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    Baseball Diamonds from Northeastern to Southeastern PA and even some games in the central part of the state. I've worked 9U all the way to Men's league.

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  1. Good story relating to this subject. I'm working high school age travel ball. Every time a kid slides into 3rd, coach asks for time. I say, "Sorry coach, let's keep it llve." Coach responds, "What's your problem, everyone always gives me time." I say, "I only grant time when it's needed. He can walk up the bag and I want to keep it live." Well, he fights me on this all day. Had the guy for a doubleheader. Finally, kid slides into 3rd and coach again asks for time. He had dirt in his eye, so I grant it. Right when I grant time F5 air-mails a ball over the pitcher's head and the coach sends the kid home. I just shake my head, smile at the coach and say, "This is why I don't like to grant time. Now there's a run you could have had but you stopped the game." Coach smiled. I could tell he got it.
  2. That's actually really good advice. Thank you.
  3. 14U travel ball. R2 2 outs. Ground ball to F6. I'm in C. I get to the working area and begin moving toward first base. Throw comes into F3 high and to the back side of the bag. It initially pulls F3 off the bag, but I have a clear look and he gets back to the bag and steps on the back side of the bag with his left foot, facing me head on. I was not straight-lined in any way, and in fact had a very good angle considering the play started with me in C position. First base coach, who is an assistant, asks, "Do you have pulled foot. I thought he was off the bag." I say, "No coach, he got back in plenty of time. I had a clean look at the play. He asks, "Can you get help?" I say, "I don't need help on that, I had a good look. I have him out." He accepts my explanation and I head off to short right field. A few seconds later, I turn and see my partner and manager discussing something near home plate. They ask me to come over. The manager asks me, "Can you ask for help on that last play. He was off the bag." I say, "Skip, I had a clean look at the play. I wasn't straightlined and I wasn't screened by any other players. I will only ask for help on a pulled foot if I'm not sure if the player had the bag. On this play, the first baseman was facing me with both feet in plain view and since he touched the back of the bag I don't see how my partner could have a better angle. I'm only coming for help if I'm not sure." He grumbles a bit, and then turns to my partner and says, "What did you have?" My partner just looks at him, and then the coach says sarcastically, "Oh, you can't say." I then look at the coach and say, "It's my call and we're done here." All of a sudden my partner says, loud enough for everyone to hear, "He was off the bag! He was off the bag" I look at him incredulously and say, "Are you kidding me? That play happened on the back side of the bag. Why do you even care? I'm taking the heat on this, so you should be glad that I make my own calls. Please don't hang me out to dry like that again." Then, he says again, "He was off the bag!" Now, I'm pissed, and I have a few choice words. I know, I should have shut up but I lost it a little. I said, "I'm never F*&**! umpiring with you again. I can't trust you." The coach hears us and yells from the dugout, "Of course he's pissed, you ruined the game for us. Well, I eject the coach for getting personal and saying "You ruined the game." How could I have avoided this; should I have just stayed in short right and just ignore the manager? I guess I shouldn't have answered the first base coach and waited for the mgr. to come directly to me. I just don't know. I know I'm really pissed at this guy. Everybody close to the play, including 3 umpires said I got the call right. Should I have asked for help on a play that I knew I had right?
  4. ​Just a few things. First, don't ever talk to the crowd. I learned this early on. Think of it this way. Those people want you to respond. If you respond, it will get worse. If you're hearing a lot of profanity, then look for someone in charge, (ie. TD or League board member) and let them know between innings what is going on. In my experience, I find that if my zone is consistent, eventually the kids start swinging at the pitches you're calling, the ball gets put into play, and by the 2nd or 3rd inning the chirping stops. If you feel like you're struggling with your zone, slow down. Take it one pitch at a time. Let the ball hit the glove, see it, and then call it. If you're confident that you're doing a good job, what those people say won't even matter. In addition, work as many games as you can. I think a lot of guys struggle because they just don't work enough games. Experience is so important. Last year, I worked over 300 games and the difference between my performance in April and November was like night and day. The more situations you see, the better you will get. You can go to all the clinics in the world, study the book inside and out, but if you don't work a lot of games, you won't get better. And don't be afraid to work different age groups. Last weekend, I worked a tournament with 3 different age groups from 9u up to 14u. You will learn a lot about OBS, INT, and other rare calls working games with little guys. Also, I definitely agree that it's not worth $50 to put up with this stuff. But if you love the game and the job, the money is secondary, and it should be. If you're just working the games for money, it will show. Don't give up, it gets better.
