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Old Thu Dec 18, 2003, 12:00am
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Reading other forums mostly from coaches and parents you would think there was a big problem in FP games with IPs. Being my 2nd year I just dont see it. This year I called over 100 some games in FP 1/2 as the PU and 1/2 as the BU and I would estimate I called 15-20 IPs and probably talked to a pitchers coach another 15 times are so in lower levels to gave warning before I would start calling. Never once do I remember a coach of another team complaining that a pitcher was throwing IPs. Most of the IPs have been from replanting of pivot foot in front of PP, a few double touches, and a couple wide of the 24.

So I was just wondering how often most of you vets see IPs that are called or warned in a season??

Now for SP 300+ games probably 1000 or more IPs, mostly arc

Thanks for replies

Don
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2003, 09:54am
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It's not the number of calls or the type that is the issue. It's the inconsistency. If I'm the BU, watching the pitcher as I should, and call the crow hop(s), but the next umpire does not call the same move or even watch; that's the problem. Yes, we all differ on being able to see the space between the foot and the plate, but we all can see repeated plants 6 inches off the plate. It doesn't matter if Cat is too quick for us, there are thousands of pitchers who aren't that quick.
Why, you say. It is the widespread philosophy that the best call is a no-call and that calling IP is "asking for trouble", lengthens the game, can't be proven, biases your assignments, isn't wanted by the teams, etc.

In 50 - 100 FP games; I see a lot more non-touches than double touches, a few outside the width, mostly pushoffs off the plate and a fair number of leaps. Probably 2 - 3 per game, except for the few pitchers who insist on continuing IP after it's called.
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2003, 11:26am
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I'm pretty much in the same boat as Don. I just don't see the IP as a big issue.

The general feeling in our association is that an IP concerning the leap and/or crow hop has to be absolutely clear to be called. The IP with the hands needs to be called every time.

Case in point: Several of us were working at a large HS tourney last spring. I was standing talking to other umps during our off games next to a field where a game was in progress. Out of my periphial vison, I thought I saw an unusual delivery by the pitcher. I directed everybody's attention to the pitcher. Her delivery was very unusual and could have been called illegal, but was still borderline. All of the umps present agreed that they would not call the IP, but would watch her very carefully throughout the game.

We had an umpire last year call eight illegal pitches in a row on a pitcher at the start of the game. He talked to her after the first two, but she continued to pitch in exactly the same way. The umpire in question said that it seemed that the pitcher wanted to engage in a "battle of wills" with him. She finally realized that she wasn't going to win and started to pitch legally.
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2003, 06:34pm
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I agree with the earlier post about consistency, only it just has to be in my game. If I call an IP at the first of the game, I need to be calling it at the end of the game also. If I let it slide at the start of the game ( for whatever reason ) I need to let it slide at the end of the game. I've noticed, just like the other guys, that it's not called the same by all the blues. If the rule is there, you gotta enforce it. I'm not too worried about what the coaches think, or the parents. Part of my obligation is to enforce rules that they may not want enforced. Kinda like making a close call that went against a coach who says he woulda called it the other way. That's the fun of wearing the blue shirt, you get to hear all that stuff all the time. I think you need to read the rules, and apply them as you interpret them and just be consistent. You can't worry about whether the other guys will call it or not. However, that's what the off games are for, is to "debate" the rules. I probably learned more from these debates than I ever did by reading the book. I got scratched by a HS coach 2 years ago for calling an IP against his star pitcher. After talking to other umpires, I found out there was a name for her move "California 2 step" and they had called it also. They also got scratched. But that's OK, cause I was calling a tournament later on that year and I got that team again. The pitcher announced to me she wasn't gonna do that IP in that game, which tells me she thought I was consistent in my calls. To me that's a compliment. I know that a lot of the pitching coaches around here teach 2 ways to pitch, the illegal way and the legal way. Once it's called, start pitching the legal way. You just gotta show how you're gonna call the game and stay that way. That doesn't mean go looking for an IP, you'll find 'em, just don't be bashful about them either.

Rick
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Old Thu Dec 18, 2003, 09:44pm
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About a 100 games last year, high school varsity through beginning state tournaments, some sub-varsity. A few summer tournaments, up to 18U. Finished with adult rec league, which included several local college teams and several D-1 college players. Other than one game, didn’t call any IP’s.

