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Old Thu Jan 12, 2012, 10:35am
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IP or not?

This question seems to rear its ugly head from time to time, and recently has been the source of much debate in Texas.

You can use either ASA or NFHS rules:

Pitcher leans over, wipes her hand in the dirt, and then goes directly to the ball. From there, she goes through the required steps and delivers the ball to the batter. Legal pitch?
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Old Thu Jan 12, 2012, 10:41am
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I would have to go search for the ASA clarification, but a year or so ago they issued a clarification that a pitcher putting dirt on the hand was not considered to be a foreign substance. But, they could not put dirt into their glove, or rub dirt directly onto the ball. Per ASA, legal pitch.
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Old Thu Jan 12, 2012, 10:54am
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Was actually 2 years agol

Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA)
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Old Thu Jan 12, 2012, 11:37am
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very legal (provided she does not have a handful of dirt still in her hand when she grabs the ball)

Last edited by okla21fan; Thu Jan 12, 2012 at 11:40am.
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Old Thu Jan 12, 2012, 03:32pm
Tex Tex is offline
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A few years ago I sent an e-mail to the NFHS rules interpreter for Texas and asked the following four questions. At the end are his answers.


" Foreign Substance Concerns

A. The defensive player (1st baseman) uses resin to dry her hands but does not wipe her hands off prior to the pitcher’s delivery of the pitch to the batter. Naturally the batter hits the ball to the 1st baseman. Is this an illegal pitch?

B. The pitcher uses resin to dry her hands but does not wipe her hands off prior to contact with the ball, prior to delivery of the pitch. The coach’s excuse is that the purpose of the resin is to dry the hands, why wipe the hands off on a wet uniform?

C. The pitcher or any other defensive player takes the new ball and rubs into the ground to remove the gloss from the ball. This was done while waiting for the next batter. Does this constitute an illegal pitch?

D. The pitcher or any other defensive player takes the ground dirt into her hand / glove and rubs the dirt onto the new ball to remove the gloss from the ball. This was done while waiting for the next batter. Does this constitute an illegal pitch?

ANSWERS:
A. No
B. Do not read something into the rule. She can put it on her hands under the supervision of an umpire. Rule doesn't say she has to wipe her hands.
C. No. Take the ball and rub it yourself or give them another ball. The rule covers putting something onto the ball.
D. Yes, because the dirt was rubbed onto the ball. "
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Old Sat Jan 14, 2012, 01:08am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tex View Post
A few years ago I sent an e-mail to the NFHS rules interpreter for Texas and asked the following four questions. At the end are his answers.


" Foreign Substance Concerns

A. The defensive player (1st baseman) uses resin to dry her hands but does not wipe her hands off prior to the pitcher’s delivery of the pitch to the batter. Naturally the batter hits the ball to the 1st baseman. Is this an illegal pitch?

B. The pitcher uses resin to dry her hands but does not wipe her hands off prior to contact with the ball, prior to delivery of the pitch. The coach’s excuse is that the purpose of the resin is to dry the hands, why wipe the hands off on a wet uniform?

C. The pitcher or any other defensive player takes the new ball and rubs into the ground to remove the gloss from the ball. This was done while waiting for the next batter. Does this constitute an illegal pitch?

D. The pitcher or any other defensive player takes the ground dirt into her hand / glove and rubs the dirt onto the new ball to remove the gloss from the ball. This was done while waiting for the next batter. Does this constitute an illegal pitch?

ANSWERS:
A. No
B. Do not read something into the rule. She can put it on her hands under the supervision of an umpire. Rule doesn't say she has to wipe her hands.
C. No. Take the ball and rub it yourself or give them another ball. The rule covers putting something onto the ball.
D. Yes, because the dirt was rubbed onto the ball. "
Not a coincidence, that individual is also the a member of the ASA National Umpire Staff. I have a great deal of personal regard and respect for WS, whom I consider a good friend.

As to both A and B, no rule in ANY softball rule book I have ever read EVER (other than NCAA, rule redefined by coaches' understandings of rules myths) has required a pitcher to wipe ANYTHING other than after going to the mouth. Always has been a myth, never any rules support.

C is technically an illegal pitch, as the pitcher is also defacing the ball, as well as applying a new substance. That said, it is a better practice to manage your game as has been suggested, while directing the pitcher that this is illegal. Then, you should enforce the illegal pitch only if repeated.

I am hard pressed to understand why D should be treated differently that C; in fact, it probably violates less (just applying the substance, not defacing) than C. I belive good game management would be identical.

Bottom line, the dirt applied affects the surface, which has to be considered as defacing. I don't believe we can or should address only the limited focus of "is dirt a foreign substance" without also considering other rulres that equally apply. Changing the surface equals defacing, IMO.
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