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Little League Softball Questions/Observations

TMD

Feb 18, 2016
348
28
Note sure if the Rules forum is the right place for this, but since at least some of this is rules-related, I'll start here.

I was watching quite a bit of the Little League Softball regionals on the ESPN app this weekend (more than I care to admit, actually, but I was a bachelor this weekend and it kept me out of trouble), and saw some inconsistencies between the two regionals, so thought I'd ask about them here.

1. Pitching Rules - I saw one pitcher take a clear step forward off the rubber as she started her motion. She didn't leap or hop, she just stepped forwarded and then pitched. She did it on every pitch, and no IP was called. Also saw more than a few girls appear to step on the rubber and immediately go into their pitching motion with no hesitation. Does LLSB have it's own rule set or does it follow one of the others?

2. Batter helmet masks - saw one team (west coast team...Washington maybe??) with several batter wearing helmets with no masks. Surprised that a mask is not mandatory.

3. Safety Base - East regional had an orange safety base at 1B, West regional did not. Would have thought this would be a "yes or no" kind of thing, not discretionary.

Also interesting to see replay being used here. Saw quite a few coaches take advantage of it, with a couple of calls being overturned (one was an egregiously bad call by a poorly positioned PU - tag missed by a foot; the other a very close play at the plate initially called safe).
 
May 29, 2015
614
63
All very interesting observations ... We don’t have LL around here, but I’ll try to do some research.

That reminds me ... I need to get my DVR cleaned off. 😁
 
May 29, 2015
614
63
I don’t have a LL rule book, but their RIM (Rules Instruction Manual) from 2018 is available online ... citations are provided from that document.

1) Pitching ... from what I read in the RIM (8.00 - THE PITCHER (SOFTBALL)), LL pitching mechanics are pretty much similar to everybody else’s. The step forward off the rubber (I assumed you meant with her pivot foot) is illegal.

(r) Pushing off with the pivot foot from a place other than the pitcher’s plate is illegal. This includes a “crow hop” as defined under Rule 2.00.
(s) The pivot foot must remain in contact with or push off and drag away from the pitching plate prior to the front foot touching the ground, as long as the pivot foot remains in contact with the ground. When the pivot foot leaves the ground it is considered a “leap” and is considered an illegal pitch. See definition under Rule 2.00.


The “immediate” move into the pitch is also illegal. (NOTE: look for this to really become a point of emphasis in many codes in the next year.)

(e) While on the pitching plate, the pitcher shall take the signal or appear to be taking a signal with the hands separated. The ball must remain in either the glove or pitching hand.
(f) After completing (e) above, the pitcher shall bring the hands together in front of the body for not less than one second and not more than 10 seconds before starting the delivery.


2) Facemasks on batting helmets: I couldn’t find any reference either way in the RIM. I did find a note about chinstraps (not required, must be worn properly if used). (NOTE: The RIM is not a complete rule book, rather it offers umpires guidance and interpretations.)

3) Double base (safety base): Given LL’s penchant for safety, the use of a double base is surprisingly optional.


7.00-- THE RUNNER

7.15– Procedures for Use of a Double First Base: The double base may be used for first base only. The base must be rectangular, with two sides not less than 14 inches and not more than 15 inches, and the other two sides not less than 28 inches and not more than 30 inches. The longer sides shall face toward home plate and the right field corner. The outer edges shall not be more than two and one- fourth (2 1/4) inches thick, filled with soft material, and covered with canvas or rubber. Half the base is white (entirely over fair territory) and half is orange or green (entirely over foul territory).



I would agree the use of replay is surprising as well, particularly at that level. I guess you can afford toys like that when you encourage your member organizations to not pay umpires. (Sorry, had to add that grievance.)

Any idea when televised games start? I did a DVR search but nothing came up yet.
 
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TMD

Feb 18, 2016
348
28
Any idea when televised games start? I did a DVR search but nothing came up yet.
The regionals are going on all week, with every (?) game available on ESPN+, so don't think they are DVR'able since they are only on their streaming service and available on-demand after being broadcast live. I think that the last few days of the World Series are broadcast on one of the regular ESPN channels (mid August).
 
Aug 30, 2015
249
18
Note sure if the Rules forum is the right place for this, but since at least some of this is rules-related, I'll start here.

I was watching quite a bit of the Little League Softball regionals on the ESPN app this weekend (more than I care to admit, actually, but I was a bachelor this weekend and it kept me out of trouble), and saw some inconsistencies between the two regionals, so thought I'd ask about them here.

1. Pitching Rules - I saw one pitcher take a clear step forward off the rubber as she started her motion. She didn't leap or hop, she just stepped forwarded and then pitched. She did it on every pitch, and no IP was called. Also saw more than a few girls appear to step on the rubber and immediately go into their pitching motion with no hesitation. Does LLSB have it's own rule set or does it follow one of the others?
Illegal.

2. Batter helmet masks - saw one team (west coast team...Washington maybe??) with several batter wearing helmets with no masks. Surprised that a mask is not mandatory.
One of the great ironies of LL! They are so worried about safety in all other aspects of the game (pitch counts for boys, max innings pitched for girls, no jewelry, etc) but this is such a glaring omission!

3. Safety Base - East regional had an orange safety base at 1B, West regional did not. Would have thought this would be a "yes or no" kind of thing, not discretionary.
Dependent on the region and/or even the local facility. Not mandatory.

Also interesting to see replay being used here. Saw quite a few coaches take advantage of it, with a couple of calls being overturned (one was an egregiously bad call by a poorly positioned PU - tag missed by a foot; the other a very close play at the plate initially called safe).
Didn't know replay was in play! Yikes. Blues better sharpen their game.

Watch the Washington girls. They have a 6'1" pitcher who's throwing low 60's. I called one of the games in their state tourney. She's not even 8th grade but if she were, she'd probably be committed to some D1 already....
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,217
83
Florida
The LL rule book has always been a poorly rewritten baseball rules book. They have never made the effort to either write it from scratch or start with a softball rulebook but rather keep adding more and more complexity to it to try and correct various inconsistencies and clear contradictions .

Very little LL left around here mainly because they disallow cross sanction games so if you have a small LL you can only play other LL teams versus everyone else which basically allows you to play any other rec league no matter the sanction.
 
Jan 27, 2019
132
28
Very little LL left around here mainly because they disallow cross sanction games so if you have a small LL you can only play other LL teams versus everyone else which basically allows you to play any other rec league no matter the sanction.
That's the problem I had. Our area isn't really big enough, or doesn't have enough support, for a full LL program. I thought we could begin to implement the LL program and fill in some gaps with other teams and tournaments. LL does not allow such so I dropped the idea because travel ball rules softball around here.
 
May 29, 2015
614
63
Years ago I was looking to organize multiple towns in our area into a league. We examined several options, Little League being among them.

The group I had put together decided not to use LL because of the rules. We were looking for something that would help bridge and prepare girls for school ball. There were just too many differences between LL and NFHS. LL uses a “build up” approach as kids get older and never really catches up until the girls are much older.
 

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