Register or Sign In to remove these ads
humanbackstop19

Echoing Balk Calls

42 posts in this topic

At the NCAA Clinic in Chicago it was said that all umpires on the field should echo all balk calls made on the field, even if you don't see it occur. To say the least,  the room was very split on that mechanic.  I'd like to hear some other opinions or ideas on this issue.  I think we should throw the hands up and kill the play,  if applicable to that situation,  but calling out "Balk!" Is going to create a lot of confusion if a play continues on who actually called it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Register or Sign In to remove these ads

Echo your partner.... Also, you shouldn't just "kill the play" The balk can be acknowledge and the play continue in many circumstances.  As for the confusion part.  If we're working together I call thats a balk!  and you echo me and now the balk is not full filled then once the play is over/killed then if the coach wants an explanation as soon as his foot hits I'll ask, "bob if you have a question on the balk come to me..." "I have no stop" that is the calling officials responsibility to the crew.  If you wanted to go farther you could even say it in the call..... ie. "thats a balk, no stop.... thats a balk".  The point I believe the NCAA wanted to get across was that they don't want to see one umpire call a balk and the other 2 are looking around like "really?" but to work as a team and a single unit that trusts one another.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Echo the balk call. In FED, kill it immediately.

When I call a balk, there's no confusion about who called it because I explain the balk immediately: "That's a balk! Time! That's a balk, no stop!" (or whatever). Most of the time, if the coach didn't see it and he was about to come out and ask, he sits right back down. And if he did see it, this mechanic usually keeps him in his seat.

In any case, it eliminates any confusion about who called it (which shouldn't really matter for anything anyway).

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simple answer is ECHO IT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a question / answer that goes back and forth because you can come up with situations where you get in trouble by doing it and situations where you get in trouble by not doing it.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your partner; "THAT'S A BALK!!"

You: "THAT'S A BALK!!"

Coach; (To YOU); "What'd he do?"

YOU; (to Coach: "uh, dunno"

Coach: (to YOU) "Then why'd you call it?"

(crickets....)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your partner; "THAT'S A BALK!!"

You: "THAT'S A BALK!!"

Coach; (To YOU); "What'd he do?"

YOU; (to Coach: "uh, dunno"

Coach: (to YOU) "Then why'd you call it?"

(crickets....)

If we say, "no stop" (or whatever) as part of the announcement, then (1) he won't ask, and (2) if he does, then you'll know.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should always echo things like this. If you are BU, with R2, and F1 is staring down the runner while engaged or in the set position, and the batter is granted "Time!" by your PU partner (who may or may not be the loudest of people), are you going to stay there and allow F1 to slide-step and pitch to the plate, snapping his head around at the last possible moment?

No, you're going to echo/reflect that there is Time called. You don't want the batter-catcher-PU to be imperiled. F1 (having yet to turn his head towards the plate) asks "Why?" Response is, "Partner has Time called." Simple.

Why is it so unnerving to us to answer a coach with, "My partner has the Balk."?

@jjb, the question becomes – Why is the coach asking YOU and not your partner? Then, if you are the focal point of his inquiry by proximity or by you being the first / only he heard, then why _can't_ you reply with, "Ask my partner."?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, jjb said:

Your partner; "THAT'S A BALK!!"

You: "THAT'S A BALK!!"

Coach; (To YOU); "What'd he do?"

YOU; (to Coach: "uh, dunno"

Coach: (to YOU) "Then why'd you call it?"

(crickets....)

Me: "I didnt... he did" pointing at my partner.

My partner: "coach, I called it."

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should always echo things like this. If you are BU, with R2, and F1 is staring down the runner while engaged or in the set position, and the batter is granted "Time!" by your PU partner (who may or may not be the loudest of people), are you going to stay there and allow F1 to slide-step and pitch to the plate, snapping his head around at the last possible moment?

No, you're going to echo/reflect that there is Time called. You don't want the batter-catcher-PU to be imperiled. F1 (having yet to turn his head towards the plate) asks "Why?" Response is, "Partner has Time called." Simple. Apples and oranges, Max. The ball is dead and anything that happens, well, didn't happen. If I've got time to let F1 know the ball's dead, ("Whoa, dude!")  I will, but it seems that I'm not going to have the time.

