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Old Sun Jul 08, 2012, 06:22pm
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Glove: Legal or Illegal?

I am posting this on both the Baseball and Softball Forums because it is a situation that can happen in both baseball and fastpitch softball, and would like opinions per NFHS, NCAA, OBR/MLB, ASA, and USSSA. I will try to describe the situation as best I can; I just wish I had a picture of the glove because it would be worth a thousand words.

Point of Information: I assume that everybody know what a plastic zip tie is because that is the central issue of this thread. Picture the free end of the zip tie pushed throught the female end thereby completing the tie. The free end is then cut off about 1/8th of an inch past the female end of the zip tie. I think that everybody knows that as designed the zip tie is quite flexible, when it is cut so close the the locking portion of the zip tie, the edges of the tie are quite sharp.

Yesterday after MTD, Jr.'s and my last game in an ASA girls' fastpitch tournament I noticed that one of the player's gloves, rather than using leather laces to keep the glove's fingers to together, she used three zip ties instead. The female ends of the zip ties were on the outside of the glove's fingers and the male end of the zip tie was cut off about 1/8 of an inch past the female part of the zip tie.

My question is: Is this glove legal? And is it safe? The outside of the glove's fingers is the side of the glove that tags the runner about 99.999,999% of the time and if it came in contact with a runner's arm or face in a sweeping motion the sharp edges of the plastic could scratch or cut the runner.

What say you everybody?

MTD, Sr.
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Old Sun Jul 08, 2012, 07:48pm
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Speaking ASA

Don't understand why this would even be questioned. Somebody must be looking for an excuse for something.

Other than color and size, there are no restrictions on a glove or mitt.
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Old Sun Jul 08, 2012, 11:12pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
Speaking ASA

Don't understand why this would even be questioned. Somebody must be looking for an excuse for something.

Other than color and size, there are no restrictions on a glove or mitt.
Agree. Rule 3.4 doesn't specify that the glove/mitt must be made of leather and bound with leather. Thus, plastic gloves are OK. (ugh!)

Rhetorical question: would you allow the glove/mitt if it was bound with bailing wire? 3.5.F Warning: The game of softball involves certain risk, including but not limited to death, [etc.] No problem there, fair warning given.

How about this?: 3.7 Note: The characteristics of any approved equipment cannot be unnaturally changed. The drawback is that we won't find any gloves/mitts on an approved equipment list.
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Old Mon Jul 09, 2012, 06:31am
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Originally Posted by Crabby_Bob View Post
Agree. Rule 3.4 doesn't specify that the glove/mitt must be made of leather and bound with leather. Thus, plastic gloves are OK. (ugh!)

Rhetorical question: would you allow the glove/mitt if it was bound with bailing wire? 3.5.F Warning: The game of softball involves certain risk, including but not limited to death, [etc.] No problem there, fair warning given.

How about this?: 3.7 Note: The characteristics of any approved equipment cannot be unnaturally changed. The drawback is that we won't find any gloves/mitts on an approved equipment list.
You don't need a list to spell out every approved item for you.

If an umpire disallows the glove and justifies it by saying that he believes it poses an unnecessary new and unanticipated safety risk, the team has the opportunity to protest. How would you handle it has the UIC on the field? Deny the protest based on safety or uphold it against umpire discretion?
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Old Mon Jul 09, 2012, 06:35am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crabby_Bob View Post
Agree. Rule 3.4 doesn't specify that the glove/mitt must be made of leather and bound with leather. Thus, plastic gloves are OK. (ugh!)

Rhetorical question: would you allow the glove/mitt if it was bound with bailing wire? 3.5.F Warning: The game of softball involves certain risk, including but not limited to death, [etc.] No problem there, fair warning given.

How about this?: 3.7 Note: The characteristics of any approved equipment cannot be unnaturally changed. The drawback is that we won't find any gloves/mitts on an approved equipment list.
Okay, I was addressing the plastic ties and only the plastic ties. But I still would not make a wholesale decision without actually holding the glove.

