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Old Fri May 25, 2018, 10:03am
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DP Flex violation Oregon- Kentucky game

Did any of you see this DP/Flex rule violation? The Kentucky player ended up being removed (restricted to bench). But, there was so much back and forth between coaches by the plate umpire, that it was hard to figure out if he had a good understanding of the rule, or if he was discussing with each coach, until the light bulb went on.

Would you have handled it any differently (not so much the rule violation, but the game management)?
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Old Fri May 25, 2018, 10:15am
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I didn't see it, don't know what the violation was, or know what was actually going on in the discussion.

Anytime there is a very unusual situation which is rule-based, rather than judgment, it makes sense to have both teams understand the ruling. That is especially true if the ruling is based on interpretation or clarification of an ambiguous rule.
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Old Fri May 25, 2018, 11:19am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwbuddy View Post
Did any of you see this DP/Flex rule violation? The Kentucky player ended up being removed (restricted to bench). But, there was so much back and forth between coaches by the plate umpire, that it was hard to figure out if he had a good understanding of the rule, or if he was discussing with each coach, until the light bulb went on.

Would you have handled it any differently (not so much the rule violation, but the game management)?
Don't believe the NCAA has "bench restrictions"
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Old Fri May 25, 2018, 11:32am
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#16 Kentucky vs. #1 Oregon (Site 3 / Game 1) (NCAA Softball Championship) - WatchESPN

You can watch the reply here, starts about 1:55 (first batter in the bottom of the 6th). But this was a combination of line up changes from a) plate meeting, b) third inning, c) 6th inning and involves DP/Flex/OP.

From a game management standpoint as it happened, I have one big issue. HOW does this even happen? Answer: it should not.

Here is what happened by looking at box score and play by play and video:

The starting line up had #6 as DP, #8 as F3 and #10 Flex as pitcher (numbers are order in line up, not jersey numbers). At plate meeting, UK coach put #6/DP to F3 and #8 to F1 and flex is dropped.

In bottom of third, changes happen (58 minutes mark of video), and UK coach is pointing on the line up card with plate umpire. S1 comes in to pitch (sub for #10 in flex position), #8 moves from F1 to F3. #6 is now not playing defense, but is still the DP. All is well.

Top of the order for UK in the 6th, and (six batters latter) coach re-enters #10(starting flex) to hit for #6 (DP). This is a legal re-entry as #10 has to re-enter as the flex and then is able to hit for the DP. However, S1, who has entered as the flex (in the third inning), is now removed and does not have re-entry for NCAA (note: she would have re-entry in USA/NFHS play). #10 makes the third out in the 6th inning.

S1 comes to pitch in the bottom of the 6th. The video does not show if the coach informed the umpire of this; however, the coach should have been told that the previous re-entry of #10 removes S1 from the game without re-entry. As a game management/line up management lesson, if the coach says: "#10 will bat for #6", you, as a PU, clarify: "#10 is re-entering as the flex, then will bat for the DP." There is no other way to take this line up change.

Therefore, how did S1, who does not have re-entry, come back out to pitch? Was the UK coach trying to sneak this in? Even if she said: "S1 re-enters to pitch" PU should not have allowed this change; you do NOT take substitutions that you know are illegal. This would be my question. But S1 did pitch, then she became an illegal player, thus the appeal by Oregon. The penalty was to nullify the pitch and administrative ejection.

This situation should never happen in any game with proper line up card management and game management.
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Old Fri May 25, 2018, 11:47am
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This is the third recent post about lineup management screwups.
You would think no one ever says keep it immediate and accurate.
……………………………………………..

I didn't follow this part of the process, specifically the boded parts (didn't watch video).

" At plate meeting, UK coach put #6/DP to F3 and #8 to F1 and flex is dropped.

In bottom of third, changes happen (58 minutes mark of video), and UK coach is pointing on the line up card with plate umpire.
S1 comes in to pitch (sub for #10 in flex position),

#8 moves from F1 to F3. #6 is now not playing defense, but is still the DP"

Of course, I don't know NCAA.
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Old Fri May 25, 2018, 12:20pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
This is the third recent post about lineup management screwups.
You would think no one ever says keep it immediate and accurate.
……………………………………………..

I didn't follow this part of the process, specifically the boded parts (didn't watch video).

" At plate meeting, UK coach put #6/DP to F3 and #8 to F1 and flex is dropped.
The DP/Flex rules are the same for NCAA/USA/NFHS with respect to player movement (slight change in nomenclature and re-entry rules).

At every plate meeting, after accepting line up cards, always ask: "are there any changes at this time." It is not uncommon for a coach to insert the DP someplace on defense.

