I am sending this message to everyone in the league because I will be holding a rules clinic on Friday, April 17 at 6:30. We will be meeting at Spring Creek BBQ on Highway 6 at West Little York. All managers, coaches and team umpires are urged to attend as we have noted several rules concerns while observing games. I will send out an itinerary later in the week. This clinic will carry over to Saturday, at which time we will get in some on field work during games. Please email me so we can get a good head count of those who will be in attendance. This is also a good time for us to get a good idea of how things are going since we are a few weeks into the season.
This weeks topic is game (time) management. Let's start with starting the game. Each game should be started promptly and on time. When setting up for a game or in between innings, the teams should move quickly to get play started again. Teams should be given approximately 1 minute 30 seconds to prepare for the next half inning. In most cases, I will monitor time and allow warm up time based on the team's sense of urgency. At maximum a new pitcher should receive no more than 8 warm up pitches. This can change based on several factors including "talk time" or general lackadaisical movement. A returning pitcher shall be allowed no more than five pitches to warm up. I know things don't always go as planned but this is a good rule to follow. Wasting time here slows the game down too much. If a team takes too long to take the field in between innings, warm up time can and will be lost.
Time outs: The offensive team, unless in the case of injury, shall be allowed ONE time out per inning. If you call your batter to talk then that is considered your time out and further delays may result in penalties. For example, a batter that does not take his position at the plate in a timely manner can have a strike called against him and can ultimately be put out without the pitcher throwing a single pitch. Defensive time outs are for necessary changes or conferences. It is UMPIRE'S JUDGMENT to allow "Time Out" to be called at any time. In a game, any time out called to talk to defensive players about the game (except for injury) shall be charged to the pitcher. In any one inning there are two visits allowed and on the third visit during an inning the pitcher must be replaced. This is also cumulative throughout the game. Any pitcher may receive up to three visits throughout a game (exception is above) and on the fourth visit, the pitcher must be removed. Once again, any visit to talk to any fielder shall be charged to the pitcher.
This only starts to cover this concern. Email me with questions; I expect to get some from this one. And as always, feel free to email me with any other questions. Knowing the rules of the game is powerful.