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Author TOPIC: Coaches as Catchers
D5 UIC

June 2, 2008
10:08:55 AM

Entry #: 2774077
Rule 3.09 states in part “Managers or coaches must not warm up a pitcher at home plate or in the bullpen or elsewhere at any time. They may, however, stand by to observe a pitcher during warm-up in the bullpen.”

The reasoning behind this rule is two-fold:

(1) Coaches are more prone to receiving injuries in this activity than players. Little League takes very seriously its duty to protect all who are part of the program. This includes the adult coach.

(2) This is a game for the children to participate in, not the coaches. As such, it is the player on the bench who should be participating in the warm-ups rather than the coach. If a coach is warming up the pitcher, there is a player sitting on the bench watching rather than participating.

Players want to participate. They want to be part of the game. That includes warming up the pitcher or an outfielder when they are not currently in the field. As adults, we should make every effort to insure that we do not take away from their experience of this great game.

Please note that, under Rule 1.17, a player must wear the one-piece mask and catcher’s helmet with the dangling throat guard attached player to warm up a pitcher. Chest protector and shin guards are not required for warming up the pitcher.

If you have any questions about warming up the pitcher, or any other rule, please send your questions to me at:

jknoebel@bellsouth.com

Jeffrey Knoebel
Indiana D5 UIC


Mark

June 5, 2008
6:17:07 PM

Entry #: 2780450
The only problem I have with this rule is if I only have 9 players and my catcher was stranded at second in our half of the inning. He/She is busy putting on their gear in between innings. I would rather a coach warm up the pitcher and keep my position players warming up in their positions instead of a player taking time away to adjust catchers headgear, then warm up the pitcher, wait for the catcher, re-adjust headgear, etc.

D5 UIC

June 6, 2008
9:07:03 AM

Entry #: 2781179
Mark:

I understand. Your problem, however, is with a rule that you believe (I assume) needs to be changed. My point is merely that this is the rule and so long as it is, it should be followed like any other.

Rule 9.01(a) requires all umpires to enforce all of the rules. As such, if the umpire chooses to make exceptions not allowed under the rules, he risks personal liability for negligence. In addition, that same rule appoints the umpire as the representative of the league and of Little League Baseball. Therefore, any negligence on his part, is the responsibility of the league as well.

Please note that, under Regulation III, teams are required to have a minimum of 12 rostered players for majors and above (not sure where you are coaching). As such, days where a team has only 9 should be very infrequent, if the roster meets the minimum. But, in those rare occasions, if I am an umpire on that game, I will not allow the coach to violate this rule anymore than I will allow him to leave a pitcher on the mound after the pitch count limit or any other rule, as I would rather not test the liability insurance that LL provides.

While I am certain that you would rather leave a position player at his position, the alternative is to not have your pitcher warm up. Perhaps a tough call, but that is why you are paid the big bucks :).

Thanks for the comment.

Jeffrey


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