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Manny A Thu Mar 09, 2017 05:26pm

Illegal Player Procedure
College game situation: Starting F3 is #10. In the top of the second inning, #10 singles. Head coach enters #7 to run for her. In the bottom of the second, #7 remains in the game to play F3.

Two innings later, #7 gets on base on a walk, and the head coach enters #25 to run for her. At the end of the inning as he walks from the third base box to his team's dugout on the first base side, the head coach tells the PU that he is going to re-enter starter #10 to play F3. The PU goes over to inform the opposing team that #25 is being replaced by #10.

As the PU heads toward home, he glances over at first base, and sure enough, he sees #7 tossing warm-up grounders to the infielders. Now what to do?

NCAA rule 8.3.4 covers Illegal Players, of which #7 is one (only starters, not subs, can re-enter in college ball). Under that rule, #7 may be discovered by her own coach (which calls for #7 to be ejected, but there is no other penalty), or by the opposing team at a point in time which benefits them (such as when she makes a play, and then the offense has the option of accepting the play or the penalty if done before the next pitch). There's a note in the rule that says, "Violation of the illegal-player rule may be reported to the plate umpire at any time."

Does that mean that when the PU sees #7 out there, he/she cannot say or do anything to prevent a problem? What should the PU say/do, if anything?

AtlUmpSteve Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:48am

Wait until it is reported by one or the other. Is there any part of the rule that suggests anything else?

Manny A Fri Mar 10, 2017 01:43pm


Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve (Post 1002023)
Wait until it is reported by one or the other. Is there any part of the rule that suggests anything else?

Not really. But there's nothing in the rule that suggests the plate umpire is to inform a head coach when he/she wants to enter someone who isn't allowed to be entered in that spot. We're instructed to use preventive umpiring then despite the lack of language in the rule, so I was just asking if the same is true under the OP scenario.

AtlUmpSteve Fri Mar 10, 2017 01:53pm

I'm pretty confident that taking away the strategic option available to the offended coach will result in an angry reaction and likely confrontation; I know of several instances where coordinators were called with complaints about this.

Preventative officiating ends where you give one team or coach a competitive advantage without language telling you to do so. Refusing to accept an illegal substitution is very different from pointing out one that is legal as reported, but implemented illegally, and blatantly assisting the opponent to secure a better outcome.

MD Longhorn Mon Mar 13, 2017 09:38am

Fix this in youth ball.

In college ... the book is there for a reason. Wait until someone brings it up, or you've created a protestable situation and a serious problem.

IRISHMAFIA Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:17am

This rule, at all levels, has become unnecessarily convoluted to the point it is a major issue instead of a non-issue.

It should be real simple, if a player is participating in the game when not entitled by rule (including reporting), they are done, period.

I know this may actually force coaches to learn the rules and proper application, :eek: but isn't that part of the reason they are in such a position?

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