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Old Thu Feb 16, 2017, 03:41pm
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ASA February Clarifications

February Plays and Clarifications

#1 is throwing me for a loop.
"In this play it appears that the defensive coach has begun to come out of the dugout but has not requested time to protest so the substitution of the player by the offense would now put Davis legally in the game."

So if the defense had requested time to protest then the umpire's error in letting the offense come in first would be ignored and we'd honor the protest? I'm also confused by the assertion in that quote given that the OP says:
"The defense requests time and the defensive manager, who was waiting for Davis to complete their turn at bat, begins to come out of the dugout to protest the unreported substitute."

Thoughts?
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Old Thu Feb 16, 2017, 11:52pm
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Like most "complicated" case plays and test questions, this is written poorly. While it makes sense in the context of a clarification to say "the defensive coach calls time to protest the unreported sub", that's not how it works in the real world. As umpires, we don't know if the coach is calling time to swap pitchers, yell at his shortstop for being out of position, or come chew on us for having such a terrible strike zone. We can't assume anything until it happens.

The clarification IS correct in my opinion: whoever says it to me first, wins. This has rule support.

An example from an NCAA game last year: Home team subs in a new batter with 2 outs, unreported. This player strikes out and then goes and plays F3. Two outs are made in the top of the inning at 1B against the visitors. I am waiting for the visiting head coach to appeal the sub...never happens.The third out of the inning is a pop-up to the pitcher. The visiting head coach comes up to me between innings and asks: "What do we do about that unreported sub? Don't I have the option to nullify the play?"

I had to say "Coach, you've made me aware of an unreported substitute. Since a pitch has been thrown after she made a play, I can't nullify it. She is now legally in the game - I will clarify the sub with the home team and report to your book."

All he wanted to do was ask about the rule, but in doing so, he notified me that he was aware of an unreported sub. At that moment, I have to enforce the rule as written for that situation. If I had simply answered him, it would have given him the advantage to appeal it (again) when it was most beneficial.

Edit to add: The clarification that I DON'T like is #3. An unreported F1 throws a pitch, resulting in an out. The offense properly protests the unreported sub, but the clarification is that the act of pitching does not equal making a play. I disagree, but them's the breaks.
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Last edited by teebob21; Fri Feb 17, 2017 at 11:31am.
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Old Fri Feb 17, 2017, 10:29am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by youngump View Post
February Plays and Clarifications

#1 is throwing me for a loop.
"In this play it appears that the defensive coach has begun to come out of the dugout but has not requested time to protest so the substitution of the player by the offense would now put Davis legally in the game."

So if the defense had requested time to protest then the umpire's error in letting the offense come in first would be ignored and we'd honor the protest? I'm also confused by the assertion in that quote given that the OP says:
"The defense requests time and the defensive manager, who was waiting for Davis to complete their turn at bat, begins to come out of the dugout to protest the unreported substitute."

Thoughts?
I think how I would handle this situation:

Defensive Coach comes out of the dugout and is walking toward me...If it looks like he is coming to talk to me, I will call time.
Offensive coach now starts to speak, I either ignore or tell him I will talk to him in a moment, because the defense had my attention first.

I would allow defensive coach to appeal the unreported sub and deal with it.
Now I have to deal with the offensive coach and manage that situation. Bottom line is that the offensive coach and player have had ample opportunity to properly report the sub into the game and did not do so.
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Old Fri Feb 17, 2017, 10:06pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
I think how I would handle this situation:

Defensive Coach comes out of the dugout and is walking toward me...If it looks like he is coming to talk to me, I will call time.
Offensive coach now starts to speak, I either ignore or tell him I will talk to him in a moment, because the defense had my attention first.

I would allow defensive coach to appeal the unreported sub and deal with it.
Now I have to deal with the offensive coach and manage that situation. Bottom line is that the offensive coach and player have had ample opportunity to properly report the sub into the game and did not do so.
Much like when you have multiple violations, you address actions in the order which they occur.

