Let’s explain and outline the criteria for an outfielder to make a catch to record an out. The situation described below is applicable in all divisions of Little League Baseball® and Little League Softball®.
In the top of the second inning, with two outs and a runner on second base, the batter hits a high fly ball toward the outfield. The center fielder charges toward right-center field and gets the ball in her glove, takes four steps and falls to the ground. During the fall, the ball comes out of the fielder’s glove. The home plate umpire signals “safe” as the batter-runner touches first base and the baserunner advances to third base. As the centerfielder gets to her feet, she throws the ball to second base in an attempt to put out the runner for not tagging up. The base umpire signals “safe.” Before the next batter enters the batter’s box, the Manager of the defensive team calls for, and is granted, “Time.” The Manager asks the home plate umpire if he saw the catch made by the center fielder. The home plate umpire now verbalizes to the Manager that there was no catch. With no catch made, no out was recorded, the batter-runner is safe at first base, and the runner on second base is entitled to advance at her own risk.
By rule, no catch was made because the fielder must demonstrate complete control, and show voluntary release of the ball. Since the ball was dislodged during the fall, the centerfielder did not voluntarily release the ball.
Rule 2.00 – Definition of Terms – Catch: Situation A