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Charged trip to the mound?

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Guest MAR

I'm coming in to the bench area from coaching 1st base after the 3rd out. Our right fielder cuts across the mound (does not pick up the ball) and asks me a question as I'm walking in to bench. I stop to answer his question, I'm not on the mound but about 5 feet in front of it. Pitcher isn't even on field yet and catcher is walking to his area. Home plate umpire charges me with a visit to the mound. How is this considered a trip? 

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Guest MAR

Can someone point me to a official rule? Honestly not looking for a argument with him, just looking to educate myself in case this happens again. We usually see the same group of umpires for our area.

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NFHS 2018 (Baseball)

Rule 2 Playing Terms and Definitions

SECTION 10 CONFERENCES

ART. 1 . . . A charged conference is a meeting which involves the coach or his non-playing representative and a player or players of the team. Defensive (3-4-1); Offensive (3-4-2).

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Rule 3 Substituting–Coaching–Bench and Field Conduct–Charged Conferences

SECTION 4 CHARGED CONFERENCES

ART. 1 . . . Each team, when on defense, may be granted not more than three charged conferences during a seven-inning game, without penalty, to permit coaches or their non-playing representatives to confer with a defensive player or players. In an extra inning game, each team shall be permitted one charged conference each inning while on defense without penalty. The number of charged conferences permitted is not cumulative. A request for time for this purpose shall be made by a coach, player, substitute or an attendant. Time granted for an obviously incapacitated player shall not constitute a charged conference. Prior to accumulating three charged conferences in seven innings or less, a conference is not charged if the pitcher is removed as pitcher.

ART. 3 . . . A defensive charged conference is concluded when the coach or non-playing representative crosses the foul line if the conference was in fair territory. If the conference was in foul territory, the conference concludes when the coach or non-playing representative initially starts to return to the dugout/ bench area.

ART. 5 . . . When either team has a charged conference, the other team may also have a conference, which is not charged, provided the conference concludes when the opposing team’s charged conference concludes, so that the game is not further delayed.

 

In your scenario, as it was presented, I agree it is not a charged conference.  (I removed the offensive conference rule references above.)

The tangential question at hand seems to be “can an umpire charge a conference if the coach didn’t request it?”  The answer is yes.

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would the easiest "layman" explanation be that if it disrupts/interrupts the flow of the game, that would be a charged conference?  (in this instance)

Just trying to clarify in the event a guest doesn't speak baseball terms,.

 

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Funny you should say that, because that is exactly what I would say.  In fact, I started to type that ... but after my “base line” debacle I decided to go straight book.  :D

 

Example: (Softball) After the third out of the inning, the third base coach would walk over to the circle, pick up the ball, and start “manicuring the mound”.  He would take his time and wouldn’t give the ball to the pitcher until he was done.  He would talk to the pitcher the whole time.  In the third inning, I gave the defense their allotted 60 seconds.  Then I walked out and asked the coach if he wanted to use a defensive conference.  Of course his reply was “Why would I?”  “Because you’ve gone over your 60 seconds.  I’m supposed to give the batter a ball, but I’m offering you the chance to use a conference instead.  Either way, your pitcher gets no warm up pitches.”

He was pissy.  He was even more pissy when I didn’t ask the next inning and advised him he was being charged with a conference that time.  He also didn’t cause any more delays in future innings (or games).

He was on the field.  He was coaching his pitcher.  He was causing a delay in the game.  Conference.

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1 hour ago, The Man in Blue said:

Rule 2 Playing Terms and Definitions

SECTION 10 CONFERENCES

ART. 1 . . . A charged conference is a meeting which involves the coach or his non-playing representative and a player or players of the team. Defensive (3-4-1); Offensive (3-4-2).

This doesn't really answer the OP's question, and if one were to take this literally, one would conclude that the scenario in the OP was a conference...or any time a coach has a pep talk with his players outside the dugout between innings.  Since we know that is wrong there must be clarity somewhere else.

