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Old Sat Apr 28, 2007, 06:26pm
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Arrow Pitcher uses Gorilla Arm

Alright guys,

How do you deal with the "gorilla arm" when a pitcher is in the set position and has that dang arm swinging with the ball in his hand. I saw it in two games today using FED rules...what are the official interpretations on this FED and OBR. What are we watching for here? How can we use preventative officiating when dealing with this? I don't see any rules in FED that specifically address the gorilla arm. I guess I'm throwing myself to the wolves here...but I could see situations where a potential illegal feint could take place with a pitcher who uses this stance...help me understand this interpretation fellas...or if there isn't one, clarify that too please. Thank you. I've read FED rule 6 ART 3.
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Old Sat Apr 28, 2007, 08:06pm
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Specifically illegal in FED. It was in the interps a few years ago, and is covered in the S&I now. That said, it's frequently ignored.

Allowed in OBR and NCAA
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Old Sat Apr 28, 2007, 08:24pm
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I believe it was in the 2005 Interps, but I am having a problem putting my hands on it. It is covered in the 2006 BRD, item 364. It was not mentioned in the 2005 BRD.

"OFF INTERP 254-364: Hopkins: The gorilla stance is not legal."

"R1: F1 leans forward, peering in for his sign. His pitching hand swings slowly in front of his body. Ruling: Balk (Website 2005, #5)"

I have never seen it called.
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Old Sat Apr 28, 2007, 10:13pm
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I had it today...2 different teams, 2 different pitchers (obviously)...but I haven't that damn stance in FED ball in years! I tried to talk to the coaches in an attempt to be preventative and also told them to not be surprised if their pitcher is called for a balk somewhere along the line...It's just really tough for me to call cheap balks with the defense not specifically gaining an advantage...thanks guys...I can't find an interpretation on this either...
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Old Sun Apr 29, 2007, 08:00am
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FED 2005 Interps, Situation 5: 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. RULING: The use of this "gorilla" stance in the set position is illegal. A pitcher, from the set position, shall have his pitching hand down at his side or behind his back. (6-1-3)
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Old Sun Apr 29, 2007, 09:14am
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyg08
Alright guys,

How do you deal with the "gorilla arm" when a pitcher is in the set position and has that dang arm swinging with the ball in his hand. I saw it in two games today using FED rules...what are the official interpretations on this FED and OBR. What are we watching for here? How can we use preventative officiating when dealing with this? I don't see any rules in FED that specifically address the gorilla arm. I guess I'm throwing myself to the wolves here...but I could see situations where a potential illegal feint could take place with a pitcher who uses this stance...help me understand this interpretation fellas...or if there isn't one, clarify that too please. Thank you. I've read FED rule 6 ART 3.
The aforementioned is IMO an "area" ruling , meaning if your association as a group wants you to enforce then you enforce.

The "gorilla arm" ruling IMO is synonymous with the old FED rule that said you could not "check a runner".

That rule (cannot check a runner) was also not enforced unillaterally across the country. It was an area by area ruling which made it inconsistent, hence the FED changed it.

If the "gorilla arm" is not enforced perhaps FED will change the ruling in the future.

Pete Booth
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Old Sun Apr 29, 2007, 09:33am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteBooth

If the "gorilla arm" is not enforced perhaps FED will change the ruling in the future.

Pete Booth
On the contrary. If the "gorilla arm" is not enforced, the rule will never be identified as being a problem.

The way to get the rule changed is to enforce the rule precisely, exactly, and every single time. Every single time. Then the coaches squawk and get attention.

And the squawk will be loudest when some team's "Ace," who's been allowed to "swing away" all season long by his local association, balks in the winning run in the State Championship.
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Old Sun Apr 29, 2007, 10:17am
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob jenkins
Specifically illegal in FED. It was in the interps a few years ago, and is covered in the S&I now. That said, it's frequently ignored.

Allowed in OBR and NCAA
Hi Bob:

Perhaps you can "shed some light" on the aforementioned as IMO as i already mentioned the "gorilla arm" enforcement is similiar to the old FED rule on checking a runner.

FED obviously changed the "checking of a runner" ruling but my question is

Why did FED change the ruling on checking a runner? Did something happen in a State Championship game or some other "big" type game? or was it simply a matter of many coaches lodging numerous complaints?

It's my gut that the same will become of the "gorilla arm" enforcement

Thanks

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Old Mon Apr 30, 2007, 12:25pm
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In the first game of a doubleheader, I had a pitcher using the gorilla arm. I warned him twice, then the third time I balked him. The coaches saw that I was telling him about the gorilla arm, and in fact the pitching coach was going to come and tell his player about that being illegal, and the pitcher said to his coach that he knew what he is doing wrong. But three times is a charm and I balked him. Between, innings the first base coach thanked me for telling his pitcher not to do this before I balked him. My reply to him was do you know what that is, and the coach replied "stupidity on the part of my pitcher".
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Old Mon Apr 30, 2007, 12:33pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bob jenkins
FED 2005 Interps, Situation 5: 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. RULING: The use of this "gorilla" stance in the set position is illegal. A pitcher, from the set position, shall have his pitching hand down at his side or behind his back. (6-1-3)
Yup, its illegal, and thus a balk. I call it every time I see it. No warnings needed. Call it, and they'll fix it.

If you don't call it, they'll want warnings for EVERYTHING!
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Old Mon Apr 30, 2007, 12:43pm
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Originally Posted by blueump
Yup, its illegal, and thus a balk. I call it every time I see it. No warnings needed. Call it, and they'll fix it.

If you don't call it, they'll want warnings for EVERYTHING!
I think this is a really, really technical balk. I would rather tell a pitcher to knock it off and have the catcher relay the information. If there is some clear deceit the first time, I have no problem in calling this. Once again what you consider a balk is also judgment. A lot of umpires want to call anything not perfect according to the rules.

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