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Guest McMike

Umpire wrong signal on ambiguous call

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Guest McMike

Hi. In Little League division playoff game tonight, question about following scenario: Two outs.  Runner on first.  Batter hits ground ball, close play at first.  Other runner advances to second.

At first base, the base ump softly says "safe" that few can hear, but also raises his right hand in a way that looks like "out."  Ump meant safe.  But thinking that's third out, defense and runner on second start to head to dugouts.  When mistake is realized, runner is tagged out, leading to actual third out.

After some confused discussion the third out stands, and game continues.

There does not seem to be any rules about an Umpire that makes a self-contradicting call, or makes the wrong arm motion versus what he intended.

Sure, the eight year old learned a hard lesson that will stick with him - when in doubt, stay on the base.  But I am just wondering if I am missing something in the rules or umpire's discretion here.

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7 minutes ago, Guest McMike said:

Hi. In Little League division playoff game tonight, question about following scenario: Two outs.  Runner on first.  Batter hits ground ball, close play at first.  Other runner advances to second.

At first base, the base ump softly says "safe" that few can hear, but also raises his right hand in a way that looks like "out."  Ump meant safe.  But thinking that's third out, defense and runner on second start to head to dugouts.  When mistake is realized, runner is tagged out, leading to actual third out.

After some confused discussion the third out stands, and game continues.

There does not seem to be any rules about an Umpire that makes a self-contradicting call, or makes the wrong arm motion versus what he intended.

Sure, the eight year old learned a hard lesson that will stick with him - when in doubt, stay on the base.  But I am just wondering if I am missing something in the rules or umpire's discretion here.

How was the mistake realized as both offense and defense were reacting to the out call? But, yes if an umpire's decision is reversed there is a remedy. That is if you had an umpires. 8U you might just have had guys trying to do their best.

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Guest McMike
6 hours ago, Jimurray said:

How was the mistake realized as both offense and defense were reacting to the out call? But, yes if an umpire's decision is reversed there is a remedy. That is if you had an umpires. 8U you might just have had guys trying to do their best.

Thanks.  The mistake was realized because the first baseman, base umpire, and first base coach and some nearby people were all acting as if the call was safe.  And were surprised to see the other running trotting to the dugout, and some people started hollering.  Eventually the defense coach figured it out and shouted for his players to tag out the runner.  The ump did not realize his mistake until the batting team ump complained that his signal was confusing.  The plate ump backed this up by agreeing the signal was ambiguous.

I get that it's a 10U team, and umps that are essentially volunteers.  But am curious for learning sake what would the remedies be? And where are these in the rule book.

It's curious that I couldn't find any reference to an ambiguous call by a single ump (lots of references to changed calls and to conflicting calls from two umps).  Technically the ump did not make a mistaken call that was later reversed - he made two calls at the same time.

I guess it falls under umpire's discretion to retroactively call a dead ball and rectify it as they see fit. This would essentially be treated like a reversed call.  The rationale might be that the umpire in effect made an incorrect call, because that's how everyone behind him interpreted it.  And so he was reversing that call.  Which in this case would be put the runner back on second where he had safely advanced during the play.

However, this contradicts scenarios that are in the rules regarding base runner abandoning their base in the course of confusion about the call.

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51 minutes ago, Guest McMike said:

The ump did not realize his mistake until the batting team ump complained that his signal was confusing

This right here tells me that you did not have "umpires". 

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Guest McMike
15 minutes ago, Aging_Arbiter said:

This right here tells me that you did not have "umpires". 

Typo.  The batting team's MANAGER complained.

In any case, my goal here is to have a debrief with coaches and players to learn from it.  The player lesson is clear: when in doubt hold your bag/finish the play...

For the coaches, it seems like we should have treated it like an appeal to reverse a call, based on the premise that the base umpire effectively called him out, obviously, since most people not within a few feet of the play interpreted it that way.

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1 hour ago, Guest McMike said:

I get that it's a 10U team, and umps that are essentially volunteers.  But am curious for learning sake what would the remedies be? And where are these in the rule book.

You won't really find it in OBR because those rules are written for MLB (other leagues just "borrow" the rules) and MLB umps are unlikely to make the kind of mistake that happened here.

Using the CS&FP handbook, I'd put the runner back.

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45 minutes ago, noumpere said:

Using the CS&FP handbook, I'd put the runner back.

For the forum: me too. Fix it, put everyone back.

For our guest: that's his facetious reference to "Common Sense & Fair Play."

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Guest McMike
14 minutes ago, noumpere said:

You won't really find it in OBR because those rules are written for MLB (other leagues just "borrow" the rules) and MLB umps are unlikely to make the kind of mistake that happened here.

It's basically a "double call" that the umpire did with himself!

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Guest McMike
4 minutes ago, maven said:

 

For our guest: that's his facetious reference to "Common Sense & Fair Play.

lol. Thanks. I was getting stuck on Google with that one!

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