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Old Mon Apr 30, 2018, 11:34pm
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Parent Involvement in Fed ???

Gentlemen,

My interpreter and I have are having a friendly debate over this one. I have over the years have disallowed parents catching their daughter who is pitching upon arrival on the field. Whether they are catching them prior to the start of the game, between innings on the side or even taking a few pitches behind the plate to help "speed the game up" as the catcher gets her gear on. I feel as those it is a liability if the parent throws the ball back and were to hit another girl in the face. ( I know that is extreme but trying to show the liability side ).

Lacrosse referees don't let fathers warm up the goalies and this doesn't happen in baseball. Just trying to get the brotherhood thoughts. My rules interpreter doesn't think there is a rule set to validate my thought process.
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Old Tue May 01, 2018, 06:31am
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There is no rule about who may warm up the pitcher other than if it is a youth doing so they must wear an approved catchers helmet.
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Old Tue May 01, 2018, 07:11am
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Why on earth would you care who a player plays catch with before a game? During? Ok, I can see that, especially a school game. But before?
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Old Tue May 01, 2018, 08:13am
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Here's my opinion as a coach over the years. Before the game during warm-ups--let the parent catch. I'm glad for the help. Between innings--the parent also needs to be one of the designated coaches. If a coach hits a player inadvertently with the ball, it should be covered.
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Old Tue May 01, 2018, 09:38am
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Originally Posted by Mountaincoach View Post
Here's my opinion as a coach over the years. Before the game during warm-ups--let the parent catch. I'm glad for the help. Between innings--the parent also needs to be one of the designated coaches. If a coach hits a player inadvertently with the ball, it should be covered.
As long as they are sanctioned by the school, they are pretty much self-insured as this is basically a school activity. But coach is correct, it must be someone recognized by the school as a member of the staff.

However, I still don't see where that is an umpire's concern.
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Old Tue May 01, 2018, 10:03am
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Originally Posted by scrounge View Post
Why on earth would you care who a player plays catch with before a game? During? Ok, I can see that, especially a school game. But before?
Scrounge,

I will admit it one of my pet peeves about softball. I feel as though of all the hs sports and I officiate baseball, basketball and soccer that high school softball has a "parks and rec" approach by administration / coaches at time. Dad will walk into the "dugout area" and show Suzie how to swing the bat. Some weekend "club" coach will give the head coach some advice during the game ( especially if coach isn't a teacher at the school).

Ever see a soccer goalie have his dad warm him up, a field hockey goalie by her mother, a dad under the basketball while Johnny jacks up 3's in the pre game???

I also on occasion have had to tell a parent he couldn't coach 1st base in a girls JV softball game. He didn't take the care and prevention course offered by our county and the background check as well.
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Last edited by Multiple Sports; Tue May 01, 2018 at 11:29am.
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Old Tue May 01, 2018, 10:24am
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Originally Posted by Multiple Sports View Post
Scrounge,

I will admit it one of my pet peeves about softball. I feel as though of all the hs sports and I officiate baseball, basketball and soccer that high softball has a "parks and rec" approach by administration / coaches at time. Dad will walk into the "dugout area" and show Suzie how to swing the bat. Some weekend "club" coach will give the head coach some advice during the game ( especially if coach isn't a teacher at the school).

Ever see a soccer goalie have his dad warm him up, a field hockey goalie by her mother, a dad under the basketball while Johnny jacks up 3's in the pre game???

