Gear requirement for a warmup, or bullpen catcher

  • Do we have a rule, in the rulebook that guides us on this?

    Not a local rule, or what you were told, but an actual rule we can point to.

    And no, the RIM doesn't count, as A. It's not available to everyone, and B. It's a rule explanation document, not a rule creating one.

    And yeah, we all have an opinion one what it should be. That doesn't count, either. I want a real rule citation.

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  • Other than 1.17, which some will say only applies to games, how about the SAFETY CODE FOR LL (Appendix B in the Green Book)?

    Doesn't Safety apply to both Games and Practices !!!

  • The requirement, cited both in rule 1.17 and in the Safety Code as Lou mentions, is for the warm-up catcher to wear only the helmet/mask/dangler. LL does not require warm-up catchers to wear the full regalia.

    I take it your opinion is that the warm-up catcher should wear the complete uniform. There really is nothing to justify it. And even though you don't want to use the RIM, it is clearly spelled in the Instructor Comments under rule 1.17 that it is not necessary for the warm-up catcher to wear the chest protector and shin guards.

  • The difference between the book and the RIM is that the RIM requires a catchers mitt. The book does not.

    I'm not advocating full gear, but would think a male warmup catcher, squatting in front of a slab of hard rubber, should be required to wear some sort of protection.

    Watch the bullpen in any MLB game, and the catchers are wearing a cup, mask, and shinguards. And these are pitchers who rarely skip balls off the plate.

    I just find it odd that the RIM is worried about finger and thumb protection. One would think that they prioritize things a little differently.

  • (BASEBALL) Rule 1.12 requires the catcher to wear a catcher's mitt. This would include a warm-up catcher.

  • Rule 1.17 also requires a cup and chest protector.

    So, when's a catcher a catcher?

  • I was taught, by Western Region, that a warm-up catcher needs helmet/mask/dangler, cup, and catcher's mitt. The other equipment isn't needed until you have a batter.

  • For all you full gear fans, answer this.

    Between innings, when the game catcher is returning from being on base and gearing up, then the kid that gets sent out to warm up the pitcher has to have full gear on?


    So the team has to have a sub sitting in the dugout in full gear just in case?

    Otherwise you might as well just wait for the game catcher.

    When do you start counting the warm-up minute?

  • Doesn't the warm up minute start the moment the 3rd out is made

    but do you guys really enforce that 1m in regular season play?

  • In rule 8.03, technically, the "8 pitches/1 minute" starts when the pitcher takes a position at the start of each inning.

    So, wthe pitcher is the batter with a runner on 2nd and two outs. The pitcher singles to center and heads towards 2nd as the throw goes to the plate. The runner is out at the plate, out #3. The pitcher is just getting to 2nd base. Now he has to go back to the dugout, take off his helmet, get his glove and get back out to the mound.

    That could take almost a minuteand the pitcher has just got to the mound adn hasn't started warming up yet!

    It's game management by the umpire, get them in/out as quickly as possible and allow the pitcher his/her proper warm up.

    I get really frustrated when I see umpires let players "take their time" and it ends upp being 3-4 minutes between each half inning - they're just losing playing time!

    On the other hand, I get frustrated when I see an ump with a stopwatch telling a pitcher who just got to the mound sorry your minute is up, you don't get any warm-up pitches!

  • One other thing, the "catcher" needs to be a player and not a parent/coach.

  • What burns me, as an umpire, is watching three adults in the dugout yaking, one catcher at the other end searching and struggling with gear, and two bench players doing nothing.

    Multiply those 2 extra minutes between every inning, by the number of changeovers, and you've got a HUGE amount of dead time. Ever wonder why players lose interest in baseball? Bad managers is a big reason. Set your defense when there's two outs, have your catcher, and warmup catcher ready to go. Have your F3 and F8 have ball in their gloves. IOW, be a manager. Most anyone can coach, but you really need a manager on game day.

    Oh, and those goofs with stopwatches, who yell "Balls in!" burns me too. Honestly, we're not waiting to come back from commercials. Umpires are equally at blame at proper game management.

    So, are warmup catchers wearing catcher's mitts, or not?

  • I was taught helmet, mask, dangler and catcher's mitt both at ER umpire School and multiple umpire clinics in Williamsport.

  • Same as Gary said: helmet, mask, dangler, and catcher's mitt. If WR is saying the warmup catcher has to have a cup, there is NO rule stating that.

    Now, even with 9, I never had an adult take warmups on the small diamond. EVER.

    With 9, the 3b takes his glove and hat along with the catcher's mitt and mask out there. Toss the glove and hat off on the 3b side and take the warmups. When the catcher is ready, the 3b grabs his hat and glove, and the 1b is instructed to give him the next 2 warmup throws. He's had the tosses back to the pitcher anyways, so he won't be 100% cold either.

    I look at it as free catcher practice. The coaches who won't put a kid out there are the same ones who complain they don't have enough catchers ! So, MAKE some.

