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clasonater

Awkward daddy ball situation. Need Advice

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So I'm doing a game for our 50/70 little league and got into a little tussy with one of the daddy coaches. 

Situation:  pitcher picks off, not even close, first baseman holds the ball on the runner while said runner is laying on the base.  Base coaches are yelling "Call Time, Call Time."  I looked up and said no.  The kid still holding his glove on the baserunners back.  I cannot stand when kids hold a tag like this.   I can literally feel the seconds tick by, like a thudding in my brain.  I usually give it a one two count and say throw it back.  If they don't, i say it louder and louder.  on this particular occasion,  i had to walk walk up to the kid and adamantly say, LETS GO, THROW THE BALL BACK.   Well, the coach didn't like that.  He replied by saying "(Little Johnny) you can hold that ball as long as you want."  Well me and the coach had words, that ended in a warning.  He didn't say anything after that.  

The sad part about this is, that it has appeared in high school games in my area, to the point where I just call the runner safe if they tag him in this bushy manner.  

Now that I am the UIC, I feel that I can send out an update about this.  I am kind of excited because it will be my first update on a rule.  The only problem, I don't know what to say.  It cannot keep happening though. 

Is this considered a "Travesty of the Game" situation, or can i tell my guys to start calling obstruction and awarding bases.  Do I have any rule book support anywhere for this. 

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I don't know what this is, but I know what it's not. It's not OBS by any stretch. How could it be? The runner is back on the base he occupied and wasn't trying to advance, so there's nothing for you there. This isn't a tactic "designed to delay or shorten the game" as in 4-4-1(d), so that's not available to you, either. It's not even unsportsman-like as defined in 3-3-1(f).

Yes, it's bush league, much like the skunk play, but it's legal. I don't see a rule you can hang your hat on. In your confrontation with the coach, he's right, of course -- the player can hold the ball on him for as long as he wants. There's nothing prohibiting that. Be cautious about overstepping your authority and making up interpretations that aren't based in the rules because those will get you in hot water and the coaches will complain to your association.

Now then... handling it differently in the game may yield the result you're looking for. The issue as you described is one of you challenging the coach and his ego on the field during play, with the inclusion of an in-game escalation when you said it "louder and louder" then walking "up to the kid and adamantly say LET'S GO, THROW THE BALL BACK." When you do things like that, you come across as the aggressor, and players and coaches will take offense and become understandably defensive.  You're giving his player a directive an order in direct contradiction to how he's coached, and that's not your job. Avoid this since nothing good ever comes of it. Let the play at issue pass and perhaps talk to the coach between innings and mention that it may be in the best interest of time and keeping the game moving if his players minimize the time they're holding tags, the act of which is unlikely to affect the play since the runner is already back on the base.

Overall it seems to me that this is a personal peeve of yours. You said, you can't stand it when kids hold a tag like that. So what?  You may wish to be less enthusiastic about addressing it as a rule update to your chapter. Those muscles don't need to be flexed in this instance. Besides, what's the harm in allowing it to happen? What's the big deal?

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It annoys me as well. The problem is, once they start doing it, everyone has to get in on it. It quickly escalates into something that could be 10-15 minutes of a 2 hour game. 

But it's little league, we do what's in our power. I'll tell the runner to climb the base and I'll ask the fielder to get the ball back to the pitcher. If it continues, game management becomes your friend. Pitcher gets 1 minute from the time he hits the mound to warm up. 20 second rule is in full effect. The coach who is allowing this crap, usually doesn't have a catcher ready to warm up the pitcher. Not your problem. Start calling balls. 

I had one kid put the ball in his pocket al'a Altuve. Except it got stuck. 2 base award. 

In Little League, we are volunteers, I don't want to be out there any longer than I need to be. 

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Of course the umpire has authority to get the game moving. A fielder holding a runner down on a base is not baseball. If we tell the fielder to throw it back to F1 so that we can get the game moving, he must comply or risk ejection.

Daddy coach is undermining the umpire's authority. He gets to coach his kids but not dictate everything about play. We need to assert our authority, firmly but politely at first: "Coach, it's my job to keep this game moving along. Holding a tag on a runner who is on base does nothing to advance the game. Please allow me to keep the game moving without further interference."

If he can't understand that, we can warn him: "Coach, stop interfering in the progress of play right now. This is your only warning." Note how this point is framed: he's not interfering with me, he's interfering with the game. It's not personal (even if it is).

If he still doesn't get it, he can go yell at his steering wheel. There's no argument, no "discussion," no "listening to his point of view." Don't care, get out.

If he doesn't leave, suspend/forfeit the game (per league rules) and go home.

I don't have any patience for this crap, and I can go through these stages in about 25 seconds when necessary. Then we get to play some baseball, and everyone's a lot happier. Amateur umpires generally wait WAY too long to dump people. No good ever comes from accommodating these jackwagons.

It is fun when they insist they're umpires before they have to leave....

