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JonnyCat

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JonnyCat last won the day on September 6

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    So Cal

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    West Coast Umpires, SDCBUA
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  1. Little League just announced some significant changes for 2023. Some of them are a little surprising, but I think for the better. Check out the link below for more information. https://www.littleleague.org/downloads/2023-rulebook-significant-changes/
  2. JonnyCat

    FTX?

    Oh Rich, being contrary again. Here's something that might help the conversation around the Thanksgiving table today. From the White House Chief of Staff, building unity one tweet at a time! You're welcome! Everyone have a Happy and Safe Thanksgiving!
  3. In an essence, for most of us, our regular job subsidizes our part time job. If you had to rely on that kind of money to pay appreciable bills such as mortgage, cars, etc, it would not be sustainable. Most of us have another significant source of income that sustains our lifestyle. Officiating is a hobby. The only difference between other hobby's like golf, tennis, softball, hiking, etc, is that officiating affords you some beer money. To the vast majority, it's just a little extra play money. It's a part time gig, and it always will be. Not to be judgmental, but in my experience, the people I have met that officiate as their sole source, or a major source of income look like they live out of their cars. For the vast majority of sports officials, it's not, nor can it ever be a career path. In case some missed it, here is a link to a thread where I expressed my opinions about our rate of pay. See my first post: In our case, the market forces are a little different. For one, our hobby is only a part time job, no benefits, the same rate of pay regardless of experience, and we're mostly independent contractors. If officiating could be a full time job, then things would be different. Part time jobs are not always affected affected by the same market forces as higher skilled careers. Trucking is a good example, SH*#ty pay with supposedly a worker shortage. Officiating and trucking share one thing in common, most are independent contractors, or de-facto treated like one. It's hard to organize and demand better working conditions when your core group is fractured. Part time jobs are usually not too skilled, have a high rate of turnover, and are not career oriented. And this is all okay, part time jobs have a place in our society, but they are separate from full time skilled career jobs, and they need to be treated as such. I don't expect a low skilled part time minimum wage job to be controlled by the same market forces as a highly skilled career path job.
  4. I guess I should respond to the original question. I apologize for derailing this thread. Playing DH's would be a better allocation of time and resources. But it would be hard, as another poster mentioned, to allocate that much amount of time in the evenings, especially if one has a full time job. Even if you could do a 2hr time limit for each game, it still would be around a 6 hour commitment for the umpires. Not easy to do on a work and school night. The other problem is lights. In our area, the vast majority of HS field don't have lights. Our weekday HS games start at usually 3:30pm - 4:00pm. Our schools recently went to a later class start time, so the kids get out of school even later. We used to start some games at 3:00pm, but those days are gone. We start our HS winter-ball season in January, so a 4:00pm start time doesn't give us much daylight early in the year. In fact, other than a couple of HS games at Petco Park, I don't think I've ever done a HS game under the lights, regular or post season. I'm sure it would work in some areas of the country, but not ours or anywhere else without lights.
  5. Understood that it is a side hustle, and it probably always will be. But that still doesn't mean we're not charging enough for our services. If you weren't able to use vacation time, and many of us aren't, would you still be umpiring for those wages? Honestly, I lose money every time I leave work early to do games. Of course my boss is a jerk! If we want to attract umpires to the craft and retain them, we need to improve the working conditions. You'll get more people with higher pay, and people would be more likely to hang around. The shortage of umpires is not getting any better, and we as a group are doing literally nothing to change the working conditions. We keep doing the same things over and over. We're not doing anything about the abuse, nor the pay. We keep slogging through the same mud, doing the same things we have for years. What do we expect to happen? How many games did you do last year? I'm guessing about 150, so you'd be netting about $30.00 per game? 2/3rds of your gross pay is going for expenses? Are you paying income tax on that $4700.00? No need to apologize. I love the banter and the information. I appreciate the comments.
