Coach’s Challenge… Clannad After Story Episode 1

Yep.  Figured I’d have to throw this out eventually this season.. didn’t think so soon though..

chigaimasu-48.jpgIn the NFL, outside of the final two minutes of the first and second halves, coaches have the option to challenge a play, to have a certain play reviewed by the officials because they believe the boys in the zebra shirts got the call on the field wrong. Anyway, Here’s my challenge flag pointed at KyotoAni for a play during the baseball episode of Clannad After Story.

Anyone who’s navigated this site before has probably seen me already, successfully I might add, challenge KyotoAni’s execution with regards to sports.  Let’s see if I can go two for two.  The play in question comes in the bottom of the final inning, 2 outs, runners on 2nd and 3rd, with Mei at the bat (For those of you with the SS-Eclipse sub of the episode, timestamp 19:50).  Play proceeds as follows, Mei strikes the ball, a ground to short, the ball is picked up and thrown to first to get the out, but Mei beats the play at first.  Looking at this play the first time, I was not convinced that this could be possible: an 8-year-old girl on a ground ball to short beats out the play of a grown man.  So out came the challenge flag.

I’m not convinced you could make it to base, little lady.  Let’s look at the facts.

How this typically (and I say typically, because officials have blown it under review as well) works is that there must be sufficient, undeniable evidence that the call on the field is incorrect.  So for the sake of this challenge, I must try to find indisputable evidence that Mei could not have possibly beat the ball to the bag.  We’ll do this in steps:

1) What we know for sure:  Thanks to the magic of frame by frame, Gametrack analysis, we (big thanks to bro-ham for most of the hard spec data) know that Mei swings through the ball and takes at least an additional 0.667s.  Furthermore, we also know she beats the play by about 0.7s.  What does this mean?  It means that however long it takes the shortstop to get to the ball and make the play to first, Mei has cover the distance to first in 1.367 fewer seconds.  Lastly, we know it takes the shortstop 1.125 seconds to pick up and release the ball.

2) Assumptions: We can probably safely assume that the field that the kids are playing on is a regular softball field (otherwise that’s way too much ground to cover).  And here are the dimensions of such a field.

We assume here that the shortstop’s playing the ball from right between 2nd and 3rd.  So he has the throw the ball about 67 (Pythagorean Thm, kids, triangle of lengths 30 and 60) feet.

3) Unknowns:  The only thing left to consider is, how long it takes the ball to get to the shortstop, and how long does it take the ball to go from the shortstop to first base.  Unfortunately, those two times are actually unknown.  Here we give Mei the benefit of the doubt, and assume best-case scenario for Mei.  What that means is that we take what the upper bound estimate (based on watching plays to short of high school games on youtube) and say that it takes 2 seconds for the ball to get to the shortstop.  We take the lower bound on the mph with which the ball leaves his hand, around 50mph.  50 mph = 73.3 feet/second, meaning it takes about 67/73.3 = 0.913 seconds to get to the first baseman’s glove.

What does this all mean?  The total play takes 2 + 1.125 + 0.913 = 4.038 seconds, so Mei has to run the 60 feet in 4.038 – 1.367 = 2.671 seconds.  She’s going an average sprinting speed of 60/2.671 = 22.46 feet per second.  Just as a reference, that means she would run the 100 meter dash in 14.60 seconds, which is easily doable.

Upon further review, the receiver had both feet inbounds… wait.. not football.. ok… Upon further review, there is inconclusive video evidence that the ball would reach the base before the little girl.  Therefore, the ruling on the field stands.  Anime Academy will be charged with its first team timeout.  First down, please reset the game clock to… crap… not football.

Anyway, that makes 1 for 2.  That’s still better than most coaches in the NFL.

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