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Old Mon Oct 25, 2004, 12:26pm
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Umpiring a 12-U tournament this past weekend. I'm the FU. Offensive coach is wanting me to call an IP on F1 stating that she is breaking contact with the rubber prior to pitching. From my vantage point, even though she lifted her heel, it looked like the ball of her foot was still in contact with the pitching plate. I tell the coach from my vantage point it doesn't appear she is breaking contact with the pitchers plate, that even though her heel is coming up, it looks like the ball of her foot is still in contact. When I went to sweep the pitcher's plate between inning, there's about 2 inches of dirt in front of the plate before the crater starts. It's obvious that if her heel comes up, there's very little chance of the ball the foot maintaining contact.

Here's my question: Now that you have seen this, do you start calling IP's?

Even after I saw the dirt(and from all three positions in the field) it still looked like she was maintaining contact. So I never called it for two reasons: 1) it looked like she was maintaining contact and 2) she definitely was not gaining an advantage because the other team was hitting her very well (4-0 after two innings and should have scored more except for two coaching errors that cost them some runs.)

Any thoughts?
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Old Mon Oct 25, 2004, 01:30pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by heyblue
Umpiring a 12-U tournament this past weekend. I'm the FU. Offensive coach is wanting me to call an IP on F1 stating that she is breaking contact with the rubber prior to pitching. From my vantage point, even though she lifted her heel, it looked like the ball of her foot was still in contact with the pitching plate. I tell the coach from my vantage point it doesn't appear she is breaking contact with the pitchers plate, that even though her heel is coming up, it looks like the ball of her foot is still in contact. When I went to sweep the pitcher's plate between inning, there's about 2 inches of dirt in front of the plate before the crater starts. It's obvious that if her heel comes up, there's very little chance of the ball the foot maintaining contact.

Here's my question: Now that you have seen this, do you start calling IP's?

Even after I saw the dirt(and from all three positions in the field) it still looked like she was maintaining contact. So I never called it for two reasons: 1) it looked like she was maintaining contact and 2) she definitely was not gaining an advantage because the other team was hitting her very well (4-0 after two innings and should have scored more except for two coaching errors that cost them some runs.)

Any thoughts?
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2) she definitely was not gaining an advantage because the other team was hitting her very well (4-0 after two innings and should have scored more except for two coaching errors that cost them some runs.)

Here we go again with, well, "she's not gaining an advantage."

That should not have anything to do with your judgement of the call.
If she was violating the legal process of a legal pitch, it is still
illegal. Call it as quickly has noted, you will be suprised how
many will immediately become legal. Most, especially in the older
ages, will do something illegal just because it is not called.
Younger ages need to be called so it does not become part of their
mechanics because they think it is legal if not called.

JMHO,




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Old Mon Oct 25, 2004, 02:01pm
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1). I'm the ONLY "FU"--hence the screen name.

2). If you see it, call it. If you don't see it, don't call it.

3). IP is a call that, once made, good pitchers won't do it again. They just do it because no one will call it.
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Old Mon Oct 25, 2004, 02:16pm
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I agree with the two previous posters on this situation. And like Glen was saying, get rid of that notion that "she was not gaining an advantage" until the rule book writers start including it as part of the rule on legal delivery.(Which will probably be never.)
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Old Mon Oct 25, 2004, 02:47pm
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1)My apologies to you FUBLUE, I only meant to say that I was the field ump.

2) The only reason I included the part about the gaining advantage is I have heard many times throughout my tenure from different umpires I have "trained" with, the notion of advantage...as in "if she's not gaining an advantage, don't call it". Now that I am working my way up into higher levels of ball (high school, jr. college, and eventually college) I find myself having to get rid of bad habits...one of those being the advantage vs non-advantage.

3) Like I said in my original post, from the first base line, between first and second and between third and short, it looked as if she never lost contact with the pitcher's plate even though upon closer inspection, she may have been. I say that now because out of the thousands of times I've watched it in my head since then, there was no clear indication, from where I was standing, that she ever lost contact. So I never called it.

Thanks for all those that replied!
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Old Mon Oct 25, 2004, 03:11pm
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The "crater" is usually made by the dragging toe and requires some impetus from the pushoff. If it starts only 2 inches from the plate, that means the pitcher's toe was withinh 2 inches of the plate. Unless she had very, very, very tiny feet; the middle and back of the foot must be ...
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Old Mon Oct 25, 2004, 03:56pm
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HEYBLUE

Rules makers determine "advantage" or "disavantage." Then they write a rule to offset it. For example, a rules committee determined that sidearm pitching would give the pitcher an unfair advantage over the batter. So they wrote a rule (wrist not further from the body than the elbow) for the umpires to enforce. If you call the rule, you have effectively prevented the pitcher from gaining an advantage.

You never use your own judgment as to whether or not a player is gaining an advantage, to determine whether or not you make a call. If it is a rule violation, call it. Period.

Good luck as you advance.

WMB

[Edited by WestMichBlue on Oct 25th, 2004 at 05:36 PM]
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Old Mon Oct 25, 2004, 04:44pm
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As FUBLUE so eliquently put it in item #2 if you see it call it and if you don't then don't. Now your point of seeing the hole infront of the rubber. This does not mean that you start calling an IP just for that, but IMO it does mean that you start focusing closer knowing that there is a hole infront of the plate so it is more difficult to stay in contact. But as FU said if you don't see it you shouldn't call it and if it still looks legal to you from your view point then IYO it is!
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Old Mon Oct 25, 2004, 06:25pm
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Unless the pitcher is off the pitcher's plate prior to taking the step with the non-pivot foot, she's good as long as there is a proper drag.

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Old Mon Oct 25, 2004, 09:54pm
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Similar situation with the "Drag Trench" about 3 feet long and from " to 8" deep, both coaches complaining that I should call IP. If the pitching plate were on level ground with out the "Drag Trench" both pitchers would be legal.

In this case I looked for the toe pointing down, the toe even where the ground would be had the Trench not existed, the foot not replanted and the foot maintaining contact with the pitching plate until the drag motion starts.

I feel at times we must use common sense and judgement, if the pitch was legal in the top of the first inning and in the 6th inning there is a trench (crater)and the pitching mechanics are the same as the first inning I am not going to call IP.
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