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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/04/2018 in all areas

  1. 17 points
    Hey guys, thanks for checking in with me. Overall, I consider myself to be extremely lucky to be where I am at this point. I am completely independent, and am back to running my business. I don't have quite the stamina that I had prior to my injury, but I had a record month for my business in April and there are lots of reasons to believe I can continue to bring value to my clients and referral partners. I'm mobile and walking without any assistance, though I do walk with a pronounced limp. I only have one PT session left, partly because the insurance company says so, but also because my therapist says that they have really done all they can do for me. They have given me all of the exercises that I can do on my own and I continue to do that at home and at the gym. I go to the gym three days a week and do the elliptical along with a ton of stretching and resistance training. The difficult thing to deal with is that I have a few conditions that don't seem to be improving (yet). I have something called Dural Tension which basically is a tightness caused by the damage to the nerves. It is particularly present in my right ankle/foot area and results in a range of motion loss in my dorsiflexion (the opposite motion from pointing your toes). In addition, I have hyper reflexes in my right leg, along with spasticity which makes controlling my gait difficult. Each of these conditions is my main concern when it comes to getting back on the field because they are directly related to the challenge I face when trying to run. My overall sensory deficits have not improved in any measurable way. I still have the same numbness and tingling that I had following my surgery. Though I can still feel touch, I also still have no hot/cold/pain sensitivity on my left side below my chest. My right hand has gotten stronger and my current grip strength is 82 which is miles better than it was just a few months ago. I never had great handwriting, and it still sucks, but it's more than serviceable and legible. I am going to work a HS All Star Showcase game on June 1st. It's a 4 man crew and I will be U1 and we'll just not rotate so I don't have to cover home. I can't wait to get back in uniform and be on the field with my brothers, if even one time. Nobody knows what the future holds, so I am going to cherish that day and game like it's the World Series. Sorry for the long post, but it's almost therapeutic to write it all down. Thanks again for checking in and for all your support.
  2. 13 points
    Hey all, Thank you so much for the concern, prayers and well wishes. I’m two weeks into a month long rehab at Long Beach Memorial Acute Rehab Hospital and my progress is evident every day. I’m walking with a walker and getting stronger. The amount of support I have received, especially from the brotherhood, has been unbelievable and humbling. My wife and I truly appreciate those that have donated to our gofundme as that money will be used to help me transition back home safely. My goal is absolutely to get back on the field as soon as possible, and I believe that is God’s plan for me. Along with my wife’s help, we are going to win this battle together. All my best, Steve
  3. 11 points
    To all the brothers here in Umpire-Empire, I wanted to thank you for all of the help over the years, ...YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!! I wanted to pass along that I was selected to work the MHSAA Semi/Finals this year. What an honor, privilege,.... and what an experience!!! One of the best things about it was that my crew comprised of 2 other partners that I work with regularly during the season, one of them being our own @Jeff C. I had 3 games ... 2 semi finals on Thursday, and one final on Saturday. My rotation was the plate first game out on Thursday ..... 10 innings later .... WOW! We rotated like normal as MHSAA goes 4 man from the Quarterfinals onward. The experience of learning the system quickly and catching on with the rotations was a blast! A special thank you to @Jeff C. also for being a great umpire, a great partner, and a great friend .... it was an honor to work with you sir!! My U-E brothers .......... Thanks again for the years of experience, knowledge, and of course, the comradery of the brotherhood!
  4. 10 points
    I’ve read through the original post and responses and here’s my take... Dumbfounded or not, if you think the batter swung, tell your partner what you saw. I actually had this happen in a game last night. I could see the pitch was inside, catcher slid over, batter went about 3/4 around, partner gets blocked out by catcher and came to me. EVERYONE knew he swung except the guy who had to make the call. So he came to me and I got it. That’s how we work as a team...the best team on the field. So, you screwed up by not handling that situation properly. You know what? Who cares. The only way we learn is to screw something up. I guarantee you’ll never screw that situation up again. Did you throw your partner under the bus? Yes. You know what? Who cares. He could/should have handled the situation better. But instead of realizing that he was working with an inexperienced partner and even though he has some tire marks on his back, he should use this as a mentoring opportunity, he decided to get pissed, switched partners, blows you up and doesn’t want to work with you anymore. That’s BS. Speaking as an assignor, we need you more than we need your partner. You screwed up. We can fix that. We can’t fix egos that say I don’t want to work with a newer guy because he doesn’t know what he’s doing and made me look bad in the process. Speaking as the guy who runs the clinic you mentioned (Mid-American Umpire Clinic), I’m willing to help you. You say you want to attend but might have to wait a year before trying it. If waiting a year is “real job” related, so be it; but if having to wait a year is related to budget issues, get with me privately and I’ll take care of you to get you into the clinic this year.
