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scrounge

Rain, rain, rain....and a misdirected parent

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So...we have this massive tournament here called Buckeye Elite. It's one of the biggest in the midwest, approx 300 teams this year as I recall. I always take Thur and Fri off work to do it - it's generally good to very good ball, the assigner usually keeps me close to home, and it's pretty much my last big baseball thing of the year. Had 4 games sched for Thur and Fri, as well as Sat. I'm not yet good enough to work the Sun semi and final games, but those are played at either Ohio State's stadium or, for the 18U top teams, the local AAA stadium, a beautiful new stadium downtown.

Anyway, it's pretty much only rained twice this summer - for 15 days the first time and 30 days the second. Seriously, I think there were only a day or two in June without some form of rain at some point in the day. Entire tournaments were washed out and it looked like this one was in danger as well. Thur was a complete loss, a handful of games got in on a couple turf fields but even they had to go down in the afternoon. My wife asked (made) me to help clean out the basement. In other news, we got $33.12 from the local home goods resale store for various crap. But I digress.

Since hundreds of games got cancelled on Thur, the tourney decided to go to 5 innings, 1:30 time limit games on Fri. Many fields couldn't even start on time Fri due to aftereffects from Thur, but our field was ok. There was no communication to umpires as to reassignments - it was chaos and they just said work the same times and we'll settle up later. We were scheduled for 7 games on Fri due to it all. And guess what came in the middle of the 6th? Yep...more rain. We were lucky, the northern areas (the tourney takes up over 50 fields in the entire central OH area) got big storms in mid-afternoon and we were one of the last to go down. Shouldn't have finished the 6th game but we did, killing the final game. With so many games cancelled, the tourny made the very controversial decision to cut bracket play from 72 teams in each age group to 24 and eliminate ALL consolation games. So, basically, 3/4 of the teams in the tournament paid about/over $1000 for three 5 inning games. Some pretty unhappy people on twitter, from what I saw...but not sure what the alternative was.

I felt the wrath from one idiot myself on Sat. Had the final pool game where the winner would move on. Still the same rules, 5 innings, 1:30 time limit (if no winner by then and tied, go to a shootout - man on 2nd, 3-2 count for everyone). Visiting team was going thru pitchers, being deliberate, etc., but they tie it in top of 4th. In bottom half, HT loads the bases with 1 out, 1 min left in time limit. VT coach changes pitcher, we tell him that will run out the clock, he's totally fine with it, understands. Blooper to LF, R3 takes off and would have been easily doubled off if caught. Alas, the LF dives and gets his glove on it but it bounces out, game over.

As we're walking away, a parent comes up to us and starts ranting at us about "That's it? Are you f@#%#% lazy??? 4 innings? This is #@%% bu@#%@#". At first I thought he was just joking with us but once the f-bombs started flying we knew he wasn't. It got to the point where I had in mask in hand, preparing to use it as a defensive weapon in case. He finally walked away and we left with no further incident, but did he think we made the tournament rules??? We controlled the rain?

He was frustrated and angry and just lashed out at the most visible, immediate target like a 4 yr old.

Still, wasn't too bad of a weekend overall. Got 9 shorter games in vs the originally scheduled 12. And got that $33 for basement junk. Which is nice.

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We've had that same two days of rain here in Central Indiana...just a few hours earlier than you. :)

This past week it washed out the softball tournament (41 teams) I was running for our Wednesday evening games and caused us to start late on Sunday, but we were able to get all 96 games in without changing game length. Just had to adjust the start times on Saturday to an hour earlier to fit in Wednesday's games and give a little less time between games on Sunday to clear dugouts.

We did have two of our guys in blue go down to overheating on Sunday. One during game 3 and then the person who replaced him went down in his 3rd game. Finished the night with myself taking plate in one 10U championship and base in the 12U championship right after.

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Not much is worse than wash outs. Such a tournament reminds me of the Atlanta Super NIT.

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I'm in central Ohio too, and in the past month have had 20 games cancelled due to rain.

Last month, in the middle of a tournament we had lightning, so we cleared the fields. Then the sky opened up and we had about a ten minute downpour. It stopped and the grounds crew was working on getting the fields back in shape. All of the umpires were sitting around picnic tables in a nearby shelter house, waiting for some official word on when we'd start back up. We're kind of at their mercy and there really isn't anything we can do at this point other than sit and wait.

Apparently, this was all just too much for one fine parent in attendance. The guy was acting all agitated and running from tournament official to tournament official trying to get some word on how long the delay would be. As he walks by where we're all sitting, in a ticked off voice he loudly proclaims, "If the umpires weren't all sitting around doing nothing maybe we could get the games started faster!".

Idiot...

Edited by BretMan

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Only once in my time as an umpire have I worked on a field, and that was at the request of the tournament director, and he paid extra for the work that we did have to do.  

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For those who know me know that this is true.... I wouldn't have been able to keep myself from saying "Not true... There are more parents than umpires and I'm sure they'd welcome YOUR help to get things moving along."  And then I'd continue my conversation with my fellow umpires. And probably throw in a big hearty loud laugh just for fun. 

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