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Old Wed Mar 22, 2006, 11:57pm
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In the Box???

I called my first Adult games last night using the USSSA rules. Very different from ASA, Federation and PONY. I've made it a habit of calling Fast pitch only and thought I'd branch out this Spring.I had a pitcher that was trying all kinds of different things. I talked to my partner, who told me most of them were legal. I went home and looked up the situations and could not find the answer there for one of them, and found out he was wrong on several others. I'm starting to think, the rule is "If no one complains, let 'em go!"

1) I definitely found the rule that said no quick pitch.

2) The pitcher delivered a pitch while the batter had one foot in the box and was looking at his 3rd base coach. I declared no pitch and he almost went past my threshold of patience in less than 3 seconds. After talking to my partner in between innings, he told me that if one foot was in the batter's box, the pitch should be legal, whether the batter is ready or not. Several other umpires agreed. Now, I've looked under the pitcher regulations, batter regulations and the definitions section for batter's box. Nothing explains what is considered "in the box." Can someone help me on this? I just don't see letting a pitcher take advantage of someone who is getting prepared to take a pitch.
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Old Thu Mar 23, 2006, 12:29am
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Put your hand up; you control when the pitcher may pitch.
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Old Thu Mar 23, 2006, 12:46am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve
Put your hand up; you control when the pitcher may pitch.
I do this when I notice a batter taking instructions from 3rd base or he/she is looking over the field. I don't let the batter take their sweet a$$ time about it and I don't let it slow up the game but I give the batter the benifit of the doubt. Slow pitch softball is a hiiters game. I don't let the pitcher control the pace, that's what I'm there for. With one foot in the box (you can tell) the batter isn't ready and the pitcher must wait for me to give the signal to play ball. I don't let this happen after every pitch, only with a new batter. Even though they do chalk the box in women's SP here in Bismarck, the box usually isn't legal so I usually scuff out the wrong lines before the game.
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Old Thu Mar 23, 2006, 07:02am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDblue
I do this when I notice a batter taking instructions from 3rd base or he/she is looking over the field. I don't let the batter take their sweet a$$ time about it and I don't let it slow up the game but I give the batter the benifit of the doubt. Slow pitch softball is a hiiters game. I don't let the pitcher control the pace, that's what I'm there for. With one foot in the box (you can tell) the batter isn't ready and the pitcher must wait for me to give the signal to play ball. I don't let this happen after every pitch, only with a new batter. Even though they do chalk the box in women's SP here in Bismarck, the box usually isn't legal so I usually scuff out the wrong lines before the game.

Yeah, that was how I was stopping him. I always keep the hand up. But he was just trying me, I guess, to see how much I'd let him get away with. However, when several umpires tell me the batter is considered in the box, with only one foot, I like to know where in the rule book that is covered.
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Old Thu Mar 23, 2006, 08:57am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexBlue
Yeah, that was how I was stopping him. I always keep the hand up. But he was just trying me, I guess, to see how much I'd let him get away with. However, when several umpires tell me the batter is considered in the box, with only one foot, I like to know where in the rule book that is covered.
The answer is normally under batting infractions. Don't have any books handy, (in between living areas) but it should cover what is and isn't considered in out out of the box.
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Old Thu Mar 23, 2006, 10:07am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexBlue
Yeah, that was how I was stopping him. I always keep the hand up. But he was just trying me, I guess, to see how much I'd let him get away with. However, when several umpires tell me the batter is considered in the box, with only one foot, I like to know where in the rule book that is covered.
I don't call USSSA. But, I know of no softball (or baseball, even) sanction where a batter can legally hit a ball with one foot out of the box. If you can't legally hit the ball there, how can you be ready to hit?

Sounds like your local boys have their own local interpretation.
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Old Thu Mar 23, 2006, 11:18am
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I do not do USSSA ball, but the question intrigued me so I went to:
http://www.usssa.com/usssa/usssa-gen...SPRuleBook.pdf
and found the following three sections which may be helpful:


ILLEGALLY BATTED BALL is one Batted Fair or Foul by the Batter when either one or both of his feet are in contact with the ground COMPLETELY outside the lines of the Batter’s Box, or when his foot is in contact with Home Plate, or when the ball is batted with an Illegal Bat.

and

E. Once the Pitcher begins his delivery motions; the umpire shall not give a call or signal for “Time” unless something unusual occurs.
F. The pitched ball must be released within 5 seconds from the time the Pitcher has the ball and the batter has taken his position in the Batter’s Box.
From this point, the Umpire shall not give a call or signal for “Time” unless something unusual occurs.
G. Pitcher must face Home Plate on delivery of pitch.
(NOTE Sec. 4. A-E. Realizing that the Pitcher does not fool very many batters to the extent that they can not hit the ball, it is desired that Pitchers not be handicapped by technicalities, when they do develop a new technique or delivery that, perhaps, will add to the pleasure and appeal to the spectators, as long as the Pitcher adheres to the basic Pitching Rules.)

and

QUICK RETURN PITCH is a Pitch made by a Pitcher with the obvious attempt to catch the Batter off guard and balance. This could be when the Batter first takes his position in the Batter’s Box and before he is ready, or when the Batter is still off balance from the previous pitch.

