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Fair/Foul

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6 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

2-5-2(f) is very clear.  I’m sorry that you don’t want it to be.

As for the helmet ... He is a player and it is his equipment.  To whom do you think it belongs?  It didn’t come from a fan.  It wasn’t dropped off a passing helicopter.  I don’t think it fell off of a low flying goose.  Skydiver?  Once time is called, the base runner will go retrieve it and put it back on.

“But Blue, he actually borrowed that helmet from his cousin!  Since it isn’t his, the rule doesn’t apply!”

I’m taking your word and I am glad that OBR has something specific in their rules ... it is amazing what that can accomplish.  Thank you for illustrating my point about putting things in the actual rule!  (Correct, we should not use an OBR rule here.)

No, it is not clear. You illustrated that legal ownership (which is, if you are looking at it from a purely English standpoint, a completely valid way of reading it) isn't what it means. So there are at least two ways of reading it and the rule doesn't specify how it should be read. There is a third way of reading it which is that it is only the player's if it is properly attached/worn. Based off of the case play, it seems as if that is the way "they" (the NFHS rules committee) wants it interpreted. 

 

Would it be nice if everything was nearly packaged in the rule book? Yeah, but it's not. The NFHS has declared both the rule book and Case Book as definitive sources, so we can't ignore one even though it's be nice if there were just one.

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The legal ownership point was sarcasm ... I guess even that was not fairly evident?  We are getting too far off the rails.  :shakehead: 

Why do you believe Edited to fix typo 2-5-1-(f), which is very specific in its wording, is not clear?  Because you are wanting to add the words "loose" or "detached"?  The terms "loose equipment" (3-11) and "detached equipment" (8-3-3(a), (b) and (c), specific to a defensive player) are used in the rule book under very specific cases.  Neither of those words are used as an exclusion or exception in this rule.  Why?  Because this rule, as written, is not about loose or detached equipment.  The rule is not vague or ambiguous just because you want to add things to it.

Again, if I am wrong (which is not impossible or unreasonable), show your work.  I did.  Don't just point to another source and say "He said so".  I find it amusing when the umpiring community rakes one of their own over the coals for misreading a rule, "looking for things to call", or just flat out using the MSU manual ... except when it suits them.

I don't have any preference if NFHS wants pitcher's plates to NOT be a part of the field, and does want bats and helmets to be part of the field ... but they need to FIX THEIR RULE, not make things up and add them in another book.

It is not difficult.  Many softball codes have done it.  As @Jimurray pointed out, OBR has done it (it some cases).  If that is what they intended, they can fix it.  Or maybe ... just maybe ... that is NOT what they intended and somebody missed it.  Even officially official officials make mistakes.

 

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If you are making the point that rule (and case) books don't always say exactly what they mean or mean exactly what they say, I agree. 

 

If you are saying that it always can (or in some instances needs to be) fixed, I disagree.  If you are saying that sometimes it can be fixed, and that the fix won't cause other problems, and the issue is significant enough to need to be fixed, I agree.  Those times are relatively rare, imo.

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1 hour ago, The Man in Blue said:

The legal ownership point was sarcasm ... I guess even that was not fairly evident?  We are getting too far off the rails.  :shakehead: 

Why do you believe 5-2-1-(f), which is very specific in its wording, is not clear?  Because you are wanting to add the words "loose" or "detached"?  The terms "loose equipment" (3-11) and "detached equipment" (8-3-3(a), (b) and (c), specific to a defensive player) are used in the rule book under very specific cases.  Neither of those words are used as an exclusion or exception in this rule.  Why?  Because this rule, as written, is not about loose or detached equipment.  The rule is not vague or ambiguous just because you want to add things to it.

Again, if I am wrong (which is not impossible or unreasonable), show your work.  I did.  Don't just point to another source and say "He said so".  I find it amusing when the umpiring community rakes one of their own over the coals for misreading a rule, "looking for things to call", or just flat out using the MSU manual ... except when it suits them.

I don't have any preference if NFHS wants pitcher's plates to NOT be a part of the field, and does want bats and helmets to be part of the field ... but they need to FIX THEIR RULE, not make things up and add them in another book.

