Illegal pitches at the World Cup
I haven’t had much chance to watch the World Cup of Softball on TV this weekend, but I know some folks who have. It’s been interesting to see and hear the discussion about illegal pitches, though. And to see a bit of it myself.
It started Thursday night when I received a text message from my friend Rich, who commented about Monica Abbott. He said she was stepping off the pitching rubber with her drive foot before pitching. That’s something I’ve certainly seen before, and that she has been called for. But apparently the umpires were told not to bother her about it. Then later today I got an email from another coach commenting on the same phenomenon.
Today I was watching Team USA versus the USA Futures and saw something else interesting. Jordan Taylor was pitching, and after a big windup, she was literally hopping all over the place. I saw her her hop up off the pitching rubber before she started moving forward, and hop again as she delivered the ball. Again, not a single call against her.
This is interesting, because earlier in the year an article on AnnArbor.com talked about how she had been called for illegal pitches during a collegiate tournament and had to relearn how to pitch. Guess it was only temporary.
I don’t know. It seems like the people who make the rules need to decide what’s allowable and what’s not, and stick to it. It’s hard to get young pitchers to focus on following the pitching rules when they see pitchers at a showcase tournament like this obviously not doing it.
I don’t really care which way they go, but they need to decide one way or the other. As I’ve said before, either change the pitching rules if you don’t want to enforce them, or start enforcing them — even on the game’s stars. Make that ESPECIALLY on the game’s stars. It really does matter.