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Cjw_55106

Poor Sportsmanship?

Poor Sportsmanship?  

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Simple Question: Girls 16 Year old Softball. Is it poor sportsmanship for players to yell out what pitches the catcher is calling if you can see the signs? 

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I have never understood people that think relaying pitches is bad sportsmanship or shouldn't be done.  Assuming you aren't using electronic surveillance and are just getting it because the catcher isn't good at giving signs (or you have figured out their signs because you are observant) -  I don't see anything wrong with relaying it to the batter. 

 

Now if it's 12 or under I usually let the other coach know that the catcher isn't hiding the signs so they can learn and work on it. 

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No. It probably reduces the benefit of being able to steal signs though.

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5 minutes ago, brun said:

No. It probably reduces the benefit of being able to steal signs though.

Shouting it out is probably not a good way to go.  We have simple verbal signs (stay back = off speed; be ready = FB) or if coming from runner at 2B then simple hands inside knees = FB and outside knees = off speed. 

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It also depends on the batter.  Some batters prefer not to have to think about hearing/seeing a sign late and then having their mind cluttered with processing the info.  I always wanted to know as long as we were sure we had the signs.  Nothing like thinking breaking ball and having it be the heater up and in.......hahahahaha

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stealing the signs and relaying them to the batter in some code-like manner? - "gamesmanship" which has it's own grey areas of judgement, IMO

blatantly yelling them out? - poor sportsmanship or at least really close to it. 

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it would be cool if you could control the scoreboard at your local 16 year old girls softball arena and put the pitches up on the scoreboard with awesome graphics like a guy dancing to none other than henry mancinis baby elephont walk that would really spice things up in my opinion take that to the bank bromigos 

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I thought kids only text these days - just Instagram the stolen signs.

Edited by zamboni
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It’s not poor sportsmanship, it’s dumb. If the other team has any smarts they would use that to their advantage and start randomly changing things up.

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50 minutes ago, Cjw_55106 said:

Simple Question: Girls 16 Year old Softball. Is it poor sportsmanship for players to yell out what pitches the catcher is calling if you can see the signs? 

Not anymore than the pitcher sticking one near the ear hole of the batter for doing so  #UnwrittenRules

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I thought giving signs was done away with when every pitcher and catcher started wearing a wrist band and had to wait for the coach in the dugout to give some type of signal and then we have to wait for both the pitcher and catcher to look at their wristband before a pitch gets thrown about 5 minutes later....

Edited by Stinkin Ref
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11 minutes ago, Ramblin Wreck said:

Not anymore than the pitcher sticking one near the ear hole of the batter for doing so  #UnwrittenRules

Why would a batter yell out the type of pitch to herself?

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Seems there are three questions here.

Is stealing signs and signaling your player poor sportsmanship? No.

Is yelling poor sportsmanship? Probably.

Is doing this really stupid? Yes. How many 16 year old girl softball signs can there really be that you cant use a gesture so you don't give away that you know the sign?

 

 

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Doesn't help them get any better if they need to know when a change up is coming to hit it..

Dumb and as annoying as the "rhyming chants", but not poor sportsmanship...

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I voted not poor sportsmanship. It's more of a I don't really care but it would seem at high school level this would be acceptable to me. I mean, our high school football coaches watch footage and try to pick up on any tells from the opponent and communicate that to the boys.

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5 minutes ago, playin4beer said:

Doesn't help them get any better if they need to know when a change up is coming to hit it..

Dumb and as annoying as the "rhyming chants", but not poor sportsmanship...

Yeah, this is a really good point.

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14 minutes ago, playin4beer said:

Doesn't help them get any better if they need to know when a change up is coming to hit it..

Dumb and as annoying as the "rhyming chants", but not poor sportsmanship...

It actually can help them get better.  If they know a pitch is coming they can pick up tells from the pitcher easier so they can possibly use that down the line when the pitches aren't known.  The more information you have about arm slot, arm speed, tapping glove prior to throwing a certain pitch, etc the better hitter you become.  Sometimes knowing what is coming and putting that together with the sequence of movement helps tremendously. 

 

Major Leaguers do that all the time when studying film.  It's easier to pick out these nuances when you know what pitch is coming. 

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1 hour ago, Warhogs said:

I voted not poor sportsmanship. It's more of a I don't really care but it would seem at high school level this would be acceptable to me. I mean, our high school football coaches watch footage and try to pick up on any tells from the opponent and communicate that to the boys.

I don't think this is the same situation, but I see your point.

I think a more similar situation would be when a pitcher has a tell, they hold their glove a certain way when a certain pitch is coming.  Go back to the dugout and tell your teammates.  But, I always look at the pitcher/hitter matchup as a one on one event.  Now, when coaches start calling pitches from the dugout, and the pitcher, catcher, and all the fielders have armbands on so they all know what is being call, then I would say all is fair game.

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20 hours ago, Gally said:

It actually can help them get better.  If they know a pitch is coming they can pick up tells from the pitcher easier so they can possibly use that down the line when the pitches aren't known.  The more information you have about arm slot, arm speed, tapping glove prior to throwing a certain pitch, etc the better hitter you become.  Sometimes knowing what is coming and putting that together with the sequence of movement helps tremendously. 

