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Ethics: Informing Ump of Incorrect Call To Aid Opponent?

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9u summer league game last evening.  Only 1 ump (carded/HP). Runner on first base. Batter swings and ball bounces off the plate and back into him, then ball trickles a few feet toward pitcher.  Obvious foul ball to almost everyone except the umpire, who did not see the ball deflect off the batter.

Hitter doesn't run, R1 doesn't run...catcher picks up ball and throws back to pitcher.  Hearing no call by the umpire the defensive team's coach shouts to pitcher to throw to second base.   R1 is called out by PU on the force.

Batting team manager asks defense mgr to basically "do the right thing" and inform the ump it was a foul ball.  Defense mgr declines, saying it's not his responsibility to help the umpire in that spot, thereby also helping the other team.

What is "the right thing to do" in that situation, keeping in mind this is a 9u game ?

 

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23 hours ago, Guest NJ Coach said:

and that's what I'm referring to.   a call that everyone but the ump noticed clearly.    something far beyond judgment.

This broken record drives me, as a UIC of a youth association trying to develop young umpires, nuts. 

1. We, as umpires, do not umpire to the court of public opinion; we umpire by interpreting what we saw. 

2. Unless all of you at the game have 10-12 cameras and a control centre in New York, what makes you think you saw the play any better? Did you see what happened or what you wanted to see? HTBT

3. This is not a misinterpretation of the rules, this is a judgment call. No umpire by her/himself is going to overturn a judgment call after listening to the peanut gallery. That is just a nightmare waiting to happen. 

4. If it is a misinterpretation of the rules, protest the game. As an association UIC, I don't want any coach or parent or spectator telling a developing umpire (who are usually working this level) what the call should be. 

5. To #4, at this level, we have our entry level umpires who are probably 12-13 years old and in their first year. At this level, I don't care if they call your batter out on a Scooby Doo, the play stands. In protecting younger umpires from being bullied or intimidated, our provincial code states all calls on the field stand at this level. The coaches should contact the UIC of the situation if it is such a misinterpretation of the rules. It is my responsibility to tell the young umpire there is no Scooby Doo in the rule book, not the coach. 

6. This situation in the OP is probably due to bad positioning or mechanics, again that is something a UIC should work with the umpire, not the coach. 

Bottom line is this. I don't tell your infielders how to field after they booted five ground balls and turned a inning in 34 C (92 F) into 30 minutes of horror. Don't tell my 13-year-old umpire that in a rundown between 1st and 2nd and the ball gets thrown out the play, R1 should be on 2nd base (1+1). 

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On 7/13/2017 at 9:30 AM, Guest NJ Coach said:

I do inform both the other manager and the 1 ump we get for each game that as a base coach I will assist the ump and correct any obviously wrong calls.

Say what, now? I bristled when I first read this. So I took a breather and re-read it. I bristled a second time. Then a third. Basically, there was a lot of bristling.

You have neither the right nor the responsibility to proclaim yourself an assistant umpire. The only person on that field with the authority to be the arbiter of the rules and official of the  game is someone who is not you. Allow that person to do his job without your meddling. Believing you will help the umpire correct calls takes an audacity I can't fathom. Your job is to coach. Period. If you want to be an umpire, put on the gear and do it. But you can only do one thing at a time: coach or umpire. There is a significant degree of separation between those roles.

Should an umpire proclaim himself an assistant coach and assist you with developing your players' skills during a game? Absolutely not, and you should be rightfully indignant if any umpire were to do so because he'd be over-stepping the bounds of his role.

You coach eight year old kids. There is nothing that happens on the ball field that necessitates anything but shrugging off a missed call.

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On 7/13/2017 at 10:30 AM, Guest NJ Coach said:

I was a spectator at this 9u game but noted the dialogue between managers on that play. 

Myself, I do manage an 8u team and I do inform both the other manager and the 1 ump we get for each game that as a base coach I will assist the ump and correct any obviously wrong calls at the expense of my own team if need be.   It's certainly not cheating to benefit from a bad call, but I think if the call is clearly wrong...it should be corrected even if by the team that benefited from it.

 

If you want to be an umpire, be an umpire instead of being a coach. Coaches don't "correct" umpires. If it's a one man situation, the call is final, period, full stop. You don't have to like it but that's the way it is. Coaches don't tell umpires how to do their jobs any more than umpires don't tell coaches how to coach. Bottom line: If you're a coach, don't "correct" the ump. It's a good way to get your day ended early.

