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Old Fri Jun 07, 2019, 07:56am
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NFHS v USA Softball rule difference

Prior to semi-final HS games yesterday, we had some discussion about a defensive player making a catch while standing on a fence that had fallen over.

Everyone who weighed in on this discussion believed that for NFHS a defender standing on a fallen fence would result in a legal catch.

I knew that NFHS and USA Softball differed on this matter, but I couldnít remember which was which at the moment.

Further research leads me to this conclusion:

For the exact same play:
∑ NFHS is NOT a catch;
∑ USA Softball IS a catch.


Please review relevant citations. If your opinion differs, can you please provide citations to back up your position?

NFHS

2-9, ART. 4 . . . For a legal catch, a fielder must catch and have secure possession of the ball before stepping, touching or falling into a dead-ball area. A fielder who falls over or through the fence after making a catch shall be credited with the catch. A fielder who catches a ball while contacting or stepping on a collapsible fence, which is not completely horizontal, is credited with a catch.

Case Play

2.9.4 SITUATION:

B1 hits a fly ball toward the left field fence. F7 places a foot on the temporary fence while making the catch.

RULING: Legal. As long as the fence is not completely horizontal, a legal catch can be made.


USA Softball

Rule Supplement #20

FALLING OVER THE FENCE ON A CATCH.

The fence is an extension of the playing field, which makes it legal for a player to climb the fence and make the catch. When a player catches the ball in the air and their momentum carries them through or over the fence, the catch is legal, the batter-runner is out, the ball is dead, and with fewer than two outs all runners are advanced one base without liability to be put out. Guidelines are as follows:

A. When a player catches the ball before they touch the ground outside the playing area, the catch is legal, or

B. When a player catches the ball after they touch the ground outside the playing area, it is not a catch. When a collapsible, portable fence is used and a defensive player is standing on the fence when the catch is made it is a legal catch. A defensive player may climb a fence to make a legal catch; therefore a defensive player may also stand on a fence that has fallen or is falling to the ground. As long as the defensive player has not stepped outside the playing area, the other side of the fence, the catch is legal.


For my personal way of trying to remember this moving forward, Iíll try to think that USA Softball allows for the Upper boundary of the fence, even if it falls back and the defender is standing on it.
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Old Fri Jun 07, 2019, 08:41am
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These cites look good. USA Softball does indeed consistently use the upper edge of the collapsible fence as the dead-ball boundary. I like your mnemonic.

Players in all codes can jump, climb, and hang on a fence to make a play, but if it falls over flat, the location of live-ball territory might change. In NFHS and NCAA play, once the temporary fence goes flat, the dead-ball line is established to be where the plane of the originally upright fence would intersect the plane of the playing field, or in other words, the bottom of the fence.
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Old Fri Jun 07, 2019, 12:05pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
NFHS

2-9, ART. 4 . . . For a legal catch, a fielder must catch and have secure possession of the ball before stepping, touching or falling into a dead-ball area. A fielder who falls over or through the fence after making a catch shall be credited with the catch. A fielder who catches a ball while contacting or stepping on a collapsible fence, which is not completely horizontal, is credited with a catch.

Case Play

2.9.4 SITUATION:

B1 hits a fly ball toward the left field fence. F7 places a foot on the temporary fence while making the catch.

RULING: Legal. As long as the fence is not completely horizontal, a legal catch can be made.
So if the high school player standing on the collapsed fence while it is completely on the ground gloves the ball, what's the ruling? A home run? Or a two-base award?
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Old Fri Jun 07, 2019, 01:02pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
Neither. It is an out in NFHS.
Sorry, CO - you have it bass-ackwards.
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Old Fri Jun 07, 2019, 01:32pm
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seems to me, Fed ball sez standing completely on a horizontal fence is the same as if she was standing on the far side of an upright fence. Home run.

Last edited by jmkupka; Fri Jun 07, 2019 at 01:35pm.
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Old Fri Jun 07, 2019, 03:23pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
So if the high school player standing on the collapsed fence while it is completely on the ground gloves the ball, what's the ruling? A home run? Or a two-base award?
Same as if she is standing in the dugout, or past a dead-ball chalk line. Awards may vary situationally based on whether the ball is thrown, batted, or pitched, but it's a dead ball all the same.
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Old Fri Jun 07, 2019, 03:24pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
Neither. It is an out in NFHS.
Only if the fence fell inwards on the field from it's original location.
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Old Fri Jun 07, 2019, 03:42pm
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I can't believe I typed NFHS instead or USA
Please delete all quotes and references.
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