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JonnyCat

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JonnyCat last won the day on February 8 2018

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    So Cal

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    West Coast Umpires, SDCBUA
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  1. As a graduate of the class of 2015, I'll try to give you some insight into the UTA, (formerly TUS). Keep in mind, my perspective is from a 50 year old not looking for a job. However, I paid a lot of attention to the dynamics of how the school was run and what it takes to get a job.There was no pressure for me, so I was able to really pay attention to the intricacies of how the school functioned and what they were looking for. I'm assuming you are looking to get placed in MiLB. I blogged everyday I was there for some additional insight. You can do a search here on Umpire-Empire to find the daily posts. Hope this helps, and I'm always happy to answer any questions.
  2. JonnyCat

    Ads?

    I have the same thing.
  3. JonnyCat

    Tests

    I'm assuming you are asking about the classroom exams. Tests are multiple choice on the rules. Typically, I want to say, that the tests were about 20-30 questions each time. The final was cumulative and as I recall that one was about 100 questions. For me, they weren't hard as I had a really good grasp on the rules going in. I think my final grade was around 92%. I got a few 100%, and I only scored below 90% a handful of times. I can look at my notes from school and give you more detailed information. To be perfectly honest, I hardly ever studied for any of the tests, I wasn't looking for a job. I would look at my notes the night before and I'd go over some things with my roommate. The tests don't try and trip you up. They are pretty straight forward on the rules. The classroom instruction is great and there is plenty of time to study for the exams. Depending on how strong you are with the rules going in, you only need to spend an hour or two each night reviewing the material. Some guys had study groups. I actually looked forward to the exams to test my knowledge. With that being said, I had no pressure because I was there solely for the experience. Don't get me wrong, I worked hard everyday in the classroom and the field. I took it very seriously, but I also had nothing to lose. Hope that helps, and I'm happy to answer any questions you might have.
  4. I'm assuming that you are asking as to why so many amatuer umpires calling youth ball have such tight strike zones. I see it in all levels up to and including HS ball. One of my many concerns with training umpires is making sure they call a proper zone in accordance with the level they are umpiring at. In my opinion, the reason for many amatuer umpires tight strike zone are two fold. One. Most peoples frame of reference is what they have grown up with, i.e watching pro baseball most of their lives. Many, many people apply what they see on TV to youth baseball, not just on the umpire side, but when coaching, as well. I see it all the time, they think what they have seen on the professional level is how the game is supposed to be played, either consciously or subconsciously. How many times have you heard people get mad at rule modifications for youth games (such as coach pitch) because it's not "real baseball?" Second, and more applicable, is the fundamental lack of training and an understanding of a proper zone for the level of play. Many umpires are not propperly trained, don't understand how the zone should be called, are often not set in the slot, and/or don't track pitches properly. It's easy to call a tight zone when you are not tracking the pitches properly. Pitches down the middle, ones that Grandma in the stands can call, are easy. When you're not seeing or tracking pitches properly, the ones in the periphery of the zone are harder to call. Lack of training and poor mechanics often lead to a tight and inconsistent zone. There are other factors, but in my experience, these are the two primary factors.
  5. For the most part no, they cannot be in the game at the same time. There are exceptions due to injury or ejection, but those are not common.
  6. Thank you Senor Azul. I really enjoy your contributions to this site! Yes, that is the same Mike Mussina. He is still listed as a member of the LL BOD and Rules Committee. I believe he was born in Williamsport PA, and still lives nearby.
  7. Senor Azul. For some reason they changed the wording and didn't mention it in the front of the rule book. Normally, LL will announce significant changes in the front section of the rule book, but it is not in the 2019 edition on page 4 under "Significant Changes for 2019." Not sure if they just missed it, or if they did not think it was significant. I teach LL rules and mechanics at our District and am friendly with many of the Western Region instructors, and the WR UIC, so I'm usually on top of the rule changes. One of my colleagues helps teach a rules class at Western Region. He is the one that alerted me to the catch and carry rule change. I haven't seen any major announcement from LL regarding this change. I'll keep looking though, and report any findings.
