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timelydew

When To Call The Ball Dead After a "Completed" Play

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Question - is it completely arbitrary when to call the ball "dead" and put a halt to playing action? Say there's a runner on second, and the batter flies out. The ball is thrown back into the second baseman. Does the ball remain alive until it's with the pitcher? Is there a guideline?

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25 minutes ago, timelydew said:

Question - is it completely arbitrary when to call the ball "dead" and put a halt to playing action? Say there's a runner on second, and the batter flies out. The ball is thrown back into the second baseman. Does the ball remain alive until it's with the pitcher? Is there a guideline?

Why call it at all?

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Just now, Rich Ives said:

Why call it at all?

Sorry, I'm just pretty inexperienced. Growing up, I thought that when an out was recorded and action "settled", if you will, that the ball would be dead. So it just remains live through and through?

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1 minute ago, timelydew said:

Sorry, I'm just pretty inexperienced. Growing up, I thought that when an out was recorded and action "settled", if you will, that the ball would be dead. So it just remains live through and through?

Yes

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1 minute ago, timelydew said:

Sorry, I'm just pretty inexperienced. Growing up, I thought that when an out was recorded and action "settled", if you will, that the ball would be dead. So it just remains live through and through?

Yes, unless there is a reason to have it become dead. Often in MLB you will have a player request time to give a base coach his shin guard back on an extra base hit, or a pitcher wanting a new ball after a recorded out. Obviously, it doesn't really matter if there is no one on base.

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In most levels of baseball, you won't kill the play automatically.  You may well entertain a request for time if the ball needs to be exchanged, the runner needs to discard or retrieve protective equipment, or whatever.

In fast pitch softball, an umpire might call time when the ball is controlled by the pitcher in the circle and all runners have stopped on a base.  Umpires would typically call time when there's a courtesy runner, an equipment issue, bases need to be cleaned, or the defense is doing the stupid "hold the tag until the umpire calls time" thing.

In slow pitch softball, the umpire will generally call time after every play (when there are still runners on base) once the ball is controlled in the vicinity of the infield, the defense is not attempting any further play, and all runners have stopped advancing.

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Thanks boys. I realize the novice... ness of my question. I just started umpiring this year and never granted "Time" in any normal game-flow situation, but I had to ask because it was nagging at me.

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Some players have been coached to request time after every play. I grant it only when needed. Otherwise:

If they’re runners, I say, “why? If they throw it away, you can’t advance!”

If they’re fielders, I say, “why? If they try to run, you can’t nail ‘em!”

They “never thought of that.”

Unless they’re catchers. ;)

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18 hours ago, timelydew said:

Thanks boys. I realize the novice... ness of my question. I just started umpiring this year and never granted "Time" in any normal game-flow situation, but I had to ask because it was nagging at me.

Only one way to learn and that's by asking questions.  We all were new at one point in time.

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1 hour ago, Mudisfun said:

If it looks like this, I may be inclined to grant time.

 

Image result for dead baseball

 

 

 

Sure, but wait till the end of playing action. ;)

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@timelydew, you've received some redoubtable answers from others, so let me go one step further in bolstering you with calling of "Time", especially in regards to umpires...

  • Don't call "Time" to clean the plate, unless you are working solo. Certainly, take advantage of Time being called for another reason (courtesy runner, defensive conference, F2 being given a few moments after taking a foul ball to the ________, etc.) to brush the plate, but even after a big-time slide into home, you do not need to call "Time". Check to be sure that the ball has been secured, any trailing runners aren't following in an attempt to 3rd Base or to Home, and then brush off the plate briskly. You have a partner (or two, or three, in some fortuitous events) who has eyes.
  • Don't call "Time" to announce a substitution batter / pinch batter. If a/the coach approaches you so as to make a substitution / pinch / exchange then certainly call Time. Otherwise, the ball can remain Live while you're relaying "Substitution. Now batting Number 26 for Number 5", to the scorekeeper / FM desk (tournament ball).
  • Don't call "Time" to get yourself back to your Initial Position. If you make a HP to 3B rotation as PU during a Live ball play, you can certainly trot back to HP with the ball remaining Live. Again, you have (a) partner(s), who (should) have eyes. If you (or your partner) is in the wrong Initial Position, don't call "Time" to correct it.
  • Don't attach "Time" to the word "My". There is no such call of "My Time" in baseball (or softball, for that matter). "My Time" is used in football and basketball by officials so as to stop the clock without charging a Time Out to a team.

 

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