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  #16 (permalink)  
Old Thu Dec 21, 2017, 12:43pm
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Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
It's not addressed in the rule book because dirt is not a foreign substance to the ball. I believe that is what the clarification points out.
You ever seen a ball manufactured with dirt on it? I haven't. Dirt is a foreign substance. Just not one they want treated as such. The clarification made that clear. But if you haven't seen the clarification your reasoning isn't a safe way to get there.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old Thu Dec 21, 2017, 12:59pm
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If you want to take that approach then absolutely anything not involved in the manufacturing process is foreign to the ball. Rain, dew, dirt, chalk, sweat etc etc etc.

There is no need for it to be addressed in the rule book, dirt is not considered to be a foreign substance by any rule set and does not require the hand to be wiped after touching it. NCAA is the only exception.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old Thu Dec 21, 2017, 01:10pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
If you want to take that approach then absolutely anything not involved in the manufacturing process is foreign to the ball. Rain, dew, dirt, chalk, sweat etc etc etc.

There is no need for it to be addressed in the rule book, dirt is not considered to be a foreign substance by any rule set and does not require the hand to be wiped after touching it. NCAA is the only exception.
Yes, intentionally applying any of those things violates the written rule. You know how it's meant to be applied so you're ignoring the fact that the rule is poorly written. Somebody just learning is likely to make this mistake. That's why it's on the test and there's a clarification. But wouldn't it be better just to put it in the rule.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old Thu Dec 21, 2017, 01:12pm
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Everything can't be in the rule book, NCAA tries has a monster rule book that is hundreds of pages and still has a case book as well as clarifications.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old Thu Dec 21, 2017, 04:36pm
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I get that everything can't be in the rule book. Just like all the things that umpires shouldn't do can't be in the Umpire Manual. (My favorite is the umpire that tells the pitcher all the details after a mid-inning pitching change. And points to every base where a runner is standing. )

But every test question typically has a reference attached on the answer sheet(s). I can't believe they would cite a Rules & Clarification reference from about 8 years ago. There has to be something more concrete than that. (And I think concrete would be ruled a foreign substance. )
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old Thu Dec 21, 2017, 04:54pm
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The rule reference on the test will probably be exactly the same as referenced in the clarification, 6-6A. The rule book is not the only source of information when taking the test, the case book, rule supplements and clarifications all give information on how the written rules are to be applied.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old Thu Dec 21, 2017, 10:46pm
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Originally Posted by youngump View Post
Yes, intentionally applying any of those things violates the written rule. You know how it's meant to be applied so you're ignoring the fact that the rule is poorly written. Somebody just learning is likely to make this mistake. That's why it's on the test and there's a clarification. But wouldn't it be better just to put it in the rule.
Not only is the rule poorly written, it is antiquated and poorly applied. The rule used to forbid applying a foreign substance to the ball, not the fingers or hands. It has been changed over the years, IMO, to make it easier to apply not better the game. Even if there is dirt on the pitcher's hand, unless it is adhered to the ball, there really shouldn't be a violation.

People forget these rules are decades old and came over from baseball. To affect the flight of a pitched softball, there would have to be an obvious patch of mud or whatever and that isn't going to happen with a pitcher licking his/her fingers or rubbing their hand in the dirt. JMHO
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old Fri Dec 22, 2017, 08:50am
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Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
There is no need for it to be addressed in the rule book, dirt is not considered to be a foreign substance by any rule set and does not require the hand to be wiped after touching it. NCAA is the only exception.
Well I will disagree - I think it does need to be addressed specifically in the rule. "Dirt" should be listed as the exception.

I think our rules and mechanics should be clear enough to be able to take the exam using only those 2 books (soon to be 1 book and a PDF). If we need Rules & Clarifications and/or case plays to glean answers to the exam, it seems like the actual rules and mechanics aren't clear enough.

That's not to say that these items aren't helpful. I have most of the R&Cs in a large file going back several years. And case plays are important to help folks understand the application of a rule given examples. Short of seeing a play live or on video, case plays are a great learning tool.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old Fri Dec 22, 2017, 09:26am
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And as I have already stated, there is no possible way to have everything in the rule book. The NCAA book is well over 200 pages and they attempt to cover everything yet they also have case book as well as what used to be referred to as Ask Dee, a rules clarification document of rules questions asked by officials.

As for wiping the hand, the only mention in the rule book of the need to wipe the hand before touching the ball is if the pitcher licks their fingers. Why do some umpires use this as justification to make the pitcher wipe their hand after touching something else? I have had partners call an IP because the pitcher touched their hair, face, arm etc and not wipe before going to the ball. Apparently even rules clarifications don't work in some cases, just this past spring I believe it was a high school association in Louisiana was instructing their officials to call IP's if the pitcher did not wipe their hand after touching the dirt. NFHS has the exact same clarification on the rule as does USA. Even after being shown the NFHS clarification by several association umpires they changed their ruling from dirt being a foreign substance to it not being an approved drying agent and still demanded the officials call an IP for touching dirt and not wiping even though the clarification says there is no need to wipe the hand.

As long as I have been officiating there has always been a rule book, case book and rules clarifications. All 3 need to be referenced to know the correct way the association wants the rules enforced. As for the question on the test, as I indicated above the only reference to wiping the hand is if the pitcher licks their fingers, that alone would answer the test question strictly from the rule book.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old Fri Dec 22, 2017, 11:56am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
I get that everything can't be in the rule book. Just like all the things that umpires shouldn't do can't be in the Umpire Manual. (My favorite is the umpire that tells the pitcher all the details after a mid-inning pitching change. And points to every base where a runner is standing. )
. )
I believe a visual is required with the verbal outs and count so that also has to signaled with the hands as you tell them. Insert emoticon.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old Fri Dec 22, 2017, 01:08pm
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Originally Posted by umpjim View Post
I believe a visual is required with the verbal outs and count so that also has to signaled with the hands as you tell them. Insert emoticon.
Roger that! If'n I knew how to post a picture, I'd put some up here.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old Fri Dec 22, 2017, 05:13pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umpjim View Post
I believe a visual is required with the verbal outs and count so that also has to signaled with the hands as you tell them. Insert emoticon.
What verbal outs?
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old Fri Dec 22, 2017, 07:01pm
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Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
What verbal outs?
The few dinosaurs I have seen that "brief the pitcher" gesture the outs and count as they tell the pitcher the same and then point to the runners at the bases as they tell them the same.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old Sat Dec 23, 2017, 10:19am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by umpjim View Post
The few dinosaurs I have seen that "brief the pitcher" gesture the outs and count as they tell the pitcher the same and then point to the runners at the bases as they tell them the same.
This year in HS, I had the bases for my next to last game of the year, this was a middle school game with two decent teams, and during the plate conference, my partner - relatively new - decides to give a good 30-45 second lecture n how he's seen way too much obstruction this year, and on and on, while I am doing my best acting job, trying not to look shocked....
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old Sun Dec 24, 2017, 10:19am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
...People forget these rules are decades old and came over from baseball. To affect the flight of a pitched softball, there would have to be an obvious patch of mud or whatever and that isn't going to happen with a pitcher licking his/her fingers or rubbing their hand in the dirt. JMHO
100% agree. The only difference 99.999% of the "foreign substances" makes to the flight of a fast pitch softball is how they effect the pitcher's grip.

Here's an in-game quiz ...

Quick, did she just lick her fingers or adjust her face mask?
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Last edited by Dakota; Sun Dec 24, 2017 at 10:21am.
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