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MidAmUmp

Between Innings

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I do not enforce the 1 minute time limit, which is not really enough time, especially given that the "clock" starts the instant the last out was made in the previous half inning.  NCAA gives 90 seconds, and the clock doesn't start until the last fielder crosses the foul line.

I give 8 pitches for new pitchers and 5 for returners.  If they are dawdling, I will give less.  If the warm up catcher has taken 4 pitchers (for a returning pitcher), I will tell him to let the catcher take the 5th pitch.  Giving more than 5 pitches when the catcher is putting on his gear gives them the opportunity to drag their feet, which I won't allow.

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1 hour ago, Minnz said:

Buy the new magnetic card holder Ump Attire has. Perfect size. If you fold lineup card right, no matter which they use, really simple to get access to the card for lineup changes on the fly.  Made my life great this season.

Already have one... it is the 3 foot long line up cards I seem to be getting lately.

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Our guidance from the state is to start the 1 minute timer from the time the last fielder crosses the line.

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Here are my suggestions for having quicker games (when you are the plate umpire):

(1)  Stock up on your baseballs between innings.  At the time of the first pitch of the game, I have 6 baseballs (3 in each ball bag).  I make sure I start each half inning with 6 baseballs.  If I run low during in an inning, I look at the home dugout and say, "I need (insert number) baseballs, please."  I then make sure that someone runs out to me with the baseballs during a natural break in the game.

(2)  Stand on the foul line a few feet up from the dirt circle between innings.  Stand in front of the dugout of the team that is coming to bat.  Except for the first inning (or when there is a new pitcher), quietly tell the catcher after the pitcher has thrown 3 warm-ups, "he has two more, (insert catcher's name)."  After the pitcher throws his fourth warm-up, hold up your right hand above your head while giving the "number 1" signal, and look at the pitcher and say, "last one!"  Then, turn to the on-deck batter and say "one more!". Usually when I do this, the batter immediately removes the weight from the bat and starts strolling toward the plate...even before the catcher has thrown it down to second base.  Saying "one more!" usually causes the third base coach to start moving toward his coaching box, too.

(3)  If someone doesn't come out to warm-up the pitcher, sternly say to the coach, "coach, I need someone to warm-up the pitcher or your pitcher is not going to get any warm-ups this half-inning."  Usually the coach turns to the kid who is supposed to take care of this and says, "Johnny, pay attention.  Go warm up Mike!", or an assistant coach trots out.

(4)  Have a short-hand system for quickly notating substitutions.  [All substitutes are required to be listed on the line-up card.  So, if the head coach comes up to me and says, "I have number 14 for number 22 in the ninth hole,"...and this is his first substitution of the game...I go to the bottom of my line-up card (where the substitutes are listed) and I put an "A" next to number 14.  Then, I go up to the ninth spot in the line-up and write the "A" again.  I also make a "22" through the starter's number.  If the starter re-enters later, I just strike through the "A" and write a "Re" next to the "A".  For the second substitute, I write a "B", etc.  However you do it, having a short-hand system for substitutions will shorten your game.]

(5)  We always say, "don't signal or verbalize obvious foul balls".  (For instance, if the batter hits a rocket straight back to the backstop behind home plate, we shouldn't throw our hands up and yell, "foul!".)  I suggest that you take this a step further: don't watch obvious foul balls!  If a batter hits a towering fly ball that is going to land in the softball field behind the first base dugout and well out-of-play...don't stand there and watch it.  I guarantee you that if you watch me (and most, if not all, pro and college umpires), F1 will have a new ball before the foul ball even lands.  This can literally knock 5-10 minutes off of your game time.

(6) If your state uses the FED batter's box rule (mine doesn't) enforce it.  Even in my state, I will tell a batter, "let's go" if he is strolling between pitches.

(7) Call strikes.  I know that there are some games we all have (especially in high school) where neither team has an F1 who can throw it in the ocean standing knee deep at high tide...much less throw it in the strike zone.  But, if you want quick(er) games, you must enter each game with the mentality that every pitch is a strike until it proves to you that it is not a strike.

(8) Unless it absolutely gets buried in dirt, don't brush the plate off except when there is a natural break in the game (for instance, between batters.).  The plate doesn't move.  If you've been umpiring for more than a few games, you know where the corners are located.

