The bizarre ending of a recent game between the Central League's Hiroshima Carp and Yomiuri Giants was a wakeup call for umpires, according to participants and veteran umpires.

The Carp beat the Giants 3-2 on May 4 at Mazda Stadium because of an umpire's failure to follow procedure on a routine play that fooled players from both teams into making bad choices.

With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth of a 2-2 game at Hiroshima's Mazda Stadium, pinch hitter Tetsuya Kokubo hit a high popup in front of the plate and home plate ump Hideto Fuke failed to inform players the infield fly rule was in effect. The ball dropped fair, and Giants first baseman Juan Francisco gathered it and stepped on home plate for what he believed was a forceout.