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Old Mon Feb 17, 2014, 03:04pm
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NFHS Discrepancy on Detached Equip

Question on the award criterion when a fielder touches a thrown ball with her detached glove or other equipment. The Penalty section of FED rule 8-4-3e says the award is two bases from the time of the throw. However, case book play 8.4.3L states that runners are awarded two bases when the detached glove or mitt contacts the thrown ball. Which is correct?
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Old Mon Feb 17, 2014, 04:04pm
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Rules trump directly inconsistent case plays.
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Old Mon Feb 17, 2014, 04:06pm
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I'm going with two bases from the time of the throw. Why?

- That would be in-line with all other softball codes.

- The case book is notorious for making editorial gaffes.

- The "default" has always been that if a case play conflicts with a playing rule, the playing rule prevails.

- The case play states, "In this situation, or any other situation where the detached glove or mitt touches a ball, prior to the ball becoming dead because of going into a dead-ball area, the rule governing detached player equipment prevails".

So, there is definitely something a little bit "off" about that case play. It tells us which rule prevails, then gives a ruling that contradicts that very rule!

I'm sticking with the printed rule.
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Old Mon Feb 17, 2014, 04:32pm
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I guess that makes sense. But it's entirely conceivable that the rule book ruling could actually penalize the offense.

For example, BR takes off for first on an uncaught third strike, and F2's throw eludes F3, heading for DBT beyond the temporary outfield fence that only extends to the foul line. F9 throws her glove at the ball to stop it from rolling beyond the fence, and is able to hit the ball as the BR rounds second. F9 retrieves the ball, and eventually throws out the BR attempting to score.

If the ruling is indeed two bases from the time of the throw, then the BR's out stands. But if it's from when the detached glove contacts the ball, the BR is allowed to score.

Oh well......
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Old Mon Feb 17, 2014, 07:19pm
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I can explain the rationale (as explained to me several years ago; not sure if by my esteemed colleague in Texas, or the one in Ohio), I can't explain why the poorly worded rules sections don't reflect the wishes of the rules committee.

The intent is to separate when detached equipment keeps a ball from entering dead ball territory versus any other case where the ball would have remained in play, regardless. In the latter cases, the 8-4-3-e standards are intended to apply, which relate to the time of the pitch or throw; a minimum award, with the ball remaining alive and runners having the option to advance further at their own risk.

But, when the detached equipment is an intentional attempt to stop the ball from entering dead ball territory, the later effect of applying awards from the time of the contact may result in a better result for the offense, and is intended to be a more punitive award. Like the difference in an unintentional catch and carry versus intentionally throwing, carrying, or kicking the ball into dead ball territory in an attempt to minimize offensive advances.

So the case play poorly describes that rationale; and the rules wording doesn't even support it.
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Old Mon Feb 17, 2014, 10:30pm
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Old Tue Feb 18, 2014, 11:22am
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Shallow infield popup... can o' corn catch situation, F2 removes her mask (doesn't toss it) ball comes down, skips off her glove, she corrals it in her arms, ends up in the mask, then she dumps it into her mitt and shows control.

Situation 2; at the last second, sun gets in her eyes, ball never touches the mitt, ball lands down in her arms close to the body, rolls into the (still held) mask, dumps it into the mitt to show control.

Are these both examples of detached equipment infractions?
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Old Wed Feb 19, 2014, 01:44pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmkupka View Post
Shallow infield popup... can o' corn catch situation, F2 removes her mask (doesn't toss it) ball comes down, skips off her glove, she corrals it in her arms, ends up in the mask, then she dumps it into her mitt and shows control.

Situation 2; at the last second, sun gets in her eyes, ball never touches the mitt, ball lands down in her arms close to the body, rolls into the (still held) mask, dumps it into the mitt to show control.

Are these both examples of detached equipment infractions?
The rule requires the fielder to show intent to contact the ball with detached equipment. So I would say there is no infraction here.

However, the FED definition of Catch in rule 2-9 says that any equipment used that is not in its proper place will negate the validity of a catch. So in both of your examples, the catcher will not receive credit for legally catching the popups.
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Old Wed Feb 19, 2014, 03:57pm
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Interesting... even after control is shown in the mitt, it would still be ruled as if the ball hit the ground?
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Old Thu Feb 20, 2014, 08:11am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmkupka View Post
Interesting... even after control is shown in the mitt, it would still be ruled as if the ball hit the ground?
Yes. The language says:

"A catch shall not be credited if:
.
.
.
c. The fielder uses any equipment or part of her uniform that is displaced from its proper position."


There is no mention of intent in "c". So even if the ball inadvertently rolls into her removed helmet/mask, it still meets the language of "c".

Now, if, for example, the ball had somehow rolled into her jersey or behind her chest protector, and she reaches in and grabs the ball before it falls to the ground, that would be a legal catch. In those cases, the equipment or uniform are not displaced from their proper position.
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Old Thu Feb 20, 2014, 08:30am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
Yes. The language says:

"A catch shall not be credited if:
.
.
.
c. The fielder uses any equipment or part of her uniform that is displaced from its proper position."


There is no mention of intent in "c". So even if the ball inadvertently rolls into her removed helmet/mask, it still meets the language of "c".

Now, if, for example, the ball had somehow rolled into her jersey or behind her chest protector, and she reaches in and grabs the ball before it falls to the ground, that would be a legal catch. In those cases, the equipment or uniform are not displaced from their proper position.
Disagree. IMO, the word "uses" would show the need for intent. I would site the difference between a glove that comes off the hand as opposed to a glove thrown at a ball.
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