NEW RULES AND POINTS OF INTEREST 2014 NFHS FOOTHILL-CITRUS BASEBALL UMPIRES ASSOCIATION 6-1-3 – Legal Set Position 6-1-3 – Legal Set Position • Clarified the correct and legal position of the pivot foot in the set position. • Comment: The pivot foot must now be in contact with or directly in front of and parallel to the pitcher’s plate. This rule eliminates the so called “hybrid stance” where base runners can become confused as to whether a pitcher is in the windup or set position. Legal – Wind-up Position • Wind-up Position Legal – Set Position • Set Position Illegal – Set or Wind-up Position • “Hybrid” Illegal Position 7-3-5c – Backswing Interference 7-3-5c – Backswing Interference • Clarified the rules for a specific type of interference by the batter. • Comment: The words “including backswing interference” have been added to the rule. Backswing interference has always been considered a type of batter’s interference. This clarification merely adds the words to the rule. POE – Malicious Contact POE – Malicious Contact • The NFHS is concerned this rule is not being consistently enforced. • In determining whether contact is malicious, the following should be considered: POE – Malicious Contact • Did the runner have a chance to avoid the contact? If the ball arrives ahead of the runner, the umpire must decide if the runner had a chance to avoid contact. If contact occurs, it could be called an illegal slide or malicious contact. This is umpire judgment. POE – Malicious Contact • Was the contact the result of excessive force? The intentional lowering of a shoulder into a defensive player, usually the catcher, would be considered excessive force, and thus, malicious contact. A player who loses his balance then collides with the catcher or fielder may be guilty of an illegal slide but not necessarily malicious contact. POE – Malicious Contact • Excessive force (continued) Sometimes, a runner will put up his arms to protect himself against a collision with a fielder or a catcher. In this case, even if a fielder or catcher is knocked off his feet, it would be an illegal slide, but it may not necessarily be malicious contact. These are judgment calls for the umpire. Process what you see and determine the intent of the runner. POE – Malicious Contact • Did the contact occur above the waist of the receiving player? Home plate and the bases are on the ground. A runner who makes intentional contact above the waist is quite likely not attempting to reach the plate or base. POE – Malicious Contact • Was there intent to injure? The throwing of an elbow or the intentional lowering of a shoulder would be an example of an intent to injure. Remember, malicious contact supersedes obstruction. Blocking a base without the ball in NOT a mitigating factor in determining malicious contact. The runner is still obligated to perform a legal slide or attempt to avoid contact. 232-1,2 POE – Coaching Attire POE – Coaching Attire This does not seem to be a wide-spread problem in California. However, umpires are expected to enforce this rule. Legal: Per rule 3-2-1, coaches must be in the uniform of their team; baseball shoes, baseball pants, jersey top similar to what the team wears, either a t-shirt with a team logo, wind shirt with a team logo, jacket and a baseball cap. POE – Coaching Attire Illegal: Coaches who are wearing shorts, or other nonbaseball attire such as, but not limited to, sweatpants, jeans, tennis shoes or sandals. Penalty: The coach is restricted to the dugout. If the team’s only coach is in non-compliance, he will be allowed on the field to participate in pregame meeting or attend to injured player. POE – Umpire Authority POE – Umpire Authority The NFHS wants to emphasize the importance of cooperation between coaches and umpires. The sole purpose of umpires is to administer the game and keep the game under control. To help achieve that end, coaches need to cooperate with umpires and comply with umpire requests. Coaches will sometimes have issues with various developments during the game. However, coaches and umpires are expected to act in a professional manner. POE – Umpire Authority Once a coach has received an explanation of his question, the coach needs to return to the coaching box or dugout in a timely manner. Coaches who fail to comply with an umpire’s request, such as remaining outside the dugout during a live ball, exaggerating the time for offensive and/or defensive conferences, gamesmanship and challenging the umpire’s authority cannot be tolerated in educationbased athletics. POE – Umpire Authority Coaches must understand they are setting the sportsmanship example for their team. Everyone benefits when it is a positive example. It also should be noted that umpires are expected to act in a professional manner in dealing with coaches and players. Coaches should report issues involving umpire professionalism to either the local assigner or liaison. Reminders • Lineup Cards Please do not separate lineup cards. Just hand everything to the plate umpire. It is acceptable to provide a lineup card to the opposing team scorekeeper before the pregame meeting at home plate. Umpires are instructed to take the home lineup card first, then the visiting lineup card before inspecting either of the lineup cards. Reminders • Lineup Cards II If you are using a designated hitter, please list the DH either directly below or directly across from the player for whom he is hitting. Please do not list the DH at the bottom of the lineup card, unless of course, he is batting for the player ninth in the order. Reminders • Pregame Meeting It has been noted during the pregame meeting at home plate, members of the visiting team have often been observed outside their dugout warming up with bats. Rule 2-10-2 provides BOTH teams must remain in the dugout during the pregame meeting. Reminders • Leaving Dugout During Live Ball Coaches are doing a much better job in helping umpires enforce this rule. A reminder that players who leave the dugout to congratulate a scoring runner during a live ball will receive a team warning. Any following violators are subject to ejection. Coaches are also reminded to remain in the dugout as provided by rule. Coaches may leave a dugout to position defensive players, but must immediately return to the dugout. Reminders • Field Markings There have been issues with the correct marking of the field. Complaints have been made about batter’s boxes not drawn correctly with the inside lines missing or the lack of a catcher’s box. On deck circles need to be marked as well as coach’s boxes. Foul lines should be marked all the way to the fence. Those who are involved with marking the field can use the diagram on page seven of the 2014 rule book as a guideline. Reminders Good luck during the 2014 season.