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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/04/2021 in all areas

  1. Watching the LL Regionals at San Bernardino and our @JonnyCat is working 1st base with my buddy Dean on the plate. Announcers actually gave both Jon and Dean some serious love mentioning how they like their mechanics. Just thought I would throw out that our friend is kicking butt on ESPN. As I was typing this, they just tried to challenge a call Jon made at 1st which he called an out on and they challenged a pulled foot. Runner is out, call is confirmed. Keep it up Jon!
    12 points
  2. So our local LL district has been blessed to have a recently retired MLB umpire coming out to work games with us not only during the All Star season, but during the regular season as well. Not saying names, but this gent has some MLB WS experience as well as MLB post season play and a few thousand games under his belt. Just for kicks and giggles, we have been trying to get our local coaches, when this gent come out with us, to go to him and ask him to get help on a call. Rightfully so, all of them have said NO WAY, not going to do it... chickens! Fast forward to last night... 10-11 All Star game... MLB is working 2nd base, calls a runner safe. Since this is the state tournament, none of these teams are local, and most likely have no clue who the guy working 2nd wearing an MLB umpire uniform (versus our LL stuff) actually is. Coach from the defensive team asks for time, and in living video color, goes out to the umpire, asking him to get help on a safe call. Pretty funny watching the coach try and convince this man to get help on his judgement call. Funnier still watching the coach not know how to deal with being told no, it is my call and I have him safe. Not the funniest thing to happen on a field, but I still got a chuckle out of it.
    11 points
  3. Many years ago, my uncle went to pick up his new car. There was a metal dealer medallion on the left side of the trunk, and the dealers name also on the license plate frame. . My uncle saw them, asked how much he was getting paid for the advertising. Refused to take the car until they took them off. They obliged.
    11 points
  4. I always point and use a verbal no matter what to put the ball back in play. I sometimes adjust the volume, for instance, if it's the 39th pitch in a row the batter has fouled off. If the ball needs to be put back in play, I use a point and verbal 100% of the time. I was always taught that everyone, including my partner, needs to know the status of the ball. By being vocal, clear, and consistent, it removes any doubt as to the status of the ball. No ones ever complained, or told me it was wrong. I personally don't like a point without a verbal, but if it works for someone in their games, great. It is not something I teach in clinics. I'm big on communication during my games. I don't know if being non-verbal in this situation is improving the game.
    9 points
  5. So I’m on the bass for a 16u high school development fall game. R1, pitcher blows through the stop. I call the balk, batter singles to LF. “Time! You stay at second, batter, you go back and bat again. “ F1 “What I do?” Me ”you didn’t come set and stop” F1 “Yes I did” Me “Ok. You’d rather have first and second, no outs?” (F1 with the deer in the headlights blank stare ) Coach “You didn’t stop Timmy. Shut up and pitch” 😂
    9 points
  6. From the local paper where the district took place. Proud to say, game 1 for me Saturday was my plate and although I had no idea during, but afterwards I found out I called a perfect game! Photo 2 is during the championship game where the one coach asked if a ball had hit the batter (it didn't) but my partner called me over to make sure. Photo 3 is an out call I had on the red team (the team that won the district) in the 6th when they scored all their runs to lock it up. The teams fans didn't like it, but this photo shows I got the whacker (funny how a still shot shows how NOT close it was )
    9 points
  7. I know I'm reviving a relatively old thread, but I just received a TASO email, saying the jewelry rule is, in fact, no longer. I'm assuming that's because it was a national decision that's filtering down to the states this summer, and not something being taken on independently by the state of Texas. I'd like to think that my public declaration of surrender this season, and my complete and utter IDGAF stance this season was the catalyst The Federation needed to walk away, and I gave them that cover fire. It would be utter bullSH*#, and a grotesque and undeserved expansion of my ego, but imma grab the chalice. You're welcome, America.
    9 points
  8. Our Little League District started hosting a umpire, manager, coach summit which we all call the 'how to work with umpires and not get thrown out of the game meeting'. We discuss what the roles of the manager and coaches are as well as what our role in the process happens to be. We discuss how to interface with us, how to approach us and more importantly, how to remain in the game when they disagree with our ruling. The histrionics which were so prevalent: rushing out of the dugout like a bull, waving the arms, pointing and gesticulating has gone WAY down and of course so have our ejections. The coaches are asking for time, coming out and having actual conversations. When they start to get animated, we are in a position to put the brakes on it, versus the old way where they were already turned up to 11 just coming out of the dugout. No kidding... having this meeting and setting the bar BEFORE the season stars has dropped our ejection rate district wide from what use to exceed 20 per season to less than 5 last season and zero so far this year. I think if every organization set the bar prior to their seasons, especially for youth ball, the numbers would drop across the board.
