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Should I Protest Game?

May 9, 2008
12
0
New England
I coach 7th/8th grade girls softball and we play under ASA rules. During tonight's game one of the opposing pitcher was taking one to two steps forward and then delivering the pitch. I pointed it out to the umpire and she said that she was not aware of that rule. She also admitted earlier in the game that "I am a first year umpire and still learning."

I also spoke to the opposing coach who said that "she pitches that way all the time and no one ever calls her for it."

My interpretation of the ASA rule is this: The pitcher's pivot foot must maintain contact with the ground during the delivery of the pitch. We teach our pitchers to drag the foot on the ground. We have told them that the umpire will call them for an illegal pitch if they do not.

I understand what a crow hop is but this opposing pitcher was not doing that. She was walking towards the batter and then delivering the ball.

I don't want to sound like sour grapes but feel that they really put our batters at a disadvantage. Add to this that the umpire called the game early. We have the 2 hour rule where no inning can start after 2 hours from the start time of the game. We were at least 10 minutes away from the 2 hour mark and only going into the 5th inning. Her explanation: my boss told me to call the game if it was that close to the hour. So we were ready for our next at bats and did not get that chance.

I informed her that the game was being protested. Now I'm home and wondering if I should call it in. I don't like playing this way but also feel that if our girls have to abide by these rules then so should the other team.

Advice?
 

May 27, 2008
21
0
Since the game was only going into the 5th at the two hour mark I assume the level of competition is not that high ?

If there wasn't anything on the line like a championship, berth, or otherwise what's the point really ?

I understand you have what sounds like a legimate issue within your local rules but if it's only a win on the line, I might be inclined to let it go.
 
May 7, 2008
110
0
Don't you have two umps? What did the other ump say about the illegal pitch and calling the game early?

Shouldn't an ump have a firm grasp of the rules before their FIRST game?

Keith
 
May 9, 2008
12
0
New England
Only One Ump

All our games only have one umpire.

Unfortunately girls softball seems to get the short end of the stick in this town/league. Baseball rules. Get all the good fields, equipment, etc.
 
May 7, 2008
110
0
Forget protesting this game!

Find a parent who is a lawyer and have them draft a letter to the league board and town officials putting them on notice that you are prepared to take action against the league/town regarding the blatant discrimination against female athletes. Also call the local media to discuss the situation.

Keith
 
May 7, 2008
8,489
0
Tucson
Illegal pitches would be judgement calls. You can't protest that. I doubt that you can protest the time thing, either.

I would have my AD write to the supervisor of the umps and get the rules straightened out.
 
May 7, 2008
235
0
Darrell:

The ASA Rulebook...never leave home without it. Years ago my husband realized despite his knowledge of the rules, everyone believes they're right. Producing the rule book (especially to inexperienced coaches and umpires) may not help the one bad call, but it certainly creates accountability for the continuance of illegal pitching. He keeps a copy of the rulebook in his glove compartment :)

Ang
 

Ken Krause

Administrator
Admin
May 7, 2008
3,421
38
Mundelein, IL
Bringing the rule book out onto the field is rarely a good idea. Better to call the umpire over to the sidelines and ask if he/she would like to see the rules than make a public issue of it.

That being said, if I understand what you're saying correctly those are definitely illegal pitches. The pivot foot can't move off the pitching plate before the stride foot goes forward. What I suggest is you talk to whoever is in charge of the umpires, make sure that person understand the pitching rules, and then have that person make sure all the umpires know them. They're not doing that girl any favors by allowing her to pitch illegally now. Sooner or later she will be called for it.
 
May 7, 2008
235
0
My husband doesn't charge the field with the rulebook, Ken, but he will talk to the umpire between innings and respectfully challenge if need be :)

A couple of weeks ago, there was controversy over showing the ball. Tricky rule and hard to call, but the rule states, "The pitcher must show the ball, no less than one second and no longer than ten seconds." Respectfully between innings my husband stated the rule, but hostility grew (even parents). My husband grabbed the book which was a peacemaker. My husband reinforced the umpire's call and settled the parents (the controversy was about the opposing pitcher). Of course, my husband's choice to support the other team was not handled well by some. We like a clean win.

I would never suggest slamming the rulebook in anyone's face. When handled diplomatically, it serves as an arbitrator. It sounds to me as if she was dealing with inexperienced umpires (which is the case in school ball in our area). There are the two umpires on the field and that's it...not many who have a solid handle on the rules.

Additionally, you made my point by saying, "making sure a person understands..." I have often watched that become an irreconcilable situation because most active coaches and umpires believe they are each right. The rulebook settles the argument...it doesn't create one.

Respectfully,

Ang
 
May 5, 2008
358
0
I would also leave it alone. It is frustrating for sure, but umpires can rule against you on all kinds of things and sometimes, especially with judgment type calls (not saying that this particular situation is the same) you just have to move on and still play your best. If throughout the whole game you allow yourself and your team to feel like they are at an "unfair advantage" you just about eliminate the chance of overcoming that situation. I'm not saying you shouldn't point it out or talk to the umpires at all, but at a certain point you have to be able to "let it go" and treat it as a non-issue so that your girls just continue to play and don't have the whole "this is not fair" perspective in their heads as they play. KWIM?

I don't even think we're allowed to protest games here any more. Certainly not for the type of situation you described. It may be a case of getting the short end of the stick or less than average umpiring, but you said yourself, the girls are always in this situation. Do something about the situation as a whole as others suggested AND help your girls learn to overcome these types of challenges because, as you stated, it's the type of thing they will face often.
 

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