Even then, on what basis would I have in disallowing the glove? And I'm sure you are going to be informed this glove has been allowed in hundreds of games.

Considering the whipping action or just the distance of the protrusion, should players be required to trim the long extra pieces of leather lacing from the glove?

Let's talk about comparable situations. Should we ban sliding feet first on tags plays? After all the metal or poly spikes can be quite sharp.

All that said, yeah, if I thought the glove was a danger, I would probably have a discussion with the coach to see if s/he can adjust the glove to eliminate any safety issue there may be.
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Old Thu Jun 06, 2013, 12:48pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
Okay, I was addressing the plastic ties and only the plastic ties. But I still would not make a wholesale decision without actually holding the glove.

Even then, on what basis would I have in disallowing the glove? And I'm sure you are going to be informed this glove has been allowed in hundreds of games.

Considering the whipping action or just the distance of the protrusion, should players be required to trim the long extra pieces of leather lacing from the glove?

Let's talk about comparable situations. Should we ban sliding feet first on tags plays? After all the metal or poly spikes can be quite sharp.

All that said, yeah, if I thought the glove was a danger, I would probably have a discussion with the coach to see if s/he can adjust the glove to eliminate any safety issue there may be.
May be an old post, but yesterday...I had a player use a glove with the leather laces extending about 12 inches on all fingers like tentacles. Other than looking ridiculous I was wondering IF it posed a safety risk that needed my attention or not? Any thoughts?
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Old Thu Jun 06, 2013, 01:22pm
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Originally Posted by Robmoz View Post
May be an old post, but yesterday...I had a player use a glove with the leather laces extending about 12 inches on all fingers like tentacles. Other than looking ridiculous I was wondering IF it posed a safety risk that needed my attention or not? Any thoughts?
The ONLY issue I've ever heard when it comes to long leather laces is that they may pose a distraction when the pitcher has them. And that was in a LL Baseball game in my son's old local league, and it was done by a coach who looked for any excuse to get under the opposing team's skin.

As for it being a safety issue, I don't see how that's really a problem.

I suppose one could argue that 12-inch-long laces could give the defense an advantage when it came to tagging a runner. If on a swipe tag the fielder contacted the runner only with the laces while the ball was in the glove, would that be a legal tag? We do say a tag of a runner's ponytail constitutes a legal tag; how about when it comes to the glove? Hmmmmm...
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Old Thu Jun 06, 2013, 03:53pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
I suppose one could argue that 12-inch-long laces could give the defense an advantage when it came to tagging a runner. If on a swipe tag the fielder contacted the runner only with the laces while the ball was in the glove, would that be a legal tag? ..
Are the laces part of the glove or merely an attachment?
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Old Fri Jun 07, 2013, 07:18am
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Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
Are the laces part of the glove or merely an attachment?
If they're being used to hold the glove together, they're part of it. I view attachments as items that serve no useful purpose, such as a lucky rabbit's foot or a dreamcatcher.

That said, are there any restrictions to attachments on gloves in the rules? I know that in LL, there is a restriction to attachments of "foreign material" to the pitcher's glove, where "foreign material" entails any item not attached by the manufacturer. No such restriction exists for other fielders.

I don't recall ever seeing anything similar in ASA, FED, or NCAA. The latter has something close under rule 3.7.2, where it says, "The use of any treatment or device that fundamentally changes the specifications of gloves is prohibited and renders the equipment altered and unsuitable for play." I wouldn't consider extra-long laces as a "device" that changes the glove's specs.
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Old Fri Jun 07, 2013, 07:59am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
I suppose one could argue that 12-inch-long laces could give the defense an advantage when it came to tagging a runner. If on a swipe tag the fielder contacted the runner only with the laces while the ball was in the glove, would that be a legal tag? We do say a tag of a runner's ponytail constitutes a legal tag; how about when it comes to the glove? Hmmmmm...
If the extra-long laces are considered part of the glove for purposes of a tag, have we not violated the rules regarding the size of the glove?
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Old Fri Jun 07, 2013, 08:13am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark T. DeNucci, Sr. View Post
Picture the free end of the zip tie pushed through the female end thereby completing the tie. The free end is then cut off about 1/8th of an inch past the female end of the zip tie. I think that everybody knows that as designed the zip tie is quite flexible, when it is cut so close the the locking portion of the zip tie, the edges of the tie are quite sharp.

