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Edition 2, 2014. Make a Great Call !. A frequent news letter for WPIAL ( PIAA District 7) Baseball Umpires and Coaches. QUESTIONS: Andy,. I just took my 2014 Baseball Rules Interpretation Class - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Make a Great Call !A frequent news letter for WPIAL ( PIAA District 7) Baseball Umpires and CoachesI just took my 2014 Baseball Rules Interpretation Class Andy,I have a question about the new POE concerning coaches' conduct.Based on the way the POE reads, it seems that they want "zero tolerance" for arguments of judgment calls. Do you want us to stop safe/out, fair/foul arguments the same way we would balls/strikes -- i.e., stop-sign gesture with COACH. You can't come out to argue safe and out." And then, if COACH keeps coming out, run him. Or are we still giving the Head Coach his say, if he comes out and argues the judgment call respectfully.


    There will be no "arguing" of judgment calls. We WILL permit them to approach us under control and "discuss" the ruling with respectful demeanor. If he charges us, by rule, he is to be ejected without warning. If he approaches us under control, then starts shouting or yelling, we will give a stop sign and verbal warning to calm him down for a controlled discussion. If he continues shouting, he is to be ejected. The 2014 points of emphasis does mention Umpire Authority and Enforcement, but it is more of a philosophical statement rather than a practical application of the rules.

    Basically, we are going to handle this situation as we always have:

    NO tolerance on balls and strikes. Meaning we will will give the stop sign (gesture) and say You cant argue balls and strikes. Quickly Repeat it one more time, if necessary. Then eject him the 3rd time. THE ENTIRE GAME OF BASEBALL IS BASED ON THE NUMBER 3.

    EXCEPTION : The ejection is immediate, if the coach charges you.

    The ejection is immediate, if the coach is openly disrespectful.* Edition 2, 2014

  • Compression Sleeves:

    There have been many questions and some confusion about compression sleeves. NFHS Rule 1-4-2 States:

    Uniform sleeves of each individual player shall be approximately the same length and shall not be ragged, frayed, or slit. If the Pitchers UNDERSHIRT sleeves are exposed, they shall not be white or gray. A pitcher shall not wear any item on his hands, wrists, or arms which may be distracting to the batter.SITUATION 17: The starting pitcher comes to the mound to take his warm-up throws to start the game. He is wearing a compression sleeve only on his throwing arm. The opposing coach demands that the sleeve be taken off before the pitcher may pitch.

    RULING: A pitcher may wear a compression or medical sleeve on one or both arms that is any color, including one that is white or gray, provided it (the white or gray one) does not extend below the elbow. A doctors signed permission slip is not required.

    If the pitcher wears a sleeve that extends below the elbow, it can be worn on either arm, provided it is not white or gray or have white/gray on it.

    It also cannot be of a color or color combination that would be deemed distracting by the plate umpire. (1-4-2; 6-2-1i)NFHS Baseball Rules Interpretations 2014Obviously, if you read the rule carefully, there is a difference between a uniform sleeve and a sleeve.


  • Andy:

    Question at our last meeting :

    Some pitchers use the set position all the time.

    With no runners on base, what if the pitcher doesn't stretch and pause before delivering the pitch?

    ANSWER:Here is the rule from MLB.

    It is not listed as a difference between NFHS and MLB, so we interpret it the same.

    Rule 8.01(b) Comment: With no runners on base, the pitcher is not required to come to a complete stop when using the Set Position. If, however, in the umpires judgment, a pitcher delivers the ball in a deliberate effort to catch the batter off guard, this delivery shall be deemed a quick pitch, for which the penalty is a ball.

    Remember that the set position is defined by where and how pitcher places his feet, so we will not confuse the set position with the illegal hybrid wind-up position in this interpretation.If you look through the explanation of the set position, it is stated that: when in the set position, "natural preliminary motions such as only one stretch MAY be made". The word MAY indicates that it is not mandatory.The pitcher can throw from the open stance position, without the preliminary stretch, as long as he does not quick pitch the batter. Batting practice pitchers do it all the time.QUESTION ;*

  • It has come to the attention of PIAA that certain umpires across the state have taken it upon themselves to either ignore interpretations provided by PIAA or NFHS or to make up their own interpretation in contradiction to an interpretation provided by competent authority (PIAA interpreter or NFHS staff).

    This cavalier attitude toward rules enforcement must stop immediately. While we may not be happy with certain rules or their interpretation there is a process to change a rule and this process must be followed. Until an interpretation of a rule or the actual rule itself is changed, failure to follow either could be cause for disciplinary action against an umpire who knowingly acts outside the rules. In addition, failure to enforce the rules as written also could have serious ramifications regarding liability because of the rules adopted for play and approved by the PIAA Board of Directors.

    Situations such as the extension of dugouts if they cannot hold the entire team, and the courtesy runner interpretation that were both addressed by PIAA must be enforced according to the rule and its interpretation.

    Please pass this on to umpires in your chapter and I would ask that if you become aware of umpires who fail to follow these guidelines to please notify this office as soon as possible. I have attached the rules change proposal form for those umpires that feel a rule should be changed. I ask that they forward a competed proposal form through the chapter, district, and state interpreter prior to it reaching my desk.

    This will ensure the proposals proper completion prior to review by Dr. Lombardi. The NFHS will not accept proposals that are not channeled through PIAA offices.

    Thank you for taking this most serious matter to your chapter members.Patrick B. GebhartAssistant Executive Director, PIAA

    Patrick B. GebhartAssistant Executive Director, PIAANOTICE:The NFHS Rule Change Proposal Form is attached as the last page of this Edition of Make a Great Call. If you have a suggestion or two for rules that need changed, please email me ( and I will send you the electronic version that can be conveniently completed on line. *

  • *

    National Federation of State High School Associations

    Rule Change Proposal Form

    Deadline for Proposal:

    E-mail to :

    Proposal initiated by









    1. Only one proposal per page.

    2. It is expected all proposals be submitted as a Word document to the NFHS.

    3.State the proposals clearly and concisely.

    4.Word the proposal exactly as you want it to appear in the rules book.

    5.Provide a short rationale stating the problem and explaining the benefit of the proposal.

    6. If not on state association staff, e-mail this form directly to your State High School Association office.






    Suggested Change (Underlining shows additions; strikethrough shows deletions)

    Rationale (Be clear and concise in your rationale to support rule change)

    Other Rules Affected
















    For State Association use only

    Select State Association

    Submitted by

    This rule proposal has been reviewed and forwarded by the state chief executive officer.*

    *This rule proposal, if submitted by a committee member, does not require the review of the State Association Executive Director or his/her designee.