Infield fly rule

Discussion in 'The Umpires Life and Rulings' started by OhioSWAT07, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. OhioSWAT07

    OhioSWAT07 New Member

    Looking for some clarification. Maybe this stings because it was our last 12U tournament and we were making a rally.

    Semi-final game this past Sunday against a good Wicked ‘08 team (not taking anything from them). Final at bat as we were the home team, time expired, down 5-3. #9 batter draws a walk, #10 singles, #11 hits into a FC runner out at 3B. Lead off to the plate, pops a fly ball to third base. Fielder drops the ball, runners advance and runner to 3B is tagged out.

    Here is where I am hung up. I told my runner to stay at 2B, however she advances after seeing the dropped ball and not hearing a call, the runner on 1B also advances as the 1B coach had no indication of infield fly rule from the field umpire. No infield fly was called verbally until about the same time the runner was tagged out at third base. My dugout and the other team also was confused. Other similar scenarios I have encountered the umpire ALWAYS verbally yells it so there is no question. I also seen it occur where my opinion was that it was an infield fly and it wasn’t called verbally and we were hung out similarly, which is the likely best scenario then runners are still on 1&2 with 2 down. If the opposing team had not heard it, then I know I didn’t hear it. The rule states (USSSA 17.H) “if declared,” to me that is not up to me to declare. There is a note that states prior to the next pitch if infield fly was not called it can be brought to the attention of the umps. Should umps be very verbal in the scenario?
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  2. BretMan2

    BretMan2 TSZ/OFC Umpire in Chief

    “Should umps be very verbal in the scenario?”

    Yes! They should be very verbal on ALL infield fly calls. And not just very verbal, but very timely, and very much signaling it (right fist raised high overhead).

    If they don’t, then bad things can happen. I don’t work USSSA games, but for high school and USA there are case plays covering this. If an umpire’s delayed or reversed call puts one team in jeopardy, then they can place runners on whichever base they would most likely have been on had the infield fly been properly called.

    On this one, if no infield fly was called and runners advanced only after the ball was dropped, one option could be to enforce the infield fly (one out) and return the runners to the base they started on. But that’s not set in stone. Any correction is at the sole discretion of the umpires.

    Long story short...umpires, just call the infield fly like you’re supposed to and all this confusion gets avoided!
    Tallmadge Force Gold likes this.
  3. Justamom

    Justamom Member

    This happened to us and ump stated he don't have to actually say it with a lot of attitude. Since then it's been called mostly. I say mostly because sometimes it's a point to the ball and something inaudible said.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
  4. OhioSWAT07

    OhioSWAT07 New Member

    I seen a quick point to the ball, that was it. At the end of the day, especially at C or B ball IMO, no 12u or 14u kid is going to intentionally drop a fly to make a DP. Make batter out, call dead ball and return to bases. The lack of verbal calling may or may not have cost us an opportunity to come back, who knows.
  5. BretMan2

    BretMan2 TSZ/OFC Umpire in Chief

    Call the batter out...but don’t call “dead ball”! The ball remains live on an infield fly and runners may advance if they want to.

    If umpires are properly calling infield flies, the way that they’re instructed in their umpire manual, it would totally obvious to everybody...on the field and in the stands.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2020
    daboss likes this.
  6. da mole

    da mole New Member

    I am a little confused as I always thought that an Infield Fly call could not be reversed. Looks like you're saying that it can be reversed, with runners returning to the original base. Is that correct?
  7. BretMan2

    BretMan2 TSZ/OFC Umpire in Chief

    If incorrectly called, then the umpires may correct it. It’s not really something you want to have to do- because it means that you screwed up in the first place- but you can do it if your incorrect call put either team at a disadvantage.
  8. The infield fly rule was put into place to prevent one thing from happening...dropping the ball intentionally and getting a double play.

    IMO, it is crazy to reward a defense with a double play by retroactively calling an infield fly rule after a runner was forced to advance and put-out by the non-call.

    I couldn't agree more with BretMan2 with everything he said. Especially about keeping it a live ball. Good base coaches and good base runners can advance after a catch in certain circumstances.

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