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Softball/Defensive conferences


yes its me again, sorry but just want to make sure on it. Question:Coach already used its 3conf and its the 3rd inning. Coach ask for time removes the pitcher and is moved to a different position. According to the rule in ASA/NFHS the pitcher can no longer pitch in that game because any time requested after the 3rd conference the pitcher is gome.The coach move the pitcher to 1st base and then later wants to put her back in to pitch. This can not be done.Correct? If she does. What is the penalty. Would the player become an ineligible player? The only time a coach can do this will be if the coach has not used up its 3 defensive conferences. Is this correct?

Hi Rene,

"According to the rule in ASA/NFHS the pitcher can no longer pitch in that game because any time requested after the 3rd conference the pitcher is gone."  Rene be very careful with your words here because that is not a true statement and if you said that to a coach, here comes the "P" WORD if they know what they are doing.

Even w/using 3 DCs, the pitcher can come back, provided the coach told you that was what they were doing, moving the pitcher.  My (and most experienced umpires, I believe) interp of the rule is that before the coach leaves the field of play if it is their decision to remove the pitcher, it is not a DC, even after using 3, so the pitcher is not disqualified from that position.

If the coach does not do this, and completes the 4th charged conference by leaving the field without removing the pitcher, then the "effect" is to be enforced and the pitcher removed. In this case, she cannot return to pitch later in the game.

It used to be that after 3 we wanted the coach to declare he was removing the pitcher before they crossed a foul line or that they inform us of a pitching change before talking to any player for it not to be a DC.  Now as I stated up above the interp is if it is the coach's decision to move the pitcher, they are allowed to return and no 4th DC occurred..

should a pitcher be removed and come back they are an illegal pitcher and disqualified



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Dr. Mark R. Ambrose


I can answer all questions about book rules and "case book" rules governing the playing of ASA softball. Have a REAL situation that happened and are not sure the proper rule was applied, ask me.


I am a registered ASA umpire, a MASA "At-Large" umpire since 1996 and a retired District Umpire-In-Chief. I have very extensive experience in MASA State Championship and ASA national qualifying tournament play both as an umpire and an Umpire-In-Chief. I completed 3 ASA National Schools including the ASA national advanced umpire school in Ok City("Bernie" for those who know him was the lead clinician, I survived the week and couldn't let my kids watch the game tapes when I got home. No, I love you Bernie). I was one of 4 "Yankee" umpires selected to umpire the Men's D National East Championship in 2002 in Winter Haven FL

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