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-   -   NCAA Pitching Rule Change Guidance - Released today (https://forum.officiating.com/softball/104720-ncaa-pitching-rule-change-guidance-released-today.html)

IRISHMAFIA Thu Oct 03, 2019 09:39am

Quote:

Originally Posted by teebob21 (Post 1034704)
As a student of the game: I agree with your assessment of armbands being a "problem in need of a solution". Armbands and the "4-3-1"/"2-1-2" etc. vocal signals from the bench created a situation where softball pitchers walked through the pitch preliminaries. Umpires, by and large, may have failed to enforce the rules on pitch preliminaries....at the club level, high school level, college level....you name it (I don't dare comment on ISF/WSBC/NPF as that level of play & officiating is beyond me).

Been part of my argument for years. The umpires cower to the criticism of the rule and implementation and that just isn't a good thing for anyone other than the whiners whose sole priority is themselves
Quote:



The saying goes "what we permit; we promote". At some point prior to the 2018 rulebook being written, TPTB decided that pitchers needed to get back to the letter of the law in the pitching preliminaries...and thus the original 2-second pause verbiage was born. The more I think about it, the more I think this recent interp is just a stricter application of the way the rule is at all levels, as in back to basics:

1) The pitcher must be in the pitching position with hands separated (location of the feet variable depending on code ASA/NFHS/NCAA)
2) The pitcher must take, or simulate taking, a signal from the catcher
3) The pitcher must bring her hands together, and deliver a pitch immediately after separating the hands, with no more than one step forward towards the plate within the 24-inch width of the pitching plate.

As I said, the more I think about this, the more I think this is a return to "Fastpitch Pitching Basics #2" above by the rules interpreters.

I could be 100% wrong, and if so I'm OK with that, and would appreciate help from my crew. :D
You're not even 1% wrong. It just comes back to the point that the rule throughout the past few decades was just fine, but was not fully endorsed by TPTB. After all, god forbid the coaches actually have to teach the pitchers how to do their job.

Big Slick Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:36am

Quote:

Originally Posted by teebob21 (Post 1034704)

As a true fan of fastpitch at any level: The pace of the game is fine at the NCAA level; rule change or not....once the ball is in play. IMO -- Now pace of the game between innings....well....it's slow, but TV doesn't help with that. That said, TV is good for the game. It's sometimes bad for the players and fans, but I think it's good for the game to have coverage, even on ESPN3 with their 2:30 commercial breaks between half innings.

The pace of the NCAA game, and the trickle down effect to club and high school games is AWFUL. Back in the day (and I feel as old as Mike saying that) time of game was between 1:15 and 1:30. I remember college DH's starting at 3 and being finished by 6, and that included time in between games. Heck, I once had a 1pm DH, 70 miles from my house, worked the game and made it back in time for a 6pm class. Now a "quick" college game is 1:45 with expectations of 2:15 to 2:30. It really is becoming what baseball used to be and now baseball is worse.

There has been two significant changes since I started: 1) composite/lighter bats and 2) armbands.

I have a longer discussions about the bats, but let's just say for now that it is the increase in foul balls that make the game longer. Bad hitters are able to start their swing and foul the ball off, while with the heavier bat it would have been a swinging strike. Again, another time.

But armbands -- look at time between pitches. This has become a problem even before the armbands, and NCAA put in the 10-10-5 to try to control the pace of the game. The armbands just made it worse, especially going to the first part of the "10." And the batters -- actually what is needed is to have the batters keep a foot in the box between called pitches. NCAA baseball first introduced this rule in 1992, so there is precedent.

Speaking of ESPN, the network has make some pointed comments about the time of the innings.


Quote:

As a student of the game: I agree with your assessment of armbands being a "problem in need of a solution". Armbands and the "4-3-1"/"2-1-2" etc. vocal signals from the bench created a situation where softball pitchers walked through the pitch preliminaries. Umpires, by and large, may have failed to enforce the rules on pitch preliminaries....at the club level, high school level, college level....you name it (I don't dare comment on ISF/WSBC/NPF as that level of play & officiating is beyond me).
In a way, you are correct. But I will disagree that "pitcherS" were walking through the pitch. There were possibly a select few. More often, the pitchers were "not simulating a signal" but not walking through the pitch. Effectively, the "pause" was with the hands together. This procedure was not by the written letter of the rules, but it complied with the "spirit" in that the pitcher was not discerning the batter with a quick pitch. I really viewed it as a "no harm" situation, and didn't call it at any level. I only received grief from one coach, and this was directly prior to the "2 seconds" interpretation; actually, this coach may have been a catalysis to the interpretations.

But speaking of WBSC: the pitching procedure has a 2 second pause with the hands TOGETHER. I believe it was implemented in the early 2000's, and was due to the USA women's pitchers, mostly with the "touch and go." Implement this, then we don't have to worry when they put their hands together. Or let's just have a rule: you can't pitch until the batter is ready. Why call an illegal pitch, as we have already taken the sting out of that penalty*.


