Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Pitching Rules for Ambidextrous Pitchers

What happens when an ambidextrous pitcher faces off against a switch-hitting batter?

Henry Knight, ambidextrous pitcher - Columbia City Reds

The "Venditte Rule"

With Venditte able to throw with either arm, he will have to declare whether he will pitch right-handed or left-handed at the start of each at-bat. Venditte won't be allowed to routinely change arms like he once could. A minor-league confrontation with a switch hitter led to the "Venditte Rule." - Alex Schiffer, NJ.com


2015 Official Baseball Rule 5.07(f) (formerly 2014 OBR 8.01(f)) covers this situation:
A pitcher must indicate visually to the umpire-in-chief, the batter and any runners the hand with which he intends to pitch, which may be done by wearing his glove on the other hand while touching the pitcher's plate. The pitcher is not permitted to pitch with the other hand until the batter is retired, the batter becomes a runner, the inning ends, the batter is substituted for by a pinch-hitter or the pitcher incurs an injury. In the event a pitcher switches pitching hands during an at-bat because he has suffered an injury, the pitcher may not, for the remainder of the game, pitch with the hand from which he has switched. The pitcher shall not be given the opportunity to throw any preparatory pitches after switching pitching hands. Any change of pitching hands must be indicated clearly to the umpire-in-chief.
 Read more about the Venditte Rule



Ambidextrous Venditte creates a stir
Switch-pitcher causes commotion in Minor League game

Venditte's versatility prompts new rule


Comparison of High School and Pro Baseball rules for ambidextrous pitchers

NFHS RuleReferenceReferencePro Rule
If a pitcher is ambidextrous, the umpire shall require the pitcher to face a batter as either a left-handed pitcher or a right-handed pitcher, but not both
6-1-1
8.18 PBUC Umpire Manual
Pitcher must visually indicate which way he will pitch...pitcher must throw one pitch to the batter before any "switch" by either player is allowed...afterwards each may switch once per at bat
Click here for story behind rule

source: NFHS / Pro Baseball Rules Differences by Steve Orinick






College Baseball - NCAA 2013 Rule Book
Rule 9/Pitching p85


k. Pitch both right-handed and left-handed to the same batter during a plate appearance (ambidextrous-pitcher rule).
PENALTY—If a pitcher changes pitching hands during a batter’s time at bat, the umpire shall:
(1) Call a balk if a runner(s) is on base;
(2) Call a ball for an illegal pitch if no runner(s) is on base;
(3) Warn the pitcher; or
(4) Eject the pitcher if the offense is repeated.
A.R. 1—When facing a switch hitter, an ambidextrous pitcher shall declare the hand with which to pitch to the hitter.
A.R. 2—If a pinch hitter replaces a batter during a turn at bat, the pitcher may change pitching hands.


New Pitching Rule in 2013 for Little League Switch Pitchers

Ambidextrous Pitcher Rules - Little League

Dixie Youth Baseball
Ambidextrous Pitchers - Official Ruling 14-04 - Dixie Baseball (pdf)

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