The Infield Fly Rule – what's the story?

The infamous Infield Fly Rule is arguably the most misunderstood rule in baseball.
Relax, we can explain it.

Mountain View

First of all, what is it?

Here's what you'll see on the field:
1. A batter hits a high fly ball that's due to land in the infield.
2. Before the ball even has a chance to come down, the umpire calls the batter out!
3. The fans go into a wild screaming frenzy.


When can it be called?

The Infield Fly Rule will only be called under certain conditions:
- runners on first and second, or bases loaded
- fewer than two outs

Why is this a rule (and what MLB's Official Baseball Rules won't tell you).

While MLB's Official Baseball Rules explain what the umpire should call, they won't tell you why! No worries, we'll let you in on the full story. To understand the logic behind the Infield Fly Rule (yes, there is logic behind it), you'll have to envision what would happen if it were not in effect. Briefly, by letting the ball fall to the ground the defense could easily make two outs, not one – surprisingly, the call of "out" is in the offensive team's favor.

That's our quick description. See page 124 in the Baseball Field Guide for a more complete explanation, along with more illustrations.