The Official Forum  

Go Back   The Official Forum > Baseball

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 01:57pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 45
I'm a coach on a 11AA USSSA team (OBR). I was reading through some common rule explanations on eteamz baseball rules page and came across some balk explanations. I was caught off guard when I read that a pitcher may attempt a pick off from the windup without stepping of the rubber. I, and none of the other coaches, have never seen a pitcher attempt a pickoff move from the windup without stepping off first. It seemed common knowledge that as soon as the pitcher made a move with the free foot that he had to go to the plate. After reading this rule, we appear to be wrong.

Am I reading this correctly? A pitcher from the windup (both heals on the rubber, facing the catcher, hands together in front) can step directly to a base in a pickoff attempt? The one caveat I saw stipulated that the pitcher cannot start any movement associated with his normal delivery to the plate before attempting a pickoff. So, in the pitcher's normal delivery to the plate, his free foot must step backwards and not to the side. If his free foot steps to the side in a normal delivery to the plate, it would be a balk if he stepped to the side in a pickoff attempt, correct?

If I'm interpreting this correctly, I can see how a right handed pitcher could attempt a pickoff to 1B from the windup, or a lefty to 3B. Basically just step with the free foot directly to the base and throw. But what about a righty to 3B (or lefty to 1B)? Do you have to step with free foot first (step across your body and turn to throw) or can you step with the pivot foot first (and do a kinda snap throw)? What about a hop move to 2B or 3B (for righty, 1B for lefty)?

This opens up a whole realm of possiblities for picking off or holding baserunners close.

Any thoughts?
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 02:19pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 4,222
My first thought coach is to direct you to the rulebook:

OBR 8.01

There are two legal pitching positions, the Windup Position and the Set Position, and either position may be used at any time. Pitchers shall take signs from the catcher while standing on the rubber.

(a)The Windup Position.

The pitcher shall stand facing the batter, his entire pivot foot on, or in front of and touching and not off the end of the pitcherÂ’s plate, and the other foot free. From this position any natural movement associated with his delivery of the ball to the batter commits him to the pitch without interruption or alteration. He shall not raise either foot from the ground, except that in his actual delivery of the ball to the batter, he may take one step backward, and one step forward with his free foot.
When a pitcher holds the ball with both hands in front of his body, with his entire pivot foot on, or in front of and touching but not off the end of the pitcherÂ’s plate, and his other foot free, he will be considered in the Windup Position. [edit]

From this position he may:
(1)deliver the ball to the batter, or
(2)step and throw to a base in an attempt to pick-off a runner, or
(3)disengage the rubber(if he does he must drop his hands to his sides).


My second thought is to ask why is it that many coaches who most likely wouldn't play Scrabble without knowing the rules will take on the responsibility of teaching kids baseball without knowing the rules?

If you can't find a rule book nearby, email me privately and I'll send you one, free of charge.
__________________
GB
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 02:38pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 45
1. As an umpire, you should know that most coaches, especially at this level, don't know all the rules. I admit that I don't know all the rules, that's why I was reading them - at eteamz and at MLB.com. I also read this forum often to gain insight into baseball rules. This is our first full season in USSSA using OBR. Previously we played Cal Ripkin, which doesn't take leads.

2. The reason I'm asking this is because I've never seen a pickoff attempt from the windup. I can assure you that if our pitcher did this, most opposing coaches would go postal. I would hope the umpire would know the rules, but based on most of the umps I've seen around here, I'm not so sure. But, if this is a no-brainer to even the most rookie ump, I'll feel a whole lot better teaching our players this.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 02:51pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 17,614
Quote:
Originally posted by andrewm
I'm a coach on a 11AA USSSA team (OBR). I was reading through some common rule explanations on eteamz baseball rules page and came across some balk explanations. I was caught off guard when I read that a pitcher may attempt a pick off from the windup without stepping of the rubber. I, and none of the other coaches, have never seen a pitcher attempt a pickoff move from the windup without stepping off first. It seemed common knowledge that as soon as the pitcher made a move with the free foot that he had to go to the plate. After reading this rule, we appear to be wrong.
"Common knowledge" is often wrong, as it is here. This is one of the top-40 myths.

Quote:
Am I reading this correctly? A pitcher from the windup (both heals on the rubber, facing the catcher, hands together in front) can step directly to a base in a pickoff attempt?
Yes and Yes.

