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Softball/does the 'infield fly' call negate force??


Bases loaded, 1 out; runners all take lead after pitch, B-R hits lazy pop to 2B. Ump rightly calls "IF-Batter's out". 2b makes catch, tosses to SS at 2 for dbl play. Or so we think.
Other coach yells "the force is removed because b-r is already out and runners can advance but must be tagged out".
Of course umps s.cracthing heads Confer and Agree.

I instantly morph into George Brett and come out of dugout scfeaming WHAT???!!!!

44 Yrs playing, coaching, umping ASA,USSSA,CIF....NEVER seen/much less heard that!

Hi Dave,

Dave, Dave, Dave.....after 44yrs you know you get much farther w/loving kindness than you do with being George Brett.

First of all the other coach was correct that the force is removed.  The whole purpose of the IFR is to remove any forces from the bases.  If there is no b-r there can be no force.  

The coach was incorrect that if the runner was off base when the catch was made and did not return to tag that they must be tagged for the out, a simple toss to F6 on the base will do it before the runner returns.  An IF does not relieve the runner of having to tag or be on the base if an IF is caught.  It is the same as any other caught fly ball in the game.  HOWEVER this is not a "force" play it is a live ball appeal of a base left too early on a caught fly ball.

Your Q isn't exactly clear but I am assuming R2 was off base at the time of the catch and F4 flips to F6 before R2 returned, and we have 2 outs.  If R2 had a legal base tag or was on base at the time of the catch, then they must be tagged for out.

I'm curious if you got any explanation why R2 was not out if my 1st scenario is accurate.  Depending on what they said, the "P" word might have been appropriate.



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Dr. Mark R. Ambrose


I can answer all questions about book rules and "case book" rules governing the playing of ASA softball. Have a REAL situation that happened and are not sure the proper rule was applied, ask me.


I am a registered ASA umpire, a MASA "At-Large" umpire since 1996 and a retired District Umpire-In-Chief. I have very extensive experience in MASA State Championship and ASA national qualifying tournament play both as an umpire and an Umpire-In-Chief. I completed 3 ASA National Schools including the ASA national advanced umpire school in Ok City("Bernie" for those who know him was the lead clinician, I survived the week and couldn't let my kids watch the game tapes when I got home. No, I love you Bernie). I was one of 4 "Yankee" umpires selected to umpire the Men's D National East Championship in 2002 in Winter Haven FL

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