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Old Mon Jun 11, 2018, 12:24pm
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illegal pitch, but why...?

Another weekend of travel/club ball where I was "the only umpire all year long" to call bringing the hands together too soon as an illegal pitch. And the coaches statements of me being the "only" one to do it is probably close to being true. At least around here, there are too many umps that don't know or ignore this. It's "easier". But...

Why is it illegal to bring the hands together as the pitcher is stepping on to the pitching plate? I know, I know, it's in the book. But if the rule was re-written to allow for taking or simulating taking the signal with the hand separate or together, what would be the negative end result be? Many of the pitchers I'm calling illegal have a pause, it's just coming after they put the hands together as they are stepping on to the pitching plate.

Has this approach ever been floated at any rule change meeting? Anyone know the history of this particular rule? I need more simplicity...
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Old Mon Jun 11, 2018, 01:45pm
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You are probably more likely to influence the rule maker than most of us, but just for one sanction. It will stay, just like simulating a sign instead of more clearly requiring a pause.

And of course, you are not the only one; no comment on why we hear that.

We could do without the unnecessary complication of last complete at bat vs. last batted out for courtesy runners.
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Old Mon Jun 11, 2018, 06:09pm
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We didn't make the rules, just have to enforce them.

Never saw a problem with pitchers stepping on and immediately bringing hands together until about 6-7 years ago. Seems like out of the blue everyone started teaching pitchers to take the signal back off the pitching plate and then step on. Perfectly legal except now that the pitcher already has the signal they forget to keep their hands apart. I even brought it up at several umpire clinics and for the most part the response I got was "Im not calling that". One guy even said, "If she even looks toward the catcher she has taken a signal". Nevermind the rule specifically states the pitcher must step on with hands separated and while in that position take or simulate taking a signals. And the problem has only gotten worse with the advent of the wristbands. I have no idea why the pitchers don't just step onto the pitching plate and then take their signals.
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Old Mon Jun 11, 2018, 06:13pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
We didn't make the rules, just have to enforce them.

Never saw a problem with pitchers stepping on and immediately bringing hands together until about 6-7 years ago. Seems like out of the blue everyone started teaching pitchers to take the signal back off the pitching plate and then step on. Perfectly legal except now that the pitcher already has the signal they forget to keep their hands apart. I even brought it up at several umpire clinics and for the most part the response I got was "Im not calling that". One guy even said, "If she even looks toward the catcher she has taken a signal". Nevermind the rule specifically states the pitcher must step on with hands separated and while in that position take or simulate taking a signals. And the problem has only gotten worse with the advent of the wristbands. I have no idea why the pitchers don't just step onto the pitching plate and then take their signals.
" "If she even looks toward the catcher she has taken a signal"" is a common thought; but the purpose is the pause.

Because it is easier to be illegal while on the plate and because they often have to face sideways, etc, etc.
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Old Mon Jun 11, 2018, 09:45pm
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Not the original rule.

IMO, this process (stepping on the PP prior to bringing the hands together and simulating taking a signal) was initiated to create a timing pattern that insures everyone is prepared for the beginning of the pitch.

Prior to that, the pitcher only need to both feet on top of the PP with the hands together in front of the body. There was no requirement concerning the signals or delay prior to beginning the pitch.
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Old Mon Jun 11, 2018, 10:18pm
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The NCAA has done it correctly: Engage the Pitcher's Plate with the hands separated and after engaging the Pitcher's Plate come to a complete stop with the hands separated for at least two seconds. Then the hands can come together.

MTD, Sr.
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Old Tue Jun 12, 2018, 06:01am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark T. DeNucci, Sr. View Post
The NCAA has done it correctly: Engage the Pitcher's Plate with the hands separated and after engaging the Pitcher's Plate come to a complete stop with the hands separated for at least two seconds. Then the hands can come together.

MTD, Sr.
Which for the most part went completely unenforced just like in every other rule set requiring the pitcher to simulate taking a signal with the hands separated.
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Old Tue Jun 12, 2018, 07:02am
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My daughter is 13 and pitches. I'm her dad, so of course I think she's pretty good for her age.

I've been trying to get her to do this correctly for YEARS now, ever since I was her coach in 8U and 10U.

The umpires, however, simply won't call it. So she thinks I'm an idiot and it's never reinforced and she's sloppy. She never quick pitches, but she sometimes takes the plate while already bringing the hands together.

Last Sunday, she pitched in a championship game of a weekend tournament and got called for 2 illegal pitches. I was *thrilled*. They won going away and I got a teaching point across.....finally.

I wish EVERY umpire called this.

Then again, I couldn't get umpires to call ANY illegal pitches when I coached, even on obvious crow hops where the pitcher clearly replanted closer to the plate and drove off the foot. One umpire told me "they're 10U, are you really asking for me to call that?" I said, "Well, they're only 35 feet away and I think it's a pretty big advantage when she pitches from a few feet closer." He told me to go back to the dugout.
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Old Tue Jun 12, 2018, 11:18am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
this process (stepping on the PP prior to bringing the hands together and simulating taking a signal) was initiated to create a timing pattern that insures everyone is prepared for the beginning of the pitch.
Lil'Jim, Looks like the best why you will get.
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Old Tue Jun 12, 2018, 12:12pm
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The pause or stop also prevents the pitcher from gathering forward momentum to roll right into the pitch.
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Old Wed Jun 13, 2018, 09:04am
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For all of the whining we hear about "crow hops" (most all of which are not), like somebody mentioned before, the "no pause/take/simulate taking a signal" violation is EPIDEMIC. I think that every pitcher I saw last weekend either stepped on the plate with their hands already joined, or brought them together almost simultaneously with stepping on.

Most cleaned it up after it got called. Some didn't seem able to. And, yes, the coaches were astounded that it was being called!
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Old Wed Jun 13, 2018, 09:20am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crabby_Bob View Post
The pause or stop also prevents the pitcher from gathering forward momentum to roll right into the pitch.
I see my kid do this, to be honest, but it doesn't help her. She pitches worse when she doesn't stop, take a deep breath, etc.
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Old Wed Jun 13, 2018, 07:38pm
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Most cleaned it up after it got called. Some didn't seem able to. And, yes, the coaches were astounded that it was being called!
THAT is the problem. They aren't arguing the rule, just pissed that the umpire has the audacity to do the job properly.
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