The batter is a at-bat and makes contact with the pitch. The baseball goes soaring in to the air. As a fielder, you need to be ready to catch it.
In this tutorial, we will learn about fly balls and pop flys, what they are, and how to field them in baseball.
Fly balls are baseballs that are hit high into the air, and usually travel a far distance, often into the outfield.
Fielding Techniques (Fly Balls)
As the baseball is in the air, fielders try to position themselves around where they think the baseball will land, then catch the baseball as it comes down.
A pop fly is similar to a fly ball, but pop flys tend to go very high into the air, sometimes even clearing the upper deck of the stadium! However, unlike fly balls, they do not travel very far across the field; they usually have the appearance of going straight up and straight back down. Infielders are usually the ones to catch pop flys.
An infield fly is a shallow, fair fly ball that can be caught by an infielder with regular effort.
Infield Fly Rule
If the bases are loaded or there are runners on first base and second base, and there are less than two (2) outs, an umpire might call infield fly while the baseball is still in the air.
His decision to call infield fly is based on his judgment on whether the baseball can be caught with reasonable effort. If infield fly is called, the batter is out even if the baseball is not caught.
The runners may try to advance at their own risk whether or not the baseball is caught. However, if the baseball is caught, they must tag up first.
Why Is There An Infield Fly Rule?
The infield fly rule serves to eliminate an advantage that the defensive team would otherwise have if the rule did not exist. If there was no infield fly rule, infielders could intentionally let the baseball fall. This would force the batter to advance to first base, thus forcing the other runners on base to advance. Then, the fielders could simply pick the baseball up and easily throw multiple runners out. With the infield fly rule, the previous scenario is prevented, and it is more equal for both teams.