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Guest Eastside Coach

Chant

Question

Not doing much coaching, but managing a field. I have been seeing this situation a lot of late, and I wanted umpire opinion and what you do when confronted with it: 

Pitcher is on the mound, batting team is making it's usual noise "Do a job. Let's go. C'mon kid." There is a runner on 1st. On each pitch, the offensive team is screaming going on the delivery. Also, I have seen teams screaming just animal noises on delivery after the pitcher's set. Or chanting balk all the way from the time the pitcher receives the ball to the time he delivers. I don't even have skin in the game and I find it annoying as hell. I've had some ump allow it. And I've had just a couple umps that say one the pitcher comes set it has to stop. 

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Shut it down. "Coach, chanting needs to be positive, and for your own team members only." Make him responsible for it, and for failure to curb it should that occur.

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This is from FED, but I'd apply it at (almost) all levels:

SITUATION 12: The visiting team has developed an orchestrated team action to cheer on a teammate to get a rally going. The action consists of a rhythmic series of hand claps and foot stomps. RULING: As long as the action is within the spirit of fair play, and not intended to induce a balk, create a distraction for the opposing team or intimidate/demean them, this action is acceptable. There have been some instances where a team, for example, begins to pound bats in the dugout only when the opposing pitcher begins to deliver a pitch. That action is clearly intended to gain an advantage and is not to be allowed. (3-3-1)

 

NCAA also has a rule against an "orchestrated cheer" or some such wording.

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Here’s the rule that will take care of the offense chanting balk:

OBR rule 6.04 (4.06) Unsportsmanlike Conduct

(a) No manager, player, substitute, coach, trainer or batboy shall at any time, whether from the bench, the coach’s box or on the playing field, or elsewhere;

(3) Call “Time,” or employ any other word or phrase or commit any act while the ball is alive and in play for the obvious purpose of trying to make the pitcher commit a balk.

 

Both NCAA and Fed agree.

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NCAA rule 5-17 Verbal Abuse (Bench Jockeying)

SECTION 17. Game personnel shall not use language that will, in any manner, refer to or reflect negatively upon opposing players, coaches, umpires or spectators. Any orchestrated activities by dugout personnel designed to distract, intimidate, or disconcert the opposing team or reflect poor sportsmanship shall not be allowed.

PENALTY—The umpire shall warn the offending individual and the coach one time. If the verbal abuse continues after the warning, the offender shall be ejected. If the verbal abuse continues after the first ejection, the head coach shall be ejected along with any other offending personnel.

Note An individual ejected for bench jockeying shall not be suspended unless it is unsportsmanlike in nature.

 

Federation Official Interpretation: Hopkins:  A team has developed an orchestrated team action to cheer on a teammate to get a rally going. As long as the action is within the spirit of fair play and not intended to induce a balk, create a distraction for the other team, or intimidate/demean them, the action is legal. EXCEPT:  A team may not pound bats in the dugout when a pitcher begins to deliver. That is obviously intended to gain an advantage and will not be permitted. (Website 2014 #12) (also 3-3-1g, 3-3-1g Pen, and 3.3.1g, h, I, and j)

 

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The rules are the rules and should be enforced. However I offer this caveat. 

My son pitched against a team that beat an empty barrel cooler with a bat while chanting in Spanish. It was quite the racket. It was done from receipt of the ball from F2 to delivery of the pitch. My son loved it and it fired him up. He pitched his best game of the season.  I would suggest let the noise play out until the opposing team complains. One man's distraction is another's motivation. 

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39 minutes ago, Guest Nick said:

I would suggest let the noise play out until the opposing team complains. One man's distraction is another's motivation. 

As an umpire, we really want to stop this before it gets going anywhere. By the time someone complains, they're already annoyd and players have already been talking among themselves. Plus, it's good to show that we're on top of this kind of thing as a good game management practice. It's good that your son found motivation and was able to turn an adversity into something positive. But that's not what anyone is banking on happening when one team taunts the other like this.

When this kind of this happens, I'll say to the coach, "Nothing to, at, or about the other team. And their timing matters."

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6 hours ago, noumpere said:

NCAA also has a rule against an "orchestrated cheer" or some such wording.

Bench Jockeying. 

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My son's team is playing in a big USSSA tournament in Gulf Shores this week and we faced a team yesterday that did this, except it was mostly led by the coaches.  I think utrip is OBR based. Does that mean that it there is no specific rules against this for this tournament?  It might have annoyed the parents more than the players or coaches.  I don't think that our coaches ever made a complaint about it.  

This was also a team that had 5 coaches outside of the dugout for the entire game.

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8 hours ago, The Flush said:

This was also a team that had 5 coaches outside of the dugout for the entire game.

Well whose fault is that?

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5 hours ago, VolUmp said:

Well whose fault is that?

Ontario's

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