Catcher going to Pitcher rule - Tournament Play

  • Major Baseball Tournament.

    Catcher going to Pitcher having caught for only three innings.

    Does one pitch or one out in an inning constitute a full inning for the purposes of this rule ?

    Catcher A

    Catches the last out in bottom of 3rd.

    Three outs in 4th

    Three outs in 5th

    Two outs in 6th.

    Can he now pitch ?



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  • Tom - No he can't. One pitch equals an inning for this rule.

  • @ Tom - A single pitch in an inning counts as an inning catching. In your Scenario Catcher A has caught in 4 innings and CAN NOT pitch.

  • Is there a reference you can point to for the one pitch equals one inning? I find it only in the Softball rulebook.

  • Yeah, this rule isn't clearly written. The word "complete" is not included, and the modern "travel ball" innings counts being based on number of outs causes a lot of confusion here. Not that LL cares what I think, but they could help us all out by saying "in any portion of four or more innings" rather than "in four or more innings", since a LOT of people seem to think that they mean "in four or more complete innings", but LLB&S has said pretty clearly on here that one pitch in the "fourth" inning DQs the catcher from pitching if he has already caught one pitch in each of the other three.

    In theory - well, in FACT - a catcher could be ineligible to pitch for just catching FOUR pitches in the entire game. Seems a bit weird, but, yeah, it's true.

  • Here is the wording from the Regulation and the Instructors Comments from the LLRIM. {BOLDING is mine]

    Regulation VI -- PITCHERS

    (a) Any player on a regular season team may pitch. EXCEPTION: any player, who has played the position of catcher in four (4) or more innings in a game, is not eligible to pitch on that calendar day.

    INSTRUCTOR COMMENTS:

    The responsibility and compliance of this rule belongs to the manager of the team. The enforcement however belongs to the umpires and they should always be aware of player substitutions for catcher’s and pitchers.

    The catcher receiving one pitch to a batter in the fourth inning constitutes having caught four (4) innings. Warm-up pitches do not count, only when the ball is live will the pitches count toward innings caught.

  • For me, the key word in the rule is "IN" (". . . IN four (4) or more innings . . .") rather than "for" (as in "for four (4) or more innings").

  • Tom H.....the catcher going to pitcher regulations are for LL Baseball only, not LL Softball.

    Also, the rule as stated does make sense and really doesn't need additional clarification....."in four (4) or more innings in a game, is not eligible to pitch on that calendar day." The rule states in four (4) or more innings. No matter how many pitches they catch, if they are the catcher in at least 4 innings, they can't pitch after that.

    These examples came out in last year's discussions:

    Catcher catches in innings 1, 2, 3. He then pitches in inning 4 (throws less than 41 pitches). He catches in Innings 5 & 6 - this is legal, as he didn't pitch 4 innings before going to the pitching position and while pitching, pitched less than 41. Yeah may not be smart, but it is legal.

  • Giving John a little help.

    "as he didn't pitch (by pitch, he clearly means catch) 4 innings before going to the pitching position and while pitching, pitched less than 41. Yeah may not be smart, but it is legal."

  • Thanks to all. I am "IN" the know now.

  • Thanks for the correction, Jon! I dislike when I try to make my comments on my Iphone and mistype info.....have to stop doing that.

  • With the above rule being stated, is the manager responsible for telling the official scorer when the catcher changes positions? If so, can you reference the rule?

  • John Zaneski - "Also, the rule as stated does make sense and really doesn't need additional clarification....."in four (4) or more innings in a game, is not eligible to pitch on that calendar day." The rule states in four (4) or more innings. No matter how many pitches they catch, if they are the catcher in at least 4 innings, they can't pitch after that."

    If it doesn't need any clarification, why did you go to the trouble to proceed to clarify it?

    My know-it-all position is that is DOES need clarification, because there are people who believe it to mean 12 defensive outs or more. You're welcome to disagree, but your opinion is no more authoritative than mine, no offense intended. I just think you're wrong, with all due respect.

  • Bernard, I clarified because there was a question above my post.

    Dale probably referenced/explained this best as he emphasized ""IN" 4 innings."

    I umpire/officiate for a variety of organizations, which include baseball, softball, and more. I still have questions about rules, but when you learn to understand what rules say and the language being used, they start to make more sense.......usually.....:)

  • Danny,

    "With the above rule being stated, is the manager responsible for telling the official scorer when the catcher changes positions? If so, can you reference the rule?"

    Simple answer: No

    However, if you want to cover your team and avoid a mistake or confusion, it is easy to mention to the plate Ump and/or book that you have a new catcher for the 4th (or whatever)

  • Also, if you don't tell the official scorer of a change, so they can mark it in the official scorebook, did the change really happen?

    Moving F3 to F6 isn't really a big deal, but because of the rules we need to follow, a manager MUST make sure the official book reflects his pitching and catching changes, along with all player substitutions in and out of the line-up.

  • Need Help ! I'm trying to find in the Rule Book that says a catcher can't pitch after catching in 4 innings and more on that calender day ? thanx.