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Discussion: Is it a double play

Posted Discussion
Oct. 6, 2019
timmyb
27 posts
Is it a double play
This was a very heated discussion in the winners bracket game between gem City and Washington legends ( fun team to play against ) . Bottom of the 7th down 2 , one out . Man at first and second .
Our number 3 hitter hits a laser offf the pitchers foot , and goes 50 ft up and 2 second baseman . Iím yelling at the runner at first to take off to second . He does , the throw goes to first , umpire calls the batter out . Now here is my question , the pitcher said the ball hit his foot ( not the ground ) and it shot over to second basemen ( took forever to come Down ) Iím not questioning that it didnít hit the ground , Iím questioning why the umpire changed his call to a double play , saying the batter at first didnít tag up correctly . I tried explaining to him , and then the 2 directors that came over , that , yes if the umpire felt the ball didnít hit the ground and wAs a deflection 50 feet up , the runner at first could have started running as soon as it was deflected , no difference than if it was a bobbled ball in the outfield , as soon as the ball made contact with the pitcher , runner at first can advance and try to get second . Umpire said even though it hit the pitcher first deflected to second baseman never hitting the ground , the batter at first didnít tag correctly ( after the second basemen caught the ball .
The 2 site directors agreed and didnít overturn it . So , double play game over . Am I mistaken and missing Somthing ? Again Iím not questioning the original call that the ball hit off the pitchers foot and flew 50 ft straight up and over to second basemen , thatís a judgement call , Iím saying there should only be 2 outs.
Oct. 6, 2019
B.J.
613 posts
timmyb.. I'm not sure what you mean by didn't tag correctly? do you mean they thought he left to soon? if they thought the runner had to wait until the catch they were wrong..

if the umpire saw the ball go off the pitchers foot and up into the air not touching the ground... why would he call the batter out at 1st base.. the batter should have been called out on a caught fly ball by the 2nd baseman..

and yes if the batted ball hit the pitchers foot and went straight up into the air all runners can advance on 1st touch


Oct. 6, 2019
timmyb
27 posts
Thank you bj , itís exactly as you state it . The umpire said the player on first left to go to second before the ball came down for the second baseman to catch it, I thought as soon as it was deflected by the pitcher , both runners could advance ..... as soon as the 2nd baseman caught it , the umpire called the batter out .... the site director agreed with the umpire , game over ..... never seen a call like this in a world tourney ....... part of the argument was our team was arguing the ball hit the ground before hitting the pitcher .... umpire said he felt it hit the pitchers foot before going 50 foot up in the air ( pitcher was wearing shin and toe guards ) .... in the umpires defense , it was a laser shot and very quick ( hit very hard ) , my point was that was a judgement call and I understand it couldnít be overturned , but then calling the runner out for not tagging correctly ( after the second baseman actually caught the ball ) is not correct , and I feel the umpire and site director got it wrong .... should have only been 1 out ( the batter ) ..... again was a good game , had good umps im general , but unless someone from ssusa can show me this is a wrong application of the rule , the umpire and site director made the wrong call and stuck with it ........ again , not taking anything away from Washington team , was a great game to play .......
Oct. 7, 2019
B.J.
613 posts
I meant to post the below rule yesterday..

8.4(8) ē WHEN RUNNERS CAN ADVANCE AT THEIR RISK

Runners are entitled to advance with liability to be put out:

D. When a legally caught ball is first touched.
Oct. 7, 2019
STL0
Men's 55
166 posts
Hard to believe 2 site directors agreed with that call. That doesn't make sense.
Oct. 7, 2019
stick8
1718 posts
Timmyb, strictly going by the way you describe the play I have the batter out but the runner at first would not be out. The ball would still be live and the runners are free to advance at their own risk.
The only two ways the runner at first would be out is:
1) if he left the base well before the batter made contact with the ball in which case itís a dead ball out
2) if after the fielder caught the deflected ball the runner is off the base and is tagged out.
Remember once that ball hit the pitchers foot and deflected in the air runners are free to advance or they can stay on the base they occupied. Since the batter is out they are not forced to move up.
Now Iíd have to see the play to make an official ruling but this is strictly based on your description.
Did the runners go back to their bags after the 2nd baseman caught the ball in the air?
Oct. 7, 2019
stick8
1718 posts
In effect itís almost like an infield fly rule
Oct. 7, 2019
timmyb
27 posts
Thanks all , the only reason i put this is on the board , is the site director spoke to the umpire , and confirmed double play , game over . Told me that if I didnít like the ruling ( I also questioned why there would not be 2 umpires on a world tournament like this , and he said put on the message board , and ask why .they wonít have 2 umpires until final Sunday . Again , things were heated , and the director threatened to throw out players , but I give him credit , he didnít . What was explained to me ( my team , the double play was awarded because the runner at first and second base did not tag correctly and left the bases before the second baseman caught the ball coming Down , what we were trying to get the 2 site directors to at least discuss with the ump or ump with them, was we thought as soon as the ball wAs deflected up in the air , the runner at first and second could either stay or advance , both took off while the ball was was coming down . I do not understand how it was ruled a double play , neither runner left until the ball was 50 ft up in the air deflected off of the pitcher , we even asked if they would at least look at the recording to see what actually happened , said they canít look at tapes .
Again , my feeling is the umpire didnít know the rule, and maybe the site director didnít . Iím
Hoping someone from ussssa will clarify . Also if anyone wants to look the game, itís on face book live .....