  5. 10 points
    First, don't EVER talk to a fan. Ever. (did I make that clear?) Second, Ignore / Acknowledge / Warn / Eject You ignored at first; AC was throwing hands up and asking where some pitches were - not a good thing, but not worth anything. The moment he says "it's down the middle," you jump to Acknowledge - "I had it down, coach." This tells him you understand what he's saying, but it's not the place to argue. He replies with "it's a strike all day," you're in Warn - "That's enough!" If he doesn't understand what that means, he will soon enough. After "That's enough," if he says anything back to you other than "Sorry," you're probably in Eject. This is all increasingly so because he's an assistant coach. Leashes for them should be much shorter, but that comes with him understanding his leash is shorter. Oh, and don't ever talk to fans.
  6. 10 points
    I knew this a few months ago but I didn’t share it here. I have been hired into college baseball at the D3 and NAIA level in Southern California. Looking forward to this year and many more. Feel free to hijack this thread if you’ve been hired into a higher level
  7. 10 points
    Well, used my FM4000MAG today and it impressed me. I took two shots and it did a great job. Of course one shot was to my right shin guard and the other was to my right thigh, but the mask was great during those two incidents. The big pads, especially the chin pad, absorbed all of my tears when I was hit in the thigh. Oh, it is unbelievably light and the view is fantastic. Of course Jim Kirk says stay tuned when the black model is mentioned.
  8. 9 points
    What a great umpire!! He's gotten every call correct!
  9. 9 points
    With all the recent posts this week about the insane actions of game participants in these independent professional and collegiate summer league playoff series (see the posts about the garbage can and the giving of third base to a fan), one would have to be utterly MAD to work such a playoff series. Utterly MAD I tell you!!! And that is why I’m happy to tell you all that I’ve heard through the grapevine that our own @MadMax has been named the crew chief of the Expedition League Championship Series crew! And our own @jwclubbie, who is mad to think being our “clubbie” qualifies him to be an on-the-field umpire (LOL), is crew chief of the NorthWoods League Championship Series crew. Congrats to both!
  10. 9 points
    A friend of mine shut down a pitching coach in a college game recently. He heard some comments from the dugout, looked at the guy and said, "Who ARE you? The message being that he's not the head coach and needs to STFU. It was also a message to the head coach that he needs to take care of it. The coach turned tail and headed to the back of the dugout. YMMV.
