TO: Officials, Coaches, Administrators, Observation Team, Contacts
FROM: Chris Maher, Instructional Chairman, Long Beach Unit
RE: 2020 Umpiring Memo #3
On Saturday, several of our member institutions will embark on the journey known as the 2020 Regular Season. Others will begin shortly after and all the hours of conditioning, practicing and team-building will come to fruition. The quest for a CIF Southern Section Baseball Championship will be a challenge for all, but remember our student-athletes and coaches are competitors. Please keep that in mind and above all, each one of us has an obligation to be professional. It is not only about what decision is made, but about how the decision was made and how we went about it.
Between Games of A Doubleheader: A friendly reminder that when a double-header is scheduled (2 games between the same 2 teams), the umpires need to bring both head coaches together between games to agree upon a start time for the second game as well as a time for when the plate meeting will happen. For example, a 1:35pm start time with a 1:30pm plate meeting. It is now the obligation of the umpiring crew to meet the agreed upon time frame. Please remember that these time frames are set around the starting pitcher’s warm up time and his ability to “get hot.”
NOCSAE Stamp on Baseballs: Per the CIF State office, as long as the baseball has the words “NOCSAE/SEI,” the baseball is compliant by NFHS rule. It does not need to have the exact logo in the NFHS Baseball Rule Book or other NFHS Publications.
On-Deck Hitters (3-3-1i): Only two “bat swingers” may be permitted. This could be two on-deck hitters between innings or a pitching change as well as the hitter and the on-deck hitter when the ball is live. This provision goes for players in live-ball territory or a situation where the dugout is extended. We do not want excess players with bats in the extended dugout area as this creates a safety issue for defensive players who could potentially enter that portion of dead-ball territory.
Wind-Up Position (6-1-2): A pitcher’s free (non-pivot) foot shall be in any position on or behind a line extending through the front edge of the rubber (pitcher’s plate). If this criteria is not met, he is in the set position and must conform to the guidelines of Rule 6-1-3 (i.e. going to the set position without interruption and in one continuous motion, Complete and discernible stop, etc.). Do not let this become an issue late in the game, correct it early.
Pitcher Re-Planting His Pivot Foot(6-1-1, 6-1-2, 6-1-3):The pitcher, in his delivery, pushes completely off the pitcher’s plate and while in the air and in front of the pitcher’s plate, throws the pitch. RULING: This is an illegal pitch. A pitcher who leaps from the pitching plate (rather than pushing away from it) is no longer in contact with the pitcher’s plate and has delivered an illegal pitch.
Pitchers Wearing Play Cards:Many of you have seen offensive players or other defensive players wear play card wristbands. A pitcher may also wear this provided it is on his glove-side arm or his belt and does not contain any distracting items (i.e. excessive amount of white). If an umpire deems this to be distracting, feel free to color in the logo with a magic marker or sharpie first before going any further. This is an avenue we can use without having to tell a pitcher to take it off.
As we have talked about in our meetings, we expect communication between our umpires and coaches. Anticipate the play being made, not the call. Let’s exercise slow, professional decisions and do things to help make the game right.