    9 points
  9. Hi everyone, I'm sure my story isn't isolated, so interested to hear what's gotten others "back in the mask" after a long time away. After having not umpired since my college days, I got back into calling games (informally) over the past couple of seasons, mainly as help for travel clubs (starting with my own boys' club) not being able to get engaged officials for anything outside of sanctioned tournaments. Started calling some weekend double-headers primarily at 14u and 12u levels, and forgot how much fun it is to remind these players and coaches (and hopefully, by extension, some of the parents...) that good umpiring can be such a huge asset to the game. This winter I went through some classroom and on-field clinics with my 13-yr old son to get him on the Youth Umpire list with a few Little Leagues in our area, and he has really gotten after it. Does a couple weeknight games on his "off nights" from club practices, and Saturday games when we're not travelling for tournaments. He's really taking a liking to the role, and his transition from "14u player" to "mature, professional-acting umpire" is really fun to watch. My wife took him to an assignment last week after having not seen him on the field for a couple of months, and was blown away by his confidence and controlled demeanor on the field with a bunch of adults he doesn't know. I've had a blast working as a crew together on some higher-level 50/70 games and Majors games with him, and he's become a requested umpire for the District from a couple of our local leagues! Pretty fun to watch them learn and fall in love with something new about this great game. Thanks for the site, love reading through all the posts and we'll likely be more active members on here through the spring and summer. Play Ball!
    9 points
  10. Sounds like your plate umpire calls a lot of high school games. Under FED rules, the ball is dead immediately after a balk call There is no “ choice” on a OBR balk. If the batter reaches first base by hit, error, walk, etc. and all other runners advance at least one base, the balk is ignored. Otherwise, it’s no pitch and runners advance one base. As for your PU calling no pitch immediately, the crew will need to right the wrong. It sounds like the offense played on and the SS didn’t complete a pretty sure out at 1b because of the no pitch call. If that’s the case I’d enforce the balk and bring the batter back to hit.
    8 points
  11. Ignore the previous two answers. When R1 retreated toward first, he reinstated the force. This is a force out and no run scores. Here's the OBR wording -- it applies to all codes. However, if the forced runner, after touching the next base, retreats for any reason towards the base he had last occupied, the force play is reinstated, and he can again be put out if the defense tags the base to which he is forced
    8 points
  12. I think there is a couple of ways to handle this situation, and this can help you in others, as well. 1. You could have just ejected right after the F-bomb. Kid was mouthy, maybe it was time he learns in a Fall Ball game rather than a regular season. I'd have no problem with you dumping the kid. 2. Rather than saying, "please watch your language," a stern "That's enough" in conjunction with your hand up giving the stop sign, is a better warning. Now if the kid doesn't get the warning and mouths off again, he's done. He got his warning, after that, it's on him. Saying, "please watch your language," and wanting a response back, sets you up for needless banter with the player. What if he doesn't answer you? Now you have to decide if you want to escalate the interaction. You told him twice to watch the language, and you got a snarky remark back. Keep your conversation to a minimum. Give him a stern warning. If the player decides to continue with being a jerk, then he gets dumped and learns a lesson. Saying "please watch your language" is asking him to comply. "That's enough" is telling him to knock it off. You're the one that is in charge of the situation. Don't let the kid be in charge. Hope that is helpful.
    8 points
  13. What @maven said, plus understand that unless you are in the pro ranks somewhere, coaches do not get to 'get their monies worth' on anything. They may not be happy, they may not like a ruling, but they never, ever, get to pull the crap you see on TV in amateur youth baseball. Be approachable. Be calm. I try to always face the field and let the coaches face the stands. That way when they get animated, the people see him losing control, not me. Answer questions, not statements. They are competing to win, not you. They spend hours and hours a week with their team practicing, you don't. Understand where they are coming from and it makes it easier to understand why they are passionate and want the call to go their way. This should not influence you, but understanding the why helps understand their reactions. And then there are just some ass hats out there who are, well... ass hats.
    8 points
  14. Just got a phone call today from some MiLB supervisors telling me I got a full ride to pro school, and I'm stoked. My plan is to graduate from college in 2025, and then attend the school. They said that they will hold the scholarship for me until I finish my education. Guys, if there's an MLB one day camp near you, go! Great instruction and from what I hear they are giving out 3-5 scholarships per camp. Here's a pic from the camp:
    8 points
  15. LL Majors. Top 4. None on, one out. Rung up the batter on a called third strike pretty much right down the middle, 2-2 count. Each called strike the batter showed visible frustration...right after the 3rd strike he turned out of the batters box and slammed his bat two-handed into the ground, like he was chopping wood with an axe. Walked into the dugout and threw his bat and helmet. I walked down the 3rd base line to the HC and told him #26 is ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct, calm and no drama from HC...he told Joey to pack up his gear and go sit with his parents, he was done. No screaming parents, no waiting to confront me after the game...had to say I was a bit surprised by that. Figured it would be worse.
