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Discussion: Infield Fly Rule

Posted Discussion
June 24, 2013
Men's 70
473 posts
Infield Fly Rule
Today's game had a bad call involving the Infield Fly Rule. It is a pet peeve of mine that umps call it too soon before they can truly assess whether it is a routine out. In senior ball,
particularly at the rec level, infield flies are rarely routine
especially if the infielder has to back.
The rule is intended to stop a cheap double play and to me umps should keep that in mind. If a fielder is off balance and retreating to make the catch, it is unlikely if he drops it, intentionally or not, that a double play will result if the runners aren't sleeping.
Technical question: We play in an all dirt infield with the dirt going fairly far back. Can it be an infield fly if the ball lands on the green behind the dirt infield??
June 24, 2013
Men's 60
1051 posts
Depends on where the infoelder is playing. Call is based on reasonable effort.
June 24, 2013
Men's 50
30 posts
The infield fly rule is a judgment call, as the rule states that "The judgment of the umpire must govern" and "is in no sense to be considered an appeal play". The rule also states that "Infield Fly" shall be declared immediately upon an umpire's determination that a batted ball has become an infield fly based on the criteria described above and is solely based on the umpire's discretion. Since different umpires may have different definitions of what constitutes "ordinary effort," the rule may be applied differently depending on the umpire and game conditions.
Our Umpires will State as the batter comes to the plate the "infield fly rule is in effect" lets everybody have a heads up. Note: a line drive caught then intentionally dropped is also a judgment call by the Umpire like what happened to me last week.
June 24, 2013
1584 posts
Curtiss the answer to your question is yes. The infielder can backpedal a few steps on the grass and if comfortably under the pop-up I would call infield fly--presuming bases loaded or runners on first and second with less than two outs. Now admittedly you don't see many infielders in senior softball able to backpedal to get comfortably under a pop-up like that. :)
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