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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 09:07am
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ASA - Infield Fly Rule

ASA 14U. R1 on 2b, R2 on 1B. I'm PU. Batter hits this little strange bloop over the Pitcher's head. Pitcher made no effort, ball lands about 4 feet in front of 2B. All runners advance one base. No one said anything. BU calls "Time".
Comes jogging over to me and tells me he had called "IFF". Nobody,including myself heard him-so I guess that part is irrelevant-but when he told me he called it, I replied "Thats not your call-it's my call". I got the I've been doing baseball for a gazillion years spiel and either of us can make the call.
Since nobody heard him, there really was nothing to "fix", so after a discussion he went back to his position and away we went.

My question I have is IF someone had heard him, am I obligated to accept his calling of the IFF, or could I have overruled him and placed the runners where I believed they would have ended up?
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 09:53am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chess Ref View Post
ASA 14U. R1 on 2b, R2 on 1B. I'm PU. Batter hits this little strange bloop over the Pitcher's head. Pitcher made no effort, ball lands about 4 feet in front of 2B. All runners advance one base. No one said anything. BU calls "Time".
Comes jogging over to me and tells me he had called "IFF". Nobody,including myself heard him-so I guess that part is irrelevant-but when he told me he called it, I replied "Thats not your call-it's my call". I got the I've been doing baseball for a gazillion years spiel and either of us can make the call.
Since nobody heard him, there really was nothing to "fix", so after a discussion he went back to his position and away we went.

My question I have is IF someone had heard him, am I obligated to accept his calling of the IFF, or could I have overruled him and placed the runners where I believed they would have ended up?
First of all you can't overrule any umpire on judgement calls. If this had been a misinterpretation of the rule you could have gotten together and fixed it but you can't overrule another umpire on judgement calls.

Second, if he had said it loud enough to be heard, I would enforce the IFF. I don't have my books handy, but I don't believe the book says that only the PU can make this call. It can be called by any umpire on the field. However, most officials believe this should be called by the PU and I agree. It looks better coming from the PU. I as the BU will hold my hand up in the air pointing at the ball to indicate to the PU that we have a possible IFF. I then let him/her make the call. Yes, I know this is not a by the book mechanic, but it's what I do.

I had a similar situation this weekend during a college showcase. I am the PU. My partner is a quality umpire and part of my ASA association. We've been calling together for several years. Runners at 1st and 2nd (maybe bases loaded). Pop up on the infield over F6's head. My partner signals with his hand in the air as I would have done. I start to call it but then realize it is not a IFF because F6 had to keep going back for the ball. The ball kept sailing on her. It was not ordinary effort in my opinion and she did not catch the ball. Nobody heard me start to say Infield Fly, Batters Out. I never completed the sentence and put my hand down, as did my partner.

I should say, that if they heard me or saw me with my hand up then they never mentioned it when I didn't make the call.
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 10:25am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwest View Post
I as the BU will hold my hand up in the air pointing at the ball to indicate to the PU that we have a possible IFF. I then let him/her make the call. Yes, I know this is not a by the book mechanic, but it's what I do.
Not in the book as do it, but as far as I know not in the book as do not.
Is that ok, or a big taboo?
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 10:31am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwest View Post
(snip)I as the BU will hold my hand up in the air pointing at the ball to indicate to the PU that we have a possible IFF. I then let him/her make the call. Yes, I know this is not a by the book mechanic, but it's what I do.

(snip)
If you are an umpire on the field and holding your fist (or point) up, you ARE indicating an infield fly.

Either do nothing or call it.....
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 10:31am
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It depends

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Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
Not in the book as do it, but as far as I know not in the book as do not.
Is that ok, or a big taboo?
There are some umpires who strongly dislike anything that is not an approved mechanic.
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 10:34am
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Chess - I think if anyone had heard your partner, you go with the IFF call. I agree that the PU should make the call, but either umpire can. There has been more than once where either my partner or I as PU has had a brain fart and not properly called the IFF, only to have it properly called by the BU.

I will also hold my hand up as the BU to indicate to my partner that it is a potential IFF and let them make the call. Nobody has ever told me that it is not acceptable. Often, the BU has a better look at the fly ball sooner to judge where the ball will come down. As the PU, the ball is flying straight away from you and it can sometimes be difficult to get the depth perception to determine if it will be a potential IFF.
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 10:42am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HugoTafurst View Post
If you are an umpire on the field and holding your fist (or point) up, you ARE indicating an infield fly.

