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UmpTime

Ejecting Fans

Question

I happen to be a spectator at a high school game over the weekend.  Played under FED rules.

It was the 2nd or 3rd inning and I hadn't noticed any fan comments directed at the umpire to that point.  On a pitch that appeared pretty far inside the umpire called strike 3.  Many fans started yelling things like "The was a ball" and "Come on Blue", and "That was a terrible call".  I didn't hear any profanity, and thought to myself, that did look like a bad call, but figured it would die down as soon as the next pitch was thrown.  All of a sudden the umpire turns to the crowd and says "Your out of here".  Everyone just set there for a moment and then one fan says who are you talking to, to which the umpire of course says "you".  Then another fan says you don't even know who said anything.  The umpire then says "your out of here too".  A school official came and made them leave the field.

My question is, what do you guys that have a lot of experience, use as a criteria for throwing out a fan, and does the FED rule book or case book give guidance on this?    

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8 minutes ago, Thatsnotyou said:

This is nonsense. And if you're just having someone else deal with it prompted by your instruction, it's just semantics.

The reporting mechanism on the high school association website even shows this:

 

 

Eject.JPG

Nope.

 

All of the things you listed are for something that occurs on the field.

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6 hours ago, catsbackr said:

Nope, you have no jurisdiction.  None.

You're telling me you don't have the jurisdiction to suspend a game until a fan, who is interfering with the game from outside the fence lines, is removed, or otherwise leaves?

That if, for example, every time a ball is hit into play a fan throws a baseball he has in his pockets into the field (or perhaps blows an airhorn every pitch)...that, after the second time you aren't going to stop the game until someone removes the fan from the premises?   Or, are you really going to keep playing the game and enforce a fan interference ruling every play?  Hoping eventually someone does something about it?

Come on - it's just not practical

Your argument is an ultimate shirk of responsibility.  One of your primary goals is to maintain the integrity of the game.  If something, even if it is in the stands, is impacting the integrity of the game you are duty bound to do something about it....even if it means suspending the game until the problem is resolved, however long that takes.

And I don't care if you actually tell the fan he is ejected, or call over a facility manager and TELL, not ask, him to remove the fan, YOU are the primary influence behind that, and YOU have the power to ensure it gets done, by ensuring the game does not continue until the task is complete.   Even if you discuss with the facility guy and compromise/agree to give the fan one more chance, that power lies with you and you alone.

As long as you can reasonably defend your assessment that the fan was impacting the game, no right minded assignor/director/president/committee/supervisor will admonish your ruling.

6 hours ago, catsbackr said:

Nope.

 

All of the things you listed are for something that occurs on the field.

Give me a break.  You don't eject a fan from the field, you remove him from the field.  You eject him from the facility.  And you probably eject him from the facility because he ran onto the field, so then the same principle applies.  Once the fan is off the field and out of the way of the players you are still able to have him removed from the facility - to ensure he doesn't do it again.  Yes, you're likely depending on someone else to physically remove the fan from the area.  You're not continuing the game until the fan has left...not just the field, but the stands and is on his way to, or in, the parking lot.  Well, a fan can interfere with the game without physically entering the field, and you have the same capability to remove him, for the same reasons.

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In Little League if a person in the stands is out of control you stop the game, send both teams to their dugouts and call for the Board Member on Duty.

The Board Member deals with the fan(s).  Generally they are asked to leave.  If they refuse, I have seen cases where the police were called!

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23 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

at the same time some umpire (or sometimes coach) is being verbally abused.

And you wonder why it's so hard to find, and keep, good umpires.   And why it's so hard to find amateur coaches who aren't also a father of some player on the team.

Umpires should have the ability, and the support to go with it, to hold a game until an unruly fan is removed.

I don't want to downplay what you're saying, but I guess it's going to be HTBT for "being verbally abused."  Depending on the criteria, I've been "verbally abused" at pretty much every game I've worked on the stick, and at least a third of the times I've been the base guy.