It is not difficult.  Many softball codes have done it.  As @Jimurray pointed out, OBR has done it (it some cases).  If that is what they intended, they can fix it.  Or maybe ... just maybe ... that is NOT what they intended and somebody missed it.  Even officially official officials make mistakes.

 

I'm not trying to rake you over the coals. I just think you are, in this instance, incorrect and am adding to the dialogue. That's what this site is here for.

I understand that your legal legal ownership point was intended sarcastically, but it was also correct and played into my argument. I actually was already planning on using the term legal ownership in my response before I read your joke. Which I did find quite funny by the way.

Here's my "work" as it were. Earlier in this thread, the great librarian @Senor Azul quoted the following case play from the most recent case book:

"2.5.1 Situation E:  The batter hits the ball, drops the bat and it unintentionally hits the ball a second time in . . . (c) fair territory and is either touched by a fielder and/or comes to rest in foul territory. RULING:  In (a), the ball is fair. In . . . (c), the ball is foul."

We were discussing the idea that a runner loses his helmet and the ball hits in in fair territory, causing the ball to roll into foul territory. So the same as the case play, just replacing BR's bat with R1's helmet. I think we can agree that if someone asked "who's helmet is that?" we'd both respond with "R1's". Similarly, if asked "Who's bat is that?" we'd respond "The BR's." 

My understanding of your position is that, referencing the above usage of the term ownership, the ball hit a player's equipment in fair territory as in 2-5-2(f), therefore it is a fair ball. Absent 2.5.1 Situation E, I would agree with this. However, 2.5.1 Situation E shows that discarded equipment that accidentally causes the ball to go foul is no longer considered equipment of the player. I will concede that the term "discarded equipment" is not used in the case play, so you could read it narrowly as only applying to the bat. That's a legitimate position to take, but I disagree.

Case plays often only mention a specific situation but apply much more broadly. The system isn't perfect, but I think it's better than having a book 20 times the size (I've never known someone who isn't an umpire to read the entirety of both books as it is) that you can't possibly remember every single detail and situation in. 

 

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@Biscuit, not at all, I am enjoying this (hopefully) intellectual discussion!  I know some folks here don’t like being challenged, but I really do enjoy dissecting rules and plays.  I learn by tearing things apart and understanding the why and the why not.  You are correct that the case book says I am wrong.  My contention, with support and citations, is that the case book is wrong.

You are not showing any documentation to support the case play ... you are using circular logic by pointing to the case play: the ball is foul because the case says so —> the case plays says it is foul —> it is foul because the case play says so.  Where are the rules supporting the case play?  I am happy to change my stance when I am shown the rule(s) which support either case play.

It doesn’t take a book 20 times the size of the existing one to fix these loopholes.  OBR addresses the helmet in a few lines.  Softball codes address the bat in a few lines.  Rather than fix things like this with a few words, we are expected to seek numerous extraneous books.  OR ... maybe it is exactly what it is supposed to be, so it doesn’t need fixing and the person who wrote the case play was wrong.

I agree that the type of equipment (bat, helmet, protective shield) is irrelevant in NFHS baseball, so this applies to the batting helmet in the 2003 case play and the bat in the current case play.  (I say it that way because the softball and OBR references are specific to the type of equipment).  I agree case plays are intended to be applied in a broad sense to teach us how to think like umpires.  Case plays are not rules and should not be cited as rules.  They help us understand the rules.

You said you agree with my assessment absent the case play.  But the case play provides nothing other than “that guy said so”.  (Again, I’m happy to change that stance with support.)

 

Attempt at humor disclaimer

How do we profit?  By collecting underpants!
Why do we collect underpants?  To profit!

image.png.59915247ec50e17fbc85dc9d4ba92ad1.png
 

 

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2 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

@Biscuit, not at all, I am enjoying this (hopefully) intellectual discussion!  I know some folks here don’t like being challenged, but I really do enjoy dissecting rules and plays.  I learn by tearing things apart and understanding the why and the why not.  You are correct that the case book says I am wrong.  My contention, with support and citations, is that the case book is wrong.

You are not showing any documentation to support the case play ... you are using circular logic by pointing to the case play: the ball is foul because the case says so —> the case plays says it is foul —> it is foul because the case play says so.  Where are the rules supporting the case play?  I am happy to change my stance when I am shown the rule(s) which support either case play.

