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  1. 16 likes
    Now, that the press release has been issued I can state this: I think the biggest change you will find in 2018 is that the casebook will be updated to reflect runner designations that are used by all of the other organizations. That is, R1 will be the runner on first at the start of the play, R2 will be the runner on second at the start of the play, etc., etc., etc.
  2. 13 likes
    148 words and says nothing... written like a true lawyer.. @lawump
  3. 12 likes
    Cue the resounding THUD! as @VolUmp's jaw hits the floor.
  4. 9 likes
    When I voluntarily quit pro ball, I also quit chasing any plum assignments. I now umpire for fun; because I love it. If I wanted it to be an all-consuming career, I would have stayed in pro ball...not to pat myself on the back, but I certainly had the evaluations to stay in MiLB for many more years. I find that umpiring for oneself and for the game, and not giving a f*ck about "making this conference," or "getting this assignment," ...or playing politics...to be very liberating. Now, I enjoy umpiring a good high school game just as much as I enjoy working a non-conference game between two power five conference members. I'm just true to myself: I respect the game, I give back by working with newer umpires, give 100% when working a game at any level, and I'll call out bullsh!t when I see it.
  5. 7 likes
    Working an Intermediate (50/70) LL State Tournament last week w/6 umpire crew. Had a great week getting to know players and coaches from across the state. R1, R2, 1 out. F9 was playing a little deep and had to run and dive for a fly ball. I'm U1. Apparently, when the runners (and BR) saw that F9 had made a miraculous catch and had the ball in his glove, I watch R2 tag to advance to 3B, R1 retreated to 1B, BR retreated to get his bat and headed for the dugout. THEN......F9 hits the ground and RF umpire (U6?) comes up with "no catch!". It would appear that the impact of hitting the ground had dislodged the ball from his glove. I hear him and give a quick glance to see the mechanic as well. F9 gathers himself and throws the ball in to F4. This particular F4, realized what had just happened. He stepped on 2nd for the force and U2 declared R1 out. He then jogged over to 1B and stepped on it, I called BR out. He tosses the ball towards the mound and heads for his dugout with the rest of the team. AC (at 1B) says to me very politely "Blue, do you mind if I ask you a question?". I replied, "absolutely not coach". He then asks "what just happened?" I offered up a quick "after 3 outs, you switch sides"...........and with the deer in the headlights look, I knew I had to explain the whole situation.
  6. 7 likes
    #1 isn't a mechanics issue, it's a rules issue. And he's wrong. #2 is a mechanics issue, and he's still wrong. He also sounds like an arrogant, ignorant jackass.
  7. 7 likes
    It's here! Finally after almost a month and a half of waiting. Guess my Wilson Ti is going to have to find a new home. My Mizuno isn't going anywhere.
  8. 7 likes
    Had this gem from over the weekend. Babe Ruth game, bottom 6, bases loaded, 2 out, VT up by 2. Batter has already seen a few pitches (think the count was 2-1) and VT coach suddenly yells from the dugout, "Hey Blue, they've got the wrong batter! #33 is up, should be #11, that's the third out." [You probably can guess where this is going...] VT players start walking off the field. I call "Time" and tell everyone to go back to their positions. I look over to the HT coach who's already talking to an asst. who's keeping the book. Coach looks down the bench at a player and I hear him say coolly, "Devon, you're at bat. Get up there." Think he knew he dodged a bullet there. While proper batter is walking to the plate, VT coach comes out to tell me the inning is over for "batting out of order." I tell him he appealed too early and explain the proper time to appeal BOO - and he's looking at me like I have two heads. He got hot under the collar but didn't get personal w/ me or say anything to get dumped. Proper batter finally comes to bat. He takes a ball, then he dumps the next pitch way over F9 for bases-clearing triple. (He scored on wild pitch before pop out ended the inning.) After the triple, VT coach yells out, "This is f*-ing' unbelievable!" Don't know if that was directed at me or his players...doesn't really matter...I tossed him. VT went in order in top 7, game over. There are two types of coaches. Those who know the rules. And those who think they do.
