Northern Coast Officials

Gerry Davis
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BASEBALL PTICHING CLARIFICATION

FIRST the easy one: STRETCH: Usually used with runners on base. Pivot foot parallel to the rubber, either touching in front of or on top of. Must be within the 24 inches of the rubber. But let’s not be nit-picky. If a little is hanging off, let it go.
When getting signs front the stretch, the pitching arm at side or behind the back. The “gorilla” position is ok if the pitcher is bent at the waist and the pitching arm is straight down, not swinging (allow a little movement).
With runners on base, when the pitcher goes from the stretch to set position he must come to a complete and discernible stop before delivering the pitch. If attempting a pick-off he does not have to come to a stop.

NOW THE WIND UP: Under HS rules while getting signs, the pivot foot (same foot as the throwing arm) must be touching the pitching the rubber. The free foot must also be touching the rubber or would be touching and extension of the rubber (if the rubber was longer than 24-inches). This is a STARTING POSITION while getting signs. ONCE the pitcher starts his motion, where that free foot goes does NOT matter - IT CAN STEP IN FRONT OF THE RUBBER!!! The only thing that matters is when delivering the pitch the pivot foot must be pushing off from the rubber, not clearly in front of rubber.

Hands Placement While in Wind Up: Under HS Rules there are three options:

  • (1) If glove hand is in front of body and throwing hand at side while getting signs, the pitcher is allowed, after getting signs, to bring pitching hand up to the glove and STOP before starting a pitching motion or disengage the rubber.
  • (2) If glove hand is in front of body and throwing hand is in the glove while getting signs, the pitcher is allowed to either start the pitching motion or disengage the rubber.
  • (3) THIS IS THE DANGEROUS ONE - If both glove hand and pitching arm are both at the side while getting signs, ONCE the pitcher starts to bring the hand and glove together this is considered a start of pitch and the pitcher must continue his motion to pitch. He cannot bring both hand and glove together stop and then disengage. With bases empty this nothing. With a runner(s) on base this would be a balk. I don’t agree with this rule, but until NFHS changes it, it has to be called, otherwise it is subject to a protest.
    I HIGHLY RECOMMEND PITCHERS, WHEN RUNNERS ARE ON BASE, TO START FROM THE STRETCH POSITION OR HAVE GLOVE IN FRONT OF BODY.

I advised the umpires in a similar email not be nit-picky. Get and call the obvious. Also, I believe I was clear on all of this at the coaches meeting, that umpires are to give a warning and talk to the coach regarding the wind-up issue if the pitcher is clearly violating it by having the free foot clearly if front of the pitching rubber WHILE GETTING SIGNS!! Also, I wanted a phone call after the game.
https://ssl.sonic.net/gfried/ncoa_officials/umpire_training_stuff/HSPitchingPositions.pdf

 

 

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