Illegal pitch?

Discussion in 'General Softball Discussions' started by backstop09, May 17, 2018.

  1. backstop09

    backstop09 Member

    Illegal? Talked with someone that was there and it wasn't called one time in a District game yesterday.

  2. First2Third

    First2Third Member

  3. manitoudan

    manitoudan Active Member

    Most ump's I've complained to say something like " as long as its not blatant I'm not calling it " and in this case her foot is slightly off the ground .. but at real speed I bet thats hard to even see . Would like to see live close up video to see how bad it is . Not saying its right , just most wont call something unless its blatant .
    daboss and GeneralsDad like this.
  4. FastBat

    FastBat Well-Known Member

    Just tell them it is blatant. Look at the drag line, it's that simple. The drag line will have a big un-dragged, no marked space.

    Is it possible she isn't getting any noticeable "advantage" pitching like this? That's my least favorite excuse from an ump.
  5. City Slicker

    City Slicker Active Member

    Definitely frustrating for sure. Two times we've played a league game and the pitcher literally lifted her back foot (leaped) 4-6" on 95% of her pitches. In the first game, there was only one umpire so there was nothing that could be done. In the second game, there were two umpires. We asked about it in the first & second innings and the umpire's response each time was "she's throwing a good game."

    I am not saying that it would've made a difference in the outcome of the game at all. We got smashed both games. I just don't know why this was not called on her? Why are the umpires choosing which rules to enforce?

    On a side note, in the 3rd inning, the plate ump came to me and said that "it's illegal to have the bat weight in the on-deck circle." I said "so is leaping off of the rubber on every pitch."
    Pacerdad57, tschromm3 and nwbackstop like this.
  6. sammy

    sammy New Member

    The upside is that most college coaches can see this (especially D1), and "probably" won't entertain recruitment/scholarship offers. This WILL get called in the D1 college game.
    Best advice I can give is don't get too concerned about it - EVEN though it's illegal. Just teach your kids to hit! The only real advantage for the average high school illegal leaping pitcher is maybe a little more speed.

    IMO, there's often too much focus on what the other team's players are doing wrong, and not enough focus on improving your own team's skills.

    If your daughter has any college hopes, she'll need to focus on faster pitching anyway... so consider this "leaping pitcher" a gift to help your daughter "practice" hitting faster pitching in a game situation.

    The old Lemons to Lemonade theory...
  7. JoeA1010

    JoeA1010 Active Member

    Illegal pitches will occasionally get called in a D2 college game, but not often. They'll usually call it once or twice during a game and then just let it go. From the D1 games I've seen, it's not much different. The sport is giving umpires too much to watch and I think most of them simply refuse. Between illegal pitches, timing on taking signals and making the pitch, runners leaving early, and now at the college level trying to determine if any part of a foot is outside of the batter's box, it has made the umpires' job impossible. You can't watch 2-3 things at the same time and also concentrate on making a ball-strike or safe-out call.

    I'm at the point where I think we should go to the men's rule where pretty much anything is legal for pitchers. And then emphasize calling runners leaving early. If every runner who left early was called, there would be very few stolen bases at the college level. Pretty much every team that steals bases has its runners leaving early. Ninety percent of umpires will never call it unless it is 3-4 steps early.
    Mad Hornet, daboss and Ron like this.
  8. sammy

    sammy New Member

    Joe - Leaving base early is definitely rampant in the college game. I have many pics with DD pitching where a runner on first was a FULL STRIDE off the bag before DD's arm had even reached her hip on the downswing. The most blatant "no calls" were against certain legacy coaches known for lots of stolen bases... Yep the players are taught a technique that tends to mask their advantage (foot behind bag, etc.).

    So yes, I agree. But I think changing two rules would help: 1. Only require one foot on the rubber at the pitch start (but still no step-back), and 2. allow leaping. Since both these require the first base umpire's attention, they could better focus on a base runner. Make the rule changes, then make a "point of emphasis" on calling the leaving early violation. IMO, the no-calls are because the ump is so focused on the pitcher throughout her entire motion - and those astute cheating coaches know that!

