

Question

Is this rule still enforced (OBR, NCAA, FED)?  I heard the rule had been removed, not sure if that's entirely true or not.        

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

21 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

Here's the OBR rule:

5.02 (4.03) Fielding Positions

When the ball is put in play at the start of, or during a game, all fielders other than the catcher shall be on fair territory...Except the pitcher and the catcher, any fielder may station himself anywhere in fair territory.

And FED

SECTION 1 POSITIONS OF PLAYERS

ART. 4 . . . At the time of the pitch, all fielders shall be on fair ground except the catcher who shall be in the catcher's box. A fielder is in fair ground when at least one foot is touching fair ground.

 

In FED it's an illegal pitch.  In OBR???  It seems to put the onus on the umpire to notice before the ball is made live.  Nothing about what happens after the ball is live....or even what happens if the ump didn't notice F9 was in foul territory when he said "play".

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remove these ads by becoming a Premium Member
  • 0

I posted these interpretations in July of this year in the Ask the Umpire forum--

OBR Official Interpretation:  PBUC:  There is no penalty for a first baseman who is not complying with the rule other than to instruct him to do so. Umpires should do that only when the infraction is brought to their attention. If a player, after being so directed by the umpire, blatantly refuses to comply, the player is subject to ejection.

Official Interpretation:  Wendelstedt:  Umpires discover a fielder was in foul territory during play: (1) If they can determine when the fielder left fair territory, they nullify all pitches and plays after that time. (2) If they cannot make that determination, they shall nullify just the pitch or the play occurring immediately before the discovery that he was not in fair territory.

Official Interpretation:  Wendelstedt:  When a fielder is not in fair territory: PENALTY:  Any play is nullified.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Wendelstedt, although an excellent resource, is NOT an official interpretation of OBR.  The PBUC manual and MLBUM are the only "official" interpretations.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
32 minutes ago, johnpatrick said:

Wendelstedt, although an excellent resource, is NOT an official interpretation of OBR.  The PBUC manual and MLBUM are the only "official" interpretations.

Both pubs do not address the issue. We, with the help of @Senor Azul cites discussed it here: 

As of 2016 it appears the BRD no longer thinks there is any conflict and only cites Wendelstedt. And Rich Marazzi seems to have MLB connections.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

OBR.  We have two different situations going here.  A missing fielder is a do-over...the only one in baseball.  A fielder positioned in foul territory (in the bathroom would not qualify :>) ) would be ignored unless brought to the attention of the umpire or blatant.  Senior Azul posted the PBUC interpretation above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
17 minutes ago, johnpatrick said:

OBR.  We have two different situations going here.  A missing fielder is a do-over...the only one in baseball.  A fielder positioned in foul territory (in the bathroom would not qualify :>) ) would be ignored unless brought to the attention of the umpire or blatant.  Senior Azul posted the PBUC interpretation above.

It would seem that PBUC/MLBUM only give that leeway to the first baseman. Do you have a cite that extends that to any fielder? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
4 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

It would seem that PBUC/MLBUM only give that leeway to the first baseman. Do you have a cite that extends that to any fielder? 

The same PBUC interpretation refers to "all fielders," so I'd assume it would apply to everyone. 

5.2 "Official Baseball Rule 5.02 provides that when the ball is put in play at the start of or during a game, all fielders other than the catcher shall be on fair territory. In particular, when holding a runner on first base, the first baseman shall position himself with both feet in fair territory."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Under OBR the rule says "when the ball is put in play". This is a specific time. At any other time a player could be positioned in foul territory without penalty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
27 minutes ago, Ump29 said:

Under OBR the rule says "when the ball is put in play". This is a specific time. At any other time a player could be positioned in foul territory without penalty.