It doesn’t take a book 20 times the size of the existing one to fix these loopholes.  OBR addresses the helmet in a few lines.  Softball codes address the bat in a few lines.  Rather than fix things like this with a few words, we are expected to seek numerous extraneous books.  OR ... maybe it is exactly what it is supposed to be, so it doesn’t need fixing and the person who wrote the case play was wrong.

I agree that the type of equipment (bat, helmet, protective shield) is irrelevant in NFHS baseball, so this applies to the batting helmet in the 2003 case play and the bat in the current case play.  (I say it that way because the softball and OBR references are specific to the type of equipment).  I agree case plays are intended to be applied in a broad sense to teach us how to think like umpires.  Case plays are not rules and should not be cited as rules.  They help us understand the rules.

You said you agree with my assessment absent the case play.  But the case play provides nothing other than “that guy said so”.  (Again, I’m happy to change that stance with support.)

 

Attempt at humor disclaimer

How do we profit?  By collecting underpants!
Why do we collect underpants?  To profit!

image.png.59915247ec50e17fbc85dc9d4ba92ad1.png
 

 

Okay, we've narrowed it down to one issue. Are the caseplays rules? 

Well, by definition, no. But, they have the exact same power as a rule, because those that wrote the rules said they do. You may not like that, but in the eyes of the NFHS, who we all (sorta) answer to, they are essentially the same thing. One is not more important than the other, one does not supersede the other. Unfortunately, sometimes the contradict each other, and then you have a mess.

In this case, we may have a problem, but a different reading gives a call that does not contradict either. Plus, the rule question clearly shows how the NFHS meant (or at least, now means) for it to be read.

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I don't know that I've followed the debate there THAT closely - although any reference to The Underpants Gnomes is gonna likely win me to that side - but as the person who started this [redacted]-storm, I'm gonna pop in again.

Let me stipulate that I don't read all the casebook situations enough.  I'm not getting one this year, and I'm not springing for one, either.  (I will also stipulate that that is likely to bite me in the ass, repeatedly, this season, simply because fate hates me.)  But what I don't like in that - in this particular case - it seems like the HS powers that be are taking a principle, and just ..... ignoring it.  A bat is not part of the natural ground.  It's not a pitching rubber, or a base.  It actually IS, in fact, discarded equipment - either by rule, tradition, or it's just not smart to let the batter carry a weapon around the bases.

And yet.

In a quote caseplay, NFHS has decided that's simply foul.  It's like they said, "yeah, it touched a foreign object to the field in fair ground.  And despite what we've said other times.... don't care!  It's foul!"  That just doesn't sit well with me.

And @The Man in Blue also makes a point I'm good with:  having it as casebook-only makes it feel worse.  Because I can't WAIT to explain to a Texas coach (since they seem to enjoy Quality Time with umpires they've not seen before), "well, skip, that's actually a casebook play, and the ruling is ....."  I think it'll go well.

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9 minutes ago, HokieUmp said:

I don't know that I've followed the debate there THAT closely - although any reference to The Underpants Gnomes is gonna likely win me to that side - but as the person who started this [redacted]-storm, I'm gonna pop in again.

Let me stipulate that I don't read all the casebook situations enough.  I'm not getting one this year, and I'm not springing for one, either.  (I will also stipulate that that is likely to bite me in the ass, repeatedly, this season, simply because fate hates me.)  But what I don't like in that - in this particular case - it seems like the HS powers that be are taking a principle, and just ..... ignoring it.  A bat is not part of the natural ground.  It's not a pitching rubber, or a base.  It actually IS, in fact, discarded equipment - either by rule, tradition, or it's just not smart to let the batter carry a weapon around the bases.

And yet.

In a quote caseplay, NFHS has decided that's simply foul.  It's like they said, "yeah, it touched a foreign object to the field in fair ground.  And despite what we've said other times.... don't care!  It's foul!"  That just doesn't sit well with me.

And @The Man in Blue also makes a point I'm good with:  having it as casebook-only makes it feel worse.  Because I can't WAIT to explain to a Texas coach (since they seem to enjoy Quality Time with umpires they've not seen before), "well, skip, that's actually a casebook play, and the ruling is ....."  I think it'll go well.