On a side note , if you look at the game , listen to the umpire calling no pitch instead of illegal ( pitcher was waking up while pitching ). Tried to get the umpire to know itís not no pitch , itís illegal and a ball ...he stated itís ď no pitch ď and neither a ball or strike .... have not heard that rule either .....
Was a great tournament , well run and this is our 4th year playing in it , and hopefully again next year , Iím just trying to get clarification. On the game ending double play .....

Oct. 7, 2019
timmyb
27 posts
Also , this was an extremely hard hit ball , and deflection , there was no time for anyone to react ( including the umpire ) until the ball was 50 up , we started yelling for the runner at first and second to take off ..... you can see as soon as the ball is caught the umpire is calling the batter out ( I agree with this call ) , but them calling it a double play based on the runners not waiting for the ball to be caught ( a legal tag up / advancement ) I donít understand .
we tried coveying to the umpire and site directors , we agree on the caught ball batter out , but not a game ending double play ..... no one would budge on that decision ( site directors or umpire )
Thatís why things got so heated , no one there would explain why a double play was awarded .... lol at the game on tape if you have questions
Oct. 7, 2019
B.J.
613 posts
timmyb.. just in case you ever have a rules dispute in the future.. ALWAYS ask for the site UIC he is the head umpire in charge of the tournament.. many site directors have never been umpires and may not know the rules as well as a UIC should
Oct. 7, 2019
Wayne 37
Men's 60
622 posts
FYI ~ This is in no way, shape or form an infield fly [insert eye roll].

Umpire knew to call the catch an out...Ö..or did he call the throw to first an out. Very, very doubtful the runners left their bases early.

Between the three of them, they screwed up royally. Sounds like there should have been runners at 2nd and 3rd with two outs.

After a few "no pitches" the umpire should have in the very least warned the pitcher to cease or risk an ejection even if it should by rule be called illegal and a ball.

Sucks to come that far and lose in that fashion.
Oct. 7, 2019
stick8
1718 posts
BJ, I would venture to say some umpires donít know the rules!!
Oct. 7, 2019
Jay Cas
5 posts
Technically,
The tournament directors or UIC should not be getting involved. Once the ruling was made on the field. The coach of the team on offense should have protested the play for an interpretation of the rules so that it can be clearly explained. The coach could have then showed the umpire and the director the rulebook.
Oct. 7, 2019
TOMAR77
Men's 65
298 posts
If I may contribute. As I read the Rules and being a former Umpire,from what I read by timmyb's description of the play. The call made is correct. Note Rule Section 1 ,# 1.10 page 2 Senior Softball-Rulebook 2019 - 2020. It is a rather long Sub- Rule so I won't repeat the whole Rule here. However please note the following sentence within this Rule. When reading take special note of this sentence, "A ball that strikes anything other than a ,DEFENSIVE PLAYER, while in flight, is ruled the same as if it struck the the ground". I interpete that to mean, that if the ball strikes any part of a Defensive player, ball is live and if caught Before it hits the ground then it is an out. Therefore if a players leaves his base before the 'catch' and ball is then thrown to the base once occupied by the base-runner, before said player returns to his original base. He then is declared out. Hence it is a Double-Play. Also note Section 1 , #1.42 page 8. Fly ball in Flight, caught in Flight off a Defensive player is Fly Ball Out. A Player leaves without Tagging up is Out, same as a Fly Ball that is caught without a deflection.
For me it is pretty straightforward. Ball hits Defensive Player, Ball goes into Flight Mode, Defensive Player Catches Ball Before Ball Hits the Ground, Out # 1, Runner on Base Leaves Base Before Ball Is Caught, Defensive Player Throws to Base Before Runner Returns, Out #2, Double-Play.
Interesting conversation, if I have missed something please advise. Just want to get the Correct Call just as timmyb wants.
Tomar
Oct. 8, 2019
timmyb
27 posts
Tomar, thank you . This is no different ( unless Dave says so ) than a fly ball to the outfield, left fielder tried to catch it , it pops in the air , and left center catches it before it hits the ground , for an out . I think , as soon as Left fielder touches the ball , the runners can advance . If this is no longer the case in ssussa, news to me . Can Dave or someone advise on this or tell me who I should contact to get an explanation from my original post ?
Oct. 8, 2019
B.J.
613 posts
TOMAR77 ..
the batted ball that was in flight and went off the foot of the pitcher never touching the ground and then caught in the air by the 2nd baseman was a legal catch therefore runners can advance at their own risk on 1st touch which was the pitchers foot... I posted the rule above but here it is again..

