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Fell Victim to the Chinese Change Up

Aug 19, 2015
934
63
Atlanta, GA
Disclaimer: I'm not a pitcher's parent, so this was new to me.

We were at a TB tournament in FL, HIgh School Division. Pitcher on the other team (who is a 2023!) threw the craziest pitch I've ever seen. Come to find out it's called the Chinese Change Up. Our batter was starting to catch on to her speed and movement and fouled the ball up a couple times and then the girl threw this pitch. Video below is not her, but an example I found. This girl's was even nastier because at first it looked like she released the ball too soon on accident and it was going to hit the ground halfway to the plate. But nope.

Our poor batter looked sort of like a cartoon dog like its head tilted like "Say what now?" She was befuddled and totally confused.

I guess this pitch is legal?

 
Aug 19, 2015
934
63
Atlanta, GA
She did not pass the hip twice. The windmill motion stopped before it went around a second time. I saw the same girl pitch it on both Sat. and Sun. and it was never called illegal.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,565
113
Florida
It is not legal. You are not allowed to continue your windup/additional rotation once the ball is released.

For NFHS the rule and case study is as follows:

6.1.4.e. the pitcher does not continue to wind up after taking the forward step or after the ball is released.

Case Book
6.1.4 SITUATION C:
After releasing the ball simultaneously with the forward step, the pitcher continues her arm action (a) up and toward her head and then stops, or (b) up and around, stopping just before reaching her hip a second time.
RULING: In (a), it is a legal pitch because the action after releasing the ball is considered a follow through. In (b) it is an illegal pitch because the action after the release of the ball is considered to be a continuation of the windup. (6-1-4e)


USSSA it is rule 6.1.G.5:
The pitcher does not continue to wind up after taking the forward step or after the ball is released.NOTE: Continuation of the windup is considered any action that, after the ball is released, causes the arm to continue to rotate past the shoulder.

Note: Normally you get the better umpires at PGF in Florida but this last weekend was all the local pre-season High School season tournaments so I am guessing quite a few of the normal umps were there instead.
 
Last edited:
May 29, 2015
1,749
113
The myth is making the rounds ... I've seen it called "the slip pitch".

As @marriard posted, ILLEGAL on all counts. Releasing the ball from that point is not illegal. You do not have to "windmill" to pitch. What is illegal is continuing the arm motion to deceive the batter.

This was posted on our local USA Umpires social media:
The pitch in this video has been ruled ILLEGAL by USA Softball, NFHS, NCAA, and WBSC.
There has been discussion on social media arguing that because the pitcher does not make two full revolutions, the pitch should be legal. However the rule for two revolutions pertains to before the release of the pitch, not after the release.

USA Softball Rule 6A, Section 3M: The pitcher shall not make another revolution after releasing the ball.

NFHS: Rule 6, Section 1, Article 4e: the pitcher does not continue to wind up after taking the forward step or after the ball is released.
NOTE: Continuation of the windup is considered any action that, after the ball is released, causes the arm to continue to rotate past the shoulder.

NCAA: Rule 10.6.5: The pitcher may not make another arm revolution after releasing the ball.


WBSC: Rule 4.3.3 i: "the pitcher's arm on the release of the ball may follow through, provided the wind up does not continue."
 
Aug 19, 2015
934
63
Atlanta, GA
But they did not call the pitch illegal. I was there and saw it happen. Our batter was out as it was the third strike. And I saw her pitch it the day before. Why wasn't it called illegal then?
 

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