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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/25/2019 in Posts

  1. 6 points
    Slimmer couch cushion?
  2. 6 points
    Was his mom on the field? Was she within the fence? Was she in the dugout? If she was none of those places, then there’s nothing you could... or, really, should do about it, despite it being a crass outcry, bordering on profane. We are to govern that which occurs within the confines of the fences (the ball field); ours is not outside the backstop and the fences. If she is causing a disruption that is affecting gameplay, then it needs to be addressed through proper channels, whether that be through or in conjunction with the team’s head coach, or the Tournament Director, their Field Marshals, or a Site Supervisor. You should not, though, go independently in picking a fan out, ejecting him/her, and then holding up the game to have that fan removed. Please understand, whether our calls or judgements are right or wrong, they are not immune or impervious to reactive outcries from the spectators. You can’t possibly expect to do this job devoid of being questioned or reacted to. Do you see college, Minor League, or Major League Umpires tossing fans during their games for their displeasure on a call? Lemme tell ya, what that mom said was Sunday banter compared to the verbal filth spewing from college and Minor League fans. Have I experienced this? Yes I have... I had a dad bang on the fence and call me a m’er-f’er... in Spanish... so loud that the other team’s parents recoiled in stunned disbelief and shock. What did I do? ... I was already beckoning over the Head Coach of that team to fix it, while the Site Supervisor and Field Marshal wove their way through the crowd and removed the fan on their own.
  3. 6 points
    The New Flex CP Harness is a change from my original and offers a true 4 point connection with excellent support and comfort. Already being used by MLB Umpires Adam Hamari, Phil Cuzzi, Todd Tichenor and Tom Hallion with more orders coming in everyday, MiLB umpires have already been ordering the new Flex It will fit any 4 point connection harness on the market today The old harness was really a 3 point connection with the top straps being one point of connection which was worn tight to the neck and snug on the sides. Guys were wearing them too tight all round causing undue stress to the neoprene which sometimes resulted in tearing or breakdown. The New Flex is a true 4 pointer and has contour for the sides which will take the stress off the neoprene when worn correctly. Tight on top, snug on the sides. Available in Black/Grey Trim or Grey/Black Trim
  4. 6 points
    Just an Update... I'm still alive and well. I do plan on being more involved once again, at least on the site. I've had another job change. I left the Waterpark in April. It was an absolutely great job and a ton of fun, but only May through September. Not much for an HR person to do at a waterpark in the winter with only 5 employees and I needed much more responsibility and a challenge. I'm now at a defense contractor running their HR dept. So now as I'm settling in at the new job I have made it a point to return to the helm of Umpire-Empire. @Thunderheads, @LMSANS @johnnyg08 @Stan W., @Majordave, @HokieUmp & @MidAmUmp have done fantastic at keeping everything rolling smoothly and I cannot express just how much I appreciate it. So I haven't umpired since March 2018. Just haven't had time. Do I miss it??? Yes and no. Yes, I really miss being on the field calling games and working with other umpires. But also no I don't miss it as much as I thought I would. I enjoy the time at home with my family. Looking back I wonder just how I was able to squeeze umpiring into my schedule. I have been non-stop with various activities this spring and cant imagine the travel and just overall time away from home. A couple of weeks ago I attended my first game as a fan in probably 5 years as my ECU Pirates came and visited ODU. This is the first game I've been to since @dumbdumband I went to an O's game. Now I still watch the game as an umpire and see the game very differently than the average fan, and I hope that never changes. Will I return to Umpiring? I plan on picking up some fall ball games this fall, but there is no way I'm going to work the number of games I once did. I'm thinking 1-2 a week tops and if I don't get a game, I just don't get a game. Also, I know the site is in major needs of some software updates. You guys see and experience the issues with TapaTalk and that's on my list. I need to: do some tweeks on the server side of things update the forum's software. THEN TAPATALK! Finally fix the automatic promotion feature ( Established member, Inactive, new member, etc...) But I will be around more and have enjoyed living vicariously through you all. Also, I will be continuing my Quick Tips YouTube series in the next couple of weeks. I've trashed the ones I had in the can to be released. And have already started a new set of topics I want to cover. As always thanks for your continued support of Umpire-Empire!