    8 points
  16. Some years ago at a 2 man clinic an instructor was telling us about taking steps to get on the outfield side of third base when your only runner is r3 and he heads home on a passed ball, or any trailing runner rounds third and heads home. Just in case something happens and the runner retreats you’re in a great spot. I’ve always tried to do this but it has never amounted to anything but a longer run back to “A” after the runner scored…..until today. r2 only. Stealing on the pitch, wild pitch bounces far from F 2. r2 rounds 3rd and heads home. As he does, I head to the back side of 3b. A hustling F2 gets to the ball, and fires a strike to f1 covering home. R2 reversed course and heads back to third, F1 fires to third, and I’m in the wedge on the back side of 3b in foul territory for a great look at the play coming right at me! I see the tag, bang the out. 3B coach looks up, and says “ I’ve never seen a base umpire there in a two man crew”. I said “ thank you”. Very cool feeling when those “ post pitch” / “post base runner” steps work out.
    8 points
  17. 7+ years of doing this and I finally have an action photo! Both sides of a play even… out on the tag!
    8 points
  18. You say LL, so I am going on the assumption this is an actual LL and not just one using 'most' of their rules. I am also going on the assumption that both of your umpires were minors (junior) umpires and that you were at the game site as the Game Coordinator. 9.03(d) If no adult umpire is available for a game, and non-adult umpires are used exclusively for that game, the local Little League must assign an adult as Game Coordinator, or the game cannot be played. The Game Coordinator must not be a manager or coach of either team in the game, and cannot be assigned as Game Coordinator for more than one game at a time. The Game Coordinator's duties shall be: (1) To be included in the pregame meeting as noted in Rule 4.01: (2) To remain present at the game at all times, including between half-innings, in a position to see all actions on the field and in close proximity to the field (not in any enclosure). If, for some reason, the Game Coordinator is not present or is unable to perform his/her duties for any reason, the game must be suspended until the Game Coordinator returns, or until a new adult Game Coordinator is present and assumes the duties of Game Coordinator for the remainder of the game; (3) To oversee the conduct of all players, managers, coaches, and umpires in the game; (4) To have the authority to disqualify any player, coach, manager, or substitute for objecting to the decisions of an umpire, for unsportsmanlike conduct or language, or for any of the reasons enumerated in these Playing Rules, and to eject such disqualified person for the playing field. If the Game Coordinator disqualifies a player while a play is in progress, the disqualification shall not take effect until no further action is possible in that play; etc, etc... Basically points 3 and 4 above... when this JA continued to argue, to come out and argue again after the fact during the 1/2 inning, you could have, and had the authority to show him the parking lot. We have a good number of Junior umpires in our LL, and the word is out to the managers and coaches... mess with them at your own risk because if they don't dump you, our game coordinators will in a heart beat. Coaches are expected to be professional and to only speak to our juniors in a conversational tone. Any berating, aggressive posturing or speech and the conversation is over. Failure to comply is an immediate trip to the parking lot. This JA is 100% what LL does not want or need. Glad you were there to mentor and have your kids back. Keep up the good work!