Makes a lot of sense to me.
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Old Fri Feb 17, 2017, 10:43pm
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PLAY: F1 is an unreported substitute with B1 at bat with a 1-2 count. B1 hits the ball to F6, who throws to F3 to retire B1. The offensive coach wants to protest F1 for being unreported.

RULING: In this case the unreported substitute, F1 did not make a play. Since F1 did not make the play and it is brought to the attention of the umpire F1 is now in the game with no penalty. The pitch is considered in the case of an appeal meaning that was the appeal before or after a pitch. This is not an appeal it is a protest. The act of F1 making a pitch is not making a play. Rule 4, Section 6C8


Actually, I have a problem with this rule. Not the play or given ruling, but the rule in general.
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Old Sun Feb 19, 2017, 01:28pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
PLAY: F1 is an unreported substitute with B1 at bat with a 1-2 count. B1 hits the ball to F6, who throws to F3 to retire B1. The offensive coach wants to protest F1 for being unreported.

RULING: In this case the unreported substitute, F1 did not make a play. Since F1 did not make the play and it is brought to the attention of the umpire F1 is now in the game with no penalty. The pitch is considered in the case of an appeal meaning that was the appeal before or after a pitch. This is not an appeal it is a protest. The act of F1 making a pitch is not making a play. Rule 4, Section 6C8


Actually, I have a problem with this rule. Not the play or given ruling, but the rule in general.
Please explain.
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Old Sun Feb 19, 2017, 07:32pm
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I don't speak for Mike; he can certainly speak for himself.

Assuming I know what he's saying, I absolutely agree. I think it is absurd to have no penalty for a team not reporting substitutions. There are now teams that make NOT reporting subs a team strategy; if not brought to plate umpire's attention (and many teams do not bother, since there is no penalty), they have multiple re-entries, and subs playing in more than one position for more than one starter. And nothing can been done to keep it legal, because there is no record of a prior participation.
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Old Mon Feb 20, 2017, 08:23am
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Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
I don't speak for Mike; he can certainly speak for himself.

Assuming I know what he's saying, I absolutely agree. I think it is absurd to have no penalty for a team not reporting substitutions. There are now teams that make NOT reporting subs a team strategy; if not brought to plate umpire's attention (and many teams do not bother, since there is no penalty), they have multiple re-entries, and subs playing in more than one position for more than one starter. And nothing can been done to keep it legal, because there is no record of a prior participation.
And I blame the opposing team for not saying something the first time it happens. They set themselves up for ignoring the violation just because there is no real penalty.
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Old Mon Feb 20, 2017, 09:16am
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Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
I don't speak for Mike; he can certainly speak for himself.

Assuming I know what he's saying, I absolutely agree. I think it is absurd to have no penalty for a team not reporting substitutions. There are now teams that make NOT reporting subs a team strategy; if not brought to plate umpire's attention (and many teams do not bother, since there is no penalty), they have multiple re-entries, and subs playing in more than one position for more than one starter. And nothing can been done to keep it legal, because there is no record of a prior participation.
Steve is correct, this is exactly to what I was alluding. When this change in the rules occurred, it was simply a dummying down to help relieve the coaches/managers of the responsibility of thinking and playing the game fairly. I'm just trying to figure out just how the game survived for over 75 years of the rules in place that required a little brain power on behalf of the teams.
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Old Mon Feb 20, 2017, 10:27am
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So along those lines I have 3 notes in my book on section 4.6.C:

