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Discussion: Infield fly rule......

Posted Discussion
Nov. 13, 2020
Brotherhood Manager
Men's 50
3 posts
Infield fly rule......
Ok. So this will sound stupid for me asking and I know the rule... Someone please explain the infield fly rule because in the first time in my life, and I'm a registered umpire, I was told today that the infield fly rule is the umpires discretion.
Nov. 13, 2020
B.J.
799 posts
For an umpire to call IF I would not use the word discretion... I would say that IF should be called if in his judgement the ball can be caught with ordinary effort

Nov. 13, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3170 posts
I agree with B.J. ... I wouldn't use the word "discretion" either ... That's what I want my grand daughters to exercise! ... Good judgment by an umpire works for me!
Nov. 13, 2020
B.J.
799 posts
Dave, yes I spotted the extra e in judgment after I posted... but you STILL can't edit a post ... so pretend I was talking to someone from England
Nov. 13, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3170 posts
I didn't notice it either ... I was emphasing the JUDGMENT as opposed to DISCRETION ... Spelling is optional extra credit here! ... Ha!
Nov. 15, 2020
Mikelmart
72 posts
As we age up in SS the infield fly rule and ordinary effort should not used in the same sentence.
Nov. 16, 2020
grayhitter59
Men's 55
276 posts
a fair fly ball (not including a line drive or a bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second, and third bases are occupied before two are out.

Question is, when is the determination made.

1) when the ball is hit in the air

2) when the infielder camps under it

3) when ever the umpire fells like it.

As an umpire as soon as the ball goes up and is determined that it's not going to leave the infield, I believe the call should be made.

This rule is to protect the runners.
Nov. 16, 2020
grayhitter59
Men's 55
276 posts
here is the rule according SSUSA.

A fair fly ball (not including a line drive) that can be caught by any fielder with
ordinary effort when first and second bases or first, second and third bases are
occupied with less than two outs. Any fielder can catch an infield fly.
NOTE: When it becomes apparent that a batted ball will be an infield fly, the
umpire shall immediately declare, "infield fly - batter is out", to aid the runners.
If the ball is near the foul lines, the umpire shall declare, "infield fly - if fair". The
ball is live and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or
re-touch and advance after a fielder touches the ball. If the hit ball becomes a
foul ball, it is treated the same as any other foul ball. Failure of the umpire to
call "infield fly," does not negate the infield fly. If the error is discovered prior
to the next pitch, the infield fly rule may still be called.

where does it say anything about if a player is blinded by the sun or falls down and other such actions.

this is a call base on the trajectory of the ball, PERIOD. once determined its not leaving the infield.
Nov. 16, 2020
stick8
1835 posts
Grayhitter59 you’re just about correct and I do agree with most of what you posted except for one thing. I would contend the ball leaving the infield. Infield fly does not automatically mean the ball has to be on the dirt. If an infielder goes back a few feet on tne grass and camps under it I’m still calling “infield fly batters out.”
That still protects the base runners.
Nov. 16, 2020
DRB22
Men's 50
53 posts
I would have to say the the infield fly rule cannot be applied equally across all levels of play, so some "judgement" must be exercised by the umpire. EX: A fly ball between the catcher and the pitcher for the younger, sub 40 guys, is not the same as for the 60+ guys. So it cannot be simply based on the trajectory of the ball , imo.
Nov. 16, 2020
B.J.
799 posts
stick is correct the ball doesn't have to be in the IF.. In fact SSUSA changed the rule a couple years ago to any fielder can make the play...

you asked when it should be called.. IF should be called at the apex of the flight of the ball and WHEN AND IF the fielder that is attempting to making the catch is doing it with ordinary effort.. and yes the age of the players does make a difference... what an umpire should never do is call IF to soon... also if the umpire doesn't call it he can do so after the play is complete and before a pitch to the next batter
Nov. 16, 2020
grayhitter59
Men's 55
276 posts
what, before the next play, are you kidding me, this can never happen.I hope you never umpire a game in which I am playing B.J.

Yes if the fielder breaks and can camp under the ball in the out field it can be a fly rule.

But in this case the ball never left the clay.



Nov. 16, 2020
chasbutter
3 posts
Well apparently it is @ the umpire's discretion, because we were playing this past October in Myrtle Beach, I was on 2nd, my teammate @ 1st, the batter popped up to the infield, umpire did not call IF, the defensive team dropped the ball, so my teammate and I moved over to 2nd and 3rd. The umpire then calls time, says he made a mistake, I'm assuming by not vocalizing IF, he called the batter out, by right, and made me and my teammate return to our previous bases. Needless to say I was really hot with that umpire, because you can advance @ your on risk, and the next batter then hit to the SS and who outed me going to 3rd.
Nov. 16, 2020
grayhitter59
Men's 55
276 posts
in our case the umpire and TD decided because the sun was in the eyes of the SS that makes a difference.

Yeah OK
Nov. 16, 2020
DRB22
Men's 50
53 posts
chasbutter, yeah a clear mistake there. I don't have a problem with the umpire calling "time" after the action stopped and correct himself and call the batter out, but you clearly have the right to advance.

I don't like the fact that it can be called as long as its before the next play, I can see where an ump admits he made a mistake and corrects himself, but if that is not the case it should be played out as it happened
Nov. 16, 2020
grayhitter59
Men's 55
276 posts
Every time Tim is not the TD, I get the short end of the stick.

Miss you Tim
Nov. 16, 2020
Turbobob
Men's 65
64 posts
It is because of all the reasons stated above that our public 60 plus league dropped using the IF rule over 4 years ago. All of a sudden, many arguments were averted, guys just played normal softball rules without it, and no one even misses the rule.

