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USSSA 8U Coach Pitch Tight Bases Question

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So here is the question, USSSA Rules for 8U Coach Pitch (Rule 8.16 in USSSA Rule Book). States:
"Runners shall not lead-off or steal bases. A runner is out for leaving the base before the ball is hit or reaches home plate."

This rule does not make any mention of whether or not this is a dead ball situation, or how to hand the subsequent play once the pitch is made. Is this a dead ball out? Do you let the play progress and declare the runner out once the play has stopped? (keep in mind that in USSSA Coach Pitch the Umpire declares the ball dead after every play once the ball is on the infield in control of a defensive player and runners have stopped advancing). 

I actually had this call tonight. I had an 8U player that from everything I could tell knew exactly what he was doing. He was about 18 inches off of first base, whenever his 1st base coach would glance at him he would slide is foot back towards the bag to appear like he was on the bag and as soon as the coach put his attention back to the batter he would pull it back and be about 18 inches from 1st base. The pitching coach pitched the ball while the runner was off the base, I can see this all clearly as the home plate umpire. Anyway, once the ball was pitched and subsequently batted I tossed my hat towards first base as an indicator of the violation as I had nothing else to toss that direction. I allowed the play to continue and the batter/runner was thrown out at first. A runner from 3rd base had crossed home plate. This all occurred with one out already on the inning.

My ruling on the field was, The runner at first base that was off the bag was out for being off the bag (2nd out of the inning). And then the batter/runner was out for the put out at 1st from the short stop to the first baseman. I ruled that being the 2nd out was the runner off base, and the third being the batter/runner at 1st that the run also did not count (same as like a double play).

Did I get this right? Being that the USSSA rules do not state that it is a dead ball violation. 

 

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Can't really help you with the rules (though I'd say how you handled it is pretty good) but I will say I find the hat tossing really strange. Is that covered in the rules or training anywhere? In baseball we don't use markets like in football. I'd say leave the hat on your head (and for the love of all things holy, leave the brim forward), and if anything, make a verbal declaration and a point.

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As with @biscuit, I am unaware of utrip rules and agree with NOT throwing your hat.  You are not a side judge in football, declaring a player out of bounds.  I've heard of this, but this was years ago from what many would consider to be "Smittys" (and not the brand).  Yes, they're a little steep at 11 bucks, but I'm thinking you could use a shop rag at this level. 

https://www.ump-attire.com/Baseball-Umpire-Equipment/Bags-Tools/Running-Flags/?page=1&perpage=28&cat=147&orderby=price

As much as I have invested in my equipment, I'm never intentionally throwing on the ground to get dirty, let alone give "lil' Johnny" every opportunity to step on it (I know I would as a kid).

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3 hours ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

As with @biscuit, I am unaware of utrip rules and agree with NOT throwing your hat.  You are not a side judge in football, declaring a player out of bounds.  I've heard of this, but this was years ago from what many would consider to be "Smittys" (and not the brand).  Yes, they're a little steep at 11 bucks, but I'm thinking you could use a shop rag at this level. 

https://www.ump-attire.com/Baseball-Umpire-Equipment/Bags-Tools/Running-Flags/?page=1&perpage=28&cat=147&orderby=price

As much as I have invested in my equipment, I'm never intentionally throwing on the ground to get dirty, let alone give "lil' Johnny" every opportunity to step on it (I know I would as a kid).

My question is, what advantage does throwing something have? Why is a verbal, and maybe point, like you would in a live ball balk not enough?

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I think that your answer could be in rule 8.20. It seems the USSSA wants to tightly control what happens in the Coach Pitch division. If you see the runner off his base before the pitch is even on its way, I would kill it and call out the runner.

8.20 Umpires shall call “Time” after every play and declare the ball dead. “Time” shall be called as soon as the all runners are not attempting to advance. “Time” does not have to be called by the defense for the purpose of this rule.

Rule 8.20 Comment: When a runner stands off a base and “jukes” or “feints” back and forth, this is to be interpreted as “not attempting to advance” and “Time” shall be called.

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2 minutes ago, Biscuit said:

My question is, what advantage does throwing something have? Why is a verbal, and maybe point, like you would in a live ball balk not enough?

