Little League Major Softball tournament. Ball is dead. Defense wishes to appeal a runner missed home. Coaches are yelling instructions regarding the appeal process across the field. Offensive coach tells his batter to swing if it's a strike. Pitcher toes the rubber. Home plate umpire puts the ball in play.
Pitcher steps off and then moves about 3' to her left of the rubber and throws the ball overhand toward home. (None of the players speak during the play.) The catcher moves forward toward the pitcher. The ball comes in near the outside corner of the plate. The batter swings at the ball and hits the catcher's mitt and hand. The catcher is unable to catch the ball. No runners attempt to advance. Home plate umpire calls time for injured catcher. What's your ruling?
Opening day is tomorrow for NJ HS. Here is part of an email from our association interpreter, a very opinionated individual...
We do not go to our partner on a check swing because the coach has requested it. We can go to our partner IMMEDIATELY if needed. We all must be consistent in this mechanic all the time. Coaches have told me and umpires that some umpires still go when requested by coach. Please stop that and be consistent and the coaches will understand better and not ask.
While I know that we are not required to in HS, but I have always done it as long as the coach hasn't been a d!ck about it.
A couple days ago I was doing a Senior game (~17 years old) with one other Umpire (I was the BU). At one point a runner (the only one on at the time) got caught in a rundown between 2nd and 3rd. I was following the runner between the two bases because the PU was still at home. At one point F5 threw to F6 which caused the runner to be between myself and F6 who reached out to tag the runner. From my perspective I didn't see the actual tag but I from what I saw it looked like the tag must have touched the runner. I called the Out but the play continued with neither the runner nor the fielders seeming to hear me or think the tag had applied. After repeating the call a couple times the play ended and the runner asked me "Am I allowed to argue that call, Blue?"
Was I right to make that call? EDIT: If so/not how sure do I have to be to make the call?
How can I position myself in the future to avoid that?
R1, R2, 1 out. OT has been running the bases like a merry-go-round for the past inning, and has racked up 5 runs. 1B to 3B, 2B to plate, the works.
Towering fly ball to F8. Flat sky, so nearly everybody loses sight of it (this umpire, as PU, included), but figure it has to be somewhere towards centerfield. R2 figures that, based on F8's previous body of botched catch attempts work, he'll take his chances and reaches 3B and rounds it towards HP. R1 follows suit, and is nearly to 2B when F8 actually... holy crap how'd he find it?... catches it. "Catch!" voices my BU.
Now panic ensues. R1 taps on R2 (never breaks the plane of it, just touches on the front edge), then retreats to 1B in a mad dash while F8 throws a... oh no... pond-skipper to F3, who can't field it cleanly and can't secure it before R1 arrives at 1B, touches it, then at the pleading of his coaches and fans heads to 2B (it turns out, these pleas and promptings were to R2 to return to 2B). While this is going on, R2 suddenly figures out he has to head back and tag up, so retouches 3B, and heads back towards 2B. F3 now throws to 2B, but R1 has already "safely" arrived there, and is sitting on it after sliding into it. F6 catches throw with his foot on the bag, and then tags R1.
Who is (technically) out?
FWIW, we called R2 out on the touch of 2B by F6 in possession of the ball. I made a point of saying, "That (point at) runner is out!" Was there an out sooner that we missed? Is R2 the one who is the third out or is R1 the third out?