The Official Forum  

Go Back   The Official Forum > Softball

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jan 17, 2020, 12:41pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 648
NCAA Armband rule clarification

1/15/2020
10/21/2019
10.2.2 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.
Clarification 1: Taking the signal from behind the pitcher’s plate
from her signal arm band or the catcher is illegal since the pitcher
is not in the pitching position. The result is an illegal pitch.
Clarification 2: A coach may give visual or verbal signal while the
pitcher is not in the pitching position, however, when the pitcher
assumes the pitching position she must look at her signal arm band
or the catcher to take or appear to take the signal. The pitcher may
not simply step into the pitching position, put her hands together
and start the pitching motion. There must be timing consistent with
taking the signal from an arm band or catcher. Failing to do so will
result in an illegal pitch.
Clarification 3: Taking a defensive signal from a coach or catcher
prior to stepping on the pitcher’s plate is allowed. However, the
pitcher may not look at the signal arm band until she is in the
pitching position.


My bolding...

So, if the pitcher looks at that armband between pitches in the back of the Circle, nothing she does once she takes her proper position on the PP (including pausing and taking signals) will make this a legal pitch.

Last edited by jmkupka; Fri Jan 17, 2020 at 12:45pm.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jan 18, 2020, 07:40am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 14,560
IMO, this entire issue has gotten way out of any level of control or intelligence.
__________________
The bat issue in softball is as much about liability, insurance and litigation as it is about competition, inflated egos and softball.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jan 18, 2020, 03:02pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: The Land Of The Free and The Home Of The Brave (MD/DE)
Posts: 6,425
Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
IMO, this entire issue has gotten way out of any level of control or intelligence.
Not just YO !

How about:
"The pitcher may not simply step into the pitching position, put her hands together and start the pitching motion. There must be timing consistent with
taking the signal from an arm band or catcher." ?

Or,:
"The pitcher may not simply step into the pitching position, put her hands together and start the pitching motion. There must be a batter-discernible pause." ?

__________________
Officiating takes more than OJT.
It's not our jobs to invent rulings to fit our personal idea of what should and should not be.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old Sat Jan 18, 2020, 06:22pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 254
There was a 2 second pause. What was wrong with that?
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old Sun Jan 19, 2020, 08:50am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: NY
Posts: 763
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crabby_Bob View Post
There was a 2 second pause. What was wrong with that?
The complaint was it wasn’t enforced.
__________________
Kill the Clones. Let God sort them out.
No one likes an OOJ (Over-officious jerk).
Realistic officiating does the sport good.
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old Sun Jan 19, 2020, 08:52am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: NY
Posts: 763
I pointed out this inconsistency in SEPTEMBER. At least they fixed part of it. As long as a signal wasn’t provided before she looks she’d be fine.
__________________
Kill the Clones. Let God sort them out.
No one likes an OOJ (Over-officious jerk).
Realistic officiating does the sport good.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old Sun Jan 19, 2020, 09:18am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 14,560
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crabby_Bob View Post
There was a 2 second pause. What was wrong with that?
Nothing except the whining when an umpire enforced it
__________________
The bat issue in softball is as much about liability, insurance and litigation as it is about competition, inflated egos and softball.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old Sun Jan 19, 2020, 03:38pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: The Land Of The Free and The Home Of The Brave (MD/DE)
Posts: 6,425
I reread this part:
" However, the pitcher may not look at the signal arm band until she is in the pitching position."

Might be the dumbest and least practical rule in history.
__________________
Officiating takes more than OJT.
It's not our jobs to invent rulings to fit our personal idea of what should and should not be.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 21, 2020, 05:34pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Northeast Nebraska
Posts: 770
Quote:
Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
I reread this part:
" However, the pitcher may not look at the signal arm band until she is in the pitching position."

Might be the dumbest and least practical rule in history.
The rationale was to align with the international rule, which was my tinfoil-hat suggestion when the survey came out.

77% of head coaches and 82% of umpires surveyed voted in favor of this change.
__________________
Powder blue since 1998. Longtime forum lurker.
Umpiring Goals: Call the knee strike accurately (getting the low pitch since 2017)/NCAA D1 postseason/ISF-WBSC Certification/Nat'l Indicator Fraternity(completed)
"I'm gonna call it ASA for the foreseeable future. You all know what I mean."
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jan 21, 2020, 10:08pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Woodstock, GA; Atlanta area
Posts: 2,813
Here's how this went down.