Why is it so unnerving to us to answer a coach with, "My partner has the Balk."? Because he's going to see YOU calling the balk, and he's gonna want to know what YOU saw. Look, if I've seen the balk, I don't see an issue with telling the coach "no stop".  That's easy. It's when my partner calls a balk and I haven't the foggiest what the hell he's seen that I'm inserting myself into something I can't get myself out of.

@jjb, the question becomes – Why is the coach asking YOU and not your partner? Then, if you are the focal point of his inquiry by proximity or by you being the first / only he heard, then why _can't_ you reply with, "Ask my partner."?

Think of it this way: say you're in C and there's a shot down the 1st baseline. Your partner yells "Foul Ball". Are you also going to yell "Foul Ball?" You can't possibly see if the ball's over the bag or not, but, are you still going to make a ruling on the ball because your partner made one? Nope, I'm shutting my mouth and heading back to C; if the coach wants to argue with me, it's easy to say, "what are you asking ME for?"

IMHO, if I see a balk, I'm going to call it. If my partner sees it at the same time, and also calls it, great. But I'm not making a decision based on my partners' observations. Let the Umpire who made the decision explain it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, jjb said:

Your partner; "THAT'S A BALK!!"

You: "THAT'S A BALK!!"

Coach; (To YOU); "What'd he do?"

YOU; (to Coach: "uh, dunno"

Coach: (to YOU) "Then why'd you call it?"

(crickets....)

 "Because the NCAA wants us to do it... go talk to Tim"

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jjb said:

Why is it so unnerving to us to answer a coach with, "My partner has the Balk."? Because he's going to see YOU calling the balk, and he's gonna want to know what YOU saw. Look, if I've seen the balk, I don't see an issue with telling the coach "no stop".  That's easy. It's when my partner calls a balk and I haven't the foggiest what the hell he's seen that I'm inserting myself into something I can't get myself out of.

You're not "in" anything, so there's nothing to get yourself "out" of. You're simply communicating your partner's call to be sure it was heard. And so what if you have to tell the coach that it was your partner's call? What's the big whoop?

@jjb, the question becomes – Why is the coach asking YOU and not your partner? Then, if you are the focal point of his inquiry by proximity or by you being the first / only he heard, then why _can't_ you reply with, "Ask my partner."?

Think of it this way: say you're in C and there's a shot down the 1st baseline. Your partner yells "Foul Ball". Are you also going to yell "Foul Ball?" You can't possibly see if the ball's over the bag or not, but, are you still going to make a ruling on the ball because your partner made one? Nope, I'm shutting my mouth and heading back to C; if the coach wants to argue with me, it's easy to say, "what are you asking ME for?"

IMHO, if I see a balk, I'm going to call it. If my partner sees it at the same time, and also calls it, great. But I'm not making a decision based on my partners' observations. Let the Umpire who made the decision explain it.

Therein lies the flaw of your logic. You're not ruling on anything, nor are you making a decision about a call. You're simply echoing what your partner did. I cannot see these things you raise as issues.

 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All good responses. Thanks for the input. Im a rookie at the NCAA level and I agree that echoing these calls will be beneficial. Then, with the hothead coming out of the dugout (in extreme cases) we use the conflict resolution protocol to put the coach and calling umpire in the right places with the right people to communicate what just had happened.  Besides, that's the way the NCAA wants it done, so that's the way I'm gonna do it. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, alex7 said:

@humanbackstop19   and congrats on getting into the NCAA!  

I think "humanbackstop" is one of the best usernames on here. 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Stk004 said:

I think "humanbackstop" is one of the best usernames on here. 

especially if he started it when he was working LL or Pony.  Kinda like when that pitcher makes it in the bigs and keeps his #83 jersey number as his everyday one.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Stk004 said:

I think "humanbackstop" is one of the best usernames on here. 

Truth in advertising! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/23/2017 at 3:28 PM, jjb said:

Your partner; "THAT'S A BALK!!"