 

Having said that - I would argue that between the third out of an inning, and the ball made live prior to the first pitch the next inning, neither team is offense nor defense, so neither type of conference can occur....until the point it delays the start of the next inning?

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14 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

This doesn't really answer the OP's question, and if one were to take this literally, one would conclude that the scenario in the OP was a conference...or any time a coach has a pep talk with his players outside the dugout between innings.  Since we know that is wrong there must be clarity somewhere else.

 

Having said that - I would argue that between the third out of an inning, and the ball made live prior to the first pitch the next inning, neither team is offense nor defense, so neither type of conference can occur....until the point it delays the start of the next inning?

I agree 100% and I think common sense (which didn’t seem to happen in the OP) would agree as well.

Just posting the citation.  The definition helps because it clarifies that there are no standards as far as what may or may not be discussed (though there is an injury exception later that I omitted for brevity) and who it may be discussed with.  (I have had a coach argue he shouldn’t be charged because he didn’t talk to his pitcher.  Wrong.)

You do have to read the whole thing though; you can’t stop at the definition and not read the application.

Coach steps out of the dugout to yell/signal instructions to the outfield; pitcher delays while this occurs.  Conference.  Between innings as you said, no conference as long as we aren’t delaying the game.

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From the 2016 BRD (section 150, p. 114):

The coach may stand with his pitcher at the mound between half-innings. If his presence creates a delay:  PENALTY:  The umpire may charge a conference.

2019 NFHS Case Book Play 3.4.1 Situation H:  Between innings the coach of Team A walks from the third base coach’s box to the pitcher’s mound and proceeds to visit with F1. RULING:  F1 has one minute in which to complete his warmup throws. At that point, the coach should leave the field. The umpire should not allow play to begin until the coach is off the field. The umpire may assess the coach a charged conference if he delays leaving the field. (6-2-2c Exception)

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Official Interpretation:  Rumble:  An umpire will not charge a conference when the coach approaches the foul line to instruct his players or yells at his players to switch positions.

2019 NFHS Case Book Play 3.4.1 Situation I:  The coach of the defensive team, just after the ball is returned to F1, yells from the dugout:  (a) giving instructions to F4 and F6; or (b) to have F6 and F9 switch positions. RULING:  Situations (a) and (b) do not warrant a charged conference being called. (3-4-1, 3-4-3)

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Since our guest did not specify which rule set his game was played under here are the interpretations for the other two codes (FED already covered). 

OBR:  Official Interpretation:  Wendelstedt:  If a manager goes out during warm-ups to see a pitcher who was already listed in the lineup in a previous inning, that would be a trip.

NCAA:  Official Interpretation:  Paronto:  This is covered with the timed, 90-second count between each half-inning. When the 90-second (or 108-second count for televised contests) expires, a penalty of one ball will be charged to the pitcher. As long as the conference does not delay the start of the half-inning, the meeting is allowed.

Play:  After Home switches sides in the third inning, Coach Home goes to the mound, standing with his pitcher Bubba while he warms up. Bubba also pitched the second inning. Ruling:  In FED/NCAA, that is not a conference. In OBR, it is a trip to the mound. If Bubba was a new pitcher, it would not be a trip in OBR.

 

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On ‎6‎/‎7‎/‎2019 at 4:17 PM, beerguy55 said:

Having said that - I would argue that between the third out of an inning, and the ball made live prior to the first pitch the next inning, neither team is offense nor defense, so neither type of conference can occur....until the point it delays the start of the next inning?

You would lose that argument in my game.  Once the 3rd out is made, the next half inning has begun.  That indicator is used for "timed games, application of curfew rules, another player delivering a warm up pitch, etc.) There is a switch in Offensive & defensive positions. Get off the field in the time allotted or get charged a conference.

 

**edited for clarity** If you (as a coach) have been reasonable throughout the game, I'd definitely "remind you of this".  However, if coming out with the "neither team....", nope.  It's charged. 

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