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Ball off the wall knocked out of play


spark2212
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If a fly ball hits the outfield wall, starts to bounce back into play but gets knocked out of play by the outfielder before it hits the ground, is it a home run? If not, how many bases does everyone get? Does it matter whether it hits the top or the front of the wall?

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2019 NFHS Case Book Play 8.3.3 Situation H:  B1 hits a long fly ball to left field. F7 goes back to the fence, leaps, but is not able to touch the fly ball. The ball then rebounds off the fence, strikes the fielder’s glove and ricochets over the fence in fair territory. Is this a home run or a ground-rule double? RULING:  This would be considered a ground-rule double. To be a home run, the ball must clear the fence in flight. Action secondary to the hit (ball ricocheting off the fence and then off the fielder’s glove) caused the ball to go into dead-ball area. Therefore, the hit shall be ruled a ground-rule double.

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12 minutes ago, Senor Azul said:

2019 NFHS Case Book Play 8.3.3 Situation H:  B1 hits a long fly ball to left field. F7 goes back to the fence, leaps, but is not able to touch the fly ball. The ball then rebounds off the fence, strikes the fielder’s glove and ricochets over the fence in fair territory. Is this a home run or a ground-rule double? RULING:  This would be considered a ground-rule double. To be a home run, the ball must clear the fence in flight. Action secondary to the hit (ball ricocheting off the fence and then off the fielder’s glove) caused the ball to go into dead-ball area. Therefore, the hit shall be ruled a ground-rule double.

So why then is it a home run if the ball bounces off of Jose Canseco’s head?

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4 minutes ago, Senor Azul said:

2019 NFHS Rule 2 Playing Terms and Definitions

SECTION 6 BATTED BALL

ART. 1 . . . A batted or thrown ball is in flight until it has touched the ground or some object other than a fielder.

I really don’t mean to be annoying here, but why is the top of the wall indeterminate? If a fly ball hits the top of the wall and bounces out of play, it’s a home run, but if it bounces back onto the field, it’s in play.

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28 minutes ago, spark2212 said:

I really don’t mean to be annoying here, but why is the top of the wall indeterminate? If a fly ball hits the top of the wall and bounces out of play, it’s a home run, but if it bounces back onto the field, it’s in play.

Because the perpendicular front of that wall defines the playing field, absent some MLB ground rule. If the ball bounces back it didn't leave the playing field in flight.

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29 minutes ago, spark2212 said:

I really don’t mean to be annoying here, but why is the top of the wall indeterminate? If a fly ball hits the top of the wall and bounces out of play, it’s a home run, but if it bounces back onto the field, it’s in play.

FAIR TERRITORY is that part of the playing field within, and
including the first base and third base lines, from home base to the bot-
tom of the playing field fence and perpendicularly upwards.

 

So, a ball that hits the top of the fence has left fair territory.  If the ball bounces (directly) back, the it really hit the facing of the fence, not the top.

 

Later / recent interps have held (incorreclty in my view) that a ball that rest atop the fence has not left the field and can be retrieved (but not caught).  If the ball can't be retrieved, it's a two-base award.

 

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57 minutes ago, spark2212 said:

I really don’t mean to be annoying here, but why is the top of the wall indeterminate? If a fly ball hits the top of the wall and bounces out of play, it’s a home run, but if it bounces back onto the field, it’s in play.

The other posters quoting this question have answered it, but I'll do so in other words:

A fly ball that "hits the top of the wall" and goes out of play is a HR because the top of the wall is beyond the forward edge of the fence: an inch is as good as a yard for determining "over the fence." (Non-U.S. translation: a centimeter is as good as a meter.)

A ball that hits the fence and returns to the field of play is live, but cannot be caught for an out. That's the same rule that dictates that F2 cannot catch for an out a fly ball that has touched the backstop (though that one is foul, so dead when it hits the fence).

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The NCAA is the only code that covers this question in its rules--2021-2022 NCAA rule 7-6f.

