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Old Mon May 13, 2013, 02:51pm
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Verbal Interference in a 10U game

Hi,

New member here so hopefully I am doing this right. I tried to search but couldn't find an exact answer.

Watched a 10u accelerrated team playing under FED rules.

Offensive team players on the bench would yell bloody murder every time a pitcher begins his windup. It was a clear attempt to disrupt the pitcher.

Would this fall under rule 2-21-1? Is the pitch considered a "play".

Rule 2-21-1 indicates that Offensive interference is an act (physical or verbal) by the team at bat: a) ... obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play

If so, how would you penalize?

Or would this incident need to fall under the unsportsmanlike conduct rule and be umpire discretion that the incessant screaming was bush league.

If so, how would you penalize?

Thanks in advance.
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Old Mon May 13, 2013, 03:00pm
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A pitch is not a play.

This is only illegal if the umpire deems it as unsportsmanlike.

If you want an example of verbal interference, consider a runner getting right behind a fielder making a catch and yelling in his ear. There are others, but they all deal with a fielder trying to make a play ... and not a pitch.
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Old Mon May 13, 2013, 03:26pm
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Tell them to knock it off (use the coach if you can) and then eject.
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Old Mon May 13, 2013, 03:34pm
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Since you mentioned FED, I guess the more appropriate rule would be 3-3-1 on Bench and Field Conduct. There are two potential choices under that rule, specifically "g.4.", which prohibits players from "behavior in any manner not in accordance with the spirit of fair play," or "o." which says players shouldn't "call 'Time' or use any command or commit any act for the purpose of causing a balk", assuming there were base runners.

But the second would be a real stretch. I would use "g.4." and tell the players to knock it off. If it continues, you could warn and then eject the head coach.

That said, baseball isn't golf. If the players are simply cheering loudly from the dugout, so what? It's when they do something that is obviously directed at distracting the pitcher, such as suddenly pounding the bench with balls just as the pitcher winds up that's a problem.
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Old Mon May 13, 2013, 04:12pm
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Generally, these antics don't even phase a player whether batter or pitcher). I've found that stuff that bugs parents who aren't concentrating on hitting a moving ball or throwing a pitch into a little box is the same stuff I don't even hear... and if I don't hear it, the players generally don't either.

It's going to have to be WAY out of the box (or perhaps personal) to even register on my radar (and likely the player's radar as well).

Is it bush league? Probably. Is it illegal? Most probably not. If it becomes so, I'll address it as Bob suggested. And once is usually enough.

And I'll add this - in my entire career, I would suspect the PARENT antics that I've had to ask a coach address outnumber the bench antics by a factor of 10.
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Old Mon May 13, 2013, 06:40pm
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In a high school game I am going to ignore it, unless it becomes personal or vulgar, "unsportsmanlike" to coin a phrase. In kiddie ball, I'm going to tell them to 'knock it off'. I don't think at any level it would rise to the point of being considered verbal obstruction.
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Old Mon May 13, 2013, 07:57pm
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Are we talking "here pitcher pitcher pitcher" type stuff or something worse? Can't imagine tossing a coach for silly chants like that but if that's the rule then I want to know.
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Old Mon May 13, 2013, 08:53pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob jenkins View Post
Tell them to knock it off (use the coach if you can) and then eject.
+1

And if really offensive and clearly to disrupt the pitcher the first one to toss is the coach if he don't put an end to it. He may not even know it is as disruptive to the batter as it is the pitcher but at 10U who can say.
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Old Mon May 13, 2013, 08:57pm
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In HS if it becomes personalized like "here pitcher pitcher pitcher" then I will immediately put a stop to it. In 10U, I might more tolerant.

What may seem like "Silly Chants" to you may be taken personal to others and then your hands are full. It is real simple, "you can cheer for your team all you want, when someone gets personal, I will take action"
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Old Tue May 14, 2013, 02:12am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob jenkins View Post
Tell them to knock it off (use the coach if you can) and then eject.
Worked FED ball where teams did this. Annoying, but within the rules from what I can tell.
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Old Tue May 14, 2013, 08:56am
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Here's the NCAA rule (emphasis added):

Game personnel shall not use language that will, in any manner, refer to or reflect negatively upon opposing players, coaches, umpires or spectators. Any orchestrated activities by dugout personnel designed to distract, intimidate, or disconcert the opposing team or reflect poor sportsmanship shall not be allowed.
PENALTY: The umpire shall warn the offending individual and the coach one time. If the verbal abuse continues after the warning, the offender shall be ejected. If the verbal abuse continues after the first ejection, the head coach shall be ejected along with any other offending personnel.

The NCAA has given examples of volume rising just as the pitcher releases the ball as fitting this category.
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Old Tue May 14, 2013, 10:23am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob jenkins View Post
Here's the NCAA rule (emphasis added):

Game personnel shall not use language that will, in any manner, refer to or reflect negatively upon opposing players, coaches, umpires or spectators. Any orchestrated activities by dugout personnel designed to distract, intimidate, or disconcert the opposing team or reflect poor sportsmanship shall not be allowed.
PENALTY: The umpire shall warn the offending individual and the coach one time. If the verbal abuse continues after the warning, the offender shall be ejected. If the verbal abuse continues after the first ejection, the head coach shall be ejected along with any other offending personnel.

The NCAA has given examples of volume rising just as the pitcher releases the ball as fitting this category.

Bob:

The OhioHSAA is a NFHS state for baseball, and this year MTD, Jr., and I have both noticed more and more teams start orchestrating load noises from the dugout just at the Pitcher starts his pitching motion. Our (MTD, Jr. and me) position is if they don't do it in the the majors then don't do it in H.S. Cheer for your teammate but do go down the unsportsmanlike (for for all of you who just say it is gamemanship, that is horse manure) highway.

MTD, Sr.
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Old Tue May 14, 2013, 10:46am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark T. DeNucci, Sr. View Post
Bob:

The OhioHSAA is a NFHS state for baseball, and this year MTD, Jr., and I have both noticed more and more teams start orchestrating load noises from the dugout just at the Pitcher starts his pitching motion. Our (MTD, Jr. and me) position is if they don't do it in the the majors then don't do it in H.S. Cheer for your teammate but do go down the unsportsmanlike (for for all of you who just say it is gamemanship, that is horse manure) highway.

MTD, Sr.
What about the 'ol "...hey batter, batter, batter...SWING!"
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Old Tue May 14, 2013, 11:07am
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That is only used by the umpire now, during a blowout and you are trying to get the game thru the last inning for a "mercy Rule".
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Old Tue May 14, 2013, 06:06pm
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Originally Posted by jicecone View Post
That is only used by the umpire now, during a blowout and you are trying to get the game thru the last inning for a "mercy Rule".
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