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Guest Mike

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Guest Mike

Batter hits pop up close to left field line, umpire signals with hand that the ball is fair, infielder drops ball.  No one on offense or defense apparantly sees the umpire's call and everyone acts as if the ball is foul and everyone returns to the field thinking the ball is foul and the umpire allows the game to continue.  I think the umpire did right, what do you think?

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First, my assumption is this clusterf--- happened because the umpire verbalized "fair", which is exactly the type of confusion that ensues.

I would break it down into whether or not abandonment could/should be called.   There are softball rulesets that will allow/mandate it here.

NCAA rules abandonment occurs if the BR retreats, at all, to home plate.   (I once got called out for this in baseball, but I believe that ruling is incorrect)

High School softball, I think, allows for the umpire to make a judgment call on abandonment, but they'll typically wait until the player enters the dugout.  I would call the batter out - returning to the batter's box and picking up the bat being an obvious abandonment of attempting to run the bases.

OSR and ASA require the runner to enter DBT (and I'm pretty sure NSA and USSSA do too)

In baseball I believe the runner can't be called for abandonment before they reach first base.

Soooo, if the umpire isn't calling abandonment, how should he handle this play?

I'm guessing the umpire(s) should maintain their position in anticipation of a play to first base and refuse any request for time, and wait for someone to get their head out of their ass?

Keep pointing to fair territory until someone notices???

My gut tells me in either sport this was handled incorrectly.

I envision PU standing to side of plate, mildly chuckling at a pitcher standing on mound with ball, with BU in position at first base.  And a coach asking for time, umpire not responding, or saying "no".

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Guest A_A
On ‎3‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 6:18 PM, beerguy55 said:

First, my assumption is this clusterf--- happened because the umpire verbalized "fair

Where in the OP does it say he "verbalized" fair?  Unless this post was edited of course.......

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2 hours ago, Guest A_A said:

Where in the OP does it say he "verbalized" fair?  Unless this post was edited of course.......

That's why I said "assumption" - words mean things.  

If he had explicitly typed that the umpire yelled "fair" I would not have had to assume it.

I'm also assuming that there is either only one umpire...or only one umpire said/signaled anything.

Usually this kind of confusion doesn't happen if the umpire just points, usually...unless someone really loud in the stands, or a coach, yells "foul ball".   This kind of confusion does happen when an umpire yells "fair ball"....or if an umpire points fair but says "foul".   And to even say "confusion" is not the right word - from the description of the post, NOBODY thought the ball was fair, except for the umpire.

For an umpire to point fair, not verbalize it, and then let the teams decide it was a foul ball is, to put it mildly, not SOP...to believe the umpire handled it correctly is, I think, wrong.   Unless this was a community game with a volunteer umpire.

Also signalling fair ball before the ball touches something is also silly. 

The more I think about it, three things tell me this is a community game with a volunteer, or very inexperienced, umpire:

1. Ball lands so far foul that everyone on both teams simply accepts that it's foul - one of those plays where typically nobody waits for an umpire to call anything because it's obvious, yet umpire indicated/thought it was fair

2. Umpire lets teams ignore/override his call

3. Umpire signals fair ball before ball touches anything (ie. umpire points fair THEN fielder drops ball)

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The OP says "umpire signals with hand that the ball is fair" so I am not thinking the umpire yelled anything... It also says he indicated and then the ball was dropped by the fielder which may indicate bad timing or just the way the poster typed out the scenario. Either way we have an indicated fair ball.

What should the umpire have done? Stayed on the line "yelling" fair with his emphatic pointing to fair territory and been ready for the play at 1st... Eventually someone is going to see and or do something... 

I am 6' 250#'s dressed all in black and gray... eventually someone is going to notice me standing on the line continually pointing to fair territory... At least I hope so...

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49 minutes ago, Mudisfun said:

The OP says "umpire signals with hand that the ball is fair" so I am not thinking the umpire yelled anything... It also says he indicated and then the ball was dropped by the fielder which may indicate bad timing or just the way the poster typed out the scenario. Either way we have an indicated fair ball.

What should the umpire have done? Stayed on the line "yelling" fair with his emphatic pointing to fair territory and been ready for the play at 1st... Eventually someone is going to see and or do something... 

I am 6' 250#'s dressed all in black and gray... eventually someone is going to notice me standing on the line continually pointing to fair territory... At least I hope so...

and the plate guy should have his mask off out from behind the plate until someone figures it out

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5 minutes ago, JSam21 said:

and the plate guy should have his mask off out from behind the plate until someone figures it out

And if they don't figure it out and coach asks for time, is the answer "no" or "no, the play is still live"

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@beerguy55 at this point in the circus if the coach is asking for time I am going to say loudly we have a live ball coach!

 

I hope to God this scenario does not happen...

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2 hours ago, Mudisfun said:

@beerguy55 at this point in the circus if the coach is asking for time I am going to say loudly we have a live ball coach!

 

I hope to God this scenario does not happen...

