Little League Minors. Bases loaded, 1 out. Batter hits pop up to 3rd base. No umpire signal for infield fly (and I assume that doesn't matter--that teams should be aware when IFF is in effect). Runner on 3rd takes off for home as the ball is hit. F5 catches ball and steps on 3rd for double play before runner can get back to base (realizing he made a mistake by taking off).
Umpires meet to discuss and rule runner safe (put him back on 3rd) and situation for next batter became bases loaded with 2 outs (rather than having the double play end the inning)
Was that the correct call?
Some felt it was NOT b/c runner made the error on his own (should have known to get back to base on the pop up with less than 2 outs). (This was my opinion of the situation--that inning should have been over).
Others felt it was the right call saying basically "free walkbacks" for runners when IFF is called.
From the RIM,
"Whether the ball is an infield fly or not is solely the judgment of the umpire and may not be protested. However, if the umpires forget to call the Infield Fly because of absent-mindedness the situation must be corrected. The defense must not be allowed to get a double play when the Infield Fly should have been called. Make the belated call and get the situation corrected the way the rule was intended."
Hope that helps your sit.
As far as " free walkbacks" when IFF is called, I disagree. The ball is live, runners advance at their own risk and are subject to be put out.
The above quote from the RIM covers the Umpire NOT calling IFF,
Just a suggestion, if you post this in the OBR section of this board, you'll get a little more action. I ended up here by mistake.
In terms of the spirit of the game for minors LL, I think the umps did the right thing--that is my opinion only. They didn't call IFF and corrected the situation. The 7 year old that got picked on 3b learned something about baserunning, so that was a good outcome.
But, my disagreement with the umps was strictly from a LL rules perspective. Based on what you posted, it looks like I was wrong about that too. Thanks for responding.
I am a Licensed IHSAA (Indiana High School Athletic Assn), CBUA (College Baseball Umpire Assn) and Little League Certified & Cal Ripkin Certified Umpire. The rules are simply that if there is an IFF, that the batter is out and the runners advance at their own risk. Regardless of a bone headed umpire forgetting to call the IFF, the rules ALWAYS supercedes a bone headed umpire and should stand... The kid who left base should of been out! That would of been 2 outs, inning over.
Put pressure on your league to hire qualified umpires to call your games and stop having parents or specatators making calls. If the kids are going to learn the game the proper way, they need to learn the rules.
For rule see NFHS 8-4-1j, 8-4-2j
One other thought... The IFF Rule is a "judgement" call... The fielder has to be able to catch the ball with "ordinary effort".... If it is a windy day or the defense has shown the tendency to drop easy pop ups, an umpire could choose to not call it... However, with what you described, the rule should always stand and the baserunners then advance at their own risk.
Impressive resume indeed. If I was looking for a rule interp or guidance for LL, I believe the LL RIM is the correct source. The instructor comment is there for a reason, and that is this situation in the OP.
Why would I look to NFHS for guidance with OBR base LL?
I will add however that when I read Minors div, I did not picture 7 year olds. IFF isn't called to often at that level due to "ordinary effort", but if the Umpires decided it should have been and was not, then the situation should be rectified.
B/R out, R3 returns, per the book.
The team is mostly 9 and 10 year olds. There are two eight year olds. I said 7 in error, I'm sorry. 7 year olds are playing machine pitch in our LL.
The umps are volunteer parents, which is the nature of LL baseball.We are a small league and had a terrible time finding volunteers, so it's a situation where you have to take what you can get.
My discussion with another parent in the stands was private. I didn't yell out to the umps or anything. I coach club fastpitch and have umped baseball before--this play got me thinking, so I asked about it here. I appreciate all the answers.
But it sounds like LL rules overule Fed rules here. That's fine. It's just minors and the kids have to learn the game.
I don't have a LL rulebook--where can I get one?
Okay, so at the 9-10 level, IFF is going to be called a little more. The ump has to judge if it can be caught with "ordinary effort"
What is routine for a 12yo is not for a 9yo. It's the Umps judgement of the talent pool in front of him.
