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Old Tue Jun 09, 2009, 11:10am
#thereferee99
 
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Location: Bay Area, CA
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Another dropped infield fly sitch.

Mens ASA Slowpitch.

One out in final inning, team at bat trails by one run.
Playing on a turf field with no dirt infield.
R1 on 2nd, R2 on 1st. I'm PU.
Batter hits towering pop up to F6 who is playing deep on the turf field.
I may have taken a shade longer than normal to call (making sure it was IF), but yell "Infield Fly!" (I have a loud voice) soon after it reaches its apex.

F6 has glove up, ball contacts the glove and pops right back out -- squirts out, much like if you had a watermelon seed in your fingers and you squeezed em.

Runners F1 and F2 start running, throw to 2nd and tag is applied for final out.

Players on team at bat start with excuses, "no tag at 2nd" (there was), "no call of IF" (like I said, loud voice), but my partner and I make our way off the field, and that is the ballgame.

When we are off the field, I suggest to my partner (2nd year official, I'm 3rd year) "any chance he dropped that on purpose?" She replies, "oh yeah, definitely he dropped it on purpose." I asked why she wouldn't call dead ball if she thought that. She said she thought intentional drop didn't apply on IF, that that was sort of the whole point of IF.

Here (finally) are my questions:

Can one use the concept of "he's too good a player not to make that catch so it had to be intentional"? I mean this drop was not a bad acting job. No fumbling, or belated opening of glove to drop it. But the guy making the play was a really good player who would not miss the ball in that sitch.
Applaud job well done, or rule intentional?

At game's end my first reaction was to get off the field and terminate the game. In retrospect, should I have gotten with my partner ON FIELD and dotted our i's and crossed t's? Make sure we had tag at 2nd, and ensure no intentional drop. (Nobody on the batting team was saying anything about intentional drop -- I don't think there was any awareness of that rule)
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Old Tue Jun 09, 2009, 12:11pm
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Your partner is correct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by referee99 View Post
Mens ASA Slowpitch.

One out in final inning, team at bat trails by one run.
Playing on a turf field with no dirt infield.
R1 on 2nd, R2 on 1st. I'm PU.
Batter hits towering pop up to F6 who is playing deep on the turf field.
I may have taken a shade longer than normal to call (making sure it was IF), but yell "Infield Fly!" (I have a loud voice) soon after it reaches its apex.

F6 has glove up, ball contacts the glove and pops right back out -- squirts out, much like if you had a watermelon seed in your fingers and you squeezed em.

Runners F1 and F2 start running, throw to 2nd and tag is applied for final out.

Players on team at bat start with excuses, "no tag at 2nd" (there was), "no call of IF" (like I said, loud voice), but my partner and I make our way off the field, and that is the ballgame.

When we are off the field, I suggest to my partner (2nd year official, I'm 3rd year) "any chance he dropped that on purpose?" She replies, "oh yeah, definitely he dropped it on purpose." I asked why she wouldn't call dead ball if she thought that. She said she thought intentional drop didn't apply on IF, that that was sort of the whole point of IF.

Here (finally) are my questions:

Can one use the concept of "he's too good a player not to make that catch so it had to be intentional"? I mean this drop was not a bad acting job. No fumbling, or belated opening of glove to drop it. But the guy making the play was a really good player who would not miss the ball in that sitch.
Applaud job well done, or rule intentional?

At game's end my first reaction was to get off the field and terminate the game. In retrospect, should I have gotten with my partner ON FIELD and dotted our i's and crossed t's? Make sure we had tag at 2nd, and ensure no intentional drop. (Nobody on the batting team was saying anything about intentional drop -- I don't think there was any awareness of that rule)
IF takes precedence over intentionally dropped ball. The offense is required to know the rules too. If they chose to advance on a dropped IF that's their mistake. 3 outs; go home. Now, suppose you had not called IF and F6 unintentionally dropped the ball and then the runners advanced and were tagged out. What should you do then? IF can be enforced after the fact. If you realized you blew it and should have called it, then enforce the IF. The batter is out. What about the other runners? Since my failure to call IF put them in jeopardy and we had to reverse my call (or in this case, lack of a call) using rule 10.3, I'd put the runners back at 1st and 2nd.
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Old Tue Jun 09, 2009, 12:32pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by referee99 View Post
Mens ASA Slowpitch.

One out in final inning, team at bat trails by one run.
Playing on a turf field with no dirt infield.
Irrelevant. The IFR has nothing to do with the infield, dirt or otherwise

Quote:
R1 on 2nd, R2 on 1st. I'm PU.
Batter hits towering pop up to F6 who is playing deep on the turf field.
I may have taken a shade longer than normal to call (making sure it was IF), but yell "Infield Fly!" (I have a loud voice) soon after it reaches its apex.
Sounds like a great call.

Quote:
F6 has glove up, ball contacts the glove and pops right back out -- squirts out, much like if you had a watermelon seed in your fingers and you squeezed em.
Even though your partner is correct, you cannot apply the IDB rule on an IF, this doesn't sound like the ball was caught to begin. For an IDB, the ball must be caught before being dropped. Simply touching the ball with the glove has no bearing on the rule.