(9)  Break up mound visits in a timely manner.  Here is what drives me crazy:  after deciding that it is time to go to the mound to break up the defensive conference, some umpires take an eternity to get to the mound.  I watch some guys, when they start walking to the mound, walk up the first base foul line to the 45-foot line.  Then they turn left and actually walk toward the mound, but they go to the back of the mound.  Then, they walk up the back of the mound.  It is like they are afraid to get to the mound; they take the most non-direct route possible while strolling.  When a defensive conference occurs, I immediately note it on my line-up card.  By the time I put away the card, it is just about time to break up the visit.  I walk directly and with purpose in a straight line from the plate to the mound.  Once I am sure that the coach and players (other than F1) are leaving the mound, I jog back to the plate area.  As i am jogging back, I glance over my shoulder to make sure that the coach and/or catcher isn't trying to return to the mound.

(10)  Hustle.  When you hustle, it will encourage others to hustle.  If you are "popping out" from behind the plate and trailing the batter-runner on grounds balls (with no runners on base), or having a crisp first-to-third rotation...it encourages the game participants.  This won't work for all teams, but it will work for many.

This stuff works.  I have the game times to prove it.

 

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How can we save Lawumps' last post? It's a great primer for game management.

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28 minutes ago, KenBAZ said:

How can we save Lawumps' last post? It's a great primer for game management.

Ask @lawump and/or @Umpire in Chief to render it as an Article. Then, reference the article whenever necessary... often... repetitively... ad nauseum.

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6 hours ago, MadMax said:

Ask @lawump and/or @Umpire in Chief to render it as an Article. Then, reference the article whenever necessary... often... repetitively... ad nauseum.

Will do.

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On 5/3/2017 at 1:39 PM, grayhawk said:

I do not enforce the 1 minute time limit, which is not really enough time, especially given that the "clock" starts the instant the last out was made in the previous half inning.  NCAA gives 90 seconds, and the clock doesn't start until the last fielder crosses the foul line.

I give 8 pitches for new pitchers and 5 for returners.  If they are dawdling, I will give less.  If the warm up catcher has taken 4 pitchers (for a returning pitcher), I will tell him to let the catcher take the 5th pitch.  Giving more than 5 pitches when the catcher is putting on his gear gives them the opportunity to drag their feet, which I won't allow.

Had a partner giving extra tosses yesterday while the catcher was goofing around.  When I'm on that field and it's 95 and sunny it isn't time to give extra. I refuse to give extra and if the catcher is taking his sweet time there will be no throw to second base.

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On 5/4/2017 at 8:56 AM, lawump said:

(6) If your state uses the FED batter's box rule (mine doesn't) enforce it.  Even in my state, I will tell a batter, "let's go" if he is strolling between pitches.

 

 

 

I am interested, does your state list something different than FED for this rule?

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On 5/4/2017 at 8:56 AM, lawump said:

Here are my suggestions for having quicker games (when you are the plate umpire):

(1)  Stock up on your baseballs between innings.  At the time of the first pitch of the game, I have 6 baseballs (3 in each ball bag).  I make sure I start each half inning with 6 baseballs.  If I run low during in an inning, I look at the home dugout and say, "I need (insert number) baseballs, please."  I then make sure that someone runs out to me with the baseballs during a natural break in the game.

(2)  Stand on the foul line a few feet up from the dirt circle between innings.  Stand in front of the dugout of the team that is coming to bat.  Except for the first inning (or when there is a new pitcher), quietly tell the catcher after the pitcher has thrown 3 warm-ups, "he has two more, (insert catcher's name)."  After the pitcher throws his fourth warm-up, hold up your right hand above your head while giving the "number 1" signal, and look at the pitcher and say, "last one!"  Then, turn to the on-deck batter and say "one more!". Usually when I do this, the batter immediately removes the weight from the bat and starts strolling toward the plate...even before the catcher has thrown it down to second base.  Saying "one more!" usually causes the third base coach to start moving toward his coaching box, too.

(3)  If someone doesn't come out to warm-up the pitcher, sternly say to the coach, "coach, I need someone to warm-up the pitcher or your pitcher is not going to get any warm-ups this half-inning."  Usually the coach turns to the kid who is supposed to take care of this and says, "Johnny, pay attention.  Go warm up Mike!", or an assistant coach trots out.

