The Foul Tip Mechanic is used to let players, coaches, and fans know that the result of the pitch is neither a foul ball nor a swinging strike. You can find the complete definition of a Foul Tip under Rule 2 of the Little League Rule Books. In this video, we will break down the Foul Tip mechanic which is a two-part mechanic. A two-part mechanic has two distinctive pieces. Let’s start with the first part of the mechanic.
The first part of the mechanic involves making sure that the catcher catches the ball and then signaling that it is a foul-tip. As we watch Tom, notice how he watches the ball all the way into the mitt (Ball is pitched to catcher without a batter. Once he verifies the ball has been caught, he lifts straight up out of his stance bringing both hands up at the same time about chest-high, with the right hand on top of the left hand. Then, with a sweeping motion to the right, he moves the right hand over the left hand at roughly a 45-degree angle while maintaining eye contact with the catcher’s mitt and not following the sweeping hand with the head. We want to continue to make sure that the ball is still in the glove. He finishes the first part by dropping the arms to both sides.
The second part of the mechanic is signaling that it is a strike or an out depending on what the count is. Remember, the mechanic for a strike and an out are the same…so there shouldn’t be any confusion. Tom finished the first part of the mechanic by dropping his arms to the side. He now brings the right hand up so the arm is parallel to the ground and, in a “hammer” motion, moves the forearm forward while closing his fist. This completes the second part of the mechanic.
Throughout the entire two-part mechanic, no verbalization is made.