I'm not saying it doesn't irritate me.  And I often "reply" - in my head - just to let off any pressures that might make it "get to me."  But I expect things to get said, and am not going to snowflake it out there.  Honestly, the OP that started this discussion did not convince me removal was even CLOSE to appropriate.

I mean, the airhorn example somewhere in the thread is one thing.  If someone is abusing a player with specific hateful speech, is another.  But I DO think we have to be careful before going after "unruly" fans.  Don't go listening and looking for trouble, because it'll find you for sure, then.

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Little League:

 

“The Right Call” Casebook -- Comment: Managers are not responsible for the actions of the spectators. You cannot forfeit a game because of spectator actions.
INSTRUCTOR COMMENTS:
The responsibility for actions of the spectator’s falls to the league’s Board of Directors, never the manager.
The umpire may suspend play until the actions are corrected (see rule 9.01(f)), but never forfeit or threaten to forfeit a game.
Leagues may not write a rule that shifts responsibility to anyone other than the board.

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I guess Tim Welke didn't eject that fan who was heckling Harper.  Welke probably didn't realize he didn't have the authority to do that.

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22 hours ago, catsbackr said:

Nope.

 

All of the things you listed are for something that occurs on the field.

Well, no, but whatever you want to think is fine by me.

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3 hours ago, HokieUmp said:

I don't want to downplay what you're saying, but I guess it's going to be HTBT for "being verbally abused."  Depending on the criteria, I've been "verbally abused" at pretty much every game I've worked on the stick, and at least a third of the times I've been the base guy.

I'm not saying it doesn't irritate me.  And I often "reply" - in my head - just to let off any pressures that might make it "get to me."  But I expect things to get said, and am not going to snowflake it out there.  Honestly, the OP that started this discussion did not convince me removal was even CLOSE to appropriate.

I mean, the airhorn example somewhere in the thread is one thing.  If someone is abusing a player with specific hateful speech, is another.  But I DO think we have to be careful before going after "unruly" fans.  Don't go listening and looking for trouble, because it'll find you for sure, then.

I see what you're saying. At the same time, if you don't put a stop to something that's over the line, it will only grow from there. More comments, louder comments, more people jumping in. Before you know it, the circus has come to town. Once it crosses a line, I put an end to it so we can get back to normal.

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2 hours ago, umpstu said:

I guess Tim Welke didn't eject that fan who was heckling Harper.  Welke probably didn't realize he didn't have the authority to do that.

It's kinda hard to eject someone that's not in the game, isn't it?  MLB umpires have somewhat more authority than we do in the levels we work.  Take care of you business inside the fences and on your way from your site.  What do you do if you get heckled as your leaving, do you have a post game ejection of the fan heckling you?

 

You guys do what you want, eject fans, eject the concession stand people, etc. if you want to.  Sounds like you guys want to be cops, not umpires.  This horse is dead.

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8 hours ago, catsbackr said:

It's kinda hard to eject someone that's not in the game, isn't it?  MLB umpires have somewhat more authority than we do in the levels we work.  Take care of you business inside the fences and on your way from your site.  What do you do if you get heckled as your leaving, do you have a post game ejection of the fan heckling you?

 

You guys do what you want, eject fans, eject the concession stand people, etc. if you want to.  Sounds like you guys want to be cops, not umpires.  This horse is dead.

Fed 10-2-H  Talks about forfeiting a game and mentions infractions by spectators as one reason.  

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On 3/8/2019 at 9:35 AM, HokieUmp said:

I don't want to downplay what you're saying, but I guess it's going to be HTBT for "being verbally abused."  Depending on the criteria, I've been "verbally abused" at pretty much every game I've worked on the stick, and at least a third of the times I've been the base guy.

I'm not saying it doesn't irritate me.  And I often "reply" - in my head - just to let off any pressures that might make it "get to me."  But I expect things to get said, and am not going to snowflake it out there.  Honestly, the OP that started this discussion did not convince me removal was even CLOSE to appropriate.

