Leap now legal in USSSA?

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May 27, 2022
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I found out this weekend that leaping, while pitching, is legal in USSSA this year. 🤔
 
May 27, 2022
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If so, being out of step with the NCAA is doing college-bound pitchers a disservice.
Agreed. And it is still illegal in NFHS.

I called it on a 12U pitcher as her foot was clearly leaving the ground and coming back down about 6-8 inches in front of the rubber. Her coaches said her foot was absolutely not leaving the ground (which was an obvious lie). I finally pulled the director over and had her watch from behind the fence. She said it was leaving the ground, but I shouldn't call it. So, being fairly new and the first time I ran across it, I stopped calling it.

We discussed in the official's area after the game when one of the other officials said a leap (foot leaving the ground) is legal this year in USSSA. I looked it up and it seems it was adopted to make it easier for officials and to be inline with Olympic softball rules. But, IMO, it is way easier to see a leap than to tell if there is a crow hop (replant) and it is very difficult to crow hop without a leap. I would prefer to keep them both illegal. We shall see what the future brings.

But, then officials are left trying to discern if the leap leads to a crop hop. In the game above, I thought there were 2 the first inning where she replanted, and I thought it gave her an advantage. BUT, there is always a gray area and young players and their over-zealous coaches are going to be hard to deal with the first time they are called on it (because many officials won't bring it up until someone like me comes along that wants to help players continue to get better the right way).
 
May 27, 2022
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USA rule change allows it as well, NCAA will likely follow suit soon.
As I said in my second post - it's going to be hard to allow a leap and then have to discern a crow hop. Maybe they should limit the stride foot to stay within the pitcher's circle to ensure that pitchers aren't getting too much of an advantage?
 
Jul 5, 2016
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As I said in my second post - it's going to be hard to allow a leap and then have to discern a crow hop. Maybe they should limit the stride foot to stay within the pitcher's circle to ensure that pitchers aren't getting too much of an advantage?
That would be a good standard as it is clear.
 
Nov 26, 2010
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Michigan
As I said in my second post - it's going to be hard to allow a leap and then have to discern a crow hop. Maybe they should limit the stride foot to stay within the pitcher's circle to ensure that pitchers aren't getting too much of an advantage?
So tall pitchers or pitchers who have a strong push off would be penalized because they wind up out of the circle? How long the stride is is not indicative of a crow hop. Sounds like you are newer, you will eventually recognize a crow hop.
 
May 27, 2022
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So tall pitchers or pitchers who have a strong push off would be penalized because they wind up out of the circle? How long the stride is is not indicative of a crow hop. Sounds like you are newer, you will eventually recognize a crow hop.

How many pitchers end up striding out of the circle on a legal pitch today? As it is today, you could argue that short pitchers are penalized.

I 'know' I can recognize a crow hop - but how consistent is that call across all age levels and umpires? Even the game I did Saturday, the director and I knew she was leaping, but the coach refused to admit it. And, IMO, that is an easier call than a crow hop after a leap. Plus, not every leap she did led to a crow hop, but 3 or 4 in the first inning did IMO. Not saying we can't call it, but it is so much more judgmental/subtle to call a crow hop after a leap than to simply see if the pivot foot is off the ground where it is much harder for pitchers to drag and replant than to leap and replant.

I don't know if I could constantly discern the leap in example #2 (0:30 mark) here...

 
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