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JonnyCat

LL Omission/Loophole?

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Little League rules for Intermediate, Juniors, and Seniors baseball.

Just had a question e-mailed to me from a LL umpire and he had a question about LL's pitching requirements from the set position. He pointed out to me that in 8.01(a), in the windup position a pitcher must pitch "without interruption or alteration." Straight forward, we all know what that means.

However, he pointed out to me that this vebiage is NOT in Rule 8.01(b), pitching from the set position, in the LL rulebook. He is correct, it is not. He had a game in which a pitcher was doing a start/stop from the set position and the manager argued that it was legal under LL rules because of this omission.

I can't find anything that specifically prohibits this in the LL rulebook and was looking for some guidance or an approved LL ruling. Would it be legal because of this omission?

Interesting situation. Thoughts?

 

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You are right—there is no such language in rule 8.01(b). But there is an interpretation in the 2018 Little League Casebook--

RULE 8.05(a) SITUATION:  With runners on first base and second base, in a Junior Division game, the pitcher who is in the “Set” position starts his delivery. He pauses his motion to readjust his feet.

RULING:  This is a balk. Once the pitcher begins his motion toward home, he must complete the action in one continuous motion. (NOTE:  At the Little League Major division, this is an illegal pitch and the batter would receive a ball on his count provided there are runners on base.)

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I don’t have my LL books anymore, but aren’t the balks under 8.05? I think the first one is the start/stop balk.

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4 hours ago, grayhawk said:

I don’t have my LL books anymore, but aren’t the balks under 8.05? I think the first one is the start/stop balk.

8.05(a) the pitcher, while touching the plate, makes any motion naturally associated with the pitch and fails to make such delivery. 

Thanks, the WUM interps say that start/stop is included under 8.05(a). Missed that, I was focused on the specific wording.

Thanks again, Steve!

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4 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

You are right—there is no such language in rule 8.01(b). But there is an interpretation in the 2018 Little League Casebook--

RULE 8.05(a) SITUATION:  With runners on first base and second base, in a Junior Division game, the pitcher who is in the “Set” position starts his delivery. He pauses his motion to readjust his feet.

RULING:  This is a balk. Once the pitcher begins his motion toward home, he must complete the action in one continuous motion. (NOTE:  At the Little League Major division, this is an illegal pitch and the batter would receive a ball on his count provided there are runners on base.)

Thank you, Senor! That's a great reference. I appreciate it!

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Isn't it also implicit in Rule 8.01(b) that a LL pitcher may only do one of three things from the set position: "From such Set Position the pitcher may deliver the ball to the batter, throw to a base or step backward off the pitcher’s plate with the pivot foot." A second stop, pause or "set" is not one of the permitted acts. Expressio unius est exclusio alterius: the listing of items justifies the inference that items not mentioned were intentionally excluded. 

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A strict reading of the verbiage in Rule 8.01(b) states that the pitcher comes "to A complete stop." (emphasis mine).  Therefore, only one stop is allowed, which is the set position.  Any other stoppage during the delivery of the pitch would be another stop, and therefore, illegal.

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