  9. 7 likes
    Tbroze lets put this to bed real quick. Are the best umpires in the country at the CWS every year... NOPE there are politics involved just like in anything MLB, MiLB, HS and LL. There is a rotation, there is a sitting period for the top level guys otherwise you'd see the same 8-10 guys year in year out. And everyone would lose their minds on, "no thats not fair"... Ok so here it goes. Did this umpire have a "big" in your opinion bad zone today... YEP. But do you know that this umpire was also the alternate and was called in and got on a plane b/c a crew chief went down with an injure less than 48 hours ago. NO. Have you ever worked in this type of an enviroment where you're being judge by 27 cameras and ESPN and 30k + people? It's really easy to call pitches from the couch, hell its easy to call them from the 1b foul line. But we support umpires here. We can say that he might be to far back, moving his head, to high/low, not enough slot foot as a training avenue. But lets not blast the guys who have been doing this at an extremely high level for years and own the coaches and administrators respect. As for the other calls they've "missed" yep there have been several and guess what, if ESPN where to show multiple games at any level with this much coverage I'd bet my life savings you'd see more missed calls than this. They've also had some nut cutters that have been 100% right! Oh by the way there are multiple guys at the CWS this year who have MLB time and multiple cws, super regionals, regionals and MiLB experience. Now to the issue of you being there... I run an umpire camp that the national coordinators D1, D2 and D3 come too every year. Private message me and you can have a spot and show them what you got and see if you can jump over the guys in the line and put those brass balls to work. I don't care a guys age, I've seen 55+ year olds go from hs to D1 in 5 years without pro experience. I hate excuses from guys on why there not there. I love working with guys with passion and that can out umpire me! That is my challenge to myself every game, give to the brotherhood and out work everyone on the field to be the best. So come on down and I'll see you in October where by the way 2 of those umpires are going to be there. Just my $0.02
  10. 7 likes
  11. 6 likes
    This past weekend, I was acting as onsite UIC, and as I was rolling the cooler full of ice, water, and towels from one field to another, replenishing the guys between innings, one of my crews had a situation happen right in front of me which I was very proud of how they handled it... without botching it or consulting me or the TD. R1, R2, 2 outs, X-2 count (balls not relevant). Swinging strike, pitch makes contact with the bat, and ends up... in the F2's armpit, trapped there. F2 gets up, flips the ball towards the mound, and starts trotting towards his dugout while the DT fans applaud his outstanding catch... ... but was it a catch? The 3BC (OTHC) starts bellowing, "That's not a catch! That's not a catch! Get the rule right!" while the PU steps back, and instead of making an Out mechanic, motions and calls, "Time!". I refrained from saying anything, as much as my younger umpire-self would have liked to, instead leaving it to this crew to determine. The PU motioned in the BU, and they met just in front of the mound. At this point, both the OTHC and the DTHC are on the field, and the PU has to signal to both of them to back off and return to their dugout areas, before he resumes discussing with the BU. Of course, the DT parents are, to a person, clamoring, "But it didn't hit the ground! He caught it!" I'm standing right next to the Field Marshal (FM, an employee of the TD), telling him, "It has to be the glove first for a foul tip. If it hits anywhere else on the catcher's body, like his mask or CP, it's a foul ball." At that moment, the PU disengages from the BU, heads back towards the plate, and announces, "Foul ball." DTHC approaches PU while his players resume their positions, and PU gives him a brief explanation, ending with, "My UIC is standing right there (points at me), he'll tell you the same thing." "Play!" Next pitch is a line-out to F5. Oh well. Nicely handled, Blue!
  12. 6 likes
    Got them today man are they cool! The one pic is next to F3 shins that are size 16.5. They look around the same size as them.
