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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)

teebob21 Fri Sep 13, 2019 03:33pm

NCAA Pitching Rule Change Guidance - Released today
 
Quote:

Taking the signal:

If the pitcher takes a signal (looks at her arm band for a pitch signal) and she is not on the pitcher's plate, this is a violation of the taking the signal rule. The mechanic is: delayed dead ball signal - then if no further action occurs - dead ball signal and than verbalize..."That's a violation" - award a ball on batter and give new count - signal play ball. The coach may give a signal verbally or non-verbally to the pitcher and/or catcher before the pitcher takes her position on the plate without violation, provided that the pitcher then takes the signal (i.e. looks at her arm band or clearly looks to the catcher for the pitch selection) while she is in the required pitching position.
Whoa.

This is new as of less than 12 hours ago. I'm not sure there is rule support for an IP violation of this kind before F1 steps onto the pitching plate. But I'm not an interpreter... Thoughts from the crowd?

(Thoughts of "Glad I don't do NCAA because their rules are bullshit" not welcome. You know who you are. :D)

IRISHMAFIA Fri Sep 13, 2019 09:23pm

IMO, the rule involving taking a signal is now and always had been a waste of ink in the rule book.

The general purpose is about timing for the batter to be aware the pitcher can start a delivery. All rule sets have demands and restrictions in place that provides such an indicator without anything involving the taking of a signal in any manner.

CecilOne Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:47pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA (Post 1034417)
IMO, the rule involving taking a signal is now and always had been a waste of ink in the rule book.

The general purpose is about timing for the batter to be aware the pitcher can start a delivery. All rule sets have demands and restrictions in place that provides such an indicator without anything involving the taking of a signal in any manner.

Or, they could just require a pause.

jmkupka Sat Sep 14, 2019 04:38pm

Just bad information.

If F1 is in the back of the circle looking at her arm band and I call IP, DC will protest that ruling, and DC will prevail.

F1 can take all the signals she wants, from wherever she wants (in the allotted time), as long as, when she steps on the PP, she takes a signal.

There's more to that memo, that's not included in this thread, that is just as nonsensical as this:

"If pitcher is outside the circle and she takes a signal (looks at her arm band for a pitch signal) - runners may advance - keep the play live until action has ended - then enforce penalties."

What penalties?!?! Nobody's done anything wrong!!

IRISHMAFIA Sat Sep 14, 2019 05:55pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by CecilOne (Post 1034428)
Or, they could just require a pause.

Which was my point, but I have a feeling you know that

Big Slick Mon Sep 16, 2019 11:32am

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmkupka (Post 1034432)
Just bad information.

If F1 is in the back of the circle looking at her arm band and I call IP, DC will protest that ruling, and DC will prevail.

nope, not in NCAA starting . . . now (actually last week)


Quote:

F1 can take all the signals she wants, from wherever she wants (in the allotted time), as long as, when she steps on the PP, she takes a signal.
nope, not in NCAA starting . . . now (actually last week)

Quote:

There's more to that memo, that's not included in this thread, that is just as nonsensical as this:

"If pitcher is outside the circle and she takes a signal (looks at her arm band for a pitch signal) - runners may advance - keep the play live until action has ended - then enforce penalties."

What penalties?!?! Nobody's done anything wrong!!
The memo is the memo. If F1 looks at the armband while not in the position to pitch, it is an IP. No protest needed, it is now the interpretation of the rule. Pretty cut and dry, and only applies to "looking at the armband while not in the position to pitch."

The fall season has just started, so we will see the fall out (no pun intended). Maybe this gets changed prior to the start of the season, who knows, but it is the "rule" as of right now.

IRISHMAFIA Mon Sep 16, 2019 08:57pm

And what happens when some smart-ass coach sends his pitcher out with a simple sweat band to look at? For that matter, who is to say the pitcher couldn't still look at the wrist band from the PP after looking at it prior to that?