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7 hours ago, Mister B said:

It annoys me as well. The problem is, once they start doing it, everyone has to get in on it. It quickly escalates into something that could be 10-15 minutes of a 2 hour game. 

But it's little league, we do what's in our power. I'll tell the runner to climb the base and I'll ask the fielder to get the ball back to the pitcher. If it continues, game management becomes your friend. Pitcher gets 1 minute from the time he hits the mound to warm up. 20 second rule is in full effect. The coach who is allowing this crap, usually doesn't have a catcher ready to warm up the pitcher. Not your problem. Start calling balls. 

I had one kid put the ball in his pocket al'a Altuve. Except it got stuck. 2 base award. 

In Little League, we are volunteers, I don't want to be out there any longer than I need to be. 

Don't make up rules.

And EVERYBODY at LL is a volunteer. It's not about anyone's personal needs.

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Mr. clasonater, your baseball instincts are good. It is one of the primary jobs of an umpire to move the game along. It even says so in the rule book. Little League rules are based on Official Baseball Rules and at the back of OBR rule 8.00 (The Umpire) you will find a section called General Instructions to Umpires. The following is one of those instructions (bold added by me):

“Keep the game moving. A ball game is often helped by energetic and earnest work of the umpires.”

This instruction is so important that it is the very first principle listed in the 2018 Minor League Umpire Manual in its section about umpire attitude.

And in LL rule 9.01(b) you are granted the authority to put this into practice:

Each umpire is the representative of the league and of Little League International, and is authorized and required to enforce all of these rules. Each umpire has authority to order a player, coach, manager, or league officer to do or refrain from doing anything which affects the administering of these rules and to enforce the prescribed penalties.

 

 

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It's so much quicker to just call time and put the ball back in play than to fight this imo. I do say to let them up as well. I've never had it go as long as you're describing.

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1 hour ago, Rich Ives said:

Don't make up rules.

And EVERYBODY at LL is a volunteer. It's not about anyone's personal needs.

What rule did I make up? Ball stuck in uniform? I don't believe the fielder intended for the ball to get stuck. The ball is still live until it gets stuck and he calls time because it's stuck. 

And volunteering is about needs. If I'm volunteering my time, I expect that whichever organization will respect that I have other obligations and will not waste my time. BTW, Keener is making almost half a million a year. Not EVERYBODY is a volunteer. A few of the surrounding leagues use paid umpires as the volunteer umpires won't put up with the abuse from the coaches or the fans. 

I started being a hard ass this year regarding hustling and trying to follow the rules. Last year, we struggled to get in a 4 inning game in under 2 hours. This year, we are averaging 6 innings in under 2 hours. I may not get every rule right, but I'm trying. I've also got a family and a full-time job. 

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41 minutes ago, udbrky said:

It's so much quicker to just call time and put the ball back in play than to fight this imo. I do say to let them up as well. I've never had it go as long as you're describing.

OK, you're the guy who perpetuates this nonsense! On behalf of those who just want to get that 8U game over with, thanks a million, pal!

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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.

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Thanks for the advice everybody. 

Just to clarify some information, I am not a volunteer, nor would I be.  I am paid to be the UIC here because I am in a small town I just moved to and they were not impressed with the gentleman that did it before me.   And if I was volunteering my time, which is short on this planet, I would not wait seconds.  it would be now or ejected.  If the board doesn't like it, they can let me go.  The board pays all of our umpires including me when I am doing games. 

That being said, I am new to the game of Little League.  I went through my period of Triple Crown and USSSA and thought I was free from it but now i decided to accept this because I thought it would be fun.   Now I totally get the whole "this jamoke will put and anybody with a heartbeat on the field" because, sadly, I am doing it now.  :rock There are rules in little league I never thought existed or would ever exist on a baseball diamond.  Not a bad thing, just the way it is, and I get most of them because they are safety oriented.  So again, thank you for the proper little league rule interpretation. 

So just to be clear, this is not obstruction, CHECK

On another note, That is not baseball, and I will not tolerate it.  This is not a personal feeling shared just by me.  shoot, when i was playing, and a kid held a tag on me, that glove would no longer be on his hand when I got off the base.  I honestly don't see how the other coaches just sit back and watch it like that is a normal everyday occurrence.  I can just hear my juco coach yelling profanity at the opposing first baseman if this were to happen.  That guy still haunts my dreams

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This kind of stuff used to get my goat. And I have gone rounds with coaches wanting to pull this kiddie ball crap. But it's not worth the aggravation. Now if F3 doesn't the ball back as directed by me, I just call TIME. The defense loses the chance to get anyone out until PU puts it back in play. And I find that the ball is returned to the mound and we are back to baseball sooner with this approach.

It's not real baseball, but seldom is a game with these antics real baseball.

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I’d be tempted to call time an instant after I call the runner safe just to take away any incentive the defense thinks they have by holding the tag. I would think after a few times, they would get the hint.