  13. 6 likes
    I have been thinking about your post. I think it hints at an even bigger issue. Too many of us umpires feel the need to "talk" during an argument...to the point where we start arguing/discussing/talking before the coach even opens his mouth. That is, we don't wait to hear what the coach has to say before we feel compelled to open our mouths and start talking. Hell, some of us start talking/yelling while the coach is still walking/jogging toward us. We don't even wait for him to arrive at our location. Those of us that do this (and I used to be one of them) really need to stop doing this. We need to hear what the coach says/argues before we even open our mouth. When we feel the need to be the first one to start talking/yelling we are doing so only after having made an assumption that we know what the coach is going to say...and we all know what happens when we ass-u-me. On more than one occasion I have been on the field when a head coach came out to "argue" (either with me or a partner) and the first words out of his mouth were, "I know you got the call right, we're just playing like crap so I'm out here to show my team that I'm fighting for them," (or something similar) (I'm not making that up...this has happened multiple times in my career). If my partner or I had started yelling/talking to/at the coach before listening to the coach, we wouldn't have had the chance to realize that the coach wasn't even coming out to argue! Additionally, there have been other times when I was 100% sure I knew why the coach was coming out to argue...only to find out that I was wrong. For instance, I once had the Vanderbilt head coach come out and I was sure he was going to argue that the second baseman had come off the bag too quickly in turning a 6-4-3 double-play. I wasn't feeling great about my call. However, lo and behold, his argument was that the batted ball had hit R2...which I knew was not even a remote possibility. If I had opened my mouth first instead of waiting to hear what he had to say...I would have just given the head coach another thing to argue! Anyways (now that I'm off my soap box), if the coach comes out to a standard safe/out play at first base, I'll listen to them. I'll tell them, "I had the ball just beating the runner," or "the runner just beat the throw." I'll let them reply and then I'll say "We'll have to agree to disagree. Now, we need to get the game going." They'll usually give a parting shot (coaches love to have the last word.) Then we go on. I have never had this happen, but if a coach told me, "Well, we saw it differently," then I would probably reply with, "Okay, then we'll have to agree to disagree. Now, Its time to get the game going."
  14. 6 likes
    Good day, Ken. Please give us a little more context. Is this baseball? Softball? Both bat sports? What level of play does this entail? Little League only? Travel / Academy ball? Are you drawing your umpires from an association, or are you the coordinator for umpires-as-independent-contractors? There is certainly more advice to give you, based on your answers, but some immediate, general points come to mind: Know your ruleset(s) backwards and forwards. You will not only be counseled by League Directors, Tournament Directors and coaches, but by your contracted umpires. And yes, working a game for you is a contract. Suffer naivety, but never suffer ignorance. There is a difference. Never assign a game to an umpire that you yourself are unwilling to do. In the same vein, you will likely have a value system based on skill sets, personalities (works well with certain partners, works well with certain coaches), and experience. However, don't assign games based on favoritism, as you will culture grudges. Don't give a championship game to an umpire simply because he's your nephew. By all means, support and defend your umpires to the Nth degree. However, when at a game venue, never step on the field to give your resolution, insight, or judgement on a play uninvited. If your umpires (for that game) are unclear about a Rule interpretation, and seek you out to get it right, then that is acceptable, and you should advise them based on the Rules. Judgement calls are non-Negotiable. In fact, if you are called in by your umpires to consult, you should let them describe the situation to you as if the fences were opaque walls and you saw nothing, even if you "saw the whole thing". Remember, you are just referencing Rules knowledge, not judgement. You may have to step in (or summon another stand-by umpire to do so) if one of your umpires gets injured, isn't feeling well, or his/her attention is impaired by a personal issue (divorce, death in the family, car accident notification during game, etc). Never dock the umpire in this situation – give him the full game fee. Resist the temptation to remove an umpire if he's "blowing calls". You may need to remove him from further games for the day (LDs & TDs should discuss this with you), but do not remove him from that game underway. Do not dock his pay, and do not let a TD or LD dock his pay. Even if you have an umpire storm off the field in disgust and abandon the game, and you're now in a pinch to find a replacement, make sure you pay him for that game. It covers your butt. Set up an evaluation system, a feedback and accolades structure, and some sort of instructional or training system, no matter how basic or advanced you're able to implement. Umpires rarely get recognition or accolades, and as such, some seek appreciation by direct coach feedback, or lingering around to shake/slap hands with the game participants. Don't foster this mentality! Encourage them to get off the field and get among other umpires (yourself included) to review the game and identify points of praise and opportunities to improve.
  15. 6 likes
    Stan, do you find that you see and call more Balks when you're wearing them?