    8 points
  19. Oh but it does, it sooooo does... as I'll explain below... There shouldn't be a delay like this, especially for the following reason behind it. You as BU is a component of the dynamic of the story here, because that means your partner is PU... or UIC... in a NFHS game. 😬 <- is this the nervous face? Lemme find a nervous face... 😨 <- that's a fearful face... I can go one "worse"... 😱 . Nothing good can come from this. Your partner is an idiot. It's not "a thing". It's never been "a thing". Your partner made it his own "thing". As my good friend @wolfe_man points out, and I'm sure others will too, there's nothing explicitly in the Rulebook(s) about it. At any level, or any code. Instead, your partner chose to implement his own code of morality / ethics / sportsmanship, scooping up that whole arcane attitude of "Not on my field!" (which is synonymous to "Get off my lawn!"; which is also a sibling of Karens approaching total strangers and saying, "You know what your problem is... ?"). I'm going all-in that this "projection of sportsmanship" is your partner's reason behind removing the eye black. If I'm wrong, I – MadMax – am wrong... but I've been in baseball as a player and as an umpire long enough to know what I'm talking about on this topic. Maybe his (your partner's) claim is that the eyeblack could / would / might end up on a baseball and act as a "foreign substance". Maybe. But I doubt he processed it that far... Instead, I'm betting he's fully in the camp of, "That's intimidation! That's intimidation to the opposing team! No fun here! No competition here! Not on my field!... Get off my lawn!". This forced, projected, deliberate, heavy-handed "officiating" often gets painted as "preventative umpiring". It isn't. Preventative Umpiring is more along the lines of whispering to a pitcher, "Hey, make sure you completely stop. That last one ya kinda rolled right through it." These guys who are chasing players back into dugouts, making big ta-doos about jewelry, going through all this blabbering about "how to approach an umpire" ultimately are doing these things because it is their attempt at "conflict avoidance"... which usually means they are weak at "conflict resolution". Yeah, I'm on a soapbox. And to some of my colleagues here, it may appear I'm on a soapbox... in the median... of a six-lane highway. But these same colleagues also know I've mentioned before this phenomena I've labeled "viral umpiring". Where some guy, somewhere, either misinterprets, misapplies, or (worse) makes up a rule, and then positions it into "his" game, patting himself on the back that he provided a/the solution to his umpiring "situation". This has damaging effects, though, as it ripples out and affects not only his officiating going forward, but his umpire partner(s), the coaches, and to a minor degree, the players. So while one guy believes, in his own opinion, that eyeblack isn't to be worn by the pitcher on his field, now at least 3 others think that is true in all games going forward! How fortunate you ( @pl8ump1012 ) came here to inquire! Bravo! Now, I also acknowledge and appreciate that you, pl8, didn't draw a line in the sand, or depth charge your partner from 96' away. Does this "ruling" ultimately affect the proceedings and outcome of the game? No. So I (too) wouldn't make a big thing about it, and step in to correct my partner. If he's making a "ruling" that affects the playing status or eligibility of the players, or affects the proceedings of the game, then we must step in, as umpires, and correct it. Example – calling a Balk on a move / feint to 2B. Your PU partner believes that a F1 has to throw to 2B, or that he has to throw to a fielder at the base. This is not true, and that explanation is in the Rulebook as such. So I as a BU must step in and correct that. It's not a Balk. I get infuriated at YouTube clips – two infamous ones in particular – that not only show improper rulings, but the partners don't step in (even after, not just in the moment in realtime!) to correct it!! One is the softball foul ball, with a 3-man crew, where the foul ball – the actual ball itself – is retrieved by the on deck hitter, who throws it to-and-past the F1... and the 3BC starts jumping up and down and sends R3 and R2 in to score! ... and the crew lets the play (non-play, actually) stand!!! Another is one where R2 (only) feints a steal of 3B, and the catcher (F2), after receiving the pitch throws to F5 at 3B... and the PU calls a Balk!!! For what? For throwing to an unoccupied base!!! That was his actual explanation! And his BU partner does nothing to correct it! Here's the point where the NFHS Rules component of your tale comes into play... NFHS (unfortunately) places a "deification" clause in regarding the PU / UIC that whatever he (ultimately) rules is the be-all, end-all, absolute final say on anything regarding the game. Way too many guys take this to an extreme, and get this "I'm infallible" god-complex (small g) and puff their chest out and take this "my game, my way" attitude into these games which are, at their very nature, a competitive arena. We're not supposed to compete; we're supposed to officiate. So yeah, eyeblack ain't a "thing". At the risk of going into an even longer diatribe, and threatening any kind of productivity in my day, I'll just leave it there, and give ya a pat on the back as to how you handled it in that moment, and encourage you to keep atop your handling of situations in regards to how they relate to the Rulebook(s).
    8 points
  20. Old West Vest mask. Before: After: Vinyl stripped and spray painted
    8 points
  21. For me, it depends on the level. HS JV and up, I'd let it go—I'd rather have an out! Below that, I'd simply state the fact: it was a foul tip. That explains the runner's perception without coaching him on the proper action to take. If he doesn't know what a foul tip entails and gets put out, that will be a learning experience. If he asks a follow up, I'll refer him to his coach.
    8 points
  22. overstated, but I always used "If the BATTED ball doesn't leave the infield, PU doesn't leave the plate."