  11. 8 points
    I hope @MidAmUmp will chime in here . But IMO @Richvee is right on point, but here are my $0.02. Early career - Take the Little League, Pony and other lower levels of games. While I personally don't care to work these levels any more, the truth is they CAN make you a better umpire. You will see things at these levels you will not see anywhere else and it will give you the ability to think on your feet and how to use judgement. Get a Mentor - If your group or association doesn't offer mentoring opportunities, find your own. The key, and most difficult thing, is to find a mentor who really knows what they are doing. Early on you will probably not be able to tell the good umpires from the pretenders - I still get fooled from time to time. Evolve as an umpire - Umpiring is changing - don't be afraid of changing. Coming up through the lower ranks you will most likely develop some bad habits taught to you by well meaning, but not the best informed folks. Add to that rules change, mechanics change, assigners have their preferences to what you should do and you need to be able to adapt. Clinics - Can be extremely good for developing your skills, try to go to some periodically. Whether you're going to be looked at for a position on a conference/organization's staff or for personal growth. Find reputable clinics. When at the clinic, be a good student. Ask questions but don't try to stump the ump. Be an active participant and engaged. One of the most common complaints I see about clinics is the amount of time people say they waste in line for drills, etc. Their time isn't being wasted, but their opportunity is. When in line watch the others whose turn it is see what they are doing, both right and wrong. Use that info to make the most of your time when it is your turn. Patience - Don't expect things to happen overnight for you. It takes hard work and dedication. In some organizations it may take a little longer for that to be recognized. Get Feedback- Have a good post game with all your partners. Even "Good ol' Smitty" who thinks much more than himself than his abilities, may have a gem every now and again. Take that feedback you get if its positive, negative, even wrong and sort through it and try to apply it to your game. Pay it Forward - As you move up the ladder bring others with you. Teach them what you've learned, help them avoid mistakes you made. There is a serious shortage of umpires out there. Bringing people up with you will not reduce your game count, will not hurt you in any way. It will only help you. Being the guy who is looking out for other umpires and helping them develop and grow is an easy way to get the positive recognition that will help you move up. Participate - Be involved in your umpiring group/ association. I'm not saying kiss up to the assigner, but volunteer to help when, where and how you can. Availability - As the saying goes, "Sometimes availability is your greatest ability." I personally have both benefited from my availability and had my growth limited by my availability. Early on I had nearly unlimited availability. I actually called my first varsity game just a few months after starting umpiring. Not because I was good and deserved it, but I was available. The assigner had someone bail and needed an umpire immediately near where I worked and knew I wouldn't have a problem leaving work. I arrived 20 min before game time. (just for reference, typically an umpire in our association will not get a varsity assignment for 3-4 years). But on the flip side, my collegiate career has been limited. I no longer have unlimited availability, I would work weekend games, but being able to travel distances or do weekday games was out of the question, so that makes me less attractive than others who have greater availability. Nobody owes you anything - Yes, there are good ol boy systems; yes, assigners have their favorites, yes, there may be umpires you are significantly better than, that get better assignments than you. Those are the breaks. You may not be able to fight city hall, but focus on what is in your control and your hard work will be recognized. If not by your group, find another umpiring association. Keep the right mindset - I mentioned I do not like youth games. But you can learn from those. Use games that are "beneath you" to develop your skills. Work on your footwork, play with your mechanics. Get different angles. Concentrate on making sharp crisp mechanics. Think of your own "what if scenarios" to keep yourself engaged. Humility - Everything above can be improved with a dose of humility. Don't get an ego and become "That guy." The guy while his actual skills are okay, but he thinks he's God's gift to umpiring. The guy nobody wants to work with. Be honest with yourself. If you can't be honest with yourself, you can't be honest with anybody. Learn from your mistakes. Dissect those situations and learn from them. Don't just look to assign blame to others.
  12. 8 points
    Last Sunday I was in Toronto visiting Crew 8 Hallion Cuzzi Tichenor and Hamari who all use my old CP harness The crew are all using my new UL FLEX CP and Mask Harnesses Hallion did not even consider waiting until his next plate job, he asked me to fit it for him and the mask harness. I launched this new product today and have been at it all day doing custom work for umpires all over the US If anyone would like to know more or order just shoot me an email Regards Ray UMPLIFE
  13. 8 points
    I was fortunate enough to be selected for the MHSAA State Semi/Finals last month. My first game (semi) I had the plate and had this photo taken ...I thought I'd share.....
  14. 8 points
    I think the largest thing with OP is missing is the glamour, night life and chicks that come with the gig! Just cannot keep those umpire groupies away! Oh, wait... that's Rock Star... I get easily confused! Bottom line... I take the 25 or so HS game fees a season and pay off or pay down a bill, take a vacation, or something similar. Am I going to pay my house payment with this extra 'side job'? Nope. I could work games almost every day of the year, but as other posters have already said, this is a hobby. Get out there, get some exercise, see the sun, make a 14 year old cry... all the important things!