I mean, the airhorn example somewhere in the thread is one thing.  If someone is abusing a player with specific hateful speech, is another.  But I DO think we have to be careful before going after "unruly" fans.  Don't go listening and looking for trouble, because it'll find you for sure, then.

I thought I was pretty clear in my criteria.  A fan who is clearly impacting or interfering with the game, or your ability to manage it.   

Is the standard higher, yes?   I'm not talking about simple heckling...I'm talking about extreme abuse, or something that is impacting the game.

 

On 3/8/2019 at 1:36 PM, catsbackr said:

You guys do what you want, eject fans, eject the concession stand people, etc. if you want to.  Sounds like you guys want to be cops, not umpires.  This horse is dead.

And you can continue to live by "not my job" and "someone else's problem".   

 

Of course, what you have really done is engage dilemma tactic/fallacies in a few categories - namely Straw Man, Slippery Slope, False Dichotomy - or a hybrid of those - in arguing we WANT to eject everyone outside the fence, willy nilly.  That is because your position is in the absolute, in that you would eject NOBODY outside the fence.  So feel you must argue to the other extreme. So, you make an effort of demonstrating absurdity by being absurd, when, in reality, you know your absolute position is wrong, but, in suffering the human condition, you can't admit it.   The fact is, there is a line, and you know there is.  It may be in a different place than other people, but it's there.   Because no reasonable human would not have that line.   And, if your true position is that there is no line someone could cross, then you're exhibit A to what is wrong with people.

And now that the debate has descended beyond tactical fallacies, including Ad Hominen, by myself, the debate only has one more place to go.

Everyone knows a good debate isn't truly over until someone compares someone else to Hitler.

 

Any volunteers?

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@beerguy55,

 

I will give you one thing, you talk WAY too much.  Glad I don't have to work with you.  I can imagine going to you on a check swing, then the response taking 2-3 minutes as you explain your response.  But, I digress.

 

Yes, my position is in the absolute, I have ZERO authority in the stands.

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13 hours ago, catsbackr said:

@beerguy55,

 

I will give you one thing, you talk WAY too much.  Glad I don't have to work with you.  I can imagine going to you on a check swing, then the response taking 2-3 minutes as you explain your response.  But, I digress.

 

Yes, my position is in the absolute, I have ZERO authority in the stands.

I don’t think @beerguy55 talks enough. His posts are interesting, logical and funny.

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@catsbackr, I’m going to throw you a curve ball... my intent is not to oppose you, nor tell you you’re wrong. I’m actually very much in the same camp as you, that we – for the most part – have no jurisdiction over what goes on in the stands. Our jurisdiction is the game as it is conducted within the confines of the fence by the game participants.

If, however, game participants are being affected by the actions or conduct of those beyond the fence, then as the impartial adjudicator of the game, we are compelled to do something.

Let’s go to one extreme... let’s say that somebody (not some oblivious toddler or kid) starts pointing a laser pointer at the batter or pitcher at an amateur game (I won’t say pro or college, because there are a host of ballpark or league staff that will respond to the situation and will handle it). This cannot continue, as this is distracting,  unnecessary, and dangerous. Sure, the player can point this out, and even figure out who the person with the pointer is. Thing is, in an environment absent of ethics and impartial officials, that player can’t force that person to stop, nor will that person be compelled to stop.

So yes, we do have that authority. In this case, we have the authority to pause the game, identify the perpetrator, order a stop to their actions, and if necessary, their departure or removal from the stands (and likely ballpark). And, we are under no obligation to resume the game until that issue has been resolved.

So let’s go from laser pointers to racial slurs and epithets... 

How about death threats? Extreme, yes, but in this day and age, anything is possible.

My point is, Cats, that as we deny we have authority, we undermine and defeat ourselves when we are faced with a situation that truly warrants a righteous response or action to be taken. What we do need to do, and this is to bolster your own point, is fully understand and temper when, where, and how to employ that authority.

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3 hours ago, Thatsnotyou said:

I don’t think @beerguy55 talks enough. His posts are interesting, logical and funny.

And beerguy is correct.  We do have the authority.

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