Simulated Taking a Sign on the Pitching Plate?

Discussion in 'The Umpires Life and Rulings' started by Tallmadge Force Gold, Mar 28, 2021.

  1. Tallmadge Force Gold

    Tallmadge Force Gold Active Member

    Can someone tell me the different rules for a simulated taking a sign on the pitching plate for softball.

    Today, I was told this was a college only rule. Just wanted confirmation whether any or all the sanctioning bodies have or don't have this rule.


    Basically, pitcher takes the sign behind the pitcher's plate, steps directly on the pitcher's plate, and starts her motion almost immediately.
  2. BretMan2

    BretMan2 TSZ/OFC Umpire in Chief

    I can speak definitively for the sanctions I work, USA softball and NFHS/high school ball. This is probably the same for most sanctions, but consult your rule book.

    That's not a "college only" rule. Once the pitcher engages the rubber, she must have her hands separated and must either take, or simulate taking a signal for the catcher. In effect, she must pause before starting the pitch. This rule is designed to stop exactly what you described- stepping into the pitching plate and immediately pitching, to catch the batter off balance.

    Failure to take this required pause/signal results in an illegal pitch. For all the complaints I hear about pitchers leaping or crow hopping, failure to take/simulate taking a signal is by far the most common pitching violation I see.

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