Northview produces pictures and VIDEO alleging Aquinas softball took illegal batting practice

BREAKING NEWS: Northview coach Jeff Butler informed me that after discussing with school officials, they have decided not to file a protest.

NEW VIDEO: Video footage of Aquinas allegedly hitting off a tee in pre-game warm-ups prior to its 9-1 semifinal victory was sent to us today. Again, you be the judge, are players hitting off a tee?

northproNorthview High School spoke with CIF-Southern Section officials today accusing Aquinas, who it lost to 9-1 in Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 5 softball semifinal, of conducting an illegal batting practice. If CIF determined an illegal batting practice took place, Aquinas would have to forfeit its victory. However, Northview only produced pictures, which I have obtained, but has no video evidence of Aquinas taking an illegal batting practice. Also, Northview never filed a formal protest with CIF officials, so it appears nothing will likely happen. But you be the judge, are these pictures enough? In the top photo Northview alleges this is a picture of an Aquinas player hitting off a tee. I can’t tell with certainty, the pictures are blurry. But it does appear the ball is stationary because the ball is in the hit-zone and the player still has the bat on her shoulders. But who knows, it could be an Aquinas player tossing the ball too. Those are just my observations. I never liked the rule anyway, but if you see it happening and believe you’ve caught a team violating it, get your video camera out.
The CIF-SS Softball playoff Bulletin states the following:
BATTING PRACTICE- Includes bunting or slap hittimg. Teams entered in the softball playoffs WILL NOT be permitted to take batting practice on the day of the scheduled contest. Batting practice will be construed as any type of pitching motion with ANY type of ball from in front of the batter (including pitching machines, underhand tossing, overhand throwing or pepper). THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE BATTING WARMUP WILL BE SIDE SOFT TOSS.
northpro2The player who tosses the ball should be on a knee and to the side of the batter. The ball should be lifted, not pitched, to the batter. THE PENALTY FOR BATTING PRACTICE WITH WIFFLE BALL, SOFTBALL, BASEBALL, ETC. MAY BE FORFEITURE OF GAME.

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  • Mike Edwards

    I always thought that this a bad rule. However, rules are rules. If these pictures are all that they have, they don’t have much. The first one looks like soft toss and the second one could be field hockey for all I can tell.

  • Greg Johnson

    Field Hockey??

  • Softball Mom

    You could clearly see the ball on the Tee and the Tee base. Where are Aquinas morals (commandment #9)? I would like to know the opinion of the Aquinas’ High School Principal and High Priest. I believe that the coaches should be reprimanded for deliberately denying the allegations.

  • Ray_Morehart

    I don’t feel that tee work is batting practice. Some people will disagree. I know they will. I feel that batting practice is something that requires the ball to come from either 0 or 180 degrees to the batter’s vision that would normally be used in a game-like situation.

    The way that the rule is written is stupid. At first the rule says that batting practice requires some sort of pitching motion (tee work doesn’t have a pitching motion). It also says that the ball must be in front of the batter to be considered batting practice. Is in front where the pitcher would normally be? Is in front where the soft-tosser would normally be? Who knows? It’s not written as clearly as it should be. The way that the rule is written says that “batting practice” requires a ball (softball, wiffle ball, etc.) to come from where the pitcher would normally be in a game-like situation AND come from a pitching motion. Tee work doesn’t match up with these rules. Rules should be written so they are black and white. There is plenty of grey in this rule.

    I feel that the only thing that shouldn’t be allowed regarding the use of bats and balls during pregame warmups is anything that uses electricity. No team should be able to use a pitching machine or a machine that automatically puts the ball on a tee. Anything like that. This would keep home teams from having an unfair advantage. This is what this “grey, ridiculous” batting practice rule that is being discussed is supposed to keep away. Does hitting from a tee really give a team that much of an advantage? I doubt Aquinas’ work on the tee during pregame warmups spotted them the 9 runs that they scored off of Northview pitching.

    Here is something that we should talk about. Look at Shadow Hills. They should probably be in the finals right now for Division 6. Mary Star of the Sea, a team that got back into the playoffs after losing fair and square, could become the first team in CIF-SS history to be champions when actually going 4-1 in the playoffs. If they win, should their school’s name get an asterisk next to it? As long as teams don’t use ineligible players, they should be able to do anything that they want in order to get prepared for the game as long as they abide by my “no electricity” rule.

  • Ray_Morehart

    There is no way that these pictures are going to be enough. I can’t truly tell if there is a tee or not. I think there is but am not 100%.

