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Calling Pitches

May 15, 2008
537
28
Cape Cod Mass.
So I'm at an 14U ASA class B tournament. Third and last game of the day, we are on the 'main field' of a 3 field complex. The dugouts are a long way from the plate, they start at about 55' up the baseline. My catcher has to look through the field fence at an angle and the dugout fence to see me sitting on my bucket calling pitches. I ask the plate ump if I can sit inside the fence but, as expected, he says no. But he tells me if want to get closer I can go outside the field fence, which is fine. After the 3rd inning he comes over and tells me that the umpire in chief, who is sitting under an umbrella in the shade at the concession stand saw me and that now I have to call pitches from the dugout. My first question is whether or not there is a rule that addresses this situation.? Secondly, can I give the signals to a parent who can relay them to the catcher? We are back at this complex tomorrow with a 1 in 3 chance of having to play on this field so I'm looking for a solution. The other team was using verbal signals with wrist bands so it wasn't a problem for them. I am wondering what the other teams who played on this field did. I'm also thinking of stepping out of the dugout onto the field, giving the signal, then ducking back inside.
 
Apr 28, 2019
710
43
So I'm at an 14U ASA class B tournament. Third and last game of the day, we are on the 'main field' of a 3 field complex. The dugouts are a long way from the plate, they start at about 55' up the baseline. My catcher has to look through the field fence at an angle and the dugout fence to see me sitting on my bucket calling pitches. I ask the plate ump if I can sit inside the fence but, as expected, he says no. But he tells me if want to get closer I can go outside the field fence, which is fine. After the 3rd inning he comes over and tells me that the umpire in chief, who is sitting under an umbrella in the shade at the concession stand saw me and that now I have to call pitches from the dugout. My first question is whether or not there is a rule that addresses this situation.? Secondly, can I give the signals to a parent who can relay them to the catcher? We are back at this complex tomorrow with a 1 in 3 chance of having to play on this field so I'm looking for a solution. The other team was using verbal signals with wrist bands so it wasn't a problem for them. I am wondering what the other teams who played on this field did. I'm also thinking of stepping out of the dugout onto the field, giving the signal, then ducking back inside.
I may be in the minority here but I hate the micro managing of calling pitches.
I would suggest you have a meeting with pitchers/catchers before the game to discuss strategy. If you’ve scouted the other team you know who the better hitters are and what they like to swing at. In critical situations call time and make sure your all on the same page. The pitcher knows what’s working better than anybody at any given time. Give them a little leeway and they may surprise you.
I say this because my daughters call their own pitches in rec ball and things run much more smoothly. They take ownership of their pitches and are fully invested in what they throw.
In TB the coaches call every pitch and it leaves me shaking my head. I’ll ask them why did you throw that pitch to that location in that count? The response is always that’s what Coach called. I’ll next ask how do you think you did? They respond fine I hit the spots the coach wanted me to hit.
They don’t seem to understand it’s the result that matters not that you did what you were told. If you hit your spots and the ball gets hit it doesn’t really matter that you hit your spot. What matters is it was either the wrong pitch call or wrong location in that instance. But the kids aren’t really fully invested so they just shrug and keep doing the same things.
 
Jun 22, 2008
3,314
63
Players and coaches are not allowed outside the dugout or to be in the stands except for those specifically allowed by the rules. And if you are relaying signals to a parent who is then signalling tongue players you have just made that parent a coach as well. You just have to figure a way to get your signal to your players from the dugout.

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4 girl's dad

Finding my way
Apr 5, 2013
1,838
48
In the stands...
I would just call the numbers out loud. We have a pitcher that can’t see at night so we have to call our signals out loud and we don’t have any issues.
 
May 29, 2015
751
63
My first question is whether or not there is a rule that addresses this situation.? Yes there is. It says you cannot be in live ball territory.

Secondly, can I give the signals to a parent who can relay them to the catcher? No, you cannot. As Comp said, all coaches and players must be in the dugout. Relaying signals makes that parent a coach who is now illegally outside the dugout.

I'm also thinking of stepping out of the dugout onto the field, giving the signal, then ducking back inside. Are you trying to eject yourself?
Some not-so-helpful advice in red above. Sorry.

Sounds like the ump stuck his neck out but was (properly) corrected.

At one of the complexes that I work, they have some “overflow” fields that we occasionally use. Their dugouts are way down the baseline and near impossible to see. The organization/TD will typically instruct us to let the coach sit outside the dugout, but he has to be outside the field fence and right next to the dugout fence and ONLY when they are on defense. They are not allowed to talk to anybody NOT in the dugout or playing. If the org/TD didn’t instruct us to do that , I sure wouldn’t let them sit there.
 
May 15, 2008
537
28
Cape Cod Mass.
What bothers me about this situation is that the plate umpire suggested that I call pitches from outside the fence because he knew that it was basically impossible to do it from the dugout and the umpire that was there to make decisions on rules questions stuck his nose in. I always thought that the plate umpire controlled his field. The other ump should have come over and asked the plate ump if he was OK with what I was doing and that should have been the end of it.
 
Jun 22, 2008
3,314
63
What bothers me about this situation is that the plate umpire suggested that I call pitches from outside the fence because he knew that it was basically impossible to do it from the dugout and the umpire that was there to make decisions on rules questions stuck his nose in. I always thought that the plate umpire controlled his field. The other ump should have come over and asked the plate ump if he was OK with what I was doing and that should have been the end of it.

No, you had an umpire that allowed you to do something expressly forbidden by the rules and his boss called him on it and told him to put an end to it. It should have never been allowed in the first place.
 
May 29, 2015
751
63
What bothers me about this situation is that the plate umpire suggested that I call pitches from outside the fence because he knew that it was basically impossible to do it from the dugout and the umpire that was there to make decisions on rules questions stuck his nose in. I always thought that the plate umpire controlled his field. The other ump should have come over and asked the plate ump if he was OK with what I was doing and that should have been the end of it.
So you had a younger or less experienced umpire that was giving you an extra inch which the next coach will try to turn into an extra mile. The UIC knows that and nipped that in the bud.

If the plate umpire said, “You know what? Your girl is having a hard time getting the ball over the plate, why don’t you go ahead and move her up five feet?” what would you think of that? Is it right? Now what if he did that for the other team but not you?

The umpire got busted letting a rule violation slide. He was not right in the first place.
 
May 15, 2008
537
28
Cape Cod Mass.
"Move her up five feet" now you're reaching or do you really think an umpire would do that? Personally, I don't, I have more respect for umpires than that.

We got to the final today and it was held on that field. Umpires discussed our request amongst themselves, then with the other coach, and allowed me to call from outside the fence.
 

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