  6. SH0102, This is not a criticism aimed directly at you. I respect your posts here, and I also think it's really cool that you umpire with your son. I apologize in advance for channeling my inner MadMax. This is from my perspective as a self employed general contractor in SoCal for the last 31 years. I have bid, worked, and billed thousands of jobs in my career. Some were better than others, but I do have a lot of experience running a small business. This is just my experience. YMMV. I wish people would stop thinking this way regarding the hourly rate that many of us break down into similar examples that you have. For instance, I get $90.00 for a varsity game that takes about 2 hours, therefore the misconception is I make about $45.00 per hour. That's not the way we should be looking at it, and that mindset contributes to the low pay we're getting. Also, I've heard many times that it's a good gig for a kid that can't otherwise make that kind of money. If it's a good gig for a kid, then it's a lousy one for an adult. Sure, $40.00 an hour sounds like a good rate. And it would be IF you were an employee, and IF you could work a consistent 40-50 hours per week at that rate. If you were an employee, generally speaking your employer would have a place for you to work, assign tasks, mitigate problems, find a steady stream of work, provide you with the necessary tools and/or equipment to do your job, take care of accounting, payroll, taxes and tax deposits to the Feds and State, pay the overhead (lights, rent/lease/mortgage on buildings and equipment), etc, etc. Do you think the employer that pays $40.00 per hour to his/her employees charges the customer $50.00 per hour for each employee? Heck no, it costs way more than that to run a business. All those things that the employer does costs money, and plenty of it. Again, $40.00 per hour is all fine if you were an employee. But we're NOT employees. We are in business for ourselves. Effectively we are selling our time, knowledge, and physical ability. We are selling our time as a self employed business. And when selling that time, you need to price it accordingly. Pricing it accordingly starts with how much a task is worth. Get rid of the mentality that it's an X hourly wage for a 2 hour game. Your time, which is the only thing you're selling, should be thought as, "how much time did this job take away from me?" Your time as a self employed business, should be factored as "portal to portal", or "door to door". That means the time you left your house, to the time you arrived back to your house. For most of us doing a HS game, that could be a 4-5 hour commitment. How much is that block of time worth to you? $80.00? That's not enough. How much is that time you're away and unable to do anything else, worth to you? Factor in the administrative side of that block of time, as well. Do you keep records, pay taxes on that money, maintenance your gear, spend time purchasing more gear, training, provide your own transportation, car maintenance and gas? What is all that worth? If you think of it in blocks of time providing a service, instead of an hourly wage, the $80.00 is for SH*#. What would be an actual fair market price for your time for a HS game. It depends on the cost of living for your area, but in mine, about $250.00 per game would be a fair compensation. Remember, we are not umpires, we are business men and women that provide umpire services. For example, only because it is current for me, this time of year I have been doing adult baseball. I can work 2 games on Sunday, 2 man, for 85.00 cash per game per umpire. The games are 3 hour ordeals. Conventional thinking is that works out to $28.00 per hour. Regardless, the fees are way too low even with that mindset. But in reality door to door, I'm at a 9-10 hour time commitment for $170.00. That's $17.00 to $18.00 per hour. In any other capacity, I would never work for those wages, I couldn't. $500.00 for a days work as self employed would be a proper compensation. That's what $40.00 to $50.00 per hour should actually look like. People try to justify it by saying things like, "I enjoy doing it, it's good exercise, blah, blah, blah." So's playing golf, softball, hiking, and a myriad of other hobbies. The point is, if you're getting paid to do something, especially if you're self employed, you need to be properly compensated. And I understand that I'm just as guilty as anyone else for selling myself too cheap. But I do try to educate others and I'm pretty vocal in my area about the SH*#ty pay we get. I try to effect change as best I can, I don't know if it's helping, but we've got to do something. I won't work travel ball any more mostly because of the pay. But there are too many willing to work for poverty wages, and that's the biggest problem. In my industry, the number one failure of small contractors, is not because they are bad craftsmen, it's because they are lousy businessmen. They simply don't know or understand the economic side of what it takes to run a business. Unfortunately, when a competing contractor doesn't charge enough, it ends up screwing other contractors by driving the expectation of what a particular job actually costs to do. Ultimately that contractor is forced to cut corners, do shoddy work that screws the customer, and more often than not, drives them out of business. Many times these contractors will abandon a job because they are physically loosing money