(point #1): If placing the DP on defense for the flex, the flex is "dropped", which means the starting flex has left the game. We sometimes say: 'the lineup drops from 10 to 9', but in reality, the flex position exists, just one one is occupying it at the moment. Likewise, the starting flex can re-enter in all rule codes, but only as a flex.

(point #2): if placing the DP on defense for someone other than the flex, the DP will occupy a defensive position and the position player becomes the OP (offensive player) in NCAA (USA/NFHS do not have terminology for this player at this time). DO NOT say the position player is the DP or TDP. The former is just wrong and the latter doesn't exist. In this case, the flex player is still playing defense and has not left the game (no one has left the game).

In the Kentucky case, the DP played defense for the flex, but there were also position changes (in NCAA, the lineup card must have the correct positions for all players or subject to appeal and penalty - that's part of the reason the "OP" was coined). No OP in this case, just DP on defense for the Flex.

Quote:
In bottom of third, changes happen (58 minutes mark of video), and UK coach is pointing on the line up card with plate umpire.
S1 comes in to pitch (sub for #10 in flex position),

#8 moves from F1 to F3. #6 is now not playing defense, but is still the DP"

Of course, I don't know NCAA.
This is where the line up goes back to 10 from 9. and is not specific to NCAA. This move can happen in USA/NFHS as well.

S1 enters as the flex. There is a myth that #10 would have had to re-enter first to "re-establish" the flex position, but that's not true. #10 is still out of the game, but is able to re-enter (which she does legally in the 6th inning, as the flex, and then plays offense for the DP). While the line up is "down to 9 from 10" the flex position still exists.

When S1 enters the game in the third, the coach entered her as the flex and she needs to play defense, because that's what the flex players do. Thus the DP is just on offense (because that's what DP's do, play offense). The DP going from F3 to just hitting did nothing to her status in the game.

If this were USA/NFHS, S1 would have been an unreported re-entry and not illegal substitute in the bottom of the sixth inning. The only difference in the codes is that S1 has no re-entry in NCAA (which made her illegal), but can re-enter in USA/NFHS.

But the bad part is that S1 should have never been allowed to pitch in the bottom of the 6th. How did she come back onto the field? Did she come out unbeknownst to the coach? If the coach said that S1 is coming back in, you don't like it happen. It would be similar to saying: "my flex is batting for #2, who isn't the DP." You say: "coach, I cannot allow you to make that change as it is illegal."

Like I stated, changes involving DP/Flex and subs needs to be communicated and clarified.

Last edited by Big Slick; Fri May 25, 2018 at 12:22pm.
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Old Fri May 25, 2018, 01:27pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
Don't believe the NCAA has "bench restrictions"
Or warnings for throwing the bat...

Actually, I just caught a small glimpse of the bat warning issue. Not sure exactly what happened there???
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Old Fri May 25, 2018, 02:08pm
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Originally Posted by BretMan View Post
Or warnings for throwing the bat...

Actually, I just caught a small glimpse of the bat warning issue. Not sure exactly what happened there???
38:30 minute mark in the video, is the start of the at bat.

There is a (team) warning, but no ejection (as the announcers said, quoting Oregon coach who said the umpire told him):

11.20.5.3 Is thrown into fair or foul territory, whether intentional or not, and it endangers an umpire or a defensive player who is not making a play on the ball; interference shall be called.

EFFECT—Delayed dead ball is signaled. For a first violation, the offending team is warned. For any subsequent violation by the same team, the offended coach is given the option of either the results of the play or the batter being declared out and base runners shall return to the last base occupied at the time of the pitch. If, in the umpire’s judgment, interference prevented a double play, two outs may be declared.

PU gave the warning, and Oregon coach wasn't happy. Then the same batter lost the bat but didn't hit anyone. The announcers are clueless, from "you can't give a warning for losing the bat" to "I didn't know there was a warning" to "it wasn't intentional" to "it must be when the hit the umpire only".

Last edited by Big Slick; Fri May 25, 2018 at 02:17pm.
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Old Fri May 25, 2018, 02:08pm
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Big Slick, your posts are excellent in explaining the DP-Flex. I did not see this game, but the only thing I can guess is that the coach did not ask for the re-entry of S1 and somehow the player just went out to pitch not knowing what was going on, or the umpire allowed it when he took the change. Even if the umpire allowed it, the coach is responsible and needs to accept that. I personally will not allow the coaches to make an illegal substitution, but I have worked with partners that do. I will explain to the coaches that they cannot make it and why. When I do accept their changes I always tell them when a player is done for the game. A lot of college coaches act like I must think they are stupid, but a lot just say thank you. I do this to keep us all on the same page. Once I worked with a partner during a college game, and every time the coach made a substitution to the DP or Flex he had to call me in to make sure it was legal. That was frustrating! Other than that he was a good umpire. He just said he gets really anxious dealing with the DP-Flex and hates the rule.
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Old Fri May 25, 2018, 07:47pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colo Blue View Post
Big Slick, your posts are excellent in explaining the DP-Flex.
+1. Nice post Slick. I turned the game on in the 7th and the announcers were talking about it...had no idea what went on.
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Old Sat May 26, 2018, 05:06pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Slick View Post
38:30 minute mark in the video, is the start of the at bat.