Quote:
The one caveat I saw stipulated that the pitcher cannot start any movement associated with his normal delivery to the plate before attempting a pickoff. So, in the pitcher's normal delivery to the plate, his free foot must step backwards and not to the side. If his free foot steps to the side in a normal delivery to the plate, it would be a balk if he stepped to the side in a pickoff attempt, correct?
Not necessarily. Don't just focus on the foot. If the whole of the movement indicated a pitch (foot back, arms up, body doesn't turn), then it's a pitch. If the whole of the movement indicates a throw to first (foot back, arm cocks, body turns), then it's a pick-off attempt.

Quote:
If I'm interpreting this correctly, I can see how a right handed pitcher could attempt a pickoff to 1B from the windup, or a lefty to 3B. Basically just step with the free foot directly to the base and throw. But what about a righty to 3B (or lefty to 1B)? Do you have to step with free foot first (step across your body and turn to throw) or can you step with the pivot foot first (and do a kinda snap throw)? What about a hop move to 2B or 3B (for righty, 1B for lefty)?
Yes, the pitcher needs to step with the free foot.

Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 02:56pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally posted by bob jenkins
Quote:
If I'm interpreting this correctly, I can see how a right handed pitcher could attempt a pickoff to 1B from the windup, or a lefty to 3B. Basically just step with the free foot directly to the base and throw. But what about a righty to 3B (or lefty to 1B)? Do you have to step with free foot first (step across your body and turn to throw) or can you step with the pivot foot first (and do a kinda snap throw)? What about a hop move to 2B or 3B (for righty, 1B for lefty)?
Yes, the pitcher needs to step with the free foot.

[/B]
So a hop move is legal?
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 03:19pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 4,222
Quote:
Originally posted by andrewm
1. As an umpire, you should know that most coaches, especially at this level, don't know all the rules. I admit that I don't know all the rules, that's why I was reading them - at eteamz and at MLB.com. I also read this forum often to gain insight into baseball rules. This is our first full season in USSSA using OBR. Previously we played Cal Ripkin, which doesn't take leads.

2. The reason I'm asking this is because I've never seen a pickoff attempt from the windup. I can assure you that if our pitcher did this, most opposing coaches would go postal. I would hope the umpire would know the rules, but based on most of the umps I've seen around here, I'm not so sure. But, if this is a no-brainer to even the most rookie ump, I'll feel a whole lot better teaching our players this.

Coach, fist let me say that I am honestly not trying to be antagonistic or insulting. I do undersand that most coaches, and not just at your level, do not know the rules. I know I sound cranky, but I am just sincerely curious as to why that is the case.

I am a substitute teacher. I am not the type, however, who babysits. I do not show videos or supervise study halls. I work only for those teachers who know that I will work continue the education of their students. I am endorsed to teach music, social studies and English. Additionally I am qualified to teach math through geometry and French. I take teaching seriously. I prepare every day for my next assignment. I brush up on my weaknesses (Algebra II and French veber conjugation in the future tenses) often. I show up for my assignemnts more than an hour early and review the lesson plans, previous work and the day's goals. When I am called upon to cover a subject with which my only connection is 30 years in the past, I really cram. A good example....I taught sex ed to high school juniors a couple of weeks ago. (Holy cow. I've been married for 31 years....what do I know about sex?)

Coaches are teachers. They are responsible for educating kids about a game. Games have rules. Isn't it logical to think that coaches would know the rules? Shouldn't coaches spend at least some time with the rule book? Shouldn't coaches want their players to know how to play the game in accordance with the rules?

Yet, I cover games with Varsity coaches who haven't openned the free rule book they get each year, for years, if ever.

Again, none of this is meant to be mean-spirited, rather a sincere, bewildered and disappointed observation.

__________________
GB
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 03:33pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 45
Garth, I agree with everything you said. That's exactly why I spend the time I do reading the rules. Like you said, it's my job to teach my players correctly. I take this very seriously. If I didn't care, I wouldn't be asking you guys for input.

However, nothing ticks me off more than an ump not knowing the rules. Maybe it's just me, but it's bad enough for a head coach to not know the rules, but it's unexcuseable for an ump to be ignorant. And I'm not talking about rare situations such as a bouncing foul tip 3rd strike. I'm referring to basic interference / obstruction calls.