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    You have the geometry of the "wedge" right in your head: we rotate into fair when F2 is in fair, because he'll swipe left (sorry, Tinder generation) to get the runner. This keeps our angle between F2 and runner open, and we can see the tag. When F2 moves into foul, he's going to be swiping right, making everything mirror image. So take a step back away from fair, and keep the angle open the other direction (because he's swiping the other direction). This play is difficult because (a) we don't practice plays at the plate much, so we don't have patterns uploaded to our brains to match these plays, (b) the plays we do see generally have F2 in fair, not in foul, and (c) it happens in a heartbeat, which doesn't give us time to process it.
  19. 5 likes
    FPSR is especially perilous, as the Runner may drown. If you see a splash, it's not a catch. Catchers may have to have snorkels attached to their masks. Kayaks, as seen at such waterfront venues as San Francisco, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh, are allowed in the outfield. While we do want to keep to a brief Plate meeting, the ground rules may take awhile to explain. The phrase "fishin' for a call" becomes, suddenly, very appropro.
  20. 5 likes
    We talk about it at the Mid-American Umpire Clinic, September 7-10 in Springfield, Missouri where there are only a few spots available. (Was that too shameless of a plug?)
  21. 5 likes
    "Ball, Outside. Outside, Ball. How's that?" (the ",asshole" after the last question is implied)
  22. 5 likes
    Send it to Douglas. They will create a custom pad for you. It will be half as thin as what Wilson makes.
  23. 5 likes
    Oh that's not so bad... just get the Diamond Dry. It's somewhere in the shed... which now seems to have floated away....
  24. 5 likes
    Pay for a second umpire and let HIM assist his partner.
  25. 5 likes
    1)Sitting at desk at work, look at clock: "Dammit, I should have left work already!" 2)Hit every GD red light on my way to the freeway. 3) Get stuck in traffic on freeway because some a-hole decided to go 80 when everyone else was going 60, and rear ended someone. 4) Arrive at ballpark 20 minutes later than I wanted to, but not too worried because I still beat my partner. 5a) While getting things ready at the car, get greeted by some dad walking by, saying something he thought was funny and original, the only thing is that it was not funny, nor original, the other 57 times I heard it before. Politely smile and force a chuckle, then go back to getting ready. 5b)Rush to get dressed due to circumstances listed above. Get halfway to field before I realize I forgot (fill in the blank here), turn around and walk all the way back to the parking lot to get said item. 6) Hit the bathroom for one last pregame. 7) Get paid if it's a game that is paid at the field and not a RefPay game. Yes, always get paid before. Sometimes, the last place you want to be after a game, is hanging around the concession stand waiting for a the person with the checkbook. Especially when you just banged out the tying run for the home team on a close play at the plate to end the game. 8) Grab a bottled water from the hot mommy running the concession stand. "How ya doin?" 9) Enter field, talk sh** with the home team players and coach for a moment. 10) Ask for baseballs, get baseballs, tell them that's not enough baseballs, listen to coach say: "both pitchers each have one baseball as welll." Thank coach for that info then restate: "still not enough baseballs, (coach's name here." Hear coach make some comment about their skinny budget while handing you two more baseballs. Thank coach with a smile, then head to plate meeting with coach. 11) Upon arrival at plate, listen to coaches tell (lie to) each other how tough their seasons have been, and how they have no idea how they are going to make it through the rest of the season, even when both are playing above .700 baseball. 12) Start plate meeting. Point out to one of the coaches that he has two players with the same number. After his surprise, watch as he has to yell at one of the players several times to get his attention. Once he does, get ready for the confused look on the player's face when he is asked what his number is. The mystery is finally solved, but not until we have that player turn around so we can see what his number is. 13) Line up for anthem, hoping it's going to be the standard band rendition that lasts all of 45 seconds, but instead getting a recorded rendition of some pop star singing it at some big event in the past, that ends up going well past 2 minutes, because the dad in the press box thought it would be so awesome! 14) Say goodbye to the partner, greet the catcher, take a look at some warm up pitches, start the game 5-10 minutes late due in large part to the Case of the Duplicate Numbers, and Daddy DJ in the press box. 15) An hour and a half later: BOOM! OUTTA HERE! (If we're lucky) Somewhere in there, a real pre-game was probably mixed in, provided it wasn't someone that I've worked with a hundred times before. In between balls, strikes, and puts, a couple of silly questions from coaches were answered, and several funny things were heard coming from the stands from fans who came to the game fresh out of clues. Oh, I almost forgot! I also heard John Fogerty's "Centerfield" for the 4,357th time at some point during the game. Or was it the 4,358th time? I think that pretty much honestly sums up a day in the life of an amateur umpire in the middle of July.