  15. 8 points
    FIFY. Waste of your time and breath. Roughly half of the coaches you’ll give that little speech to will know when and how to approach an umpire, and that they are responsible for their team and fans (and most of them want their fans kicked out anyway). You just insulted them. The other half that don’t know won’t listen to you anyway. Just give your first name, get theirs. Examine and validate the lineup cards. Ask the all-important question, “Are all players properly and legally equipped?”. Cover ground rules, ask for any questions regarding ground rules. Barring those, if this is a timed game, click the button on the timer or stopwatch, and break the meeting. I bet you will have a good game... or at least no worse than you would have had you continued talking for five minutes to an unreceptive audience.
  16. 8 points
    I nominate this post for U-E's Joke of the Year.
  17. 8 points
    I got the matte black w/ the graphite pads (gray) .... nice lookin' combo!
  18. 8 points
    Get some Team Wendy's
  19. 8 points
    You can't put a number on a per day bases IMHO, it really all depends. I'll give you a quick math situation. No camp goes into business to lose money. However, no camp owner does a camp to make money/living by any means. Camper tuition $500 x 30 campers = 15k not bad right. ok now for camp cost - 6 staff members and 2 coordinators come to the camp. Staff fee $250 per day (d1 game fee average) 4 days = 1k. Staff air and lodging double occupancy = $400 staff perdiem/parking/bag fee/gas = $100. So 1.5k per staff = 9k. So 6k left. 2 coordinators lodging/air/perdiem = 600 per = 1.2k no stipend is given. 10.2k total so far... then you have camp shirts/stickers/hats/lanyards/thumb drives, etc... $20 per camper = $600. Conference room rental space = $400 as well as tech cost $800 (projectors, screen, video, gopros, camera, either rented or bought and chopped over 5 year cycle). 12k now. Staff shirts/hats/pull overs. 2 shirts 1 pull over 1 hat every 3 years.. with embrodery is 150 per staff. $900/3 = $300 per year. 12.3 then website hosting/ webdesign/llc cost = $800. So 13.1k and then we have paypals fee of 3% on the 15k = 450 + 20 per month service fee = $690. Giving us a grand total of 13.8k in cost. total net profit is 1.2k for a camp. So the question is would you run a camp for this much $$$? I'm surprised more camp owners don't charge a hell of alot more. But they want to cover cost to give back for the passion. So the real question should be what are you willing to give to gain the knowledge/skills/evaluations/network that they provide? If you want cheaper camps they are out there and they can be extremely good. I know when I went to my last camp I took 10 days off work went to both camps provided paid for a single room and the two day layover plus my airfare. Food all in was around $2k minus the ppl I lost out of my bank. But it changed my life and my career. Camps are an amazing vehicle to showcase both good and bad. They can give you honest feedback and make you look in a mirror really quickly. I come on here and I see guys talk about a $500 nike mask or 1k power, but no one invests. CEU are needed in every profession and even more so in ours. Good enough is not good enough! Put your foot on the gas and go get what you want. If its not at your local association then go outside of that. Go outside of your region, state, hell country if it means getting what you want and loving/learning the game. Expand the brotherhood and dont' put a pricetag on it! Ok I'll get off my soapbox now. So.... Yea.... it all depends. Your mileage may very.
  20. 8 points
  21. 8 points
    This is why people hate umpires. To answer your question, is this “OOO?” Absolutely not. It’s ODMFO (Overly Dumb Mother F’ing Official.”
  22. 7 points
    I'll be doing the American Legion World Series next month. I'll post my game schedule if anyone wants to watch me on ESPN. (I don't know which ESPN channel it is on this year.)
  23. 7 points
    I wrote an article in Referee Magazine a couple of years ago titled "The Eyes Have It" which talks about watching the infield warm up between innings. I do this for several reasons, but the #1 reason is to train myself to see the throw out of the fielder's hand, judge if it's true or not, snap my eyes to the bag and listen for the ball to hit the glove and to see if the fielder's foot is on the bag. Then, and this is the most important part of this drill, let my head and eyes travel up to the glove to ensure secure possession and voluntary release. This "proper use of eyes" is the key component to good timing. If you do this on every play, whether the BR is out by 10 feet, or if its a banger, then it's nearly impossible to make the call too quickly. This drill creates muscle memory so when the game is on the line and your call is critical to the potential outcome, you will rely on this training to maintain proper timing. Also, you don't have to be overt about it. Just stand in short right field where you normally do and stand normally. Nobody knows that you're practicing except you.