If a fielder drops the ball in a "IF situation", it's not on purpose and no one has ever pulled off a double play because of the dropped ball. We only allow one putout from a dropped infield fly ball.

Of course, in tournament play, knowledgeable umpires are supposed to be prepared for that. We are self umpiring in our public league.
Nov. 16, 2020
B.J.
799 posts
grayhitter... here's a great idea for you.. try reading the rule next time before you YAPPP about it...

I was just stating what the rule says.. and the best part is you posted it above and still didn't know it ..




Nov. 17, 2020
chico senior
Men's 60
131 posts
About 10 years ago I was umpiring a game in our Masters Division which for the most part are guys 70 and older. Runners on first and second, 1 out, pop up in between 3rd baseman playing about 15 feet behind the bag and the bag. I call infield fly if fair. The 3rd base man is really slow and does not get to ball. I now am watching runners as all hell is breaking out. Unknown to me is that the ball had lots of backspin on it and rolled back foul between 3rd and home. I kept the out call and no one complained about call. Now, after all these comments on the message board, I’m wondering if I should have changed my call to a foul ball.
Nov. 17, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3170 posts
Should probably have ultimately been ruled a foul ball ... You made the correct verbal call: "Infield fly, if fair" ... It didn't end up being a fair ball ...
Nov. 17, 2020
chico senior
Men's 60
131 posts
The funny thing is I didn’t even realize the ball had rolled foul as I was out in the middle of the infield keeping an eye on the baserunners and what they were doing. Someone pulled me aside and asked me if I realized that the ball had rolled foul. No one knew any better and we just moved on.
Nov. 17, 2020
Omar Khayyam
1346 posts
Our weekly (pre-Covid, sadly) Club league also changed the infield fly rule about 15 years ago. We have a variety of ages, even players into their 90s, and a variety of skills. It is still the umpire's decision to call an infield fly when the appropriate baserunners conditions are there, but we do take into account the infielder's abilities. One shortstop easily makes plays on a popup, even up to 40 feet behind him; another second baseman is almost immobile (injury or physical condition) and has trouble coming forward 15 feet for a popup. Should both be an "infield fly" call by the umpire? We decided no.

But the significant rule change is that no one can advance on an IF. So when it is called, players just rest on their bag and wait for the next batter. Occasionally a newer player will try to advance after an infielder muffs the catch, but we calmly explain our rule. Our experience is the same as Turbobob's—the result of the change was almost all arguments were eliminated, we just play softball without it and with compassion for our less experienced or less skilled players, and we play on, happy that we can still play at our age (average about 68 years and women welcome).
Nov. 18, 2020
stick8
1835 posts
Omar in the league you reference it sounds to me like “infield fly, batters out” could be reworded as “infield fly, batters out, dead ball” or a variation of that wording. Pretty easy to understand.
Turbobob, I’m a bit confused, help me out here. The rule in your league, as you stated, says the defense is allowed to execute one putout on an infield fly. Is the batter automatically out or not?
Nov. 18, 2020
Omar Khayyam
1346 posts
stick8, you are correct—that would be an accurate call, but since we don't pay any umpires, we take what we get and the call "infield fly" is usually enough as most of the players know that the batter is out. I can't remember the last time that an infield fly ended up going foul—might be years, but it would certainly result in a lot of discussion no matter what happened to it next. However, since we don't have the option to advance on an infield fly, it keeps the discussion lively but not heated. By the way, our night leagues and Saturday leagues do follow the normal infield fly rules since many of the players there are also tournament players and like to practice in realistic conditions.

Our players are so congenial that in the absence of a dedicated umpire for a game, the catcher becomes the umpire!! We just changed that rule last year before Covid hit, where bench sitters become the umpires for home plate as well as first and third. Still works out well and does help overcome the normal "homer" tendency to call one's own team safe on close calls on the bases. Wish we were playing again and we could see if it continues to be an improvement.

Nov. 19, 2020
Turbobob
Men's 65
64 posts
stick8, there are NO automatic outs from a dropped infield fly or pop-up. If the fielder recovers from the dropped ball, he can throw to 2nd for the out, and if successful, cannot try for a second out. The batter is safe at 1st base. If, instead, the fielder throws to 1st base for the out and is successful, the batter is out and the 1st baseman cannot try for a second out, and the runner going to 2nd is safe. It's like treating it as a "one out only" fielder's choice for all runners who are on any base at the time when an IF rule situation arises. We've had no complaints or arguments since we eliminated the rule.

And the game is still fun to play.
Jan. 27, 2021
txnighttrain
99 posts
If the Infield Fly is called by the umpire, the batter is out and runners advance at their own risk. If ball is dropped, batter is still out and advancing runners must be tagged since force is now off. If caught, runners must tag up before advancing or else they can be called out for failing to retouch with a proper appeal.
Jan. 29, 2021
UMP AR
5 posts
"Ordinary Effort": I "judge" the capability of the fielder(s) to make an "ordinary effort". As previously stated ordinary effort of a 40 year old is much different than the "ordinary effort" of a 65 five year old.
Jan. 29, 2021
rmp0012002
Men's 50
8 posts
If it’s a routine or of “ordinary effort’ the umpire should call the rule immediately. The only time I can see judgement applied is if the pop-up leads onto the outfield grass. If the fielder has to go a good distance into the outfield to make the catch then I would not call the rule.
Jan. 30, 2021
stick8
1835 posts
When I played young man’s ball I played a lot of middle. On a pop up to left field that he had to go on the grass this one shortstop we had would always go out and if the ball was too deep for him to catch it he’d stop while the ball was still in the air and act like he was was going to catch it. He’d say “I got it”. The umpire would then call “infield fly batters out.” Then the ball would land behind him. I can’t tell you how many times he got away with that!!
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