 

Major Leaguers do that all the time when studying film.  It's easier to pick out these nuances when you know what pitch is coming. 

At 16U, if they hear "change up".. they aren't studying the pitcher or looking for tells.. They are sitting on the change up because they know it's coming.  If they don't know it's coming, they are watching the release point, rotation of the ball, etc, trying to pick up on what pitch it might be.  Telling them it's coming isn't helping them..  Sitting in the dugout, studying the pitcher and telling them, "Hey, watch her wind up, she grips the ball a little different when the change up is coming".. Or "hey, she slows everything down a touch on the change up, watch for it".. That's helping them.. not just telling them it's coming..

Edited by playin4beer
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2 hours ago, Gally said:

 

Now if it's 12 or under I usually let the other coach know that the catcher isn't hiding the signs so they can learn and work on it. 

Dang you're 12u teams must be a heck of a lot better than ours, no way catchers are giving signs around here at that age.  lol

 

I voted for not unsportsmanlike, if the other coach has half a brain he would just change the signs up or use it to his advantage.

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2 hours ago, The Iguana said:

stealing the signs and relaying them to the batter in some code-like manner? - "gamesmanship" which has it's own grey areas of judgement, IMO

blatantly yelling them out? - poor sportsmanship or at least really close to it. 

This. So much this. 

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Years ago my sons baseball team (Peewee, so 12 year olds) played a team where the coach sat on the bench, faced his catcher and gave him the sign before every pitch. Standard 1=Fastball, 2=Curve. Didn't take our team and coaches long to see what was happening so the players and coaches started saying it out loud to the batter. It was humorous as their coach lost his #### and our coaches just said "do a better job hiding it" and probably added "moron" to that.  At one point he'd put down a 1 to his catcher then say out loud "curve". :lmao::loco:

 

I don't think there's anything wrong with it.  Coaches have multiple signs for baserunners and the batters (bunting, etc)  to avoid the defending team knowing what's happening. I see no difference here.

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I don't see the problem, but yelling them? Egad, have a sign or something.

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I guess technically it's good sportsmanship.  "Hey, we can see your signs, you might want to change something."

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14 minutes ago, falguy said:

Years ago my sons baseball team (Peewee, so 12 year olds) played a team where the coach sat on the bench, faced his catcher and gave him the sign before every pitch. Standard 1=Fastball, 2=Curve. Didn't take our team and coaches long to see what was happening so the players and coaches started saying it out loud to the batter. It was humorous as their coach lost his #### and our coaches just said "do a better job hiding it" and probably added "moron" to that.  At one point he'd put down a 1 to his catcher then say out loud "curve". :lmao::loco:

 

I don't think there's anything wrong with it.  Coaches have multiple signs for baserunners and the batters (bunting, etc)  to avoid the defending team knowing what's happening. I see no difference here.

Coaches like this make no sense to me.  Not only should he be teaching his pitcher how to attack hitters, he should be teaching his catchers how to call a game.  I could see where an important AB comes up and the coach wants to take full control of the game, but the whole game?  Get over yourself and teach your players something.  They're 12.

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2 hours ago, The Iguana said:

stealing the signs and relaying them to the batter in some code-like manner? - "gamesmanship" which has it's own grey areas of judgement, IMO

blatantly yelling them out? - poor sportsmanship or at least really close to it. 

I agree- there are unwritten rules here. 

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We had a pitcher with bad eyesight who wouldn't wear his glasses during a game.  I would flash him some random signs and he would shake me off or nod.  Then I would have to put a fist or open hand on my knee to tell him what I wanted him to throw.  (fist = fastball, open hand = curveball)

Come to think of it, he had some monster shots hit off him.  Maybe they caught on. 

Edited by WDIK2

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8 minutes ago, WDIK2 said:

We had a pitcher with bad eyesight who wouldn't wear his glasses during a game.  I would flash him some random signs and he would shake me off or nod.  Then I would have to put a fist or open hand on my knee to tell him what I wanted him to throw.  (fist = fastball, open hand = curveball)

Come to think of it, he had some monster shots hit off him.  Maybe they caught on. 

Could have been his inability to see where the strike zone was when throwing...

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1 hour ago, WDIK2 said:

We had a pitcher with bad eyesight who wouldn't wear his glasses during a game.  I would flash him some random signs and he would shake me off or nod.  Then I would have to put a fist or open hand on my knee to tell him what I wanted him to throw.  (fist = fastball, open hand = curveball)

Come to think of it, he had some monster shots hit off him.  Maybe they caught on. 

:lol:

 

Maybe if you made sure the other team knew he had bad vision they wouldn't have got so comfortable in the box. :)

Edited by falguy
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1 hour ago, playin4beer said:

At 16U, if they hear "change up".. they aren't studying the pitcher or looking for tells.. They are sitting on the change up because they know it's coming.  If they don't know it's coming, they are watching the release point, rotation of the ball, etc, trying to pick up on what pitch it might me.  Telling them it's coming isn't helping them..  Sitting in the dugout, studying the pitcher and telling them, "Hey, watch her wind up, she grips the ball a little different when the change up is coming".. Or "hey, she slows everything down a touch on the change up, watch for it".. That's helping them.. not just telling them it's coming..

