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CoachRich

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
Had an interesting discussion with an umpire at the last tournament.  Situation: A ball is batted to the left side of the infield.  The runner from second attempts to advance to third.  The third baseman is positioned in front of the runner (closer to home), and the short stop is positioned behind the runner (further from home).  The third baseman attempts to field the batted ball, but it deflects off her glove and hits the runner in the leg.  The umpire claims that the runner is out because she was hit by a batted ball.  I claimed that the play goes on, since the ball was deflected.

After the tournament, I looked up the rule.  This is where things get interesting.  Rule 8, section 18, paragraph N states that "Any runner is out when the runner... Is contacted by a fair-batted ball before it touches or passes an infielder, or after it passes any infielder, except the pitcher, and the Umpire judges that another fielder has a play."

My interpretation of this rule has always been that, once a ball is deflected by an infielder, the runner can't be called out if it hits them.  However, this rule also has a brand new "Note 2":  "When a runner is hit with a fair batted ball after it is touched or has passed an infielder, except the pitcher, and the Umpire judges that another fielder has no opportunity to make a play, the runner is not out and the ball remains alive."

Now, Note 2 seems to contradict the original rule.  Since the short stop still had a play, if the deflection had not hit the runner, Note 2 makes it sound like the runner should be called out.  Else, what is the point of Note 2.

So, two main questions, I guess:

1.  If a ball is deflected by an infielder, and it hits a runner, is that runner out if a fielder behind her would have had a play?  If so, that seems awful unfair.  And it seems to go against the original rule.

2.  What *is* the point of Note 2?
wysz

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Posts: 49
Reply with quote  #2 

In my opinion the Note 2 is a badly structured sentence, as there is more than one way to parse it.  It is describing two different situations in one sentence.  I think that the two situations should be separated with  the { } below:
  • When a runner is hit with a fair batted ball after it  { is touched } or { has passed an infielder, except the pitcher, and the Umpire judges that another fielder has no opportunity to make a play } ,the runner is not out and the ball remains alive.
By separating the two situations into two sentences it becomes:

  • When a runner is hit with a fair batted ball after it is touched, the runner is not out and the ball remains alive. OR
  • When a runner is hit with a fair batted ball after it ihas passed an infielder, except the pitcher, and the Umpire judges that another fielder has no opportunity to make a play, the runner is not out and the ball remains alive.
Your situation is clearly falls under first of these.
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