  5. 6 points
    Jonathan, I wish you the best. I appreciated what you said in your post. We have all been there at one time or another. I hope someday you can get back on the field because whether you know it or not, more people appreciate YOU than not. It's not easy to forget A-holes, but this world is coming apart at the seams. Sometimes being on the baseball field can help take us away from all the crap we experience and work, home, you name it. When it no longer stays fun and takes this type of turn, take care of yourself first.... I wish there was something else I could say to keep you on the field. I would be proud to work with a guy like you as I'm sure others here and around the baseball world would too. But in the end, do what is right for you. I'm sure God has great plans for you and other's around you. Thank you for sharing your experience with all of us. And thank you for making us all realize more than ever we are the THIRD TEAM out there. We need to look out for each other no matter what!
  6. 5 points
    Not when you are watching your ten-year old from 200 feet away through chain link fence, players on the field, and three more rows of parents. Pretty easy.
  7. 5 points
    In fact, there are a ton of times a "that's nothing" with a safe signal is the proper mechanic. A few examples: - When a batted ball almost hits a runner, but just misses him - When F2 blocks a pitch and gets tangled up with the batter who is legally in the box - When there is an overthrow and a runner and fielder get tangled and immediately untangled - When a base coach unintentionally gets hit with a throw Essentially, you would use it when something odd or unusual happens that isn't an infraction, and you need the coaches to know that you saw it and rendered a judgment on it.
  8. 5 points
    First of all, let me state for the record that I swear a fair bit, and do so enthusiastically. #TeamSwearing (Although, the idea of 12-year-olds not being smart enough to 'pick their spots' is disconcerting.) But I have to ask - when you're doing this Lifer Baseball Hard-ass Coach Guy routine, what age range are we talking about? Because - and imma just be blunt here - depending on where we are on the age spectrum, and what kinda ball we're talking, you're arguably what's wrong with kid baseball. Having coaches who think they're some kind of junior-grade Joe Girardi*, turning everything into a dick-measuring contest, is a bad thing. I'm sure I'll get a lecture, defensive or otherwise, on The Way Of The Coach, but it's a terrible example to kids in general, and even just when confined to "how to compete." What you put in that section might be fine in the paid-player game, or maybe even the college game, but given the context of this thread, it's pretty terrible. And yeah, I WILL be running you, because once you bark "the game's over there," you just started the paperwork process. And I'm not too worried about what you're interested in - I got assigned your game on Arbiter, not Tinder. Where I look, and when I look there, aren't your concern - maybe you're not completely one of those "on the edge coaches," but the way that whole part was phrased makes you sound like you're spoiling for a fight from the plate meeting on. *Joe Girardi might not be that bad, and might even be a lovely human. But I grew up hating the Yankees, and have no plans to change that.
  9. 5 points
    Slightly different angle, I believe umpiring to be the best job a high schooler could have. Where else could I make $20 an hour, while setting my own schedule, and doing something I love? Even after spending close to $1000 to overhaul my equipment, get stuff to do basketball, and pay for gas, I still came out way ahead last year, and I'm getting even better games and pay this year, with way less overhead (driving a way more gas efficient car!).