Fair Ball

SECTION 6. A fair ball is a legally batted ball that:

f. Passes out of the playing field in flight while over fair territory.

Note: If a batted ball hits the top of the fence while in fair territory and then bounces over the fence, it is a home run.

FED has an OI first published in 1985. From the 2016 BRD (section 23, p. 32): 

Official Interpretation:  Rumble:  It is a home run if a batted ball hits on top of the outfield fence and then bounds over in fair territory.

And for OBR the rule book doesn’t answer this question because I think it defers to local ground rules. For example, Fenway Park has a ground rule about a section of fence where a vertical line is painted on the wall and if you hit the top of the wall to the right of the yellow line it’s a home run even if it bounces back onto the field; if you hit the top of the wall to the left of the yellow line the ball is still in play. (Not sure of this—never been to Fenway.)

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An example of a batted ball hitting the top of the fence and rebounding back into play happened in the 2010 World Series between the Rangers and the Giants. During Game 2 in a scoreless tie in the top of the 5th inning, Ian Kinsler hit what ended up being a double when his long drive to center field hit the top of the fence and came back to the center fielder--then Kinsler was stranded on base. That could have affected the momentum of the game as the Giants went on to shut out the Rangers to take a two game lead in the Series.

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1 hour ago, noumpere said:

FAIR TERRITORY is that part of the playing field within, and
including the first base and third base lines, from home base to the bot-
tom of the playing field fence and perpendicularly upwards.

 

So, a ball that hits the top of the fence has left fair territory.  If the ball bounces (directly) back, the it really hit the facing of the fence, not the top.

 

Later / recent interps have held (incorreclty in my view) that a ball that rest atop the fence has not left the field and can be retrieved (but not caught).  If the ball can't be retrieved, it's a two-base award.

 

With enough backspin, it can hit the true top of the wall and bounce back into play. 

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2 hours ago, spark2212 said:

With enough backspin, it can hit the true top of the wall and bounce back into play. 

Maybe you should let MLB know this should be a reviewable play. Without researching I think it might be. How they would tell NY to rule I don't know. If you are asking about venues lower than MLB/MiLB we just go with bounced over or bounced not.

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Just now, Jimurray said:

Maybe you should let MLB know this should be a reviewable play. Without researching I think it might be. How they would tell NY I don't know. If you are asking about venues lower than MLB/MiLB we just go with bounced over or bounced not.

I think it’s just standard practice to consider the top of the wall indeterminate. Just seems a bit weird. 

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17 minutes ago, spark2212 said:

I think it’s just standard practice to consider the top of the wall indeterminate. Just seems a bit weird. 

...and that's why to me, logically, the OP is a home run. If a ball is a home run by passing out of the playing field touching only the top of the wall, then by the definition of home run, it left the playing field in flight. The definition of a ball in flight includes a ball that has touched a fielder. If the top of the wall doesn't render a ball no longer in flight, and we know touching a fielder doesn't, then touching both should not matter--whether it's fielder then top of fence, or top of fence then fielder.

If the issue is the vertical plane, then it doesn't matter what happens after it hits the top of the fence, and should be a home run at that point (and no balls on top should be considered in play.)

This is not how I would necessarily rule on the field were this situation ever to happen to me, however.

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9 minutes ago, Matt said:

...and that's why to me, logically, the OP is a home run. If a ball is a home run by passing out of the playing field touching only the top of the wall, then by the definition of home run, it left the playing field in flight. The definition of a ball in flight includes a ball that has touched a fielder. If the top of the wall doesn't render a ball no longer in flight, and we know touching a fielder doesn't, then touching both should not matter--whether it's fielder then top of fence, or top of fence then fielder.

If the issue is the vertical plane, then it doesn't matter what happens after it hits the top of the fence, and should be a home run at that point (and no balls on top should be considered in play.)

This is not how I would necessarily rule on the field were this situation ever to happen to me, however.

The OP was referring to a fly ball that hits the face of the wall and gets knocked out of play. 

