Rules Catchers Should Know

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Nov 18, 2015
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Reading the posts about fair / foul in the batter's box, and @uncdrew's post about the ball on the plate, made me wonder about a "Top X" of rules a catcher is mostly likely to encounter during a game.

Here's my initial list, in no particular order:
  1. Home Plate is in fair territory. Why? b/c the back tip of the plate is what's used to determine the angle of the foul lines all the way through 1B/3B to the foul poles.
  2. You don't have to avoid the batter runner when fielding a bunt. (i.e. you're not penalized for being quicker out of the box than the batter!)
  3. The only time D3K is NOT in effect is when there's a runner on 1B with less than 2 outs.
  4. A foul tip is a live ball. If there's a runner stealing on the pitch, they do not have to return to the base to tag up (but feel free to throw them out when they think it's a dead ball and trot back to 1st).
  5. If an umpire calls/signals "Infield Fly", any runners still attempting to advance need to be tagged (there's no force b/c the batter is out).
  6. With the bases loaded - key difference b/w #'s 3 & 5: D3K - just step on home. IFR - runner must be tagged.
From a rules perspective, those are the ones I can think of at the moment. Can probably start a separate thread for situational plays a C should be aware of. Did I miss any key rules that could help a "calm, cool, and collected" (and knowledgeable!) catcher get an extra out (or prevent runs)?
 
Jun 11, 2013
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One that I see a few kids get confused on is that a drop is any ball that hits the dirt. Not all but some think that just because you caught it a short hop it's not a drop.
Another minor rule to learn is that a ball isn't fair or foul until it's touched.
 
May 6, 2015
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  1. A foul tip is a live ball. If there's a runner stealing on the pitch, they do not have to return to the base to tag up (but feel free to throw them out when they think it's a dead ball and trot back to 1st).

pretty certain a foul ball, unless caught, if a dead ball. maybe the wording needs to be "a caught foul tip is a live ball". if C does not catch it, dead ball, runners must return, and cannot be thrown out.
 
May 6, 2015
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Another minor rule to learn is that a ball isn't fair or foul until it's touched.

or the ball touches something (ie fence, bucket, umpires water bottle, etc.) in foul territory.

I try to teach that a caught pop fly in foul territory is not a foul ball at all, simply a caught pop fly (and runners may advance on the touch, as if dropped, simply a foul ball)
 
Nov 18, 2015
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it's just semantics - but if a foul tip isn't caught, it's not a foul tip. It's a foul (dead) ball. I did originally have "a foul ball is a dead ball", but then didn't want to go down the path of differentiating b/w foul ball (dead) and caught foul ball (live), as most rulesets seem to just say a ball is foul when "touched", but don't clarify the "caught". With foul tip, the definitions were clearer, and more applicable to C's.
 
Feb 13, 2021
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MI
it's just semantics - but if a foul tip isn't caught, it's not a foul tip.

It isn't just semantics. By rule and definition a foul tip goes sharp and direct from the bat to the catcher's mitt and is then caught. If it is not caught, or if it hits the catcher or her equipment first, then it is a foul ball, dead ball. A recent change was that if it went from bat to mitt then to other equipment and was then caught, it is also now a foul tip.
 
Nov 18, 2015
1,334
113
It isn't just semantics. By rule and definition a foul tip goes sharp and direct from the bat to the catcher's mitt and is then caught. If it is not caught, or if it hits the catcher or her equipment first, then it is a foul ball, dead ball. A recent change was that if it went from bat to mitt then to other equipment and was then caught, it is also now a foul tip.
Yes - perhaps semantics was the wrong word to use. I was trying to agree with bmakj's premise and clarify (correct?) it at the same time.
 

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