and must take on other jobs to get some money flowing in. They either have to learn to charge accordingly, or go out of business. I can not show up to a small repair job with the mentality of I want to make $50.00 per hour on this job. If I was there 2 hours working, and collected $100.00 for the call, I'd be out of business in no time. I didn't make $50.00 per hour, I actually lost money as my time and overhead cost way more that that. I need to make a certain amount of money just to keep the doors open. And you need to know what that figure is if you're going to be in business and want to make money. Not just earn a wage, but make money. There is a difference in earning a wage, and making money. Sadly, many in business don't understand this concept. Earning a wage keeps a roof over your head. Making money keeps you in business. Not charging enough is not sustainable. Sound familiar? Where are all the umpires?
  7. 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.
  8. What exactly are you looking for here? Are you looking for affirmation that the umpire screwed up? You already know he made a mistake, there are no do overs in baseball, not at least according to the rules. Did you come here for umpires to agree with you so you can boast that you were right? Why don't you just work within your league to educate people and make other people better. How about helping making other people better in your league instead of trying to tear them down? I'm just trying to understand what you are asking for.
  9. No, you can't really have a do over. You're correct, the umpire should have made a call, right or wrong. However, see my reply to your other post. The umpire was working solo on a LL majors fall ball game. These games are supposed to be for player development. Was the umpire learning as well? If so, what were you doing to help the umpire hone his craft. Were you helpful or confrontational? I hope I'm wrong, but from the tone of your 2 posts, you give me the impression that you may have been confrontational with the umpire. If so, could there have been a better way to handle the situation, especially that this is a LL fall ball game?
  10. I like the idea of what you're doing. It needs to start somewhere, so I applaud that organization for trying to do something. It would be real easy to adopt rules that umpires can eject fans. It's just a matter or putting it in the rulebooks. I also don't know why the aversion for umpires dumping unruly fans for some. Most fans think we can anyway, so why not make it official? I think we should do it more often, whether it is in the rules or not. I don't know if that's the solution, but we have to do something.
  11. I'm assuming you're a manager or coach. Correct me if I'm wrong. LL majors fall ball game? And you care about the kid getting first base? Who was the umpire? Was he new, young, old, learning, a volunteer? What kind of message did you send to your players, the other team, the parents, the umpire? So the kid was sobbing and you're getting worked up over what the umpire did. Maybe the umpire was wrong, or maybe the kid really did get hit. Isn't fall ball about learning and player development? Maybe just not the players are learning, maybe the umpire is, too. I would just have let the kid get first base and continue to teach and coach my players.
  12. It's covered under rule 6.06(c). You need to read the instructor comments in the RIM, (the LL Rules Instruction Manual). Treat back-swing interference same as in OBR, (Official Baseball Rules, aka MLB rules). The instructor comments in the RIM are as follows: "If a batter strikes at a ball and misses and swings so hard he/she carries the bat all the way around and, in the umpires judgement, unintentionally hits the catcher or the ball in back of him/her on his/her follow-through before the catcher has securely held the ball, it shall be called a strike only (not interference). The ball will be dead, however, and no runner shall advance on the play." If the catcher is trying to retire a runner that is stealing and back-swing interference happens, if the runner is retired, the out stands, strike on the batter. If the runner is not retired, then the runner is merely sent back, strike on the batter. In each case, the batter is not out unless it is strike 3. Hope that helps.
  13. There is nothing unique about ejecting a LL player than there is for any other organization/age range. LL doesn't mandate that a low key ejection mechanic be used the majority of the time. LL is no different than other youth organizations such as PONY, Babe Ruth, Travel-ball, etc. Use whatever ejection mechanic you normally use for the infraction that you deem appropriate. LL age range is up to age 16. You bet I have given some players in LL the big heave ho, and it hasn't harmed their self esteem or psyche in the least. I'm not saying don't do the low key ejection (I have at many levels, it can be a good tactic), but you don't need to do the low key approach just because it is LL. Do what ever works for you, but a regular ejection mechanic is perfectly acceptable for LL players or coaches. I pretty much use the same overhand mechanic at any level. The voice inflection varies depending on the circumstance.
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