8.4(8) ē WHEN RUNNERS CAN ADVANCE AT THEIR RISK
RUNNERS ARE ENTITLED TO ADVANCE with liability to be put out:
D. When a legally caught ball is FIRST TOUCHED.
Oct. 8, 2019
stick8
1718 posts
Tomar77, In this situation I believe youíre incorrect when you say the runner who leaves the base on the first touch but before the actual catch is out if the ball is thrown back to the base and subsequent tagging of the base the runner occupied before the catch.
Base runners are free to advance with the liability to be put out on the first touch.
The way timmyb described the play the only way the base runner(s) could have been out is being tagged if off the base.
Oct. 8, 2019
TOMAR77
Men's 65
298 posts
O.K., intertepations have been opined. I would suggest that Rick Seifman V.P. of Umpires clarify timmyb's question. Personally I would like to know the Right answer. I respect my fellow players input and they may be correct. Let's get a Final word on this. Rick I would think is the person to explain and get us and our fellow Senior Players the correct interpretation according to the SSUSA Rulebook.
If not Rick, then Who ?
Tomar
Oct. 8, 2019
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2599 posts
Tomar ... Rick doesn't "do" the Message Board, so I'll take a swing at it ... I have read along and respect the analysis by everyone to date, almost all of whom got it right ... As the original fact pattern was described, it appears the umpire erred in mis-applying rule ß8.4(8)D. about when a base runner may advance at his own risk ...

That is on the "first touch" (batted ball striking pitcher's foot and not the ground) and NOT on the completion of the catch by the second baseman ... The ONLY way you have a double play in this circumstance is if the second baseman, after catching the ball, tags the base runner on his way by to second ... The correct call would have been batter out on the catch, base runner safe at second advancing after a legal tag-up and two outs ... Next batter, please! ...

Oct. 8, 2019
Wayne 37
Men's 60
622 posts
I wasn't for sure, but I would have thought what Jay Cas posted was the proper way to handle the situation.
Oct. 9, 2019
TOMAR77
Men's 65
298 posts
Thanks Dave for the response. So if a ball hits a D-Player goes airborne and another D-Player catches the ball, before the ball hits the ground. Runner on base can advance at their own risk and the runner does not need to tag-up before advancing ?
Tomar
Oct. 9, 2019
STL0
Men's 55
166 posts
Tomar: What everyone is trying to say is that the runner at first did in fact tag up. The tag up occurred after the ball struck the pitchers foot (when ball was originally touched). By rule, that is a legal tag up and runner can advance at his own risk. When the ball was caught has nothing to do with it. Hope that makes sense.
Oct. 9, 2019
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2599 posts
Tomar ... The base runner must tag up on a caught "fly ball", but the threshold timing event is the "first touch" by a defensive player ... In this circumstance, the "first touch" was the contact with the pitcher's foot and NOT the eventual completion of the catch by the second baseman ... The base runner tagging up (or leaving first base for the first time) AFTER the ball hit the pitcher's foot constitutes a proper tag-up and he may (and did) advance at his own risk of being put out ...
Oct. 9, 2019
B.J.
613 posts
TOMAR... you are making this harder than it should be.. The runner can leave the base on FIRST TOUCH of any defensive player .. so if the runner was standing on the bag at the time of 1st touch there would be no need to tag up.. If he stepped off the bag and then 1st touch occurred he would then have to tag up... I hope this helps
Oct. 9, 2019
marcster13
94 posts
I am picturing this happening in real time. The runner would have surely took off once the batter hit the ball. If the runner did indeed take off on contact would he not have had to go back to first to tag up after the ball made first contact (off the foot)? I picture the runner is already off the bag on contact, then continued to run to 2B. Which should be runner out for not tagging up.

I don't think the runner would have had time or the instincts (was yelled at to go to 2b) to go back to tag up after a line drive hit the pitchers foot.

Just my thoughts.
Oct. 9, 2019
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2599 posts
That MAY well be accurate, but is inconsistent with the initial fact pattern as presented ... These threads sometimes take on a nuclear half-life because of the never-ending "tweaks" or the "what if's" that distort the original proposition ... In this case, the tag was timely by definition based on the very first message above where timmyb says: "..Iím yelling at the runner at first to take off to second.." That's obvious that he was frozen at least momentarily on first base ...
Oct. 9, 2019
TOMAR77
Men's 65
298 posts
Got it. I interpreted timmyb's post, that the runner did NOT tag-up (after the catch), but started advancing after ball hit the pitchers foot. Hence left the base BEFORE the ball was caught. Based on how most of you interpret timmyb's post of course I agree.
Tomar
Oct. 9, 2019
TOMAR77
Men's 65
298 posts
O.K, NOW I really got it ! Thanks to all who enlightened me. I did not know the rule, so now I do. I am a bit surprised the rule is what it is, but it is !
Tomar
Oct. 9, 2019
stick8
1718 posts
Timmyb with due respect to that umpire it sounds like he botched the call which cost your team another opportunity to tie or win the game. I used to play for OKI so I know very well how strong your team is.
I would like to have heard the discussion between the tournament directors and that umpire.
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