This is my first year officiating under FED Rules and I am still getting used to a few of the minor differences between it and OBR. In a game the other night, the pitcher would straddle the rubber then proceed to get on the pitchers plate. His arm was dangling down between his legs and was slightly moving back and forth. The guy who I was officiating with called a balk. The coach did not agree with the balk and the way it was explained to him was that the pitcher was not allowed to be in the "gorilla" position. My partner told the coach that the pitcher was not allowed to dangle and move his arm once he was on the pitchers plate. I have not heard this one and can not find it in the rule book. What I have found says that the pitcher must have his pitching hand down at his side or behind his back. What is everyones enterpretation on this one? To me he is not doing anything to deceive the runner by moving his hand and that a balk might be called due to his hand placement. My partner was pretty adamant about moving of the hand though. Afterwards in talking he said that a pdf was sent out stressing this rule. I did not receive this pdf though and he is supposed to forward it to me but I have not seen it as of yet. What is everyones comments please?
He can dangle the arm but cannot move it.
2010 NFHS Interpretations (See the NFHS web site)
SITUATION 1: While in the set position, F1 has his pitching hand hanging straight down in front of his body, stationary, as he gets the sign from the catcher. RULING: The use of the “gorilla” stance in the set position is legal provided the arm is not moving. The batter, runner(s) on base, and coaches are able to view the pitcher and the ball and are not placed at a disadvantage. (6-1-3)
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