Monday, March 18, 2013

Case Play: Hockey Puck Splits in Two in Swiss Game

What happens when a hockey puck splits in half leaving one shard in the net and the other on the boards?

This exact play occured during a Swiss hockey game on March 16, 2013 when Cédric Botter attempted a wrist shot. The goal was waived off by refereee Stéphane Rochette following instant replay review.

Video: Pucks breaks into two pieces and is ultimately ruled frozen and a no-goal (SwissHabs)

NHL Rule 78.4 states, in part, "a goal shall be scored when the puck shall have been put...entirely across a red line." Rule 85—Puck Out of Bounds—addresses the instance of a puck causing the glass, lighting timing device or supports to break, but does not consider the situation of a puck itself shattering.

In concert with Rule 78.4, a similar situation in the Americas would likely be treated as a Puck Out of Sight pursuant to Rule 85.3 ("Should...the puck be out of sight of the Referee, he shall immediately blow his whistle and stop play").

As baseball season approaches, the UEFL announces its first Case Play of the 2013 season, based on the above scenario. Consider the following situation, modified from the above real-world hockey example.

Play: With two out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Gray Sox are trailing the Blue Sox 3-0. Hoping to get the Gray Sox back into the game, batter B1 hits a fly to deep center field, causing the ball to come apart during flight. (For video of this goofy play, click here to see this most cartoony of events).

Goofy's "How to Play Baseball" is Copyright, Walt Disney Co.
Case Play 2013-01:
a: Was our umpire correct in keeping this play alive through the collision at home plate?
b1: If so, and assuming F8 held in his hand part of the attached yet splintered baseball and this part of the baseball touched B1 prior to B1 touching home plate, is B1 out or does his run count; how does play proceed? R1, R2 and R3 have already legally scored.
b2: If not, what is the result of the play?
Now that we're warmed up, consider part (c):
c: Assume the ball has completely severed in two, as per the hockey scenario. One half of the ball is caught by F8 while the other half goes over the outfield wall in fair territory, both on the fly. Is that 3 outs, a grand slam or something else?

This is a Group Case Play in which you may respond to this post with your answer. Productive participants stand to gain one Case Play point (+1) in the UEFL Standings—before the season even begins. To receive credit, be sure to include your UEFL username.

*It is highly improbable that a baseball may come partially apart during one play. While one baseball would routinely be used during games in the late 1800s and early 1900s and occassionally fail or change properties during later innings, the death of Ray Chapman due to a HBP to the head in 1920 spurred the the American and National Leagues to consider replacing ripped, scuffed, cut, worn, fatigued or pitcher-manipulated balls.*

21 comments :

Gil Imber said...

a) the umpire was correct in keeping the play alive
b) B1 is the third out at home, as per our Goofy umpire; R1, R2 & R3 score; game tied 3-3 and moves to the tenth inning.

Gil Imber said...

Rule Reference: 5.02 Case Book - Should a ball come partially apart in a game, it is in play until the play is completed.

Gil Imber said...

Rule 5.02 Comment OBR-Should a ball come partially apart in a game, it is in play until the play
is completed.

The first three runs are legal and the games goes into Extra Innings.

Gil Imber said...

Rule 5.02 comment "should a ball come partially apart during a game, it is in play until the play is completed." Yes the umpire is correct in keeping the play alive

Gil Imber said...

Rule 5.02 "should a ball come partially apart during a game, it is in play until the play is completed." Umpire is correct in keeping the play alive

Gil Imber said...

a) the umpire was correct in keeping the play alive
b) B1 is the third out at home, as per our Goofy umpire; R1, R2 & R3 score; game tied 3-3 and moves to the tenth inning.

Gil Imber said...

a) The umpire was correct based on Rule 5.02 Comment: Should a ball come partially apart in a game, it is in play until the play is completed.

b)B1 is the third out of the inning. The game is tied and goes into extra innings.

Gil Imber said...

Choosing not to replicate every one else's answer (which seems correct), I instead pose an additional hypothetical...

