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Softball/Declaring Infield Fly


We had a game the other night with one ASA umpire. This division is a 15-18 yr old rec division of our city league. Late in the game, while trying to rally, we had runners on first and second and no outs. Our batter hit a weak fly ball, lazy line drive towards the second baseman. It landed several feet away from her. There was no call from the umpire. After taking initial leads, our runners hesitated until the ball hit the ground and then took off to the next base. The batter/runner was ruled safe by the umprie at first. The umpire then took up his position behind home plate and prior to the next pitch being thrown, called time and asked both teams' coaches to come out for a conference. He said he thought about it and he should have declared it an infield fly. Therefore, he has decided to cahnge the call and call the batter/runner out. Initially he sent the other runners back to their original bases, but decided to let them stay because the ball was not caught. Now whether or not the original hit ball could be caught with "ordinary effort" is a judgement call, what I argued is he cannot declare an infield fly after the fact. What is your opinion? Can an umpire who DID NOT declare infield fly during the play, then decided it after the play is already over? I appreciate your time. Thanks in advance. Rob

Hi Rob,

A PU can rectify a situation before the next pitch, etc, where a delayed call or a reversal in a call (in this case, delaying the call of IF) puts the defense or offense in jeopardy. At this point, a certain amount of judgment becomes involved, where the PU must judge how to properly "fix" the situation.  So they can "fix it" after the fact.



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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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