  24. 7 points
    @ArchAngel72 , in my experience a "that's nothing" call from a partner tells me he's very experienced. It means that not only did he see the action, but processed it and came to the conclusion that there was no infraction AND understood in the moment that others might think otherwise and that his "no infraction" judgment needs to be communicated accordingly. I considered it an important milestone in my own development when I signaled my first "that's nothing" on the field. I am working hard to make it a more natural part of my game for sure. FWIW.
  25. 7 points
    It was wrong for him to switch crews and it was wrong for him to text you like that. Did you screw him? Sure. But instead of using it as a chance to help you learn, your partner pouted and then sends you a scathing text? That's BS. I suspect if I went to my partner and he replied with "It's your call," I would more forcefully ask, "DID. HE. GO?!!" and put it right back on him. Then we would have a conversation after the game to help him better understand 2 man mechanics and working as a crew. It is the responsibility of more advanced umpires to help those coming up. Guys that don't see it that way are just hurting the brotherhood.
  26. 7 points
    I can't believe this, especially after what I've written today, but I'm taking the "softer side" on this. Not on the call - even if shocked, you should have just given what you had. And it led to the SH*#storm that followed. But - again, opinion of HokieUmp, LLC only - the partner was a dick about it. Kind of massively. Sure, it was a bad look on the call, and it led to an EJ. But gunning the batter on strike one later was HIS cock-up, even if events got him distracted. More importantly, I'm not a fan of the switching out AND the follow-up dickishness via text. If you're man enough to text someone to call names, and run down the person's level, be man enough to say it to them AT THE TIME. Better still, help a brother out by walking him through the issue. (Unless, of course, you're one of those that believes keeping others down helps you get better ball OR that the umpire world is just SO chockers with people, that we don't need all the guys working we can get.) Dude's a dick. I'm not even sure I can get behind the "apologize to him" camp, unless he's a 'big dog' and might screw up your schedule. My return text might be: "sorry for the mistake and the problems it caused. but don't worry about us working together from this end." With an optional* "go F*#K yourself." (*May not be optional.)
  27. 7 points
    As a Christian, I believe in the power of resurrection. My days as an official are not over yet. After some counseling and many conversations with several fellow officials, I have decided to give it another whirl. I've already talked to my assignor and he has agreed to have me back in the association next season. I'm also planning to officiate football in the fall. Ump-Attire ought to be happy with this news, as I will have to buy all new gear. So far, I've lost about 80 pounds with a bit more to go! I will be a much better official this time around. Thanks for your support when I left earlier this year. It was partly what made me consider giving it another shot. Jonathan
  28. 7 points
    Said loud enough to the catcher, but meant for the coach to hear............. I hope they keep up with those "good takes", we'll be out of here sooner than expected!
  29. 7 points
    on 2 separate occasions, you mention "it took a second to figure out what hit me" You're umpiring a baseball game. I'll go with ......IT WAS A BASEBALL that hit you.
  30. 7 points
    The first one of the year came early. And out of nowhere. But that is no excuse to whiff on it. Preliminary round of tri-county tournament. Seed 12 hosting seed 19. Top of the 5th with the home team up 12-4. I am U1 New F1 takes the mound for top of the 5th and retires leadoff hitter. 2nd batter laces a single to CF and I come into the middle to notice F1 has studs in his ears. I call time and advise the head coach that his team has a warning on jewelry and direct F1 to remove the studs. F1 says he cant. I suggest to him that he can either have earrings or pitch, but he cant do both. DTHC comes out to talk to my partner and several other ASSociate coaches are milling about outside the dugout. One of them shouts out that studs are allowed . It's a new rule. I approach DTHC who is calm, understands what I said, and just wants some clarification. As I near the dirt circle at home plate, the same ASSociate coach starts walking toward me and barking "It's a new rule this year!" I have no idea who this jack-wagon is and I suggest that he needs to get back in the dugout. He think other wise. As I am having a conversation with the head coach, he says other umpires have allowed F1 to cover the studs with band-aids. I tell him that the studs need to come out. He instructs F1 to come to the dugout to take out the studs. As I say this, our friend the ASSocaite coach comes towards me once again shouting "It's a new rule this year!" At that point I realize he has requested to have his ticket punched. I acquiesced to his request when he pointed at me and yelled, "You need to read a rule book!" Ticket punched. Buh by. Thanks for flying K2 airlines. Your stop is now. Sometimes things just fall into your lap.
