GHSA SOFTBALL WEEKLY BLAST #5
EACH WEEK THE “WEEKLY BLAST” WILL ADDRESS CONCERNS/ISSUES AS POINTS OF EMPHASIS OBSERVED IN GAMES DURING THE REGULAR SEASON.
DEFENSIVE CONFERENCES - Each team is granted (3) defensive conferences per 7-inning game. There is no limit on how many a coach may use in a single inning, but after a team has used the allotment of (3) a pitching change must be made. See Rule 3-7-1 for a reference. OFFENSIVE CONFERENCES – Each team is allowed (1) offensive conference per half inning. Any subsequent request for an offensive timeout to talk to a batter, runner, both, or another coach is not allowed. See Rule 3-7-2 for reference. NOTE: The plate umpire needs to keep track of all conferences by using the back of the lineup card or by creating a “conference” card. Also, make sure you communicate this information with the coaches.
SPORTSMANSHIP – We have had an alarming number of coaching ejections during the first month of the season. Coaches need to understand, when an umpire states “I’ve heard enough Coach, or that’s all Coach” the dispute needs to end. When coaches continue to argue an opinion after that point nothing good can come of it. Also, there is a “zero tolerance” for assistant coaches confronting an umpire with an argument. If a coach feels an umpire(s) displayed an unprofessional attitude, or misapplied a rule, they need to submit an “Unsatisfactory Officiating Report” and it will be dealt with.
PITCHING – We have addressed “pitching” each week this season. There are two messages you need to understand. UMPIRES, if you are not going to enforce the current NFHS pitching rules you will not advance to the post season. COACHES, your pitchers may be getting away with illegal pitches during the regular season, but they won’t in the post season. The “Pitching Rules” are clearly defined in Rule 6 in the Rules Book.
RULES INTERPRETATIONS – Each week I will also send an NFHS Rules Interpretation of the week (see below) for your review. Also, remember to submit your rules/policy questions in the MIS system on the GHSA website. This material will also be featured on the website in our weekly “Media Timeout”.
NFHS WEEKLY RULE SITUATION INTERPRETATION
Situation: Team B asks for and is granted a defensive conference in the first inning. In the fourth inning Team B again asks for a conference and after talking to their pitcher, brings in a new pitcher. Later in the fifth inning, Team B is granted another defensive conference and during the conference replaces F4. In the sixth inning Team B requests and is granted another defensive conference. In the seventh inning Team B request another conference and is told by the umpire that if they are granted this conference that they are required to change their pitcher. Team B’s coach objects and says since they replaced a player during the conference in the fourth and fifth innings that neither of those conference should have been recorded as charged conferences; the umpire disagrees and states they have had three charged conferences, and this would be their fourth requiring a pitching change. RULING: Correct ruling. It is not a charged conference when the pitcher is removed from the pitching position, so the conference in the fourth inning does not count as a charged conference. However, the conference in the first (1), fifth (2) and sixth (3) all count as charged conferences. If the coach of Team B insists on having a conference, they would be required to remove their pitcher from the pitching position for the remainder of the game. (3-7-1)