While that is what the rule says the interps seem to require it any time the ball is ready for play (pitcher ready to pitch). Why would the MLBUM specifically allow a fielder to go into foul territory, being first required to be in fair to make the ball live,  to back up an appeal only? Any other attempt to gain an advantage by going foul is either a nullification of the play or a judgement of advantage gained or a do not do that depending on the latest word of authority. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

To be precise, the PBUC manual no longer exists—it became the Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (not sure when, I think 2015). As the title suggests, the MiLBUM is the minor league version of the MLBUM.

The 2014 PBUC says the following in its Foreword:  “This publication contains interpretations, clarifications, general instructions and rulings endorsed by Minor League Baseball and the Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation. It is provided as a supplement to the Official Baseball Rules which govern all games in Minor League Baseball.”

As for the MLBUM, I have the 2015 edition. It has just 66 interpretations in its 85 pages. Are you saying that is the only source of interpretations for the MLB?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

As Mr. beerguy55 posted, the penalty in FED is an illegal pitch. But with runners on that becomes a balk--

2018 NFHS rule 1-1 ART. 4 . . . At the time of the pitch, all fielders shall be on fair ground except the catcher who shall be in the catcher's box. A fielder is in fair ground when at least one foot is touching fair ground.

PENALTY: Illegal pitch. (2-18)

2018 NFHS rule 2 SECTION 18 ILLEGAL PITCH

An illegal pitch is an illegal act committed by the pitcher with no runner on base, which results in a ball being awarded the batter. When an illegal pitch occurs with a runner, or runners, on base, it is ruled a balk.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
40 minutes ago, Senor Azul said:

As for the MLBUM, I have the 2015 edition. It has just 66 interpretations in its 85 pages. Are you saying that is the only source of interpretations for the MLB?

I'll give you my take on it, but I'd be the first to admit that I could be wrong.  MiLB, as you know, uses OBR with a few exceptions.  Those exceptions are, for the most part, minor and identified by reference to the National Association in the OBR which refers to MiLB.  Those few rules that are specific to the National Association are clarified for MiLB in the Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (it'll always be the PBUC manual to me...semantics).  The vast majority of OBR rules are the same and, I believe, the interpretations are the same for MiLB and MLB.  The MiLBUM is more extensive.  I have the 2017 MLBUM and for the most part I see procedural differences between the two.  I'd be interested in knowing of any different playing rule interpretations between the two that aren't identified by National Association rule differences.

To answer your question, I believe both apply to each league for playing rules.  And yes, there are no other official interpretations for MLB.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
58 minutes ago, johnpatrick said:

I'll give you my take on it, but I'd be the first to admit that I could be wrong.  MiLB, as you know, uses OBR with a few exceptions.  Those exceptions are, for the most part, minor and identified by reference to the National Association in the OBR which refers to MiLB.  Those few rules that are specific to the National Association are clarified for MiLB in the Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (it'll always be the PBUC manual to me...semantics).  The vast majority of OBR rules are the same and, I believe, the interpretations are the same for MiLB and MLB.  The MiLBUM is more extensive.  I have the 2017 MLBUM and for the most part I see procedural differences between the two.  I'd be interested in knowing of any different playing rule interpretations between the two that aren't identified by National Association rule differences.

To answer your question, I believe both apply to each league for playing rules.  And yes, there are no other official interpretations for MLB.

So while the Wendelstedt school currently teaches to nullify the play when it is discovered that a fielder, other than F3, was in foul territory before a play, we don’t know what the Umpire School teaches and you what might or might not infer from the PBUC  interp. But the OP asked if the rule was still enforced and we don’t have an answer for him. Luckily it should not be real world problem. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Thank you, Mr. johnpatrick, for your response. I completely agree with your take on the PBUC/MiLBUM and the MLBUM. Frankly, I have never had much use for the MLBUM as I find it does not cover many unusual plays at all. And as you say the PBUC/MiLBUM is more extensive and I find therefore it is more helpful. But I do disagree with you on sources of interpretations for the MLB.

