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Coaches in foul territory during game play


Guest SBLL VP

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Guest SBLL VP

I am having trouble finding it in the rule book, but are coaches allowed to be in foul territory while their team is on defense? We have always enforced but now we are getting push back if it as an actual rule. Can someone help me with this?

 

Thank you

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1 hour ago, Guest SBLL VP said:

I am having trouble finding it in the rule book, but are coaches allowed to be in foul territory while their team is on defense? We have always enforced but now we are getting push back if it as an actual rule. Can someone help me with this?

 

Thank you

Welcome Mr. SBLL,

First, it always helps to state what rule set you are asking your question for (HS/FED, NCAA, OBR).  That said, and I don't have the book right in front of me, there are rules about who is allowed on the playing field (this is anything dubbed "in play").  On offense, it is the batter, on-deck batter, any runners on base, and the base coaches.  On defense, it is the 9 fielders.

Now, if you are talking about young kids (5 - 10 years old rec), having a coach directing/coaching/teaching is no big deal.  Once the kids are older, there is zero reason a defensive coach should be on the field in play while his team is in the field except for the purpose of making a pitching change or holding a defensive conference.

I will go to my car and get my rule books, but I am sure someone else will have the rules before I even get back

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So the only book I have in my car is my NCAA one, but Rule 1 - 16 - a states "all personnel from BOTH teams must be in their team's dugout or bullpen and remain there until the ball is declared dead or the side has been retired.  This excludes the batter, on-deck batter, base runners, base coaches, and the 9 defensive players"

** Emphasis on "both" was added by me **

** While this rule is from the NCAA book, I guarantee a similar/exact rule is stated in Fed/HS as well **

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I am going to guess based on your screen name, SBLL VP, that the LL means you are asking about Little League. If that is the case, then I would like to point you to the front matter of the Little League rule book and its section called Official Regulations. The following is taken from the 2020 LL Rules Instruction Manual (LL RIM regulation XIV)--

XIV – FIELD DECORUM

(d) A manager or coach shall not leave the bench or dugout except to confer with a player or an umpire and only after receiving permission from an umpire. (EXCEPTION: In Tee Ball and Minor League, managers and coaches may be on the field for instructional purposes but shall not assist runners or touch a live ball. At least one adult manager or coach must be in the dugout at all times.)

INSTRUCTOR’S COMMENTS:

➔ The only time a Manager or Coach is permitted out of the dugout without permission is to coach in the coaching box.

➔ This provision includes between innings and during any other break in the action. Managers and coaches are limited to the dugout unless serving as a base coach, talking with a pitcher during a charged conference, checking on an injured player, making a lineup change or discussing a rules decision with the umpire.

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2 hours ago, Guest SBLL VP said:

I am having trouble finding it in the rule book, but are coaches allowed to be in foul territory while their team is on defense? We have always enforced but now we are getting push back if it as an actual rule. Can someone help me with this?

 

Thank you

As stated above - 10 and under, sure, let it go...older than that, enforce it...and if anyone starts trying to look for loopholes, coaches are supposed to be on the bench, not hanging out with the spectators/parents...in case some smart ass decides he can go down the foul line and stand outside the fence to shout instructions to their players.    Nothing you can do if some parent starts doing it...unless something otherwise indicates they are a coach/manager.

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30 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

As stated above - 10 and under, sure, let it go...older than that, enforce it...and if anyone starts trying to look for loopholes, coaches are supposed to be on the bench, not hanging out with the spectators/parents...in case some smart ass decides he can go down the foul line and stand outside the fence to shout instructions to their players.    Nothing you can do if some parent starts doing it...unless something otherwise indicates they are a coach/manager.

This is a good point about loopholes...knowing the rule states "bullpen or dugout" helps if you have an issue.

But again, our job is to manage the game, not inject ourselves into it.  If some assistant coach dressed in a t-shirt and shorts is standing out of play with the parents, good for him, don't get involved with it.  If they are standing outside the dugout, in play, where they could potentially cause problems, confusion, INT/OBS, then put them back in the dugout.

 

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50 minutes ago, SH0102 said:

If some assistant coach dressed in a t-shirt and shorts is standing out of play with the parents, good for him, don't get involved with it. 

Careful here...a coach sitting in the stands passing signals to the pitcher from behind the plate is a no-no.   If they're just hanging out with the parents (though "technically" forbidden) I would agree you should probably stay out of it, or at least apply some degree of discretion/judgment - though I'm not sure if you want to encourage going back and forth from the dugout to the stands - regardless, if they are actively coaching from outside the dugout/bullpen you need to stomp on it.

And, yes, I know there's some degree of "coaching" that comes from a lot of parents...As to defining where it crosses from "annoying parent" to "coaching"...go with Potter Stewart.

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Guest Visitor

When at my son's 13U games, it's a pretty regular occurrence for a coach on offense to be standing a step onto the field from the dugout entrance in addition to the base coaches, and I have never seen them challenged.  I imagine if someone complained, they'd conform with a lot of grumbling, but it's not something that seems to be enforced.

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