I thought you did college but I guess not. NCAA makes a ball hitting a bat on the ground in fair territory a live ball. NFHS does not make that a foul bal. It makes it live until it settles somewhere or is touched somewhere. In OBR, NFHS, FED  I'm keeping a ball that hits a discarded bat or helmet in fair territory live.

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6 minutes ago, Jimurray said:

I thought you did college but I guess not. NCAA makes a ball hitting a bat on the ground in fair territory a live ball. NFHS does not make that a foul bal. It makes it live until it settles somewhere or is touched somewhere. In OBR, NFHS, FED  I'm keeping a ball that hits a discarded bat or helmet in fair territory live.

You're right - I should have said NFHS doesn't let the contact with the bat in fair ground be THE thing that determines the ball's status.  It waits for a further touch/settle.  It still doesn't sit well with me. 

And no, I'm not a college guy.   I didn't pursue it as a younger man, and my window has closed on that.

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22 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

Again, if I am wrong (which is not impossible or unreasonable), show your work.

 

I'll take one more stab at it.  I think you are focused on the wrong rule.

 

The wording in 2-15-1(f) is (essentially) repeated in 2-16-1 (foul ball).  But, 2-16-1 *also* contains: "d. ... or an object foreign to the natural ground."  If the "equipment" word were sufficient, and meant "*all* equipment" then subsection d wouldn't be needed in 2-16-1.  Or, conversely, if the rules makers meant for "loose equipment" to also make the ball fair, they would have included the same phrase in rule 2-15-1.  Since the wording is in 2-16-1 and is not in 2-15-1, the conclusion is that "loose equipment" only makes a ball foul, and that "equipment" in 2-15-1(f) means something akin to "properly worn equipment."

 

Note that if the rules makers did not include the word "equipment" in 2-15-1(f) that some coach (or internet umpire) would claim that a ball that deflected off F3's glove and then landed foul should be a foul ball because it didn't touch "the player or his uniform."

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Unfortunately the FED rule book does not define the term person and for that matter neither does the NCAA rule book. However the OBR does define person and the term touch

The PERSON of a player or an umpire is any part of his body, his clothing or his equipment.

TOUCH. To touch a player or umpire is to touch any part of his body, or any uniform or equipment worn by him (but not any jewelry (e.g., necklaces, bracelets, etc.) worn by a player).

(Touch) Comment: Equipment shall be considered worn by a player or umpire if it is in contact with its intended place on his person.

***

From the 2016 BRD (section 110, p. 90) FED Official Interpretation:  Hopkins:  A batted ball hitting the pitcher’s plate and rebounding to foul ground between home and first or home and third without touching a fielder is a foul ball as it did not hit beyond the imaginary line in the infield.

FED Official Interpretation:  Hopkins:  If a live ball hits an accidentally detached helmet, it is not interference and the ball remains in play.

2007 NFHS Baseball Interpretations SITUATION 2: With R1 on first base, B2 hits a ground ball to F4. While running to second base, R1's batting helmet falls off (a) and makes contact with the batted ball, deflecting it away from F4, or (b) in front of F4, which distracts him and results in his misplaying the ball. RULING: If R1's helmet accidentally fell off, there would be no penalty in either (a) or (b). Had the helmet been deliberately removed, and interference occurred, then R1 would have been declared out for interference. The umpire could also rule out B2 if he judged the interference prevented a double play. (8-4-2g, 8-4-1h)

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On 1/28/2020 at 7:49 AM, noumpere said:

I'll take one more stab at it.  I think you are focused on the wrong rule.

 

The wording in 2-15-1(f) is (essentially) repeated in 2-16-1 (foul ball).  But, 2-16-1 *also* contains: "d. ... or an object foreign to the natural ground."  If the "equipment" word were sufficient, and meant "*all* equipment" then subsection d wouldn't be needed in 2-16-1.  Or, conversely, if the rules makers meant for "loose equipment" to also make the ball fair, they would have included the same phrase in rule 2-15-1.  Since the wording is in 2-16-1 and is not in 2-15-1, the conclusion is that "loose equipment" only makes a ball foul, and that "equipment" in 2-15-1(f) means something akin to "properly worn equipment."

 

Note that if the rules makers did not include the word "equipment" in 2-15-1(f) that some coach (or internet umpire) would claim that a ball that deflected off F3's glove and then landed foul should be a foul ball because it didn't touch "the player or his uniform."

