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Walk-up music


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Guest LL Coach

Are there any little league rules or regulations related to “walk-up” music?  Opposing team’s parents had a loud, portable PA system directed at my pitcher, announcing their batters by name and playing music, but only for their team.  I talked with the opposing coach and told him I didn’t agree with it, but he didn’t care.  I’ve searched and am surprised I can’t find a LL rule governing it.

 

 

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This thread needs to come full circle.   

We have Dixie Youth here so I'm not familiar with LL rules.  Go to the league official and speak with them about it. MOST youth baseball folks are about kids playing ball. Exactly!! And this is

STOP. GIVING. THEM. IDEAS.

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Have walk-up songs become a thing for Little League players? Apparently so, which I have to admit is news to me. I was shocked to find that there are actually apps (such as Ballpark DJ) for walk-up music. What I couldn’t find though are any rules about music at Little League games.

If there are any rules governing the use of walk-up music, I guess they would be found in a local Code of Conduct. Those codes vary from league to league. Some leagues have a code of conduct for coaches, players, parents, and spectators. For example, the code of conduct for spectators (I found online) from a Connecticut league states--

Players and spectators are allowed ONLY TO ENCOURAGE players through cheering.
Chants or comments that are derisive, distracting or derogatory to ANY player are prohibited. Umpires have the authority to halt play and, when necessary, eject players, managers, coaches or spectators who are derisive, distracting or derogatory and/or engage in other unsportsmanlike conduct to anyone involved in the game…
 

I can tell you that in professional ball all music should stop when the batter steps into the batter’s box and the pitcher is on the rubber.

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No, there's no specific rule against that. 

I'm guessing you'd need to talk to your division rep, or league prez, as it's not against rules, it's childish. I'm guessing this is a younger age group, like 8 or 9 year olds. Sorry, but they're the worst, as far a bad behaving adults go. 

Of course the best "cure" for nonsense like that is to quietly put more runs on the board than they do. 

Now an umpire can deem it unsportsmanlike, and then warn and eject the adult for this. But that's a judgement call on their part. 

 

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Guest LL Coach

I found the below reference in a 2017 post on another website, but the post didn’t specify the league it applies to or the document from which it was quoted.  Any ideas?

New Rule: The only music that may be played once the game starts is officially sanctioned music from the press box by the governing authorities of the facility. 5-10c.3.14.

 

 

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LL Coach, no baseball rule set (including Little League) has a numbering system like the number posted in that response on baseball-fever.com. You ask if we have any ideas. Well, yes, the poster with the screen name omg was putting us on. That’s not a real baseball rule number.

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19 hours ago, Guest LL Coach said:

Opposing team’s parents had a loud, portable PA system directed at my pitcher, announcing their batters by name and playing music, but only for their team.

We have Dixie Youth here so I'm not familiar with LL rules.  Go to the league official and speak with them about it. MOST youth baseball folks are about kids playing ball.

9 hours ago, kylejt said:

Sorry, but they're the worst, as far a bad behaving adults go. 

Exactly!! And this is why the kids (and parents) believe they are all going pro.  Dollars to doughnuts they spend more time on selecting their 'strike out song' than working on hitting and fielding.

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I mean...all rule sets allow for the umpire(s) to rule on anything not specified in the rule books. So, if there's nothing in your rulebook regarding the use of loudspeakers, music, etc...then you go to the coach and politely ask him to tell his team parents to cease that activity. If they won't then call both coaches together and explain that the game is suspended due to a lack of compliance with your instructions regarding the music. Tell the coaches you'll wait in your car until the parents have complied at which time you'll return to continue the game or if they fail to comply and the time limit is reached, that will be the ball game. Regardless of how things go, call your UIC and or assignor to explain the situation immediately.

You're going to get a lot of static from parents as you leave talking about this has never been a problem before, you're being unfair to the kids and other nonsense. Do not engage them. Keep moving towards your vehicle.

~Dawg

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7 minutes ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

I mean...all rule sets allow for the umpire(s) to rule on anything not specified in the rule books. So, if there's nothing in your rulebook regarding the use of loudspeakers, music, etc...then you go to the coach and politely ask him to tell his team parents to cease that activity. If they won't then call both coaches together and explain that the game is suspended due to a lack of compliance with your instructions regarding the music. Tell the coaches you'll wait in your car until the parents have complied at which time you'll return to continue the game or if they fail to comply and the time limit is reached, that will be the ball game. Regardless of how things go, call your UIC and or assignor to explain the situation immediately.

