The Ole Ball Game

Infield Fly Rule

by Randy

Power Shift To Right Side - Long Way For 3B To Catch Pop Up On Left Side

Power Shift To Right Side - Long Way For 3B To Catch Pop Up On Left Side

Power Shift To Right Side - Long Way For 3B To Catch Pop Up On Left Side Big Difference Between The Two, For The Infield Fly Rule

Randy asked: Infield fly rule says that a popup in the infield must be caught with a routine or normal effort.

However with the shifts now made by many infielders does this become impossible and how does it affect the rule?

For example, 3 infielders are on the right side of the infield and the 3rd baseman has moved close to second. Otherwise the Infield Fly is in effect and the batter hits a popup high enough to be ruled an infield fly but comes down right inside the foul line near 3rd base. It is almost impossible for a fielder to get to the ball. Understanding the ball does not have to be caught is it still an infield fly because it would have taken more than a routine or normal effort to reach and catch the ball before it lands?

Rick answered: Randy, thank you for such a great question.

I went through and read the rule over, it hasn't changed, even with the increase in player shifts.

I have seen no discussions on the situation, nor heard any from announcers on televised games.

Possibly some of our readers have seen or heard something. I will post this, and see what response it generates.

Yours in baseball,


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May 19, 2017
ordinary effort NEW
by: don

The infield fly rule requires ordinary effort to be applied. If the infielders make space where they are not able to catch a fly ball with ordinary effort they lose the automatic out.Another thought is will it be an infield fly if the infielders shift toward the 3rd base side and the right fielder moves way in and can catch the fly ball in infield area?

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