 

Been letting this one breathe for a bit ... seems as if there are only a few of us with an opinion.  :cheers:

You shouldn't use words like "essentially" when interpreting rules.  That signals that it says one thing, but you want it to say something else.  :P

I agree that 2-16-1(d) DOES say (not essentially) the same thing 2-5-1(f) says: when a batted ball hits an object, it takes the state of the territory it made contact in: fair=fair, foul=foul.  Neither rule says "let it keep going and see what happens".  The case play is misapplying the rules because the interpreter wants it to say something else.

Regarding the difference in language, the foul side rule is written more broadly ("any object") than the fair side rule ("equipment") as there are many more things that are not defined as equipment but can (not necessarily should) be in foul territory: tarps, tarp rollers, suspension cords for backdrop nets, field draggers, a drop-down on-deck circle, the ball boys' stools, and on and on.  Those are things that are generally accepted as being allowed on the playing field in foul territory, but never in fair territory.

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8 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

 

Been letting this one breathe for a bit ... seems as if there are only a few of us with an opinion.  :cheers:

You shouldn't use words like "essentially" when interpreting rules.  That signals that it says one thing, but you want it to say something else.  :P

I agree that 2-16-1(d) DOES say (not essentially) the same thing 2-5-1(f) says:c: fair=fair, foul=foul.  Neither rule says "let it keep going and see what happens".  The case play is misapplying the rules because the interpreter wants it to say something else.

Regarding the difference in language, the foul side rule is written more broadly ("any object") than the fair side rule ("equipment") as there are many more things that are not defined as equipment but can (not necessarily should) be in foul territory: tarps, tarp rollers, suspension cords for backdrop nets, field draggers, a drop-down on-deck circle, the ball boys' stools, and on and on.  Those are things that are generally accepted as being allowed on the playing field in foul territory, but never in fair territory.

I have an opinion. You are wrong. Neither rule says " when a batted ball hits an object, it takes the state of the territory it made contact in". Do we know if the caseplay was written by the same group that wrote the rules?

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Well, that’s certainly an opinion.  Nothing to back it up, but it is an opinion.  :cheers:

Considering it cites a rule that doesn’t exist ... I’m going to venture that either it was written by a different group OR was written and not updated when a rule was changed.  That is a complete guess on my part though.  But it does illustrate how these things can happen.

Awhile back there was some discussion in a thread about a batted ball hitting a base runner.  People were citing the ball needing to be “within 20 feet of the fielder” in order to consider the fielder able to make a play.  The BRD was cited to support that.  However, if you read the section on that in the BRD, the “20 feet” was part of an example somebody used in an article which Carl Childress quoted in the BRD.  It has never been said in any rulebook that the ball had to be within 20 feet, but that was mis-cited by people who didn’t bother to look it up ... and then it took hold in those people’s minds.

I’m saying it is possibly the same thing here ... you tell me your opinion is that I am wrong, but you are not providing anything to support that beyond “It’s in the case book” (which cites a rule that doesn’t exist).  Did you look up the rules it cites?  Have you provided any direct verbiage of where you think I am going wrong?  You think I am wrong (which is possible) but why?

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44 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

Well, that’s certainly an opinion.  Nothing to back it up, but it is an opinion.  :cheers:

Considering it cites a rule that doesn’t exist ... I’m going to venture that either it was written by a different group OR was written and not updated when a rule was changed.  That is a complete guess on my part though.  But it does illustrate how these things can happen.

Awhile back there was some discussion in a thread about a batted ball hitting a base runner.  People were citing the ball needing to be “within 20 feet of the fielder” in order to consider the fielder able to make a play.  The BRD was cited to support that.  However, if you read the section on that in the BRD, the “20 feet” was part of an example somebody used in an article which Carl Childress quoted in the BRD.  It has never been said in any rulebook that the ball had to be within 20 feet, but that was mis-cited by people who didn’t bother to look it up ... and then it took hold in those people’s minds.

I’m saying it is possibly the same thing here ... you tell me your opinion is that I am wrong, but you are not providing anything to support that beyond “It’s in the case book” (which cites a rule that doesn’t exist).  Did you look up the rules it cites?  Have you provided any direct verbiage of where you think I am going wrong?  You think I am wrong (which is possible) but why?