  10. 5 points
  11. 5 points
    The following are broad observations. I know some areas have parts of this controlled better than others, but this is a generalization. It's not because of the Internet and cell phones. It's because there's no accountability to those who act this way, and everyone -- including umpires -- is responsible, some unwillingly and beyond their control. This follows in all levels -- kids, scholastic, amateur, professional -- of all sports -- baseball, football, basketball, hockey. Spectators have nobody telling them to stop. Fans nearby, at the best, say nothing, and usually cheer on the spectator. Someone who does speak up is usually drowned out by the aggressor, or just simply ignored and mocked for being an upstanding person. With no apparent repercussions to their actions, they continue -- game after game, night after night -- and, even worse, encourage others to do the same. Yell at the officials, curse the opposing players, insult their families. Parents think their child is the next [insert highest paid athlete in their sport here] and no one can tell them any different. After all, the moment you don't believe it is the moment the tower crumbles. Spending thousands on coaches, thousands on travel ball, and hundreds on the newest [insert applicable equipment here] -- all for an 8-year-old. They coddle their child, explain to them that the call went against them (even when it didn't), that everyone else is responsible for their bad night, that they're still the best on their team. These parents hear the above spectators and either completely agree or disagree, depending on what team they're biased toward - and all other opinions be damned! No one ever tells these parents that their child isn't as good as they think, will never be that good, and maybe Johnny just wants to pick daisies instead of fielding that 200th grounder you've fungoed to him and he's thrown back a third of the way. Coaches are stuck a lot of times. They want to field a team that can win, but they constantly have parents telling him how to do his job. Who should be playing what position, how he should have made a different move at a different time, how he's not giving that child a chance. If a parent is misbehaving at a game, he risks looking like the bad guy by saying something. If he doesn't play someone enough, the parents argues. If he doesn't win enough games, everyone gets mad. BUT, coaches aren't wholly innocent either. Often, they are just as bad as parents when it comes to deflecting blame, often to officials or other non-team people. When a coach misbehaves, sometimes punishments don't do enough. A game suspension and fine may not stop a coach from doing it again. Often, the coach's actions are defended, especially when a call is wrong or even if the perception of an error against the team is there. Even umpires are responsible. Many times, issues aren't handled appropriately at the time, leading to the next crew having to deal with it and hearing "they didn't say anything the last game". Sometimes umpires can be stuck, too. Whether it's an association pushing toward more warnings before an ejection, a UIC that won't back the correct actions of his umpires, or even a threat of every ejection possibly leading to missed opportunities in the future, umpires feel they have to give longer and longer leashes to players and coaches. These warnings rarely come with any punishment to the offenders, and all the umpire finds is a wake of coaches, players, and spectators who have no respect for his actions. I could go on, but I think I've made the point. Through the years and very slowly, the line of accountability has moved. I don't know that it can be stopped. Even in MLB, coaches are expected to "get his money's worth" during arguments, while umpires are "putting himself in the game" in that same argument. Umpires are vilified as "awful" when fined for their actions; players and coaches are lauded when they are. Suspended umpires are
  12. 5 points
    Was that your first post-season assignment, @Aging_Arbiter?
  13. 4 points
    Only because the age of Mississippi high school students finally dropped below 21, so no one was old enough to drink beer while playing any more.
  14. 4 points
    Wow, @HokieUmp just took me back to my elementary school days............ Steel slides that melted your skin as you slid down them on hot days........... Swing sets that were 15-20ft high and kids would see how high they could swing before the slack of the chains snapped them backwards and sometimes falling to the macadam playground surface. Monkey bar play sets about 6 feet off of the (same macadam surface) ground. All of which, helped to shape a generation. You either learned: a) I need to make sure I concentrate and get good at (insert playground activity) so it doesn't hurt........or b) don't do that.
  15. 4 points
    this post is useless without photos!!!
  16. 4 points
    From a clinic standpoint, I think Richvee hit the nail on the head about attending the RIGHT clinic. You need to choose a clinic that is the right fit. I am constantly getting asked by umpires if I think they should attend our advanced clinic. I ask about the levels they are currently working and several will say they work at the HS level. You want to attend a clinic that will challenge you, but also allow you to stand out. A high school umpire attending an advanced 3-man clinic can end up hurting a guy more than it can help them. Assigners are there looking to hire umpires. Not able to keep up with the speed of the game, not knowing where to go, etc. will hurt you in the eyes of the assigners and can set your career back a few years. However, attending a 2-man camp with the same assigners...standing out in that camp may get you hired in an entry level college conference and a good reputation going forward. If you want to take flying lessons, you don’t take them from the Blue Angels if you’ve never been in the cockpit. As far as advancing your career in general, be patient and enjoy the ride. It’s cliche but “trust the process”. The assigners know what they are doing. Maybe they have a goal for you that you don’t realize. They see the big picture. It’s better to be a couple of years late and succeed when you get there than be too early and have it blow up on you because you weren’t ready. I’ve had the opportunity to work some higher level baseball, but there are a lot of times I miss running around a high school or a division 2 baseball field. Those times were so much fun and there was very little pressure. Now at the D1 level, it’s a job. Everything is on video, everything is scrutinized, the more technology the teams have, the more we’re under the microscope. Assigners aren’t going to put you in that environment until they know you’re ready, so as I said, trust the process and enjoy the ride.