Summer tournament, pitcher from out-of-state 18U team was warming up with stride foot landing outside 24” limit. Went out to discuss it with her; coaches got into an uproar; I finally shut them up so I could start game. Called at least a dozen IP in first half of 1st inning, runners steadily moving around the bases. Absolute bedlam until TD told coaches they were wrong. Then pitcher moved her pivot foot over a few inches and issue was over (foot was still wide, but was landing on the line so she was legal).

For sub-varsity and 12U pitchers with delivery problems, I am usually tolerant. Tell coaches what I will allow and they are generally OK.

Above that I have never seen a crow hop, though some pitchers that slide their pivot foot occasionally show some air under the foot. A warning suffices and I generally don’t see it again. A lot of girls are now throwing a slider back into the batters and are landing wide. But their entire foot has to be outside the 24” and, other than the aforementioned pitcher, the rest are pushing the limit, but are not over.

At least 50% of the leap ‘n drag pitcher I see have air under their pivot foot. As long as it is an inch or two and they are landing within 6 - 12” off the plate and going into an immediate drag, I am not calling the leap. (Note: I have studied a lot of slow-motion videotape and am convinced that pitchers are not establishing a second push when the pivot foot lands, so no CH. I see that a foot lands, twists; kick up a puff of dust, and immediately drags behind the body. )

Now I suppose that someday I am going to see a pitcher that really gets up in the air or lands a long way out. It will be so obvious it will have to be called. But I am not sure we can get through the season if we are going to call all the “little” leaps.

WMB
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Old Mon Dec 22, 2003, 02:27am
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WMB, Are you saying illegal is ok as long as it's just a couple inches? Brian
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Old Mon Dec 22, 2003, 12:44pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by bethsdad
WMB, Are you saying illegal is ok as long as it's just a couple inches? Brian
Speaking for myself, a couple of inches is usually well within the judgment margin of error in determining the "level plane of the ground."

As I've said on this topic before, I'm not getting down like a golfer lining up a putt to determing the "level plane of the ground." That means, for all practical purposes, the pitcher gets that couple of inches.
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Old Mon Dec 22, 2003, 12:57pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by oppool
So I was just wondering how often most of you vets see IPs that are called or warned in a season??
I rarely see pitching infractions in travel ball, but I probably see some pitching infraction every other game in rec ball, and when I see it, there are usually several during that game.

The only IP I called in a game of import last season was in an 18U NQ. I was on the bases and I called the pitcher for foreign substance on the ball. She would routinely grab a handful of dirt, appear to wipe it off, and then proceed with the pitch. What I didn't see until there was a runner on 2nd was that she was faking wiping it off. She would grab the dirt, and then swing her hand by her shorts but not quite touch. After seeing this the second time, I called it, since I judged she was intentionally applying dirt to the ball. I leave to the physicists to tell me whether applying a bit of dirt to a 12" softball can have any effect on its flight over 35 or so feet, but it is illegal and it did seem to be intentional.

In rec, the majority of the infractions are hand related, not foot. Double touching and no touching. Most of these pitchers have a hard time getting consistent strikes, so the last thing the game needs is another excuse for calling a ball. My usual practice is to discuss it quietly with the pitcher's coach at the half inning, admonishing him to not cause his pitcher to fret during the game, but to work on it at their next practice. Usually, it appears to be nerviousness or careless motions; technically illegal, but not causing any other problems.
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Old Fri Mar 26, 2004, 03:50am
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dakota
Quote:
Originally posted by bethsdad
WMB, Are you saying illegal is ok as long as it's just a couple inches? Brian
Speaking for myself, a couple of inches is usually well within the judgment margin of error in determining the "level plane of the ground."

As I've said on this topic before, I'm not getting down like a golfer lining up a putt to determing the "level plane of the ground." That means, for all practical purposes, the pitcher gets that couple of inches.