The bat is no longer the equipment, theirs, of the fielder when they are not holding it. 

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Citation?  Look, I’m willing to work with you, but you gotta’ give me something to work with beyond crossed arms and dirty heels.

 

561 ... the number of times the Kindle app says “bat” appears in the 2020 NFHS rule book.  That does include terms such as “batter”, “batting”, and “battery”.

Approximately 40 ... the number of times “bat” (excluding “batter”, etc.) appears in the equipment definition section.
 

0 ... the number of times “bat” appears in the field definition section.

0 ... the number of times the book says the bat is ever anything other than a piece of equipment.  Loose bats, broken bats, thrown bats, illegal bats ... all still equipment.

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47 minutes ago, The Man in Blue said:

Citation?  Look, I’m willing to work with you, but you gotta’ give me something to work with beyond crossed arms and dirty heels.

 

561 ... the number of times the Kindle app says “bat” appears in the 2020 NFHS rule book.  That does include terms such as “batter”, “batting”, and “battery”.

Approximately 40 ... the number of times “bat” (excluding “batter”, etc.) appears in the equipment definition section.
 

0 ... the number of times “bat” appears in the field definition section.

0 ... the number of times the book says the bat is ever anything other than a piece of equipment.  Loose bats, broken bats, thrown bats, illegal bats ... all still equipment.

Why do I have to cite?  The bat is not theirs anymore. The ball hitting it in fair territory isn’t anything yet. 

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From the 2016 BRD (section 110, p. 90) FED Official Interpretation:  Hopkins:  A batted ball hitting the pitcher’s plate and rebounding to foul ground between home and first or home and third without touching a fielder is a foul ball as it did not hit beyond the imaginary line in the infield.

When I posted this interpretation earlier I thought that it was odd that the FED relied on it rather than having a rule as both the NCAA and OBR do. And why on earth was it a relatively recent interpretation--2003? It turns out that there is an explanation.

According to the 2016 BRD the FED had that interpretation as black letter law in its rule book as rule 2-5-1 Play 1 prior to 1998. It seems that then current rules interpreter, Brad Rumble, felt that all the plays belonged in the Case Book. So, in a delicious irony all the plays were taken out of the rule book and put into the case book for 1998. All except one and that error was not fixed until 2003 when the new rules interpreter, B. Elliot Hopkins, issued this interpretation.

Just to verify that the BRD story was correct I went to my storage locker and got out my really old books and sure as s*** the BRD was right. Here’s the text from rule 2-5-1 Play 1 in the 1994 NFHS rule book.

B3 hits line drive or ground hit which strikes: (a) pitcher’s plate; or (b) second base. In either case, it rebounds to foul ground between home and third before touching anyone. RULING:  (a) foul. (b) fair hit.

I checked two other rule books—the 1980 and the 1977 and that same play was in those books as well. Apparently, the FED always had the same rule as OBR but it was decided to move the plays from the rule book to the case book for 1998 and it has stayed that way ever since.

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That is very interesting history!  I may not always agree, but you are officially a hero of mine @Senor Azul for the level of research you put into it.

So ... here comes controversial me ... the wording of that case play (ex-rule?) seems to confirm my assertion that the pitcher’s rubber is part of the field, confirming the definitions section’s classifications of “field” and “equipment” (and thus, a bat is “equipment”).  The ruling doesn’t say “because it hit the pitcher’s rubber” it says “as it did not hit beyond the imaginary line in the infield”.

So ... the pitcher’s rubber is part of the field and the bat is equipment.  :D  

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3 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

That is very interesting history!  I may not always agree, but you are officially a hero of mine @Senor Azul for the level of research you put into it.

So ... here comes controversial me ... the wording of that case play (ex-rule?) seems to confirm my assertion that the pitcher’s rubber is part of the field, confirming the definitions section’s classifications of “field” and “equipment” (and thus, a bat is “equipment”).  The ruling doesn’t say “because it hit the pitcher’s rubber” it says “as it did not hit beyond the imaginary line in the infield”.

So ... the pitcher’s rubber is part of the field and the bat is equipment.  :D  

And the batted ball hitting loose equipment in fair territory stays live. 

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