Sorry but I disagree with that.
The rule itself says "When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an infield fly, the umpire shall immediately declare "Infield Fly" for the benefit of the runners.
Not "should" "may" or "could". It says "Shall"
Good coaching? Sure that's an avenue to pursue except IFF is a judgement call by the Umpire and only the Umpire. The coach/ player can think or not think IFF all day long. It's the responsibility of the Umpire to put the rule into effect. (or not).
R3 stands on base while a ball is caught in the infield or surrounding area, F6 fails to catch it and no runners move. Bing Bang double play.
R3 or coach: "Blue, that was an IFF"
Umpire: " not in my judgement"
Right or wrong it's a judgement call on the Umpire. When that judgement is made the Umpire "shall" declare it.
You are right it is a judgement call...and you can not protest a judgement call. But base runners should know the IFF because the infielders are often yelling who gets the ball. I have yet to see an umpire get the IFF rule wrong after forgetting to verbalize. One of my favorite umpires has a raspy smoker's voice that can barely be heard. Are you as a manager going to protest that he could not be heard? That argument will end badly for the manager.
No it is not. I have seen a lot of umpires NOT VERBALIZE the IFF. I am amazed when they do, like in my 19 year old's game this last Sunday when the umpire boomed out the IFF 2 times for 1 IFF.
First with only a runner on first, it is impossible to have an IFF situation. But anyay.......
Don't have a rule book with me, but if the fielder touched the fly ball/line drive and drops it, the umpire may rule the batter out and call time. He must judge that the intent was to create a cheap double play. (Can't remember the language exactly, but I know it's there.)
However, if the fielder lets the ball drop untouched, game on! But in LL especially, the BR will probably beat that out for a fielder's choice.
Had one last night with R1 & R2. A popup that in my judgement would require MORE THAN ORDINARY EFFORT for an infielder to catch. SS tried a Willy Mays catch but was unsuccessful.
DM wanted the IFF. I said, 'No, that required more than ordinary effort. Does not qualify as an IFF."
End of discussion.
Had an umpire call it deceiving the runner. SS was camped under the ball then let it drop. In another, the base runner was returning to 1st when the 3rd baseman fell in an attempt to catch the ball. The runner was meat at 2nd; obviously the right call.
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