If they aren't trying to study the pitcher to look for tells then you need to teach them about that aspect.  You need to teach the players about what to look for and that can be helped with knowing the pitch is coming.  You can use this as a teaching opportunity.  My point was you have an opportunity to expand knowledge so use it. 

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33 minutes ago, Bull Dozier said:

Coaches like this make no sense to me.  Not only should he be teaching his pitcher how to attack hitters, he should be teaching his catchers how to call a game.  I could see where an important AB comes up and the coach wants to take full control of the game, but the whole game?  Get over yourself and teach your players something.  They're 12.

At that age group I called pitches for all the games but I would discuss the calls with the catcher/pitcher between innings and at practices to teach them the pitch sequencing and what to do to set up batters.  I would have my catchers try and predict the pitches I would be calling and work with them to see how they are doing.  As catchers became better at this in practice/games and became comfortable with setting up a game the job is transferred over. 

 

You can't just start with hey catcher go call your own game.  You have to give them some instruction and help so they can start to learn and figure it out.  Some catchers took longer and other pick it up quickly. 

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11 minutes ago, Gally said:

If they aren't trying to study the pitcher to look for tells then you need to teach them about that aspect.  You need to teach the players about what to look for and that can be helped with knowing the pitch is coming.  You can use this as a teaching opportunity.  My point was you have an opportunity to expand knowledge so use it. 

Softball tells are very limited especially from the distance imo

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8 minutes ago, Gally said:

At that age group I called pitches for all the games but I would discuss the calls with the catcher/pitcher between innings and at practices to teach them the pitch sequencing and what to do to set up batters.  I would have my catchers try and predict the pitches I would be calling and work with them to see how they are doing.  As catchers became better at this in practice/games and became comfortable with setting up a game the job is transferred over. 

 

You can't just start with hey catcher go call your own game.  You have to give them some instruction and help so they can start to learn and figure it out.  Some catchers took longer and other pick it up quickly. 

Was your goal to win games, or to teach?  The best way to learn how to call a game is to call a game. (IMHO)

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26 minutes ago, Walking Boot said:

I didn't even know there were signs in softball. I thought every pitch was the same.

:no:  Fastpitch.  Some can really throw some junk.  Fastballs, changups, cureveballs, risers, drops, knuckleballs.  :shrug: 

I caught men's fastpitch for a while.  We didn't have signals.  A couple of the old-timers could make me look foolish when they would throw a changeup.

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2 hours ago, belljr said:

less of problem with players then when a coach does it

Players only

1 hour ago, E-Z Glider said:

Travel ball = fine

Rec ball = bush league

Travel ball

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5 hours ago, brun said:

No. It probably reduces the benefit of being able to steal signs though.

 

4 hours ago, kutta said:

It’s not poor sportsmanship, it’s dumb. If the other team has any smarts they would use that to their advantage and start randomly changing things up.

 

2 hours ago, Tom Servo said:

I don't see the problem, but yelling them? Egad, have a sign or something.

15-16 year olds. Thinking things through isn’t always the first step.

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1 hour ago, Cjw_55106 said:

15-16 year olds. Thinking things through isn’t always the first step.

Trust me, I'm well aware of that. 

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3 hours ago, Bull Dozier said:

Was your goal to win games, or to teach?  The best way to learn how to call a game is to call a game. (IMHO)

I agree that they do need to learn by doing but you also have to give them some help in figuring out how to get started.  I have found they progress much faster if they see what is being called and then think about why and ask questions along the way.  It's very valuable to use that as a basis of conversation to get through a particular pitch sequence.   Coaches calling pitches with no discussion between innings or at practice about why a sequence is used does not do anything.  But working with your catcher to get them thinking about how to call a game works very well in my experience. 

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I think the point of the yelling is to throw the pitcher off her game and getting in her head.  Obviously giving up that you are reading the signs is not bright.  The pitcher knowing that the batter "knows" the pitch that is coming might get her to doubt or change the pitch mid pitch.

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1 hour ago, Hot Diggity Dog said:

I think the point of the yelling is to throw the pitcher off her game and getting in her head.  Obviously giving up that you are reading the signs is not bright.  The pitcher knowing that the batter "knows" the pitch that is coming might get her to doubt or change the pitch mid pitch.

Whether intentional or not, that’s what happened. The pitcher and especially the catcher, were completely rattled. 

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An MLB pitcher intentionally balked in the 9th inning with 2 outs, up 2 runs and a man on 2nd. He knew the runner on 2nd didn't matter and didn't want him trying to steal signs, so he intentionally balked to force the runner to 3rd and proceeded to get the batter out. A very interesting and seemingly smart move that I've never heard of before.

Sorry, not an answer in any way, but a fascinating situation in the realm of the question.

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