Positioning of fielders - several scenarios

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Positioning of fielders - several scenarios

wdshipe
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wdshipe
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19 Sep 2017, 16:19 #1

In a different thread, Bob Louderback poses a very interesting question about catchers.  is-a-catcher-required-t13323.html#p32619
Not wanting to hijack Bob's thread, I'm posting here with couple of other questions that are also about the positioning of fielders in SBA games.
 
1.  The “standard” outfield formation is 4 outfielders, and those outfielders must be positioned beyond the arc defined by the outfield eddie markers.  Can a team instead field 3 outfielders in order to place 5 infielders between 1B and 3B?  I’ve seen this strategy employed in other leagues and at PA ASA state tournaments; a team had 3 outfielders who could cover the territory, and when they were able to make it work, their defense could be stifling.  The 5th infielder was typically placed to the left of 2B (from the batter’s vantage) for right-handed hitters and to the right of 2B for left-handed hitters.
 
2.  Another outfield formation I’ve seen used in other leagues is to employ a “short” or “floating” outfielder.  3 outfielders play at or near typical outfield positions, while the 4th stands wherever they deem that a hitter is most likely to hit the ball, which in SBA might be inside the arc defined by the outfield eddie markers.  If 5 infielders are allowed (item 1 above), can this “floating” outfielder technically be considered an infielder in order to enable them to be inside the outfield eddie markers?
 
3.  At fields such as the Quarry and Hatfield, must infielders stand on the dirt?  Or can they be out on the grass?  I’ve heard it said that infielders should not stand on the transition from dirt to grass, but that might have just been a consideration for Hatfield, as they don’t want that transition to get ripped up.
 
4.  How close to the batter can infielders be positioned?  On a previous team, I had a teammate who just couldn’t swing the bat very hard.  She had decent speed, so all of her hits were slow ground balls toward 3B or SS that she legged out.  She was actually called out for “bunting” or “half-swinging” a few times until the umpires realized that this was just how hard she regularly swung the bat.  The ideal defense against her would probably have the third baseman and shortstop about 25 feet away from the plate, but is there an area inside which the infielders cannot start?
 
Thanks!
Bill
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MikeY
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MikeY
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19 Sep 2017, 16:52 #2

If I'm not mistaken, the "4 outfielders behind the cones" rule is only for when an eddie is at bat.  You can play "short fielder" when an eddie is up, but then that player has to remain in that same spot for the next batter as well (no matter who they are).

Also fairly sure that when a core/all-star player is at bat, anything goes.
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sixofdiamonds
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sixofdiamonds
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19 Sep 2017, 18:06 #3

You are not mistaken, Mike.

A team cannot play 5 infielders when an eddie is at bat. Infielders can play as far back as they'd like for eddies and core players alike although Hatfield Township frowns upon infielders chewing up the infield edge of the outfield grass.

The eddie rules are put in place in an effort to give the weaker eddies an opportunity to get a base hit. The eddie cones (outfield arc) give the weaker eddies more area to land a base hit. Playing infielders back might take away the outfield area, but it opens the infield and gives the weaker eddie a chance to get a base hit on a slow grounder. Pick your poison.

Infielders can play as close to the batter as they'd like, but if the 'weak' batter catches the sweet spot of the bat with the sweet spot of the ball, you'd best be wearing a cup.
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GulpGulp
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19 Sep 2017, 19:40 #4

I wish the eddie cones were further out.  It's frustrating to hit a hard line drive single to Right / RC and get thrown out at 1B or have the runner going from 1st to 2nd get thrown out by 20 feet.  Of course I could resolve this by hitting to the left side but, just sharing my opinion of the eddie cones :)
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jstepo32
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jstepo32
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19 Sep 2017, 20:08 #5

sixofdiamonds wrote: You are not mistaken, Mike.

A team cannot play 5 infielders when an eddie is at bat. Infielders can play as far back as they'd like for eddies and core players alike although Hatfield Township frowns upon infielders chewing up the infield edge of the outfield grass.

The eddie rules are put in place in an effort to give the weaker eddies an opportunity to get a base hit. The eddie cones (outfield arc) give the weaker eddies more area to land a base hit. Playing infielders back might take away the outfield area, but it opens the infield and gives the weaker eddie a chance to get a base hit on a slow grounder. Pick your poison.

Infielders can play as close to the batter as they'd like, but if the 'weak' batter catches the sweet spot of the bat with the sweet spot of the ball, you'd best be wearing a cup.
5 infielders and 3 outfielders
5 outfielders and 3 infielders plus pitcher ( 3 deep outfielders and 2 short fielders)

Are these scenario's allowed in men's? I don't see myself ever letting my team do this but want to know in case its illegal and anyone tries to pull a fast one on me lol
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Purplemonkey
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19 Sep 2017, 20:11 #6

MikeY wrote: You can play "short fielder" when an eddie is up, but then that player has to remain in that same spot for the next batter as well (no matter who they are
I'm not sure that this is 100% accurate. You technically can choose to play a short fielder in front of the eddie pole when an eddie is up, although it is against the rules.  If the other team calls you out on it (which if it's blatantly obvious, they will) that fielder has to move back behind the eddie pole. Then when the next core player is up (not necessarily the next batter) the offending fielder has to move back to where they were standing in front of the eddie pole before they got caught during the eddies at bat.  Basically giving that core player a 3 man outfield to hit too. Not always an ideal situation for the fielding team.
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sixofdiamonds
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sixofdiamonds
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19 Sep 2017, 20:15 #7

