Alright guys I have a bet with one of my fellow umpires that only certain illegal pitches can be called when runners are not on base vs. when runners are on base. I am looking for you all to help me convince him.
Situation: Nobody on and pitcher starts to deliver to the plate and slips and fails to deliver the ball. Plate umpire (who is my friend) signals illegal pitch and awards ball to batter and pitch to pitcher. In talking, I say that this is not an illegal pitch but simply a "time, no pitch" without runners on base. If a runner or runners were on base, then it would have in fact been an illegal pitch. He swears up down though that it is an illegal pitch.
Rules that say I am right:
2.00 Definition of Terms - An ILLEGAL PITCH is (1) a pitch delivered to the batter when the pitcher does not have the pivot foot in contact with the pitcher's plate; (2) a quick return pitch, or any other act meeting the criteria established in Rule 8.05.
I say that these illegal pitches can be called at any point. Other umpires present agree with me. There is no mention of anything regarding runners, just that these are illegal pitches.
4.03 (a) -When the ball is put in play at the start of, or during a game, all fielders other than the catcher shall be in fair territory. The catcher shall be stationed directly back of the plate. The catcher may leave that position at any time to catch a pitch or make a play except that when the batter is being given an intentional base on balls, the catcher must stand with both feet within the lines of the catchers box until the ball leaves the pitcher's hand. PENALTY (MINOR/MAJOR BASEBALL): Illegal pitch - ball called on the batter.
Again we are in agreeance that this illegal pitch can be called at any point.
Now here is where our differences arise. I say that under 8.05 a runner or runners must be on to be called. I back this up by the beginning of the wording: An illegal pitch(a balk in JUNIOR/SENIOR/BIG LEAGUE BASEBALL) when there is a runner, or runners on base is when - etc. I will spare you all with all of the examples, but under (a) failure to deliver the ball to the batter is listed. So in our example, this would merely be a no pitch. I have also pointed out what the RIM says, but he does not want to look at the RIM as he says you can only call what is within the rulebook. So please guys, I am 100% sure I am correct, but how do I convince my partner? In reading 8.05 to him he says that the runner or runners on base is talking about awarding a balk. Any suggestions?
There was a time years ago when he was right. The wording in 8.05 was imprecise/poorly puncuated. LL has since refined the rules to clear it up.
The penalty under 4.03(a) in the LL rule book says "(see rule 8.05)" since at least 2005.
It is there that you will find that runners must be on base.
Tell him if he went to the LL umpire school they would teach from the RIM and that it is the LL instructions on how to implement and interpret rules.
You can also invite him to send an appropriqate question on the subject to your region.
You're mostly correct on 8.05 and neither of you is correct on 4.03(a).
Looks like you have an old rulebook. What you really want is the 2011 rule book, or better yet, the 2011 Little League Rules Instruction Manual, which you get at the regional clinics.
- Rule 4.03(a) states that the one-ball penalty applies only when there are runners. Here's an excerpt from the 2011 RIM: "PENALTY (MINOR/MAJOR BASEBALL): Illegal pitch - ball called on the batter (with a runner or runners on base - see Rule 8.05)."
- Rule 8.05 states that the illegal pitch/one-ball penalty applies only when there are runners except in the cases of a quick pitch [8.05(e)] and simulating a pitching motion while not in contact [8.05(g)]. Here's the excerpt: "Majors/Minors - With no runners on base you only call an illegal pitch if (e) and/or (g) are committed. Otherwise, call nothing with no runners on base at any level of play."
(Hint: if you Google for "2011 Little League Rules Instruction Manual", you just might find it.)
I'm wrong on 4.03(a)? Not in the version I have.
2011 rule book page 65
"PENALTY: Illegal pitch - ball called on the batter (see Rule 8.05)"
"with a runner or runners on base" is only in the RIM.
The reference to 8.05 in the rule book covers it - the RIM reinforces that this is what it means.
Actually Rich, from the beginning of the expanded IP in 60ft you couldn't call 8.05 violations without runners. The problem was many were interpreting it wrong. I checked with Andy from the getgo but many told me I was wrong. A certain Texas umpire and I pushed hard to get guys to get it right. I got the ruling from Andy in a face to face meeting, then in an email, then I convinced him to put it in the Fairball. I finally got others to agree that it was the way LL wanted it. It has been further refined since then.
