Take a look at the Infield Fly Rule Misconceptions page
for incorrect beliefs about it before reading this page to see how to take advantage of it.
2.00: 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
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.
Comment: On the infield fly rule the umpire is to rule whether the ball could
ordinarily have been handled by an infielder—not by some arbitrary limitation
such as the grass, or the base lines. The umpire must rule also that a ball is
an infield fly, even if handled by an outfielder, if, in the umpire’s judgment,
the ball could have been as easily handled by an infielder. The infield fly is
in no sense to be considered an appeal play. The umpire’s judgment must govern,
and the decision should be made immediately.
When an infield fly rule is called, runners may advance at their own
risk. If on an infield fly rule, the infielder intentionally drops a fair ball,
the ball remains in play despite the provisions of Rule 6.05(l). The infield fly rule takes precedence.
6.05 (e) A Batter is out when an infield fly is
6.05 (l) A Batter is out when an infielder
intentionally drops a fair fly ball or line drive, with first, first and
second, first and third, or first, second and third base occupied before two
are out. The ball is dead and runner or runners shall return to their original
base or bases.
APPROVED RULING: In this situation, the
batter is not out if the infielder permits the ball to drop untouched to the
ground, except when the Infield Fly rule applies.
(f) Any runner is out when he is touched by a fir ball in fair territory before
the ball has touched or passed an infielder.
EXCEPTION: If a runner is touching his base when touched by an Infield
fly, he is not out. If runner is touched
by an Infield Fly when he is not touching his base, both runner and batter are
What does it mean?
- An infield fly can be called if:
- There are less than 2 outs
- There are runners at least on 1st and 2nd base
- The umpire thinks an infielder can catch the ball
- The purpose of the rule is to not allow the defense to pretend they are going to catch a ball (and have all the runners tag up), and then let it fall to the ground, and get an easy double play.
- When the umpire calls infield fly, the batter is automatically out, whether or not the ball is caught. But the ball is live and in play, so any runner who strays off their bag can also be put out. If the ball is caught, it’s like a regular fly ball, and all runners must return to their bases. If the ball is not caught, the runners may try to advance at their own risk, keeping in mind that they do not have to, as the batter is already out so there are no force plays anywhere.
What Should Players do?
- When an umpire declares “Infield Fly”
you are out. (Unless the ball lands
foul without being caught, in which case it is treated like a regular foul
- However, you should continue to run to
- If the defense does not catch the
ball, a player may see you running to first base, forget that you are
already out and throw the ball. If
he makes a poor throw, the other baserunners can advance. (You are still out regardless L ).
- Remember that you are not forced to
- Do not be fooled by thinking you need
to run if you see an infielder misplay a fly ball.
- Also don’t be fooled because you see
the batter running towards you.
He’s trying to fool the defense – not you!
- If you are on a base away from the
play, you can take a small lead (ensure you can get back to the base if
the ball is caught and the fielder snaps throws the ball back to your
base). If the ball is not caught,
there is a possibility you can advance to the next base. (For example a fly ball between 1st
and 2nd. If you are on 3rd
base, you can take a few steps towards home. If the fielders collide / kick the ball
into the outfield etc, you can keep running home. If it is caught, get back to 3rd
base right away).
- Also stay alert for fielders who don’t
catch the ball, hurrying a poor throw to 1st base. If it’s wild, the ball is live and you
can advance, without having to tag up again.
- If an infield fly ball is landing
close to you, STAY ON YOUR BASE! If
you step off to avoid being hit by it, and it hits you anyways when you
are off the base, you and the batter are both out.
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- Try to catch a ball that is declared
an infield fly. If you don’t, and it rolls foul, you have given the batter
another live. As well, if a runner
is running on the play, and you catch it, you can get a double play. If you let it fall, the runner may
advance on the play.
- DO NOT throw the ball to first base. Remember that the batter is out,
regardless of what else is happening.
(You may throw to first base to get the runner if he’s strayed too
far off the base).
- Remember that even though the batter
is automatically out, the ball is live and in play. If you catch the ball, a runner can tag
up and score. Also, if you throw
the ball away when trying to get it back to your pitcher, the runners can
- To summarize… CATCH THE BALL!