After the rules committee stated rules language, the Coordinators meeting in Indianapolis in mid-August discussed this at length. We left that meeting with a black-and-white version, pitchers could take NOTHING from coaches or catchers before setting in the pitching position. We referenced baseball, no options, NOTHING legal off the pitching plate, immediate balk there. So why not so black and white for softball?

Well, we started the fall that way; then coaches started looking for the loopholes, and convinced Rules Committee members that some signals are defensive signals, like first-and-third, pitchouts, pickoffs, and that they HAD to be able to give those signals before the pitcher started the pitching routine. So, backed off a bit.

Now, the coach can call signals from the dugout without the pitcher "engaged", but if the pitcher looks at the armband, we KNOW it was a pitching signal, not a defensive scheme, so illegal pitch. Same thing with a signal from the catcher; if C is standing up and out, we can safely accept it is a defensive signal; if she's in a crouch giving signals and the pitcher is off the pitcher's plate, that was a pitching signal, and an illegal pitch.
__________________
Steve
ASA/ISF/NCAA/NFHS/PGF
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old Wed Jan 22, 2020, 05:20pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Northeast Nebraska
Posts: 770
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
Now, the coach can call signals from the dugout without the pitcher "engaged", but if the pitcher looks at the armband, we KNOW it was a pitching signal, not a defensive scheme, so illegal pitch. Same thing with a signal from the catcher; if C is standing up and out, we can safely accept it is a defensive signal; if she's in a crouch giving signals and the pitcher is off the pitcher's plate, that was a pitching signal, and an illegal pitch.
I guarantee I'm going to end up calling an IP in a 1st & 3rd situation when F1 has her "designed plays" listed on the armband. I'll post here when it happens.
__________________
Powder blue since 1998. Longtime forum lurker.
Umpiring Goals: Call the knee strike accurately (getting the low pitch since 2017)/NCAA D1 postseason/ISF-WBSC Certification/Nat'l Indicator Fraternity(completed)
"I'm gonna call it ASA for the foreseeable future. You all know what I mean."
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old Thu Jan 23, 2020, 09:28am
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 14,560
Dirt is smarter than this rule. It is in-house communication among members of one team. Why should anyone give a shit about how the team wants to manually communicate?

IMO, when, where or how this communication takes place has zero bearing on the game.

But if you must believe in such a thing, why does it apply only to the defense?
__________________
The bat issue in softball is as much about liability, insurance and litigation as it is about competition, inflated egos and softball.
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jan 24, 2020, 03:56pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Woodstock, GA; Atlanta area
Posts: 2,813
Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
Dirt is smarter than this rule. It is in-house communication among members of one team. Why should anyone give a shit about how the team wants to manually communicate?

IMO, when, where or how this communication takes place has zero bearing on the game.

But if you must believe in such a thing, why does it apply only to the defense?
Mike, here's how it got to this point. In my words, not the official from NCAA (just like you and I were never to be official for ASA in the day).

For decades, as you know, pitchers stepped on the pitcher's plate, hands separated, paused to take a signal, brought their hands together and pitched. Exactly what was expected and intended.

As softball expanded in the 2000's, I think a lot of us noted that pitchers were now more often standing off the pitcher's plate to get signals, walking up and very quickly bringing the hands together. I believe that was due to more and more "coaches" whose only knowledge came from baseball, and they seemed to think that it was "safer", probably thinking baseball where it's a balk if the pitcher drops the ball while in contact. At the same time, we (umpires) had more and more issues with batters delaying getting the box, offensive coaches giving dozens of signals to keep them out, and batters asking to get out of the box as soon as they got in, if the pitcher didn't meet the exact timing the batters wanted.

It became more of a point of emphasis, especially in NCAA and NFHS, to NOT grant time to those batters; we waited forever for you to get in, now be a batter. Batters had to learn to be prepared to relax in the box, and not go full tension until the pitcher was ready to pitch. It then became apparent that, even though not meeting "quick pitch" because the batter was in the box, that the batter was potentially disadvantaged by the pitcher essentially walking through the "take a signal" pause that should tell the batter "it's time!!!"