    8 points
  23. @Dottelifesorry to hear it, but I can understand. Here is my $0.02 on the umpire "shortage". Yes, parents/coaches/players can all be A$$hats, but... In my opinion, it comes down to a cost/benefit analysis. Umpiring for most of us is just an "Avocation" not a "vocation". It is not an inexpensive hobby. Uniforms, travel, dues, time all equal $$. I hate working one man games at any level. It is awful. Not a chance I am getting on the field one man for less than the total of 2 game fees. Will teams/assignors pay that, most likely not, but we as umpires have to remember, they need us. Rarely have I reached out to assignors looking for games. Yet every week, my inbox is filled with emails of guys looking to fill XXX spots at XXX fields this weekend. WE need to stand up for ourselves as umpires and as others have said, block schools/teams/coaches/assignors and do not work for them. The rate for a 7inning game should be $170 for 2 umpires at the MINIMUM. When we (collectively) work games for $45-65 each, we are telling the baseball community that is what we are worth. If we continue to take these reduced fees, it will be 10 more years before we get to $100 each. I do not know about you guys, but with annual dues/equipment/travel, we need to be figuring that we SPEND $8-15 PER GAME just for the privilege of umpiring. DONT SHORT YOURSELF!!! KNOW what you are worth and then take games accordingly. Rant: off
    7 points
  24. I had the honor of working the 1st ever college game played at the Field of Dreams movie site. Here are some of my favorites for this once in a lifetime opportunity.
    7 points
  25. [anxiously awaits @JimKirk to roll out his new mascot and the new Umpy plush toy made from recycled chest protector foam*] *The new Umpy plush toy is not NOCSAE approved.
    7 points
  26. This is when the ejection needed to happen. 10u there is no profanity, it's one of the 3 Ps.
    7 points
  27. I know the guy who runs the Mid-American Umpire Clinic. 🙋‍♂️ I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. Who knows…reaching out and asking some questions about the clinic might have some financial benefit…
    7 points
  28. The catchers that I've asked were all fine with it, except 1. I always ask first. But hey, let's make a deal. I'll learn to stop adjusting to catchers by touch, and you learn how use the word 'their'.
    7 points
  29. That no one pushed back makes it likely coach and parents have been working the issue with no luck and you did them a favor. Good on ya.
    7 points
  30. Okay.... 1) "I wonder if the loud coaches and fans are wrong or " Answer: They're wrong. More accurately: they're ugly and stupid AND they're wrong. And they might smell bad, too. 2) Regarding the rough times... at the risk of blatantly advertising my own writing, here's an excerpt from something I wrote on "Talk Me Off The Ledge" a few days ago: "Also, around that time, I just said to myself "f--k these f--king guys, and all their f--king bulls--t" - and the healing began." At a certain point, I firmly believe that's what you have to do. If you're not as inclined to be as happily profane as I am, you can find your own phrase, but I like the mouth-feel of it myself. Look, it's always been an Us Versus Them in the game. So embrace it, and make them A Them.
    7 points
  31. In my earlier days, I had one of those. No set. Me (pointing): "That's! ..." (pitcher throws to first) Me: "... a really good move"
    7 points
  32. This is the worst part, and (outside cozy relationships) I don't understand why TD's are so reluctant to hold them accountable. I've been a TD...my wife has been a TD. And we're of the same mind...I got your money weeks ago...it's in the bank...I've paid for the umps and the diamonds...you're not getting a red F*#King cent back, and if you, coach, want to take your ball/team and go home, then "happy trails"...I'll worry about team recruitment for next year's tournament...next year. I ripped a coach a new asshole right in front crowded bleachers for his incessant complaining of umpires, field maintenance staff and tournament volunteers..."if I hear another word from you the parking lot is over there, and if you want to take your team then I have zero F*#Ks to give, because, quite literally, NOBODY wants you here." Umps and I had a good time that evening. The reality is, if you run a good tournament, you are turning teams away every year, not begging to find new ones. Yes, I want the teams, I want the players, I want a good tournament and not have a round robin bracket with forfeits...but I will have no tolerance for any kind of abuse of the umpires, the other paying teams and especially the volunteers. Yes, I'll go to bat for the paying customer too...but 99 times out of a 100, they're just flexing, and they're fostering a toxic culture on their team.
    7 points
  33. They can. I use them as a hammer... Actual example I had two years ago... Had a coach that is always a problem in a JV game. He is up by like 12 runs with bases loaded and the other team is on their 4th or 5th 'pitcher'--who obviously has not been told how to pitch. After the first pitch I go and clean up the rubber and maybe mention for him to make sure and come set. The 3rd base (head) coach starts screaming at me that I'm not allowed to coach to kid. My job is to 'enforce all of the rules no exceptions'. I ask him if he is sure that is what he wants me to do. To which he replies yes. I confirm again and he again says yes. At that point I look around and low and behold batter is blinged out, all the runners on base have those rubber wrist things, on and on. So, I enforce the balk, warn the kid/coach on 3rd and then eject the batter, R1 and R2 and send him to the dugout. (May have skipped a step, but, oh well).
