Here is one that many of us may have to learn through experience… an infield fly that appears obviously fair may turn out to be anything but that. If a ball is hit in the air in front of the first or third base bags, there’s always a chance it will roll foul untouched. Normally, we are taught to declare “Infield Fly, IF FAIR” on balls that are close to the foul line. But in theory, and in the video below, the ball appears to be obviously in fair territory when the infield fly signal is given, but the situation quickly changes.

It is difficult to tell from this video whether the ball was touched over fair or foul territory by Rays catcher Jose Molina after it dropped on the infield. The plate umpire in this instance needs to think one step ahead and line up the potential fair/foul call in the event something like this happens. Remember that the infield fly is by rule, not by call, so a crew conference can resolve any issues no matter what you verbalized.

Have you ever had a play like this in your game, perhaps one that includes a little bit of a different wrinkle? Share your experience on our Facebook page so other umpires will be prepared for whatever comes their way!

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