Stupid rule change, but it isn't like it would be a first for the NCAA :)

jmkupka Tue Sep 17, 2019 08:28am

Insanity. Who's to say she's not looking at her favorite freckle? There's no rule against it. Just no quick pitch once they step on the PP.

Big Slick Tue Sep 17, 2019 01:39pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by jmkupka (Post 1034495)
Insanity. Who's to say she's not looking at her favorite freckle? There's no rule against it. Just no quick pitch once they step on the PP.

Did you see the rule change?
Quote:

While in the pitching position and taking the signal, the pitcher must take or appear to take a signal. The signal need not come from the catcher.
Note: The rule does not preclude the pitcher from taking an earlier signal from someone who indicates the desired pitch and/or location nor the pitcher from referring to an arm band prior to complying with Rule 10.2.2.
Rationale: To require the pitcher to take a signal while on the pitcher’s plate. Requiring the pitcher to take the signal from the pitcher’s plate has two advantages: 1) It will ensure pitchers pause on the plate while receiving the signal, and 2) It will prevent pitchers from “walking through” the pitch. Quick pitching has become an issue because signals are being taken from behind the pitcher’s plate and the pitcher is stepping on the pitcher’s plate and pitching without pausing
The note is red is now "struck out" and removed (I left it here to show you it was removed and how the interpretation now follows the written rule), with the INTERPRETATION that F1 is PRECLUDED from looking at her wrist band while not in the pitching position. So yeah, there is a "rule against it." And don't be so daft to think "Im looking at my favorite freckle." That something an idiot coach would say, and I would hope your game management is up to par to deal with it.

I'm actually OK with this interpretation. Hopefully, the unintended consequence is that the number wrist bands go away. And hopefully the game picks up a little pace.

jmkupka Tue Sep 17, 2019 02:48pm

my comment was obviously intended to be tongue-in-cheek, but also to equate the looking at the armband with looking in the dugout, looking at the catcher, looking at whatever (all within the allowed time), and then stepping on the PP and taking the signal.

Manny A Thu Sep 19, 2019 01:34pm

I'm not a fan of this rule change either. Seems to me that if more umpires enforced the old 2-second-pause rule, none of this would've been necessary. Who cares what the pitcher does beforehand? As long as she then gets on the pitcher's plate and then keeps her hands separated for at least two seconds before bringing them together, there should be no problem.

But I guess there was enough of a problem to create this change. So now she can't take any signal until she's in contact with the plate. I think it's going to be pretty straightforward to enforce the "no looking at the armband from behind the plate" prohibition.

What I really think is strange is that they will allow her to take a signal from the catcher while behind the plate. Why is that? If she can do that, and then be required to take the signal again while on the plate (or simulate taking it), that's the same as it was before. And there's still the possibility of the pitcher walking into her pitch, which is what this new change was supposed to prevent.

So if she refers to the armband to get the signal, she can't do it until she's on the plate. But she can take a signal from behind the plate if it comes from the catcher the old-fashioned way. Is that how I'm reading this?

Big Slick Fri Sep 20, 2019 12:21pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Manny A (Post 1034515)
I'm not a fan of this rule change either. Seems to me that if more umpires enforced the old 2-second-pause rule, none of this would've been necessary. Who cares what the pitcher does beforehand? As long as she then gets on the pitcher's plate and then keeps her hands separated for at least two seconds before bringing them together, there should be no problem.

Actually, it was the ambiguity of the interpretation from last fall, which said that a) you couldn't look at an armband while not in the pitching position, but b) if you did, it wasn't an illegal pitch if you did simulate once you got into the pitching position. This really isn't the umpire's doing, it was a select few coaches who complained (and I know one of them, and know exactly the moment she did), and this is hopefully the final stop in the (de)evolution of the rule and interpretation.

Quote:

But I guess there was enough of a problem to create this change. So now she can't take any signal until she's in contact with the plate. I think it's going to be pretty straightforward to enforce the "no looking at the armband from behind the plate" prohibition.
Not exactly. She is only prohibited from looking at the signal arm band while not in the pitching position.

