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Monday, June 23, 2014

The Infield Fly

I want to take a moment (and by a moment I mean a whole blog post) to examine a oft-misunderstood rule in baseball and kickball that continues to cause high concentrations of grumbling, rabble-rousing, and general consternation throughout the WAKA world: the infield fly.

Now, for those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, here's the official MLB rule which many players assume is also in place in WAKA Kickball:

An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule.
When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare “Infield Fly” for the benefit of the runners. If the ball is near the baselines, the umpire shall declare “Infield Fly, if Fair.”
The ball is alive and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or retouch and advance after the ball is touched, the same as on any fly ball. If the hit becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul.
If a declared Infield Fly is allowed to fall untouched to the ground, and bounces foul before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball. If a declared Infield Fly falls untouched to the ground outside the baseline, and bounces fair before passing first or third base, it is an Infield Fly.

In truth, there IS NO INFIELD FLY RULE IN PLACE IN WAKA KICKBALL! The rationale behind this is certainly up for debate, but the argument against the rule is that A) people drop easy pop-ups all the time and B) making a judgement call like what constitutes an infield fly puts too much of an onus on the referee to make a questionable judgement call. As it stands that's just how it is, there is no infield fly rule.

So what we get is a situation in which, if a team is both savvy enough and skilled enough to pull it off, they can act like complete, astounding, unmitigated douchenozzles and abuse this lack of an infield fly rule in order to pull off cheap double (or triple!) plays in a manner entirely contrary to the spirit of the game (and common decency).

Is it within the rules to do this? Absolutely! It's also technically within the rules to peg people in the face as hard you can while they're sliding, intentionally walk kickers, and various other douchey moves that put winning a kickball game ahead of fun and safety! If you do stuff like that...

So people. Don't be that guy. Don't be that team. Pulling intentional fly ball drops in order to turn them into double plays shall henceforth be deemed an OFFICIAL PARTY FOUL, and violations will be met with extensive write-ups in this blog detailing your personal failings in manners of character, honor, personal hygiene, fertility, and social grace, all highlighted with a collection of unflattering photographs (photoshops will be created if no photographs can be uncovered).

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