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Old Sat Jan 06, 2018, 04:56pm
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Fort Myers FL
Posts: 591
intentional walk rule for 2018

Although I am officially retired from umpiring, I like to see what is going on. I see that the Federation now allows an automatic intentional walk. I was talking to a couple people the other day and they insist this is not a new rule. Don't know what planet they were from, but I never heard of such a rule in high school softball in central NY or here in SW FL. Anyone agree with me?
Also, while I'm here, I see that umpires will no longer be required to check equipment before a game. I have mixed feelings about this. One one hand the lengthy illegal bat list and other PIAs I think were not needed, checking batting helmets and basic bat check to see that something like a little league or slo-pitch bat is not in play was a good idea.
Hope everyone's seasons go well. Games here begin in a couple weeks. Wish I was still healthy enough to be out on the field.
Keep everything in front of you
and have fun out there !!
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Old Sat Jan 06, 2018, 05:29pm
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,206
NFHS has had the verbal intentional walk in slow pitch, but never in fast pitch until this year. There are some states that may have had their own rule on it, but it was not an NFHS rule. As for the rule itself, I dont like it and I know plenty of coaches that dont like it. All it does is take the likelihood of the defense making an error throwing the 4 pitches that would allow other runners to advance. NFHS says the reason for the rule change is to bring the rule in line with the slow pitch game. I have no idea why they think the fastpitch rule needs to be the same as the slow pitch rule. MLB instituted the verbal intentional walk in the name of time savings which is total BS. There are not that many intentional walks at the MLB level and in 10 years I have seen maybe 5-10 in HS fastpitch. It saves maybe 1 -2 minutes total from a game.

As for the equipment checks, never really found that many bats that were a problem. Have pulled a few over the years but not usually an every game deal. Helmets are more of a problem, find a lot with cracks, missing screws anchors etc. Its just putting the responsibility on the coach, you ask them to verify at the plate meeting the equipment is legal and then watch when the batters come to bat. Coach gets a warning for first offense and they get to sit on the bench for a 2nd.
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