Quote:

What I really think is strange is that they will allow her to take a signal from the catcher while behind the plate. Why is that? If she can do that, and then be required to take the signal again while on the plate (or simulate taking it), that's the same as it was before. And there's still the possibility of the pitcher walking into her pitch, which is what this new change was supposed to prevent.

So if she refers to the armband to get the signal, she can't do it until she's on the plate. But she can take a signal from behind the plate if it comes from the catcher the old-fashioned way. Is that how I'm reading this?
You are reading this correctly. This has EVERYTHING and ONLY to do with the signal arm bands. Don't over complicate this interpretation. As you say, she can receive a signal from catcher/coach while not in the pitching position (as long as she doesn't look at the armband), and then take/simulate the signal once in the pitching position (and we need to use this new phrasing, because she doesn't need to be "on" in the traditional "two feet" sense). But if she looks down at the signal arm band -- ILLEGAL. And hopefully she aborts the pitch.

Personally, I wish they would just make the signal arm band illegal.

IRISHMAFIA Fri Sep 20, 2019 08:13pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Slick (Post 1034526)
Personally, I wish they would just make the signal arm band illegal.

Or the NCAA stop kowtowing to the coaches who are more about personal recognition than the players and the game.

teebob21 Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:23am

Quote:

Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA (Post 1034528)
Or the NCAA stop kowtowing to the coaches who are more about personal recognition than the players and the game.

Well, when 6/8 members of the rules committee are head coaches...

It's an interesting philosophical question though. Who owns the game and stewardship of its rules? The participants, the officials, or a third party?

IRISHMAFIA Sat Sep 21, 2019 03:00pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by teebob21 (Post 1034534)
Well, when 6/8 members of the rules committee are head coaches...

It's an interesting philosophical question though. Who owns the game and stewardship of its rules? The participants, the officials, or a third party?

I think USA has the better system. Hundreds of folks and the umpires only have about 15 votes (RUIC). But everything is broken down and discussed in multiple committees. There is even an opportunity to bring something that didn't get a committee approval to the entire convention to get a change accepted.

AtlUmpSteve Sun Sep 22, 2019 07:43pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Slick (Post 1034526)
Actually, it was the ambiguity of the interpretation from last fall, which said that a) you couldn't look at an armband while not in the pitching position, but b) if you did, it wasn't an illegal pitch if you did simulate once you got into the pitching position. This really isn't the umpire's doing, it was a select few coaches who complained (and I know one of them, and know exactly the moment she did), and this is hopefully the final stop in the (de)evolution of the rule and interpretation.



Not exactly. She is only prohibited from looking at the signal arm band while not in the pitching position.



You are reading this correctly. This has EVERYTHING and ONLY to do with the signal arm bands. Don't over complicate this interpretation. As you say, she can receive a signal from catcher/coach while not in the pitching position (as long as she doesn't look at the armband), and then take/simulate the signal once in the pitching position (and we need to use this new phrasing, because she doesn't need to be "on" in the traditional "two feet" sense). But if she looks down at the signal arm band -- ILLEGAL. And hopefully she aborts the pitch.

Personally, I wish they would just make the signal arm band illegal.

Slick, these days, I am a conference coordinator; and sat in that meeting when VVK described the rule, discussed the enforcement. You are misunderstanding the meaning of e.g.; it means "for example".

This not solely about the armbands. It is about pitchers walking on to the pitcher's plate and starting to pitch without a pause. When the rule required a pause, there was no pause by pitchers, and umpires universally did NOT make them. Not in NCAA, not in high school, not in ASA/USA.

