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Pitcher taking sign off the rubber

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NF Rule 6-1-1 clearly states the pitcher shall take his sign from the catcher with his pivot foot in contact with the pitcher's plate.

By interpreatation and practice I would issue a warning and of course if the pitcher persists an ejection would be warranted.

Now my question is there any case book or official written interpretation for me to stand on.

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I suppose each part of the country is different, but I would encourage you to not pick that big of a booger unless it's either extremely egregious (such as the pitcher taking his signs while in contact with 2nd base) or the opposing coach is complaining about it. If the other coach is complaining, I usually respond with, "Like your kid did last inning?"

Use common sense and fair play unless your supervisors insist on calling it.

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I totally agree. Unless blatant I would most likely just tell the pitcher " you need to take your signs while on the rubber". My guess is

that is all that would be required. My question was more of a technical one - warning v balk. No illegal pitch unless he then steps on and

quick pitches. I can honestly say I've never personally encountered the issue.

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Absolutely agree don't touch this one.

As an umpire I don't know what he's getting from anywhere. The intent is to prevent a quick pitch so as long as there is no quick pitch I'm fine.

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To me, the next question is the big thing: "The pitching regulations begin when he intentionally contacts the pitcher’s plate."

You can't penalize a pitcher for simply standing off the rubber and taking signs, whether from the catcher, manager, or second baseman. Exception: If the pitcher breaks 7-1-5, it's a balk. This, however, doesn't include standing off the mound and taking signs.

I'm willing to bet this rule is one of the most misunderstood in the rules book. I wish FED would reword it, add case plays to show their intention of the rule, and/or make it clear through their preseason guides and interpretations.

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While I agree with the leave it alone approach, I am almost certain that the last NFHS baseball publication that our assigner handed out had a balk on this play in their case play section. This 8-10 page publication was the one with the POE's, some case plays, etc. I looked all over the house last night and couldnt find it so I can't verfiy 100% that it was in there. Anyone have a copy they can check?

Also, what if a coach is giving signs to the pitcher ----1. off the rubber 2. on the rubber?

I dont have anything on either but have seen other umpires tell a coach saying he cant give the pitcher signs, only the catcher can.

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While I agree with the leave it alone approach, I am almost certain that the last NFHS baseball publication that our assigner handed out had a balk on this play in their case play section. This 8-10 page publication was the one with the POE's, some case plays, etc. I looked all over the house last night and couldnt find it so I can't verfiy 100% that it was in there. Anyone have a copy they can check?

Also, what if a coach is giving signs to the pitcher ----1. off the rubber 2. on the rubber?

I dont have anything on either but have seen other umpires tell a coach saying he cant give the pitcher signs, only the catcher can.

I think you're talking about the NFHS Preseason Guide. I looked at the 2011 and 2012 versions and there is no reference to taking signs off the rubber.

I agree with the others that this rule is in place to prevent a quick pitch, so most guys ignore it unless the pitcher quick pitches.

Regarding the coaches giving the signs, I haven't seen anything in the FED rules which disallow this action and it's a common practice.

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Also, what if a coach is giving signs to the pitcher ----1. off the rubber 2. on the rubber?

Nothing on both.

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Pops you were right it was the Preseason Guide and it's not in there. I finally figured out where I saw it referenced. It was in my 2011 BRD page 273.

I wish this rule was better stated in all rule sets.

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I totally agree. Unless blatant I would most likely just tell the pitcher " you need to take your signs while on the rubber". My guess is

that is all that would be required. My question was more of a technical one - warning v balk. No illegal pitch unless he then steps on and

quick pitches. I can honestly say I've never personally encountered the issue.

Say something to your catcher. He can take care of it for you.

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Also, what if a coach is giving signs to the pitcher ----1. off the rubber 2. on the rubber?

I dont have anything on either but have seen other umpires tell a coach saying he cant give the pitcher signs, only the catcher can.

This is one of those things that you just leave alone. It is nothing. Just prevent the quick pitch.

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Also, what if a coach is giving signs to the pitcher ----1. off the rubber 2. on the rubber?

I dont have anything on either but have seen other umpires tell a coach saying he cant give the pitcher signs, only the catcher can.

This is one of those things that you just leave alone. It is nothing. Just prevent the quick pitch.

Agreed, if the opposing catcher is complaining, tell your catcher not to give him signs unless he is on the rubber. I am not going to balk a pitcher for this, no rule support.

