Welcome to Discuss Fastpitch

Your FREE Account is waiting to the Best Softball Community on the Web.

Register Log in

Intimidation Unsportsmanlike Disqualification

May 6, 2015
1,650
113
I responded to Rick M stating that his DD aggressively spins around to face base runners.
His contention is that since she doesn't raise the ball the look back rule is still in play.
That's not necessarily the case. It's a judgment call.
In my judgement, a pitcher doing that is making a play on the runner.

If a pitcher wants to keep the look back rule in play and remove as much subjective judgment as possible, they should ignore the base runners completely.
P ignoring runners is tantamount to asking for delayed steals. Looking is not making a play. now if they flinch while staring down maybe, but looking, I would have P argue they are staring at someone in the stands.
 
Feb 25, 2018
274
43
If you are an ump I certainly hope you don’t enforce rules based on your perception of personality. “Well coach if she spun less aggressively the LBR is still in place. But by the look on her face I ruled she was making a play”

the runner has to make a decision. Go or return, your suggestion is pitchers should look the other way and ignore them, and let them make that decision without watching to see which way the runner decides to go?

I make no judgment on personality.

Again, the rule clearly states that if the action by the pitcher illicits a reaction by the base runner(s), it MAY be judged to be making a play on the runner(s).

Go ahead and spin quickly around to face a base runner if you think it's going to intimidate them. Just understand that also makes it much more likely for the umpire(s) to call off the look back rule.

With a runner on third, there's a big difference between the pitcher getting the ball in the circle, glancing at the runner while not making a fast, spinning motion to face them and a pitcher getting the ball in the circle and quickly spinning to face the base runner. Most umpires in my association will call off the look back rule with the latter action.
 
May 6, 2015
1,650
113
I make no judgment on personality.

Again, the rule clearly states that if the action by the pitcher illicits a reaction by the base runner(s), it MAY be judged to be making a play on the runner(s).

Go ahead and spin quickly around to face a base runner if you think it's going to intimidate them. Just understand that also makes it much more likely for the umpire(s) to call off the look back rule.

With a runner on third, there's a big difference between the pitcher getting the ball in the circle, glancing at the runner while not making a fast, spinning motion to face them and a pitcher getting the ball in the circle and quickly spinning to face the base runner. Most umpires in my association will call off the look back rule with the latter action.
and how long for it to be back in effect once they stop the motion. has to come back on at some point as well.
 
Feb 25, 2018
274
43
and how long for it to be back in effect once they stop the motion. has to come back on at some point as well.
When I see that they have stopped the action and aren't
doing anything else causing the runner to react.

That's why, as a dad of a pitcher, I've talked to my daughter about knowing the rules. Why do anything that can be construed as causing the runner to react? Especially in games with only one umpire calling the game.
 
Jun 7, 2019
156
28
As a coach, I always had my pitcher do everything slowly, so as not to draw an umpire's attention and possibly take off the LBR. With my teams that could play, I'd have her get the ball back from the catcher, and as she was returning to the rubber, lower her head (with a glance toward the runner on 3rd) while slowly bringing both hands together, elbows bent and both hands under her chin. Very slow, non aggressive way to get your hands ready to throw. She's not even paying any attention to the BR. Why should she if the BR hasn't reached 1B yet? (With my teams with kids who were learning how to play, I'd just let that BR have 2nd. She'd get it on a steal on the first pitch to the next batter anyway.)

As an umpire, that pitcher had better at least raise her arm in what would look like an attempted throw. Just slowly raising your hand with the ball would not necessarily cause me to call it off. For me, she's got to at least look like you're attempting a throw or a fake throw. Otherwise, I'm not calling off the LBR.
 
Feb 25, 2018
274
43
And that's the beauty (flaw?!) of judgement calls. Every umpire has their parameters/checks.

As the rule is written, there is a gray area open for an interpretation. Some coaches in this thread describe an aggressive spin by the pitcher as an intimidation tactic.
I don't know about that, but it could be judged as an action to illicit a reaction from the base runner. Your coaching of the situation is solid.
 
Jun 26, 2019
69
18
My daughter had a girl on her 10u team last year that tried pitching a few times and she used to smile while she pitched. Not a dopey grin, like a proud look what I did smile, weather she was doing great or horrible. It almost made you ask “what is she up too?” That I thought was hilarious. Pitchers have had cold stares for evvvveeerrrrr! I can’t see how looking at runners can be unsportsmanlike. And I was called a Karen for saying some chants are unsportsmanlike.
 
Last edited:
Jan 28, 2017
1,026
63
Off topic a little but this made me think back to when my DD was a little younger (14 now). Umpire called time and said, I can't call a strike on her while she is blowing a bubble hitting. Then said, she just blew a bubble in the middle of a pitch. How do expect anyone to stand in the box with her doing that. LOL
 
Mar 14, 2017
327
28
Michigan
My daughter had a girl on her 10u team last year that tried pitching a few times and she used to smile while she pitched. Not a dopey grin, like a proud look what I did smile, weather she was doing great or horrible. It almost made you ask “what is she up too?” That I thought was hilarious. Pitchers have had cold stares for evvvveeerrrrr! I can’t see how looking at runners can be unsportsmanlike. And I was called a Karen for saying some chants are unsportsmanlike.
Some chants are unsportsmanlike and should be banned... the rest are annoying and should be banned.
 

Latest posts

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
36,957
Messages
559,522
Members
17,329
Latest member
BlueBlur
Top