  8. It's not often someone can get one up on Senor Azul's library! His is very extensive!
  9. This has changed for 2019. There is no more catch and carry. The wording for 5.10(f), page 93 in the 2019 rule book reads as follows: 5.10 - The ball becomes dead when an umpire calls “Time.” The Umpire-in-Chief shall call “Time” – (f) when a fielder, after catching a fly ball, falls into a stand, or falls across ropes into a crowd when spectators are on the field, or other dead-ball area. As pertains to runners, the provisions of 7.04(b) shall prevail. If a fielder, after making a catch steps into a dead-ball area, the ball is dead; In addition, the 2019 RIM reads as follows: (f) when a fielder, after catching a fly ball, falls into a stand, or falls across ropes into a crowd when spectators are on the field, or other dead-ball area. As pertains to runners, the provisions of 7.04(b) shall prevail. If a fielder, after making a catch steps into a dead-ball area, the ball is dead and any runners on base will be awarded one base from their location at the time of the pitch.
  10. Let me get this correct. You're not calling balls 1-2 inches off the plate in LL minors strikes? You're giving the plate and nothing else? Your up and down sounds fine, but in/out is way too tight, especially for 8-10's. If so, that is not a proper strike zone for LL minors, or even LL as a whole. Western Region umpire clinics, of which I have instructed at and attended many, tell umpires that you should be calling pitches that are 1-2 balls off the plate outside, and 1 ball off the plate inside, strikes. This is not just for LL, but should be applied to all 8-10 levels, if not higher. You need to open up your zone and get the kids swinging. They are not MLB hitters, and they certainly are not MLB pitchers. They are 8-10 years old for gosh sakes. Crowd was probably getting chippy because you were too tight for this level. Even MiLB umpire school teaches a generous zone. JMHO
  11. All organizations need to accept responsibility for player safety and not put it on umpires. You're absolutely right, what makes me qualified to be responsible for player safety? Each organization needs to have insurance for that as part of doing business. Another reason in the long list of why there is a shortage of officials.
  12. LL just wants to avoid a lawsuit and uses the umpires as a line of defense. That's fine if they want to do that, I just take exception to the notion that as an umpire LL wants me to be responsible for equipment safety and if I miss something that's not even my fault, I could be held liable. I don't mind checking the gear and using common sense, but I don't like the threat of a lawsuit for something that is likely beyond my control. In other words, if someone is going to sue me because I supposedly didn't properly check a piece of equipment, whats to prevent them from suing me even if I did? They could still say I somehow missed something such as a crack, etc. I wouldn't mind if LL would say: "we want our umpires to check gear for safety reasons, but ultimately LL is responsible for player safety." Yeah that sounds great, I'll umpire your game for free, but feel free to sue me as I am somehow responsible for every players safety. Total BS. LL keeps this crap up, my long time tenure with LL will be coming to a close. As others have said, what makes me qualified to be the judge of equipment safety? I'm supposed to be the expert on bats, helmets, catchers gear, etc? LL needs to accept responsibility for their program and not use umpires as pawns. This will all be a moot point soon as the manufacturers will eventually comply (as many have already done) and it will be a non-issue. Then LL will probably find something else to annoy me with!
  13. Exactly! It's the same thing when we have to check equipment at LL games. The liability now gets put on us plain and simple. Doesn't have anything to do with player "safety." Why is LL the only organization that requires it's umpires to check gear? Are other organizations unable to secure liability insurance because they don't check gear? Is LL more safe because of equipment checks? It's funny, because when I do HS or travel-ball, all I see is bats exploding, helmets shattering, and maimed and dead bodies at every game! Oh the horror of not checking gear in order to keep little Billy safe.
  14. I enjoy umping LL a whole lot more since I decided that as a volunteer I was going to ignore the stupid crap LL constantly hands down. I don't give a rats a$$ about c-flaps in LL. Why do I want to toss a helmet with an enhanced safety feature, as long as it's not attached in some unsafe or half a$$ed way? If it has a c-flap that's properly attached, I'm fine with it. I don't need a letter and I'm smart enough to know if a c-flap is properly installed or not. Honestly, can't anyone make their own decisions anymore? Why does the use of a c-flap only seem to matter in LL and not any other organization that I'm aware of? What, a c-flap offers extra protection in HS or MLB, but somehow is mysteriously dangerous in LL? It's just another way for LL to deflect liability away from them. JMHO.
  15. Especially if they're the losing team! BTW, I like how you post videos and invite discussion. I find it useful and helpful. Please keep it up!
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