  5. I dont want to bust your bubble, and this isn't criticism -- but these aren't any where near the "finer points." Heck, I'm not even sure it's umpiring 101. Come on, he's 17 and he's on here trying to get better. And, for many it must be a "finer point" because I work with some veteran guys who never put the ball in play. It drives me nuts. It's just plain laziness.
  6. 18/19U Travel Ball. It's an invitational tournament and they even call it a "national championship." Anyway, the baseball was very good. I worked 15 games in 3 days and every game was decided by 4 runs or less and we had a few that were extra innings. It was a lot of fun. Sunday we are playing semi-final game and I have the plate. The game was going fine. No complaints about my zone. We end up in extra innings. Score is 5-5. VT has a big 8th inning where they manage to plate 4 runs. Score is 9-5. Home team is batting. VT F1 has a nice breaking ball that starts at the batter and breaks across the strike zone. Nice tight rotation and HT was having trouble picking it up. We had a few ring ups on this pitch. Hitter would bail out, and the pitch would end up breaking across the plate. 8 th inning. HT batter takes first pitch which was the curve ball. It was knee high and hit the inside corner. I call, "One!" He ends up with 2 strikes after fouling a pitch off. Next pitch is the same breaking ball, and this one is almost belt high and crosses the inner third of the plate. Batter wouldn't know this cuz he's bailing thinking it's gonna hit him. "Three!" I ring him up. The batter jumps up in the air and with both hands slams the bat on the ground and says, "Blue, how can you call that a F*#King strike!" Boom. I run him. He then proceeds to go into the dugout and give me an earful about how much I suck yada yada yada. I tell him he needs to leave the dugout so we can get back to playing ball. He says a few more things, and I lost my temper and I say to the player, "We wouldn't even be having this conversation if you could hit a curveball." The coaches rightfully tell me to knock it off. Game ends with no further incident. As soon as I said it, I felt like an ass. After the game, I approached the HT mgr. and I tell him, "Skip, I was out of line for saying that stuff to your player after the ejection. I'm sorry about that. I shouldn't have said that." He graciously accepts, my apology and adds, "He's a hotheaded kid and he's been a pain in the ass all year." As I'm walking to the car, the kid and his parents happen to be parked close to me, so I walked over to him and said, "Buddy, I just wanted to let you know that I was out of line saying that stuff to you after the ejection." Here's where things get ugly. The Dad hears me and comes running over and gets right in my face and tells me, "You are a horrible F&*^ng umpiire. You rang him up twice on balls. You're the worst yada yada yada. By now, I have him in front of me, his wife to my left yelling and screaming, and the kid to my right cursing and yelling. . I start backing up because I think he's trying to provoke me into bumping or hitting him. I'm really angry at this point, and the guy can see my hands are shaking, so he starts egging me on, "Come on tough guy, take your best shot. Hit me." He's baiting me, but I don't say anything and the TD and my partner manage to get between us so I could get to my car. I learned 2 valuable lessons from this experience. One. Don't engage after ejecting. And don't approach players in the parking lot after the game no matter what your intention. I feel so stupid today. I worked 15 games in 3 days and the baseball was great. My partners were great, and I think we did a great job, but I really screwed the pooch on this one.
  7. Tournament Ball, Travel 14U. Home team is pretty good and the VT was very bad. Anyway, the game is a blowout. 3rd inning. Score is about 10-0. HT has a pitcher who likes to talk, a lot. However, nothing he says was really a big deal. He just wouldn't shut up the whole game. The kid is good and he knows it, and he's pretty cocky. I'm sure you know the type. Anyway, this cocky pitcher comes up to bat, and I'm in B. F1 asks his F6, "Hey, is that the pitcher up to bat now? Is that him." F6 says, "Yeah, that's him." So now I'm thinking, "I wonder if they're gonna throw at this kid. First pitch comes in low and slightly inside. Near the K zone. Next pitch comes in. This time the pitch goes behind the batter. Funny thing was, if the kid was trying to hit this guy, he didn't even throw hard enough to succeed. The team wasn't even good enough to plunk someone. I ignore this pitch. Next pitch is a strike. Anyway, he throws next pitch high and tight but the batter easily gets out of the way. Finally, the kid throws a strike and batter hits a gapper. My question is, Do you think he was throwing at the kid, and did I have enough evidence to do anything such as ejection or bench warning? Because of the situation with the team not even being good enough to execute a bean ball, was it right to just ignore? Did I handle this correctly?
  8. PU has all calls on batter. That being said, I will call foul balls that hit the batter if it's obvious my partner couldn't see it. This play seems different though. I would never make this call from b unless my partner asks me for help.
