Is there a written rule on how long a pitcher can take to pitch?

Discussion in 'The Umpires Life and Rulings' started by Rerun, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. Rerun

    Rerun Super Moderator Staff Member

    I was wondering is there a written rule in any sanctioning body that requires a pitcher to pitch within a certain amount of time?
  2. BretMan2

    BretMan2 TSZ/OFC Umpire in Chief

    Yes. I think that all rule sets have a time limit. For USA softball and high school ball, the rule is that the pitcher has 20 seconds to release the next pitch, either after receiving the ball or after the umpire declares “play ball”.

    20 seconds can seem like an eternity when you’re just standing there watching a pitcher standing there! I know that when a pitcher is taking forever, and I start counting in my head, rarely do I ever get past 15 seconds before the pitch is thrown. And yet, I’ve had coaches complain that such a pitcher is taking too long. I think that I’ve only called a pitcher for a 20 second violation once in all my years.
  3. flygirlsdad

    flygirlsdad Active Member

    NCAA the pitcher has to be on the pitchers plate in 10 seconds. Then has 10 seconds to bring hands together to pitch.
  4. Denver Roach

    Denver Roach Member

    No time limit until the release?
    What’s to prevent holding hands together for an extended period of time?
  5. daboss

    daboss Well-Known Member

    BretMan2 can correct me if I'm wrong but to my knowledge in most sanctions the pitcher has 10 seconds to deliver the ball after her hands come together and a total of 20 seconds overall from having received the ball. While I've never seen it be an issue, I have witnessed pitchers using some of the time to throw the batter off by holding the ball and remain motionless when bringing the hands together. To my knowledge, once the hands separate and the motion of the pitch begins the pitcher cannot purposely stop the motion. She needs to complete the pitch. No "do overs" is my point.

    What I really would like to know from BretMan2 is; if a pitcher brings her hands together and stands there like a statue, can the batter call for and be granted "time out"????
  6. flygirlsdad

    flygirlsdad Active Member

    NCAA has 5 seconds to release once hands come together. I believe ASA has 10 seconds once on the pitchers plate.
  7. AllenE1976

    AllenE1976 New Member

    I would like an answer to the opposite of this. What is the rule for how long a pitcher must stand on the mound prior to starting their pitch, after bringing their hands together? We had an ump call 18 illegal pitches last night over the course of the game because the pitchers weren’t waiting long enough after bringing their hands together. Pretty evenly called between the 2 teams. Thanks!
  8. yocoach

    yocoach Super Moderator Staff Member

    Pitchers are not aloud to step on the plate and immediately go into the start of their pitch. This is to avoid a quick pitch or a walk through pitch. The sequence of a pitch should be, pitcher steps to the plate, roughly a 2 second or so pause to receive or simulate receiving the pitch signal, hands come together and pitcher begins the pitch. That said, there isn't a clearly defined time limit for it that I know of and it's up to the umpire's judgement.
    Passion4theGame likes this.
  9. AllenE1976

    AllenE1976 New Member

    All the pitchers would pause after stepping on the rubber with their hands apart. They would then bring them together and start the pitch. If they didn’t pause after bringing their hands together he would call an illegal pitch.
  10. yocoach

    yocoach Super Moderator Staff Member

    That was the part about simulating taking the pitch call you discounted in my post. You need a few seconds for them to accept the pitch call while on the rubber.
  11. AllenE1976

    AllenE1976 New Member

    I didn’t discount it. I just explained that all the pitchers did this simulation (or actually took the sign) after taking the mound but prior to bringing their hands together. Our AD sent videos of the pitchers to the regional Umpiring authority and they agreed that the ump was wrong in his interpretation of the rule and have discussed it with him. So at least it won’t continue forward in future games.
    daboss and yocoach like this.

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