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I try not to call time unless the fielders are holding the tag on and the runners aren't getting up.  The fielders are holding the ball or keeping the tag on in case the runner gets up and leaves the base in the process.  I've had an out from a runner sliding in and getting up with a tag on him, only to come completely off the bag.  However, if they insist on holding the tag on and the runner isn't going to get up, I'll tell the fielder "Throw it back. Let's go."  If he still holds the tag, I'll repeat myself.  That usually does the trick.

I've never had a coach get confrontational about it to the level you had, but I think just calling time to let the runner up once he started yelling might have avoided some of the problems.  If he complains about you calling time, you can just say "We need to keep the game moving."  Technically speaking there is no rule from the fielder holding the tag on the runner all day and the runner refusing to stand up after sliding in.  The runner has a play being made on him and is in danger of being put out, and the fielder has a legitimate chance to make an out as the runner stands up. 

I would be very hesitant to eject anyone, at any level, over this.  I can't imagine that report going over very well. 

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It's usually the 1B coach, or the kid laying on the ground asking for time. What I try to do is, the first time, I'll call time and tell 1B coach and runner, "You really don't need time, just climb up the bag and we can keep the game moving." Most of the time it works, the 1B coach gets it, and starts telling the kids to climb up the bag. Sometimes it doesn't. That's when it's time to resort to telling F3 to throw the ball back.

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On 5/9/2018 at 12:51 PM, maven said:

OK, you're the guy who perpetuates this nonsense! On behalf of those who just want to get that 8U game over with, thanks a million, pal!

I don't do it for them each time. I just do it to stop the BS. 

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3 hours ago, udbrky said:

I don't do it for them each time. I just do it to stop the BS. 

I'm with you on this one. For the most part, you can and should, keep the ball live. But if F3 is just going to sit there with his glove on R1. And R1 is just going to lay there like a dead fish. I would rather stop play for a second. Than run into the BS we saw in the OP.

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I got this from another Umpire site; I used it and it worked for me.

You've got a runner on the ground, asking for "time" because he doesn't want to climb the bag. The fielder is holding the ball on him, waiting for him to lose the bag. You've told the fielder, "throw it back", but he won't comply. Here's what I did...

....I turned my back and walked away.....

...They're all looking at me, waiting for a "Time" call or an "out" call, and they see my big a** walking to C position. Eventually, they get it, and the game goes on...

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8 minutes ago, jjb said:

....I turned my back and walked away.....

Good, I like it.

  1. There's no action, no possible play, no need to stand there.
  2. It's non-confrontational.
  3. It sends the correct message.
  4. And it gets us where we need to go.

Bravo.

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5 hours ago, jjb said:

I got this from another Umpire site; I used it and it worked for me.

You've got a runner on the ground, asking for "time" because he doesn't want to climb the bag. The fielder is holding the ball on him, waiting for him to lose the bag. You've told the fielder, "throw it back", but he won't comply. Here's what I did...

....I turned my back and walked away.....

...They're all looking at me, waiting for a "Time" call or an "out" call, and they see my big a** walking to C position. Eventually, they get it, and the game goes on...

I do like that idea. And it's kind of funny! 

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4 hours ago, maven said:

Good, I like it.

  1. There's no action, no possible play, no need to stand there.
  2. It's non-confrontational.
  3. It sends the correct message.
  4. And it gets us where we need to go.

Bravo.

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?

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1 hour ago, MooseLoop said:

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?

By standing there waiting for something to be made out of nothing, I believe we'd be encouraging the wrong thing. These are little kids playing ball. Focusing on and emphasizing fundamentals instead of ways to use bush league tactics to gain some minute advantage sets a much better example.

I like JJB's idea. I wish I thought of it.

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9 hours ago, MooseLoop said:

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?

That's not what happened. Action had stopped: the runner was lying motionless on the ground and in contact with the base. The fielder was immobile holding a tag on the runner. I instructed the fielder to throw it back to the pitcher to resume play.

Because he is required by rule to follow my instructions in pursuit of reasonable game management, I had every reason to expect that he would comply and the game would continue. Therefore, there was no possible tag that I would miss by moving to my position.

Like balls and strikes, it's nothing till we call it.

Youth baseball is instructional. If some coach isn't going to teach his players the proper way to play the game, I'm not going to supervise his little circus, power play, or whatever other non-baseball games he wants to play instead.

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10 hours ago, MooseLoop said:

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?

If you didn't see it, it didn't happen. 

That's part of the implied message in walking away - You're not going to reward F3 for being a douche, nor his coach for teaching this - if your back is turned when R1 comes off the base trying to stand up I guess that's just tfb.

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1 hour ago, beerguy55 said:

If you didn't see it, it didn't happen. 

That's part of the implied message in walking away - You're not going to reward F3 for being a douche, nor his coach for teaching this - if your back is turned when R1 comes off the base trying to stand up I guess that's just tfb.

Never turn your back on the ball. And why would you turn to walk away from a pickoff play? Just back up to your spot.

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