    7 points
  34. PU: Get in the box. B: I don't have to. PU: Strike 3! You're right.
    7 points
  35. My opinion: quit FB. Easy.
    7 points
  36. 7 points
  37. You might be an umpire if you see some sort of argument going on anywhere (Costco parking lot, Starbucks, etc) then throw up your hands and yell "TIME!" I did that once in a bar, where two patrons were about to throw down. So startingly it was that everyone stopped and revaluated the dumb situation (including myself).
    7 points
  38. The system is ....... sport specific boxer brief underwear (I like Adidas Climacool) .... Nutty Buddy, jock, then tights. I never ( VERY RARELY) have to adjust the cup, and there's no reason to get totally undressed between games, ... reach down and slip the cup out from under the jock.
    7 points
  39. You rush home after work to make sure that you get the latest delivery from Ump-Attire before the wife gets home and see it. Trying to avoid the inevitable "What are you getting now? Don't you already have everything".
    7 points
  40. Me too, with the same variations in volume as indicated by game situation. The only counterargument to this mechanic points to the pros. I've never worked a pro game.
    6 points
  41. So now that the tournament is over I can weigh in on my thoughts. I was not on this game, but I watched the whole thing from center field. Suffice it to say that both umpires feel awful about what happened. Both are very experienced umpires that know the 4 man system, it was just a mistake, compounded by LL's decision to keep the play live. To re-cap, hard ground ball down the 3B line, U3 signals foul with a verbal, but does not point foul. PU signals fair, and play continued. Play went to review, and LL ruled the ball was fair, game over. We all saw what happened. PU understood that it was not his call to make, U3 understood he should have come up big and killed the play. Mistakes happen, unfortunately they were exacerbated by the magnitude of the game. A few observations: 1. Why LL chose to keep the ball fair is beyond my comprehension. I have my thoughts, but will reserve to keep them private for now. Since there was no clear video evidence that the ball was fair, the best course of action would have been to keep the ball foul. Return the runners, basically a do over. They could have easily defended this ruling by saying you can't "un-ring that bell." No one would have cared, and the game would have played out as normal. 2. There is a lot of talk about being "blown off the line." This is something we would pre-game at the request of the umpire supervisors. They instructed us that if U1 or U3 was blown off the line, make it obvious and work your way away from the foul line towards the wall. Leave no doubt that you are not going to make a call. In this case, U3 was not blown off the line. This is something that LL incorporates in their umpire training. I think it is useful in rare instances, but I do not subscribe to this methodology. I believe that U1 or U3 should do their utmost to hold the line and make the call. Unfortunately, if you don't have a whole lot of multi umpire training or games under your belt, you may lack the experience to hold the line, and too often fall back on the notion of getting blown off. This is not what happened in the game. It was U3's call all the way and coming up big would have nullified the PU's fair call. 3. There has been much talk and comments about LL volunteers and the need to use paid umpires for these tournaments. It hasn't really been mentioned on this site that I've seen, but I'd like to comment on this subject as I've seen a lot of it elsewhere. These are not umpires dads pulled out of the stands to work these games. They are seasoned and well trained umpires that worked hard to get a spot. It's not easy to be selected for this tournament. There is a vetting process and often a long waiting list. My district sends an umpire to WR about once every eight years. It's very competitive in So Cal for a chance to work this tournament. Most of the umpires at this tournament also do HS and travel-ball, too. What makes this tournament different is a number of things that can add a considerable amount of pressure to work these games. 3 of the 12 teams we saw were going to Williamsport. The stakes are high and the pressure is felt. ESPN adds a lot of game management pressure on how they want you to run the game. (I'll explain that in another thread.) Also, the living arrangements and extra-curricular obligations add to the pressure. Umpires, all 14 of them, stay in a dorm. You don't get the sleep or downtime you may be accustomed to. It's not like staying at home or in a hotel room. It was often hard for me to have the time I needed to prepare for my games, or just some downtime to decompress. I know others felt the same way. We were often up late, and up early to do some planned obligations that had nothing to do with games either. After a few days of this, it does wear on you. (More on this in another thread.) These arrangements did not help in keeping us sharp and prepared. But this notion that paid umpires automatically equate to better umpires is absurd. Some of the best umpires I have worked with are LL volunteers, as well as umpires in associations. Some of the SH*#tiest umpires I have ever worked with are LL volunteers, as well as umpires in associations. Paid does not equal better. Period. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but I just needed to get that out. The abuse that is being said on social media is neither fair or warranted. 