Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Switch Pitching Rules

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


The new rules regarding ambidextrous pitchers are as follows:

• The pitcher must visually indicate to the umpire, batter and runner(s) which way he will begin pitching to the batter. Engaging the rubber with the glove on a particular hand is considered a definitive commitment to which arm he will throw with. The batter will then choose which side of the plate he will bat from.

• The pitcher must throw one pitch to the batter before any "switch" by either player is allowed.

• After one pitch is thrown, the pitcher and batter may each change positions one time per at-bat. For example, if the pitcher changes from right-handed to left-handed and the batter then changes batter's boxes, each player must remain that way for the duration of that at-bat (unless the offensive team substitutes a pinch hitter, and then each player may again "switch" one time).

• Any switch (by either the pitcher or the batter) must be clearly indicated to the umpire.

• There will be no warm-up pitches during the change of arms.

• If an injury occurs the pitcher may change arms but not use that arm again during the remainder of the game.


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
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Korea - Pro baseball league in introduces new rule on ambidextrous pitchers

Globalpost, March 5, 2015
At its rules committee meeting, the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) adopted a new clause for the 2015 season for switch pitchers. The KBO determined that such a pitcher must "clearly indicate to the home plate umpire, the hitter and the base runners" which hand he will use to throw by "wearing his glove on the opposite hand while touching the pitcher's plate."
Ream more
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