(4)  Have a short-hand system for quickly notating substitutions.  [All substitutes are required to be listed on the line-up card.  So, if the head coach comes up to me and says, "I have number 14 for number 22 in the ninth hole,"...and this is his first substitution of the game...I go to the bottom of my line-up card (where the substitutes are listed) and I put an "A" next to number 14.  Then, I go up to the ninth spot in the line-up and write the "A" again.  I also make a "22" through the starter's number.  If the starter re-enters later, I just strike through the "A" and write a "Re" next to the "A".  For the second substitute, I write a "B", etc.  However you do it, having a short-hand system for substitutions will shorten your game.]

(5)  We always say, "don't signal or verbalize obvious foul balls".  (For instance, if the batter hits a rocket straight back to the backstop behind home plate, we shouldn't throw our hands up and yell, "foul!".)  I suggest that you take this a step further: don't watch obvious foul balls!  If a batter hits a towering fly ball that is going to land in the softball field behind the first base dugout and well out-of-play...don't stand there and watch it.  I guarantee you that if you watch me (and most, if not all, pro and college umpires), F1 will have a new ball before the foul ball even lands.  This can literally knock 5-10 minutes off of your game time.

(6) If your state uses the FED batter's box rule (mine doesn't) enforce it.  Even in my state, I will tell a batter, "let's go" if he is strolling between pitches.

(7) Call strikes.  I know that there are some games we all have (especially in high school) where neither team has an F1 who can throw it in the ocean standing knee deep at high tide...much less throw it in the strike zone.  But, if you want quick(er) games, you must enter each game with the mentality that every pitch is a strike until it proves to you that it is not a strike.

(8) Unless it absolutely gets buried in dirt, don't brush the plate off except when there is a natural break in the game (for instance, between batters.).  The plate doesn't move.  If you've been umpiring for more than a few games, you know where the corners are located.

(9)  Break up mound visits in a timely manner.  Here is what drives me crazy:  after deciding that it is time to go to the mound to break up the defensive conference, some umpires take an eternity to get to the mound.  I watch some guys, when they start walking to the mound, walk up the first base foul line to the 45-foot line.  Then they turn left and actually walk toward the mound, but they go to the back of the mound.  Then, they walk up the back of the mound.  It is like they are afraid to get to the mound; they take the most non-direct route possible while strolling.  When a defensive conference occurs, I immediately note it on my line-up card.  By the time I put away the card, it is just about time to break up the visit.  I walk directly and with purpose in a straight line from the plate to the mound.  Once I am sure that the coach and players (other than F1) are leaving the mound, I jog back to the plate area.  As i am jogging back, I glance over my shoulder to make sure that the coach and/or catcher isn't trying to return to the mound.

(10)  Hustle.  When you hustle, it will encourage others to hustle.  If you are "popping out" from behind the plate and trailing the batter-runner on grounds balls (with no runners on base), or having a crisp first-to-third rotation...it encourages the game participants.  This won't work for all teams, but it will work for many.

This stuff works.  I have the game times to prove it.

 

This is .... just .... awesome! 

Then again, I wouldn't expect less from @lawump

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19 hours ago, Minnz said:

I am interested, does your state list something different than FED for this rule?

Nope.  We have no relaxed missed base appeals and no relaxed leaving a base early on a tag-up appeals (umpires just call runners out at the end of the play), and we have "deleted" the batter's box rule from the rulebook.

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1 hour ago, lawump said:

Nope.  We have no relaxed missed base appeals and no relaxed leaving a base early on a tag-up appeals (umpires just call runners out at the end of the play), and we have "deleted" the batter's box rule from the rulebook.

Law, am I correct in thinking that South Carolina is the last state that employs the use of the umpire automatically calling runners out for missed bases and leaving early?

Also, how can SC "delete" the batter's box rule?  I never knew it as a state by state adoption.

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On ‎5‎/‎6‎/‎2017 at 0:03 PM, VolUmp said:

Law, am I correct in thinking that South Carolina is the last state that employs the use of the umpire automatically calling runners out for missed bases and leaving early?

Also, how can SC "delete" the batter's box rule?  I never knew it as a state by state adoption.

1.  Yes.

2.  Good question to which I have no answer.

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Law, am I correct in thinking that South Carolina is the last state that employs the use of the umpire automatically calling runners out for missed bases and leaving early?
Also, how can SC "delete" the batter's box rule?  I never knew it as a state by state adoption.

The same way Florida uses a modified NCAA DH rule....

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1 hour ago, ALStripes17 said:


The same way Florida uses a modified NCAA DH rule....

I seriously don't know what this means.

