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Old Mon Mar 06, 2017, 02:01pm
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Call Time or Allow Timing Violation?

In NCAA play, the pitcher has ten seconds from when she gets onto the plate with her hands separated to take or simulate taking the signal, and putting her hands together. If she delays longer than ten seconds, the batter is awarded a ball.

So as the pitcher shakes off a couple of signals, the ten-second clock is close to running down. But then the batter requests Time as this delay continues. Do you:

1. Grant Time immediately since the batter requested it well before the pitcher was ready to deliver the pitch?

2. Not grant it and then penalize the pitcher with the ten-second violation if that happens; otherwise, leave the ball live?

3. Wait to grant it to see if there is going to be a violation, and then go ahead and grant it the moment the pitcher brings her hands together before the ten seconds elapse?
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Old Mon Mar 06, 2017, 02:47pm
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No one is replying...

To me, this is not baseball. Timing rules are there to prevent the stepping out stepping in nonsense. I can't remember the last time I had someone stepping out after getting in ... it just doesn't happen anymore, at least locally.

But if it did, I'd remain ready for the pitch, and call the violation on the pitcher when it happens. If the batter stepped out and caused the violation, I'd call time, gently remind the batter that we don't do that, and move on.
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Old Mon Mar 06, 2017, 04:37pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MD Longhorn View Post
No one is replying...
Perhaps I didn't make myself very clear in what I was looking for.

In NCAA softball (unlike baseball), there is a finite time that the pitcher is allowed to stand there with hands apart, receiving the sign. So why should we grant a batter Time when she asks for it, knowing that if we just wait a couple more seconds, the pitcher is going to violate a rule and be assessed with a Ball to the batter?

I did that probably four or five times this weekend in college play. I was getting to 7-8 seconds in my mind as the pitcher looked in while the catcher received the signal from the dugout, referred to her wrist band for the pitch, then gave the signal to the pitcher who, in turn, would shake it off. Then the batter would ask for time, and instinctively I would grant it without hesitation. Afterward, I wondered why I didn't just ignore the Time request, and see if the pitcher would finally beat the 10-second clock or not. I felt I was being too willing to grant the batter Time.
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Old Mon Mar 06, 2017, 04:42pm
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You were clear.

You shouldn't grant time. That's what I was saying.
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Old Mon Mar 06, 2017, 05:06pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MD Longhorn View Post
You shouldn't grant time. That's what I was saying.
Why??
Batter is being disadvantaged by the battery, or might have an unrelated reason.

I would not grant the defense time to avoid the penalty, however.
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Old Mon Mar 06, 2017, 05:16pm
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How is the batter disadvantaged by the battery taking the time they are legally allowed to take? Those rules are in place SPECIFICALLY to stop the pitcher from taking longer than the rulesmakers think is reasonable - and to keep the batter in the box during that time.
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Old Mon Mar 06, 2017, 05:43pm
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Let's consider what the SUP recommends for NCAA play.

1) Do not grant time just because it is requested. Time granted has never yet sped up the process, so wouldn't that be the opposite of what we should do when the process lags?

2) Answer the batter with "Keep playing". And continue your 10 second count.

3) If the pitcher violates, call it. "Dead ball, violation of the time-between-pitches rule. Ball awarded to the batter, our count is now 'x' balls, 'y' strikes. Play!"

4) If the pitcher doesn't violate, then the batter hasn't been disadvantaged, it is exactly what the rules-makers intended the pitcher to be allowed to do. If they didn't expect a batter to wait those 10 seconds, they would have defined a shorter time. Or said something like "but anytime the batter doesn't want to wait, and wants to require the pitcher to pitch at the batter's timing, then the umpire should grant time". The pitcher has been disadvantaged if you DO grant time; the pitcher is entitled to all 10 seconds, if she wants or needs it. The batter is only disadvantaged if the pitcher takes more than 10, and YOU, the umpire DOESN'T call the violation.

5) Same as #1. The rule defines how long is "too long"; granting time slows down your game, it doesn't speed it up. Use the rule to help your game flow; avoid the rule to slow it down even more.

