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Old Tue May 19, 2015, 06:20pm
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Fair or Foul

There are times when we all cannot tell if a ball was actually fair or foul because of a variety of reasons. Dark in that corner of ball park, high fly ball to deep outfield near foul pole with bad background, someone gets in the way at the last second and obscures your view, etc., etc. When that happens what do we call it? Fair or foul?

Please don't give all the reasons it shouldn't happen, it just does once in a while.

Thanks,
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Old Tue May 19, 2015, 06:37pm
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I'm in the "never guess an out or a strike" camp.

Yes, I always remember a fly ball down the line above the lights, that had to be a guess.
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Old Wed May 20, 2015, 07:24am
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Best thing to do is leave it Fair, and then if the defense complains, get together with your partner(s) and see if he/she/they had a better look at it. If you rule it Foul, it stays Foul even if you find out you were wrong.
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Old Wed May 20, 2015, 07:40am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
I'm in the "never guess an out or a strike" camp.

Yes, I always remember a fly ball down the line above the lights, that had to be a guess.
I've never been in that camp. Why should the offense get the benefit of any doubt?
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Old Wed May 20, 2015, 08:32am
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I'm in the FAIR camp as well.
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Old Wed May 20, 2015, 08:43am
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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
I've never been in that camp. Why should the offense get the benefit of any doubt?
General principle of umpiring and see Manny's post.

Also, why should the defense?
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Old Wed May 20, 2015, 08:59am
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I think his point was not that the defense should get the benefit of the doubt, but rather that no one should. Make the best call you can, based on whatever information you have - don't necessarily default to either fair or foul if you're not sure.

I don't believe calling it fair and hoping partners had more information later is good strategy either... 99% of the time, they are going to have no help for you on this call - their either have no angle at all or other responsibilities.
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Old Wed May 20, 2015, 09:03am
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There are two ways you can approach the problem:


1) If you did not see the Ball hit in Fair territory then rule the Ball to be Foul; or


2) If you did not see the Ball hit in Foul territory then rule the Ball to be Fair.


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Old Wed May 20, 2015, 09:08am
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Originally Posted by MD Longhorn View Post
I think his point was not that the defense should get the benefit of the doubt, but rather that no one should.
Of course, but no smilies in the edit function.
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Old Wed May 20, 2015, 10:14am
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First, make the best call you can with the information available. If that is foul, call foul and live with it.

If you have a partner, and he is in a position where he could offer some help, the suggestion to rule it fair and then ask for help is a good one, since you can always go back to foul after the fact, but you can't go back to fair once you kill the play. Sure, you can attempt to place runners, but that is always messy.

Or, you could use the "who's fault is it, anyway" rule... if the base coach or a runner is blocking your view, it is foul. If the fielder is blocking your view, it is fair!
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Old Wed May 20, 2015, 01:36pm
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Guess I should'a said, single man umpiring. I think I'm liking Dakota's solution best........oh well. Thanks
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Old Wed May 20, 2015, 04:17pm
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Similar situation..

We have a complex with two dedicated fast pitch fields and two set up for slow pitch. On a couple of dates we need to use the slow pitch fields for fast pitch. Temp fences are set up which do not quite extend to the foul lines on either side so a dead ball line extended from the end of the temp fence to the side fence.

My feeling was if I had doubt that a batted ball went over the line on the fly or if it bounced just in front I was going to call a double.
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Old Wed May 20, 2015, 07:56pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
General principle of umpiring and see Manny's post.

Also, why should the defense?
It's not a general principle of umpiring. For example: If you're not sure if the defense pulled a foot at first base, he/she didn't.
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Old Wed May 20, 2015, 10:15pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UmpireErnie View Post
Similar situation..

[snip]

My feeling was if I had doubt that a batted ball went over the line on the fly or if it bounced just in front I was going to call a double.
Ernie, I agree with you there. This spring I worked a 14U/16U friendly that just had cones set out out at about 190 feet to mark dead ball territory, instead of fences. We agreed at the pre-game meeting to play "cricket rules": over the line in flight is a HR, past the cones on the ground is a ground-rule double.

Runner on first, ball hit to dead center. I went out on the hit from B position (which I almost NEVER do in 2-man system) and saw the ball land just past the imaginary line between cones. I kept my eye on the spot in the grass that it hit and ran out to confirm. Yup: home run.

Long story short: Opposing coach went to the parking lot early after informing me that I was "200 feet away from that call" and informing my partner we were "the worst umpires he'd ever seen". Never mind the fact he was winning by a dozen at this point...

If I had it to do over again, I might call it a double.
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Last edited by teebob21; Wed May 20, 2015 at 10:18pm.
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Old Thu May 28, 2015, 12:32pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linknblue View Post
There are times when we all cannot tell if a ball was actually fair or foul because of a variety of reasons. Dark in that corner of ball park, high fly ball to deep outfield near foul pole with bad background, someone gets in the way at the last second and obscures your view, etc., etc. When that happens what do we call it? Fair or foul?

Please don't give all the reasons it shouldn't happen, it just does once in a while.

Thanks,
The ball is what it was the last I saw it unless there is subsequent evidence to the opposite.

For being blocked out, the team that isn't blocking my view will get the benefit of the best call I can make with the information I have.

I've been known to holler "give me the line" or "let me see the line" to a defender or coach who thinks it is more important for them to see the ball than the umpire.
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