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hit by pitch

ok i had showed my girls how to turn your back to the ball if it is going to hit you. i read about this online. i asked the collage coach here about it and they said that is what you should do. so this weekend one of my girls was at bat and the ball was straight at her. she turned her back to it and it hit her. well the umpire called it a ball. i walked up and began to protest the call. he said she didn't attempt to get out of the way. so i said that was wrong and he cut me off by saying the count was three balls two strikes. i turned around and was walking off shaking my head and he threw me out of the game. so i asked him why he threw me out and he said one more word and he would throw the team out. has anyone every been up against this kind of call before? am i in the wrong for questioning the umpires call? he had a huge chip on his shoulder for some reason.
 

halskinner

Banned
May 7, 2008
2,695
0
You DO have to make a legitimate attempt to get out of the way. If, in the process, you get hit, then you get first base. Guys on my teams never turned and took it for the team, NOT if they could get out of the way, They fell backwards or whatever it took to get out of the way.

That turning is widely taught, however, the first time you get hit in the ribs or on the spine with a very fast ball, you will change your way of thinking.

Best defense; dive backwards or drop out of the way. 2nd choice; lunge forward and get out of the way. 3rd choiuce; turn and take it in the ribs.

Marc sells an electronic version of my book here on this site at this URL Winning Fast Pitch Softball

It has a chapter called 'Pitcher / Batter self-defense drills' that was featured in the NFCA's Fast Pitch Delivery Newspaper. It has many self-defense drills for batters and pitchers.
 
Jun 17, 2008
23
0
Fond du Lac, WI
To be honest there isn't a whole lot of time to make a huge decision on falling back, lunging forward, twisting blah blah blah. I have always taught my girls to get out of the way somehow. I have to heard to turn your back on the ball but if there is time or a way to move they have to at least make it look like they tried to get out of the way. Not being there it is hard to say whether it was a good call or not but in a most obvious case like that
the umpire is usually right although he didn't have the right to kick you out, as a coach you have the right to question the call and they do have to explain it.

The best thing to tell the kids is get out no matter how they do it. Make it look like they are trying to move.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,841
63
Dallas, Texas
The reason you do the turn is because (1) a batter should stay in the hitting position as long as possible (there are such things as curve balls), (2) you want the ball to hit some part of the body that isn't going to get broken, and (3) it is quick. While a 60 mph pitch in the back hurts, it is unlikely to break a bone, unlike hitting a kids' elbow, wrist, arm or throat. Further, the most important part of a batter (the face and neck) are shielded.

A properly executed turn does constitute "getting out of the way of the ball".

The rule is:

NCAA 11.16.2: "The hit batter shall not be awarded first base under the following circumstances: The batter made no attempt to avoid the pitch or obviously tried to get hit by the pitch.

NOTE: The benefit of any doubt must go to the batter and could include a batter freezing or unable to move due to the unusual movement or speed of the pitch."

The rule says "no attempt", not a "good attempt" or a "good effort to get out of the way of the ball". In other words, did the batter do anything to reduce the likelihood of being hit by a ball?

If a batter does the "turn your back to the ball" maneuver, then the elbow and arms are tucked behind the shoulder, and the head is tucked down between the shoulders The profile of the batter to the pitcher is therefore smaller, and therefore, the batter did, in fact, make an attempt to avoid the pitch.

The umpire blew it.

JRW
 
Jun 26, 2008
20
0
Vermont
I have a ton of respect for every umpire who gives his/her best, whether they are "good" umpires or not. But some umpires do have a chip on their shoulder and I always wonder why they bother to umpire if they hate it as much as it seems they do. They should remember that the game is for the players, not for them.

You could have protested the game. You may not have won the protest, but it would have highlighted the problem with the umpire to the league.

In a 13 year old baseball game years ago, my leadoff hitter stood on the back line of the LH batters box and dug in to get footing - not wipe the line out, just dug in. The umpire called time and told him he could not do that. My second hitter did the same in the RH box, and the umpire called time and announced to both teams that he would "throw the next batter who rubs out the chalk line out of the game" ... I went to the plate and told the umpire very calmly that the line was part of the batters box and the batter had a right to use it, the chalk was a field decoration and he was supposed to know where the batters box was, and that if he threw one of my players out for doing nothing more than just digging in to get his footing that I would pull my team off the field and we would discuss it with the league officials. We did not have any more problems during the game.
 

Amy in AZ.

Super Moderator
May 7, 2008
8,507
38
Tucson
NFHS - Rule 3-6-17 Team personnel shall not intentionally remove any lines of the batter's box or on the field of play.
PENALITY: (art. 17) A strike shall be called on the batter if a member of the offense intentionally removes the line and a ball awarded to the batter if a member of the defense intentionally erases a line. A team warning shall be issued, with the next offense resulting in a strike/ball, the offender and the head coach being restricted to the dugout.

Also, I don't believe whether someone tried to avoid getting hit by the pitch is protestable. (oops, not a word.)
 
Jun 26, 2008
20
0
Vermont
NFHS - Rule 3-6-17 Team personnel shall not intentionally remove any lines of the batter's box or on the field of play.
PENALITY: (art. 17) A strike shall be called on the batter if a member of the offense intentionally removes the line and a ball awarded to the batter if a member of the defense intentionally erases a line. A team warning shall be issued, with the next offense resulting in a strike/ball, the offender and the head coach being restricted to the dugout.

Also, I don't believe whether someone tried to avoid getting hit by the pitch is protestable. (oops, not a word.)
To point #1 - In this case it's the intent. When a player is looking at the pitcher and simply twisting the foot to get planted, there is no intent to "erase" the line. If a player is looking at the line and rubbing it out - then it's illegal for sure.

To point #2 - the protest is not whether the player tried to avoid or not, but re. the umpire's interpretation of the rule. IOW "we agree we saw the same thing, but we disagree on what the call should be". Again - it might be a stretch to get the call overturned - in this case I would only do that to bring a belligerant umpire to the league's notice.
An example - I had a runner overun 1B and spin in her tracks (to her left) to see where the ball was when it went by the 1B. The ball hit the fence and bounced back, the 1B picked up the ball and tagged the runner on her way back to 1B - and the umpire called her out. I asked 3 times "Did she make a any motion toward 2B" and the umpire replied 3 times "She turned toward the field". I protested and it was upheld. Not usually a protestable call - but I did not protest the call, I protested the ruling.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
5,841
63
Dallas, Texas
It is frustrating, but sometimes you have to just say, "I'm teaching the kids the right way to play the game. If the umpires don't get it, too bad."
 

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