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Old Mon Nov 05, 2007, 11:46am
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fair pole

Men's sp with no outfield fences.
Runner on 1st, batter hits a shot and the ball hits the foul side of the pole, then bounces far enough to carry out of play. I started to call a foul ball because I've never seen this before but stopped myself after sucking in enough air to call it out, checked the side fence to verify it went out of play and went with a fair ball and 2 bases (the bases the runner/batter were headed to plus one.
Did I rule correctly?
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Old Mon Nov 05, 2007, 11:56am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSportsFan
Men's sp with no outfield fences.
Runner on 1st, batter hits a shot and the ball hits the foul side of the pole, then bounces far enough to carry out of play. I started to call a foul ball because I've never seen this before but stopped myself after sucking in enough air to call it out, checked the side fence to verify it went out of play and went with a fair ball and 2 bases (the bases the runner/batter were headed to plus one.
Did I rule correctly?
I'm trying to visualize a field with no outfield fences, but with a pole. Is it just sticking out of the ground by itself? Sounds like it has to be covered in ground rules discussion.

Certainly a ball that hits the pole is fair.
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Old Mon Nov 05, 2007, 12:03pm
Ref Ump Welsch
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It's a fair ball, because the pole is part of the foul line. You had a live ball that went dead after it went past the fence extended.

FYI Larry, we have a few fields in Omaha that are used for rec leagues that have no outfield fences. The foul poles are all by themselves about 300 feet from home plate on the foul lines.
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Old Mon Nov 05, 2007, 12:11pm
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Ball is fair as the pole is fair. . .if the ball went into the defined dead ball territory, I would have called it Dead Ball and used my judgement on where to place the batter. I have similar issues on certain fields and I cover them in ground rules. . .but just like you, it took a weird play for me to add them to my gr's

I am assuming that the fielder had no shot at catching the ball, so I would have looked at where the runners were at the time of the contact with the pole. If BR rounded 1st and was on his way to second and in MY OPINION would have been safe at 3rd if the ball had been playable, I would have awarded him 3B, R1 scores.

There is no fault in calling it a "double"

Last edited by justcallmeblue; Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:16pm.
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Old Mon Nov 05, 2007, 12:21pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justcallmeblue
Ball is fair as the pole is fair. . .if the ball went into the defined dead ball territory, I would have called it Dead Ball and used my judgement on where to place the batter. I have similar issues on certain fields and I cover them in ground rules. . .but just like you, it took a weird play for me to add them to my gr's

I am assuming that the fielder had no shot at catching the ball, so I would have looked at where the runners were at the time of the contact with the pole. If BR rounded 1st and was on his way to second and in MY OPINION would have been safe at 3rd if the ball had been playable, I would have awarded him 3B, R1 scores.

There is no fault in calling it a "double"
Speaking ASA, this does not need to be covered in the ground rules unless the ground rules contradict the book rule. And, by rule, if you are ruling this as a fair ball that goes out of play in the manner of a ground rule double, is a 2 base award from the TOP, not an "umpire judgment" award.

ASA 8-5-I
Quote:
When a fair ball bounces over, rolls under or through a fence or any designated boundary of the playing field. ...
EFFECT: The ball is dead, and all runners are awarded two bases from the time of the pitch.
However, that said, this would be a home run, wouldn't it? Deflecting off the foul pole is considered having cleared the (mythical) fence in fair territory.
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Last edited by Dakota; Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:26pm.
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Old Mon Nov 05, 2007, 01:04pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota
Speaking ASA, this does not need to be covered in the ground rules unless the ground rules contradict the book rule. And, by rule, if you are ruling this as a fair ball that goes out of play in the manner of a ground rule double, is a 2 base award from the TOP, not an "umpire judgment" award.

ASA 8-5-IHowever, that said, this would be a home run, wouldn't it? Deflecting off the foul pole is considered having cleared the (mythical) fence in fair territory.
If there are no depth/OF fences, you can't hit an OTF-HR (unless they have some kind of park/field specific rules). It hit the foul poll (fair ball), went over the guardian fence on whichever base side, and should be a 2 base award from the time of contact (again, unless that particular park/field has a rule about this type of incident and other fence rules)...
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Old Mon Nov 05, 2007, 02:02pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPRempe
If there are no depth/OF fences, you can't hit an OTF-HR (unless they have some kind of park/field specific rules). It hit the foul poll (fair ball), went over the guardian fence on whichever base side, and should be a 2 base award from the time of contact (again, unless that particular park/field has a rule about this type of incident and other fence rules)...
Lacking a field-specific ground rule, I disagree. It is reasonable to consider the foul pole to be marking the outfield boundary. Otherwise, it serves no purpose whatsoever.
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Old Mon Nov 05, 2007, 03:53pm
Ref Ump Welsch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota
ASA 8-5-IHowever, that said, this would be a home run, wouldn't it? Deflecting off the foul pole is considered having cleared the (mythical) fence in fair territory.
So, you're saying it could have hit the pole a foot above the ground and we can declare it a homerun?
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Old Mon Nov 05, 2007, 04:04pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota
Lacking a field-specific ground rule, I disagree. It is reasonable to consider the foul pole to be marking the outfield boundary. Otherwise, it serves no purpose whatsoever.

