@ Mark - Actually, the official scorekeeper here at the LLBWS is not the person who relays the pitch count via computer to the dugout electronic readout. The official scorekeeper keeps the paper book, and only the paper book.
It's not even the person who maintains the electronic book. It's also not the scoreboard operator.
It's a person whose sole job it is to maintain the electronic pitch count - and that person is not the official counter. (That's the official scorekeeper, a fact made clear to the managers.)
The pitch count they have in the dugout on the electronic device at the LLBWS is neither official, nor is it necessarily the count that is being maintained on paper officially. We just do it to be nice, and it does constitute an electronic device for the manager, but not a "communications" device as it pertains to this rule.
Again, we would not consider it "communication" for the manager to have an electronic device that allows him/her to follow along with a scorekeeper, official or otherwise.
That's why the rule was changed -- for the sake of good ol' common sense. So if the manager has a device that lets him know that his pitcher needs to be removed, preventing a protest, it's a good thing.
We as umpires should not be looking for ways to impose rules in ways for which they were not intended. In our umpire clinics, those who have a desire to work their way into higher levels are told not to have "rabbit ears."
So we, as an reasonable umpire, can make a distinction between these three things, and act accordingly:
1. Billy hits a home run. Upon crossing the plate, the Billy's mom (from behind the backstop) says, "I'm so proud of you Billy," as tears are running down her face. Billy replies, "Thanks, mom!"
2. Manager's spouse is keeping a "team" book (or not keeping a book at all) in the stands. He yells to his wife, the manager of the team, "Don't forget to put Billy in this inning," or "Tommy's up to 77 pitches."
3. Manager's husband is just beyond the center field fence with binoculars. He has semaphore flags (you Navy guys will know what that is), relaying information to his wife, the manager, on signals the catcher is giving to the pitcher.
Are all three "violations" of the rule, from a strict technical perspective? Yes.
No. 1, going by the letter of the rule, is the worst vilolation. After all, it was, in fact, a TWO-way communication between a game participant and a fan. Scenarios 1 and 2 are just ONE way messages. Are we going to prevent No. 1 as the umpire? Certainly not. That would be silly. But then, that's just common sense.
What about No. 2? We're probably going to let that one go, too, as long as it is infrequent. Heck, the guy is actually helping us, by preveting a possible protest. Stopping that sort of thing -- again, if it's not going on all the time -- is not the intent of the rule. We'd be a lot more concerned if the husband was shouting advice every other batter. But then, again, that's just common sense.
Are we going to prevent No. 3? Definitely, yes.
Your final question is a different matter, however. If there are messages being exchanged, then it is a communications issue, and should be prevented.