  17. 4 points
    Those in charge being responsible for the actions of their direct subordinates? CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZZY, maaaaaaaan. That never happens, except pretty much in every walk of life. Don't like paying the price for having clowns as assistants? Don't have clowns as assistants.
  18. 4 points
    I'm guessing the record set above is number of umpires on the field for a coach pitch game?
  19. 3 points
    We met with Wilson in their Chicago HQ in June to discuss potential improvements. We solicited input, including from @MadMax, before we arrived. While the meeting was great, I know this was a major transition year for them on the catcher’s gear side of their line with the new NOCSAE certified CPs now required with high school catchers. I remain hopeful that the input provided will lead to progress in the future. We will keep pressing, and I will update UE members here if there is anything definitive.
  20. 3 points
    I will include the throat guard, extra harness, and the bag as well.
  21. 3 points
  22. 3 points
    Not enough time for the umpire to move the bat. Probably not enough time for the catcher to move the bat -- but he'll learn to try to do so. The infielder will learn to make a better throw.
  23. 3 points
    Nobody comes here for that. Apparently.
  24. 3 points
    Yes on the F3 shin guards. You wouldn’t have felt a thing on that shot. I never have.
  25. 3 points
    You can watch my plate job (its archived for the next few weeks at www.ESPN3.com) from Sunday at the Legion World Series (North Dakota vs. Massachusetts). In the middle of the game, the assistant coaches (they had 8) started yelling at me about balls and strikes. You can actually see me look in the third base dugout and turn my hands up by my side as if to say, "really?". (Note: Massachusetts was losing 8-1 or 9-1 at this point and would be eliminated if they lost.) Shortly thereafter, between innings, I called the manager (they are not "head coaches" in Legion ball) out, took out my line-up card (to make it look like I was talking to him about a line-up issue) and told him that "either he could take care of his assistant coaches yelling at me about balls or strikes, or that I would And, if I handle it, several of them are not likely to be around for the end of the game." The bottom line was that I was not going to be their punching bag because they were getting crushed and about to be eliminated from the tournament...especially when I was having a solid plate job. Amazingly, I didn't hear another comment from an assistant coach for the rest of the game. The moral of the story is that sometimes giving the head coach/manager a chance to handle his team is the best option. It can be a very useful game management tool.
  26. 3 points
    @Razzer does ... Maybe that's next in line for UmpLife
  27. 3 points
    Thanks to all who watched me at the ALWS. I was on the plate for the championship game last night (08/20), but we received about an un-GODly amount of rain in the second inning and we couldn't finish the game. They are finishing it this morning at 10 a.m., but I will not be on it as I had to be at my real job this morning. (Real life sucks sometimes.) The highlight for me on the field (other than being on the plate last night) was nailing a runner's lane interference call for a third out in a big game on Sunday where the offense was trying to mount a rally (and that team needed to win to stay alive). I always teach at camps that you have to have guts to make that call because its always going to result in an argument (and this one did). I'm glad I practiced what I preached. One has to love it when ESPNU comes back from the commercial and the announcers say, "we're going to show you that the umpire got this right." I'll try to post a few pictures of my time there in the next few days in the photographs section of this message board.
  28. 3 points
    Wow I go away for a couple of days and this is still brewing... I stick with my statements from the prior thread. But wow who would have thought it would still be discussed. All this is going to do is make them come up with more clever and innocuous signals. But even at this level how much control do 12-13 y/o have ; none is anywhere near a Maddux and can put the ball exactly where they want it. If I adjust my helmet with both hands, its inside; one hand outside; brim middle. If I have 1 hand on my knee its inside, 2 hands outside, no hands middle. You get the idea. They will become more clever, making the rule impossible to enforce. From the article I actually agree with Keener: You don't want to EJ a kid at this level Unless the umpire is 100% sure, a warning is appropriate. So I stand on my original thought. It will have to be ridiculously blatant for me to touch that. They may be relaying signals, but ow do I know what they mean or they're tipping pitch locations? Maybe it's some sort of other offensive signal? Then whats to keep the catcher from setting up inside and getting the pitch over the middle (might not work on the opposite side - at lease for a called strike). Still a whole lot to do about nothing.
