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What to look for here?

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Mudisfun    400

I'm not sure with the play you have here that there is a right answer... you need extreme slow motion, frame by frame replay to get this one and even then it is a toss up.

Our training to is watch the bag for the touch which is the higher likelihood play but I think with the two players converging we need to open our field of vision and try and see the whole play/body. Focusing only on the bag, who touches first exposes us to missing a high likelihood swipe tag as well. At the end if you see the entire field of play just as U1 did here you will have to make a judgement call. Heck even the Dodgers announcers thought the runner was safe it was so close.

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Thunderheads    2,370

This is one of those lose-lose situations for an umpire at any level.  You can't watch the feet and watch for a tag at the same time, ...it's impossible ...especially on a 'banger' like this one ....

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CJK    80

I read @Mudisfun's post before I watched the video, so I knew there was a tag to watch, and I still missed it the first time.

At the levels I work, this play is a litmus test for whether you actually have the respect of a coach, because s/he's going to want to talk to you, s/he's going to ask you to see if your partner can help you, and your partner doesn't have a look at all.  So now you're going to have to say to that coach, "Chris, we have to go with what I had.  I'm not saying you're wrong, but I didn't have a tag.  If I missed it, I missed it."  And either s/he's going to appreciate your body of work and your honesty, express some disappointment, and move on, or else s/he's going to go bananas over a situation that s/he already knows you handled as well as you can.

I hope you never have to deal with this call.  When you do, I hope you only ever experience the stinging disappointment from knowing that you didn't measure up for a coach who respects you, and not the strain on your rotator cuff (and paperwork) when a coach who doesn't respect you decides to show his/her ass.

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maven    3,891
2 hours ago, Thunderheads said:

This is one of those lose-lose situations for an umpire at any level.  You can't watch the feet and watch for a tag at the same time, ...it's impossible ...especially on a 'banger' like this one ....

If you're far enough from the base, you can hold all the action in one view: focus on the base, but be alert to a tag. The mistake umpires make is to get too close to 1B (this kind of issue is much more common at 1B), so that they can't see a big enough picture. We want to be 18–21 feet from 1B and set, as U1 was in the video.

On this particular play, where the tag is so tight to the touch, it's extremely difficult to judge the timing. This play would be difficult to judge for 2 guys working U1 at the same time, one watching the base and the other the glove! The good news is that not all plays are this close.

Without replay, we rely on good mechanics and good judgment to get it right. For plays this tight, that's the best we can do.

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beerguy55    180
3 hours ago, Thunderheads said:

This is one of those lose-lose situations for an umpire at any level.  You can't watch the feet and watch for a tag at the same time, ...it's impossible ...especially on a 'banger' like this one ....

I wouldn't say "impossible".  If you have a wide enough view you can see if a tag to the head beats a foot reaching the base on a slide, and get it right more often than not, even on bangers.  I see this as the same principle -- I know there's the added element of also watching to see which of two feet gets to the bag first, but I think the principle remains.

On one this close - I don't know if the ump calls this right even if he was watching only the tag.  Took me three views in slo mo to be convinced he was out.

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Catch18    2

Anyone wanna make this call sliding over from 'C' into the working area?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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MidAmUmp    1,726

A lot of stuff working against us... 1B having to go into the hole (looks like they might have had a shift on...hard to tell), a pitcher covering too late, and a fast runner.

Others have already brought up expanding your field of vision. It starts with Pre-Pitch Preparation. Have you identified what the infielders are doing? Do you know the 1B is playing towards the hole (or in a shift)? Have you adjusted to this? Have you considered - if the ball is hit to him, the pitcher is going to have to cover? All of these things tell me to back up.

By backing up and taking an initial position close to the grass/dirt line, you take a couple steps fair and read your pitcher. By reading the pitcher you now know he reacted too late and it's going to be tight...potentially a tag play. Stay back instead of getting sucked in. You should have a good field of vision to see the tag to the body and foot touching the bag. Finally you have to stay calm. A lot of guys tense up when a play like this occurs. Tensing up will lock your eyes and you'll get tunnel vision. That's easier said than done...

The reality is this is an extremely tough call and it's the defense that screwed up, making my life difficult. So in those situations (when I just don't know) I'm going to error on the side of the team that didn't screw the pooch and let the chips fall where they may.

None of us have access to replay on this play. So we have to go with what we see. We're going to get a visit regardless. I would take charge of that discussion (we know why they are coming out) by giving a quick explanation - either l had him touching the base before the tag -or- I had him tagging him before he got to the base. And then I would immediately offer to get with the crew to see if anyone had anything different. Get the coach back in the dugout and see if anyone has information for you. Now the coach can't come back out and we've kept the discussion to a minimum. 

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ElkOil    696
On 8/24/2017 at 3:14 PM, maven said:

...and set, as U1 was in the video.

I gotta disagree on this, which becomes particularly important at the levels of ball we all call. Selling this call is more important on our fields than an MLB diamond since they just go to video review if someone disagrees. In this video, U1 was anything but set. He casually walked into position, remained upright, sort of wavered around while the play was happening, then gave an extremely quick safe call. Right, wrong or otherwise, any coach at our levels would be right to think we missed it because we weren't set and our timing was off.

So to the OP, I suggest that this is less about what we look at, since everyone else already gave good input about how difficult that is on this play, and more about the fundamentals of hustling into position, getting set like you're ready, taking that extra second, then selling your call. Since we can't go to video, that's all we got.

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