    @disqus_mO6bALnYax:disqus, How can you see a flat piece of rubber (the tee base) in a picture taken behind home plate? That picture was taken from over 120 feet away. Has Aquinas actually denied the allegations or are you just making stuff up?

    If Northview felt what occurred was truly wrong, why didn’t they file a formal complaint? Why didn’t who ever took the picture get out of their chair and walk over to the right field line?

  • A Game

    The rule says “Side toss only” everything else is not allowed, simple. If Aquinas gets away with this violation of the clearly stated rules, I can see Shadow Hills suing CIF for unequally enforcing their rules.
    Btw, did anyone actually see the tees being used during warm-up? The picture is not very clear.

    • Carol Rodriguez-Sandoval

      I WITNESSED THIS AND MENTIONED IT TO THE MOM’S WHO TOOK THE PICTURE. NOW IT’S OUR WORD OVER THERE’S.

      • sourgrapes

        Of course no one had the bright idea to get closer to this supposed illegal batting practice and take an actual definitive photo or video. LOL

  • Softball Mom

    It’s a Tee no doubt about it. As a Catholic School, they should have the dignity and morality to admit to their error and ask for forgiveness. Just for the record I don’t agree with the rule either. But if rules where imposed against Shadow Hills why is Aqujnas able to get away away with it.

  • Softball Mom

    The Aquinas coach did deny it when questioned by CIF.

  • Jim

    All this aside I want to know how Northview is the class act here? On the School Marquee before the game it said ” come watch Ana Mejia throw a No Hitter” pretty disrespectful when your playing a team on a 20 game Win streak that has 2 All Americans. You got beat 9-1! T or No T.

    • Steve Ramirez

      I don’t see it as dis-respectful, just a bit overconfident. The point is whether they broke the rule or not.

  • Softball Mom

    Since when is school spirit disrespectful? Rules are rules, if its ok for Aquinas to conduct illegal batting practice then it should be ok for Shadow Hills who also won their playoff game. Bring back Shadow Hills!

    • Jim

      school spirit? They said they were going to No-Hit one of the best teams in the state…..Not classy and they set their pitcher up for failure with that. U never guarantee a shut out in sports

      • Steve Ramirez

        It’s called overconfidence after making it to the semifinals for the first time. I don’t see how it lacks class. Classless would be to pull your outfielders and infielders while pitching.

        • Jim

          no that would be ridiculous. The bottom line is its over. Nothing is changing so going back and forth on here wont change the ruling.

          • Steve Ramirez

            Satchel Paige did that on several occasions to show up the opposition, then proceeded to strike out the side. Just sayin.

        • Harvey Wendelstadt

          Steve,

          You understand that being classless can include pulling your infielders and outfielders AND essentially calling your shot on the school marquee. If we had to choose between classy and classless, you have to choose one, would you say that what Northview did was classy? Just sayin…

  • FredJ

    I consulted with CIF, if SOFTBALL players are hitting off a tee during pre-game warm-ups, that would be illegal. But not sure if the video and pictures are conclusive enough. It does appear a player is hitting off a tee, but I’m not absolutely certain of it.

  • Softball Mom

    Disqualify both teams (Aquinas and Shadow Hills) or let them both move on. You can’t have different rules for different schools.

  • salter

    Yea, losing 9-1 I’m sure the batting practice is the reason.

    • Steve Ramirez

      That’s not the point Salter. In football, Team A can be leading 80-0 with two minutes left in the fourth quarter, but if they insert an ineligible player, they forfeit the game. A rule is a rule.

    • Softball Mom

      You’re missing the point. Our daughters (Shadow Hills) also won the game. Yet we get disqualified? How is that fair? Either we both are allowed to move on or both are disqualified.

      • Jim

        i agree about SH. problem is evidence was conclusive in their situation.

  • Jim

    the video and pics are inconclusive. The game is over. Why would u want to go to the championship by default? Would u feel good knowing u were routed in the semi’s? Hitting off a T didnt change the outcome of the game. Its a terrible rule anyway. There is no pitching motion when the ball is on a T. If an illegal player was used I could see the issue. Just let it go, it wasnt even close and Northview couldnt hit the Aquinas pitcher anyway.

  • MommaT

    If this wasn’t happening why would they take pictures. Bottom line is Aquinas broke a rule and that’s it. The coach lying is horrible, he needs to man up and be honest. What is he teaching his team! If it were my daughter I would rather a coach teach honesty and moral before softball. Further more CIF needs to do an investigation and talk to the umpires. They obviously seen it as they walked right around there batting warm ups.
    CIF needs to stick to the rules and not change them from one game to another before they end up getting sued!

