Pitching/catching limits - double headers

  • This is kind of an URGENT matter - our coach is getting a different answer from 3 officials!

    Due to rain at the 9-10 Sectionals - a team MAY have to play a double header, if they win their first game. The question is - do the pitching and catching limits apply to the game or the entire day? If the starting catcher in the first game catches more than 4 innings, can he pitch in the second game?

    The DA from our District - the DA from their District - and the umpire in chief all have conflicting answers... and the first game is at 1pm today!

    Thanks for any clarification!!!

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  • Um...Why doesn't someone just call the Regional office?

    Tournament Rule 4.f states; "A player may not pitch in two games in a day". Since this is not a Junior level game or above, then the pitchers are limited to pitch in one game.

    For catchers, Tournament Rule 4.a states; "Any player on a tournament 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."

    Therefore, any catcher that catches more than 3 innings, can not pitch for the remainder of that day.

    Example; Smith, a 10 year old, catches the first 3 innings of a game. For the remainder of that game, Smith plays shortstop. In game 2, Smith catches the first inning. Smith is no longer eligible to pitch in any part of game 2.

  • Thank You! I will send this off to the coach. So basically... he's getting hosed having to play the double header today. :-(

    I think both DA's were just butting heads... and "knew" the rule they wanted to know.

  • What should have happened is that the Regional office has to approve the doubleheader. No other can make that decision.

    If approved, information should have then been filtered down to all parties what limitations a doubleheader would impose.

    In the future Angie, if your coach is not getting straight and/or conflicting answers, he has every right to contact the regional office. He should try to follow proper protocol, but that can be a headache and sometimes time does not allow for things to get bogged down by ill-informed people.

    Our Regional office in the East is great!

  • One more thing for him to remember - any pitcher who exceeds 41 or more pitches can not catch for the remainder of the day.

    Example - Wilson pitches 65 pitches in game 1. He can not catch at all in game 2.

  • Dave: I disagree with your scenario about going from catcher to pitcher if you are playing two games in a day.

    You said "Smith, a 10 year old, catches the first 3 innings of a game. For the remainder of that game, Smith plays shortstop. In game 2, Smith catches the first inning. Smith is no longer eligible to pitch in any part of game 2."

    I do not think that is correct. Smith can catch 3 innings in the first game and 3 more in the second game and still pitch in the second game.

    The rule is "in 4 innings in a game" not "in 4 innings in a day."

  • Lou is correct. Since the current (2010 only) rule specifically states that if a player is the catcher in four or more innings in a game, that player cannot be a pitcher for the remainder of that day, then...

    ...if the player catches three innings in the first game, then three more innings in the second game on that day (but no more), that pitcher has not exceeded the threshold in the rule, and could become a pitcher in the second game.

    About contacting the Regional Office -- The correct procedure is for the manager of the team to refuse to allow his/her team to play until the Tournament Director/District Administrator receives a ruling from the Regional Office. If the manager disagrees with that ruling, he/she may insist (without penalty) that the matter be referred to the Tournament Committee in Williamsport.

    The tournament phones are "manned" 24 hours a day, since we have Little Leagues in 85 countries and six continents. The answer to a question like this (which has come up at least 50 times since the tournament began this year) would take all of maybe two minutes by phone. Our Facebook page is only "manned" for a couple of hours each day, on the average.

  • I disagree LLB&S and Lou. The way the rule is written is very misleading then. If this is the case then why even bother having "remainder of the day" in the rule. Obviously it is there for a reason.

    Wait - I think I get it.

    Smith is a 10 year old -

    So if Smith catches 4 innings in the first game, he is no longer eligible to pitch in either the remainder of the first game or the entire 2nd game? Is that what we are saying?

    You realize that makes absolutely no sense. If Smith catches 4 innings in the first game, he is banned from pitching in both games. HOWEVER, he can catch 6 innings, splitting it 3 and 3 and be able to pitch 75 pitches in the 2nd game.

    Can you please explain the logic of that?

  • Let's take an average of 20 pitches per inning for a 10 year old.

    In game 1, Smith catches the first 4 innings. He has roughly 70 throw backs to the pitcher. He is now banned from pitching in the last 2 innings of game 1 and the entire length of game 2.

    TOTAL - 70 throwbacks + 0 pitches = 70 thrown balls

    Now let me apply this to the way the rule is written.

    In game 1, Smith catches the first 3 innings. He has roughly 50 throw backs to the pitcher. For the remainder of the game, he moves to another position other than pitcher.

    In game 2, Smith catches the first 3 innings. He has roughly 50 throwbacks to the pitcher. In the 4th inning, he is put into pitch. He throws 60 pitches.

    TOTAL - 100 throwbacks + 60 pitches = 160 thrown balls

    I'm really trying to understand the logic...

  • @ Dave - That is the result, frankly, of the International Congress' desire to enact the rule this year as it was written. We think it's likely next year's rule will not contain that loophole.

  • Gotcha ;)

    So I am not crazy. Whew!

  • Dave, we are not qualified to make THAT decision.

  • Dave: I responded because of the way the rule is currently written. As written your post was not correct (not that I would disagree that what you posted may have been the "intent" of the rule).

    I suggest you send your proposed version of the Pitcher to Catcher and Catcher to Pitcher Rules to your DA for forwarding to Williampsport.

    I think many people realize the rules were not well written and have several loopholes.

    I have sent my proposals to my DA to be forwarded to Williamsport.

    I would assume they would welcome the suggestions.

  • Aren't you afraid that as soon as they see "LOU" on the proposal that they will start slapping their foreheads? LOL.

    I don't have a specific rule in mind. Just doesn't make sense the way it is written.

    AND LLB&S - touche. LOL. I'm sure a few people in ER might they are qualified. LOL.

  • I agree with everyone that says the implementation of this rule this season was SCREWY. It makes no sense to limit a "catcher" to not pitching if he catches only one pitch in each of 4 innings (for a total of 4 pitches), but that's how its written. He could catch 3 innings where each had more than 50 pitches, for a total of 150 throw backs, and still pitch, but could catch 4 innings with a solidi pitcher averaging 12 pitches an inning, for a total of 48 throw backs, but still not pitch. I get the reason for the rule, and know that LL has been trying for years to fix this, but I don't believe this is the answer. Unfortunately, I think ultimately, we're gonna see counting pitches. Since we're counting them for pitchers, it shouldn't be hard to track them for catchers, since they don't change out as much as pitchers do, but I definitely think it will head that way.

  • Dave: Actually I have a pretty good relationship with LL B&S.

    I send them all sorts of suggestions and recommendations, some they like, some they don't (and I have no problem with that).

    I've always gone with if you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem so when I see something I don't think is right I let them know about it.

    As I said, some of the things I've written have been incorporated into LL Rules / Regs / Publications / etc, some haven't, but such is life!!!

  • Keep 'em coming, Lou. That's official.

  • Lou - naturally I was joking.

    I subscribe to the same principal. Nothing frustrates me more than to have a group people say tell me that something should be done this way. It's cause and effect. So when I point out that there idea may solve one problem but the effect would be something even more undesirable, they get all mad and storm off.

    For years in my district, we have had one dominant league for the primary reason that they by far are the largest league in numbers, 3 or 4 times larger than 75% of the leagues. Of course, there is a lot of envy. I've had my share. Now I realize that the rest of us need to stop complaining about it and either do something or be quiet. People need to stop complaining that they are a large league. They are also a very well run league. In turn, I am looking to grow my league for 2011 by potentially combining charters with a neighboring league or two.

  • I would like to know how the rule reads for 2015 regular season(Majors Division)