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Discussion: missed Infield fly call

Posted Discussion
March 16, 2020
alan--23
2 posts
missed Infield fly call
Hi all, This is my first time posting and a new member. This a local league game and we use SSUSA rules. I just started umpiring a few months ago and we had a situation come up, I asked our UIC in the area and he told me he wasn't sure of the answer and hasn't been able to get any information. Then he sent me this web-site and suggested I try submitting it here.
Infield fly rule, There were runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs a fly ball was hit to the SS, I guess we both missed the situation and we didn't call infield fly. The SS is standing underneath the ball but misses the catch, both of the runners now think they are forced to advance. The runner who was on 2nd was forced out going to 3B, runner on 1st advanced to 2B, and the batter ended up on 1B.
After the play the defense asks why IF wasn't called, I know it can be called after the play to correct our missed call. We got together and both agreed it was an IF situation so we called the batter out

What do we do with the runners?
Do we send them both back or do they stay advanced?
If they stay advanced is the runner from 3rd now safe because it would have been a tag play and he was called out on a supposed force play?
March 16, 2020
lb16
Men's 50
157 posts
alan - State infield fly rule should have been called. Put original base runners back on 1st and 2nd. Runners most likely would not have ran if called correctly and if they did run after ball being dropped defense would have most likely tagged runner instead of stepping on base for force. Always go with what would have most likely happened if rule was called correctly so as not to punish either team for missed call.
March 18, 2020
BruceinGa
Men's 70
3188 posts
I'm not an umpire but have run into this situation a few times.
I believe the infield rule states that the runners advance at their risk.
The runners remain at second and third, one out.
March 18, 2020
DaveDowell
Men's 65
2746 posts
Bruce ... I think the original fact pattern stated that the R2 was forced out at 3rd on the original play before any further decisions were made ... If so, that might change the rationale for your thinking ... I'm leaning toward supporting the lb16 analysis ... Any further thought(s)? ...
March 18, 2020
stick8
1777 posts
Alan23, I am glad to learn you are trying your hand at umpiring!! If not done so already, Id like to see more players umpire, or at least try it. It could be at a lower level or even youth.
If you feel you missed calling an obvious infield fly rule it certainly can and should be called after the play is over. Going strictly by the situation you describe Id have the batter out and runners return to the bases they occupied. It would be runners on first and second with one out.
Always keep,in mind, In a situation like this you want to get it right.
March 18, 2020
mck71
213 posts
Dave - I would agree with you and lb16. My call would have been the same (I personally like to correct my mistakes) with the ONLY caveat being that the result was "technically" the same (an out recorded and runners on 1st and 2nd) so you COULD have just let it stand, no harm no foul and TRY and get the call right the next time (learning moment for new umpire).

Either way, PLAY BALL! :-)
March 18, 2020
B.J.
697 posts
I agree with ib16 also... but.. there are no instructions of what to do if runners advance and are safe or called out

the runner being forced at 3rd is what I was confused over when Alan called me because the defnese wanted another out..

I have never actually had or seen IF called after the play since the rule change... with the the SS missing the ball it's a live ball .. with or with out the IF call... this opens up different possibilities..

if you change the call to IF then the runner into 3rd was actually safe because he wouldn't have been forced to run and should have been tagged...

I personally think an explanation of the call change should be added to the rule...

explaining that since IF wasn't called and in the umpires judgement after the play that it should have been called that the batter is out and all runners return to their original bases..
March 18, 2020
BruceinGa
Men's 70
3188 posts
Dave, I should practice what I tell my 8 yr old granddaughter, "read the questiom carefully".
March 19, 2020
Wayne 37
Men's 65
703 posts
Let the play stand as called. The offense and defense both did what they were supposed to do. You would really have a mess on your hands if both runners advanced.

You would have to rule the batter out and I guarantee you would have an argument on your hands. If you're working with two umpires, the field umpire should point the ball in the air and the plate umpire determine the IFF being enacted. Be vocal in your call. Removes confusion.

Learn from your mistake and move on.
March 19, 2020
B.J.
697 posts
wayne and his words of wisdom as usual.. (Let the play stand as called.) so umpires should just ignore the rule below ?

what if the SS wasn't able to throw the runner out at 3rd you'd now have bases loaded?

1.41 INFIELD FLY
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.
March 19, 2020
k man
Men's 65
290 posts
Could possibly have used rule 8.3J ???
When an infielder intentionally drops, "or lets drop a fair fly ball" ...that can be caught with ordinary effort with first base ... and any other bases occupied. ... Effect: The ball is dead, the batter runner is out and each runner shall return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.
March 19, 2020
stick8
1777 posts
Wayne37 I could be mistaken but I believe thats what the NCAA and MLB do in this situation.
But then if an NCAA or MLB umpire miss on obvious infield fly rule they should find a different look e of work.
March 19, 2020
stever
Men's 70
90 posts
The goal of every umpire should be to get the call right if at all possible. This is a correctable situation - so it should be corrected. There is no doubt one of the teams will disagree either through ignorance of the rule or in an attempt to gain an advantage - just as they do with any controversial call. But the umpires should acknowlege their error and correct the call. Failure to do so makes the game about them and puts their thumb on the scale. Rule 1.41 also allows for this situation.
March 19, 2020
Wayne 37
Men's 65
703 posts
As usual, someone replies with a what if. Nothing to really correct in the OP. Now, if both runners were put in jeopardy, of course you would want to correct the call.

The biggest problem I've seen is when IFF is called and it doesn't meet the criteria for the IFF to go into effect. Why can't those be fixed too?

I am well aware of the rule. I've only had to fix one and that was in my first game behind the plate. It was about a 12 foot little blooper out toward SS. And, yes those qualify as fly balls. The ball didn't travel as far as I thought it would and hit the ground. We got together and ruled the batter out and allowed the advance of both runners. Both coaches were fine with it. I learned from it and moved on.

For SSUSA to have this rule shows they don't have faith in their umpires to get the call right the first time. Must have been a recurring problem.

Remember, the rule is in place to protect the runners and nothing more.
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