  26. 5 likes
    Recently, I was fortunate enough to acquire a Power CP from a retired umpire. It was in really good condition, just a little dirty and sweat stained. It also had a small tear just below the neckline. I started to look into getting it repaired, and possibly get a new pad built. I reached out to Team Wendy to see if there was any chance of them resuscitating their retrofit program and got a resounding NO. I then talked to a local upholstery shop that does a lot of custom work (ZZ Top's furry guitars for example) and was about to take it in to see what they could do, when I decided to go to Riddell and see what they could do. Of course, the rep I spoke with had no idea what I had. She was probably born right around the time the last Power was made. She did check around and found the guy who does know about them. He said he could repair the pad (which they call the body) I had, or build a new one. I went with building a new one. The guy in charge of doing it was familiar with them, having done a refurbish for MLB umpire Larry Vanover this past year. I was asked if I wanted to go light or dark with the pad color. After some back and forth (if I go with light, there would be many sharpie marks on it that would be visible) so as much as I wanted to keep it as original as possible, I went ahead and chose black for the color of the body. I also asked for gap protection, which Mike was able to accomplish. The epaulletes Velcro on, and I'm not sure how I feel about the stability of it, only time will tell. If I have to, I will rivet them on. The plates themselves were as close as they could get in color, which I think looks okay as it is. Anyway, what I now have for the finished product, IMO, looks pretty bad ass. I will most likely be trying it out tonight, so I'm looking forward to that. Anyway, I wanted to share the before and after pictures with you, since we don't get a chance to see these very often. Before:
  27. 5 likes
    He's not coming off that way...he is that way.
  28. 5 likes
    Now I never have to wonder what would happen if Ted Nugent and a Wilson Dyna-Lite had a baby... h/t Uni Watch
  29. 5 likes
    I will decline attempting to answer your question for these reasons: First, I was not a party to any email conversation you may have had with Mr. Hopkins, nor did I read a transcript of any such conversation, so I cannot and will not comment on anything that may or may not have been said in any such conversation. Second, I have no authority to speak on behalf of the rules committee, the NFHS nor any employee of the NFHS. Thus, I cannot and will not attempt to speak on behalf of Mr. Hopkins. Third, with the exception of when I am being paid to be someone's attorney, I make it a habit not to speak on behalf of anyone else. Nothing good can come of it, and, in fact, bad can come of it. So for that personal reason, I will not attempt to answer your question.
  30. 5 likes
    What will be funny is if the MLB guys start wearing them, then all the guys on here who bashed them, will jump on the band wagon just because the Big guys wear them.
  31. 5 likes
    After seeing all the different masks this year, I think I would rather keep the gear out of the equation, and do something with the shirts and hats. NOT the flag or camo shirts, but some other different things, like (gasp!) a shirt with a navy body then incorporate red into it somehow and maybe just outline the collar in gold or something, using the colors of the flag, but not turning it into a flag. They do it for olympics and Ryder Cups for golf, so I'm sure they can come up with something tasteful. I just don't know what to think about this mask. I think it's a bit much.
  32. 5 likes
    These used to keep the sand/dust out of my eyes.............
  33. 5 likes
    If a batted ball hits 1B, 2B or 3B it is a fair ball, regardless of where it settles.
  34. 5 likes
    Somewhere in the 30-40% of pants purchased by all umpires are heather grey. I would encourage you to try a pair of the charcoal, if you want. We'd be happy to pay the returns shipping back if they don't work for you or aren't close enough to doing so. If after looking at them (and the female heather grey when they come out next month if you want there as well), feel free to send me a PM with suggestions for any changes for a female fit, and I will share them personally with Joe DeRosa at Smitty.
  35. 5 likes
    Trolling, trolling, trolling, Trolling, trolling, trolling, Trolling, trolling, trolling, Trolling, trolling, trolling, Rawhide!