6) It isn't new; they know the rule. They know (or quickly find out by requesting time) which umpires will not allow the batter the control the pitcher's timing. Let the pitcher determine the timing, as long as what she does complies.
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Last edited by AtlUmpSteve; Mon Mar 06, 2017 at 05:48pm.
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Old Mon Mar 06, 2017, 10:53pm
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Like usual, I agree with everything Steve said.

It has taken me two full seasons to get used to saying "NO" when a batter wants a timeout (usually by putting a hand up at me, which I don't see for at least a couple seconds). When I work NCAA or JC games, I start a count every pitch.

Thankfully it wasn't protested, but this weekend I improperly called at least three timing violations on the five-seconds-hands-together rule. Rule 10.2.3, from memory. I could be wrong. In any case, it's a dead ball: ball on the batter....not the IP I mistakenly thought it was. The violating team won 7-1, so I am glad I did not influence the result.
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Old Tue Mar 07, 2017, 09:47am
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Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
Like usual, I agree with everything Steve said.

It has taken me two full seasons to get used to saying "NO" when a batter wants a timeout (usually by putting a hand up at me, which I don't see for at least a couple seconds). When I work NCAA or JC games, I start a count every pitch.

Thankfully it wasn't protested, but this weekend I improperly called at least three timing violations on the five-seconds-hands-together rule. Rule 10.2.3, from memory. I could be wrong. In any case, it's a dead ball: ball on the batter....not the IP I mistakenly thought it was. The violating team won 7-1, so I am glad I did not influence the result.
Yeah...and your partner didn't do you any favors either by not having the correct interpretation during the game......
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Old Tue Mar 07, 2017, 09:07pm
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Originally Posted by Andy View Post
Yeah...and your partner didn't do you any favors either by not having the correct interpretation during the game......
Hey, I asked him after the 1st inning!
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Old Wed Mar 08, 2017, 09:09am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
... The pitcher has been disadvantaged if you DO grant time; the pitcher is entitled to all 10 seconds, if she wants or needs it.
I guess it's a matter of perspective, but I don't consider that the pitcher is entitled to all 10 seconds. That's the maximum she's allowed, and if the batter is okay standing there waiting until that maximum is reached, that's perfectly acceptable. I won't be calling Time myself without a request.

But if the batter does request Time because they start feeling antsy waiting the full 10 seconds, I personally see no harm in granting it. If it truly was an issue, the SUP would highly discourage us to grant it. And, frankly, I've never heard a pitcher's coach argue, "C'mon, Blue, she's allowed her ten seconds! Why are you granting the batter Time?!"

The reason for my question in the OP was to find out from others if, perhaps, the prevailing wisdom is to not grant it, based on guidance they've received at camps and clinics. Perhaps I do need to change my thoughts on what is appropriate.
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Old Wed Mar 08, 2017, 09:33am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
I guess it's a matter of perspective, but I don't consider that the pitcher is entitled to all 10 seconds. That's the maximum she's allowed, and if the batter is okay standing there waiting until that maximum is reached, that's perfectly acceptable. I won't be calling Time myself without a request.
But the pitcher IS entitled to 10 seconds ... all of them... by rule. The batter does not have a choice in this matter. The batter doesn't get to decide that the pitcher can't have her 10 seconds.

Quote:
But if the batter does request Time because they start feeling antsy waiting the full 10 seconds, I personally see no harm in granting it. If it truly was an issue, the SUP would highly discourage us to grant it. And, frankly, I've never heard a pitcher's coach argue, "C'mon, Blue, she's allowed her ten seconds! Why are you granting the batter Time?!"
The harm is that you are circumventing rules designed to make things fair and equitable in the eyes of the rules makers. TPTB DO discourage us from granting time. This is not MLB (and give it time ... MLB is heading this way too, finally).

Quote:
The reason for my question in the OP was to find out from others if, perhaps, the prevailing wisdom is to not grant it, based on guidance they've received at camps and clinics. Perhaps I do need to change my thoughts on what is appropriate.
The prevailing wisdom is to not grant it.
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