Fake Pickoff, 3rd to 1st


When I 1st heard about the proposed new rule eliminating the fake 3rd to 1st pickoff play, I didn’t really think much of it. Now, as Major League Baseball (and, presumably, Official Baseball Rules) make it official – it’s gonna be a pain in the neck!

If the NFHS does not implement the rule change, it makes it imperative for umpires working travel and recreational big field and 50/70 ball to determine which rule set the game is being played under. In 13 and 14 year old games, we see the 3rd to 1st move more than we see the hidden ball trick.  The rule will also have to be clarified and, as with any modification to the rules that have been tried and tested for over 100 years, there will be situations that aren’t covered. There’s a lively discussion about this over at Umpire-Empire.

It’s one of those silly things that are part of the game,  without having much effect on it.  As an umpire, I guess, I should like the rule change  – anything that speeds up the game. But I’m a traditionalist, for the most part – leave the game alone.



2 responses

  1. “If the NFHS does not implement the rule change, it makes it imperative for umpires working travel and recreational big field and 50/70 ball to determine which rule set the game is being played under.”

    That should have already been imperative. With balks, OBS, substitutions, meetings, and a score of other rule differences, knowing the rule set (as well as any crazy modifications the leagues uses) should be known — hopefully before you walk on the field.

  2. You are, of course, correct. I should have said “even more imperative than ever”. I get games from many assigners at a wide range of levels and, in many cases, the coaches don’t know what rule set they are playing under. I will admit that, while i do always ask the question of the coaches and look for a website when i work a new league, I am not strong on the differences between rule sets – and absolutely plan to make it a POE this season. Thanks, as always, for reading.

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