Here’s a quote from the Acknowledgments of the 2016 Baseball Rule Differences by Carl Childress—

“I want to thank particularly Major League Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt of the Wendelstedt Umpire School for making available to the BRD more than 400 official interpretations.”

And here’s a quote from the Preface of Mr. Wendelstedt’s rules interpretation manual (2013 edition)—

“Whenever possible, the interpretations mentioned are officially recognized by the umpires and supervisors of both the Minor and Major Leagues.”

If Mr. Wendelstedt’s interpretations are not official as you say, he has Carl Childress fooled, he has Rich Marazzi fooled, and he has Gil Imber of Close Call Sports fooled. From a legal standpoint, why would he allow his name to be associated with all these printed interpretations if they were, indeed, not official?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
8 minutes ago, Senor Azul said:

Thank you, Mr. johnpatrick, for your response. I completely agree with your take on the PBUC/MiLBUM and the MLBUM. Frankly, I have never had much use for the MLBUM as I find it does not cover many unusual plays at all. And as you say the PBUC/MiLBUM is more extensive and I find therefore it is more helpful. But I do disagree with you on sources of interpretations for the MLB.

Here’s a quote from the Acknowledgments of the 2016 Baseball Rule Differences by Carl Childress—

“I want to thank particularly Major League Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt of the Wendelstedt Umpire School for making available to the BRD more than 400 official interpretations.”

And here’s a quote from the Preface of Mr. Wendelstedt’s rules interpretation manual (2013 edition)—

“Whenever possible, the interpretations mentioned are officially recognized by the umpires and supervisors of both the Minor and Major Leagues.”

If Mr. Wendelstedt’s interpretations are not official as you say, he has Carl Childress fooled, he has Rich Marazzi fooled, and he has Gil Imber of Close Call Sports fooled. From a legal standpoint, why would he allow his name to be associated with all these printed interpretations if they were, indeed, not official?

Well, I asked that question to the head rules instructor Jorge Bauza point blank at umpire school.  I was taught on Evans mechanics so the Evans Annotated was my bible.  I asked him if the Evans Annotated and or J/R were considered official interpretations of Professional Baseball.  I was told, rather rudely, that they were not.  I did not ask about Wendelstedt.

This is a quote from a AAA umpire who was my instructor who worked relief in MLB on another board concerning this exact issue with Wendelstedt.

"...I wouldn't back any rule or decision from a third party manual.  They may be good reference points, but in the end, when it comes down to it, a league or conference will only back you by a rule book or official manual.  That is why u steer clear of those third party manuals."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

The 2015 MLBUM has just 66 interpretations which come nowhere near answering all the possible plays that can happen on a baseball diamond. The 2016 BRD has over 400 interpretations and it still isn’t enough to answer many questions posed on this website alone. Simple arithmetic tells us that the MLBUM cannot be the only source of help.

In addition to Hunter Wendelstedt, the 2016 BRD lists the following as sources for official interpretations—

Barney Deary, Mike Fitzpatrick, Cris Jones, Tom Lepperd, the PBUC and the MLBUM. By the way, Jim Evans is listed as Authoritative Opinion. He was downgraded by the BRD to that status because he no longer trains professional umpires and his manual is now hopelessly out-of-date (published in 1991).

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Here’s the NCAA rule on this subject--

2017-18 NCAA rule 5-4 Positions of the Defensive Team

SECTION 4. At the start of or during a game, all players of the defensive team except the catcher must be in fair territory when the ball is put in play. Being in fair territory means that a defensive player must have at least one foot placed in fair territory.

PENALTY—It is an illegal pitch if no one is on base and a balk if a runner(s) is on base.

c. Other than the pitcher and catcher, all other fielders may position themselves anywhere in fair territory.