I also on occasion have had to tell a parent he couldn't coach 1st base in a girls JV softball game. He didn't take the care and prevention course offered by our county and the background check as well.
I think the reason you see a difference is because pitching a softball is one of the most difficult things to learn in athletics. As a result, most of those girls have a private pitching coach that isn't necessarily on the field as a regular team coach. As a result, the responsibility of warming up the pitcher falls to the parent who hauls their daughter to every pitching lesson and learns the mechanics themselves. They become the "other pitching coach". I'll be very honest--unless the head coach has a daughter who pitches or they pitched themselves in their younger days, they are usually the least likely person to coach that pitcher. As a result, you see the "parks and recs" look on the field during warm-ups when it comes to the pitcher. Just my opinion after watching it happen for years.
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Old Tue May 01, 2018, 10:34am
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..... He didn't take the care and prevention course offered by our county and the background check as well.
Just curious....is it a responsibility of the umpires in your area to verify that anybody coaching a team has taken these courses?
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Old Tue May 01, 2018, 10:35am
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Originally Posted by Multiple Sports View Post
high softball has a "parks and rec" approach by administration / coaches .
Yes, softball is often an after thought and females are often seen as second class athletes.
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Old Tue May 01, 2018, 10:56am
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Originally Posted by Mountaincoach View Post
I think the reason you see a difference is because pitching a softball is one of the most difficult things to learn in athletics. As a result, most of those girls have a private pitching coach that isn't necessarily on the field as a regular team coach. As a result, the responsibility of warming up the pitcher falls to the parent who hauls their daughter to every pitching lesson and learns the mechanics themselves. They become the "other pitching coach". I'll be very honest--unless the head coach has a daughter who pitches or they pitched themselves in their younger days, they are usually the least likely person to coach that pitcher. As a result, you see the "parks and recs" look on the field during warm-ups when it comes to the pitcher. Just my opinion after watching it happen for years.
My daughter pitches and fortunately she's had coaches on her travel teams who were college pitchers.

I've seen too many coaches whose only input to the process was "Throw strikes!" Really helpful.
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Old Tue May 01, 2018, 11:26am
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Just curious....is it a responsibility of the umpires in your area to verify that anybody coaching a team has taken these courses?
Technically no....at the varsity level this is never an issue. Several of our coaching staffs have been there for years But at least once a year at the JV level, I will see a parent get up out of their lawn chair and walk
into the 1st base coaching box. At that point I will ask the HC if that person has gone through the county care and prevention. If they haven't I will politely walk over and explain why they can't coach. All except one about 10 years ago understood why they couldn't be there. Most JV programs in our area only have 1 "coach".
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Old Tue May 01, 2018, 11:30am
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Rich,

Your post took me back 25 years just before I became an umpire. I was coaching youth softball and my daughter was on the team. She was a first baseman but for some reason I had her pitch this one game. She was striking out people when she was throwing strikes but there were a lot of balls thrown in there also. I remember hollering out from the dugout to throw strikes. I guess she must have heard it a few too many times. After telling her probably one too many times she turns to me from the circle and says "what do you think I am trying to do". Yup, one smart kid! Got me thinking in a whole new way.

Every time I hear that now when I am on the field I think back to those days. I also want to say to the coach, maybe you should show her what she needs to correct with her mechanics........
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Last edited by Duke; Tue May 01, 2018 at 11:33am.
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Old Tue May 01, 2018, 11:37am
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Yes, softball is often an after thought and females are often seen as second class athletes.
Had a JV double header once and a mother brought 5 pizzas at the end of the 1st game for the girls to eat between games. Coach couldn't stand her parents and asked me to start next game immediately. The pizzas remained untouched....coach and I loved it. Parent wrote a letter to AD and AD supported coaches decision 100%...it was the best day of the year.
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Old Tue May 01, 2018, 12:51pm
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Just curious....is it a responsibility of the umpires in your area to verify that anybody coaching a team has taken these courses?
That got me to thinking about this a bit. Back when my son was playing baseball in his early teens, there were a few occasions where I was asked to be the base umpire. This was well before I started umpiring softball. I clearly wasn't certified in anything except lawn chair mechanics.

Moving forward a couple of decades, there are more requirements for coaches and umpires. But I've also done many a game where a team member served as a first base coach. I can't believe they're certified in anything either, but yet permitted as long as they wear a helmet.

Just thinkin'...
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Old Tue May 01, 2018, 07:47pm
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Multiple Sports has a couple of decent points. We happen to work the same high school circuit and I do know that the head of county athletics doesnít want unqualified parents being involved with the in game coaching (unless they are part of the staff). Point is how do I know if theyíve taken the required class? And I canít see a rule that disqualifies a parent from warming up their daughter, even if there is a possible injury risk. We live in a crazy litigious society, and Iíd prefer not to be the first test case when unqualified Mom A hits bystander player B in the head with a throwback.

More specifically, is there any particular rule in any other high school sport that would prevent a non coach from performing the warm up drills that Multiple mentioned in his original post? I only work softball so Iím not familiar with the other rulebooks.
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