On an infield fly, when can the runners leave their base (if they decide to)?
I believe it’s when the ball touches the infielder’s glove, or when the ball hits the ground.
Can anyone show me somewhere in a rule set what the correct answer is?
they can leave whenever they want, as with any fly ball, and if the ball drops, they may advance, otherwise they need to return to their base.
The infield fly call simply removes the force play situation, so the runners can stay at their base even if the ball drops.
That is the idea of the infield fly rule, to protect the runners from easy double/triple plays by letting an easily catchable fly ball in the infield drop.
See OBR definition of terms/infield fly regarding this.
Hope this helps!
Tagged: infield fly