I agree - the only time I've seen this scenario (or anything close to it) is when an umpire pointed fair but yelled "foul" - but he immediately corrected himself and changed his hand/arm mechanic to indicate it was indeed a foul ball.  Even in those cases where an umpire verbalizes "fair" and you have that inevitable momentary letup because everyone assumes he said "foul", within a few seconds somebody notices the umpire pointing fair and a coach yells "run".

The only way I see the above scenario playing out as described is a volunteer ump (or some kid who just went through the training and is umping his first game) completely and totally tanks the call (but he knows enough to point for fair balls, not verbalize) on a ball that lands about five or ten feet foul, everybody on the field and in the stands knows/believes the ball landed foul (except the umpire), and nobody notices the umpire has signaled fair because they don't expect any other call (especially if the umpire has not been very assertive, demonstrative or "big" to that point).  In that setting, volunteer ump can realize their mistake and let the kids go on thinking it was foul.  

But if it's a "real" ump learning on the job, I think he needs to own his call and stick to his guns, and stay pointing fair until someone notices.

As stated above, if this was an NCAA softball ump pointing fair and somehow no one, player or coach, at the NCAA level, noticed, the umpire could call the batter out for abandonment when she returns to the plate.  Somehow I doubt this was a NCAA or HS game.

 

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On March 11, 2017 at 5:47 PM, Guest Mike said:

Batter hits pop up close to left field line, umpire signals with hand that the ball is fair, infielder drops ball.  No one on offense or defense apparantly sees the umpire's call and everyone acts as if the ball is foul and everyone returns to the field thinking the ball is foul and the umpire allows the game to continue.  I think the umpire did right, what do you think? 

If this was 2-man this is going to be the plate umpires call all the time. The mechanic for fair ball is to point and say nothing. The only other thing I see that he could have done is continue pointing fair, becoming more and more emphatic as time goes on until he looks like the wacky POINTING inflatable arm flailing tubeman :lol:

But with the information we have from OP it seems he did right. Just out of curiosity I'd love to know what the B/R did, the fielder with the ball, etc.

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14 hours ago, S0M0TEITBE said:

If this was 2-man this is going to be the plate umpires call all the time. The mechanic for fair ball is to point and say nothing. The only other thing I see that he could have done is continue pointing fair, becoming more and more emphatic as time goes on until he looks like the wacky POINTING inflatable arm flailing tubeman :lol:

But with the information we have from OP it seems he did right. Just out of curiosity I'd love to know what the B/R did, the fielder with the ball, etc.

You know, after re-reading the OP, and then reading your response, it seems I have come to a very different interpretation as what really occurred, especially after the ball dropped.

When the OP said "nobody on the offense or the defense noticed the umpire pointing fair, and everyone returns to the field thinking the ball is foul and the umpire allows the game to continue" (emphasis mine) I took the two absolutes of "nobody" and "everybody" literally.  Meaning that NOBODY on the field noticed the fair mechanic, that the defense returned to their positions (including the act of the fielder retrieving the ball and throwing it back to the pitcher), and that the batter returned to the batter's box, that possibly any base runners returned to their original bases (ergo, everyone), and that the pitcher got on the mound and got ready to throw the next pitch...and that the umpire let the GAME continue.  

Now I'm thinking it's poorly worded in describing the chain of events, and maybe he was just trying to say that the umpire didn't do/say anything after pointing fair, and just let the PLAY continue, and that it was everyone ON THE DEFENSE that returned to their positions....and that we don't know what happened after the ball dropped, and we don't know what the BR or runners did.

I think if three words weren't in the OP I would have interpreted it completely differently - "the offense or".

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On 3/11/2017 at 3:47 PM, Guest Mike said:

Batter hits pop up close to left field line, umpire signals with hand that the ball is fair, infielder drops ball.  No one on offense or defense apparantly sees the umpire's call and everyone acts as if the ball is foul and everyone returns to the field thinking the ball is foul and the umpire allows the game to continue.  I think the umpire did right, what do you think?

So, you came in last night and edited some of the wording of your OP, but don't really clarify anything...does "everyone" mean "everyone on both defense and offense?"

What did the infielder do after dropping the ball?   Pick it up and throw it back to the pitcher and then return to his position?

What did the base runners, if any, do?

What did the batter do?

What did the pitcher do?

What did the umpire do?
What did the coaches do?

What was the next play?

At what point did someone realize it was a fair ball?

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On 3/13/2017 at 11:22 AM, Mudisfun said:

I am 6' 250#'s dressed all in black and gray... eventually someone is going to notice me standing on the line continually pointing to fair territory... At least I hope so...

No you're not, champ. You're dressed in, at best, a Powder or Navy shirt (if it actually is an "umpire" shirt as we know it to be), or, at worst, a t-shirt regaled with "UMP" upon it. Then, depending on the age or inebriation level (sometimes, the second number is higher), you're wearing shorts and are standing off to the side (_this_ is the softball slot??) and really don't move much. 

The context of the OP has "senior" and "softball" together... those are two of the ingredients for a recipe as interesting as curing concrete.

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@MadMax If I have to do this level I am rebelling!

 

You did make a point.., this might be old man, drunk player ball... that makes a lot of what happened make much more sense.

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