    I always had a clipboard with my defensive lineup on it hanging in the dugout. The warmup catcher, and the player responsible for warming up the outfielder were also on it. The KIDS also counted the pitches for me (if I had enough). The pitch counter was also on the defensive lineup as well ! If you have 12 kids, you have 9 in the field, and the other 3 have a specific task to do. NO ONE does nothing.

  • Jeffrey: "If you have 12 kids, you have 9 in the field, and the other 3 have a specific task to do. NO ONE does nothing."

    I did something similar, give the 3 kids "not on defense" something to do, keep them "in the game".

    Pitch counting, pitch charting, batter/hitter charting, whatever.

  • I have read all your comments above and I have a piece of the puzzle that I would like you all to consider. We heard of a league in our state where a catcher was warming up a pitcher and did not have his shin guards on. Needless to say a errant throw hit the catcher and he was injured. It went to court and the parents were awarded damages because the player did not have full protection on. So in essence when we have so much in black & white in our safety plans are we doing wrong by not having them wear full gear? I have told our leagues full gear but I am getting resistance on it because it does not clearly state it in rule book...everyone has an interpretation. If we are not allowing a manager/coach to stand there without gear and take a hit...why put a player in the position of not being protected. I understand to allow the the game. But when so much of our program now is all about safety...why leave an opening!!!

  • Sounds like an urban legend to me. Do you have the court case number so we can verify the incident?

  • While I was a spectator at a JV high school softball game, a catcher was not wearing a mask while warming up a pitcher...pitch into the ground, bounced up into catcher's nose.....she missed the game, but not her visit to the local hospital.......never heard of any legal issues with this, but as an umpire now, I try to make sure the catchers are wearing their masks during warm-ups.

  • Rose

    Your local BOD can put a rule into your by-laws to have warm-up catchers to be fully equiped. Of coarse it has to be voted on. That might be what Little League is hoping leagues will do.They don't mandate cages/shields on batting helmets,however many leagues use them in their leagues.

  • Check any MLB bullpen, and you'll see catchers with cups and shin guards. And they're catching the most accurate guys on the planet. Sure, they're catching guys dealing close to 100mph. But some Majors kids to bring it to the plate even quicker (reaction time) than that from 46'.

    Just sayin'.

  • I remember listening to a Giants' game when I was a kid and Mike Ivie was catching in the 'pen (he never caught for the Giants and only caught in 9 games in his career). My memory is this: a ball DID skip of the plate and got him the cup. Splitting. It. In. Two.

    Exhaling now . . . hard for me to imagine damages in that court case.

    I have mentioned this before - when we have 9 (or when the other team does), we will work something out where the opposing team can help out. Works great for league games.

    Last, if possible, I'd prefer the kids to be more geared up than just mask but I don't know that it works for catching between innings - unlike MLB players, the kids don't stay in shins during the game. If batting 9, I guess you could do that with bench players but much tougher if you are CBO.

  • @Kyle, apples and kumquats.

    Those catchers in MLB bullpens have one purpose in life, and that's to warm up pitchers. They put on shin guards well before the game starts, they stay in the bullpen all game with them on, and they take them off either after the game, or when they get that rare opportunity to pinch-it or substitute in for the starting catcher. And, OBTW, they are full-time professional catchers, not random position players who aren't starting and drew the short stick for that game.

    You can't really expect that in youth play when your team roster is only around 12 kids, and every one of them has more than one single responsibility for the vast majority of the game. When the head coach decides to send Timmy to warm up in the bullpen while his team is at bat, he probably doesn't have a Little Yadier sitting on the bench in full regalia who can go with Timmy. He ends up grabbing Bobby, who has never put on shin guards in his life, and would take longer doing that than catching 20-25 pitches from Timmy. The helmet/mask and mitt is sufficient. When a warm-up pitch hits the dirt, those kids are pretty good at getting out of the way.

  • I don't have a court case, but the info came from a reliable source...someone involved. I received info from our region that it can be an option to have the catchers in full would have to be voted on at either a district level or league level. I just feel with so much in black & white in our safety plans...why not take the extra pre-caution. Thanks is so good to bounce ideas...I have my gear handy!

  • Rose, if you get your league to approve "full" gear for a warm-up catcher, you'll need to remind your coaches it is only a league rule. If you play against other teams in your district during the regular season, your opponents will not need to go by your league rule. During the International Tournaments, again, opponents will not need to wear full gear.

    If you get your District to approve full gear for warm-up catchers, you'll also need to discuss what happens during International Tournament play when you need to go by the book and not "local rules".

    At one time, there was a LL in a nearby district that REQUIRED all their baseball players to wear facemasks on batting helmets. During tournament time, their players, coaches, and parents always questioned why the other teams didn't have to wear the facemasks.......this was also a league that let coaches warm up the pitchers :)

  • 1.17 is poorly worded, the sentence in the paragraph. "All catcher must wear a mask, dangling type..............and games." if read alone makes it sound as if that's all that is required, The sentence is meant to address the "dangler", not the required gear for warm-ups. If you take the whole paragraph in context it seems clear that the catcher must be in full gear.

    Even the A.R. is misleading. They are addressing the "dangler" there as well.