Saturday, November 22, 2014

Solution for ABL Case Play: Stepping Over the Line

Our Australian Baseball League dead-ball territory Case Play is now complete, the solution below. Play:
With none out and two on, Bite batter Chan Moon hit a sacrifice fly to Heat left fielder Tim Smith in foul territory, Bite baserunner R3 Rocky Gale scoring as R1 Michael Miller remained at first base. Replays indicate F7 Smith slid to catch the fly, then regained his footing before stepping across the venue's out-of-play line and into dead ball territory before throwing the ball back to the infield.
At issue, as argued by the offensive team's coach, was whether F7's actions caused the ball to become dead and, if so, whether R1 should have been awarded second base.

Because the ABL uses the Official Baseball Rules, we can confidently cite MLB's code in solving this Case Play. As it stands, the following comprise our statements of material fact:
➤ The Norwood Oval's ground rules states a line in foul ground delineates live from dead ball territory.
➤ F7 entered his slide, without possession of the ball, while in foul territory, above "in play" ground.
➤ F7 caught the ball and exited his slide, standing on his feet, while in foul territory, "in play."
➤ F7 hopped across the out of play line, such that only his feet/shoes were in contact with the ground.
➤ F7 threw the ball back to the infield while standing wholly in dead ball territory.

F7 legally stands out of play
OBR Rule 5.10(f) states, "When a fielder, after catching a fly ball, falls into a bench or stand...If a fielder after making a catch steps into a bench, but does not fall, the ball is in play and runners may advance at their own peril."
OBR Rule 6.05(a) Comment states, "The ball is in play unless the fielder, after making a legal catch, falls into a dugout or other out-of-play area, in which case the ball is dead."
OBR Rule 7.04(c) states that each runner may advance one base when, "a fielder, after catching a fly ball, falls into a bench or stand, or falls across ropes into a crowd when spectators are on the field."

Because F7 did not actually fall in or onto dead ball territory—he recovered to his feet and maintained his shoes as the only point of contact with the ground—Rule 7.04(c) cannot apply. According to the Wendelstedt Umpire School, "This is covered under 6.05 (a) Comment. It appears that he slides, makes the catch, recovers to his feet, then steps into the out-of-play area. This is perfectly legal under the rules." Thus, the umpires made the correct call. Live ball, B1 is out, R1 stays at first, R3 scores.

Wendelstedt School Director Brent Rice addressed the following potential scenarios to this play:
➤ Had F7 fallen after entering DBT: Dead ball, B1 is out, R1 awarded one base (2B), R3 scores.
➤ Had F7 made the catch and then slid into DBT: Dead ball, B1 out, R1 awarded 2nd, R3 awarded home.
➤ Had F7 caught the ball after entering DBT—or bobbled the ball into DBT: Foul ball, no out.
➤ Had F7 dropped the ball while standing in DBT having already completed the catch: Dead ball, B1 out, R1 awarded two bases (3B), R3 awarded home.

NCAA RULING: Under most circumstances, this same play is legal in NCAAB, pursuant to Rule 6.1.d. However, Rule 6.1.d(1)(b) specifically authorizes a local facility to adopt a ground rule that would preclude a fielder from throwing from dead-ball territory, though the fielder would be legally permitted to re-enter live-ball territory in order to throw. If such a ground rule is adopted, the penalty for this "catch-and-carry" violation is a dead ball and one-base award.

Thanks to all participants: 2015 UEFL CP points for: AJ_Off, cyclone14, Jim, RichMSN, zimmerthechief.


Post a Comment