  • Softball Mom

    There is no doubt that Aquinas used a Tee. Our concern is CIF is not imposing the rules. It’s not about Northview being handed a pass to the championship, it’s all about setting precedence. Shadow Hills won their playoff game! Please explain to us why our girls got disqualified and yet it’s ok for Aquinas to move on.

    • A Game

      What specific hitting drill did Shadow Hills do that got them DQ’d?

      • Jim

        they were simulating the pitching motion if im not mistaken

  • Softball Mom

    Since Northview is not filing a protest, the CIF championship should be handed to Montebello. The Aquinas coaches should just admit it and move on.

  • MommaT

    FYI! For all of you who don’t know Ana is the president of the ASB and Tuesday was ASB appreciation day! So showing respect and support to Ana on the marque is…..classy in my book!

  • A Game

    It does not surprise me that Ana is the ASB president, she is the spark plug and a leader for the team, great kid. Congratulations Northview on a great season, hold your head high, the right choice was made. And good job coach Butler on teaching the girls a valuable life lesson, you have my vote for COY.
    The only loser in this situation is Aquinas. If they get by Montebello, they will have a big ” * ” next to the title because they all know, players and coaches, whether a tee was used, just make sure you thank Northview for not pursuing this and allowing you to play in the championship game.

    • sourgrapes

      They won 9-1. They could’ve been playing miniature golf for all we know and still won. Get over it.

      • A Game

        We beat you in miniature golf. Haha – humor

  • FredJ

    Now that this is over, I’ll tell you why I don’t like the “Illegal batting practice rule.” First, I don’t think anyone has ever knowingly took an illegal batting practice knowing the severe consequences. You would have to be an idiot to do that. In almost all of these cases, the victims of this rule are first or second year coaches or coaches who haven’t been in the playoffs in years making an innocent mistake over a rule they didn’t read up on or have anyone remind them of. And the players have no idea about these rules, they aren’t reading playoff handbooks. If you’re going to punish anyone, you suspend a coach, you don’t forfeit an entire team. That’s just wrong. Second, there needs to be preventative rules in place that prevent this stuff from happening, because nobody wants to see a team forfeit a game for something as silly as this. It should be mandatory that home coaches meet with visiting coaches when they arrive to go over the “playoff ground rules.” That simple meeting would avoid something like this from happening again.

  • sourgrapes

    Chris Ybarra has been a softball coach for 10+ years. So he obviously knows the rules. Do you think he would knowingly break the rules? Especially when they’re on the road in the CIF semifinals, not even a week after the Shadow Hills Mary Star debacle? Get real.

    • A Game

      Obviously, those are questions that you need to answer, not us.

      • sourgrapes

        I seriously doubt an experienced coach wouldn’t know the rules, let alone blatantly violate them especially one week after the SH-Mary Star debacle in the CIF semifinals on the road, where there are a ton of spectators. Sour grapes.

        • A Game

          The video and pictures don’t show much. As I stated before, the coach and players are the only ones that know the truth, regardless, they have to live with what they know. I find it curious that you are on here trying to justify and convince us of something that is inconclusive.

          • sourgrapes

            This was your quote:

            “The only loser in this situation is Aquinas. If they get by Montebello, they will have a big ” * ” next to the tainted title because they know, players and coaches, whether a tee was used, just make sure you thank Northview for not pursuing this and allowing you to play in the championship game. I hope you folks in San Bernardino sleep well tonight. Montebello, good luck tomorrow!”

            That doesn’t sound like it came from somebody that wants to believe the video is inconclusive. Just using your words against you.

            I’m here to tell you that logic says no rules were broken. Given the coach and circumstances it’s almost ludicrous to think that. I think you want to believe they used a tee. And I think you want to start a pissing contest over it because your school lost and you want to come up with an excuse for why they did. I think you refuse to believe you lost because Aquinas was just simply a better team.

          • A Game

            Let’s try some reading comprehension, I said “because they know, players and coaches, WHETHER a tee was used” meaning only the people involved know weather one was used or not and since there is only a bad video that is inconclusive, technically it did not happen, we are arguing a moot point here. You won the Championship, congratulations – the girls should be proud of their accomplishments and no one can take that away. But you cannot come on here and try change what people’s thoughts are over the matter.

  • Rodney Medina

    You can always tell the height (and in this case the distance from a subject) of a bad photographer.