  9. ump570

    Is this OOO?

    I've only ever called that once. The kid had his entire foot dead center in the middle of the plate; I called it and it was no big deal.
  10. That's what I was thinking. What kind of a$$h_le ump goes over their resume at a plate meeting?
  11. It's just baseball. Yesterday, I had a coach argue a potential home run ball down the left field line that I called foul because I felt it had hooked foul just before clearing the fence. I let the guy have his .02, and tell me how terrible the call was. After a brief argument, we got back to playing ball. Well, after the inning ends, as he's walking back to the. dugout he feels the need to loudly tell me, " That was a horrible call! It was fair by ten feet!". He says all this several times while pointing and demonstrating. I gave him the stop sign but he blew right through it and kept talking. Well, at that point I politely showed him the gate. My Dad gave me some great advice a long time ago. He said, " Never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut." Too bad this coach didn't get the memo.
  12. It's in Allentown pa. Most weekends the stadium is used by 90 foot divisions 13u and above, but about twice a year they set it up for the little guys. The kids love it. Fortunately, we have great td's who have always backed me. The reason I tossed this guy was because the Td was far away and this guy was letting f-bombs fly left and right in front of 10 year old kids. I felt this behavior was extreme enough for me to get involved.
  13. I had a curious situation happen last weekend. 10U travel ball. I am PU. Pitch comes in very high and outside. Somehow, batter manages to rip a line drive down the right field line and it lands right on the chalk. I point fair. The crazy thing about this play was that I didn't know where the ball was until about a tenth of a second before it hit the line. Sometimes, hard shots down the 3rd base line are tough to pick up, but I've never completely lost the ball the way I did in this situation. Thank God I found the ball before it landed. BU was in B so I would have been screwed. I'm just curious, has this ever happened to you guys? What if I didn't see the ball land, should I just make an educated guess? I guess so. There has to be a call.
  14. Usually, I umpire 13U and above when I do travel ball; however, last weekend I was asked to do a 10U tournament because there was a shortage of umpires at that age group and I was able to get 13 games. I agreed to umpire 10U. I forgot how insane coaches and parents can be at that age. The entire first day of the tournament things were pretty quiet. Mostly because there weren't that many close calls. Well, in the last game of the day, teams are tied 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth. Situation: 0 out, BR hits a slow grounder between first and second base about 10-20 feet from the bag. The runner was fast so this was going to be a whacker. I'm PU. I get up the line and trail the runner. BR gets to the bag just as F3 does a hook slide to get to the bag in an attempt to make the play. The play was very close. My partner sets up, does everything right, and makes the call, "Out!".Well, here we go. The offensive team goes ballistic. Parents are screaming, coaches are jumping around and yelling in the dugout; somehwat over the top behavior. But not too bad yet. All of a sudden, a older gentleman in the stands jumps up and shouts, "Come on BLUE! You F#@$% Suck! You F@#$% Suck!" I don't ever get involved with the crowd, but these were 10 year old kids and everyone could hear this guy. He was right on top of us. It's an old minor league ballpark and the guy was sitting next to the OT's dugout and right behind the plate area. There were no directors close by to see the guy, so I turned told him to knock it off. Well, he tells me, "Shut the hell up Blue and Call F@#@#$% Balls and Strikes! Whoosh! I say, "These are 10 year old kids and they don't need to hear that language. You gotta go." Well, now I'm the bad guy. Everybody starts letting me have it. Screaming and yelling, going completely nuts, telling me I have rabbit ears, the whole nine yards. I just ignore and go back to work. If these had been older players, I would have gotten the tournament director, but I felt that in this case the ejection was appropriate. Anyway, I just don't understand why these people act this way. The kids are great. They were polite and most were more mature than their own parents. They were having fun and making great plays. The baseball was fantastic; but the parents, and many of the coaches were just out of control. I'm doing 10U and 12U again this weekend so I'm hoping things are quieter. Do any of you guys have a way of deterring this sort of thing before it starts? For example, is it appropriate to emphasize sportsmanship and explain to the coaches that if they have a question to call time and only the head coach can discuss a call with the umpire who made the call. Often, at this level, you have 2 and 3 coaches sharp shooting from the dugout or jumping around yelling and trying to argue calls. I always shut them down and say, "First of all, the only person I'm talking to about this play is the head coach. Everyone else needs to stop talking and get back in the dugout, coaches box, etc." I've been umpiring for 3 years so I'm still learning a lot about game management. I'm getting better every year, but I always like to hear feedback.
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