  36. 5 likes
    Here we go, this pic is much clearer:
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    Even that's too weak: almost never is contact nothing, during a batted ball (the last part is important, as that brings in the fielder's protection). This standard sets the bar too high. The fielder is protected from hindrance, not only from contact or from being prevented from making a play. IOW, it's INT if the runner has any impact on the play, not only if he prevents the play. As described, this play is almost certainly INT. It's also a cautionary tale about how not to officiate with rules of thumb, such as "they're both doing what they should be doing."
  39. 4 likes
    I was enjoying this thread more when it was tPOS.
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    Spot on Max Plan is to work on a cp here by using my pals who are building hockey gear. Once I have the rig I want it will be sent to one of my many contacts in China where I will have 20-30 samples made. Test those samples and make any changes and do a limited run of 200 units to test the water. It ca be done and I believe I can find a price point that works for the end user.
  42. 4 likes
    gnhbua93 I am a hockey guy right to the core...the materials I use work to the benefit of the user and the limited products we strap on our chest to umpire a baseball game. You have a track record of making everyone know you are behind F3 products all the way. I use them too and others. I don't slam them only try to enhance the product for the end user. F3 makes great products so do the other manufacturers. All I am doing is offering options for a better fit. You can tell everyone all day long F3 is the best product on the planet...my harness sales say otherwise for all the mfg's including F3 because not everyone on this media think you are the authority on F3 products. My harness must work because lots of guys in the SHOW and MiLB use it...same for umpires around the globe Ray UMPLIFE ..... I am a hockey guy...
  43. 4 likes
    @Umpire in Chief If my timing is correct, this should be right about the 337th post in this string. I think that speaks VOLUMES for @JimKirk and the new pants. Is this some kind of record for discussion topic threads? Just curious. Topic has been hot for quite a while now.
  44. 4 likes
    Ok what is this? @Fittske24
  45. 4 likes
    Hey everybody, I've been meaning to post this for a while, seeing as I've known for a couple weeks now. 7 applications, 5 acceptances and one big decision later, I've decided I'll be attending UCLA for my undergraduate degree. As of now I'm planning to major in business economics starting in the fall. I love the big school vibe and the campus at UCLA is beautiful. Now for the part that interests (some of) you guys. I'm planning to bring my car down with me so I can continue to umpire games for my four years until I head off to pro school. I'd like to keep moving up through high school ball since I've had a full JV schedule this year. Too many rain outs. Anyway, if any of you work games near/around UCLA I'm looking for a group and I would love your help finding one. I know LA is a BIG place so I don't know what kind of range you guys service down there. It'd probably be best to get acquainted with college life before grabbing a ton of games, but school doesn't start until September 22 so I'd imagine the bulk of the season will have died down. Thanks for reading and my PM's are wide open if any of you are looking to recruit a new member. Go Bruins!
  46. 4 likes
    With this last order of nine harnesses arriving on my doorstep this morning, fresh from @Razzer in Maple Syrup-land, this makes 20 harnesses I've commissioned from him in the past year. Sure, there've been one or two Schutts that these have gone on, and the occasional Force3 UnEqual, or Douglas, or Champro / Champion, even. Out of the 20, can you guess where 14 have gone? Yup, freakin' Wilson CPs. 11 Platinums and 3 Golds. Oh sure, you can easily (and lazily) point out, "But Max, that just indicates that Wilson CPs are more popular and numerous!", but it also indicates just how plain awful and ineffective the Wilson units are with their stock harnesses. Each umpire supplied with a Flex -style harness (preferably Ray's) experiences a dramatic improvement in fit and protection. Many suddenly become very aware of how brief the coverage is on the Platinum, especially, as it doesn't provide much in the way of abdomen protection, nor does it natively allow an extension to be added... ... but that's another discussion, for another time.
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    decided to go with gun metal. Tony is the man!
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    R2 was forced to leave second because the batter became a batter-runner. That's the definition (at least paraphrased) of a force play. Since the third out was a force out, no runs score.
  50. 4 likes
    Not sure how/when this is happening. On batted balls? If so, clear the catcher before taking off your mask. You should be moving out from behind the plate on batted balls. If there's runners on 2nd and/or 3rd and you need to stay at the plate, keep the mask on until you back up a step. There's no rule you can cite to justify an EJ for F2 throwing his mask off.