4. 6 man vs 4 man. Originally this tournament has always used 6 man crews, with a 7th umpire as a backup. That's why there were 14 of us working this tournament. Mind you, we have been preparing to work 6 man since the end of 2019. The tournament did not happen in 2020, and we were all given the option to defer for 2021, which most of us did. We ran 6 man for the first day of games on Saturday. On Sunday morning at 8am, an hour before the first game, we were told we would be running 4 man for the rest of the tournament. Williamsport made the decision, and there was no debate. They said that since softball used 4 man, then baseball was going to use 4 man as well. But for some reason, I think I saw Intermediate and Juniors still using 6 man. Don't ask me why, the decision was made by Williamsport and we were to comply. No one including the supervisors were happy. Fortunately, most of us were well versed in 4 man mechanics, but it was still very bad timing and an unexpected adjustment needed to be made with very little preparation. I was U1 in the first 4 man game that morning. We had about 5 minutes to pre-game. Not ideal. Not that it would have changed anything on this game, but it did add to the pressure and de-moralized the crews a bit. Now we were working less games after waiting almost 3 years for this tournament to happen. Why LL couldn't have just waited until next year to make this change is baffling to me, as well. So there is more into this situation than just making a mistake. For some of the guys it was a long dream to work this tournament, and now they have to live with this. I feel awful for the 2 umpires on the crew. They are great guys and I would work any game at any level with any of my 13 brothers. I just hope they won't let this define them as umpires. I don't think it will, as they are great men with high character, but I know it stings a little bit. I know it would for me.
    6 points
  42. I think getting a new CP is a moot point if you are not looking at getting a good harness. I believe most people here use an UL Flex harness from Ray @Razzer because it keeps the CP up and snug to make sure your collarbone has coverage by your CP. You can have the best CP out there, but if it sags because of a crappy harness, your collarbone is always going to be at risk.
    6 points
  43. What we allow we condone. You allowed that coach to: "come out on EVERY close play" [too often] "come charging out" [must request time first] "yelling at me" [must use a respectful tone] "He argued" [no arguing] "loudly yelling, not being passionate, but being an azzhat" [sounds like prolonged] "went back-and-forth a few times" [spinning your wheels] After all that, and from his viewpoint out of the blue, you dumped him. Some suggestions for game management: Enforce good behavior first: I won't even talk to a coach who storms out yelling. Make him stop, explain that if he comes out again without requesting time you'll eject him, and require that he speak to you in a quiet respectful tone. This demand and threatened consequence should be uttered so softly that only the coach standing right next to you can hear it. Then: "what did you see, Bob?" I'm assuming that you announced the double set when you called the balk, so he knows why you called it. Letting him talk first allows him to say his piece. Stop him when he gets loud again or starts repeating himself. At that point, reiterate your ruling: "Bob, I hear what you're saying, but what he did is clearly a double set. Now let's play ball." Discussion over, turn around and return to your position. Send him back to the dugout if he follows you, and dump him if he persists (one of the 3 'P's'). There's no back and forth: what's the point of that? Don't mention "all codes," because only 1 is relevant. And I'm not listening to him disagree—he's entitled to think I'm wrong, but we're not going to postpone restarting the game so that he can rant. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that you're going to convince him you're right. This desire is a function of lack of confidence: be right, and it won't matter so much to you that some daddy-ball coach thinks you're wrong . Good luck!
    6 points
  44. In the thousands of games I’ve worked, all over this great land, I have never had game conditions wherein I remarked, “You know, I’m thankful I have these polished leather (or syn-leather) shoes to keep my feet warm / dry / looking shiny & spiffy!” Never. If it’s to be a particularly wet, soggy, or messy (muddy, dirty) game, I use my New Balance Vaadu’s, which use a nifty vinyl “dragonskin” upper to repel water, be flexible, and ventilate. Otherwise, the only thing that determines which of other mesh shoes I’ll be wearing is: Turf or natural? I want a particular tread. How much direct sunlight? I don’t want my newest, blackest shoes to start fading (which happens to mesh shoes in the desert here). Otherwise, as far as keeping them shiny and spiffy, that impression is gone after the plate meeting, and to clean ‘em, I just hit ‘em with my trusty air compressor and then scrub the soles with shoe cleaner and a brush. Done! Actual, bonafide “umpire” base shoes are overrated.
    6 points
  45. Yep. That's why my stance has now changed to "I'm seeing a chain around his neck. Well the coach attested they were legally and properly equipped, so I'm going to just assume it's a religious medal taped down." ... until proved otherwise. If the necklace is outside the front of the shirt, that's a different matter.
