Coach, you NEED to work on this (TMIB's Points of Emphasis)

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May 29, 2015
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Based on @Westwind 's comment in https://www.discussfastpitch.com/th...ers-can-quit-saying-2022-edition.43117/page-8 ... Here is an off-shoot thread of things that I noticed frequently this year during the high school season ...

Yes, keep one foot in the box. There is no reason to go for a spiritual walkabout every pitch. You also don't need to wander half-way to third base so your coach can go through a solo game of Twister just to tell you to hit away because there is nobody on base. (Umpires, start calling strikes! I say this as somebody who is guilty of letting this go on too long.)

Teach your runners to run in the running lane. Nearly every game I watched a runner (usually multiple runners) running to first base in fair territory and touch the white bag when a play was made. WE USE A SAFETY BASE, there is no reason for that. I only rang up one for a runners lane violation, but it caused a stink. It's easy, get your butt onto the foul side and run to the orange bag. I'm waiting for the day when a defensive coach finally appeals a runner touching the white (NFHS rules). That is going to be a fun yelling match once the runner is correctly called out on appeal. Stop teaching your runners to go for the white as a ploy to "scare" the first baseman.

Runners, GET OUT OF THE WAY AT SECOND BASE on a double play. No, the rule does not require you to slide, but why is nobody sliding on double plays? The rule requires you to get out of the way and it is becoming far too common for girls to go in standing up. Umpires need to get comfortable with calling the interference when it happens. Then coaches will go back to teaching proper techniques.

On defense ... PAY ATTENTION. If you are not going to let your players call the pitches or a first-and-third runner situation, then PAY ATTENTION. There is NO reason for a catcher to have to yell at you -- let alone yell at your multiple times -- to get you to call a play.


So what others do you guys have?
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,812
113
Chicago
Teach your runners to run in the running lane. Nearly every game I watched a runner (usually multiple runners) running to first base in fair territory and touch the white bag when a play was made. WE USE A SAFETY BASE, there is no reason for that. I only rang up one for a runners lane violation, but it caused a stink. It's easy, get your butt onto the foul side and run to the orange bag. I'm waiting for the day when a defensive coach finally appeals a runner touching the white (NFHS rules). That is going to be a fun yelling match once the runner is correctly called out on appeal. Stop teaching your runners to go for the white as a ploy to "scare" the first baseman.

TMIB, you're going to get me in trouble with this one because now I'm going to look for it (because it does happen a lot). And now I'm going to appeal it. And I know it's not going to go my way.

A couple questions: I know the rules state the appeal has to come before the runner returns to the base. Makes sense. Can a coach verbally appeal this just like other appeal plays? In this case, there's likely to be just a couple seconds to make the appeal. What would you recommend is the best way for a coach to do so (get umpire's attention, appeal, etc. all before the runner returns to the base)?

What if the runner touches the white and orange parts on the same step/with the same foot? Still able to be appealed or is touching any part of the orange enough to make it legal?
 
May 29, 2015
3,953
113
@CoachJD , sadly I agree with you that an appeal probably isn't going to go your way because I would bet that MANY NFHS umpires don't know that. I will also say this is a hard thing to watch for since umpires are trained to watch the ball. (Admittedly, I watch the ball until it is thrown, then my focus moves to the bag with the catch being peripheral. I am usually watching feet and listening for "POP/THUMP!" or "THUMP/POP!")

Yes, you are under the gun to appeal this since the window is likely to be extremely short. All I can say is be quick! Yell loud and fast. Train your first baseman to respond to a signal from you?

If they get orange and white, they are fine since they got some orange.
 
May 16, 2016
1,078
113
Illinois
I agree with everything you have recommended. Especially calling strikes as the rule book is written. Forcing pitchers to throw the ball down the middle third of the plate is nuts. Some of these strike zones are ridiculously small!!! Also, umpires, don't be scared to call a changeup for a strike. I don't understand what is so confusing about this pitch, the strike zone does not change because a pitcher throws a changeup. These bats a so damn hot, routine pop up are going over fences very frequently.
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,812
113
Chicago
@CoachJD , sadly I agree with you that an appeal probably isn't going to go your way because I would bet that MANY NFHS umpires don't know that. I will also say this is a hard thing to watch for since umpires are trained to watch the ball. (Admittedly, I watch the ball until it is thrown, then my focus moves to the bag with the catch being peripheral. I am usually watching feet and listening for "POP/THUMP!" or "THUMP/POP!")

Yes, you are under the gun to appeal this since the window is likely to be extremely short. All I can say is be quick! Yell loud and fast. Train your first baseman to respond to a signal from you?

If they get orange and white, they are fine since they got some orange.

Thinking this through, I imagine the only time you're going to have much luck is if the batter-runner causes interference because that's usually easier to see, even if it's not a huge collision.

It's probably tough for the 1B since she's catching the ball, but maybe I can train catchers to do it. In most situations, there's looking at that play.

Maybe I'll try it during our summer leagues. They use NFHS rules, in theory, but nobody ever knows what those rules are. It'll be a good test to see if we CAN pull off the appeal even though I know we probably won't get anywhere with it.
 
May 29, 2015
3,953
113
I agree with everything you have recommended. Especially calling strikes as the rule book is written. Forcing pitchers to throw the ball down the middle third of the plate is nuts. Some of these strike zones are ridiculously small!!! Also, umpires, don't be scared to call a changeup for a strike. I don't understand what is so confusing about this pitch, the strike zone does not change because a pitcher throws a changeup. These bats a so damn hot, routine pop up are going over fences very frequently.

"Ball!"
"Where was it?"
"S'low."
 
Aug 25, 2019
1,066
113
One things coaches need to teach young players, but never do, is HOW TO DROP THE BAT AFTER A HIT!.....I've done a bunch of middle school games this year where the catchers, been hit, I've been hit, and bats have been flying out of batters hands with no regards to where they are landing. It's really not that hard to teach. Hit the ball, take a step or two towards first base, and drop the bat in foul territory, no one gets hit with the bat, and it's not lying around the plate to interfere with a play at home.
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,812
113
Chicago
One things coaches need to teach young players, but never do, is HOW TO DROP THE BAT AFTER A HIT!.....I've done a bunch of middle school games this year where the catchers, been hit, I've been hit, and bats have been flying out of batters hands with no regards to where they are landing. It's really not that hard to teach. Hit the ball, take a step or two towards first base, and drop the bat in foul territory, no one gets hit with the bat, and it's not lying around the plate to interfere with a play at home.

The thing is... this shouldn't need to be taught. I still don't understand how bat slinging even happens. Nobody ever taught us how to not let the bat fly out of your hands when I was a kid, and I can't remember it happening more than once or twice.

We do talk about it, and if a particular player has a problem with it we'll make her work on it, but this is one of those things where I sometimes think, you know what, if you can't figure this out, then maybe go play another sport.
 
May 27, 2022
417
63
The thing is... this shouldn't need to be taught. I still don't understand how bat slinging even happens. Nobody ever taught us how to not let the bat fly out of your hands when I was a kid, and I can't remember it happening more than once or twice.

We do talk about it, and if a particular player has a problem with it we'll make her work on it, but this is one of those things where I sometimes think, you know what, if you can't figure this out, then maybe go play another sport.
Anything that isn’t being done the proper way needs to be taught.
 

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