NCAA tried to do something about it. Since no one seemed to get "pause" to be a significant instant with no motion, a clear and obvious stop, they changed the rule to a two second pause. Surely that would be clear. But, no, as I preached to MY umpires full and complete pause, AT LEAST one FULL second+, we watched top conference games on TV (SEC, ACC, PAC12, B1G, and more) and no one, literally NO ONE, enforced even an obvious stop. I UIC'ed conference tournaments, showcases, watch ball everywhere at every level and every rules set; and pitchers step on and IMMEDIATELY bring their hands together, if not already in motion before the feet were on the pitcher's plate.

The NCAA committee did everything to give the pitchers an option, but stop long enough for batters to KNOW when the pitcher would begin a motion, but pitchers did not comply, umpires did not enforce, coaches crucified the very few that tried to enforce. Thus, the new rule.

The pitcher CANNOT take a signal anywhere but from the pitcher's plate; not from a catcher, not from a coach, not visually, not verbally; FOR EXAMPLE, cannot look at the arm band, but ALSO any other thing the umpire judges to be taking a signal. It is JUDGMENT what constitutes taking a signal, not a rule interpretation, so any question from a coach more than "what did she do" is challenging judgment, and should be stopped, or warned, or ejected.

Just like in baseball, a signal taken from anywhere but the pitcher's plate is a balk; NCAA Softball it is an illegal pitch. Just like in baseball, coaches cannot argue balks; NCAA Softball they cannot argue an illegal pitch.

This in a person-to-person conversation with VVK, in front of most of the conference coordinators in NCAA Softball. It is so simple you can hardly believe there aren't more ifs or buts.

IRISHMAFIA Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:20pm

How many batters have you seen caught off-guard last season because a pitcher did not hesitate for any reason?

teebob21 Mon Sep 23, 2019 08:28am

Quote:

Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve (Post 1034539)
Slick, these days, I am a conference coordinator [snip]

Steve, thanks for posting. As an official working hard to get more "P5" games, this insight to the meeting and intention of the recent interpretation is super useful and makes me glad that I started this thread. I'm not puffing myself up here, but I think I was the only one in the conference that I worked at the time who would make the two-second IP call. I took a lot of heat for calls my partners refused to make.

Quote:

Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA (Post 1034540)
How many batters have you seen caught off-guard last season because a pitcher did not hesitate for any reason?

Six or seven across ~40 NCAA games. Had one in fall ball this weekend, but I was on the bases and could not stop the game for the quick pitch. My partner got lit up when he called it a strike and the batter was still looking at her shoes.

Manny A Mon Sep 23, 2019 01:33pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve (Post 1034539)
The pitcher CANNOT take a signal anywhere but from the pitcher's plate; not from a catcher, not from a coach, not visually, not verbally; FOR EXAMPLE, cannot look at the arm band, but ALSO any other thing the umpire judges to be taking a signal.

Hmmm. Steve, this one is going to be interesting. I can foresee a situation where the catcher flashes hand signals to her pitcher while the pitcher is not on the plate, the PU cannot see the catcher doing this, but the BU can. So the BU calls the illegal pitch. That one will go over well with the defensive coach!

IRISHMAFIA Mon Sep 23, 2019 10:30pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by teebob21 (Post 1034551)
Six or seven across ~40 NCAA games. Had one in fall ball this weekend, but I was on the bases and could not stop the game for the quick pitch. My partner got lit up when he called it a strike and the batter was still looking at her shoes.

So you had a weak partners that couldn't or wouldn't do his/her job?

Big Slick Tue Sep 24, 2019 03:55pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve (Post 1034539)
Slick, these days, I am a conference coordinator; and sat in that meeting when VVK described the rule, discussed the enforcement. You are misunderstanding the meaning of e.g.; it means "for example".

This not solely about the armbands. snip

Steve, then how does the following, which is copied from an email sent to quite a number of people, reconcile with your conversation with VVK? And I believe that you have received the same email.

My emphasis.

