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jmadigan001

What To Do After You Make A Call, then Realize That It is Totally Wrong

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So, this summer, I started working as a rec machine pitch umpire, and I have had some pretty bad situations(for me). One wrong call I made involved a ball hit along the third base line. It was a popup. The ball bounced on the line, and I clearly saw chalk bounce up, yet for some reason I called it foul. Needless to say, the coach of the team at bat was not happy. Just a few seconds later, I realized that I totally blew it. I don't know whether I should have said something to the coach, but I ended up just moving on with the game. This coach was notorious for being way too  competitive for second graders (he was not happy at some judgement calls I had made in past games), but I understood his frustration because I was wrong. Did I do the right thing(after the call)?

Anyway, I had a worse situation last week with first graders. It had been raining that day before the game, so we decided to scrap the machine and just have the coach pitch. This was the game with the absolute lowest stakes I had ever umpired, because normally for coach pitch the coaches  act as umpires, but I was told to stay on the field.  So, there were runners on first and second, ground ball to shortstop. Runner from first advances. Runner from second goes to third, but overruns the base. Third baseman steps on the base while the runner is off the base. I call the runner out. I later learned that I was wrong, and that the runner would have have to have been tagged to be called out, but the coaches from the team at bat were very angry. After several minutes of disputing, I keep my call, because I don't want to change my call just due to what one of the coaches was saying, because that wouldn't be fair to the other team. We moved on and kept playing.  Anyway, did I do the right thing with moving on with the game? 

Also sorry if I put this in the wrong place I'm new to this website.

Thanks for the help!

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Your first mistake is working anything under kid pitch. You're not an umpire, you're a target.

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This would probably be better under the "Ask" section further up. But here is fine as well.

As for was it right to just continue on. The simple answer is, yes.

The first situation with the fair/foul... hey, you screwed up it's a judgement call. Nothing you can do. Especially since, if you reverse the call to fair, what do you do with the runners? Better to keep it foul and continue.

Your second situation was a mistake in understanding the rules of the game. This, if you realized it at the time, could AND SHOULD be corrected. Now what to do after the fact...

If you are known and liked around the league, you can go to the coach next time you see him and say "hey, I screwed up. My bad." If you aren't. Or are brand new. Keep it to yourself and learn from your mistake so you never do it again. 

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In addition to what BT_Blue says:  learn from your mistakes.

For example, missing the fair/foul call is often a product of bad timing.  Relax, slow down, see the play, judge the play, and then make your call/signal.

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2 hours ago, jmadigan001 said:

One wrong call I made involved a ball hit along the third base line. It was a popup. The ball bounced on the line, and I clearly saw chalk bounce up, yet for some reason I called it foul.

Was this between Home Plate and 3rd Base, or beyond 3rd Base towards the outfield? If beyond 3rd Base, then.... yeah, you screwed up. However, if this was between Home Plate and 3rd Base, then a pop fly landing to bounce on the chalk is neither fair nor foul... until it comes to rest, or is touched. Then we judge fair or foul.

Also, where you positioned as a machine-pitch umpire? I’m assuming you’re working Solo, right? If this sort of game puts you behind the machine / mound, then I wouldn’t get too worried about the preciseness of a Fair/Foul call on a pop-fly at that angle. Just retort back to any criticism with, “Hey, just be glad it wasn’t caught, and he gets another swing!”

2 hours ago, jmadigan001 said:

Anyway, I had a worse situation last week with first graders. This was the game with the absolute lowest stakes I had ever umpired, because normally for coach pitch the coaches act as umpires, but I was told to stay on the field.

No offense, but this isn’t “lowest stakes”. This should be “no stakes”. I solemnly believe that score shouldn’t even be kept until at least Age 10, and even then, a 5-Run cap per inning is not a bad thing. 12U is where it starts to get “serious”.

 

6 hours ago, jmadigan001 said:

Third baseman steps on the base while the runner is off the base. I call the runner out. I later learned that I was wrong, and that the runner would have have to have been tagged to be called out, but the coaches from the team at bat were very angry. After several minutes of disputing, I keep my call, because I don't want to change my call just due to what one of the coaches was saying, because that wouldn't be fair to the other team.