GulpGulp wrote: I wish the eddie cones were further out.  It's frustrating to hit a hard line drive single to Right / RC and get thrown out at 1B or have the runner going from 1st to 2nd get thrown out by 20 feet.  Of course I could resolve this by hitting to the left side but, just sharing my opinion of the eddie cones :)
There actually has been some discussion on moving the eddie cones/poles back another 5 paces. Personally, I'd like to see the eddies have more of an opportunity to drop one in for a base hit along with making it more difficult to have a line drive base hit taken away by a force out at 2nd.
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sixofdiamonds
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sixofdiamonds
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19 Sep 2017, 20:17 #8

jstepo32 wrote:
sixofdiamonds wrote: You are not mistaken, Mike.

A team cannot play 5 infielders when an eddie is at bat. Infielders can play as far back as they'd like for eddies and core players alike although Hatfield Township frowns upon infielders chewing up the infield edge of the outfield grass.

The eddie rules are put in place in an effort to give the weaker eddies an opportunity to get a base hit. The eddie cones (outfield arc) give the weaker eddies more area to land a base hit. Playing infielders back might take away the outfield area, but it opens the infield and gives the weaker eddie a chance to get a base hit on a slow grounder. Pick your poison.

Infielders can play as close to the batter as they'd like, but if the 'weak' batter catches the sweet spot of the bat with the sweet spot of the ball, you'd best be wearing a cup.
5 infielders and 3 outfielders
5 outfielders and 3 infielders plus pitcher ( 3 deep outfielders and 2 short fielders)

Are these scenario's allowed in men's? I don't see myself ever letting my team do this but want to know in case its illegal and anyone tries to pull a fast one on me lol
Perfectly legal in the men's leagues.
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sixofdiamonds
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19 Sep 2017, 20:23 #9

Purplemonkey wrote:
MikeY wrote: You can play "short fielder" when an eddie is up, but then that player has to remain in that same spot for the next batter as well (no matter who they are
I'm not sure that this is 100% accurate. You technically can choose to play a short fielder in front of the eddie pole when an eddie is up, although it is against the rules.  If the other team calls you out on it (which if it's blatantly obvious, they will) that fielder has to move back behind the eddie pole. Then when the next core player is up (not necessarily the next batter) the offending fielder has to move back to where they were standing in front of the eddie pole before they got caught during the eddies at bat.  Basically giving that core player a 3 man outfield to hit too. Not always an ideal situation for the fielding team.
Here is the league rule...

OUTFIELD EDDIE MARKERS: Outfielders must remain behind an imaginary line starting 30 paces from 1st and 3rd base down the foul lines then following an arc along the infield dirt line when an eddie is at bat and until contact is made with the ball. Managers may object to the umpire any time an eddie is in the batter’s box. If, in the umpire’s judgment, the fielder(s) are in violation of this rule, the offending fielder(s) will move behind the 30-pace mark for the eddie batter, then be required to move back to his/her/their position(s) in the field where the violation occurred for the next non-eddie batter, be it in the same or next inning. Manager objections cannot be made once the eddie batter hits a fair ball.
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Purplemonkey
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19 Sep 2017, 20:51 #10

sixofdiamonds wrote:
Purplemonkey wrote: I'm not sure that this is 100% accurate. You technically can choose to play a short fielder in front of the eddie pole when an eddie is up, although it is against the rules.  If the other team calls you out on it (which if it's blatantly obvious, they will) that fielder has to move back behind the eddie pole. Then when the next core player is up (not necessarily the next batter) the offending fielder has to move back to where they were standing in front of the eddie pole before they got caught during the eddies at bat.  Basically giving that core player a 3 man outfield to hit too. Not always an ideal situation for the fielding team.
Here is the league rule...

OUTFIELD EDDIE MARKERS: Outfielders must remain behind an imaginary line starting 30 paces from 1st and 3rd base down the foul lines then following an arc along the infield dirt line when an eddie is at bat and until contact is made with the ball. Managers may object to the umpire any time an eddie is in the batter’s box. If, in the umpire’s judgment, the fielder(s) are in violation of this rule, the offending fielder(s) will move behind the 30-pace mark for the eddie batter, then be required to move back to his/her/their position(s) in the field where the violation occurred for the next non-eddie batter, be it in the same or next inning. Manager objections cannot be made once the eddie batter hits a fair ball.
That's what I said except you used bigger and fancier words.  
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sixofdiamonds
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sixofdiamonds
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20 Sep 2017, 11:49 #11

Just confirming what you said with the actual written rule.
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wdshipe
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wdshipe
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20 Sep 2017, 12:00 #12

Thanks to all for the replies - it's much clearer to me now.

In men's leagues and in coed with a core/all-star batting, just about any of these alternative defensive formations are allowed.  With an eddie at bat, 4 outfielders must start behind the eddie outfield markers.

As for infielders, there is no explicit area where they can't stand, though I suspect standing directly between the pitcher and home plate would be frowned upon.
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