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Old Thu May 15, 2008, 11:52am
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At What Point Does A Pitch Begin?

From a game a couple of weeks ago where I was PU. V Team has pitcher who works very quickly. Right after receiving the throw from F2, she is immediately back on PP. 99% of the time she is waiting for the B to step in the box. Sometimes she stepped onto the PP with her hands together, sometimes she brings her hands together several times while on the PP. All of this happening without a batter ready to hit. Are these infractions if the ball is still live? During the game I called one IP for stepping onto the PP with the hands together, and one IP for bringing the hands together twice, both times when the B was set in the box. This was a Fed game but would like to know if ASA would be any different.
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Old Thu May 15, 2008, 12:49pm
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I don't think you are asking the right question. Illegal pitches can occur before a pitch begins; they occur at the time a pitcher violates the pitching rule (assuming the pitcher cannot and does not undo the violation by legally stepping off). As one example, a pitcher can violate by applying a foreign substance even during a dead ball.

At the same time, you (PU) can also effectively undo (or ignore) the first touches which may occur before the batter is set by holding your hand up to stop the pitcher. In that "no pitch" setting, you can safely ignore the technical violations that exist to protect the batter, since there is no batter. Remember, if the pitcher started pitching with your hand up, the result is "no pitch", so her motions or touches are either a "no pitch", or nothing. Once you drop your hand, the pitcher must then comply with the pitching rule, so a single touch is still appropriate, and required.

In the case of the pitcher stepping on with hands together, remember that the pitcher can still legally step back off before she separates.
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Old Thu May 15, 2008, 01:13pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve
In the case of the pitcher stepping on with hands together, remember that the pitcher can still legally step back off before she separates.
Steve look at the second and third sentence of NFHS Rule 6-1-2-b.

"Any step backwards shall begin before the hands come together. The step backwards may end before or after the hands come together."

NFHS Rule 6-1-2-a addresses the original question:

"The pitch starts when one hand is taken off the ball or the pitcher makes any motion that is part of the windup after the hands have been brought together."


ASA Rule 6-2:

The pitch starts when one hand is taken off the ball after the hands have been placed together."

Last edited by MGKBLUE; Thu May 15, 2008 at 01:17pm.
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Old Thu May 15, 2008, 01:22pm
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Steve,

In our local rules clinic we were taught that a pitcher stepping on the pitcher's plate with her hands together had committed an illegal pitch. If you follow the logic of rule 6.1, it is certainly a logical asumption if she were to continue the process because she would have to separate her hands to take or simulate taking the signal and then bring them back together to start the pitch. Or another way to think about it is that when she separates her hands, she began a pitch without taking a signal. Either way it's illegal.

But you brought up an interesting scenario I hadn't heard or considered- stepping on the pitcher's plate with her hands together and then stepping back off. That would nullify what we were taught in the clinic, that it's an automatic illegal pitch. After thinking about what you've posed, I have searched through the rules and cannot find anything to support the automatic illegal pitch logic. Do others teach that stepping on the plate with hands together is an automatic illegal pitch? Have you heard that before?

Glenn
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Old Thu May 15, 2008, 01:23pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGKBLUE
Steve look at the second and third sentence of NFHS Rule 6-1-2-b.

"Any step backwards shall begin before the hands come together. The step backwards may end before or after the hands come together."

NFHS Rule 6-1-2-a addresses the original question:

"The pitch starts when one hand is taken off the ball or the pitcher makes any motion that is part of the windup after the hands have been brought together."


ASA Rule 6-2:

The pitch starts when one hand is taken off the ball after the hands have been placed together."
Not the only time.
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Old Thu May 15, 2008, 01:27pm
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You misunderstand. The pitcher may legally step back off to stop the pitch which has not yet begun, thus eliminate the illegal pitch call. It is not illegal to step on the pitcher's plate with hand together if it is not followed by a pitch.

NFHS 6-1-1-f, ASA 6-8.
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Old Thu May 15, 2008, 02:27pm
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Preseason NFHS clinic instructions received at the Texas state meeting:

"If the pitcher steps on the pitcher's plate with the hands together, she can NEVER be legal."


Preseason ASA clinic instructions received at the Dallas meeting:

"If the pitcher steps on the pitcher's plate with the hands together, she can NEVER be legal."
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Old Thu May 15, 2008, 03:01pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntxblue
Preseason NFHS clinic instructions received at the Texas state meeting:

"If the pitcher steps on the pitcher's plate with the hands together, she can NEVER be legal."


Preseason ASA clinic instructions received at the Dallas meeting:

"If the pitcher steps on the pitcher's plate with the hands together, she can NEVER be legal."
I don't disagree; if the pitcher continues. She is, however, not yet illegal, as she has the legal option to step back off until she separates her hands (in ASA) or starts a motion that is part of her windup (in NFHS).
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Old Thu May 15, 2008, 03:21pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntxblue
Preseason NFHS clinic instructions received at the Texas state meeting:

"If the pitcher steps on the pitcher's plate with the hands together, she can NEVER be legal."


Preseason ASA clinic instructions received at the Dallas meeting:

"If the pitcher steps on the pitcher's plate with the hands together, she can NEVER be legal."
Hey! I was at both of those meetings. Did I see you there? (Heck, that was several months ago.)
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Old Thu May 15, 2008, 05:06pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve
I don't disagree; if the pitcher continues. She is, however, not yet illegal, as she has the legal option to step back off until she separates her hands (in ASA) or starts a motion that is part of her windup (in NFHS).
Steve,

Walt stressed the NEVER part . . . even if she backed off of the pitcher's plate.



Scott,

Yes, we were at the same meetings, just different sessions. We literally bumped into each other in the hall! Looking forward to seeing you in Austin for the championships. Hope we get to work together.


Gary
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Old Thu May 15, 2008, 08:32pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntxblue
Steve,

Walt stressed the NEVER part . . . even if she backed off of the pitcher's plate.
Speaking ASA

I cannot find anything which forbids the pitcher from stepping on the plate with the hands together, nor anything stating they cannot back off the PP.
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Old Sat May 17, 2008, 10:19am
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In ASA, rules 6-1-D, 6-2, and 6-3-A in combination make the double touch illegal, and stepping on the plate with the hands together is one "touch." However, in ASA, the action does not become illegal until she separates the hands for the signals, at which point she has separated the hands and did not immediatly pitch the ball OR until she does NOT separate the hands for the signals.

NFHS, by contrast, specifically says the pitcher must step onto the plate with the hands separated (6-1-1-a), so once this happens, the pitch is illegal.

So, in ASA, the pitcher has the option of stepping back off the plate before the pitch becomes illegal; in NFHS, she does not.
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