Suns In Your Eyes? Hit or Error?
If you have ever kept score using baseball score sheets you may have encountered the following scoring decision. A lazy fly ball is hit directly at the right field. The right fielder camps under the ball. While waiting for the ball to come down the sun suddenly peeks out from behind a cloud. Now the right fielder looses track of the ball and quints to recapture it. But before the player has react the ball hits the ground and the batter is on second base.
Do you score it a Hit? An error? What's the correct call? Who makes the call? The answer to this question is pretty consistent, and it's based on the fact if the player touched the ball or not.
The official scorer is responsible for determining if an error should be charged or a hit credited. If the right fielder did not touch the ball the official scorer will almost always record it as a hit in the baseball score sheet.
If the fielder touched it on the way down, the official scorer will usually charge the fielder with an error in the baseball scoresheet.
There is some controversy regarding this approach. At the professional baseball level, some say an error should be charged because they are professionals and that if the sun wasn't in their eyes, it would have been a routine play.
The other school considers this scenario similar to the case where a ground ball is hit directly to an infielder and the ball hits a rock and takes a bad hop, and the fielder not being able to make a play. In this case the batter is credited with a hit in the baseball score sheet.
At the youth baseball level the benefit of the doubt is always given to the hitter and therefore, you will never see the scorer enter an error in the baseball score sheet.