Hope this helps!
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Last edited by MA Softball Ump; Thu Mar 23, 2006 at 11:21am.
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Old Thu Mar 23, 2006, 11:49am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MA Softball Ump
(NOTE Sec. 4. A-E. Realizing that the Pitcher does not fool very many batters to the extent that they can not hit the ball, it is desired that Pitchers not be handicapped by technicalities, when they do develop a new technique or delivery that, perhaps, will add to the pleasure and appeal to the spectators, as long as the Pitcher adheres to the basic Pitching Rules.)
Now there's a paragraph that I can imagine would liven up some games
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Old Thu Mar 23, 2006, 12:33pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA
Now there's a paragraph that I can imagine would liven up some games
I do a lot of Mens USSSA games and last year I had one pitcher that I called "The Circus" He would pump -reset- pump- reset and release. He would windmill his arm and the ball would come out on one of his passes (not a fast pitch). Then he did the craziest thing I had seen. Pitched a ball stepped behind the rubber catcher returned the pitch. He looks at the ball (batter still in box) then does a sommersault rolling so his feet are on the rubber pauses and pitches.

The batter was frozen for that pitch.

Fun stuff. Some of it does get a bit crazy sometimes.
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Old Thu Mar 23, 2006, 05:40pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MA Softball Ump
I do not do USSSA ball, but the question intrigued me so I went to:
http://www.usssa.com/usssa/usssa-gen...SPRuleBook.pdf
and found the following three sections which may be helpful:


ILLEGALLY BATTED BALL is one Batted Fair or Foul by the Batter when either one or both of his feet are in contact with the ground COMPLETELY outside the lines of the Batter’s Box, or when his foot is in contact with Home Plate, or when the ball is batted with an Illegal Bat.

and

E. Once the Pitcher begins his delivery motions; the umpire shall not give a call or signal for “Time” unless something unusual occurs.
F. The pitched ball must be released within 5 seconds from the time the Pitcher has the ball and the batter has taken his position in the Batter’s Box.
From this point, the Umpire shall not give a call or signal for “Time” unless something unusual occurs.
G. Pitcher must face Home Plate on delivery of pitch.
(NOTE Sec. 4. A-E. Realizing that the Pitcher does not fool very many batters to the extent that they can not hit the ball, it is desired that Pitchers not be handicapped by technicalities, when they do develop a new technique or delivery that, perhaps, will add to the pleasure and appeal to the spectators, as long as the Pitcher adheres to the basic Pitching Rules.)

and

QUICK RETURN PITCH is a Pitch made by a Pitcher with the obvious attempt to catch the Batter off guard and balance. This could be when the Batter first takes his position in the Batter’s Box and before he is ready, or when the Batter is still off balance from the previous pitch.

Hope this helps!
Yeah, I found all those sections. They don't cover it, exactly. What I'm looking for is something to either support the other umpires out there, or tell me they are wrong. USSSA's rule book is not quite as comprehensive as ASA, Federation or PONY's and this is one of those gray areas. At least so far. I've sent an email to Danny Malone, maybe he can help me.
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Old Thu Mar 23, 2006, 09:48pm
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This is why I stopped doing u-trip 10 years ago. They wanted to offer something different compared to ASA & I think its junk
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Old Mon Mar 27, 2006, 04:14pm
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When I do USSSA I follow this guide line. New batter stepping into the box, I'll hold the pitcher until the batter is ready. Batter continuing their at bat no time once the pitcher has the ball providing that the batter had no reason to vacate the box such as a foul ball, hit by pitch, or trying to avoid being hit by pitch. Once the batter is in the box and the pitcher has the ball and appears ready to start their circus act there is no time out. Why? I'll tell you why. Had a very good Utrip pitcher, swatting at bugs, between the legs, behind the back, faking the whole works. He asks me "What's the count?" I look down at my indicator just as in time to see the catcher catch the ball. Could have been a strike, but I was not looking (neither was the batter).

Bugg
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Old Tue Mar 28, 2006, 12:59am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuggBob
Why? I'll tell you why. Had a very good Utrip pitcher, swatting at bugs, between the legs, behind the back, faking the whole works. He asks me "What's the count?" I look down at my indicator just as in time to see the catcher catch the ball. Could have been a strike, but I was not looking (neither was the batter).

Bugg
I would then call "No Pitch". The pitcher distracted you by asking you the count and before letting you reply (99% of us would look at our indicator), he pitched the ball probably knowing you wouldn't be looking.
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Old Tue Mar 28, 2006, 12:49pm
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Cool Buddies are WRONG

A legal pitch cannot be made without the batter in the box. And in the batter's box means BOTH FEET COMPLETELY INSIDE THE (outside edge of the) LINES.

It truly is a safety issue. The batter is not allowed to hit the ball from locations with his feet outside the batter's box. If you have both the catcher and the batter chasing a wild pitch, someone is going to get hit with the swinging bat - THE BATTER MUST STAY IN THE BOX. That means he must start in the box and remain there.

If the pitcher is threatening to pitch when the batter is not ready, you should have your hand up telling him to hold-on (open palm directed at the pitcher). In a slow pitch game no biggee - this is a no pitch. In a fast pitch game, I'm going to warn the pitcher to pay attention and the second time it happens, I may toss him. In all cases, when your hand is up, it is a dead ball and no pitch can occur.

If the pitcher wants to throw a pissy fit on the first occurrence, toss him then. You control the game - not some pissy fit pitcher.
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