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  1. MooseLoop

    Balk or no? - Lefty edition

    Plus, the step must be more toward first base than home. The non-pivot foot must land past the 45 degree line bisecting the home-rubber-1B angle. This is a judgment call, and the pitcher is usually given the benefit of any doubt.
  2. MooseLoop

    Interesting Play

    So how do the force-reinstaters rule on this play? R1. B2 hits a slow roller down the third base line. F5 throws too late to first and BR is safe. Meanwhile, R1 loses his hat running to second. After R1 safely slides into second, he moves toward first to retrieve his hat (not intending to return to first). Seeing this, F3 throws ball to F4, and R1 again slides into second. F4 tags second base, but not R1, before R1 retouches the base. In other words, is it the mere moving towards the forced-from base that reinstates the force, or is it the intent to return to the forced-from base. I'm thinking of the model force-reinstatement play where R1 has obtained second, then mistakenly believes that a short-hop was caught and attempts to return to first. Versus a runner brushing himself off who stupidly loses contact with his base in the direction of his forced-from base. I would distinguish between baserunning and being off the base, and require a tag of the runner off base, absent an intent to return to a forced-from base. But then again, I don't understand why Mr. Wendelstedt does not require a tag of a BR who has attained first base and employs the morally-reprehensible but legal skunk-in-the-outfield tactic just like Mr. W would for a runner from any other base. Could BR not attempt to advance to second when the tag of first is attempted? With less than two outs, a BR rounding first with a runner on third and trying to draw a throw is common is lower level baseball. At what point does that BR become a skunk in the outfield?
  3. MooseLoop

    Dropped 3rd strike

    The dirt area surrounding home plate is a 26 foot circle, which means the batter has 13 feet from the point of home plate to begin running to first.
  4. MooseLoop

    Batter runs to first on dropped second strike

    As Carl Childress (BRD, section 392, 2015) said about pitcher delay, this is "a ruling that an umpire might make once in his career - if his name is Smitty."
  5. MooseLoop

    Insurance null and void IF?

    Or get a copy of the actual policy and read the coverages and exclusions of that particular policy.
  6. MooseLoop

    FED set position--What is everyone doing?

    I have seen this problem only a few times, all intermediate skill level high school. Each time I decided it would be overly officious to see-a-hybrid, call-a-hybrid, and disrupt the pitcher's attention to more important matters. Then with runners on, the pitcher assumes a proper set position. After the inning ends, I'll discuss it with the head coach. They usually are unaware of the issue (which may explain why their pitcher is doing it) and say no other umpire has mentioned it. But then they correct it. I have never had to decide what to do with a runner on third only (where pitchers often pitch out of the windup) and the pitcher using a hybrid stance.
  7. MooseLoop

    Batter interference

    OBR 6.01(b): "Fielder Right of Way . . . If a member of the team at bat (other than a runner) hinders a fielder’s attempt to field a thrown ball, the ball is dead, the runner on whom the play is being made shall be declared out and all runners return to the last legally occupied base at the time of the interference." OBR 6.03(a): "A batter is out for illegal action when: (3) He interferes with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter’s box or making any other movement that hinders the catcher’s play at home base." If the catcher is throwing to F1 covering home, I can understand that by not moving, the batter does not violate 6.03(a)(3), but how does Mr. Wendelstedt avoid 6.01(b)?
  8. MooseLoop

    Awkward daddy ball situation. Need Advice

    What?! The possible play is the runner loses contact with the bag during live ball and is tagged by the fielder. And you are the only person on the field who doesn't see it. Why should the runner not be out?
  9. MooseLoop

    Awkward daddy ball situation. Need Advice

    I'm with udbrky. I'll wait to see if the fielder will release the tag or if the runner will stand up. After a few seconds (five?), and I can see that the players are in stalemate, I call time. As soon as the pitcher catches the throw back to the mound, I'll call "play". Never had a problem doing this. Telling players what to do seems too much like coaching.
  10. MooseLoop

    10u travel tournament

    Three "That's enough"s is two too many.
  11. MooseLoop


    Tell them that the purpose of the rule is to prevent a catcher from getting an easy extra out on a strikeout by simply failing to catch the ball, then throwing to a base for a force out, then to first for the putout of the batter-runner who just struck out. The rule is always in effect except when a cheap double play is possible. Similar reason for the infield fly rule. Both rules protect the offense.
  12. MooseLoop

    Out, return runner or other

    FED 8-4-2-g, clause 3 (?): Any runner is out when . . . his being put out is prevented by an illegal act by anyone connected with the team." The on-deck batter illegally hindered the catcher attempting to make a play on the batter-runner; the batter-runner is out.
  13. MooseLoop

    Putting the ball in play

    Should you put ball in play immediately upon a pitcher having a ball and touching the rubber, regardless of readiness of batter, catcher, runner, and fielder? What if the runner is tying his shoe, the catcher is walking back to the plate from retrieving the foul ball, and the batter is out of the box doing warm-up swings and watching the third base coach. I don't protect the runner or fielders, but I wait until I have pitcher, batter in box, and catcher all attending to the ball. I may also put up the stop sign until we're ready to play.
  14. MooseLoop


    But presuming R1 did not move more than three feet away from a straight line between first base and himself, which line is established at the time of an unmentioned tag attempt by the fielder on R1, R1 is safe. Runner chooses his own base path prior to a tag attempt on him, and once the batter-runner is out, the force is off and R1 need not attempt to reach second base.
  15. MooseLoop

    Insurance null and void IF?

    A few years ago when I was still a lawyer, I looked into this casually as a follow-up to a discussion my association had about not continuing to officiate after the game ended on a runs-ahead rule. I tracked down the actual policy, which said something like it covered all umpiring activity, with no express exclusion for any "not-a-real-game" umpiring. My opinion thus was that the policy did cover any umpiring activity, even "not-a-real-game" umpiring. Also, I believe courts construe ambiguous language, especially in insurance policies, against the drafter (i.e., the insurance company), strengthening my opinion. But don't quote me. I also knew that my state supreme court had some years earlier spelled out a strong assumption-of-the-risk rule for participants in any sports activity, so I felt doubly protected from liability. (If I recall correctly, the case was a gung-ho jerk in a Super Bowl party halftime touch football game caused grievous bodily injury to a non-athletic woman; held: he was not liable because she assumed the risk of all injury by participating in the game). Your state's mileage may differ. In fact, I believe that at least in my state, umpire insurance premiums are essentially donations to the insurance company, except for paying for a defense lawyer and for a satisfying superfluous sense of security. Of course, I'm a cynic. Disclaimer: Insurance coverage was never my specialty, I relied only on superficial research and law school knowledge, and I am no longer a lawyer. But I still believe my opinion is correct. I would like to hear of any final trial verdicts (not settlements) holding umpires liable for any umpiring activity. Preferably with citations to an official source, and not to friends of cousins. But it is a foolproof way of declining to continue to umpire games that are going to come unglued because the participants no longer consider them for real.