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Weird pop-up ending (Hign School)


Guest Chubby Cubbie

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Guest Chubby Cubbie

Bottom of final inning, two outs, visitors lead by 1, home runners on first and second.

Batter hits a fair pop-up to third base, runner rounds third and heads home as the third baseman catches the ball with glove extended overhead.

Instead of lowering his arm and removing the ball from the glove to complete the catch, the third baseman also raises his throwing arm and bounces jubilantly toward the dugout, quickly engulfed in teammates. The umpire calls the game as the third baseman nears the dugout. Immediately after, the third baseman lowers his glove, and the ball falls out in foul territory without being touched by the throwing hand. In the mean time, runner on second has "scored" and runner on first has left the field of play without advancing, thinking the game was over.

The home coach claims the game is tied, batter placed on first and runner on second because the catch was never completed. The umpire ruled that because the ball remained in the glove for several seconds of celebration, that established control for the purposes of the final out.

Was the umpire wrong?

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A catch is determined by establishing control.  Control can be shown in different ways, but voluntary release is not the sole manner (what coach is prob arguing).

Momentum of catch being complete and change of direction by fielder while holding ball establishes control.

Video of this would be better but from what is written, no way should that be a “drop”

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Your umpire was not wrong.

2019 FED rule 2-9 ART. 1 . . . A catch is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a live ball in flight and firmly holding it, provided he does not use his cap, protector, mask, pocket or other part of his uniform to trap the ball. The catch of a fly ball by a fielder is not completed until the continuing action of the catch is completed. A fielder who catches a ball and then runs into a wall or another player and drops the ball has not made a catch. A fielder, at full speed, who catches a ball and whose initial momentum carries him several more yards after which the ball drops from his glove has not made a catch. When the fielder, by his action of stopping, removing the ball from his glove, etc., signifies the initial action is completed and then drops the ball, will be judged to have made the catch. The same definition of a catch would apply when making a double play. It is considered a catch if a fielder catches a fair or foul ball and then steps or falls into a bench, dugout, stand, bleacher or over any boundary or barrier, such as a fence, rope, chalk line, or a pregame determined imaginary boundary line from the field of play. Falling into does not include merely running against such object. (See 2-24-4 for fielder juggling ball and 8-4-1c for intentionally dropped ball; 2-16-2 and 5-1-1d for ball striking catcher before touching his glove.) It is not a catch when a fielder touches a batted ball in flight which then contacts a member of the offensive team or an umpire and is then caught by a defensive player.

NOTE: When a batted ball or a pitch is involved, the above definition of a catch applies. For any other thrown ball, the term is used loosely to also apply to a pick-up or to the trapping of a low throw which has touched the ground. A fielder may have the ball in his grasp even though it is touching the ground while in his glove.

2019 NFHS Case Book Play 2.9.1 Situation A:  B1 hits a ground ball to F5. The throw to F3 is wide causing him to stretch for the catch. The ball arrives in time, but as F3 attempts to regain his balance, he drops the ball. Is the runner out? RULING:  Attempts to regain balance after receiving the ball are considered a part of the act of catching, and if the fielder does not come up with the ball in his possession, it is not considered a catch. In all such cases, judgment is a factor. If the ball is clearly in the fielder’s possession and if some other new movement not related to the catch is then made, and if the ball is fumbled in such new movement, the umpire will declare it a catch followed by a fumble.

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My interpretation of the OP is that F5 caught the pop-up in fair territory and proceeded to raise his throwing hand and jump up and down with both hands raised. He moved from fair territory to the 3B dugout, while being engulfed by teammates. At that point, as he nears the dugout, the umpire calls the game, the fielder lowers his glove and the ball comes out.

IMO the fielder traveling at least 30 feet (probably more than twice that from foul line to dugout even if in a right angle) while jumping up and down with the ball in his glove extended overhead demonstrates control. His celebration movements are not a part of the catch. The catch has been made.

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On 10/21/2021 at 8:24 PM, Guest Chubby Cubbie said:

Instead of lowering his arm and removing the ball from the glove to complete the catch, the third baseman also raises his throwing arm and bounces jubilantly toward the dugout, quickly engulfed in teammates. The umpire calls the game as the third baseman nears the dugout. Immediately after, the third baseman lowers his glove, and the ball falls out in foul territory without being touched by the throwing hand.

How many times have we – as baseball participants (players, coaches, umpires) and fans – witnessed a smash liner / come-backer to the pitcher where he gloves it, then defiantly drops / flings / spikes the ball, directly from his glove, and strides off the field? How many times have infielders snared a liner, only to jog off and drop it – directly from their glove – on the mound as they jog off, ending the inning? Or, better yet, kept the damned thing (in their glove)? 

Are we really ever calling them for carrying the ball into dead ball territory (their dugout), and awarding bases? Are we?!?! 

I mean, they never took the ball out of the glove with their throwing hand, did they?? 🤨

Get a clue, coach… and a few pennies of common sense. And woe to the umpire that entertains this ridiculousness. 

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now I may not have the EXACT wording, as the interpretation received from Jim Evans 10-15 years ago was that you need voluntary and intentional release.  UNLESS, control had been established to the point where normal release could be expected.

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