Normally, I would not throw anything. In this particular game, I was the sole umpire as my partner had called in sick just prior to game start time. I tossed  my hat simply because with noise and ensuing pandemonium on the field, I wanted something to indicate that I had a violation of some sorts indicating as it happened and not to come as a surprise at the end of the play. Our fields in our town, the fences are on the smaller fields are very close to the action so parent noise gets LOUD. With two base coaches yelling, and usually no less than two "defensive" coaches yelling from their own dugout at times even yelling at the top of my lungs that I have TIME does not get heard. I just wanted a visual indication at the time of the infraction. It served it's purpose, at the end of the play both coaches from each side wanted to know why I had thrown my hat. Usually with my partner, we tend to be able to hear each other over din of the noise. However, without a partner I needed to indicate the infraction at the time of infraction as to not seem to "spring" it on the offensive coach at the end of the play.

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I THINK it would be a dead ball out.

I know in all the softball rule sets, where all lead offs are outs,  even at 8U and in LL, it is.  I see no reason why, considering the rules do have the lead off as an out, this wouldn't be the same, even if it is baseball.

LL baseball is different because the runner isn't out, and you need to know what happened to the batter before placing runners.

 

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1 minute ago, Senor Azul said:

I think that your answer could be in rule 8.20. It seems the USSSA wants to tightly control what happens in the Coach Pitch division. If you see the runner off his base before the pitch is even on its way, I would kill it and call out the runner.

8.20 Umpires shall call “Time” after every play and declare the ball dead. “Time” shall be called as soon as the all runners are not attempting to advance. “Time” does not have to be called by the defense for the purpose of this rule.

Rule 8.20 Comment: When a runner stands off a base and “jukes” or “feints” back and forth, this is to be interpreted as “not attempting to advance” and “Time” shall be called.

I took this as meaning as when ending the previous play. As once TIME is called, yes the play is dead. However once the pitcher steps back into the circle with the ball and has been indicated to resume pitching then it is live again. Since the rule 8.16 states that the runner can not be off the bag until the ball either crosses the plate or is hit, it is not an infraction until the pitching coach actually pitches the ball. Just how I had interpreted the ruling.

Is it me? or do the rules seem a little vague and ambiguous? 

I mean some rules are directly and cleaning defined, such as 
8.08 The defensive player listed as pitcher shall not leave the pitching circle until the ball is hit.

Rule 8.08 Penalty: The play continues. After the play has ended, the offensive team has the option of taking the result of the play or no-pitch.

Rule 8.08 Additional Penalty: First Offense: Warning; Second Offense: Removal of player from the pitching position for the remainder of the game.

 

This rule is cleanly defined and how to assess a penalty if the violation occurs. This is also part of why I felt I got that call right. As it did not state to call it dead and assess the out. 

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12 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

I THINK it would be a dead ball out.

I know in all the softball rule sets, where all lead offs are outs,  even at 8U and in LL, it is.  I see no reason why, considering the rules do have the lead off as an out, this wouldn't be the same, even if it is baseball.

LL baseball is different because the runner isn't out, and you need to know what happened to the batter before placing runners.

 

You are correct, the USSSA Girls Fastpitch Softball rules for Coach Pitch state, 

10. A runner may not leave a base until the pitch:

a. (Travel ball) leaves the pitcher’s hand/pitching machine.

b. (Rec/All-Stars) reaches home plate. PENALTY: The ball is dead, a “no pitch” is declared, and the runner is declared out.

A runner who leaves a base on a pitch is at liability to be put out, even on a non-batted ball. She may return to her original base (unless forced to advance because the batter becomes a batter-runner), or she may attempt to advance to a subsequent base. However, if the ball is not batted, at the conclusion of a play involving a non-batted ball (i.e; an attempted pickoff), all outs stand, but any runners not put out must return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.

 

My thought is that if the Girls Softball rule states the penalty is a dead ball, but baseball does not is why I believe it to not be a dead ball. Since the rules come from the same organization. 

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3 minutes ago, rusnew2 said:

My thought is that if the Girls Softball rule states the penalty is a dead ball, but baseball does not is why I believe it to not be a dead ball. Since the rules come from the same organization. 

That is an interesting omission.  

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40 minutes ago, Biscuit said:

My question is, what advantage does throwing something have? Why is a verbal, and maybe point, like you would in a live ball balk not enough?

In LL "dropping a runner violation flag" is referenced.  Easier to keep clean than your hat.

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Just now, Aging_Arbiter said:

In LL "dropping a runner violation flag" is referenced.  Easier to keep clean than your hat.

Hmm... Interesting. I still feel like a verbal should be enough, and if the coaches don't hear it, that's on them. But when in Rome (or under Rome's rules)...

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1 minute ago, beerguy55 said:

That is an interesting omission.  