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From the 2021 Minor League Baseball Umpire Manual (section 5.8, p. 53):

Unless provided otherwise by local ground rule, a fair fly ball striking the top of the outfield wall and bounding back onto the playing field shall be treated the same as a fair fly ball that strikes the outfield wall and rebounds back onto the playing field (in play but may not be caught for purposes of an out).

Unless provided otherwise by local ground rule, a fair fly ball striking the top of the outfield wall and bounding over the wall shall be ruled a homerun.

Unless provided otherwise by local ground rule, a fair fly ball striking the top of the outfield wall and remaining on top of the wall shall be deemed a ground rule double.

Unless provided otherwise by local ground rule, a fair fly ball striking the top of the outfield wall that in the umpire’s judgment would have bounded over the wall if not for the permissible action of a spectator shall be ruled a homerun. A fair fly ball that strikes the top of the outfield wall and is picked up by a spectator while still in motion shall also be ruled a homerun. A fair fly ball that lands on the top of the outfield wall and is picked up by a spectator after coming to a stop shall be deemed a ground-rule double.

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So, a ball that hits the top of the fence has left fair territory.  If the ball bounces (directly) back, the it really hit the facing of the fence, not the top.

Later / recent interps have held (incorreclty in my view) that a ball that rest atop the fence has not left the field and can be retrieved (but not caught).  If the ball can't be retrieved, it's a two-base award.

From the 2017 Jaksa/Roder manual (p. 33):

Examples:  On Live Ball Territory or Dead Ball Territory

5. A left fielder’s leap originates from the top of a low fence that borders DBT. He gloves the ball before landing on DBT and maintaining control:  catch. The top of the fence is LBT. (emphasis added)

And on its page 32 we find this definition of the term live ball territory.

Live ball territory (LBT), or the playing field, is the surface of an object or the ground upon which a live ball that has been batted, pitched, or thrown remains live.

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On 8/6/2022 at 9:10 PM, spark2212 said:

I think it’s just standard practice to consider the top of the wall indeterminate. Just seems a bit weird. 

 

 

On 8/6/2022 at 11:43 PM, Senor Azul said:

So, a ball that hits the top of the fence has left fair territory.  If the ball bounces (directly) back, the it really hit the facing of the fence, not the top.

Later / recent interps have held (incorreclty in my view) that a ball that rest atop the fence has not left the field and can be retrieved (but not caught).  If the ball can't be retrieved, it's a two-base award.

From the 2017 Jaksa/Roder manual (p. 33):

Examples:  On Live Ball Territory or Dead Ball Territory

5. A left fielder’s leap originates from the top of a low fence that borders DBT. He gloves the ball before landing on DBT and maintaining control :  catch. The top of the fence is LBT. (emphasis added)

And on its page 32 we find this definition of the term live ball territory.

Live ball territory (LBT), or the playing field, is the surface of an object or the ground upon which a live ball that has been batted, pitched, or thrown remains live.

If an F8 goes up to steal a home run he may grab the top of the wall for leverage and still legally make the catch.   If it was dead ball territory it would not be a legal catch, I think.   By extension, even the backside of the wall wouldn't be DBT (to avoid the intricacies of determining what part of the wall the fielder touched).

If the fielder were to climb the wall, lean over, and use a seat or railing, beyond the wall, for balance, whether with his foot or throwing hand, he would now be "in" DBT and it would not be a legal catch.

Right?

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From the 2017 Jaksa/Roder manual (page 33):

A fielder is on or in DBT if

(a) he is standing and any portion of his foot is touching an object on DBT or an area that is DBT.

(b) he has fallen and the greater portion of his body is touching an area that is DBT.

(c) he is leaping and his leap originated from the surface of an object on DBT or from an area that is DBT.

Examples: On Live Ball Territory or Dead Ball Territory

1. A standing fielder, both feet entirely on LBT but leaning and touching a spectator or spectator seat: the fielder is on LBT.

2. A catcher, leaning against a break with both feet on LBT, is trying to catch:  the fielder is on LBT.

3. A third baseman, standing and straddling a DBT line:  on DBT.

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