  29. 3 points
    This is no mere "second ball" scenario, as the umpire lost track of the game and HE threw the other ball in. The cited rules all address the "accidental" second ball from a bull pen or neighboring field. Apples and oranges. My point earlier was that it's a mistake (and poor officiating) to expect the rules to magically solve all the crap that can happen when we screw up. Nobody can write a rule book like that (well, absent an escape clause: "The umpire has authority to rule on anything not addressed in these rules"). The general prescription is the one I provided earlier: do what seems fair to both teams, apologize (once), and get the ball back in play as quickly as possible.
  30. 3 points
    Withholding judgment ... ... but why would you want a decal for a product that is not what you have? It would be like slapping a Porsche hood ornament on my wife’s Caravan.
  31. 3 points
    I cannot point to a signal in an NFHS source that is no longer included in their umpiring signals. As far as the point toward the play and verbalizing, it is something that I have learned through clinics and onfield observations. It is akin to this
  32. 3 points
    I used, "that's nothing" yesterday. R1 takes off, batter swings and it just slightly over the plate but the pitch is outside and the catcher is not hindered. Pointed the strike and then gave the "that's nothing" on the batter's action. Shows that I saw he was over the plate but that I rendered judgment that there was no interference. Nobody said a word.
  33. 3 points
    I love how the umpire looks at the batter as the batter is looking at him and he just points to his ear!
  34. 3 points
    Thank you! It’s definitely a lot tougher making judgement calls within a split second. When you go to review, our hearts are thumping with nerves because we WANT to get ALL of them right. Thanks again! SK
  35. 3 points
    Well, ...the Michigan (MHSAA) Districts finished on Monday due to weather on Saturday, so my Final was on Monday..... State ranked #1 and #17 going at it. The paper covering the District tourney was there Monday and got a nice shot of my FM400 MAG, and ...well, if I do say so myself.... a nice side-shot of proper head height?! LOL
  36. 3 points
    I hope you're not expecting an answer.
  37. 3 points
    @ArchAngel72, can I make one critique? It's petty, but it shows your inexperience. Those aren't foul tips. Foul tips fall in a specific rule, and if it hits you, it's not a foul tip.
  38. 3 points
    Disagree: that's not the question (as the answer is: obviously not). The BR has an obligation to deal with his bat in a way that does not hinder F2. The rules don't say what he must do with it (he can carry it to 1B if he likes), but he can't hinder the defense with it. I read the following provision of 8.4.1J quite broadly, to cover this case as well: "The batter may not use a bat or any other personal equipment to hinder the defense." That particular play involves hindering a fielder attempting to field a batted (bunted) ball, but as I say I read it broadly. To do otherwise would invite batters to take out catchers "accidentally" on any play where a runner could score.
  39. 3 points
    "John, If you feel he missed a base, then you can appeal that when the ball is live." Alternatively: "I can't rule on appeals when the ball is dead, John." Or ask if he's appealing if the rules allow a dead-ball appeal.
  40. 3 points
    It will occasionally happen. So flash your “what’s the count sign” to your partner. He doesn’t know it because he doesn’t carry an indicator on the bases and goes by your count, ask the catcher and the batter what the count is, explaining that you need another cup of coffee. Or do nothing and the baseball gods will take you off the hook. The trick is it can and will happen even at the MLB level. There are guys that will tell you they don’t use an indicator at the plate. It’s skill worth emulating if you can do it. If you can’t and lose the count my above advice is what I recommend.
  41. 3 points
    Thanks fellers! It really is a great protector. I've had all of the usual suspects over the years, and none of them feel like the Power. "Cool Factor" aside, Riddell figured out the magic potion for the most comfortable, best fitting protector I've ever seen. It's a shame that it hasn't been made for so long. If the big gold W pulled their head out of their behinds, they should reproduce this exactly how it was made back when Riddell made it, but apparently they don't really care about the voice of the umpire, or don't realize that they can perhaps?. (Get ready for @MadMax to weigh in, in t-minus 10, 9, 8,....) Now that I put the W "batlight" in the sky!
