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Illegal Pitching motion

Nov 8, 2018
503
63
I had an illegal pitch question, rather than starting a new thread I'll piggyback here.

DD faced a pitcher recently with one of the weirdest motions I've ever seen. She was a tall kid (14U), so her stride took her right to the edge of the circle.

Everything in her windup was fine, but when she landed on her stride foot she took a little hop and her drive leg swung past out of the circle. The little hop was at release, so she was almost certainly not in contact with the ground when she released the ball.

If your front-side-resistance alarm is going off, you're 100% on point. By striding so far and getting no FSR she was basically floating balls at 35 mph from about 35 feet. Nobody could hit it.

Strictly speaking, I don't think it was a leap or a replant since it was happening on her stride foot. The effect was not to increase velocity (which I think the rules are more geared towards), so is what she was doing even illegal? This was just a friendly, so coach didn't protest. But I'm sure we'll be seeing this team again in a real tournament.
Start a new thread. Many won’t read this just because of the format.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Apr 12, 2015
540
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Yup, that is illegal. USSSA Rule 6, Section 1-G-4: The pitcher does not make more than one and one half revolutions of the arm in the windmill pitch. A pitcher may drop the pitching arm to the side and to the rear before starting the windmill motion. The ball does not have to be released the first time past the hip.

She's doing slightly more than 1 1/2 rotations.

Beyond being illegal, as a coach/parent, I would be far more concerned about excess shoulder strain with that windup.
 
May 29, 2015
1,339
113
Thank you guys the help i am guessing the ump was referring to the 1 1/2 rotation part of the rule. he did not use the terminology when relaying to the coach. She does go past 12:00 in her windup .
I’m betting most umpires wouldn’t even see that ... good call in USSSA and NFHS. In USA it is legal though.
 
Last edited:
May 29, 2015
1,339
113
Had a USSSA ump griefing one of our pitchers a couple weeks ago. She is the Hillhouse style pitcher that leans back with her drive foot in front of rubber with heel touching. He was saying that she paused at end of her leaning back before her hands come apart and she drives forward. She doesn’t. She looks like every pitcher who has any training from a modern pitching instructor. Our argument was that even if she does the pitch has not yet started at that point so........ so what.

He also wasn’t calling IP’s. He was calling strikes balls because he “thought she was illegal.” We couldn’t figure out what was going on and our catcher told us that was what he told her. I confirmed this with him. We were smoking the other team so I didn’t say anything and the second day of the tournament was rained out so I never did talk to anyone about it.

There must have been something in the recent rules interpretation that these screwballs can’t figure out. Heard similar stories from other USSSA victims.

This goober also warned one of my assistant coaches before the game. Told him he would throw him out at the first hint of arguing a call. I was taken aback. This assistant coach is one of the nicest, most mild mannered people I have ever met. It was really weird.

Pray for me. I have two more goofy local tournaments to endure before we get to a real one with non-bozo umps.
These lousy umps, why don’t they call illegal pitches!?

These lousy umps, why are they calling illegal pitches!?

Just razzing you WW. :p

As always, without video, can’t say what he was seeing. By your description, I’m not coming up with anything other than he either thought the “rock” backwards was a step backwards (illegal) or that it was an interruption of the forward motion (illegal). Or he was applying MSU rules.

As for USSSA, this is just my opinion based in limited experience with them ... they do not provide any adequate umpire training and their rule interpretations can contradict the actual rules. In registering, trying to find information, and trying to get anybody to respond to questions, it felt like something somebody was running out of their garage on the weekends.

Too harsh?
 
May 29, 2015
1,339
113
I had an illegal pitch question, rather than starting a new thread I'll piggyback here.

DD faced a pitcher recently with one of the weirdest motions I've ever seen. She was a tall kid (14U), so her stride took her right to the edge of the circle.

Everything in her windup was fine, but when she landed on her stride foot she took a little hop and her drive leg swung past out of the circle. The little hop was at release, so she was almost certainly not in contact with the ground when she released the ball.

If your front-side-resistance alarm is going off, you're 100% on point. By striding so far and getting no FSR she was basically floating balls at 35 mph from about 35 feet. Nobody could hit it.

Strictly speaking, I don't think it was a leap or a replant since it was happening on her stride foot. The effect was not to increase velocity (which I think the rules are more geared towards), so is what she was doing even illegal? This was just a friendly, so coach didn't protest. But I'm sure we'll be seeing this team again in a real tournament.
Generally (YMMV by rule set), if she hasn’t released yet, her pivot foot needs to stay in contact with the ground and she shouldn’t be on the front foot. The “step” forward must be simultaneous with the release of the ball (USA, NFHS). Since you are saying the hop is on the front foot before the release, I’m guessing her pivot foot isn’t staying down either. It could be a replant or second push, it’s just odd which foot it is coming off of. Would love to see video of this!

Here is a fun thought ... USA, USSSA, and NFHS all refer to second pushes with the pivot foot ... they do not mention pushing with the non-pivot foot. USA and NFHS have language about the step being simultaneous to the pitch, so I believe they cover this under that. USSSA does not have that language. Could a pitcher legally stride (pivot foot stays down), transfer weight to the non-pivot foot, and then push? Sounds illegal as heck, but I‘m not seeing anything in black and white ... somebody please point out what I am missing.
 
Jul 14, 2018
449
63
Could a pitcher legally stride (pivot foot stays down), transfer weight to the non-pivot foot, and then push? Sounds illegal as heck, but I‘m not seeing anything in black and white ... somebody please point out what I am missing.
This is exactly what this pitcher was doing. As I said, weirdest motion I've ever seen. It wasn't even a push -- she went straight up in the air. And as you mention, the rules address the pivot (which she dragged), not the stride foot. I'm glad to hear someone else (who knows what they're talking about) being unsure if this is legal or not!

I didn't want to start a new thread because I I don't have any video, and the thread title would look the same. It wasn't my kid, so I wouldn't feel right about taking or posting video of her in a public forum.
 

inumpire

Observer, but has an opinion
Oct 31, 2014
52
18
My DD was pitching in USSSA 14u tournament . Umpire mentioned to coach her motion was illegal after the game. DD starts with hands apart comes together brings to her right side and back together. From there her right arm goes back and up above her head from there she starts into the forward drive out into full arm circle and pitch. Is this in anyway illegal and if so why. yes in her back swing /load she gets very high above her head but don't see anything in rules about it. thanks in advance
My question is, why didn’t he call it during the game?? why just wait to tell the coach AFTER the game?? Umpire are at the games to enforce the rules, not be a pitching coach.
 
Feb 7, 2013
3,188
48
They also might be referring to the motion when she puts the ball in her glove on the right side, she moves the glove and hand to the left side and then pulls the hand out of the glove when its back to right side (kinda right, left, right). It looks odd which might look to the ump that the ball is going out of the glove momentarily when it shifted to the left and than back in on the right side before swinging her arm back.

Whether or not its illegal I would teach her to cradle the ball in the glove on the right side the whole time as to hide the grip as long as possible with the glove going back to the right side with the pitching arm.
 

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