Now come the armbands; and even more than when taking catcher's signals from behind, pitchers looked at the armbands, stepped on and their arms were even already in motion toward "together" before both feet had even stopped. It became repeated points of emphasis to call illegal pitches if the pitcher didn't come to a complete pause with hands separated after stepping on and fully engaged "to take or simulate taking a signal". But, across the country, UMPIRES DID NOT ENFORCE THAT. Not even on ESPN big series, not in postseason, not even in the WCWS. By the big names, no one wanted to be "THAT" umpire, when no one else had been calling it, all season.

NCAA tried to reinforce the full stop and pause; they made the rule a TWO SECOND pause, so no one could consider anything that wasn't absolutely a clear and obvious stop to be adequate. But umpires still never embraced it, there was essentially zero change as pitchers continued to walk right thru, and umpires still did not call it, even when clear. I had umpires tell me (when asked why they didn't call it) that they saw the pitcher's hands separated and not moving AS she was stepping on, like that was a substitute for pausing AFTER being on. Not even pauses that would meet muster without "two seconds", not even just a clear and obvious pause. In the words of VVK, the NCAA rules committee realized we proved over-and-over NO ONE CAN (or will) COUNT TO TWO, not pitchers, their coaches, nor the umpires. Left unsaid was not even counting to ONE (should be a prerequisite to getting to two, wouldn't you think??). Crabby_Bob, that's what was wrong with two seconds; it wasn't enforced, even on TV in the WCWS.

At the same time, the NCAA rule requiring pitchers to be on the pitching plate within 10 seconds of receiving the ball was ALSO routinely ignored. It became routine that after a pitch and receiving the ball that pitchers would take a 5 second (or longer) stroll around the circle, and not even pay attention to a possible signal; in meantime, a coach would chart the last pitch and result, decide what pitch to call, search their grid for the unique number sequence; then NOT even start to give the signal until until the pitcher stopped the stroll and looked at them (since visual number sequence required in any park with a crowd making any amount of noise). By the time the pitcher recognized 3-2-4, looked at her armband, found 3-2-4 with a 2-2 count and 1 out, realized that meant riseball, and then and ONLY THEN even walked up to the pitcher's plate, that 10 seconds was long over. Again, not called at any level; if you did, you were "THAT" umpire. The only exception allowed to be granted (by case play interpretation) was to allow a defensive signal (OH, I just realized there are runners on first and third and need to call that play), but that was routinely ignored as if the pitch signal she was taking off the plate was now another legal exception.

The pitchers/coaches that "got it" were forced to understand that the whole key was to have the pitcher on the pitcher's plate with hands separated, and either look at the catcher or coach and look at the armband WHILE ON THE PLATE. After all, they got a full 10 seconds to do that, even after taking the stroll, etc. It was the ones that stopped OFF the plate and looked at the armband then that consistently violated TWO rules; timing and pause. And still not called at the highest levels, where that was showing viewers the "right way", since the highest level available. Even though they created the possibility of advantage to pitcher and disadvantage to batter not ready.

Hence the new rule. Hence the repeated statement this isn't a rule change, it's a whole new rule. Hence a stronger enforcement at the armband off the pitcher's plate which almost ALWAYS created one or two uncalled violations every pitch. Here's what the goal is (all parts in sequence, and all in this order, only):
1) Pitcher receives the ball; within 10 seconds the batter is in the box ready AND the pitcher is on the pitcher's plate with hands separated and ready to get a pitching signal.
2) Once both pitcher and batter are ready, the pitcher has no more than 10 seconds to NOW get a signal (whether coach, catcher, or armband) and THEN bring her hands together. The pitcher CANNOT jump to hands together before the batter is in the box and ready.
3) The pitcher must separate and begin the pitch within no less than 5 seconds.

That's how to comply, that's how to enforce. Pitcher getting a pitch call before step one is complete (looking at armband before engaging is one stated prima facie proof) is an illegal pitch, immediately, there is no remedy. Pitcher bringing her hands together before the batter is set (umpire stops holding up pitcher) is an illegal pitch (can only be remedied by stepping back off with both feet, AND re-engaging BEFORE the 10 seconds of step one is exhausted). Or, I guess, the umpire could mistakenly grant "time" to protect her from her illegal act.

