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Catch or no catch



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Let’s break this down… 

F3 makes an unhindered attempt at catching a pop-fly in the vicinity of 1B. We’re going to assume Fair, since you did not note Foul territory for first touch; if the pop fly had been in Foul territory, touched the F3’s glove and then hit the R1 – despite standing on 1B (Fair territory) – the ball would be ruled Foul. 

Now, since you indicated that the ball was touched by the F3 first, then this absolves R1 of being touched by a batted ball for INT. Whether or not he’s in contact with 1B is inconsequential; the only time a Runner, in contact with a base, is not guilty of being touched by a batted ball for INT is in the event of an Infield Fly (IFF). Since the fielder had first touch of that batted ball, and then it touches R1, that takes precedence… the ball remains Live.

Now with the ball being subsequently “caught”… once it touches the Runner (or an Umpire), it is no longer deemed a Fly ball. Thus, it is treated like an uncaught batted ball (eg. a ground ball), and to record an out, a play must be made on the Runner(s). If the F3 then tags the R1, he is Out (as a Force Out, as he is forced to advance to the next base by the Batter becoming a Runner), and then if F3 then touches 1B, the BR is Out as well. 

Alternatively, if F3 touches 1B first, then BR is Out. With the force removed on the BR being ruled Out, if F3 then tags R1 while R1 is contact with 1B, then R1 is Safe. 

There is an instance of this happening in a MLB game (I cannot remember which, as we were shown the play as an example). A line drive caroms off the F1, then hits R1 as he’s headed towards 2B, then is “caught” by F4. F4 throws to F3 at 1B to retire BR only. R1 is safe at 2B. 

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A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it

IN FLIGHT describes a batted, thrown, or pitched ball which has not yet touched the ground or some object other than a fielder


"some object other than a fielder" includes base runners, coaches, bases, plates, bats, etc, etc.


There are some ground rules in Tampa that defy this.

This doesn't seem to apply to insects.

Not sure about birds....funny enough, ChatGPT appears to have just fabricated an incident where it claimed Dusty Baker hit a home run off a seagull in 1972.

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The answer given by Mr. GiantEngineer is language taken from the definition of "catch." It is a perfect response to the question posed in the OP. The cool thing is the term "catch" is defined in both the OBR and NFHS rule books.

On the other hand, Mr. maven's advice to look up the term "in flight" is not so perfect. In flight is not an entry in the NFHS rule 2. The term is used, however, in the rule 2-6-1. But I think the answer posted by Mr. GiantEngineer is much better.

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