Thank you so much for this! My 10 year old has had IP's called on her, and her pivit foot is breaking contact, but maybe a couple inches, and although her pivit foot relants 6~12 inches in front of the rubber.....She lands with the pivit foot sideways, and the stride foot a second later, and she is not re~pushing with that pivit foot. But becasue she breaks contact a little, and the pivit foot replants.....ASA says that she must re~push to have a CH. I say she cant re~push with that pivit foot pointing at 3o'clock. She is replanting...but not re~pushing.....is this an IP?
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Old Fri Mar 26, 2004, 10:02am
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Quote:
Originally posted by cammie

Thank you so much for this! My 10 year old has had IP's called on her, and her pivit foot is breaking contact, but maybe a couple inches, and although her pivit foot relants 6~12 inches in front of the rubber.....She lands with the pivit foot sideways, and the stride foot a second later, and she is not re~pushing with that pivit foot. But becasue she breaks contact a little, and the pivit foot replants.....ASA says that she must re~push to have a CH. I say she cant re~push with that pivit foot pointing at 3o'clock. She is replanting...but not re~pushing.....is this an IP?
From your description here, I would have to say yes, this is illegal. You are saying that she is replanting the foot 6-12 inches in front of the pitching rubber, cutting the actual distance she has to pitch by close to a foot. ANY replant is illegal by the rule book, as is ANY leap. I strongly suggest, as a father of a very successful pitcher, you teach her to pitch correctly. You will have less headaches, she will have more fun and will also be a lot more effective.
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Old Fri Mar 26, 2004, 12:58pm
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She is being taught the legal way, but she has so much power & push for a 10 year old that sometimes she does come off the ground maybe an inch or two, and her pitching coach that also coaches college fastpitch says that most pitchers, break contact an inch or two. This cant be seen by the naked eye most cases, and most will tell you that if a little dirt flies, then the pitch wont be called. It is clear to me that she is NOT re~pushing. And NSA says it must be a re~push. But like always I cant control what the UMP calls, but unless I see a repush, then even though her toe may break contact an inch or two....she is not re~pushing, and the rule states the two together is a CH. So is it illegal is she is doing only one of the two I guess is my question. Thanks~
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Old Fri Mar 26, 2004, 01:27pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by cammie
...and her pitching coach that also coaches college fastpitch says that most pitchers, break contact an inch or two...
I know several pitching coaches who work D1 college level as well as do private lessons. The ones that really know how to teach pitching can teach both legal and illegal methods. They will always teach correct delivery to their students, especially the younger ones. That would include the foot dragging away from the rubber. The coach that my DD went to for six years would become furious with any student who developed a leap, as, in his opinion, it was actually preventing the hip from driving through the pitch, thus taking power off of the pitch. These coaches would never excuse the leap by saying something along the lines of "everyone does it." You may want to consider looking for another coach to take your DD to if the one you are currently going to cannot, or will not fix this leap, which will become more and more of a problem the longer she is allowed to do it.
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Old Sat Mar 27, 2004, 10:45pm
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I've done 3 games on the bases this year and had 4 illegal pitches. The illegal pitches wewre all in college games - where you'd think they knew better. I know the first one knew better - banged her on the first pitch of the game and then a couple of innings later for stepping forward about 6 inches with the pivot foot. She adjusted immediately, but I am sure she went back to that when I was in B and C positions (not sure enough to call it, though). Yesterday's game had a pitcher who would double touch the ball & her glove with just about every pitch.

I could have called a hundred or more in today's high school game - but .... If her backside were the plate, this pitcher could not find the plate by reaching both hands behind her - maybe one of of six pitches were somewhere close to the plate. I think the score was 23-0 in the first when we suddenly started noticing runners leaving early and batters stepping on the plate when they hit the ball.
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Old Mon Mar 29, 2004, 08:55pm
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After calling multiple IP on a particular pitcher, there are other situations likely to follow:
1) Your partner or another umpire has the bases the next time and does not call the IP, making you look bad.
2) You see the same pitcher and call the IP, then you are accused of assuming illegal motions because of the earlier game, or that you are picking on that team because no one else calls them.
3) Another umpire tells a coach that you are known for calling IP when no one else does.
4) The pitcher’s coach is more likely to go off on some other call because he is irritated about the IP calls.
5) You don’t get a State Tournament game because the coaches vote.

Do you know a good positive solution for the downsides?

[Edited by CecilOne on Mar 30th, 2004 at 06:43 AM]
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Old Wed Mar 31, 2004, 12:13pm
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Question Any suggestions?

It looks like I will see the same team in 2 weeks, so either #2 or #1 probably will occur. Any suggestions?
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