You're going to get a lot of static from parents as you leave talking about this has never been a problem before, you're being unfair to the kids and other nonsense. Do not engage them. Keep moving towards your vehicle.

~Dawg

Or one could recognize that using that particular rule is something that should happen once every thousand years or so, and use Kyle's advice which is far more supportable by rule.

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3 hours ago, Guest Carl said:

What were they doing that made you think it was "directed at (your) pitcher"?   

It was a portable PA, brought by a parent, placed against the backstop fence on the 1B side and was physically pointed at the pitcher.  It seems to me, if players’ names are being announced, it is to inform the spectators...  So why was it pointed at the pitcher?  

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Mr. SeeingEyeDog, here’s what the Little League RIM says about your idea to use rule 9.01c to resolve this issue--

INSTRUCTOR’S COMMENTS:

➔ Seldom will an umpire have to utilize this rule. Most situations can be covered by rules and interpretations listed throughout the book. Umpires should not use Rule 9.01(c) as a substitute for knowledge of the rules or to further their individual agendas utilizing the word “safety”

And here is what littleleague.org Help Center says in its FAQs about how umpires should handle situations outside the playing field--

What is an umpire to do if a Board member(s) is/are not present to handle disruptive spectators or other situations outside of the playing field?

Use rule 9.01g and send both teams to their respective dugouts and announce that the game will not continue until the spectator is dealt with. Hopefully, the parents will police themselves. If not, suspend the game and refer the incident to the board of directors.

Explain the differences between the responsibilities of the umpires and the Board of Directors representatives at the field/facility during a game.

The board members are to handle what goes on outside the field. The umpires are to deal with on-the-field situations.

Can an umpire eject a spectator(s)/fan(s) from the field complex?

No, the spectator(s) should be handled by a board member.

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Having been in the LL ranks for 4 plus years now. The rule Mr Azul alluded to about encouraging cheers only I have had to use in the past few years.

 

I have told coaches No cheers directed at the opposing teams pitcher.  cheer for your hitter all you want but anything said about the pitcher and I will stop the game and we will have a quick chat.  I do this in preseason games before the game begins.  We did have one town that was using their chants to try to distract the pitcher.  It was noted and dealt with. 

No issues since then. but hey its a new season right 😃

 

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Guest Carl
12 hours ago, Guest LL Coach said:

It was a portable PA, brought by a parent, placed against the backstop fence on the 1B side and was physically pointed at the pitcher.  It seems to me, if players’ names are being announced, it is to inform the spectators...  So why was it pointed at the pitcher?  

If a team is putting together a walk-up/announcement, I would presume they are doing it for the kids to have fun, not for spectators.  It was also pointed at the batter as he walked up to the plate, I assume?  And FWIW, was it was also pointed at your SS and LF (more or less)?  And the fans leaning on the left field fence? 

I wasn't there so I can't speak to the atmosphere and tone of their PA announcements so I was looking for a little more info about their demeanor.  If you think someone is being unsportsmanlike, their demeanor is an important aspect of it.   If you want the umpire or league to do something about it, your going to have to convince him/them that they are acting in an unsportsmanlike manner.  Directing words and music toward the field, in an of itself, probably isn't enough to get anyone to act.  

 

 

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15 hours ago, Guest LL Coach said:

It was a portable PA, brought by a parent, placed against the backstop fence on the 1B side and was physically pointed at the pitcher.  It seems to me, if players’ names are being announced, it is to inform the spectators...  So why was it pointed at the pitcher?  

Really?  Physically pointed at the pitcher?  Not the field?  Or the batter?

How's it going to effect the pitcher...walk up music is exactly that...it plays until the batter gets to the box.   If the music is still playing while the game is going on, there might be a general problem, and maybe there's some rule about excessive noise and/or unsportsmanlike conduct...but "walk up" music...let the kids have some fun.

I wish I had walk up music when I played...I know exactly what song I'd be doing...