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On 7/14/2017 at 2:30 PM, BCBrad said:

2. Unless all of you at the game have 10-12 cameras and a control centre in New York, what makes you think you saw the play any better? Did you see what happened or what you wanted to see?

This is just shirking responsibility.  Just because a coach/player saw what he wanted to see doesn't mean what he wanted to see didn't actually happen.  When you see a play where literally the umpire is the only person on the field or in the stands who saw the play as he called it it's no longer HTBT.  Is it justification to change his call, nfw.  But don't dismiss umpire judgment mistakes simply because it's someone else's judgment.  When both teams are complaining about big mistakes it's probably an opportunity to watch that umpire and see what they can work on.

 

On 7/14/2017 at 2:30 PM, BCBrad said:

Bottom line is this. I don't tell your infielders how to field after they booted five ground balls and turned a inning in 34 C (92 F) into 30 minutes of horror. Don't tell my 13-year-old umpire that in a rundown between 1st and 2nd and the ball gets thrown out the play, R1 should be on 2nd base (1+1). 

Difference is you don't pay my infielders - I pay your umpires, whether directly or indirectly, so there is a higher standard.  Other difference is my infielder has coaches present to let him know he didn't do his job, and to actually witness things that can be worked on in the next practice.  Your umpires are on their own, without supervision, and often have supervisors that just dismiss complaints because the coaches probably saw what they wanted to see.

If I see a ruling mistake I will indeed inform your umpires.  If they don't reconsider I'll protest.  No point in arguing further.  And no point in discussing judgment calls with a one-man crew - I hope your umpires are encouraged to shut that down quickly - it's not like the coach can ask you to ask a partner for help, so there's no real purpose for the coach to talk to the umpire at all.

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On 7/14/2017 at 3:30 PM, BCBrad said:

2. Unless all of you at the game have 10-12 cameras and a control centre in New York, what makes you think you saw the play any better? Did you see what happened or what you wanted to see? HTBT

In fairness, it's entirely possible a coach saw something we didn't see. We do miss calls and they may have a better angle. Surely, a 1B coach has a better angle for some swipe tags at 2B than when we're in B or C. But that's not the issue because it's easy enough for an umpire to explain by saying something like, "That's what I had, coach," and leaving it at that.

And we're held to a higher standard than players in regards to how well they perform. We're paid professionals. We have to be at the top of our game.

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@beerguy55 And @ElkOil

I am not saying umpires do not make mistakes nor that excellence is not the standard we should all strive for each game. 

I watch many games, assessing the progress and development of umpires. I have observed many games where either: one, saw the umpire make a nice call done properly only to hear coaches and fans yell bs about the "travesty" that has been inflicted on their poor team, or two, seen a close play that I know from where I'm sitting I can't call and trust the call on the field, to hear a fan or coach with the same perspective livid  about a butchered call. Until this culture changes, I am always going to question the motive of someone trying to throw an umpire under a bus. 

Bottom line is this: as an educator, people do not learn or progress linearly and learning, especially any psycho-motor or kinetic learning, needs to be done. This means that people learn better by getting reps in an environment that is supportive in growth and development. Usually, people don't grow when: their peer group is not dynamic by promoting dialogue for growth; feedback is critical, not constructive; they have no mentors who they trust; or, no meaningful and pragmatic  learning experience exists that gives them a sense of empowerment. 

Finally, I have found that usually stereotypes and prejudice affects what kind of support and development people receive. I seen environments where the people who are liked get the support and training while the shunned people have to figure it out for themselves. As an educator, I know that I have to practice "don't judge, understand" in giving each person the quality time they need to grow and develop. It is amazing and humbling sometimes how people change and blossom when they feel like someone sees them as a person, not as a preconceived idea of who they are. 

Intrinsic excellence and high expectations usually is fostered from a trusted and respectful learning environment. People take ownership to the achievement of excellence when their effort on the field is matched with a passion to raise their best. My goal as a UIC or educator is to nurture that intrinsic motivation in others. 

That is what I take to the field to support and educate developing umpires. I don't think that is what a coach has in mind. 

PS. Does playing in a band on weekends, make you a professional musician?  For most umpires I know, we are not doing it because of the honourarium we get for the game. We do it because one way or another, we feel a civic duty or responsibility to contribute to our communities. Umpiring is the way we participate  and volunteer as a citizen in our hometowns. 

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