Quote:

If the pitcher takes a signal (looks at her arm band for a pitch signal) and she is not on the pitcher's plate, this is a violation of the taking the signal rule. The mechanic is: delayed dead ball signal - then if no further action occurs - dead ball signal and than verbalize..."That's a violation" - award a ball on batter and give new count - signal play ball. The coach may give a signal verbally or non-verbally to the pitcher and/or catcher before the pitcher takes her position on the plate without violation, provided that the pitcher then takes the signal (i.e. looks at her arm band or clearly looks to the catcher for the pitch selection) while she is in the required pitching position.

AtlUmpSteve Wed Sep 25, 2019 02:18pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Slick (Post 1034601)
Steve, then how does the following, which is copied from an email sent to quite a number of people, reconcile with your conversation with VVK? And I believe that you have received the same email.

My emphasis.

I'm not sure the date of the email which you reference; didn't find it. The most current interpretation is dated 9/11/2019, and states simply:

Quote:

Originally Posted by ncaasbre
10.2 9/11/19 Taking the Signal: The pitcher must take a signal while in the pitching position.
Taking a signal from behind the pitcher’s plate (e.g., looking at the signal arm band) is illegal since the pitcher is not in the pitching position. The result is an illegal pitch.

Edited to add: This interpretation is one of 3 posted of that date on the Central Hub; undergarments, defining the pitching position, and this. There is nothing else I'm finding that contradicts that.

Big Slick Wed Sep 25, 2019 08:16pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve (Post 1034624)
I'm not sure the date of the email which you reference; didn't find it. The most current interpretation is dated 9/11/2019, and states simply:



Edited to add: This interpretation is one of 3 posted of that date on the Central Hub; undergarments, defining the pitching position, and this. There is nothing else I'm finding that contradicts that.

sent you a PM. You can share if you feel it is appropriate.

Big Slick Mon Sep 30, 2019 03:30pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve (Post 1034624)
I'm not sure the date of the email which you reference; didn't find it. The most current interpretation is dated 9/11/2019, and states simply:



Edited to add: This interpretation is one of 3 posted of that date on the Central Hub; undergarments, defining the pitching position, and this. There is nothing else I'm finding that contradicts that.

Steve,
New video posted today. It clears the air a bit, in that two specifics are not allowed while not in the pitching position: 1) gathering wristband information and 2) receiving information from the catcher. And yes, the base umpires can call either one. However, receiving verbal signals from the coach and/or non-verbals from the coach while not in the pitching position are not a violation.

Let's remember this is NCAA only.

CecilOne Mon Sep 30, 2019 04:08pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Slick (Post 1034686)
Let's remember this is NCAA only.

:D :D :D :D :D :D :rolleyes:

AtlUmpSteve Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:13pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Slick (Post 1034686)
Steve,
New video posted today. It clears the air a bit, in that two specifics are not allowed while not in the pitching position: 1) gathering wristband information and 2) receiving information from the catcher. And yes, the base umpires can call either one. However, receiving verbal signals from the coach and/or non-verbals from the coach while not in the pitching position are not a violation.

Let's remember this is NCAA only.

Yes, it's still not what was stated in our meeting, but it is less of of a waffle step to appease (and again allow options where one clear rule would suffice).

Still biting my tongue, cannot/should not state what I really think. But a much cleaner rule than before in getting what they have always actually wanted.

teebob21 Tue Oct 01, 2019 02:34am

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Slick (Post 1034686)
Steve,
New video posted today. It clears the air a bit, in that two specifics are not allowed while not in the pitching position: 1) gathering wristband information and 2) receiving information from the catcher. And yes, the base umpires can call either one. However, receiving verbal signals from the coach and/or non-verbals from the coach while not in the pitching position are not a violation.

Let's remember this is NCAA only.

I didn't see this video until after my fall ball game today. If I had, I think I would have had to call 70 IPs instead of 7. Weird game tonight...both teams had pitchers that apparently forgot that you can't step on with your hands already together, and you can't bring your hands together to transition the ball from your glove to your throwing hand while in the pitching position without delivering a pitch after separating.

