1. A legal pitch shall consist of the following:
A.) Prior to the pitch, the pitcher must have the ball in possession.
B.) A pitcher must take a position ready to pitch with a pivot foot touching the pitching plate, it does not have to be on top of the plate.
C.) Both feet must be within the 24” width of the pitcher’s plate.
D.) A pitcher may have stride foot on the plate or behind it.
E.) Before getting set, the pitcher’s hands must be separated.
F.) The pitcher may step back before starting the pitch.
***NOTE 1: It is not a step if the pitcher slides their foot in any direction on the pitcher’s plate, provided contact is maintained.
***NOTE 2: Techniques such as the “crow hop” are illegal. (Leaping is permitted)
***NOTE 3: If a hole has been created in front of the pitcher’s plate, the pivot foot may be no higher than the level plane of the ground.
G.) A LEGAL DELIVERY - shall be a pitched ball that is delivered to the batter with an underhand motion.
- The release of the ball and the follow-through of the hand and wrist must be forwarded past the vertical line of the body.
- The hand shall be below the hip and the wrist not farther from the body than the elbow.
- The pitch shall be delivered on the throwing arm side of the body and not behind the back or between the legs.
- The pitch is completed with a step toward the batter.
H.) THE PITCHER MAY USE ANY WINDUP DESIRED PROVIDED:
- No motion to pitch is made without immediately delivering the ball to the batter.
- The pitcher does not use a rocker action in which, after having the ball in both hands in pitching position, the pitcher removes one hand from the ball, takes a backward and forward swing, and returns the ball to both hands in front of the body.
- The pitcher does not use a windup in which there is a stop or reversal of the forward motion.
- The pitcher does not make more than one- and one-half revolutions of the arm in the windmill pitch. A pitcher may drop the pitching arm to the side and to the rear before starting the windmill motion. The ball does not have to be released the first time past the hip. 5. The pitcher does not continue to wind up after taking the forward step or after the ball is released.
***NOTE: Continuation of the windup is considered any action that, after the ball is released, causes the arm to continue to rotate past the shoulder.
I.) The pitcher shall not wear any item on the pitching hand, wrist, arm, or thigh that the Umpire judges to be distracting. If a pitcher wears a batting helmet while on defense, the outer covering and shield shall be a non-glare surface.
J.) Foreign Substance on the ball/Items on the pitcher. The pitcher shall not at any time be allowed to use any moisture or foreign substance on the ball, the pitching hand or fingers nor do anything to deface the ball. Neither shall any other player or team personnel apply moisture or a foreign substance to the ball nor do anything to deface the ball.
- Under the supervision and control of the Umpire, the powdered resin may be on the hands to dry them. No tacky or sticky substances can be used as a substitute for a powdered drying agent.
- The pitcher’s fingers, hand, wrist, forearm, or elbow may be taped for injury, providing such tape is a neutral color.
K.) The pitcher shall not deliberately drop, roll, bounce, etc., the ball while in the pitching position in order to prevent the batter from striking it.
2. A – K – Illegal Pitch Effect:
- Once the ball has been returned to the pitcher to prepare for the next pitch or the Umpire says “play”, the pitcher has 20 seconds to release the next pitch.
PENALTY: Dead ball; a ball on the batter
- At the beginning of an inning or when a pitcher relieves another pitcher, one minute may be used to deliver not more than five practice pitches to the catcher, or some other teammate. For excessive warm-up pitches, the pitcher shall be penalized by awarding a ball to the batter for each pitch in excess of five. A pitcher returning to pitch in the same half-inning shall not be allowed warm-up pitches. m. If the ball slips from the pitcher’s hand during the backswing or forward motion, a ball is called on the batter. In either case, the ball remains in play and runners may advance at their own risk.
3. CATCHER and DEFENSIVE POSITIONING:
A.) A catcher shall be inside the lines of the catcher’s box and all other defensive players positioned in fair territory when the pitcher takes their position to pitch and when the pitch is released.
PENALTY: An illegal pitch is called.
B.) The catcher shall return the ball directly to the pitcher after each pitch, except after a strikeout or a putout made by the catcher, or to play on a base runner.
PENALTY: The batter is awarded a ball. Exception: Intentionally violating the rule in order to walk the batter without pitching shall not result in a ball being awarded to the batter.
C.) A fielder shall not take a position in the batter’s line of vision or, with deliberate unsportsmanlike intent, act in a manner to distract the batter. A pitch does not have to be released.
EFFECT: The offending player shall be ejected from the game.
4 ILLEGAL PITCH:
An illegal pitch is a pitching rules violation. An illegal pitch is called immediately. It is a delayed dead ball and should be signaled by the umpire calling the illegal pitch and verbalized so a player could hear the call. Failure of players to hear the call shall not void the call.
A.) If the batter reaches first base safely and all other runners advance at least one base, the play stands, and the illegal pitch is canceled. No option is given.
B.) The coach of the offensive team has the option of taking the results of the play or accepting the effect for an illegal pitch.
C.) If the batter is hit by an illegal pitch, the batter is awarded first base, and each runner advances one base.
D.) If ball four is an illegal pitch, the batter is awarded first base, and each runner advances one base.
E.) The Umpire who called the illegal pitch shall explain the violation to the coach if requested.
5. NO PITCH shall be declared when:
A.) The pitcher pitches during the suspension of play.
B.) A runner is called out for leaving a base too soon.
C.) The pitcher attempts a quick return of the ball before the batter is in position or is off-balance as a result of a previous pitch.
D.) The pitcher pitches before a runner has retouched their base after being legitimately off that base.
E.) A player, manager, or coach calls time, employs any other word or phrase, or commits any act while the ball is live and in play for the obvious purpose of trying to make the pitcher commit an illegal pitch. The Umpire shall penalize according to the Sportsmanship Rule.
EFFECT- A-E: The ball is dead, and all subsequent action on that pitch is canceled.