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Pitcher substitution question

Jul 24, 2013
19
1
We had a game where the opposing team listed a pitcher, a DP and a flex. At the home plate meeting the opposing coach (the home team) announced that he was swapping his DP and his pitcher (the DP was now going to pitch and the pitcher was now DP) The flex remained in the game. I know in baseball the pitcher has to face at least one batter before a substitution can occur. Is it the same for fastpitch? (NFHS rules)
 
Jan 27, 2019
141
28
This can get tricky
If done at the pregame conference it is permissible but could become problematic for the coach
If the lineup card has become official (double checked and accepted by the umpire) any changes to the lineup card would result in a warning with subsequent infractions resulting in restriction to the bench. To place the pitcher in the DP position and the DP as pitcher is a change of position and would equal a change in the lineup card.

On the other hand, the DP can play defense for anyone but the Flex and is not subject to substitution/re-entry. The pitcher DOES NOT become the DP, that spot in the batting order is still occupied by the original DP and is tied to the Flex.

So if he actually changed their positions after the lineup card became official then it is a violation resulting in a warning. If he simply let the DP pitch and made it known at the plate conference then he can. The pitcher designation is mainly to identify the player for whom the courtesy runner can run. I would remind the coach to mention it when the DP takes her place on the pitcher's plate because if he is the visiting team this is a projected substitution that we would not allow. Also, if he uses the courtesy runner for the pitcher and she does not pitch to the first batter we now have a retroactive substitution and the courtesy runner has used her entry. The pitcher must use her re-entry to play.

See, it can be tricky and the umpire has to keep up with the moving parts.
 
Jun 22, 2008
3,386
63
The coach cannot switch players designations on the lineup card once it has been accepted. He cannot make the dp the pitcher and the pitcher the DP, cant be done. The dp can be the pitcher, and the player that was the pitcher can go sit on the bench but, no, he cannot make a different player already in the lineup the dp.
 
Jan 27, 2019
141
28
Changes can be made to the line-up card at the plate conference. If he accidentally listed one of the other in the wrong spot he can make that change, or even if he changes his mind at that time he can make the change then. As listed above, if the cards have been accepted and are official this is a warning and any other changes to the lineup card results in the head coach being restricted to the bench.

Comp is right, when the game starts the only way to have someone else in the DP spot is to bring in an eligible sub off the bench. You cannot just switch back and forth. If the DP pitches the starting pitcher must still bat in her spot and the Flex is still tied to the same spot in the batting order as the DP
 
Jun 22, 2008
3,386
63
As listed above, if the cards have been accepted and are official this is a warning and any other changes to the lineup card results in the head coach being restricted to the bench.
Once the lineup cards have been accepted by the umpire, yes, the coach can make some types of corrections, add players, drop the dp or the flex etc, but he cannot change to a different DP or flex, move people in the batting order etc. The lineups became official and the order and designations are set in stone once the lineup become official.
 
Apr 6, 2019
20
3
The flex rule really bugs me; it was perfectly fine to have a 9-batter lineup including a DH, and allow re-entry substitutions for starters.
Flex/DP makes it astronomically more confusing and complicated for little if any benefit. It also busts the previously-inviolate rule of batting in order.
 
Jul 22, 2015
298
43
The flex rule really bugs me; it was perfectly fine to have a 9-batter lineup including a DH, and allow re-entry substitutions for starters.
Flex/DP makes it astronomically more confusing and complicated for little if any benefit. It also busts the previously-inviolate rule of batting in order.
Not sure what you mean here. The batting order doesn't change regardless what defensive changes you make unless there is something I am missing.
 
Jul 16, 2008
1,520
48
Oregon
The flex rule really bugs me; it was perfectly fine to have a 9-batter lineup including a DH, and allow re-entry substitutions for starters.
Flex/DP makes it astronomically more confusing and complicated for little if any benefit. It also busts the previously-inviolate rule of batting in order.
That is only because you don't understand the Flex/DP rule. And no it doesn't do anything to the batting order.
 
Sep 29, 2014
2,338
83
This is just one of those things that just depends when does the umpire call the lineup "official". I have umpired and if we were at the plate conference and the coach said he needed to adjust the lineup card I'm going to allow it. Once we all step away and I call "batter up" any changes count as offical substitutions. Could you say once the scorekeeper has it then it becomes official? I suppose. My guess is that governing bodies NFHS, NCAA etc have very specific rules about this but it's been a while and just not something I would be overly concerned with. Now if I was a current coach or umpire I would know the rule backwards and forwards and not expect any complaining one way or the other when the rule was explained.
 
Jun 22, 2008
3,386
63
This is just one of those things that just depends when does the umpire call the lineup "official". I have umpired and if we were at the plate conference and the coach said he needed to adjust the lineup card I'm going to allow it. Once we all step away and I call "batter up" any changes count as offical substitutions. Could you say once the scorekeeper has it then it becomes official? I suppose. My guess is that governing bodies NFHS, NCAA etc have very specific rules about this but it's been a while and just not something I would be overly concerned with. Now if I was a current coach or umpire I would know the rule backwards and forwards and not expect any complaining one way or the other when the rule was explained.
The umpire doesn't decide when the lineup becomes official, the rules do. When the lineup is presented and then accepted by the plate umpire it is now official. It has nothing to do with giving it to the scorekeepers, the other team, nothing. When it is handed to the umpire and the coach verifies it is correct it is now official.
 

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