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Terrible Game - Illegal Pitches

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Had a terrible game tonight and looking for some help.

I'm in my 3rd year and still lack some confidence with calling illegal pitches. Had this team 2 weeks ago and I watched and studied this pitcher and was all but sure she was leaping when delivering. Did some more research in the interim and was 100% convinced that every time she throws it is illegal.

Had conversation with my partner before tonight's game. He has far more experience than me and I told him the situation. He advised and I concurred that we not make it an issue unless and until other team saw it. It didn't take long.

While dusting the pitcher's plate between innings I told the pitcher that she had to make an adjustment. No change. I went to head coach between innings and told him that she had to make an adjustment and he concurred that she was illegal pitching. No change next inning and so I started calling illegal pitches. Of course, the whole place game unglued with all the usual remarks and complaints.

I know I probably should have called every pitch the rest of the night "illegal" but I didn't have the guts to just keep calling it knowing that I would just get more and more grief. Of course, I got grief from the offended team for not calling it.

I'm mad at my colleagues that it has come to this point in the season and I'm apparently the first one to be in this position. I'm mad at the coach for not coaching his pitcher better and for not taking her out of the game. But, of course, I realize that it was my situation to deal with and I'm sure I didn't handle it well.

Couldn't eat any dinner tonight for the knot in my stomach.

Any advice on how I could have dealt with this differently will be appreciated.

 

Nic

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This is why I won't touch softball with a 10 foot pole. Sorry that I don't have any helpful advice to offer.

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You are assuming that no one else has called her on it for what reason?  The coach told you that no one has called it?  Never believe a coach on such a thing.

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If you are sure that you are calling it proper, then it is up to the team/coach/player to get it right or do something else.

Call it every time it happens, especially after you have told them she is delivering improperly and what you see her doing.

You are not helping the pitcher get it right by not calling it and actually putting the offense at a disadvantage by not calling this every time she does it.

@Panther32 there are just as many things to watch in baseball with balks and illegal pitches. What would your advice be to a baseball umpire that can't seem to get the player or coach of a team to deal with a player that won't stop balking on every pitch? This should be the same advice here.

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42 minutes ago, dookiexman said:

If you are sure that you are calling it proper, then it is up to the team/coach/player to get it right or do something else.

Call it every time it happens, especially after you have told them she is delivering improperly and what you see her doing.

You are not helping the pitcher get it right by not calling it and actually putting the offense at a disadvantage by not calling this every time she does it.

@Panther32 there are just as many things to watch in baseball with balks and illegal pitches. What would your advice be to a baseball umpire that can't seem to get the player or coach of a team to deal with a player that won't stop balking on every pitch? This should be the same advice here.

I feel like balks are officiated fairly well at the high school level. Softball on the other hand isn't. And quite frankly, I don't think there's too many umpires who know the illegal pitch rule very well which is probably why it's not called too often.

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Be your own ump. Don't worry about what other umps have done or not done previously in ruling illegal pitches for this team or any others. If you don't let it start, you don't have to stop it.

SJA

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Cat Osterman of UT pitched illegally (leaping) for her entire career.

BUT occasionally got called.

The umps that did call here got less games

Watch a video of her.

 

 

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5 hours ago, BigUmpire said:

Cat Osterman of UT pitched illegally (leaping) for her entire career.

BUT occasionally got called.

The umps that did call here got less games

Watch a video of her.

If I absolutely must watch Cat Osterman, @BigUmpire, at least it's tempered by the appeal to seeing Cat's catcher, Megan Willis, once again. Hmm. Sigh.
102208.jpg

For softball pitch analysis, though, I'm going to favor watching the delivery and mound circle presence of Taryne Mowatt. You paparazzi hounds can have your Jenny Finch, I'm fine with Taryne.

 ncaa_i_mowatt_inline_300.jpg

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I'd rather you call every illegal pitch in May than wait until July/August.   The experience I've had the past several years is you go through the entire season of league and or tournaments, even through regionals, and then suddenly at Nationals, or some big invitational tournament, the umpires suddenly start calling something the pitchers have been doing all season....and now they have to figure out how to change their mechanics for the final week of the season.   

Yes, the coaches need to be better, but keep in mind a lot of them are volunteers who aren't even clear on all the pitching rules, and don't have pitching coaches.  And if no ump has told them they're breaking the rules they have no opportunity to correct it.

You are right that your colleagues need to be more consistent, but the response to the coach is simple "just because you've got away with it all year doesn't make it right".

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