How do pro baseball (or cricket) players decide who should catch a fly ball?

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I cannot speak to cricket, but in baseball there is a system of who has precedence in a fly ball situation:

Outfielders have precedence over infielders Infielders have precedence over the catcher and pitcher Catchers have precedence over the pitcher

When it comes to who has precedence within the outfield, or infield it is as follows:

The center fielder has precedence over the corner outfielders The middle infielders (SS and 2B) have precedence over the corner infielders (1B and 3B) The short stop has precedence over the second baseman

Basically if there was a scenario where everyone could catch a fly ball, the list of precedence would be as follows:

Center fielder Left or Right fielder Short stop Second baseman First or third baseman Catcher Pitcher

When it comes to actually communicating, players will use different systems. This can be a style that a coach decides on (especially at lower levels than professional) such as calling "ball" or "I got...

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I took an umpiring class this past Spring (2012), so I can offer what we were taught.

Regardless of whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, we were taught to wait a "tick" to be sure of what we've seen. If nothing else, this mindset helps one watch the pitch all the way into the glove.

If the call is a strike, one should rise from the slightly crouched stance, raise the right hand into a fist and pump it forward with authority and confidence while calling out 'HIKE'.

Why 'HIKE' and not 'STRIKE'? Simple, it's easier to call (especially for 7, 8, 9, or more innings), and it sounds close to the same.

The main point is to both call and signal the strike with authority. Oh, and swinging strikes are signaled, but not called out.

In addition, we're taught to make all strike calls, including strike three, where we're allowed a little bit of showmanship, while facing forward – not looking to the right.

Why? Well, home plate umpires in MLB, and I...

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