Just to be clear LL plays under OBR or Official Baseball rules with a few twists.
High school plays under NFHS (FED) or The National Federation of State High School Associations, and has a different rule set than OBR.
Before you get involved in the intricacies of the IFF Rule, let's look at the basics:
The batter hit a pop fly that was caught. He's out regardless of whether an IFF were called or not. An IFF is a pop fly no different than any other fly ball for purposes of what happened next.
R3 left the base before the catch. He is therefore at risk to being called out on a continuous action appeal (i.e., fielder stepping on 3B before runner gets back.)
What's so hard about that? Double play! Inning over! (Blown call!)
Sure, it's an easy double play.
BR pops it up, R3 has to guess whether it will be caught or not.
(1) stay on third in case it's caught, however if not caught your dead meat on the force at home.
(2) take a lead in case it's not caught to try and beat the force at home, however if caught your dead meat on the return because the ball is too close to beat back.
(3) IF the Umpire calls IFF, you now know the force is off and can stand safely on 3rd.
Did he leave the base from lack of knowledge? Age? Would he have known what to do if the IFF was called?
I don't have the foggiest idea what he was thinking or why he left. What I do know is LL allows IFF enforcement retroactively to prevent an easy double play such as this.
I can't get into the players mind to know what his reasoning is or was, but I am allowed to fix a problem that I potentially caused for failing to announce the IFF.
You cannot be more off base on your logic! Here's why!
LL guidance allows the umpire to rule the batter out on an IFF if the fielder DROPS it (and IFF was NOT called)!
It met all the criteria, so if it were NOT caught, the umpire should retroactively call the batter out on what was--by the interpretation of the rules--an IFF.
As for R3 in the OP. I could care less what he's thinking! The IFF is a fly ball like any other. If R3 leaves the base too soon, he is vulnerable to be put out on a properly executed live action appeal.
You cannot give the offense an advantage for a boneheaded play. You can give the defense an out that should have been called under the IFF rule.
The fact that the fly ball was caught dashes your argument to pieces! The offense violated the base runner rules. They are vulnerable to be retired.
As I stated above, in the OP, the call was blown big time! They were making things up, and it's all contrary to the rules.
I see no guidance that suggests the comment covers only a dropped ball.
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.
You say I can't give the offense an advantage, however by my understanding, calling IFF does just that. "For the benefit of the runners"
The purpose of calling out IFF is to let the runners know the BR is out, therefore the force is off.
It makes no difference how the double play is made IMO. The RIM states:
"The defense must not be allowed to get a double play when the Infield Fly should have been called."
"The fact that the fly ball was caught dashes your argument to pieces! The offense violated the base runner rules. They are vulnerable to be retired."
The offense violated the base running rules? Maybe, but they were not given notice per the rule that IFF was in effect.
The Umpire violated the rule by not calling IFF, and by doing so gave the advantage to the defense.
You also say a IFF is a fly ball like any other. I disagree. On a fly ball the runner must judge whether it will be caught, how much lead (if any) to take, etc. Once IFF is called they can simply stand on the base. The judgement was made (or should be made) for them. Then they can advance at their own risk if they so choose but, of course, are not forced to.
As far as "You cannot be more off base on your logic! Here's why!"
Not a single doubt in my mind that your experience and knowledge of the game far exceeds mine. To put it simply, that's why I'm here.
Umpire does not violate the rule. Base runners should know from their good coaches the IFF rule and not rely on the umpire calling IFF.
Mike what is the rule when you have a runner on first and an infielder intentionally allows a IFF to drop?
Just to reiterate some points from my OP. The IFF fly was not called - coaches and runners should know it was in effect.
The runner on 3b took off on contact. Then the ball was caught. Then the runner was doubled up at 3rd. I think we agree that the out at 3rd should have stood. It did not.
I just didn't want any confusion based on some commentary about dropped balls.