The Corner

Americana

From a reader: “Mr. Derbyshire—While it’s great that you understand what

a ground-rule double is, that is, as such things go, child’s play. If you

can say that you’ve got a handle on the infield-fly rule…. well, then

you’re really on to something. (Ask Lowry; I’m guessing he knows.)”

I strike out (Ha!) on that one, Sir. I have a sort of general mental block

in regard to minor sporting rules, which is why I am so pleased with myself

when I get one. I grew up in soccer-mad England, and actually played soccer

through primary school (i.e. to age 11 — after which I moved to a rugby

school). Yet I still don’t understand the offside rule. Please DO NOT try

to explain it to me, readers — it’s much too late now, and I don’t care

anyway. I shall go happily to my grave not understanding the offside rule.

I am open to explanation of the infield-fly rule, though, if it can be done

without complicated diagrams.

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