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2024 Annual NFHS Baseball Interpretations


johnnyg08

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So stepping on the rubber in the set position is illegal. I think we all knew that. Our debate, I believe revolves around is this a “ don’t do that” and make the pitcher “reset”, or are we balking it as soon as f1 steps on the rubber, foot parallel, and hands together?  

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39 minutes ago, Richvee said:

So stepping on the rubber in the set position is illegal. I think we all knew that. Our debate, I believe revolves around is this a “ don’t do that” and make the pitcher “reset”, or are we balking it as soon as f1 steps on the rubber, foot parallel, and hands together?  

I think the way to get it out of the game is to balk it (if the situation permits) early in the season. While I understand the preventive nature of "don't do that" I don't feel as though it's supported by rule and will lead to inconsistency across your state. 

I'm going to recommend to our state that we balk it to get it out of the game. Warnings are typically not effective, inconsistent, and tend to receive little attention from pitching coaches/head coaches. 

At least if we balk it, it's rooted in the rules. If I'm the offense, I'd want it balked...again, because it's in the rules. 

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7 minutes ago, johnnyg08 said:

I think the way to get it out of the game is to balk it (if the situation permits) early in the season. While I understand the preventive nature of "don't do that" I don't feel as though it's supported by rule and will lead to inconsistency across your state. 

I'm going to recommend to our state that we balk it to get it out of the game. Warnings are typically not effective, inconsistent, and tend to receive little attention from pitching coaches/head coaches. 

At least if we balk it, it's rooted in the rules. If I'm the offense, I'd want it balked...again, because it's in the rules. 

Or do we do some preventative umpiring like we did with the old hybrid? 

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7 minutes ago, Richvee said:

Or do we do some preventative umpiring like we did with the old hybrid? 

I guess it depends on how long you want to preventive umpire it? 

Do you want to still be preventive umpiring it in your state tournament? 

That would be problematic. Why? I believe that many coaches coach around warnings. IOW, "go ahead and do it until you get your warning" 

It makes it harder for consistency across associations/crews when we can't agree on how to handle something that is already rooted in rule. 

In my mind, the best deterrent, especially in varsity baseball games, is to balk this. Why? Because that is a warning that means...change your behavior or we will balk it again. 

Personally, I don't want to be dealing with this a month into the season or the postseason. My feelings are that "warnings" do very little to change behavior. 

It's funny how pitchers learn to stop after calling that first no stop balk. Where do the warnings begin & end? If you warn the home team in the bottom...then you have to warn the visiting team in the top. 

It's a slippery slope that in my opinion leads to enabling umpires who are unwilling to umpire courageously. 

 

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Except as it relates to progressive discipline which is directed by my state athletic association and my association, for scholastic games I don't umpire with warnings. I do my best to umpire to the rules.

When it's summer and fall travel league, just regular season, not a tournament or showcase, then I will blend in some warnings. Summer and fall baseball is meant for learning and development. I keep my comments brief. I am not there to conduct a rules clinic. And whenever I do issue a warning for a non-discipline related situation, I will ALWAYS end the conversation by saying, "...and you need to know that when scholastic season rolls around again, by rule, the umpire would not issue a warning in this situation."

~Dawg

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Let me refer you to a previous thread here in the High School forum that I think answers your question about when to balk a pitcher if he engages the rubber with his hands together (in the set position). The thread is called 

Hybrid--3/19/18 currently on page 8

I posted three case plays from the 2014 online interpretations in that thread. Here's the ruling from case play #7:

"The pitcher initially assumed an illegal pitching position. Since he made no other movement, he is allowed to step back off of the pitching plate with his pivot foot and correct his illegal position. (6-1-2, 3)"

Granted the FED should have said that in this case play (2024 Situation 18) just for clarification. 

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4 hours ago, johnnyg08 said:

I guess it depends on how long you want to preventive umpire it? 

Do you want to still be preventive umpiring it in your state tournament? 

That would be problematic. Why? I believe that many coaches coach around warnings. IOW, "go ahead and do it until you get your warning" 

It makes it harder for consistency across associations/crews when we can't agree on how to handle something that is already rooted in rule. 

In my mind, the best deterrent, especially in varsity baseball games, is to balk this. Why? Because that is a warning that means...change your behavior or we will balk it again. 

Personally, I don't want to be dealing with this a month into the season or the postseason. My feelings are that "warnings" do very little to change behavior. 

It's funny how pitchers learn to stop after calling that first no stop balk. Where do the warnings begin & end? If you warn the home team in the bottom...then you have to warn the visiting team in the top. 

It's a slippery slope that in my opinion leads to enabling umpires who are unwilling to umpire courageously. 

 

I’d be inclined to balk it at the varsity level. Honestly never seen a varsity pitcher do it. Lower levels… I’d still say teach once, balk after that.  

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1 hour ago, Senor Azul said:

Let me refer you to a previous thread here in the High School forum that I think answers your question about when to balk a pitcher if he engages the rubber with his hands together (in the set position). The thread is called 

Hybrid--3/19/18 currently on page 8

I posted three case plays from the 2014 online interpretations in that thread. Here's the ruling from case play #7:

"The pitcher initially assumed an illegal pitching position. Since he made no other movement, he is allowed to step back off of the pitching plate with his pivot foot and correct his illegal position. (6-1-2, 3)"

Granted the FED should have said that in this case play (2024 Situation 18) just for clarification. 

And there usually will be other balkable movement unless you call time and say "do not do that"

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5 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

Let me refer you to a previous thread here in the High School forum that I think answers your question about when to balk a pitcher if he engages the rubber with his hands together (in the set position). The thread is called 

Hybrid--3/19/18 currently on page 8

I posted three case plays from the 2014 online interpretations in that thread. Here's the ruling from case play #7:

"The pitcher initially assumed an illegal pitching position. Since he made no other movement, he is allowed to step back off of the pitching plate with his pivot foot and correct his illegal position. (6-1-2, 3)"

Granted the FED should have said that in this case play (2024 Situation 18) just for clarification. 

 

Do we let him step off after committing any other offense if he doesn't do anything after that?  By stepping on illegally he has already committed the offense. 

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Situation 11 -- I would say that the coach actively relaying a conversation to the team through the catcher IS  the coach being involved in the conference.  Charge it.

Situation 12 -- So . . . we are NOT concerned with fair and equitable use as we claimed a few months ago.

 

Going to be a nit-picky snotball on #17.  That's not a situation.  It's a question.  😜

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