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Old Wed Feb 28, 2007, 07:42am
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Gorilla Arm

Yes, I did a search...

I've seen this twice already this year, but nobody is calling it.

Man on first, RH pitcher leans in to get his sign and has his glove on his knee and his right hand dangling in front of him with the ball.

Do you balk this?

I don't see an advantage at all as everyone in the park knows where the ball is. I could see it if he was changing his routine, one time the balls in his glove, the next time it's in his hand, etc, that would show intent to decieve.

This was just part of his normal routine. He did the same exact thing on every pitch with runners on. In fact, he never threw over to first, not once, so he certainly did not gain an advantage.

Also, nobody said a word, so it seems to be an accepted practice.

Do you guys let this ride, or do I need to nut up and bang this as soon as I see it.
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Old Wed Feb 28, 2007, 07:48am
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Our assoc wants this called.

But I warn once, maybe twice, before I do.
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Old Wed Feb 28, 2007, 07:50am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2rad4u
Yes, I did a search...

I've seen this twice already this year, but nobody is calling it.
Well, that's (likely) your answer for your area.

It's legal in OBR and NCAA. Last year, FED issued an interp that it was illegal. There is some concern in some states that FED didn't really mean "gorilla arm" when they wrote this. As long as R1 can tell whether F1 is set or not, then it's legal.
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Old Wed Feb 28, 2007, 09:09am
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We had this last night in a game...true gorilla arm. Home team pitcher comes out in top of second, just after they scored two touchdowns in the bottom of the first (yup, 14 runs) on a completely overmatched team. He was really hyped up, and working quickly. First batter gets a bloop single. F1, in the stretch, is really amped up now, and has the non-glove hand (with ball) swinging like a pendulum. First pitch a foul ball that hits the fence and comes out between the plate and mound. Partner and I (I'm BU) converge...he acts like he's getting the ball and checking it, I'm "dusting" off the rubber. We remind F1 he's not in the major leagues and his arm can't be swinging like it is, or it will be a balk.

So, warned him in this situation, with a game that was totally out of hand already. The opposing pitcher, who had only begun pitching (ever) two weeks prior, already had an illegal pitch called on him, and honestly, we let him get away with probably a dozen total just because he absolutely didn't understand what we were trying to tell him. However, in most situations, we're calling balks on the "gorilla arm."
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Old Wed Feb 28, 2007, 09:11am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob jenkins
Well, that's (likely) your answer for your area.

It's legal in OBR and NCAA. Last year, FED issued an interp that it was illegal. There is some concern in some states that FED didn't really mean "gorilla arm" when they wrote this. As long as R1 can tell whether F1 is set or not, then it's legal.
This year, the NFHS published a rules "comic book" as they have in football for years. The illustration is clear and it is equally clear that the "gorilla arm" is illegal. If you do not balk it, you are doing a disservice to your fellow umpires and, yes, the team from your area that may make it into the post season.

I agree with what Tim said in the other thread (April, 2005). Call it, call it, call it until the NFHS changes the rule.

And if you fear that you will get flack from the coaches, make copies of the sketch out of the illustrated rule book and hand them out. While you're at it, go back and read the NFHS Points of Emphasis on "Umpire's Professionalism."
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Old Wed Feb 28, 2007, 11:01am
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Is that "comic book" online anywhere? I'd like to see that.
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Old Wed Feb 28, 2007, 11:56am
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Smile

It's available on the NFHS website.


2007 Baseball Simplified & Illustrated
Item #: BASI07
Retail Price: $6.95
Details:
The baseball rulebook is brought to life and clarity given to difficult situations with the use of over 150 large, clear illustrations.


http://www.nfhs.com/index.asp?cmd=sh...I07&param_1=61
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Old Wed Feb 28, 2007, 11:57am
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The issue of "gorilla arm" came up three years ago in a Big Ten series. One coach complained that the umpires were not balking the involved pitcher (the umpires said no deception was involved, and since the NCAA rule book did not specifically cover this interp, the Pro interp was used). The umpires involved wrote the whole thing up to the NCAA rules folks, followed up several times, and this year's NCAA book contains an interp. Only took three years.

JJ
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Old Wed Feb 28, 2007, 12:07pm
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What is the NCAA interp?


Thanks for the info Tribefan
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Old Wed Feb 28, 2007, 12:18pm
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PA state rules interpreter said to me when i asked him about the gorrilla arm:

"It's great you're reading your rules like you are- but if you call that you're just asking for trouble. Theres a time when you need the rule book, but then there's times where you need to leave the rulebook in the car."
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Old Wed Feb 28, 2007, 12:33pm
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by bossman72
PA state rules interpreter said to me when i asked him about the gorrilla arm:

"It's great you're reading your rules like you are- but if you call that you're just asking for trouble. Theres a time when you need the rule book, but then there's times where you need to leave the rulebook in the car."


I guess there are times... but not many. We can't be cherry-picking which rules to ignore and which ones to enforce. That will only lead to trouble.

Having said that... I think the new rule that came out this year (NFHS) about base-coaches leaving their boxes is rather silly. It's going to be difficult to watch the coach and the pitch at the same time.
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Old Wed Feb 28, 2007, 04:23pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2rad4u
What is the NCAA interp?


Thanks for the info Tribefan
Legal
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old Wed Feb 28, 2007, 05:36pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tribefan1952
It's available on the NFHS website.


2007 Baseball Simplified & Illustrated
Item #: BASI07
Retail Price: $6.95
Details:
The baseball rulebook is brought to life and clarity given to difficult situations with the use of over 150 large, clear illustrations.


http://www.nfhs.com/index.asp?cmd=sh...I07&param_1=61
I'm glad they came out with something to bring life and clarity to an otherwise poorly worded, ill-conceived, and confusing piece of literature.
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Old Wed Feb 28, 2007, 06:00pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bossman72
PA state rules interpreter said to me when i asked him about the gorrilla arm:

"It's great you're reading your rules like you are- but if you call that you're just asking for trouble. Theres a time when you need the rule book, but then there's times where you need to leave the rulebook in the car."
I sympathize with you as our rules guy says the same thing. I had a big disagreement on this forum last year about calling this. Tee put me wise to the whole FED interpretation so I decided to start calling it. You guessed, coaches screaming and calling the assigner. No backing from the association on this.
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Old Wed Feb 28, 2007, 07:40pm
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Varsity 4-A game last night with an experienced lefty on the mound. First inning, with R1, he starts the gorilla arm swinging. I balked him immediately. Of course, the coach comes out of the dugout and asked what he was doing wrong. I told him that with the ball in hand, he could put hand behind back or at side. He gave me the "not trying to deceive anyone" argument. He told pitcher to put hand behind back. Third inning, same scenerio. I called it again. After that, no problem the rest of the way. Pitcher told my partner that no one had ever called it on him before. He said he did it because he saw it on tv.
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