There are 3 different terms used in 4.6:
1. Is discovered
2. Is brought to the attention of the umpire
3. Is protested
Do they all mean the same thing. To be “protested” and “brought to the attention” require someone else to notify the ump. But “is discovered” is vague. If I as the ump detect the change, is that “discovered”?
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Old Mon Feb 20, 2017, 01:01pm
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Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
Edit to add: The clarification that I DON'T like is #3. An unreported F1 throws a pitch, resulting in an out. The offense properly protests the unreported sub, but the clarification is that the act of pitching does not equal making a play. I disagree, but them's the breaks.
NCAA: the act of pitching/catching IS considered a play. 8.3.2 note page 80.
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Old Mon Feb 20, 2017, 11:46pm
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Originally Posted by josephrt1 View Post
So along those lines I have 3 notes in my book on section 4.6.C:

There are 3 different terms used in 4.6:
1. Is discovered
2. Is brought to the attention of the umpire
3. Is protested
Do they all mean the same thing. To be “protested” and “brought to the attention” require someone else to notify the ump. But “is discovered” is vague. If I as the ump detect the change, is that “discovered”?
Accurate answer; yes, if you detect it, it has been discovered.

Real world answer; detecting it when you can use preventative officiating, do it. Afterwards, if there is a possible advantage/disadvantage to either team as a result of you "discovering", well, I would simply continue to not notice, and put the onus on the opposing team to bring to my attention and protest.
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Old Mon Feb 20, 2017, 11:52pm
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Originally Posted by derwil View Post
NCAA: the act of pitching/catching IS considered a play. 8.3.2 note page 80.
While true, and while we can prefer one rule-set's interpretation over another, this thread's title makes that immaterial to the ruling. ASA/USA Softball interpretations, especially when spelled out as clearly as in this case, simply have no obligation to match what NCAA interprets.

I can give you examples of NCAA rulings that simply don't even have support with their own rules, if that helps.
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Old Wed Feb 22, 2017, 11:36am
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Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
Accurate answer; yes, if you detect it, it has been discovered.

Real world answer; detecting it when you can use preventative officiating, do it.
Hmmm, interesting thought. Would you provide an example of when the umpire can use preventative officiating to prevent an unreported substitute pitcher from pitching without the situation being fixed?

If I notice a new pitcher warming up between innings, I will go up to her coach and ask, "Who's the new pitcher?" But I've also been told I have no business checking with the coach, because I'm essentially negating the opposing team's opportunity to take advantage of a violation. Which is the correct action?
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Old Wed Feb 22, 2017, 12:54pm
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Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
Hmmm, interesting thought. Would you provide an example of when the umpire can use preventative officiating to prevent an unreported substitute pitcher from pitching without the situation being fixed?

If I notice a new pitcher warming up between innings, I will go up to her coach and ask, "Who's the new pitcher?" But I've also been told I have no business checking with the coach, because I'm essentially negating the opposing team's opportunity to take advantage of a violation. Which is the correct action?
When I "observe" someone new walking out, or an obvious reentry, and especially during a changeover half inning, I most often pull out my lineup card and pen, open the lineup card, and meaningfully wait for a coach that I just KNOW is just waiting to report it to me but having a different conversation. About 90% of the time, that expedites what is otherwise an avoidable delay, and preventative, as well, without actually telling the coach to report it. If the coach doesn't take the hint, I put it all away when the catcher throws down, and let the chips fall as they may.

If a "friendly" team, if/when it finally reported by either team, I might suggest to my catcher (the one player on each team I always want on my side) that she "remind" her coach about re-entry when she's on her way out. My experience is that is one position that has a prevailing number of runners and then re-entry (followed by DP, F3, F5 in quantity), as well as a team leader.

Interestingly (and I know I was the one saying this isn't an NCAA thread, BUT), the experimental 90 second rule would remove any such delay, since substitutions must be made at the beginning of the 90 seconds; if not, the offending team must wait one complete batter to make (or assumably report) a legal substitution.

As to what you've been told, I would only suggest that "never", "always", and "not your business" are blanket statements that shouldn't "always" apply. Look at where you are, what you are doing, and judge what is appropriate accordingly. "Never" and "always" are words used most often by those that lack the ability to make that judgment, or else presume that you lack that ability.
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