These were what you'd expect as 12U-14U IP violations. My left arm got tired. :D

IRISHMAFIA Tue Oct 01, 2019 08:57pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve (Post 1034688)
Still biting my tongue, cannot/should not state what I really think. But a much cleaner rule than before in getting what they have always actually wanted.

I'm still trying to figure out what was so wrong with the rules a decade ago that necessitated rule changes

Big Slick Wed Oct 02, 2019 09:46am

Quote:

Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA (Post 1034695)
I'm still trying to figure out what was so wrong with the rules a decade ago that necessitated rule changes

Armbands. They "produced a solution" that was in need of a problem.

This happens when some "innovation" within the game doesn't quite jive with the literal reading of a rule. The armbands allowed the pitcher to receive a "signal" prior to being in the pitching position (which was never against the rules). A few pitchers were then "walking through" the pitch, which was always against the rules.

The majority of the pitchers were either a) compliant with the rules as written or b) may not have been compliant with the literal "simulating taking the signal with hands separated". It was really the "b" part that got a few coaches upset, all the while the batter was not disconcerted.

Then came the "2 second pause" and that went over like a . . . well, expressed body air in a house of worship, because "2 seconds" was not "1-alligator . . 2-alligator", but more of "is the pitcher stopping and not disconcerting the batter."

Eventually, that didn't work, so we are now to "only can receive the signal while in the pitching position" with the interpretation of "signal" as "armbands and hand signals from the catcher."

As I have stated, I'm ok with the rule and interpretation. Hopefully there will be two unintended consequences: 1) the arm bands will be phased out or 2) the game picks up in pace.

Or they could just adopt the international pitching rule in total . . .

teebob21 Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:20pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by Big Slick (Post 1034696)
Armbands. They "produced a solution" that was in need of a problem.

This happens when some "innovation" within the game doesn't quite jive with the literal reading of a rule. The armbands allowed the pitcher to receive a "signal" prior to being in the pitching position (which was never against the rules). A few pitchers were then "walking through" the pitch, which was always against the rules.

The majority of the pitchers were either a) compliant with the rules as written or b) may not have been compliant with the literal "simulating taking the signal with hands separated". It was really the "b" part that got a few coaches upset, all the while the batter was not disconcerted.

Then came the "2 second pause" and that went over like a . . . well, expressed body air in a house of worship, because "2 seconds" was not "1-alligator . . 2-alligator", but more of "is the pitcher stopping and not disconcerting the batter."

Eventually, that didn't work, so we are now to "only can receive the signal while in the pitching position" with the interpretation of "signal" as "armbands and hand signals from the catcher."

As I have stated, I'm ok with the rule and interpretation. Hopefully there will be two unintended consequences: 1) the arm bands will be phased out or 2) the game picks up in pace.

Or they could just adopt the international pitching rule in total . . .

Like most things in this sport worth talking about, I am of many minds about this rule.

As an umpire: the 2-second rule of 2018 was great in theory as an objective requirement, and horrible in practice, as it required subjective judgment. "1-alligator . . 2-alligator"....I might have been one of just a few in my JC conference who actually tried to count 2 seconds when this was a POE. (Andy....back me up here?:D) I worked with my catchers best I could...and then called IPs. As I have said before: I called it when I saw a violation...much of the crew in my conference at the time did not. Guess who got the chewing from the dugouts?

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.

As a "meh"-baseball fan AKA "Daddy Rulebook": It seems baseball requires pitchers to take the sign (or not) from the pitching position. I honestly don't know the OBR rule, but you certainly don't see baseball F1's "walking" through the pitch...and if you did, coaches and batters would be up in arms about it. (I acknowledge that a comparison to the sport with 90 foot bases and the itty bitty white ball carries no weight here; I'm just tossing it out there as a way of thinking about this rule vs. the "other" sport.....as so many of "our fans" do.)

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).

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

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.


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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*.


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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.
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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

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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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