  31. 7 points
    How dare I what, friend? What you do is akin to lopping the roof off a DeLorean (goodbye gullwing doors!) just so you can have a convertible. Barbarian!
  32. 7 points
    On average he had the correct number of stops
  33. 7 points
    Coach: You make that call when we're getting our asses handed to us like this ? Umpire: Sorry about that coach ? Coach: What ? So you're sorry that you made that call ? Umpire: No no, skip, I'm empathizing. My therapist said that I should empathize more and be sarcastic less.
  34. 7 points
    I usually don’t wash my pants until after a few games but when I do, I put them in the washer inside out so the outside doesn’t fade as quickly. Got that trick from a MILB guy
  35. 7 points
    I found that using this new signal, below, really is subtle and lets only my partner know we need to speak:
  36. 7 points
    I haven't read this whole thread. However, this was sent from the NFHS to all states this week: Ball in glove (2-9-1, 5-1-1) With the change of interpretation by the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee, CB 2.9.1 Situation D: No longer will the ball be immediately dead when a ball is "lodged" in a player's glove. The player may take his glove, with the ball in it, and toss it to another fielder to record a force out at the base. CB 5.1.1 Situations Q and R should be removed. They are no longer valid.
  37. 7 points
    The real story behind the picture? The Australian manager told this guy, that I had the authority to make him cut his hair. He was sucking up to me, to try to talk me out of it. He was a great kid, and one heck of a ball player. We got to hang with Gerry Davis' crew today. Great guys one and all. Got to watch them work tonight at the Classic. Games on Monday the 20th - 3:00 at Lamade (3B) and 8:00 at Lamade (LF Line)
  38. 7 points
    Make sure you put the pads with the wrapper, in the trash where they belong.
  39. 7 points
    Buy both plate and base pants. I cannot stress this enough.
  40. 7 points
    Coach loses his SH*# and wants interference called on the grounds crew for placing the mound in that exact location...and then tells F5 he is an idiot letting it all happen. Since his son is F1, coach blames F5 for everything, including the fact that F1 walked the bases loaded. Also, logs into to GameChanger that night and edits the play to reflect E5 to ensure that his son's ERA isn't impacted. Coach and son spend the remainder of the season telling everyone how the ump screwed them over. And that's the way it is.
  41. 7 points
    I have been using this one this summer.
  42. 7 points
    Guys Steve is doing better every day. I just saw him last night. He was hoping to get out of ICU today and into the Ortho floor. If all goes well within 1-2 weeks he will be transferred to a ReHab facility. And that is when the real work begins. He has function and is able to move his left toes. He has feeling in the right side but can’t move anything yet. The right side was the first to go when this all happened, so the doctors said it will be the last to come back. They are hoping for him to be able to move his right side in the next day or two. For those of you who don’t know, Steve is one of my best umpire friends. We developed a very close bond when we were trying to get into College baseball and have had a similar goal set ever since then. I probably talk to him about baseball at least once a day for the last 3 years. I will tell you one of the first things he asked his doctor is will he ever get back to umpiring. There is a chance, about 30%, that he won’t walk again. I told him, the hell with that. If I have to drive to your house every day, we are going to focus all of our energy on that 70%. I felt like crap after it happened. It was my game he stopped by to watch for a little bit before he was off to his networking meeting. Please keep praying. Post words of encouragement on his Facebook page. Text him if you have his number. He might not respond, his wife is monitoring his phone and is doing the best to keep everyone informed. I will keep popping on and posting updates as we go through this journey with our Brother. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  43. 7 points
    Show me a coach (except those who also umpire) who reads the umpire signal section of the rule book, and I'll show you what it looks like when an Umpire-Empire member faints. LOL
  44. 7 points
    I’ve read all kinds of bull crap the last few days from “umpires” on various sites, Facebook and Twitter. Stuff like...if the crew had gotten together they would have discovered there was no one covering 1st...the runner veered off and the fielder should have gone to the outfield side. Here’s the deal... Did the runner slide in a direct line between 1st and 2nd base? No Did the runner give himself up and avoid the fielder? No Since he didn’t do one of those two things, we have interference. R1 is out, B/R is out and all other runners return to their time of pitch base. Pretty simple stuff.
