Sun Jun 11 2023 17:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
I sent this last year in July after a discussion at our July 2022 Board meeting. It was brought to my attention we have had cases where an illegal pitch call was made by the home plate umpire after the pitched ball hit the mat. This is incorrect. I am including the rules regarding an illegal pitch once again Managers please make sure we are utilizing the illegal pitch rules correctly in our games.
There are 2 cases an illegal pitch can be called by the home plate umpire - a pitch that goes around the screen and not over the screen and a pitch that is 12 feet or higher. The pitching screen is 6 feet high so an illegal pitch is twice as high as the screen. In both cases the home plate umpire should verbalize "Illegal" as soon as possible. The umpire may extend a straight arm at shoulder height with a fist to indicate an illegal pitch. An illegal pitch will be counted as a ball. However, the batter has the option of swinging at an illegal pitch and if this occurs the ball is in play as though the illegal pitch was not called. Normal play continues in this case. A pitch cannot be called illegal after it hits the ground. It is imperative the illegal pitch decision is made and called early by the umpire to give the batter enough time to properly make their decision to swing, knowing the pitch will be a ball if the batter chooses not to swing. No changes to this rule, just a reminder how the illegal pitch rule should be handled.