Either do nothing or call it.....
Not true. If BU puts his hand up (especially on a borderline fly that may or may not be too deep to be easily caught), he's telling me he thinks the ball is going to be shallow enough to be easily caught. He's sharing information. He's not making a call.
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 11:26am
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Originally Posted by mbcrowder View Post
Not true. If BU puts his hand up (especially on a borderline fly that may or may not be too deep to be easily caught), he's telling me he thinks the ball is going to be shallow enough to be easily caught. He's sharing information. He's not making a call.
While I agree it is the PU's call to make, I'm not going to turn away help from the BU as s/he has a better angle and perception than the PU (well, SHOULD have a better idea ).

Since I often work with less experienced umpires, it is not unusual for the PU to not make the IF call in a timely fashion and if it is a no-brainer, I will make the call from the bases. NOTE: "No brainer" means there is no question of ability for an IF to catch the ball or there is no question of ordinary effort.

As the PU, I will take a glance at my partner for a possible indicator if there is a question.
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 11:27am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbcrowder View Post
Not true. If BU puts his hand up (especially on a borderline fly that may or may not be too deep to be easily caught), he's telling me he thinks the ball is going to be shallow enough to be easily caught. He's sharing information. He's not making a call.
There's gonna be a storm if BU holds up his hand in what looks like an IF signal, Offense holds base due to the signal, PU doesn't make the call and multiple outs occur......
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 11:36am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HugoTafurst View Post
There's gonna be a storm if BU holds up his hand in what looks like an IF signal, Offense holds base due to the signal, PU doesn't make the call and multiple outs occur......
I'm trying to recall which clinic I was at [perhaps NFHS] where they told us the call belongs to the PU. The BU can raise his hand in a POINTING manner so as to indicate to the PU the possibility of the IF.

The question was brought up about coaches questioning this as calling the batter out, and we were instructed to tell the coach that it was not an out call but an assist to our partner that we have potential for IF.

I was looking up IF mechanics this past weekend and was looking for where it says the IF must be verbalized. About the only thing I found was in the description of an IF, and what happens when it's declared.

Must we call it, or is it optional like some of my partners believe? Again, perhaps because of cross-pollination of various affiliations, including NCAA.
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 11:45am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HugoTafurst View Post
There's gonna be a storm if BU holds up his hand in what looks like an IF signal, Offense holds base due to the signal, PU doesn't make the call and multiple outs occur......
Two Points.

1. Teams should know the situation and their responsibilities. They should not be looking at the BU to see if his hand is up. They should be listening for a verbal.

2. If the PU/BU did not make the IFF call and they should have, this is correctable in ASA and FED. I don't know about NCAA.
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 11:48am
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There are some softball umpire manuals that say the Infield Fly call can be made by either umpire.

There are others that don't spell out if the responsibility belongs to either one or both.

ASA's manual does happen to say that this is the plate umpire's call.

Did you mention to your partner that baseball is a different sport and that softball might have some different mechanics?
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 11:51am
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What Page?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BretMan View Post
There are some softball umpire manuals that say the Infield Fly call can be made by either umpire.

There are others that don't spell out if the responsibility belongs to either one or both.

ASA's manual does happen to say that this is the plate umpire's call.

Did you mention to your partner that baseball is a different sport and that softball might have some different mechanics?
Do you have the page number where it says the PU has the call?
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 11:56am
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Originally Posted by rwest View Post
Do you have the page number where it says the PU has the call?
ASA 2012 Umpire Manual---page 244.
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Old Mon Jul 16, 2012, 12:20pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HugoTafurst View Post
There's gonna be a storm if BU holds up his hand in what looks like an IF signal, Offense holds base due to the signal, PU doesn't make the call and multiple outs occur......
Maybe what you're stating is regional. The assumption your teams seem to be making is certainly not in play here. If IFF is not called VERBALLY by one of the umpires, then the offense should assume the judgement of the umpire(s) is that it's not an IFF. If it turns out the umpires simply failed to call it when they should have (and in THEIR judgement they should have), it's fixable.
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