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Old Fri Mar 03, 2017, 12:03pm
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Tarp in Live Ball Territory

Tarp against fence well away from fair territory down 3rd base line. Home coach wants to play surface of tarp as "live" unless the ball enters the roller or goes between fence and tarp. All agree that standing on tarp puts you in dead ball situation.

Partner declares that "The Rule" is that if any player touches the tarp with the bottom of her foot, she has entered dead ball territory.

I'm cross eyed reading rule 5. Closest I can come is when you have a foot completely in dead ball territory.

(I am aware that the Umpire sets the ground rules... just looking to find his "always" regarding a tarp).
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Old Fri Mar 03, 2017, 12:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRJ1960 View Post
Tarp against fence well away from fair territory down 3rd base line. Home coach wants to play surface of tarp as "live" unless the ball enters the roller or goes between fence and tarp. All agree that standing on tarp puts you in dead ball situation.

Partner declares that "The Rule" is that if any player touches the tarp with the bottom of her foot, she has entered dead ball territory.

I'm cross eyed reading rule 5. Closest I can come is when you have a foot completely in dead ball territory.

(I am aware that the Umpire sets the ground rules... just looking to find his "always" regarding a tarp).
I'm baseball only. MLB allows catches on the tarp. My experience with tarps at the amateur level is from no cleats on the tarp to you can climb the tarp depending on the venue.
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Old Fri Mar 03, 2017, 12:23pm
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I've always just played it as leaning over for a catch is fine but on top of with feet off ground is dead
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Old Fri Mar 03, 2017, 03:50pm
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We have a couple of college fields with tarps in playable territory and both schools rule you cannot touch the tarp. If the ball hits it and bounces away, ball stays live. If it imbedded, ball is dead and bases are awarded. You can't climb on it to catch a ball or for any other reason.
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Old Fri Mar 03, 2017, 04:35pm
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Don't have my NCAA book with me, but last year we were instructing them, per rules clinic, the player may steady themselves with their hand or one foot on the tarp (one foot staying on the ground in play), but at the point of catch, the foot must not be in contact with the tarp.
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Old Fri Mar 03, 2017, 07:52pm
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In NCAA, they cant step on the tarp. They can lean, sit, etc., but not step on it. It is as much to avoid damaging the tarp as anything else.
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Old Sat Mar 04, 2017, 03:18pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRJ1960 View Post
Tarp against fence well away from fair territory down 3rd base line. Home coach wants to play surface of tarp as "live" unless the ball enters the roller or goes between fence and tarp. All agree that standing on tarp puts you in dead ball situation.

Partner declares that "The Rule" is that if any player touches the tarp with the bottom of her foot, she has entered dead ball territory.

I'm cross eyed reading rule 5. Closest I can come is when you have a foot completely in dead ball territory.

(I am aware that the Umpire sets the ground rules... just looking to find his "always" regarding a tarp).
If the ball can carom off it and still be live, it cannot otherwise be declared DBT. What SHOULD be done is that the home coach takes control of the situation by having the ground crew drop a DBT line around the tarp. But I guess that may be a bit much for some of these coaches to understand.
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Old Sat Mar 04, 2017, 10:19pm
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You never specified a rules set; the "always" is, as has been stated, an NCAA rule, where a tarp on the field in live ball territory a part of the field is a common occurrence, and the ball remains live when it touches that tarp unless the ball becomes lodged or otherwise unplayable. Players can lean on or elevate off the tarp, as long as they do not put a foot on the tarp. If they put a foot on the tarp, it is not a catch by rule.

The primary reason to not draw a dead ball line around the tarp is that the line is 1) unforgiving, and doesn't permit reasonable play when it could be made, 2) generates disagreements about catches vs noncatches based on foot placements, and 3) generates even more issues with "catch and carry" rules.