PENALTY for c.—The play, if it benefits the defense, shall be nullified. If it is an appeal play, all fielders, other than the catcher, must be in fair territory to start an appeal play after “Time” has been called. If a fielder (other than the catcher) is in foul territory, the umpire should not put the ball in play. If the umpire inadvertently does so, there is no penalty (this is not a balk), nor does the defense lose its chance to appeal on the same runner once the ball is properly put back into play. A fielder may go into foul territory to back up an appeal play after the ball has been put into play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Perhaps @Double Up is referring to the change of wording in the MLBUM which happened around 2013:

The MLBUM used to say ignore F3 playing in foul territory while holding a runner on unless someone complained and then enforce the rule equally.  I noticed the change in 2013 to: 

"There is no penalty specified for violation other than the first baseman shall be instructed to keep both feet in fair territory if brought to the attention of the umpire, or-if blatant or recurring violation-upon immediate direction of the umpire."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
10 hours ago, Jimurray said:

So while the Wendelstedt school currently teaches to nullify the play when it is discovered that a fielder, other than F3, was in foul territory before a play, we don’t know what the Umpire School teaches and you what might or might not infer from the PBUC  interp. But the OP asked if the rule was still enforced and we don’t have an answer for him. Luckily it should not be real world problem. 

I can see some day where this would (if allowed or not enforced) be a logical extension of the shift - based on analytics you may find a scenario where you could use six players to cover the area you need to defend a particular batter, and then stick someone in outfield foul territory (especially a park with a lot of foul territory).   And especially in smaller fields, like Little League...or fastpitch (look at a NCAA fastpitch field - 60 foot bases and 220 to the fence - having said that in fastpitch this is clearly outlined as an illegal pitch)

Personally, as a coach, it always drove me nuts when my fielders played too close to the line - defending foul territory rather than the gap - but if you have the gaps covered, I could see some doing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Mr. beerguy55, your vision of the future is eerily similar to the original purpose of the rule. From the book The Official Rules of Baseball Illustrated by David Nemec—

“Since no team in its right mind would station its players anywhere but in fair territory nowadays, Rule 5.02 on the surface might seem superfluous. The rule was put in partly to keep any team or player from making a travesty of the game. Rube Waddell reputedly would call all his infielders and outfielders to the sidelines sometimes in exhibition games and then strike out the side while working with just his catcher. No one cared to see a pitcher try this in a regular game.

“There was a time, however, when players not only could legally be stationed in foul territory but it behooved them to play there. In 1876, the National League’s first season of operation, it was still a rule that any batted ball that struck earth initially in fair territory was fair regardless of where it ended up. Many players mastered the fair-foul hit, which involved chopping down on the ball with their bats in such a way that it hit in front of the plate and then immediately spun off into foul territory. To protect against these batsmen, teams were compelled to position their first and third baseman outside the foul-line boundaries.”

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
On 11/9/2018 at 10:57 AM, Senor Azul said:

Mr. beerguy55, your vision of the future is eerily similar to the original purpose of the rule. From the book The Official Rules of Baseball Illustrated by David Nemec—

“Since no team in its right mind would station its players anywhere but in fair territory nowadays, Rule 5.02 on the surface might seem superfluous. The rule was put in partly to keep any team or player from making a travesty of the game. Rube Waddell reputedly would call all his infielders and outfielders to the sidelines sometimes in exhibition games and then strike out the side while working with just his catcher. No one cared to see a pitcher try this in a regular game.

“There was a time, however, when players not only could legally be stationed in foul territory but it behooved them to play there. In 1876, the National League’s first season of operation, it was still a rule that any batted ball that struck earth initially in fair territory was fair regardless of where it ended up. Many players mastered the fair-foul hit, which involved chopping down on the ball with their bats in such a way that it hit in front of the plate and then immediately spun off into foul territory. To protect against these batsmen, teams were compelled to position their first and third baseman outside the foul-line boundaries.”

 

cricket?    truth be told,  I still don't understand the rules to cricket other than it seems you can hit the ball as far foul as possible!  LMAO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×