Since these are not items that are "By State Adoption," are these states saying:

A)  "FED ... we'd like an exception granted please."

or

B)  "Hell with FED ... we are doing it the way we want."

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I seriously don't know what this means.
Since these are not items that are "By State Adoption," are these states saying:
A)  "FED ... we'd like an exception granted please."
or
B)  "Hell with FED ... we are doing it the way we want."

Hidden option C:

Thanks for 99% of our rules foundation... We will take it from here.

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14 minutes ago, VolUmp said:

I seriously don't know what this means.

Since these are not items that are "By State Adoption," are these states saying:

A)  "FED ... we'd like an exception granted please."

or

B)  "Hell with FED ... we are doing it the way we want."

Adult diapers. 

(Depends).  Some do it "A", some do it "B".

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In our state, if they're slow, I give a reminder to the coach, if they're still slow, I pull warm-up pitches.

Essentially, I enforce the rule only when necessary.

Typically I put the onus on the plate umpire to keep the game moving.  Count pitches, remind them to get a catcher out here to warm up F1, thank them for hustling. 

"Hey Billy, thanks for hustling out" 

In my games, that goes a long way.

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This week on the plate, so far, I have had a 6 1/2 inning game that took 1:35 and a full 7 inning game that took 1:40. 

In one of those games, when I turned to the on-deck batter before each half inning and said, "one more!", I had most batters nod their head at me and immediately start walking toward the plate.  By the time I got my mask on (after brushing off the plate after the catcher threw down to second), everyone (battery, batter and base coaches) were waiting on me, it seemed.  It was GREAT!

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1 hour ago, lawump said:

This week on the plate, so far, I have had a 6 1/2 inning game that took 1:35 and a full 7 inning game that took 1:40. 

100 minutes is my magic number for 7 innings. All but one plate this season is under the limit, and half of those were under 90.

Some of that is about umpiring good baseball (I was on the bases earlier this week when one team had 5 errors in one inning on 5 ground balls — calling a few more strikes doesn't help there — but we still somehow finished in 100 min). But most of the "pace of play" issues are entirely on the PU, and most of those occur when the ball is dead.

Guys complain about big strike zones — or mom says, "give the batter a chance!" — but why? Baseball is a game of defense: calling strikes makes pitchers happier and more confident, which leads to better pitches, which leads to better baseball, which leads to shorter games. I want a pitcher's duel every game. Batters are there only to make pitching a little challenging.

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I started actively working on these things after reading the post. 

The results in the last week:

JV DH 20-3 1:30 on plate, 10-0 1:10 on bases

Men's league 10-6 1:45 on plate

JV plate 10-9 1:45 7th went almost an hour, they both scored a lot of their runs that INN. 1st 3 were pretty much 3 up, 3 down and went fast.

V DH 12-2 1:30 on plate, 18-3 2:30 on bases (weekday DH didn't seem to work well with 2 bad varsity teams)

JV 6-4 bases 1:40

I'm not going to say it was all me, the players and teams had a lot to do with it, but if you can shave off time here and there, it will definitely help overall. I felt like this was a big struggle I had before reading this thread.

 

Managing the warmups - "Jake, 2 more", batter "last pitch" really seems to keep the catcher and batter on pace and focused on getting that first pitch in.

Immediately grabbing for a ball on unplayable fouls seems to help a lot too. 

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51 minutes ago, udbrky said:

 

Immediately grabbing for a ball on unplayable fouls seems to help a lot too. 

And if F2 stays watching the foul, throw it back to the pitcher yourself. 

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Just now, Jimurray said:

And if F2 stays watching the foul, throw it back to the pitcher yourself. 

I don't want to embarrass the kids with my cannon so I just say "Hey Frank, ball"

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1 hour ago, udbrky said:

I don't want to embarrass the kids with my cannon so I just say "Hey Frank, ball"

That works also. If I do lob it, my story is the lob is so as not to hurt the pitcher's hand.

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1 hour ago, Jimurray said:

And if F2 stays watching the foul, throw it back to the pitcher yourself. 

And absolutely, unequivocally do not let the catcher chase after foul balls to the backstop.  In my 1:35 game this week, in the first inning the catcher started after a foul ball back at the backstop.  (Mind you this was a varsity playoff game.)  I grabbed him by the shoulder and said quietly to him, "son, you work hard enough running your team as the catcher.  Why don't we let the scrubs on the bench get a little work in and get us the foul balls?"  He laughed and said, "thanks, blue."

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