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Old Thu May 18, 2006, 12:41pm
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IFR - How high must batted ball travel?

In IFR situations, how high does a batted ball have to go (at its apex) to be conisdered an Infield Fly? Obviously a line drive is not a fly ball, but lately I've had a couple of balls hit upward, but weakly, in IFR situations. There's barely enough time to get the call out of my mouth before the ball gets to the infielder because the ball is not a high-pop. But I call IFR because the purpose of the rule comes into play. If I did not call it, a quick-thinking infielder could settle under the ball, freeze the baserunners, let the ball fall to the ground, and get multiple force-outs on the play. So I call it. DOes anyone have any guidelines they use, or suggestions as how to judge the proper call?
Thanks.
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Old Thu May 18, 2006, 12:46pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefoot
In IFR situations, how high does a batted ball have to go (at its apex) to be conisdered an Infield Fly? Obviously a line drive is not a fly ball, but lately I've had a couple of balls hit upward, but weakly, in IFR situations. There's barely enough time to get the call out of my mouth before the ball gets to the infielder because the ball is not a high-pop. But I call IFR because the purpose of the rule comes into play. If I did not call it, a quick-thinking infielder could settle under the ball, freeze the baserunners, let the ball fall to the ground, and get multiple force-outs on the play. So I call it. DOes anyone have any guidelines they use, or suggestions as how to judge the proper call?
Thanks.
Other than a line drive, the height is basically irrelevant. If the ball got to the fielder that quick, it was probably closer to a line drive than a fly ball. Remember, just because you cannot get it out doesn't mean you cannot enforce the rule after the play if the lack of the call placed the runner(s) in jeopardy.
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Old Thu May 18, 2006, 07:09pm
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Mike, that makes perfect sense. Thanks, I appreciate it.
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Old Thu May 18, 2006, 10:07pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluefoot
If I did not call it, a quick-thinking infielder could settle under the ball, freeze the baserunners, let the ball fall to the ground, and get multiple force-outs on the play.
Would this be considered an intentionally dropped ball under FED 5.1.1L & 7.4.1L ??? or does the fielder have to actually touch the ball first to "drop it".
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Old Thu May 18, 2006, 11:07pm
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Since this is IFR, the batter is out and the runners advance at their own risk. With the exception of the Batter being out (removing the force), everything else is the same including the necessity of runners to tag on a caught fly.

In our clinics, we were taught that a fielder had to actually drop the ball for an intentionally dropped ball. Watching it fall was not dropping it.
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Old Fri May 19, 2006, 12:34am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcblue13
Since this is IFR, the batter is out and the runners advance at their own risk. With the exception of the Batter being out (removing the force), everything else is the same including the necessity of runners to tag on a caught fly.

In our clinics, we were taught that a fielder had to actually drop the ball for an intentionally dropped ball. Watching it fall was not dropping it.
What gets my partners more than the height, is when I don't call IFR on pop ups down the foul line, in the middle between the plate and the bags. I have yet to see a player catch one with ordinary effort. There have been the one or two major league sky highs that were camped under and called, but everything else is on the run/dive.
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Old Wed May 24, 2006, 02:45pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA
Other than a line drive, the height is basically irrelevant. If the ball got to the fielder that quick, it was probably closer to a line drive than a fly ball. Remember, just because you cannot get it out doesn't mean you cannot enforce the rule after the play if the lack of the call placed the runner(s) in jeopardy.
I agree here the rule is enforced whether you call it or not. The players are responsible for being aware of the situation.
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Old Thu May 25, 2006, 10:24am
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Iff

I've seen many more problems caused by someone calling an Infield Fly when it wasn't warranted than not calling it when it’s appropriate. Like has been previously mentioned, if you don't call it you always have the opportunity to fix the situation if a problem arises.

While watching a PONY Tournament game a couple of years ago I watched a batter hit a ball of the handle of the bat that resulted in a short pop in front of the first base dugout. This was clearly a foul ball and no defensive player took more than 2 steps in the direction of the ball. From the PU I hear, "Infield fly, batter is out if fair!"

The ball landed at about the mid-point between the plate and first and about 10 feet foul. After it hit the ground it bounced and hit the fence so the outcome wasn't an issue. There wasn’t a defensive player within 25 feet of this ball, let alone in position to make a catch “with ordinary effort”.

I've known this PU for years so after the game I asked this question of him, "Joe, on that Infield Fly that landed in front of the dugout, if that ball had hit something and rolled into fair territory would you have called the batter out?"

"Yes, I would have", he stated proudly.

"Joe, that's terrible."
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Old Thu May 25, 2006, 01:43pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waltjp
The ball landed at about the mid-point between the plate and first and about 10 feet foul. After it hit the ground it bounced and hit the fence so the outcome wasn't an issue. There wasn’t a defensive player within 25 feet of this ball, let alone in position to make a catch “with ordinary effort”.

I've known this PU for years so after the game I asked this question of him, "Joe, on that Infield Fly that landed in front of the dugout, if that ball had hit something and rolled into fair territory would you have called the batter out?"

"Yes, I would have", he stated proudly.

"Joe, that's terrible."
Agree, but in a less extreme example, we must remember that the rule says "can be caught" with ordinary effort; not was caught, not would be caught, not whether he fielder made any effort.
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Old Thu May 25, 2006, 02:00pm
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My Response

BlueFoot here is my response to your question. When an IFR sitch comes up I always take a look to see where my infielders are. Why do I do this? Because on the IFR a lot of the rule is based on "ordinary effort". If you have a pop that the 2nd baseman is charging in for, no that is not ordinary effort. However, if the ball is a high pop up and the 2nd baseman or ShortStop is camped under it, yes it is the IF and it is in effect. So FYI for you ordinary effort and when the ball is at its apex or highest point is when you invoke the IFR.

Hope that helps.


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Old Thu May 25, 2006, 03:10pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne
Agree, but in a less extreme example, we must remember that the rule says "can be caught" with ordinary effort; not was caught, not would be caught, not whether he fielder made any effort.
Agreed. But this was an extraordinary example of what not to call an IFF and from someone who thinks of himself as a good umpire.
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Old Fri May 26, 2006, 12:09pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by commteacher

Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA
Other than a line drive, the height is basically irrelevant. If the ball got to the fielder that quick, it was probably closer to a line drive than a fly ball. Remember, just because you cannot get it out doesn't mean you cannot enforce the rule after the play if the lack of the call placed the runner(s) in jeopardy.


I agree here the rule is enforced whether you call it or not. The players are responsible for being aware of the situation.
This is not true for NCAA rules. In NCAA, if it is not called, it is not an IFF.

Rule 11 Section 18 p. 136:
The infield fly rule is in effect when immediately declared by the umpire... (bold is mine)

Also supported by John Bennett's The Umpire Handbook of Softball Rules Differences
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Old Fri May 26, 2006, 01:15pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CelticNHBlue
This is not true for NCAA rules. In NCAA, if it is not called, it is not an IFF.

Rule 11 Section 18 p. 136:
The infield fly rule is in effect when immediately declared by the umpire... (bold is mine)

Also supported by John Bennett's The Umpire Handbook of Softball Rules Differences
Of course, they are assuming their umpires will be perfect.
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