There is a (team) warning, but no ejection (as the announcers said, quoting Oregon coach who said the umpire told him):

11.20.5.3 Is thrown into fair or foul territory, whether intentional or not, and it endangers an umpire or a defensive player who is not making a play on the ball; interference shall be called.

EFFECT—Delayed dead ball is signaled. For a first violation, the offending team is warned. For any subsequent violation by the same team, the offended coach is given the option of either the results of the play or the batter being declared out and base runners shall return to the last base occupied at the time of the pitch. If, in the umpire’s judgment, interference prevented a double play, two outs may be declared.

PU gave the warning, and Oregon coach wasn't happy. Then the same batter lost the bat but didn't hit anyone. The announcers are clueless, from "you can't give a warning for losing the bat" to "I didn't know there was a warning" to "it wasn't intentional" to "it must be when the hit the umpire only".
I usually pride myself on my rules knowledge, but I would have missed this correct application of 11.20.5.3. In fact, I can think of a few instances this season where I should have issued a warning after I dodged a bat. Back to the book for me again!
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Old Sat May 26, 2018, 09:26pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Slick View Post
11.20.5.3 Is thrown into fair or foul territory, whether intentional or not, and it endangers an umpire or a defensive player who is not making a play on the ball; interference shall be called.
That makes zero sense. With whom and what play did the bat interfere?
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Old Mon May 28, 2018, 05:23pm
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Thinking about the substitution play a little bit more, was there a second illegal substitution violation?

When the original flex (I called her #10 above) re-entered the game to hit for the DP, this removed S1 from game. When S1 returned to pitch, she became an illegal substitution that was challenged successfully. #10 (the original flex) came out to pitch and the game continued.

But here is my question: did #10 leave the game once S1 "re-entered" illegally? Remember that #10 left the line up at the start of the game when the DP played defense. When S1 returned to pitch in the 6th, did that count as a second sub for #10 (the first substitution for #10 occurred in the third inning)? If so, she would not be eligible to pitch.

I don't know the answer, but I think #10 should not have been allowed back into the game. There isn't a direct answer in the rule book (8.4.3) or case book; the question is raised in AR 8-17 ("Second, if #4 became an illegal substitute when she took warmup throws at first base, does her illegal re-entry result in #1 being out of the game?") but isn't answered.

Thoughts?
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Old Mon May 28, 2018, 11:15pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Slick View Post
(snip) Thoughts?
No: a player can only leave the game "legally" by being properly substituted for.. If an illegal or improper substitution is made, only the illegal participant can be penalized. #10 was still the legal player, even though she wasn't pitching (or was available as a legal sub to fill to spot left by the illegal particpant). Tomato, tomahto.
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Last edited by teebob21; Mon May 28, 2018 at 11:18pm.
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Old Tue May 29, 2018, 08:54am
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Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
No: a player can only leave the game "legally" by being properly substituted for.. If an illegal or improper substitution is made, only the illegal participant can be penalized. #10 was still the legal player, even though she wasn't pitching (or was available as a legal sub to fill to spot left by the illegal particpant). Tomato, tomahto.
Interesting theory, but what rule would you cite in a protest?

Upon further inspection of the rules (and one I missed when I typed last night). Follow this logic:

8.3.3 is Unreported/misreported players. This section appears first in the rule book, therefore we should apply this rule first. S1 was "unreported", and specifically 8.3.3.5.1 applies (on defense, had made a play, but before the next pitch).

All of the Effects for rule 8.3.3 - 7 in total - all mention "The unreported/misreported player is declared officially in the game"

Therefore, S1 should have been declared officially in the game. S1 in, #10 out (for someone to enter, someone has to leave).

Now look at the notes following 8.3.3, specifically Note1:

Quote:
If an unreported/misreported player is also an illegal player, the penalty for an illegal player applies.
Then she was determined to be illegal (an illegal player is a subset of unreported/misreported player); now apply the extra penalty of the administrative ejection (the other penalty of nullifying the play is the same).

Bottomline, I think #10 coming back in to pitch should not have been allowed because she did not have re-entry.

I would have really liked to have seen a protest by Oregon. It would have changed the game as UK did not have any other pitcher ready to pitch.

Last edited by Big Slick; Tue May 29, 2018 at 10:16am.
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