Anyway, we seem to be on the same page and I was just looking for some practical interpretations of the rulebook.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 03:39pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 4,222
Quote:
Originally posted by andrewm
Garth, I agree with everything you said. That's exactly why I spend the time I do reading the rules. Like you said, it's my job to teach my players correctly. I take this very seriously. If I didn't care, I wouldn't be asking you guys for input.

However, nothing ticks me off more than an ump not knowing the rules. Maybe it's just me, but it's bad enough for a head coach to not know the rules, but it's unexcuseable for an ump to be ignorant. And I'm not talking about rare situations such as a bouncing foul tip 3rd strike. I'm referring to basic interference / obstruction calls.

Anyway, we seem to be on the same page and I was just looking for some practical interpretations of the rulebook.
Welcome aboard coach. You are a breath of fresh air.

__________________
GB
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 04:31pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 17,614
Quote:
Originally posted by andrewm
Quote:
Originally posted by bob jenkins
Quote:
If I'm interpreting this correctly, I can see how a right handed pitcher could attempt a pickoff to 1B from the windup, or a lefty to 3B. Basically just step with the free foot directly to the base and throw. But what about a righty to 3B (or lefty to 1B)? Do you have to step with free foot first (step across your body and turn to throw) or can you step with the pivot foot first (and do a kinda snap throw)? What about a hop move to 2B or 3B (for righty, 1B for lefty)?
Yes, the pitcher needs to step with the free foot.
So a hop move is legal? [/B]
If it complies with the requirements in rule 8, yes.

I don't mean that answer to be obtuse. But, your definition of "hop move" might differ from mine, and from the umpire's at your game.

Also, recognize that many (most?) umpires at the youth level are either just learning or just "filling in". Even if they have as much experience as you do, they may also believe many of the 40 myths.

If you're really interested in learning the pitching rules, buy the Jim Evans Balk video. If you're really interested in helping out the umpires, donate it to the umpire association and make it required viewing before working any games in which lead-offs (and balks) are allowed.

Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 04:47pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 77
Is this thread accurate for Fed rules, also?

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 05:10pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 77
I guess what confuses me is Mr. Jenkins writing:

"Don't just focus on the foot. If the whole of the movement indicated a pitch (foot back, arms up, body doesn't turn), then it's a pitch. If the whole of the movement indicates a throw to first (foot back, arm cocks, body turns), then it's a pick-off attempt"

While I understand his point (and I know he is correct...I'm just trying to understand this and file it away in my thick head...) in both cases, the first motion is "foot back"...

Isn't (free) 'foot back' a motion associated with a pitchers's normal delivery to the plate? Imagine a slight delay - ever so slight - between 'foot back' and "arm cocks, body turns" . Man, my players are stealing! And caught in a run down...
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 05:16pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 3,216
Quote:
Originally posted by carldog
Is this thread accurate for Fed rules, also?

Thanks!
No. You can't pick from windup in FED.
__________________
Rich Ives
Different does not equate to wrong
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 05:17pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,772
Quote:
Originally posted by carldog
Is this thread accurate for Fed rules, also?

Thanks!
Only OBR rules. In FED rules, F1 must disengage with his non-pivot to throw to the base from the windup.

This is actually not that good of a move if you think about it, that's why you don't see it in the pros.

If it worked, they would use it all the time.

Thanks
David

Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 05:19pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Spokane, WA
Posts: 4,222
This does not apply to FED


FED 6-1-2...With his feet in the windup position, the pitcher may only deliver a pitch or step backward off the pitcher's plate with his pivot foot first.

In FED, from the windup, the pitcher may not step and throw to a base.
__________________
GB
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old Wed Mar 16, 2005, 05:26pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 45
Quote:
Originally posted by David B
This is actually not that good of a move if you think about it, that's why you don't see it in the pros.

If it worked, they would use it all the time.

Thanks
David

[/B]
It might not be good for the pros because they know the rules. But I promise you it will confuse the heck out of some 11 year olds and their coaches who don't know the rules. I'll wager that most youth coaches teach their baserunners to break for 2B as soon as the pitcher moves his free foot from the windup. In that case, they'll be picked clean every time.

Granted, once an opposing team sees this, the novelty will wear off. But, if we save it to a crucial point in the game, it's an easy out.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:58pm.



Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.0 RC1