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Young_Ump

Referee Case Play (Doctored Ball) 5/17

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From today:

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I don't understand why you would warn F1 in this situation. Why not toss him right then if you think he did it, or check the new ball you give him after the next pitch?

What would you do?

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2019 NFHS rule 6 SECTION 2 INFRACTIONS BY PITCHER

ART. 1 . . . Illegal acts include:

c. rubbing the ball on the glove, clothing or person if the act defaces the ball;

PENALTY: For defacing the ball (a-d), the ball is dead immediately. The umpire may eject the pitcher. If such defaced ball is pitched and then detected, it is an illegal pitch…

2019 NFHS rule 2 SECTION 18 ILLEGAL PITCH

An illegal pitch is an illegal act committed by the pitcher with no runner on base, which results in a ball being awarded the batter. When an illegal pitch occurs with a runner, or runners, on base, it is ruled a balk.

 

2019 2020 NCAA rule 9 Pitching Violations

SECTION 2. The pitcher shall not:

e. Apply any foreign substance or moisture to the ball or to the pitching hand or fingers, or do anything to deface the ball. The pitcher may use bare hands to rub up the ball.

PENALTY for e. and f.—Warn the pitcher one time and, upon the second offense, eject the pitcher from the game.

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We might decide to warn rather than eject F1 for many reasons. But first, note that the penalty specified by 6-2-1 permits us to decide this:

Quote

PENALTY: For defacing the ball (a-d), the ball is dead immediately. The umpire may eject the pitcher. If such defaced ball is pitched and then detected, it is an illegal pitch. [emphasis added]

The reasons to warn might include the temperature of the game, prior issues with F1, game management, level of the game, and others.

Where a penalty allows but does not require ejection, we want to be sure that the ejection will improve the game. If we expect that it won't, then we should warn.

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6.02(d)(1) makes it very clear that there is not an option to warn before ejection. 

"The pitcher shall be ejected immediately from the game and shall be suspended automatically. In National Association Leagues, the automatic suspension shall be for 10 games."

However, 6.01(d) comment does give the umpire discretion when the pitcher spits on the hand, ball or glove, and when he rubs the ball on his glove or uniform. In those two (five?) instances, the umpire can warn. Defacing the ball is not a warnable offence.

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We have to keep in mind the following disclaimer found in the Foreword of the OBR book and check what our local league wants to do—

This code of rules governs the playing of baseball games by professional teams of Major League Baseball and the leagues that are members of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues.

We recognize that many amateur and non-professional organizations play their games under professional rules and we are happy to make our rules available as widely as possible. It is well to remember that specifications as to fields, equipment, etc., may be modified to meet the needs of each group.

Money fines, long-term suspensions and similar penalties imposed by this code are not practicable for amateur groups, but officers and umpires of such organizations should insist on strict observance of all the rules governing the playing of the game…

For example, here is how Little League wants to handle this question--

2019 LL RIM rule 8.02 - The pitcher shall not –

(a)(5) deface the ball in any manner; or

PENALTY: For violation of any part of Rules 8.02(a)(2) through (6) the umpire shall: Call the pitch a ball and warn the pitcher. If a play occurs on the violation, the manager of the offense may advise the plate umpire of acceptance of the play. (Such election must be made immediately at the end of play.)

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Agreed: immediate ejection is required for pro ball, but I would handle as in FED for amateur ball.

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