    Neither of these pitching changes provide much benefit for pitchers with poor mechanics, but for pitchers who REALLY work on technique, these changes could tend to again swing the game back to a more pitcher dominated game. However, hitting has made HUGE strides in recent years (the pitcher masks in the college game proves that).

    I'm all for creating an environment where you either work hard and improve your game, or you go home early.
  9. Mark1951mazak

    Mark1951mazak New Member

    So how’d the district pitching go this year? Is there a follow up ?
  10. daboss

    daboss Well-Known Member

    Bretman is the one that really should respond to this thread. I don't know how this thread started a year ago and I missed it but since I see it now I'd like to share my thoughts at the moment.

    I attended a clinic a few years ago that was run for umpires to help them with their understanding of the rules and a host of other issues. It was very informative and run to educate umpires how to do their job better which included calling the strike zone more consistently and understanding the legal mechanics of the windmill pitch. Those in attendance really were interested and hung on every word. Great follow up questions were asked afterwards. This very topic was hashed out in great detail with some of the final words mirroring what manitoudan shared above. It is difficult to see from home plate or from a single base umpire, especially if they are watching a baserunner at the same time. There are factors that fuel them to be "reasonable" in making illegal pitch calls that others may not consider. While I agree that written rules should be enforced, perhaps the rule books should be printed in both black and gray ink with the understanding of what that represents. The entire section for pitchers would be in gray. lol.

    Point of interest; at that time umpires were being instructed to rely on common sense to judge rule violations. The toe pointing downward was to be considered an effort to remain in contact with the ground and air between the toe and ground could be the result of a hole established at the front side of the pitching plate/rubber. I think if you consider it, that would be reasonable in nature. Most true leapers have a motion with their footwork that'll draw the toe upwards into a flattening or upwards plane because the body will be pre-loading to push off again once it lands. Think in terms of a kid "skipping" and I think you'll understand what I'm getting at. Because of this, they normally let a downward pointing toe go as within the limits of the rule. Not how the rule is worded-------but understood.

    Remember, the game is for the kids to play. Umpires were instructed to not make the game out to be about them. The best umpires you'll ever encounter are the ones you don't notice being there.

    I agree with JoeA about the rules for pitchers. There are too many things to watch. If umpires get caught up in the game trying to keep pitchers within the black limits of the rules, the game would no longer be about the kids. We could pick every pitcher to pieces at any age group in any game. If your daughter is a pitcher, I'd bet a $100 dollars that within the limits of a 7-inning game she would be in violation of the rules more than once. All we can do is try and teach the proper way to pitch. What happens to her when she gets in a game and her coach and spectators start yelling to throw harder you're going to see the human body react to the commands.

    If the infraction is blatant we have to believe the umpires will eventually call it. If you are one of those screaming from the sidelines she's illegal just to get under her skin and in her head to gain an advantage, you should be ashamed of yourself. Put the blue shirt on and go call it yourself. We need more umpires anyway.
    Mark1951mazak likes this.
  11. First2Third

    First2Third Member

    The replant/crowhop is the absolute easiest call in the game to make for a base/field umpire. All you have to do is look at the back knee. If it re-flexes and points anywhere behind the line from 1b to 3b, it's illegal. Period. This was a point of emphasis a couple years ago. All the soft stuff about advantage, or it's too hard to see, or let the kids decide it is absolute GARBAGE.
    Mark1951mazak and City Slicker like this.
  12. DLamb

    DLamb Member

    As a parent that likes to sit close to fence/dugout areas...if I see illegal pitches and runners leaving early..I might call it to the attention of blue...they might acknowledge and look at the next time or not...I talk to blue respectfully and they generally are cool with it. Between innings gab about what ever and make them feel welcomed and always thank them for good game at end, regardless of the outcome of the game. Blues like some love too.
  13. Mad Hornet

    Mad Hornet Active Member

    Enforcement of illegal pitches has always been a joke. I'm in agreement about abolishing the ticky-tack rules and letting anything go. And the picture that started this thread doesn't even look bad. She's not gaining an advantage doing this, your team just needs to hit. I know pitchers who will make a little dirt hill on the first base side of the pitching lane while "digging out the hole" so umpires standing over by first base can't see daylight under their toe. Can't do that on turf!
    Mark1951mazak likes this.

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