With numerous repetitions with tarps, as well as other strange field configurations generating varying ground rules, I am personally most comfortable with trying to keep playable balls live whenever possible, as long as the defense isn't disadvantaged, and letting the players play, and the ball bounce as it will, rather than defining unnecessary base awards.
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Last edited by AtlUmpSteve; Sat Mar 04, 2017 at 10:23pm.
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Old Sat Mar 04, 2017, 10:55pm
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Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
You never specified a rules set; the "always" is, as has been stated, an NCAA rule, where a tarp on the field in live ball territory a part of the field is a common occurrence, and the ball remains live when it touches that tarp unless the ball becomes lodged or otherwise unplayable. Players can lean on or elevate off the tarp, as long as they do not put a foot on the tarp. If they put a foot on the tarp, it is not a catch by rule.

The primary reason to not draw a dead ball line around the tarp is that the line is 1) unforgiving, and doesn't permit reasonable play when it could be made, 2) generates disagreements about catches vs noncatches based on foot placements, and 3) generates even more issues with "catch and carry" rules.

With numerous repetitions with tarps, as well as other strange field configurations generating varying ground rules, I am personally most comfortable with trying to keep playable balls live whenever possible, as long as the defense isn't disadvantaged, and letting the players play, and the ball bounce as it will, rather than defining unnecessary base awards.
Where is this? I searched the NCAA rules for "tarp" and the word isn't there.
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Old Sun Mar 05, 2017, 06:55pm
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Originally Posted by Rich Ives View Post
Where is this? I searched the NCAA rules for "tarp" and the word isn't there.

Really? I went to the Softball 2016-2017 Rules index, and it directed me to Rule 2.25 on Page 28.

"If a tarp is stored in the field of play, thrown and batted balls rebounding off the tarp remain in play unless they become lodged in the tarp or its roller. A fielder attempting to catch a fly ball near the tarp may not have either foot on the tarp.

Note: If a fielder steps on the tarp, she will be considered to have entered dead ball territory."
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Old Sun Mar 05, 2017, 08:03pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
The primary reason to not draw a dead ball line around the tarp is that the line is 1) unforgiving, and doesn't permit reasonable play when it could be made, 2) generates disagreements about catches vs noncatches based on foot placements, and 3) generates even more issues with "catch and carry" rules.
The reason is laziness or a penny-pinching AD. Maybe even a bit of coach's arrogance.

The game has been played for years with fences and walls off which a ball may carom and remain in play. AND the player was allowed to climb on it, jump on it or stand on it to make a play on a live ball. And if you have a situation where a ball is lodged or become unaccessible, it is ruled like any other dead ball

If you want to resolve any issues in this situation, put the tarp behind a fence or wall. Otherwise, it is just one more BS NCAA rule that is more of a problem than its worth.
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Old Mon Mar 06, 2017, 11:34am
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The NCAA book covers it, as Steve quoted the rule. But I don't believe ASA/USA Softball or NFHS has a similar rule. It's up to the umpires and coaches to come up with a ground rule on how to handle a tarp that is in LBT in those games. So reading Rule 5 in the FED book isn't really going to help you.

From what I've heard, the NCAA rule really is an issue of not wanting to damage tarps by players with cleats climbing on them. Let them climb on fences, walls, etc., to make circus catches to their hearts desire. But not the tarps.
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Old Tue Mar 07, 2017, 10:37am
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Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
From what I've heard, the NCAA rule really is an issue of not wanting to damage tarps by players with cleats climbing on them. Let them climb on fences, walls, etc., to make circus catches to their hearts desire. But not the tarps.
Then maybe the tarp shouldn't be placed in a position where that can happen.
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Old Tue Mar 07, 2017, 10:46am
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Our D1 & D2 NFHS Finals were held at a college field which had a tarp rolled up down the left field line.

Prior to the games, our crews were given the ground rules for dealing with the tarp. It was basically what's been described here: leaning against it, having a hand on it was OK, but no jumping on it. Should a ball get lodged behind it, it would be a DB. We had no issues in our games, but it was something that was addressed in advance.
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Old Tue Mar 07, 2017, 11:57am
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That's close to what I stated as how we were instructed at our rules clinic (a foot may be used to steady ones self on the tarp- no standing on it- but that foot must not be in contact with the tarp at the moment of the catch.

How does one "reestablish" ones self, when (before the catch) one's foot is completely in play and one foot steps completely on far side of the line? Does just lifting the foot up (before catching) do it, or does the "bad" foot have to retouch in play?
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