To Mike's last point, why does it apply only to the defense? As it relates to the violation of the pitching rule, only the pitcher has the responsibility to comply with the pitching rule, just as the batter has the responsibility to comply with batting rules. As it relates to the timing rules, it relates equally to BOTH; the batter is required to be in the batter's box and presumed ready within the first 10 second sequence, and if the batter then steps out to take ANOTHER offensive signal after that step is complete (again by both batter and pitcher) it is to be an awarded strike. Again, the umpire could mistakenly grant that batter "time" to ignore the violation.

It may not be the perfect rule, but given the goals I stated, the state of the NCAA game as it has evolved, I think it is a fair effort to rein the pitchers back to the timing wanted, the sequence wanted, AND grant the batters the relief they deserve when they wait relaxed, legally and properly (and as we WANT), but the pitcher runs right through the required pause.
__________________
Steve
ASA/ISF/NCAA/NFHS/PGF

Last edited by AtlUmpSteve; Fri Jan 24, 2020 at 03:59pm.
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jan 24, 2020, 11:04pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Northeast Nebraska
Posts: 770
Damn, Steve. Well said. I thought I was a master of the "wall of text" but I see I have much to learn.

https://i.imgur.com/3db8wHn.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
NO ONE CAN (or will) COUNT TO TWO, not pitchers, their coaches, nor the umpires.
Now, hey, just wait a minute: I counted to two! AND I called it (after trying to work through my catchers)! Andy can back me up on this one! I call that sort of stuff in ASA ball too. No regrets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
Again, not called at any level; if you did, you were "THAT" umpire.
Ah, yes....yes I was. I was not making any friends by calling that in JC & D2 games...but, I also wasn't working "big-boy" ball on ESPN with "big-boy" observers either.

That's something I've learned being on the bubble of "better ball"....some stuff just isn't enforced, though maybe it should be.

To Irish's and Cecil's point: yeah, it's not great that the book has had to get to this level. But the pitching procedure is the pitching procedure. If the game has changed to the point that the Rules Committee sees it necessary to get down to brass tacks, so be it.

I'm just glad the runner's lane came back after a single rules cycle.
__________________
Powder blue since 1998. Longtime forum lurker.
Umpiring Goals: Call the knee strike accurately (getting the low pitch since 2017)/NCAA D1 postseason/ISF-WBSC Certification/Nat'l Indicator Fraternity(completed)
"I'm gonna call it ASA for the foreseeable future. You all know what I mean."
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old Fri Jan 24, 2020, 11:07pm
Official Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 14,560
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve View Post
By the big names, no one wanted to be "THAT" umpire, when no one else had been calling it, all season.
And it has always been my opinion, if that is how you base your officiating of the game, you shouldn't be there. The umpire has NEVER been the one making the "official" rules, but properly enforcing those set forth by those sanctioning the game and rules to which the participants agreed to play.

Here's the big question: How did the game become so great before all the chicken shit rule changes, many of which IMO is more of a dummying down the game, not improve it.

Quote:
To Mike's last point, why does it apply only to the defense? As it relates to the violation of the pitching rule, only the pitcher has the responsibility to comply with the pitching rule, just as the batter has the responsibility to comply with batting rules. As it relates to the timing rules, it relates equally to BOTH; the batter is required to be in the batter's box and presumed ready within the first 10 second sequence, and if the batter then steps out to take ANOTHER offensive signal after that step is complete (again by both batter and pitcher) it is to be an awarded strike. Again, the umpire could mistakenly grant that batter "time" to ignore the violation.
My point is if the pitcher is required to be in the pitching position to receive a signal, why isn't the batter required to be in their position? Yes, that may seem ludicrous, but no more than the way the NCAA is jerking around with something that hasn't been a problem for decades and can be controlled with the simple raising of a hand by the umpire.
__________________
The bat issue in softball is as much about liability, insurance and litigation as it is about competition, inflated egos and softball.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
NCAA 10 second backcourt rule clarification JakeMN92 Basketball 1 Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:19pm
Clarification on NCAA Player Control rule bradfordwilkins Basketball 2 Mon Apr 06, 2009 02:56pm
NCAA Rule Clarification aschramm Basketball 11 Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:19am
NCAA Mens Kick Ball Rule Clarification Needed mtbabo Basketball 28 Wed Jan 24, 2007 03:40pm
NCAA rule clarification... ckrumm24 Basketball 7 Sun Mar 12, 2006 02:59am


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:10pm.



Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.0 RC1