  45. 6 points
    My '65 Mustang had a padded dash as a boastful safety feature. I think my Lexus has more airbags than a House full of Representatives. Thank you progress.
  46. 6 points
    So, with the conclusion of this year's NFHS Baseball Rules Committee meeting in Indianapolis, my four-year term on the committee has come to an end. I am proud to have served, and I met a lot of people who have a deep commitment to prep baseball and who have become lifelong friends. With that said, I wanted to write a post that explains how the baseball committee process works. There is a lot of bashing of the rules committee on social media (not so much this site...but a lot on other sites). I thought I could give an insider's perspective on how the process works. Like any endeavor, my tenure on the committee had some lows, but it had a lot more highs. There are 11 voting members of the committee. First, there are 8 members who represent the NFHS' eight sections. (The NFHS divides the country into eight sections.) I represented Section Three which has nine states in the Southeast United States. Next, there is one member who represents the National Federation's officials association (an umpire) and one member who represents the National Federation's coaches' association (a head coach at a high school). Finally, there is a voting chairman (the committee chairman is almost always an executive in some state's high school league office). One knock that I see a lot is that there have never been enough umpires on the committee. This is actually false. During my tenure on the board, there have actually been an average of six (out of 11) umpires on the committee. During the year, any state can make a rule change proposal. In fact, you (meaning the person reading this post) can make a rule change proposal. You would need to propose the rule change to your state's high school association. If they agreed with your proposal, they can then submit it on your behalf to the NFHS for consideration by the Baseball Rules Committee. Each June, the Baseball Rules Committee meets in Indianapolis to discuss (sometimes "debate" is a better word) all of the rule change proposals submitted during the prior year. The deadline for submitting proposals is sometime in early May. During the meeting, the committee can ONLY vote on rule changes that were proposed before the deadline. That is, the committee cannot propose its own rule changes during the meeting. If a committee member wants to change a rule, he has to submit it before the deadline. After the submission deadline, but before the committee's June meeting, every state office is sent all rule change proposals. The state offices can then contact their representative on the committee and direct their representative how they want them to vote. Of course, in a section like mine (with 9 states) all of the states may not agree with one another on each proposal. In which case, I would have to use my own judgment when voting. However, if a clear majority of states in my section instructed me to vote a certain way...I'd have to vote that way. This is because I represent the interests of my section's states on the committee. During my four years on the committee, I would send all of the rule proposals to my nine state offices every May asking them for their opinions or directions as to how I should vote. Some years, I would only hear back from 2 or 3 states. Other years, I heard back from a lot more. At our meeting in June, we would discuss/debate the rule change proposals. Finally, we'd vote on them. Additionally, if the baseball rules committee felt that there were issues in the sport that needed to be addressed, but did not require a rule change, we could vote to insert new plays into the casebook. Since casebook plays are not "rule changes", but rather are interpretations of existing rules, they are not required to be submitted to the states ahead of time. And, in fact, it is common for the committee to draft and adopt a new casebook play(s) after having a discussion on a particular issue when we felt we could deal with the issue with a casebook play rather than have to wait to submit a rule change proposal the following year. Now, we get to the part of which many are ignorant: When the rules committee passes a rule change, it must be approved by 2 1/2 other committees. I say "2 1/2" because three other committees actually look at the rule changes the rules committee passed, but only two of those can actually reject or approve those rule changes. The third committee is the Sports Medicine Committee. They review our changes and only give an opinion as to whether or not an approved rule change poses an increase risk of injury to the student-athletes. The sports medicine committee doesn't actually approve or reject a rule change the rules committee has made. However, I guarantee you that if the sports medicine committee gives an opinion that a rules change (approved by the rules