Infield Fly Definition
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) 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 5.09(a)(12). The infield fly rule takes precedence.
If interference is called during an Infield Fly, the ball remains
alive until it is determined whether the ball is fair or foul. If
fair, both the runner who interfered with the fielder and the batter
are out. If foul, even if caught, the runner is out and the batter
returns to bat.