Yea, that's what I thought also. Which is why I brought the question here to see if anyone else had ever encountered it. 

Keep in mind, that the ruling I made on the field was not questioned by either coach. Even the offending teams coach just took it and then started getting onto his first base coach for not paying attention to the runners (his words not mine " Your Job is to manage the Runner's, 3rd base coach job is to coach the batter!")

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wait a sec.............. @Biscuit is quick on the draw today with responses.  Didn't the introduction posted indicate @Biscuit was a high school Junior?

SHOULDN'T YOU BE IN SCHOOL?!?

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Just now, Aging_Arbiter said:

wait a sec.............. @Biscuit is quick on the draw today with responses.  Didn't the introduction posted indicate @Biscuit was a high school Junior?

SHOULDN'T YOU BE IN SCHOOL?!?

I'm home schooled. Time of day doesn't matter :HD:

I do have my math up in another tab though.

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6 minutes ago, Biscuit said:

Hmm... Interesting. I still feel like a verbal should be enough, and if the coaches don't hear it, that's on them. But when in Rome (or under Rome's rules)...

Yea, again. I did not have a rag or "marker" and normally a verbal queue to my partner or a signal would have sufficed, but I was alone as my partner called in just before the start of the game. So I used what I had on hand (or head rather).

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12 minutes ago, Biscuit said:

I'm home schooled. Time of day doesn't matter :HD:

I do have my math up in another tab though.

Rock on @Biscuit :rock

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57 minutes ago, rusnew2 said:

Is it me? or do the rules seem a little vague and ambiguous?

It's just you.  There are no rules in any code (or in any sport) that are less-than-100% clear.

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1 hour ago, rusnew2 said:

Yea, again. I did not have a rag or "marker" and normally a verbal queue to my partner or a signal would have sufficed, but I was alone as my partner called in just before the start of the game. So I used what I had on hand (or head rather).

I do fail to see how you and your partner hearing each other matters in whether or not the coaches hear you. I'd assume you would have the exact same issue with the OP no matter the number of umpires (well, I guess at some point you'd outnumber the snot-filled flower-pickers, but that's beside the point).

We have this same issue on big-boy diamonds, too. You try your hardest to make yourself heard, but the only thing you can do call it loud and obviously when it happens, then wait for the game to relax and make it obvious you had something and complete the appropriate actions for what you have.

If this is truly an issue on multiple occasions, you should speak to the league about giving you a flag or something that you can use.

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12 hours ago, Biscuit said:

Hmm... Interesting. I still feel like a verbal should be enough, and if the coaches don't hear it, that's on them. But when in Rome (or under Rome's rules)...

It can get loud and people can miss a verbal. Having the flag on the ground lets everyone know - everyone - players, coaches, mom, dad, uncle bill, loudmouth lout on OF fence.  Also shows that it wasn't an afterthought.

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21 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

It can get loud and people can miss a verbal. Having the flag on the ground lets everyone know - everyone - players, coaches, mom, dad, uncle bill, loudmouth lout on OF fence.  Also shows that it wasn't an afterthought.

Also, at this level too many verbals lead to too much confusion. 

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8 hours ago, Rich Ives said:

It can get loud and people can miss a verbal. Having the flag on the ground lets everyone know - everyone - players, coaches, mom, dad, uncle bill, loudmouth lout on OF fence.  Also shows that it wasn't an afterthought.

I get that, I just don't really see how it's different from, say, a live ball balk. It gets loud and people can miss it then too. That's not the umpires fault.

I'm not saying it's wrong to throw a flag, just we don't do that for anything else. The one thing I can think of, is the guys usually working these levels are generally going to be a little less experienced, so the "shows it's not an after thought" thing could be really helpful for them when the coach blows up. 

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1 hour ago, Biscuit said:

I get that, I just don't really see how it's different from, say, a live ball balk. It gets loud and people can miss it then too. That's not the umpires fault.

I'm not saying it's wrong to throw a flag, just we don't do that for anything else. The one thing I can think of, is the guys usually working these levels are generally going to be a little less experienced, so the "shows it's not an after thought" thing could be really helpful for them when the coach blows up. 

There are no balks at the LL level that has tight bases.

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6 minutes ago, Rich Ives said:

There are no balks at the LL level that has tight bases.

I'm just talking in general terms, how we call a balk. It's not to hard to imagine a scenario where coaches or whoever doesn't hear you call the balk, and I feel it'd be white similar. I could be wrong though, because I haven't been in that situation with tight bases.

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