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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Apr 11, 2005, 09:45am
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Per the NFS 2005 rule interpretations:

"While in the set position, F1 has his pitching hand down in front of his body swinging slowly as he gets the sign from the catcher."

Illegal - Rule 6-1-3

Are you guys gonna call a balk on his very first set pitch or warn him first?


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Old Mon Apr 11, 2005, 09:51am
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At the risk of being chastised for my response I will reply.
If it is a varsity game - Balk.
If it is JV or Freshman game - Warning first , balk thereafter both teams.
Varsity guys better have their coach up on the rules. I am a little more lenient with lower level games because coaches " may " not be up on the rules ( humor ).
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Old Mon Apr 11, 2005, 10:44am
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Wellll...
'Bout a month into the season here; it's a balk first time, every time, frosh to varsity. They've had time to learn what the rule is by now.

BUT:

I did a start-of-season tournament with visiting teams from another state, where I came in for the 2d game of a DH at the plate, my partner had just finished the 1st half w/ another guy. FWIW my BU/partner is one of our guys who does NCAA ball & is a trainer/evaluator.

1st inning, here comes the visiting pitcher with the "full gorilla": ball in pitching hand, down in front of his body, swinging to beat the band. I'm getting ready to nail him, when it occurs to me that my evaluator/partner/BU has just seen these teams, and is looking right at this ape, saying nada.

Hmmmm: maybe I missed the memo? I told F2: "remind your pitcher that he's not supposed to do the gorrilla arm like that." F2 looks @ me like I'm speaking Urdu. I try again, but still nothin'.

My BU still ain't calling it, and I've let it go for a while now. Can't really balk him the 15th time he does it, y'know? No chance to confer w/ partner between innings: he is very committed to avoiding gossipfests between umpires while the game is on & is in Right field as if by teleportation at the end of each half inning. I'm guessing this came up in the first game & we ain't playing this rule tonite. They're not "official" games, so: OK.

Post game, changing at the "locker" between our vehicles in the far corner of the parking lot: one thing I have picked up from this particular fellow - the "senior" partner opens the postgame with a quick eval of his own game, beginning with what he was not completely satisfied with; then encourages/ asks the partner to do the same for his [partner's] game. The Sr. guy then asks "have you got anything for me?" - an opening for questions/observations/criticism.

When we get to this point, I ask: hey, that first pitcher from the visitors: I couldn't figure why you weren't calling the gorrilla arm. I guessed it had come up in the first game, and we weren't gonna call it tonite.

NOPE!! He had spaced the whole issue. "What's a gorrilla arm?" Now, in my partner's defense, our State-mandated Rules meeting was it's usual less-than crystaline style, and I slept through most of it [if not for discussions on this & other web sites, I'd been req'd to read the books ].

My eval for this game consisted of: (1) you are kinda funny-looking back there [almost but not quite GD stance-cbf ], but your zone & consistency were good; (2) if you see something, call it, don't assume your partner knows something you don't.

[Edited by cbfoulds on Apr 11th, 2005 at 11:47 AM]
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Old Mon Apr 11, 2005, 10:56am
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clarify for this limited brain of mine. Gorilla arm? 6-1-3 For the set position, the pitcher shall have the ball in either his gloved hand or his pitching hand. If he is leaned over getting his sign and the ball is in his pitching hand, where is the problem? Maybe I am having trouble visualizing this.
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Old Mon Apr 11, 2005, 10:57am
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The same,

I posted to another website that in the first inning or my first game F1 went to pure "Gorilla Stance" . . . as the BU I called time and told the defensive coach that his preset was illegal. Coaches comment, "I did not know that?"

No balk and the pitcher stopped.

Two innings later he was back to "Gorillaing".

Balk . . .

Now fast forward to this past Friday. F1 goes out and goes "Gorilla" I am on the dish. I tell F2 "tell him he has to have his free hand at his hip or behind him."

F2 goes to mound where everything gets sideways as he (F2) doesn't understand my direction. So he turns to the base umpire for help.

Base umpires says, "I have NO IDEA what a "'gorilla arm' is."

So preventative officiating does not work . . . as I head out into the infield I am met by the PITCHING COACH who is an ASSISTANT COACH yelling at me, "what are you telling my pitcher!"

Things go south from here.

I work FED by choice.

I will balk the "Gorilla Arm" from now until they change the rule.

I am done trying "to work things out."

"Gorilla Arm" is a POE and that means my client WANTS it called. If a high shool selects to play under NFHS rules then I should call them all.

-----

scyguy: In FED it is a Point of Emphasis that the pitcher's hand be held at his hip or behind his back.

The hanging arm . . . pitcher a RH F1 in contact with the pitcher's plate, bent slightly forward with his throwing hand dangling straight down from the shoulder . . . that is a "gorilla Arm" . . . FED adamantly wants this practice stopped -- therefore it is considered a balk.