committee) poses an unreasonably higher risk of injury to the student-athletes, then one of the other two committees is going to reject our rule change. [As an aside, let me state that the Sports Medicine Committee does some incredible work. First, they have some of the most famous sports-medicine people in the country on the committee. Second, they do some incredible research. Third, they really do care about the students and their safety. In fact, I ended my tenure on the rules committee believing that the work the NFHS does for student safety through its sports medicine committee is perhaps the NFHS' greatest contribution to sports in this country.] Next, the rules changes that passed the baseball rules committee are then reviewed by the "rules review committee". This committee is comprised entirely of NFHS employees. They are basically all of the rules editors for all of the different sports. So, the baseball rules editor (an NFHS employee who sits in during the NFHS baseball rules committee meeting) has to defend the rule changes we passed to his colleagues (who are the rules editors for all of the other sports.) It was explained to me by someone with a lot of history working with the NFHS, that the purpose of this committee is to make sure that a sport's rules committee doesn't go off the deep end and make a bunch of crazy rule changes. The "rules review committee" basically serves as a check to make sure that the baseball rules committee, for instance, can't be hijacked by a group of like-minded people who then makes wholesale changes to the baseball rulebook which then fundamentally and drastically changes the nature of the sport. When the "rules review committee" looks at the rule changes passed by the baseball rules committee, they look to make sure that the "balance between offense and defense as it should exist in that particular sport is maintained", that player safety is not adversely affected, and that the sport itself is not being drastically changed without just cause (among other things). If this committee rejects a rule change that the rules committee made...then the change is dead. When the "rules review committee" rejects a rule change that was passed by the rules committee, they sometimes explain why they rejected the rule change...and sometimes they provide no explanation. Finally, any rule changes that were approved by the "rules review committee" must then be approved by the NFHS "Executive Committee". This committee is almost always comprised of the executive directors of various state high school associations. I am not familiar with what this committee does when reviewing the approved rule changes, but I think most of the time they will approve the rule changes as long as the sports medicine and "rules review committee" have signed off on them. In summary, the NFHS is a bureaucracy...there is no doubt about that. Like anything, that has pluses and minuses. It goes without saying that the NFHS does some great work. What sometimes frustrated me is that before one bashes the baseball rules committee, one should know that sometimes the baseball rules committee is not the entity with which you have your disagreement. Sometimes, we pass a change to the rules that umpires overwhelmingly want, but it gets rejected by the "rules review committee" or "executive committee". I can tell you (without going into details) that this has happened during my tenure more than once. Nothing posted here is confidential. In fact, the NFHS has buried somewhere on their website a video as to how the rules writing process occurs (found it: https://www.nfhs.org/sports-resource-content/rules-writing-process-video/). Since there is hardly a week that goes by in which the rules committee isn't getting bashed somewhere on the internet, I just thought I'd post how things actually work (since I doubt most umpires know...and most don't know about the video). It was a great four-years. I appreciate all of you who communicated with me (especially by private messaging) over those four years so I could know what umpires from across the country were thinking.
  47. 6 points
    Kiddie ball umpire starter set.........."Throw that inside pitch again son"............
  48. 6 points
    Group Position Date & Time Sport & Level Site Home Away Fees Status Accept Decline 107584 R1 11/10/2018 Sat 3:00 PM Volleyball, State Finals William Paterson University, Rec Center TBA TBA $75.00 Accepted on 10/28/2018 State Finals for volleyball! Second go round for me. This time I am sure that I will not be as edgy as I was last time. Can't wait for the match. It is a real joy having the best seat in the house to watch two really talented teams go at it. I will try to not suck. But, as I say to SWMBO, I can't make any promises
  49. 6 points
    YOU!! YES YOU!!! BRING ME A BEER!!
  50. 6 points
    Which makes us look like the assholes when we call it during the season.


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