It's used as a visual reference to "stretch" the foul line is my understanding. Plus, check out the post directly above this one. A ball that is 2' off the ground/base of the poll would then be a HR...
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Old Mon Nov 05, 2007, 04:06pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ref Ump Welsch
So, you're saying it could have hit the pole a foot above the ground and we can declare it a homerun?
Dakota, I think he has you there.

Book rule double, if it has not cleared a defined boundary (fence, or line).
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Old Mon Nov 05, 2007, 10:18pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ref Ump Welsch
So, you're saying it could have hit the pole a foot above the ground and we can declare it a homerun?
So, you're saying it could hit the pole 10 feet above the ground and we can declare it a double?
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Old Tue Nov 06, 2007, 09:46am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota
So, you're saying it could hit the pole 10 feet above the ground and we can declare it a double?
No, because the ball is in play. I guess I should explain...our UIC told us if we work on a field that has no outfield boundary, e.g. no fence or chalk line, the ball is in play all the way out to the next town if need be. Question was asked if the ball went off the pole, can that be an exception. He said it's still live, unless it goes past the side fence extended, then it would be out of play and then ball out of play effects would come in.

The rule you cited, 8-5-I, can only be effective IF there is some kind of boundary, whether a fence or a chalk line. The foul pole CANNOT become an imaginary boundary for this purpose, because it would be chaotic if one umpire says it hit the pole at 6 feet therefore homerun while another would leave the ball in play and not say anything. There has to be some kind of tangible, visible boundary marker. Our UIC has hammered on this several times. He was challenged with 8-5-I, and responded that due to a lack of a visible boundary, the ball stays in play. He said he keeps bringing this up at NUS (just for the kicks and to see what responses he gets from the National staff) and every time, he gets the same response that he's been telling us all along.

Another justification we've had is that the foul poles aren't always set at the same distance from home on all of our fields without a fence. It depends on the configurations of the park, but most of the poles are 250-300 feet from home. If we were using a 250' fence and someone hit it off the fence, it wouldn't be a homerun because the rulebook says the fences need to be a minimum distance greater than that (I don't have my book with me here at work). So, you can see why the foul poles are in play when there is a lack of a visual, tangible boundary marker.
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Old Tue Nov 06, 2007, 02:34pm
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An easy way to fix this is give some kids $20 for gas and have them go out and turn donuts in the outfield, accidentally knocking down the pole.

We have a handful of fields with just a foul pole, nothing more...and darn, if a ball hit one, well, I know it would definitely be a fair ball...beyond that, I would suppose it's live.

At one of our softball emporiums, a pre-game check had best include which way they have turned the foul poles on the temporary fencing. More than once the screen has been on the foul side of the line. I know, I know, but the guys who "take care" of these fields could screw up a wet dream. Last game I did, we had a girl who went down after taking a line drive to the noggin. She was ok and getting up, wanting us to get going...when here came S4Brains on a John Deere tractor putt-putting across the field. I asked him WTF are you doing, we're still playing, get off the field...

"No you're not playing, she's hurt and I'm driving across," says Mr. Rocket Scientist.

I think the next to the next to the last thing I hollered at him was "ignorant." The next to last thing had something to do with one of his parents, and it was not his father.

(OK...I didn't say these out loud...but I wanted to.)
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Old Tue Nov 06, 2007, 03:51pm
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Batted ball hits fair/foul pole - it is fair.

Batted ball hits fair/foul pole or anything else in fair ground beyond the bases, it is live until and unless it enters dead ball territory.

If it enters dead ball territory, it is dead, no matter what (if anything) it hit on the way. There is no automatic dead ball territory unless discussed as ground rules.

On a batted ball that goes dead, BR & Rx get 2 bases from the TOP.
No judgement or opinion required, just arithmetic.
The "2 bases" is both an award and a limit. A limit because the defense can no longer make a play.


I'm sure someone will tell me if I missed something.
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Old Tue Nov 06, 2007, 04:46pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne
I'm sure someone will tell me if I missed something.
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