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Old Wed Mar 14, 2018, 11:03am
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Initial Play SNAFU

Here's why I don't really like the NFHS concept of an "initial play":

Quote:
2.47.3 SITUATION B:

With R1 on second, B2's batted ball is deflected by (a) F1; or (b) F5. In both cases the ball goes directly to F6 who makes an attempt to field the ball and make a play. R1 makes contact with F6 preventing her from making the play.

RULING: In (a), R1 is out for interfering with F6 since the ball was deflected by the pitcher. F6 is still considered to be making the initial play on the batted ball. In (b), since the ball has been touched by a fielder other than the pitcher, R1 has not interfered with F6. If F6 is not in possession of the ball, she has committed obstruction for impeding R1. (2-36; 2-47-2; 8-4-3b; 8-6-10a)
So you have the exact same thing happening at the shortstop position. But in one case, R1 is guilty of interference, while in the other, F6 is guilty of obstruction.

Why is that? The other rule sets require the runner to intentionally interfere with the fielder trying to field the deflected batted ball, regardless who initially deflected it. But for some reason, NFHS treats the pitcher differently here.

FED really should join the other sanctions that recognize the "step and reach" theory on a batted ball. If a batted ball deflects off a fielder and she's still within a step and reach of that ball, the runner must avoid her. Otherwise, the batted ball is considered loose, and the runner is only guilty if she intentionally hinders a fielder fielding that loose ball. That should apply to all fielders, including the pitcher.
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Old Wed Mar 14, 2018, 11:59am
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My gripe with nfhs has always been, they recognize a runner cannot avoid a deflected batted ball, but they do expect the runner to instantly avoid a fielder who may suddenly have a play on a ball deflected by the pitcher
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Old Wed Mar 14, 2018, 12:05pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
...FED really should join the other sanctions that recognize the "step and reach" theory on a batted ball...
They do...
Quote:
NFHS RULE 2 DEFINITIONS
ART. 3 . . .Initial Play. A fielder is considered to be making an initial play on a fair batted ball when she:...
c. Fails to gain control of the batted ball and is within a step and a reach (in any direction) of the spot of the initial contact.
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Old Wed Mar 14, 2018, 12:20pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
They do...
That's just one part of their definition of "Initial Play", Dakota, as you well know.

Quote:
a. Has a reasonable chance to gain control of a ground ball that no other fielder (except the pitcher) has touched.
It makes no sense whatsoever to say a fielder fielding a batted ball that was deflected by the pitcher is still making an initial play, but then say that a runner who gets hit by a batted ball deflected by a pitcher is not guilty of interference. FED is being inconsistent on how to treat a batted ball deflected by the pitcher, for whatever reason. And they're putting the onus on the runner to know she must still avoid a fielder fielding a deflected ball only if it was deflected by the pitcher.
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Old Wed Mar 14, 2018, 01:57pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
That's just one part of their definition of "Initial Play", Dakota, as you well know.
Of course it is only one part, but you stated they did not recognize step and reach. They are one of the few who actually put this theory into black-letter rule.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
It makes no sense whatsoever to say a fielder fielding a batted ball that was deflected by the pitcher is still making an initial play, but then say that a runner who gets hit by a batted ball deflected by a pitcher is not guilty of interference. FED is being inconsistent on how to treat a batted ball deflected by the pitcher, for whatever reason. And they're putting the onus on the runner to know she must still avoid a fielder fielding a deflected ball only if it was deflected by the pitcher.
That is your real objection, right, not the step and reach?

Of course, the runner could just avoid the fielder anyway, as she should anyway. Obstruction does not require contact.
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Old Wed Mar 14, 2018, 02:18pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
Of course, the runner could just avoid the fielder anyway, as she should anyway. Obstruction does not require contact.
Neither does INT.
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Old Wed Mar 14, 2018, 02:36pm
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Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
Neither does INT.
Of course not, but stating the the runner has to know whether it is an initial play or not is not true. If it is an initial play, the runner needs to avoid interfering. It is is not an initial play, the runner should avoid contact anyway and the umpire should rule on any obstruction. Either way, the runner's actions should be the same.
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Old Wed Mar 14, 2018, 03:42pm
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I think that the reasoning behind this rule is that when the ball is deflected, it can suddenly and unexpectedly change direction. When that happens, a fielder toward whom it is deflected may suddenly and unexpectedly change directions to go after it.

So, we cut the runner some slack and acknowledge that when a fielder suddenly and unexpectedly moves into your path you might not be able to avoid her.

But why do they exempt a deflection by the pitcher from this rule? Who knows...it doesn't make sense.
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Old Wed Mar 14, 2018, 04:12pm
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Pitchers are pretty much the only player where a deflection happens when the fielder has nearly zero reaction time. From that point of view, I can understand the rules difference in deciding that a pitcher deflection is not an initial play.
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Old Thu Mar 15, 2018, 09:25am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
Pitchers are pretty much the only player where a deflection happens when the fielder has nearly zero reaction time. From that point of view, I can understand the rules difference in deciding that a pitcher deflection is not an initial play.
Which would have the most effect on this play? The fact that the pitcher has little reaction time to field the ball or that the runner might have little reaction time to avoid a fielder who suddenly cuts in front of her because the ball changed direction?
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Old Thu Mar 15, 2018, 12:59pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
Of course it is only one part, but you stated they did not recognize step and reach. They are one of the few who actually put this theory into black-letter rule.
That is your real objection, right, not the step and reach?
Well, I suppose. What I really meant (and did say at the end) was that the "step and reach" should apply to all fielders, including the pitcher. I don't understand why they feel a deflection off the pitcher should be treated differently than a deflection off anyone else. A runner shouldn't be held accountable for not knowing that the ball was deflected off the pitcher, when she's not held accountable should it deflect off the first baseman playing in for the bunt. Just equate "initial play" with "step and reach" for everyone.
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