So did the third baseman (F5) tag him at all? No? Then you can fix it – put the Runner on 3rd Base. If he acquired the base by beating the ball there, then he is safe, and he is allowed to overrun it or go beyond it. The defense needs to tag him if he loses contact with the bag. So, since they didn’t, he would be safe. If it’s that obvious, in 7U/8U “baseball”, then just make it right.

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Bottom line is you had a few possible learning experiences, right or wrong. The best part is that instead of just eating it, here you have arrived and here you are asking questions. This is the beginning of a long journey for you, especially if you enjoy officiating! 

You will find as you progress, and as @JaxRolo (:cool:) will attest, that umpiring machine pitch, coach pitch and T-ball 'low/no stakes' is where you will find many of the completely uninformed and over zealous coaches in any league.

See if your league has training. If not, at a minimum get your hands on the rule book for the league you are working for, be it the LL Green Book, Cal Ripken, Babe Ruth etc... Read the book! As you are reading it, ask questions... lots of questions. There are approved rulings in most leagues and many of those modify what is written directly in the rules. Come to this site, ask questions. There is such a wealth of information already here just in the thousands of threads, plus a group of seriously talented and knowledgeable group of umpires here to interact with. I learn something EVERY TIME on log on to this site. Amazing how much my game has improved in rules knowledge or situation handling just from sponging off their experience... 

 

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My guess is that you're new to the profession; if so, welcome. You've got a lot to learn, just like any other skill. Relax, have fun, and, as I've told countless rookies: "Hey, you're going to make mistakes; a ton of little ones, and a few big ones. It's ok, just learn from them".

You haven't answered the question about training, but, if you're not getting enough, try going to a few games, sit behind the fence and watch the other Umpires; where they go, what they do, and how they handle issues. 

And, don't worry about coaches; you're doing a job they're not qualified to do, and know about half of what you know. 

Welcome to the site: there's a ton of experience out here, and happy to help out.

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21 hours ago, jmadigan001 said:

So, this summer, I started working as a rec machine pitch umpire, and I have had some pretty bad situations(for me). One wrong call I made involved a ball hit along the third base line. It was a popup. The ball bounced on the line, and I clearly saw chalk bounce up, yet for some reason I called it foul. Needless to say, the coach of the team at bat was not happy. Just a few seconds later, I realized that I totally blew it. I don't know whether I should have said something to the coach, but I ended up just moving on with the game. This coach was notorious for being way too  competitive for second graders (he was not happy at some judgement calls I had made in past games), but I understood his frustration because I was wrong. Did I do the right thing(after the call)?

Anyway, I had a worse situation last week with first graders. It had been raining that day before the game, so we decided to scrap the machine and just have the coach pitch. This was the game with the absolute lowest stakes I had ever umpired, because normally for coach pitch the coaches  act as umpires, but I was told to stay on the field.  So, there were runners on first and second, ground ball to shortstop. Runner from first advances. Runner from second goes to third, but overruns the base. Third baseman steps on the base while the runner is off the base. I call the runner out. I later learned that I was wrong, and that the runner would have have to have been tagged to be called out, but the coaches from the team at bat were very angry. After several minutes of disputing, I keep my call, because I don't want to change my call just due to what one of the coaches was saying, because that wouldn't be fair to the other team. We moved on and kept playing.  Anyway, did I do the right thing with moving on with the game? 

Also sorry if I put this in the wrong place I'm new to this website.

Thanks for the help!

Seriously way too much seriousness in a game of 2nd grade players with either no experience or limited experience. 

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Well regarding training, there were a few meetings with going over the league rule book, and then there was a clinic one day. Also, thanks to everyone above for all your help, and as you can probably tell I’m not the best umpire because this was my first season.  And also regarding what @MadMaxsaid, at the time of the game I didn’t know the correct ruling on the play at third, and i didn’t want to change just because a coach told me something, because that seemed kind of biased. Now I will start being more active on this website because everyone is so nice and willing to help about anything. :)

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