    6 points
  46. Where are you located? This has great intentions painted all over it, and is very commendable, but I can give you 4 succinct points of advice that will make any of your efforts more effective: Stick to the topics / components I put in bold, and do NOT discuss purported situations, "third world plays" or "war stories". There is no faster way to lose the effectual attention of a group of new umpires than to start talkin' war stories. When explaining Rules, DO NOT let the "senior instructor" just reference Rules by memory, in layman's terms, nor out of context. Note, Read, and Reference the Rule(s) verbatim, exactly as they are written. Any interpretation or explanation of them should be collaboratively and summarily agreed to by the body of instructors; that is to say, this is the way the association interprets the rule, not the way Tom the Twenty-Five-Year-Guy thinks or believes the rule should be interpreted as. ( @Stk004 knows of this experience) Combine or follow doctrinal instruction (as in, group or classroom talk) with actual, physical exercise. Have some sort of association "accessory" or "kit" available and ready to distribute to your new guys, because they cannot be expected to willingly obtain, and know how to use (or wear) these accessories. I'm not talking provide full uniforms or CPs for free; instead, I'd consider items like this: Hats (Association, or plain black (or navy if you live in a backwards state); can be given out or sold at a discount) Belts (Get a bulk deal on them, sell them at a discount, have a bunch there ready to distribute) Pocket-sized notebooks (get a bulk amount of them, give for free or at a steep discount; arrange to have your Association logo and/or your Association's coordinator or assigner's phone number on it, or something; encourage the use of these notebooks to note things like visits, warnings, or other reportable things; for new guys, these notebooks are also helpful to jot down post-game evaluation / feedback notes) Challenge Coins (for flipping for Visitor/Home choice on tournaments; very useful, and free advertising) Stopwatches (have an "ideal" one picked out via Amazon, WalMart or Target; available for sale at a discount is appreciated) Plate Brushes and/or Indicators (touchy subject for some (including me), because while they are valuable to some, they (neither of them) are NOT to be used as a BU, and some PUs (THIS umpire, ahem) don't necessarily need an indicator) Water Bottles (can no longer trust or expect the Home team to provide water in this COVID era; can either get them silkscreened with your Association on them, or have a sticker made and put on them) Lastly, do not let your "senior veteran long-serving umpires" dishearten or discourage any of the new guys by establishing – or even mentioning – that's there some kind of tiered, "pecking order" system in place. This is a clinic to fortify and develop (new) umpires; it's not an initiation into a fraternity. We want to culture that everyone that attends – new guys to veteran guys – should adopt a "get the Rule right" attitude and approach to baseball umpiring. I go so far as to reinforce to my fellow students, colleagues, trainees, and crew members that "we succeed as a crew, and we fail as a crew". That, at each game – whether it be Freshman, JV, Varsity, College, College JV, Adult recreation, or Professional – the umpires are equals, and that there may be a time wherein a "new" umpire rescues the crew by knowing a Rule thoroughly, because he just spent the previous week (re-)studying it, and his partner(s) forgot it after not being confronted with it in the past um-teen years of calling ball.
    6 points
  47. It evolved significantly between 2016 and 2017 (which was my first year on the rules committee). The implementation of this rule in 2016 was highly unsuccessful. That was not only my opinion, but the opinion of the vast majority of state high school athletic association officials that I spoke with at that time. When this rule came out in 2016, some states took the position that a coach could not be ejected unless he had been previously warned/restricted. Other states did not. Some states said that something "written" had to be given to the coach when he received a written warning...other states did not. In other words, some of the questions that were asked in the OP to this thread were being asked by state officials! Its one thing for an umpire new to FED baseball to be confused; its quite another thing if a Commissioner in charge of high school baseball for an entire state is confused! If someone asks me today what my single proudest accomplishment as a member of the rules committee is, it is me re-writing this rule, defending my re-write to the full committee, and getting it overwhelmingly passed. Why I am so proud of my re-write of this rule is that in the five years since my re-write was passed all of the upheaval, confusion, and issues that administrators, coaches, and umpires had about this rule have disappeared. I understand some people may not like the rule (that's the case with almost any rule) but at least everyone (new FED umpires excepted) understands it. Defining what constitutes a "written warning", making clear that a warning is not required before ejection for egregious conduct, and drafting numerous case plays to explain this rule's intent will probably stand as my lasting legacy from my four years on the committee. (That and making coach's interference (assistance) a delayed dead ball like every other rule set. LOL)
    6 points
  48. AND THIS ..........looks the best!
    6 points
  49. You go to a minor league game and have no idea what the 18 players did but were all consumed with what the two guys were doing.
    6 points
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