[Edited by Tim C on Apr 11th, 2005 at 12:00 PM]
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Old Mon Apr 11, 2005, 11:24am
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Looking at my 05 FED book, I see no mention of this in the POE's. Only see attention to face protection, field conduct, game management, height of mound, on-deck placement, professionalism and good sporting behavior. Could you guide me in the right direction? If this is a balk, I need to know about it. Thanks
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Old Mon Apr 11, 2005, 11:31am
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Quote:
Originally posted by scyguy
Looking at my 05 FED book, I see no mention of this in the POE's. Only see attention to face protection, field conduct, game management, height of mound, on-deck placement, professionalism and good sporting behavior. Could you guide me in the right direction? If this is a balk, I need to know about it. Thanks
I think Tee may have mis-spoke about it being a [formal] POE. However, the gorrilla arm is for sure one of the Interpretations/Situations posted on the NFHS website in the BB Rules page. Situation # 5, I believe
http://www.nfhs.org
http://www.nfhs.org/scriptcontent/va...Footer=BB_FOOT

[Edited by cbfoulds on Apr 11th, 2005 at 12:33 PM]
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Old Mon Apr 11, 2005, 12:50pm
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Yes,

Thanks CB, I really meant that is a "point of emphasis" (notice no captial letters) enough to be on the web site interps. My bad for calling it an actual POE.

Plus at our state meeting there was a slide showing the infraction.

So it is an "issue" and is a balk in the collective mind of the Federation Board.
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Old Mon Apr 11, 2005, 01:00pm
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What exactly is the reasoning behind making this a balk? Is there some advantage gained by the pitcher by having his hand hanging down versus at his side or behind his back?

I am honestly not trying to be argumentative, I am just trying to understand the reason for the rule.
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Old Mon Apr 11, 2005, 01:20pm
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and I am reluctant to call it since it is not part of the existing rule book. Probably will be a new revision for 06
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Old Mon Apr 11, 2005, 01:38pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by scyguy
and I am reluctant to call it since it is not part of the existing rule book. Probably will be a new revision for 06
so ... the interps on the web-site aren't "official" enough? Just trying to understand this.

Plus, I'm pretty sure this was covered in the rules interp.

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Old Mon Apr 11, 2005, 01:45pm
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Kaliix:
Near as I can figger, this is a "we really are serious, call it our way" thing-y.

As I have recently had reinforced, FED is extremely strict about what "extra" movements are permitted by F1 in contact w/ the rubber. Even F1 scratching his nose on the rubber is considered the start of his motion to pitch or come set, and he must complete the motion without hesitation or interruption.

scyguy:
I'm not on the Committee, but I doubt that there will be an '06 Rule Book text change to make this explicit.

The Rule in play is already in the book: F1's pitching hand must be at his side or behind his back. Maybe an '06 Casebook entry [if there isn't one in '05: can't find my Casebook, today]. The Web site is "current" and has the same "force" as a Casebook sitch. If you want to do it the right way, call it now.

I THINK Tee & Bob would be right in my area about the slide at the Rules meeting; but, like I said, I slept thru most of it.

[Edited by cbfoulds on Apr 11th, 2005 at 02:51 PM]
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Old Mon Apr 11, 2005, 01:50pm
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so give me an avenue to call it, do I copy the website interp and carry them with me? Since it is not in the book and was not covered in our state rules intrep, was not on our state rules meeting annoucements, is not in the baseball guide 2005 published by the NFHS, coaches in our state are not aware of it.

Don't get me wrong, I have no hestitation in applying the rules, but if NFHS wants us to call this don't we need to deseminate the information first? Are all coaches in our state going to check the website? More importantly, does NFHS expect all coaches to do this??
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Old Mon Apr 11, 2005, 02:04pm
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Well ....

Quote:
Originally posted by scyguy
so give me an avenue to call it, do I copy the website interp and carry them with me? Since it is not in the book and was not covered in our state rules intrep, was not on our state rules meeting annoucements, is not in the baseball guide 2005 published by the NFHS, coaches in our state are not aware of it.

Don't get me wrong, I have no hestitation in applying the rules, but if NFHS wants us to call this don't we need to deseminate the information first? Are all coaches in our state going to check the website? More importantly, does NFHS expect all coaches to do this??
If this was not covered at your state rules meeting, you may be in the same boat as a couple other states, where the state guy has his own view of what the rules mean, or don't. Consequently, your mileage may, perforce, vary.

The actual Rule is already in the Book, as is the penalty. The NFHS 'net sitch only makes a point of added emphasis on this particular application and set of facts.

I'd check with the top rules dude in your local group: if that person has never heard of the "gorrilla" balk, I'd contact your official state rules maven. There is usually some guy somewhere in the state who actually has the job of officially responding to thorny FED problems and TWPs. He'll either tell you to call it, or that your state is in rebellion from the Republic of FEDLandia, and you guys ain't calling that rule interp.

What the coaches know or think about it; nobody but the coaches cares about.
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Old Mon Apr 11, 2005, 02:05pm
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The rule states the pitching arm must be to the pitchers side or behind the pitchers back. The "gorilla arm" stance is taken with the pitching hand in front of the body, therefore its illegal.
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