 

 

 

 

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I've spoken about it elsewhere, and I'm of the opinion that walk-up music for kids, house league or otherwise, is a Sign Of Impending Doom For Mankind.  Or something.

Having said that?  Not touching it, as far as getting it turned off or turned down, or otherwise grabbing that oh-so-sh!tty end of the stick.  And would suggest that everyone else to the same, and we all "get over it," if you will.

Why?  Because as dumb an idea as it is - and as bad as some kids/parents musical choices seem to be - it's not REALLY hurting anything.  If a pitcher is rattled by music "being directed at him," pitching's not really the position he should be playing.  And hey, it's as close to being A Real Ballplayer as most of those kids are gonna get.  I might enforce some volume control, and I will definitely make sure it's shut off during play, but otherwise, I will grit my teeth and carry on.

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1 hour ago, beerguy55 said:

Really?  Physically pointed at the pitcher?  Not the field?  Or the batter?

How's it going to effect the pitcher...walk up music is exactly that...it plays until the batter gets to the box.   If the music is still playing while the game is going on, there might be a general problem, and maybe there's some rule about excessive noise and/or unsportsmanlike conduct...but "walk up" music...let the kids have some fun.

I wish I had walk up music when I played...I know exactly what song I'd be doing...

 

 

 

 

This thread needs to come full circle. 

 

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41 minutes ago, HokieUmp said:

I've spoken about it elsewhere, and I'm of the opinion that walk-up music for kids, house league or otherwise, is a Sign Of Impending Doom For Mankind.  Or something.

 

Honestly, in my experience as a coach, parent, team manager, and player, the walk up music is right up there with having your name on the back of the jersey...it's just one more little cool experience for the kids to enjoy, to imagine being big league players, even for a moment...knowing that 99.99% of them will never get a whiff of being paid a single dollar to play ball.

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Let me backtrack on one my comments. 

As LL umpires, we have no authority one the fans. None. Other rules set might, but not in LL. Nor can they put fan behavior on the managers, by rule. So we can't eject fans. 

What the can to do is stop the game, and have the board member on duty stop the nonsense outside the fence line before the game continues. 

Music is fine, directly pointing at an opposing pitcher is childish, and stupid. If I were the PU, I'd direct, in a LOUD voice, the league official that it needs to stop before we continue. 

Yeah, no need to 9.01(c) here. We've got all the tools needed to handle it. 

 

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I have only gotten involved in this issue once. We had a tournament in a complex with 4 fields closely situated. Each field had a PA system run by a normally 12-13 year old kid. Each field had a rendition of Who Let the Dogs Out, which they played after EVERY Inning. After 3 games it got old. At the beginning of the 4th game, I told the “PA Kid” that I would buy him a dog and a coke if he NEVER played WLTDO. Best 3 bucks I ever spent…. Otherwise, it’s fun for the kids, I don’t care..

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13 hours ago, kylejt said:

As LL umpires, we have no authority one the fans. None. Other rules set might, but not in LL. Nor can they put fan behavior on the managers, by rule. So we can't eject fans. 

What the can to do is stop the game, and have the board member on duty stop the nonsense outside the fence line before the game continues. 

I've never been sure if this argument is one of semantics, one of redirecting culpability, or one of just plain rationalization, but the fact is, to say "we can't eject fans" is, at best, a distortion of the truth.   

Regardless of the technical and physical application of your wishes, when it's appropriate to have a fan removed the outcome is you ARE inflicting your authority on the fans (and you should) and YOU are ejecting the fan (and you should).

When you stop a game and refuse to resume it until a fan is removed, you are ejecting that fan (or, if it makes you feel better, getting that fan ejected)...that someone else is doing your bidding is academic to the discussion.   You've taken the area that is under your purview, the game, and used it as leverage to get the outcome you desire.   And if anyone concluded that you were abusing that bargaining chip it would be you that is removed...and how many times have you seen that happen??

Saying you don't talk to the fence, or interact past the fence, or anything similar is all fine...that is far different from saying you can't deal with problems outside the fence...for many/most fans , regardless of any technical language of bi-laws, rules or guidelines, which few of those fans have read, you do have authority over them, simply because they believe you do.

 

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I had a walk up music HS game a couple weeks back.  Other than the volume.......of the speakers...... RIGHT ABOVE ME........EET IS WHAAT EET IS

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