Quote:

The saying goes "what we permit; we promote". At some point prior to the 2018 rulebook being written, TPTB decided that pitchers needed to get back to the letter of the law in the pitching preliminaries...and thus the original 2-second pause verbiage was born. The more I think about it, the more I think this recent interp is just a stricter application of the way the rule is at all levels, as in back to basics:

1) The pitcher must be in the pitching position with hands separated (location of the feet variable depending on code ASA/NFHS/NCAA)
2) The pitcher must take, or simulate taking, a signal from the catcher
3) The pitcher must bring her hands together, and deliver a pitch immediately after separating the hands, with no more than one step forward towards the plate within the 24-inch width of the pitching plate.

As I said, the more I think about this, the more I think this is a return to "Fastpitch Pitching Basics #2" above by the rules interpreters.

I could be 100% wrong, and if so I'm OK with that, and would appreciate help from my crew. :D
Actually, I'm surprised that Mike agreed with you in total. What you described as "FP basics" are revisions from the original pitching rule. I'm sure Mike could tell you the original procedure (he might have been in the room :D). The "taking the signal or simulation of the signal" is not original. That was put in so that pitchers didn't walk through the pitch. And interestingly, the "simulation" was added so that pitcher could get a signal while not in the pitching position. But what did NCAA do . . . they made it illegal to get most pitching signals while not in the pitching position.

IRISHMAFIA Thu Oct 03, 2019 08:39pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Slick (Post 1034708)

Actually, I'm surprised that Mike agreed with you in total. What you described as "FP basics" are revisions from the original pitching rule. I'm sure Mike could tell you the original procedure (he might have been in the room :D). The "taking the signal or simulation of the signal" is not original. That was put in so that pitchers didn't walk through the pitch. And interestingly, the "simulation" was added so that pitcher could get a signal while not in the pitching position. But what did NCAA do . . . they made it illegal to get most pitching signals while not in the pitching position.

Almost all of it is overkill. If you go back to 2002 ISF, I think that was probably as far as anyone needed to go to solve any delivery issue. It is pretty much that same as ASA at that time with a slight addition which had the following wording: "Must, after taking the signal, bring the whole body to a full and complete stop with the ball held with both hands in front of the body. This position must be held for not less than two (2) seconds and not more than ten (10) seconds before releasing the ball."

That is all that is needed, but must be enforced and IMO that is where the NCAA and other organizations including USA has failed. As I have stated in the past, the rule isn't the problem.

Big Slick Fri Oct 04, 2019 09:27am

Quote:

Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA (Post 1034714)
Almost all of it is overkill. If you go back to 2002 ISF, I think that was probably as far as anyone needed to go to solve any delivery issue. It is pretty much that same as ASA at that time with a slight addition which had the following wording: "Must, after taking the signal, bring the whole body to a full and complete stop with the ball held with both hands in front of the body. This position must be held for not less than two (2) seconds and not more than ten (10) seconds before releasing the ball."

That is all that is needed, but must be enforced and IMO that is where the NCAA and other organizations including USA has failed. As I have stated in the past, the rule isn't the problem.

You described the ISF rule that I mentioned. That came into place because the USA female pitchers were "touch and go" and other countries didn't like that. One the men's side, our instructions were not to count (no alligators), but at least make a pause. And there were no issues with this part of the rule*.

To me, all the rule has to state: "after the batter is set, the pitcher must be motionless in the pitching position for a minimum of 1 second and no longer than 10 seconds. This may be with the hands together or hands apart."

Boom, fixed the rule. As long as the batter is ready to hit and the pitcher gives an indication the pitch is forthcoming . . . let's play.

Seriously, two organizations have already watered down the penalty for an IP, so let's just reduce what is illegal. If it doesn't carry that much penalty, why even make it an infraction?

*Men's hate to have both feet in contact with the PP, and my tournament was the last one that required both feet in contact for both genders.

IRISHMAFIA Fri Oct 04, 2019 09:42pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Slick (Post 1034718)
To me, all the rule has to state: "after the batter is set, the pitcher must be motionless in the pitching position for a minimum of 1 second and no longer than 10 seconds. This may be with the hands together or hands apart."

Disagree with that, either needs to be one or the other or you may be dealing with both.
Quote:



Boom, fixed the rule.

Seriously, two organizations have already watered down the penalty for an IP, so let's just reduce what is illegal. If it doesn't carry that much penalty, why even make it an infraction?
Now that would be absurd and they will go right back with over compensating as they have already done with the pitching and other points in the game.

CecilOne Sat Oct 05, 2019 04:07pm

Lately, I feel like I'm at a rule committee meeting. ;)

Or is it I wish. :rolleyes:

Big Slick Mon Oct 07, 2019 09:06am

Quote:

Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA (Post 1034721)
Now that would be absurd and they will go right back with over compensating as they have already done with the pitching and other points in the game.

Mike, exactly my point. "They" (NCAA) have already started to over react and over compensate. We have seen it now with two rules (this and obstruction), like the confirmation of the rule "myths."

You know I am not bothered about the evolution of the game, but this seems like a move in a different direction. I've mentioned that the IP penalty is watered down, so why not remove (some of the) the illegal acts the pitcher can commit.


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