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.
12u under OBR. I am in 'C' with runners at 1st and 2nd.
Batter squares to bunt, pitch is WAY inside, pitch hits batter in the stomach. Partner calls TIME and tells batter to take first. All sounds fine, EXCEPT the batter CLEARLY offered at the pitch.
DC politely approached plate and conversation goes like this:
DC: Sir, didn't he offer at the pitch?
PU: Coach, the batter was hit by the pitch.
DC: Yes, I know that, but didn't he offer at the pitch?
DC: Can you check with your partner?
PU: No, that's not an appealable call.
I know the initial call is his, and I'm only to get involved if HE asks for help...but when he is mistaken on a point of rule (as opposed to judgment) should I have done anything? I had been trying throughout the entire time to quietly get his attention, to let him know I had info he ought to know. The coach walked back to the dugout scratching his head.
By Umpire in Chief
This is one of the games I watched this weekend.
As an umpire, I knew what was happening. Bucknor properly waited for the play to play itself out, then signaled time as there was some question whether it hit the batter in the box. So, overall Bucknor did the right things here and the ejection was deserved. Now I did not see or notice any communication between Bucknor & Carlson about potentially being hit in the box, but lack of any communication is essentially the same as saying he was not hit.
However, I was with my father in law who gets easily fired up about sports and reviles all officials in all sports. He had a minor conniption about this which was fueled on by the announcers (we had a different feed than these announcers).
Now in my amateur, Monday morning quarterback view here's what he could have possibly have done better (for educational purposes only not to criticize, condemn or otherwise put down any umpire).
Point the ball fair. -- IMO this simple act could have quite possibly prevented everything. And it wouldn't have made any difference in terms of a potential batter hit in the box situation. Additionally, because it it was so close, emphatically point it fair. Verbalize calling time -- That seemed to be Servais's argument, 'You called foul' and you can read Bucknors lips, 'No, I called time' The other thing that did not go well for Bucknor were the optics of the situation. The first baseman seems to look back at him and ask if it was fair. Then Bucknor doesn't come up with the out call (not shown on this clip) until immediately after the first baseman says something else to him. This is just one of those tough darn-if-you-do, darn-if-you-don't situations, but it just looks bad.