Michael S. Taylor
Actually Mike, it was written incorrectly - and enforced as written by LL. It took a lot of comments and notes to AK over a lot of time to finally get it through to them that it was written wrong and get it corrected in Fairball, and finally in the rule book.
I checked my rule book collection. It was "wrong" in 2001, 2002, and 2003 - didn't get fixed until 2004.
All I know was the clinics I went to said whatever was a balk is now an illegal pitch. That was how I called it from day one, including getting protested in allstars and was upheld. I argued from day one, here and other boards, that the "new IPs" were with runners only. Nobody but Dave Hensley agreed with me. There were some that came to my way of thinking but their district wouldn't accept it without something official from LL.
Michael S. Taylor
Well I tried again tonight to convince him and all he did was screw up what should have been called an IP lol. R1 and R3 pitcher starts a windup and falls off the rubber. He signals time right as I am getting ready to signal IP. He says that he is confused now as to what is an IP and what is not. He did manage to say that it looks like I am correct but he just does not see how lol.
You are not using the right rule in this situation. Rule 8.01 is the right rule to apply not 8.05.
8.01 in essence states that once a pitcher starts any motion to deliver the ball to the batter he must complete such activity without interruption or alteration, otherwise it is an illegal pitch. The penalty for an illegal pitch is to call the pitch a ball. The play is not a dead ball but a delayed dead ball 8.01 (d). I like the way the last sentence in that rule states. "A ball which slips out of the pitcher's hand and crosses the foul line shall be called a ball; otherwise it will be called "no pitch" without runners on base, and an ILLEGAL PITCH" (Well duh, what is the penalty for an illegal pitch? BALL!!!) Page 88 & 89 of official 2011 LL Rule book.
That is the way I read the situation. Sorry, I would say that your friend is right. Especially since the ball cannot be a delayed dead ball, because the pitch was never delivered.
I think you have it backwards. You're focusing on the penalty first, wanting to call that ball in situations where it shouldn't be. You need to first focus on what makes something an illegal piitch. Certain illegal pitches REQUIRE that there be runners.
That 8.01(d) comment applies ONLY to a ball that slips from the pitchers hand. You seem to want to apply it to other situations, and that's not valid.
You also left out four important words. From 8.01(d):
"A ball which slips out of the pitcher’s hand and crosses the foul line shall be called a ball; otherwise it will be called “no pitch” without runners on base, and an illegal pitch with runners on base."
Thanks for the correction.
Somehow, I thought that they had runners on base, but after rereading the post I see that I misunderstood.
Rule 1, understand the problem before you can solve it.
Have a great day, enjoy the game and thanks for listening.
So in talking to some of my fellow umpires here at the 9-10 states that are currently going on I feel the urge to ask a few more questions with this thread.
Some here believe you can call an illegal pitch without runners on base just that there is no penalty.
Some here believe you can call an illegal pitch without runners on base, no ball is awarded, but a pitch is charged to the pitcher.
Some here (I am in this group) believe that with no runners on base you can only call a no pitch unless he is not in contact with the pitching plate or delivers a quick pitch.
Under 8.02, the rule states the pitcher shall not then the list begins. Now lets say the pitcher goes to his mouth on the pitcher's plate and you enforce the rule. A ball is awarded to the batter, but does a pitch count towards the pitcher's pitch count? I say this is merely illegal and not an illegal pitch because you should signal it as soon as it occurs and not allow the pitcher to even attempt to start to pitch. Others say that this and the others listed all add a pitch to the pitch count.
To me, an illegal pitch is under 8.05 and 8.02 is merely illegal. 8.02 can result in an ejection or a ball reward depending on what is done but pitch count is not effected.
This whole problem is because LL decided to call a balk an illegal pitch in majors and below. That left us with two different kinds of illegal pitches.
The solution is to think of an 8.05 "balkIP" as just a balk with a different penalty.
Then you can get it straight in your head.