Quote:
Runners F1 and F2 start running, throw to 2nd and tag is applied for final out.
At least the defense knew to apply a tag. Shame on the offense for not knowing the IFR.

Quote:
Players on team at bat start with excuses, "no tag at 2nd" (there was), "no call of IF" (like I said, loud voice), but my partner and I make our way off the field, and that is the ballgame.
Get out! SP players making excuses? What's this game coming to?

Quote:
When we are off the field, I suggest to my partner (2nd year official, I'm 3rd year) "any chance he dropped that on purpose?" She replies, "oh yeah, definitely he dropped it on purpose." I asked why she wouldn't call dead ball if she thought that. She said she thought intentional drop didn't apply on IF, that that was sort of the whole point of IF.
Your partner paid attention in the clinics.

Quote:
Can one use the concept of "he's too good a player not to make that catch so it had to be intentional"? I mean this drop was not a bad acting job. No fumbling, or belated opening of glove to drop it. But the guy making the play was a really good player who would not miss the ball in that sitch.
Absolutely not. Read requirements for an IDB above and in the rule book (8.2.J & RS #30)

Quote:
At game's end my first reaction was to get off the field and terminate the game. In retrospect, should I have gotten with my partner ON FIELD and dotted our i's and crossed t's? Make sure we had tag at 2nd, and ensure no intentional drop. (Nobody on the batting team was saying anything about intentional drop -- I don't think there was any awareness of that rule)
To start, unless a forfeiture or suspension, the umpire doesn't "terminate" a game, either it has been completed in accordance with the rules or not. Too many people still believe that if the umpire says or doesn't say "ballgame", that it has some bearing on the end of the game.

I assume your partner called R2 out on the tag at 2nd, so what are you going to do, run out and say, "are you sure he made the tag?" I hope not.

And as noted, the IDB was not in effect.
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Old Tue Jun 09, 2009, 03:36pm
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I think the first two responses were very good explanations. I would just add:

Quote:
Originally Posted by referee99 View Post
Batter hits towering pop up to F6 who is playing deep on the turf field.
I may have taken a shade longer than normal to call (making sure it was IF), but yell "Infield Fly!" (I have a loud voice) soon after it reaches its apex.
Taking an extra moment before calling the IF was a good move on your part. Some umpires think this has to be done ASAP. There is no need to call an IF immediately; make sure it meets the requirements, then call it, like you did.
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Old Tue Jun 09, 2009, 04:27pm
Ref Ump Welsch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SethPDX View Post
I think the first two responses were very good explanations. I would just add:



Taking an extra moment before calling the IF was a good move on your part. Some umpires think this has to be done ASAP. There is no need to call an IF immediately; make sure it meets the requirements, then call it, like you did.
Especially on the really high ones...sometimes they look like an IF right off the bat, but sometimes they're just that "trouble" drop behind the infield and before the outfield that has everyone scrambling to the ball.

Not to sidetrack this discussion, but do you all take into consideration the skill level of the players also before taking into consideration whether a pop-up is an IF or not? That's one thing I've had some of my partners make a comment to me about on some of my IF's. Thanks for your responses.
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Old Tue Jun 09, 2009, 04:54pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ref Ump Welsch View Post
... do you all take into consideration the skill level of the players also before taking into consideration whether a pop-up is an IF or not?....
Why would I do that? If they are so unskilled that they can't catch a pop-up, I'm going to be looking for all the outs I can find!
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Old Tue Jun 09, 2009, 09:24pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwest View Post
IF takes precedence over intentionally dropped ball. The offense is required to know the rules too. If they chose to advance on a dropped IF that's their mistake. 3 outs; go home. Now, suppose you had not called IF and F6 unintentionally dropped the ball and then the runners advanced and were tagged out. What should you do then? IF can be enforced after the fact. If you realized you blew it and should have called it, then enforce the IF. The batter is out. What about the other runners? Since my failure to call IF put them in jeopardy and we had to reverse my call (or in this case, lack of a call) using rule 10.3, I'd put the runners back at 1st and 2nd.
And there is a casebook play to back it up. And if you erroneously call IF, you can use the God rule too.
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Old Tue Jun 09, 2009, 10:03pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SethPDX View Post
I think the first two responses were very good explanations. I would just add:



Taking an extra moment before calling the IF was a good move on your part. Some umpires think this has to be done ASAP. There is no need to call an IF immediately; make sure it meets the requirements, then call it, like you did.
I had a good example last night working the plate:

Women's SP - fairly relaxed league, two pretty good teams. runners 1st/2nd..

B hits a pretty high pop up to the left side of the inf, by the time I have judged its height, and look at the fielders, F6 is doing her job properly and gliding to her right to get it - she is still moving a little when the ball is descending, but I STILL point up and call IF, because I know she'll be there in plenty of time to get it. To me, that was still 'ordinary effort'. The point being that the infielder does not have to be under the ball from the get-go. 'Ordinary effort' means they can still move to get the ball!

There are WAY too many umpires who interpret IF as having to be a pop that the inf has to be directly under, or who call EVERY little pop as an IF....I have unfortunately seen little humpback liners called as IF.....

IF should be relatively special - I don't think I call it more than 4 or 5 times over the course of a season....certainly less then 10....
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