You: "THAT'S A BALK!!"

Coach; (To YOU); "What'd he do?"

YOU; (to Coach: "uh, dunno"

Coach: (to YOU) "Then why'd you call it?"

(crickets....)

Super easy fix...

 

The original calling umpire stand up and says " coach i have a no stop balk"

done.. WE ALL ECHO BALKS... ALL UMPIRES... THIS IS NOT UP FOR A DEBATE.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Haid D' Salaami said:

Super easy fix...

 

The original calling umpire stand up and says " coach i have a no stop balk"

done.. WE ALL ECHO BALKS... ALL UMPIRES... THIS IS NOT UP FOR A DEBATE.

I want to take this a step further...

To me echoing a balk is a different thing from actually calling the balk. Echoing, to me means I don't know the call, but I'm blindly echoing my partner. On the other hand there may be a balk and every umpire on the field is actually calling the balk.

Sit 1. Right handed pitcher in the set position, I'm U1 in the A. The pitcher comes set, then briefly starts and stops his motion. U3 has a great look and balks it. I probably couldn't see that motion and can only echo.

Sit 2. F1 while engaged with runners aboard drops the ball (very much an over-simplification). All umpires are actually calling the balk.

So lets look at Sit 1. Coach comes out. Maybe he's in the 1st base dugout and I'm the first umpire he sees. So he comes toward me. And why shouldn't he, he saw me calling the balk. It is up to U3 to know the situation and take control. He should be heading our way and say something like, "hey coach, I've got this call."  Only a complete horse-$#!+ umpire would leave a fellow umpire hanging in that situation. If I were not bailed out by the calling umpire, my theory is that for better or worse I'm now stuck with this call. I'm not telling the coach, "Well gee I was only echoing my partner's call and don't really know what happened, so you will have to go to him." I'm going to give it my best there and then and deal with the partner later.

In Sit 2. I'm actually calling the balk so the coach comes out. Even if my partner starts to intercede, thinking I may have only been echoing, I'll wave him off and let him know I've got the call. 

 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Umpire in Chief said:

I want to take this a step further...

To me echoing a balk is a different thing from actually calling the balk. Echoing, to me means I don't know the call, but I'm blindly echoing my partner. On the other hand there may be a balk and every umpire on the field is actually calling the balk.

Sit 1. Right handed pitcher in the set position, I'm U1 in the A. The pitcher comes set, then briefly starts and stops his motion. U3 has a great look and balks it. I probably couldn't see that motion and can only echo.

Sit 2. F1 while engaged with runners aboard drops the ball (very much an over-simplification). All umpires are actually calling the balk.

So lets look at Sit 1. Coach comes out. Maybe he's in the 1st base dugout and I'm the first umpire he sees. So he comes toward me. And why shouldn't he, he saw me calling the balk. It is up to U3 to know the situation and take control. He should be heading our way and say something like, "hey coach, I've got this call."  Only a complete horse-$#!+ umpire would leave a fellow umpire hanging in that situation. If I were not bailed out by the calling umpire, my theory is that for better or worse I'm now stuck with this call. I'm not telling the coach, "Well gee I was only echoing my partner's call and don't really know what happened, so you will have to go to him." I'm going to give it my best there and then and deal with the partner later.

In Sit 2. I'm actually calling the balk so the coach comes out. Even if my partner starts to intercede, thinking I may have only been echoing, I'll wave him off and let him know I've got the call. 

 

Let's go with Sit #2, first. I think we're all agreed that, if we ALL see the balk, we're ALL calling the balk. That's easy, and we can honestly tell the coach what we saw; "dropped the ball in contact, Coach."

But, in Sit #1, you've mentioned that "I probably couldn't see the motion and can only echo". Well, now you've got to tell the coach that you saw something you couldn't see, (and he may bring that fact up to you). I agree, a good partner will pull you out from under the bus, but, you're banking on his professionalism to keep you from looking stupid. Personally (and Haid, there's nothing that can't come up for debate among friends :D), I don't see the advantage to the echo and can see a disadvantage.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, jjb said:

Let's go with Sit #2, first. I think we're all agreed that, if we ALL see the balk, we're ALL calling the balk. That's easy, and we can honestly tell the coach what we saw; "dropped the ball in contact, Coach."