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I totally agree. Unless blatant I would most likely just tell the pitcher " you need to take your signs while on the rubber". My guess is

that is all that would be required. My question was more of a technical one - warning v balk. No illegal pitch unless he then steps on and

quick pitches. I can honestly say I've never personally encountered the issue.

Say something to your catcher. He can take care of it for you.

Ding Ding...We have a winner

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I wish FED would reword it,

And others too.

Would this work:

"The pitcher shall be in contact with the pitcher's plate when taking pitching signs from the catcher."

Recognize that at least with a runner on 1B and a SB possibility there pretty much has to be a sign because the middle infierlders use it tio determine base coverage. They also use the info at other times to "cheat" in the direction they think the ball will most likel;y be hit.

Ayy coach giving signs directly to the pitcher is clueless. They should should should be relayed through the catcher - unless you like the cross-up efffect.

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I think maybe it should read "To prevent quick pitching the batter, after engaging the pitcher's plate the pitcher must take his signs or simulate taking signs from the catcher"

My younger son's coach will sometimes give a sign to the pitcher for a pick off move to second while the pitcher is on the rubber. An umpire got all jacked up about it one time and said he couldnt do it. "Only the catcher can give him signs!" ugh

I

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NF Rule 6-1-1 clearly states the pitcher shall take his sign from the catcher with his pivot foot in contact with the pitcher's plate.

By interpreatation and practice I would issue a warning and of course if the pitcher persists an ejection would be warranted.

Now my question is there any case book or official written interpretation for me to stand on.

You have quoted Rule 6-1-1 correctly.

However, I don't understand you saying, "By interpreatation and practice I would issue a warning and of course if the pitcher persists an ejection would be warranted." That is not the penalty. This falls into the category of an illegal pitch.

The penalty for violating Rule 6-1-1, 6-1-2 and 6-1-3 is "The ball is dead immediately when an illegal pitch occurs. If there is no runner, a ball is awarded the batter. If there is a runner, such illegal act is a balk. In both situations, the umpire signals dead ball."

Either call it or don't, but enforce the correct penalty.

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Ask him where it says the coach can't give signals.

The rule book doesn't say the coach can't give signals.

It does say, "He (the pitcher) shall take his sign from the catcher..."

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OK, by a strict reading of 6-1-1 it is a ball/balk. The problem is they changed when the pitching restrictions started years ago and didn't completely fix the rule. Pitching restrictions used to begin when the pitcher recieved his sign from the catcher. However, the umpire couldn't always tell when that was so they changed it to be when the pitcher intentionally toed the rubber.

I assure you, they do not want a ball or balk called for this infraction.

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Ask him where it says the coach can't give signals.

The rule book doesn't say the coach can't give signals.

It does say, "He (the pitcher) shall take his sign from the catcher..."

Does it say he can only take it from the catcher? He can get a sign from the catcher, coach or dad in the stands.

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How about, "After engaging the rubber, the pitcher shall take signs from the catcher. Note: This rule does not prevent the pitcher from taking signs from other participants of the game, or from taking signs from the catcher at other times. The rule is intended to prevent a quick pitch from the pitcher after engaging the rubber."

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Huh...I don't disagree with any of the reasoning above at all, but I guess this is about as definitive as could be, at least in regards to the FED stance on this. My oldest is going through initial certification class right now, and I was looking through his "2012 High School Baseball Rules: Simplified & Illustrated". On pg 107, in the Rule 6 chapter, they have this exact situation. I can't scan it since it's copyrighted, but they have a PlayPic with a pitcher off the rubber by a couple feet but in the normal set stance. The Playpic next to it is a catcher giving signs. The text is as follows:

"6-1-1 The pitcher shown here is committing a violation by taking his signs from in front of the rubber. Pitchers are required to take their signs from the catcher with his pivot foot in contact with the pitcher's plate".

So I guess NFHS really doesn't want there to be any discretion or judgment here.

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"6-1-1 The pitcher shown here is committing a violation by taking his signs from in front of the rubber. Pitchers are required to take their signs from the catcher with his pivot foot in contact with the pitcher's plate".

So I guess NFHS really doesn't want there to be any discretion or judgment here.

The difference here is that the pitcher is simulating a portion of their pitching requirements (taking their signs) while off the rubber.

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So what do you do when there's a meeting at the mound (players) and they decide on the pitch. Then they don't give a sign. (Happens often in MLB.)

Taking a sign is NOT a requirement. Being engaged when taking a sign fromn the catcher is, but there's no actual requirement that a sign be given.

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