Yesterday after MTD, Jr.'s and my last game in an ASA girls' fastpitch tournament I noticed that one of the player's gloves, rather than using leather laces to keep the glove's fingers to together, she used three zip ties instead. The female ends of the zip ties were on the outside of the glove's fingers and the male end of the zip tie was cut off about 1/8 of an inch past the female part of the zip tie.

My question is: Is this glove legal? And is it safe? The outside of the glove's fingers is the side of the glove that tags the runner about 99.999,999% of the time and if it came in contact with a runner's arm or face in a sweeping motion the sharp edges of the plastic could scratch or cut the runner.

What say you everybody?

MTD, Sr.
I've worked with and around these plastic tie-wraps for 20 years, and I can tell you that a 1/8-inch tail is very sharp and can be quite dangerous. I have seen arm wounds that require stitches. In my field, these injuries are caused when someone reaches into an equipment cabinet and is cut by the extended tail. I shudder to think what might happen from a swipe tag against bare skin.

The glove may be legal, but if I were to see it, I would ask for the tie-wraps to be flush cut before I would allow it to be used.
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Old Fri Jun 07, 2013, 08:25am
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Sometimes, you gotta umpire. We're out there to protect the integrity of the game and the safety of the participants. I would have no problem with an umpire who deems this glove dangerous and bans it from the game. In fact, I just might be one of those umpires. If I can avoid being dragged into court, I will. If the team protests and the UIC gets involved, so be it. Then it's on him/her and not me.
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Old Fri Jun 07, 2013, 09:45am
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Originally Posted by Jake26 View Post
If the extra-long laces are considered part of the glove for purposes of a tag, have we not violated the rules regarding the size of the glove?
I hate to answer a question with a question, but if that were to be the case, wouldn't the rules specify a maximum length for the laces?

IMO, glove sizes are solely for the purpose of providing a specification that limits the catching ability of the wearer on the field. If there was also a concern to limit the tagging ability, then the catcher's glove/mitt would also be limited.

That said, good luck actually seeing a fielder tag a runner with the glove's laces.
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Old Fri Jun 07, 2013, 10:17am
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FED baseball (and I'm sure softball also, although I don't have the rulebook handy) has a rule to the effect of "any equipment the umpire judges as unreasonably dangerous is illegal".

I'm guessing ASA has a similar provision, but I'm not an ASA guy.

If the cable ties on the glove are sharp enough to potentially injure a player, that glove isn't going to be used in my game.
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Old Sat Jun 08, 2013, 10:16am
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Speaking ASA

Note, that my comments were base on general knowledge and I did state that if I thought they were dangerous, the glove probably would be removed from the game.

BUT ONLY ON THE POINT THAT IT WAS DANGEROUS TO ANOTHER PLAYER. Turn the zip tie around to where the connection was on the inside of the glove, and I have nothing.

For those who want to disallow the glove because it is being held together with plastic instead of leather, you have nothing to back it up other than made up rules. That isn't your job.

Those of you who are looking for reasons to declare a safety issue (i.e., long leather strands), you are picking nits and you probably agreed that Ralphie shouldn't get a bb gun for Christmas. Again, your job is to umpire the game, not be the police.

Do I think it is smart to have long strands of leather whipping around? No, but at what length do you draw the line? You know, leather isn't always soft and snipped edges of tanned hide can be sharp, especially some of cheap gloves on the market today. Maybe we need to start measuring the lace ends and checking them for rigid edges to make sure no one will ever be injured on a tag. And yes, I am being facetious, but it scares me how many umpires think it is THEIR game on THEIR field and it will be played by THEIR rules.
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