  42. 3 points
    What’s the point? The Head Coaches are at the Plate Meeting with the umpires, right? Do you actually believe that Aaron and Zack are going to leave that “highly informative” Plate Meeting you just conducted and relay to their Assistant Coaches that they better not step out of the dugout to argue a call because the umpires will only allow or tolerate Aaron or Zack to approach them, and even then, that they should only approach the calling umpire, and that if needed, the calling umpire will get together with his fellow umpires, and still get the call wrong... I mean, right. That long run-on sentence is trying to prove a point. It’s all unnecessary. Aaron and Zack don’t give two craps about you and your “instructions”. And when it comes down to it, there are some HCs who have little or no rein over their ACs, and frankly, don’t care if they get tossed. Try it. Stop giving instructions or reminders on procedures, protocol, or sportsmanship, and just see what happens ( @Richvee, @conbo61 and the rest of the NJ boys don’t get this luxury). How you conduct yourself as an umpire – positioning, hustle, projection, communication – is much, much more effective than what you espouse at the plate meeting.
  43. 3 points
    You shouldn't be talking to your partner during the game unless it's necessary. Certainly not every other inning. Regarding the chirping - shut it down early and stick to your guns. We teach our guys to use the tools provided - the warning progression as mapped out in the rules. For me, I will generally ignore the first instance (unless it's severe). The next time, I will tell him I heard him and that's enough. After that, use the word "warning." "This is your official warning for arguing balls and strikes. If you continue to argue, you will leave me no choice but to eject you from the game." You can also use the intermediate step of a written warning with a restriction if you so desire. Coaches will walk over you as far as you will let them. So don't let them and they will know not to try it in the next game. Keep in mind that none of this requires you to raise your voice or show any anger. Just be businesslike. Handle your business or it will handle you.
  44. 3 points
    Ditto here. I have the Force3 shins and am more than happy with the straps on there.
  45. 3 points
    We recently saw the post about a catcher getting hit in the throat, and leaving in an ambulance. Trust me, I wish nothing bad on my fellow arbiters, but don't you think it's better than laying in the hospital thinking "clack - clack" to your self over and over?
  46. 3 points
    Amen! I've had a rash of partners here lately that want to stand around and shake hands with both teams, talk to coaches, run for office, etc. I"m like, "The game's over, let's go!"
  47. 3 points
    I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned them, but I’d go with the force 3.
  48. 3 points
    My (only) favorite about JV / Freshman ball? 1 hr, 45 minutes... drop dead. 2 and a half innings later... We gone!
  49. 3 points
    I bought a Cobra on the cheap this winter. After spending a lot of time to get this thing to fit, I took it out for a test drive last night. I had replaced the original harness with a Delta Flex and heated the shoulders for contour. Here's my review: Positives I like the look. It's slim and looked good under a long sleeve black shirt. I felt very comfortable with the protection. I was only hit with a glancing blow on the shoulder, so no testimonials on hard shots, but I was confident in how it felt. Negatives The first couple of innings were good, but then a problem developed. This CP has a small neck opening, much like the All Star I've worn in the past. I'm a tall, skinny guy, so I'm good with that. Unfortunately, some of the inner padding began to stick through the outer layer. This is hard to explain, but there are some kind of plastic strands (visualize the makeup of fiberglass) inside the padding. A couple of these things penetrated the outer fabric along the neck line and rubbed me like sandpaper. I pulled and tugged at the CP all night, but the end result was a very sore neck!" I would post pictures, but these things are so minute, you can barely see them. The shoulder pads aren't attached by elastic or velcro. I didn't examine it thoroughly, but it appears that the strap holding the shoulder pad is more of a leather-type substance. There isn't enough flexibility, so every time I raised my arm or put on my mask, the CP would choke against my throat. Grade I'd give the Cobra a D. It would have been an F, but at the plate conference one of the coaches (who I've known for a long time) asked me if I've been working out, so it wasn't just me who liked the look! I really wanted it to be my go-to chest protector this year, but it will probably go to the closet. I've got a Champion I can wear until I decide the next way to spend some money on a CP. Message me if you're interested. I'll get rid of it for a little more than the shipping, or I may try to cannibalize it. It's got some good parts, but overall isn't for me. This isn't the first piece of equipment I've taken a loss on. Something tells me it won't be the last!
  50. 3 points
    To say that since the case said pitcher and first baseman, so it must only apply to that EXACT situation, and to put it in this memo like that, is one of the most insanely pedantic and childishly surly things I've ever seen in this context. But in a way it does highlight the sloppiness of NFHS sneaking it in with a last-minute case and not removing contradictory cases. Just remove the glove from the definition of a lodged ball in the rule if that's what you want to do.

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