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Discussion: ILLEGAL PITCH

Posted Discussion
July 8
Double Dee

19 posts
Question. When a pitcher throws a pitch deemed "illegal" (too high or too flat) is there any responsibility from the umpire to call the pitch illegal, loudly, while the pitch is still in the air? Some umpires loudly tell you it's illegal before you start your swing (extremely helpful on a border line height) and other's don't, or just hold their arm to the side which the batter can't see. I ask because I was watching a game recently and the batter had 1 strike and the next pitch was illegal, but the ump didn't make a sound. Batter swung and missed, then told the umpire "you have to be louder and faster with that call". The umpire said he wasn't required to say anything. I respect the umps, as I would never umpire a game myself. Thoughts please?
July 8
GMCinCOS

7 posts
According to the rulebook:

6.14. Illegal pitch. The umpire should call an illegal pitch when the ball is at its highest point less than 6' or over 12' above the playing surface.
July 8
Double Dee

19 posts
Let's add "Loudly" to that rule! :)
July 9
johnnyQ

1 posts
I always pointed at the ball at the point it was illegal and said "ILLEGAL" loud enough the batter and catcher would hear. Then after make my hand signal for all the players to see.
July 10
stick8

1994 posts
Left arm out. Yell out “illegal” while pitch is in tne air. If the batter swings at it then it’s game on.
July 10
JohnO28
Men's 50
127 posts
What association were you watching? NSA for example rules state the Ump doesn't have to notify the batter it's an illegal pitch verbally. He just has to raise his arm. I've argued for years that the rule is the spirit of the rule is to help the batter and he's the only player on the field that doesn't know it was called illegal if the ump just holds their hand up.
July 12
mck71
Men's 60
348 posts
I am a very loud umpire and noticed when I "yelled" illegal or flat, I would startle the batter (flat comes out faster on those low hot ones some guys try and get away with, me included! lol) Now I do what JohnnyQ stated, arm out so pitcher and everyone else knows but say illegal or flat so only the batter and catcher will hear, seems to be a better solution for when I am calling games and if an umpire does it that way when I am playing, I very much appreciate that as well.

Agree with JohnO28, just an arm out or up does nothing to help the batter unless guy on deck or baserunner is watching and letting batter know.
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