But, in Sit #1, you've mentioned that "I probably couldn't see the motion and can only echo". Well, now you've got to tell the coach that you saw something you couldn't see, (and he may bring that fact up to you). I agree, a good partner will pull you out from under the bus, but, you're banking on his professionalism to keep you from looking stupid. Personally (and Haid, there's nothing that can't come up for debate among friends :D), I don't see the advantage to the echo and can see a disadvantage.

 

Here are the 2 important sentences from UIC concerning situation #1.

Only sentence 1 below from UIC should be happening at the level this post is attached to IMHO.

 

"1. It is up to U3 to know the situation and take control. "He should be heading our way and say something like, "hey coach, I've got this call."  Only a complete horse-$#!+ umpire would leave a fellow umpire hanging in that situation.

IMHO Calling umpire sees the coach walking in the echo's direction, he heads him off at the pass. Trust me, the Manager/Coach knows who the "point man is for the balk" and 'who the echo's are'.

 

"2. If I were not bailed out by the calling umpire, my theory is that for better or worse I'm now stuck with this call.

IMHO if "2 is happening all over the country in lots of cases, good luck. What, are guys worried about, their schedule, and so they go hide after calling a balk so their echo get's all the crapola. If that's the way it is, law of the jungle, to make sure the coach writes down the correct balk caller to complain to the assignor, good luck. I would expect this scenario to be occurring more at lower levels than the level this post is in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, jjb said:

 

But, in Sit #1, you've mentioned that "I probably couldn't see the motion and can only echo". Well, now you've got to tell the coach that you saw something you couldn't see, (and he may bring that fact up to you). I agree, a good partner will pull you out from under the bus, but, you're banking on his professionalism to keep you from looking stupid. Personally (and Haid, there's nothing that can't come up for debate among friends :D), I don't see the advantage to the echo and can see a disadvantage.

 

Negative Ghostrider.. you don't tell him nothing.. you didn't call it.. but echoed it.. the calling umpire talks to the coach... " coach i didn't call the balk Umpire in Chief did, your gonna have to ask him"

 

And in the pregame this should be discussed... if you call it.. man up and talk to the coach.

Done.

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, jjb said:

Let's go with Sit #2, first. I think we're all agreed that, if we ALL see the balk, we're ALL calling the balk. That's easy, and we can honestly tell the coach what we saw; "dropped the ball in contact, Coach."

But, in Sit #1, you've mentioned that "I probably couldn't see the motion and can only echo". Well, now you've got to tell the coach that you saw something you couldn't see, (and he may bring that fact up to you). I agree, a good partner will pull you out from under the bus, but, you're banking on his professionalism to keep you from looking stupid. Personally (and Haid, there's nothing that can't come up for debate among friends :D), I don't see the advantage to the echo and can see a disadvantage.

 

What part of what everyone else is telling you do you not understand? For the millionth time, you're NOT telling the coach you saw ANYTHING. You're simply ECHOING your partner's call.

Are you just trolling?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've learned in my relatively short career that there is a right way and a wrong way to do MOST things in umpiring, and I've also learned by experience that those who grasp this and apply it can advance fairly quickly if all other factors are positive. 

From doing little things like using the correct hand, to larger mechanics, and even the mental aspects, there is a simply a right way and a wrong way. Most things in umpiring ARE NOT relative to interpretation or preference.

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, kstrunk said:

I've learned in my relatively short career that there is a right way and a wrong way to do MOST things in umpiring, and I've also learned by experience that those who grasp this and apply it can advance fairly quickly if all other factors are positive. 

From doing little things like using the correct hand, to larger mechanics, and even the mental aspects, there is a simply a right way and a wrong way. Most things in umpiring ARE NOT relative to interpretation or preference.

 

Addendum to this... do what your boss wants you to do. If they say don't echo. Don't echo.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now