What if the ball was truly severed? Then what?

Gil Imber said...

In that same vein as CricketChapman's hypothetical, now that we're warmed up, refer to part (c) of the Case Play.


c: Assume the ball has completely severed in two, as per the hockey scenario. One half of the ball is caught by F8 while the other half goes over the outfield wall in fair territory, both on the fly. Is that 3 outs, a grand slam or something else?

Gil Imber said...

Everyone that posed already is correct. The ball is in play and live. Rule 5.02

Gil Imber said...

Umpire correct in keeping it live. As for the hypothetical situation, the commissioner would push for a home run in MLB for fan entertainment purposes. I would go with the play standing wherever the larger piece of the ball lies.

Arik said...

Who am I to argue with the masses. Keep the ball live per 5.02 Comment and B1 is out for the third out of the inning. With the score tied.

Gil Imber said...

(wwjd220) A. The Umpire is correct. B. If touched by the part of the baseball that F8 has in his hand prior to touching home plate the runner is out C. If the baseball is caught first the inning is over but if the ball goes over the wall first it's a grand slam. if both happen simultaneously than u would have to huddle together and come to a concensus on what u saw

Gil Imber said...

In A the ball is alive in in play.
In B1 the runner B1 is out and 3 runs score
In C, the ball remains alive and in play. If the larger piece( or core of the ball) is caught it is an
out. If it goes over the fence it is a grand slam. (gkiewitt)

Gil Imber said...

The rule in question is rule 5.02.
a) Yes- umpire correct
b) B1 is out, and the 3 runs would score
c) I'm going to go with gkiewitt on this one- the core is key!

Gil Imber said...

a - 3.01 e comment I believe states it very clear that the umpire made the correct call in not calling the play dead.

b1 - Therefore, all runners shall have scored, expect runner batter who was caught at the plate by the partially unraveled ball.

c - Which part was caught and which part went over the fence? I would assume that the bigger part shall get the call, like gkiewitt stated. Not to restate the like, but I think the size of the piece does matter in this case.

Gil Imber said...

A) yes - 5.02 comment

B1) yes - 3 runs score, B1 is out (same as everyone else)

C) I think this is where 9.01 (c) would apply. 5.02 comment states "...the ball comes PARTIALLY apart. In the exaple given ( 1/2 caught, 1/2 over fence ) the ball comes completely apart.
In my judgement, I would be inclined to use an award of 2 bases to the BR - similar to a ground rule double. At that point, the ball would become dead, and runners forced to advance because of the 2 base award would do so. Therefore, only 2 runs would score.
I don't think there is one correct answer for this part. It would be up to the judgement of the UIC for the game.

Gil Imber said...

Yes, [5.02] and the runs do score, but B1 is out. I think [9.01(c)] would be applicable here, but the likelihood of a baseball tearing into two is highly improbable.

Gil Imber said...

In A the ball is live
In B the runner B1 is out and 3 runs score
In C the ball remains live.

Gil Imber said...

You could make an argument for either or on the latter, I presume. He can reach over the fence and make the catch [2.00 catch], but by the nature of [5.02 comment] on the ball staying in play, [3.01(e) comment] an umpire cannot distribute another ball to the pitcher unless the play becomes dead. In this case, considering a portion of the 'live' ball went out of the playing grounds, [3.01(e) comment] prohibits the umpire from reinstating play until after the batter touches home plate. Henceforth, the batter would be awarded the home run. But, obviously, a catch would override all of that.

Based on the inauspicious language, I think discretion would prevail [9.01(c)] here.

Gil Imber said...

This case brings in Rule. 5.02
A) Yes the umpire made the correct call in this case. The play has to be kept live.
B) All the base runners would score and B1 would be out on the tag in my opinion. Since the umpire has to keep the play live, as long as part of the ball is there he should be out.
C)In my opinion where ever the bigger part of the ball ended up, is what the result of the play should be. Since the play must be kept live.

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