SituationThe catcher for the visiting team grounds out to end the top half of the third inning of a Little League® (Major) Division softball game. In the middle of the second inning, while the visiting team’s catcher is dressing into her catcher’s equipment, a coach from the visiting team takes a glove, and proceeds to position herself to catch the “warm-up” pitches by kneeling down behind home plate. Before a warm-up pitch is delivered the home plate umpire informs the coach that she is not permitted to warm-up the pitcher. The coach tells the umpire that she wanted to finish the warm-ups that were started outside the fence. Should the home plate umpire allow the coach to warm-up the pitcher to avoid delaying the start of inning, while the catcher dresses?
ExplanationOnly a properly-equipped player (team uniform, affixed with Little League patch; catcher’s helmet and mask with throat guard; groin protection; and catcher’s glove) not currently in the lineup may receive warm-up throws from an eligible pitcher during a game. No manager, coach, or any other adult volunteer, is permitted to be on the field or in the bullpen for the purpose of warming up a pitcher. According to the 2016 Little League Baseball® Official Regulations, Playing Rules, and Policies - Rule 3.09 – Manager or coaches must not warm up a pitcher at home plate or in the bullpen or elsewhere at any time. They may, however, stand by to observe a pitcher during warm-up in the bullpen.
Note: This rule is applicable in all levels of Little League play.