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Possible Infield Fly in Effect Over Foul Line

 

Jim Bettencourt Author of the Baseball Rules in Black and White

 

NFHS Rule Set

 

· When an infield fly is landing near the foul line, the umpire will declare infield fly, “if fair”. Rule 2-19, Pg. 20

Note: It is very important to understand the five parameters that establish a fair ball in order to correctly rule when an infield fly “if fair “is in effect. A batted ball in order to be a fair must:

1. Stop on fair ground between home to first base and home to third base. Rule 2-5-1-a, Pg. 16

2. Contact fairground on or beyond an imaginary line between first and third base.   Rule 2-5-1-b, Pg. 16

3. Be on or over fairground while passing first or third base heading to the outfield. Rule 2-51-c, Pg. 16

4.  Land on the fairground on or beyond the first or third base. Rule 2-51-d, Pg. 16

5. Touch any base. Rule 2-51-e, Pg. 16

 

Infield Fly being in effect can be placed in Black and White’s three categories 1. Routine Infield Fly in effect, 2. Difficult Infield Fly in effect or 3. Train Wreck / Extreme Wind Infield Fly in effect





1. Routine Infield Fly in effect plays would be a player(s) camped directly under an infield fly (a.k.a. ordinary effort) waiting to make a catch.

 

Routine Infield Fly in effect balls that are caught or dropped is seldom a problem.

 







2. Difficult Infield Fly in effect plays would be a player(s) under or nearly under an infield fly that is being affected by the wind or the defense is having to move backwards onto the outfield grass.

 

          

 

 

                            

Difficult Infield Fly if an infield fly is not in effect (IFF not been called by the umpire) and the ball is dropped a double or triple play can follow.  

 

The reason umpires may not call IFF in this situation, because of NFHS Rule 2-19, Pg. 20 listed below references “ordinary effort”.

 

A ball that can be (not has to be) caught with ordinary effort by an infielder or outfielder. Rule 2-19, Pg. 20

   

3. Train Wreck / Extreme Wind Infield Fly in effect plays infielder(s) or outfielder(s) converging middle infield or fringe outfield.

 

Train Wreck / Extreme Wind Infield Fly not in effect plays (IFF has not been called by the umpire) and the ball is dropped, again double and triple plays can follow.

Again, the reason umpires may not call IFF in this situation, because of Rule 2-19, Pg. 20 listed below references “ordinary effort”.

A ball that can be (not has to be) caught with ordinary effort by an infielder or outfielder. Rule 2-19, Pg. 20

This Umpire’s Opinion

 

As long as the defensive player is in a proximity under the ball, most fly balls can be caught with ordinary effort.

 

By applying this logic even when the player is having trouble (wind) playing the ball, back peddling onto the grass or even train wrecks, in my opinion, it is still possible to establish ordinary effort. I would prefer to call IFF into effect on difficult or train wreck plays, versus watching a double or triple play I indirectly helped to create.

 










Players and Coaches Rule Basics Win Games

Definitions of an Infield Fly

 

·      In order for an infield fly rule to be in effect, the following things must happen:

1. Less than two outs, with runners on first and second or runners on all bases. Rule 2-19, Pg. 20

2. A ball that can be (not has to be) caught with ordinary effort by an infielder or outfielder. Rule 2-19, Pg. 20

 

Players and Coaches Rule Basics Win Games

When the Infield Fly Rule is in Effect Rulings

·   Once an infield fly rule is in effect, any defensive player can make the catch or not, and the batter-runner is out. Rule 2-19, Pg. 20

·      While an infield fly rule is in effect, if the ball hits a runner who is in contact with a base, that runner is not out. Rule 8-4-2-k-1, Pg. 55

It is an immediate dead ball and the batter is out. Rule 8-4-2-k-1, Pg. 55,

·      With an infield fly rule in effect, the ball hits a runner who is not in contact with a base, both that runner and batter are out. Rule 8-4-2-k-2, Pg. 55

·   A line drive or an attempted bunt is not an infield fly. Rule 2-19, Pg. 20

·   When a fly ball is first touched and caught runners must tag up. Rule 8-2-5-Penalty, Pg. 47

 

Author’ Note: When the infield fly is in effect it is live ball, so when the ball is dropped or caught base runner advance at their own risk. Runners are not forced to run when an infield fly is in effect.