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Everything posted by Kevin_K

  1. An important life lesson I have learned along the way is that when I go looking for trouble I find it...... every time. When I umpire, my primary concern is what occurs within the confines of the playing field. This seems as though it falls into the "Not my monkeys, not my circus" category.
  2. This is probably the sagest advice offered. The philosophy of keeping your eye on the ball should be applied throughout every play of every game. I was taught to keep my chest to the ball and my head on a swivel. This will serve you well regardless of where the ball is. Recognize that in the two man system there is no way to see everything that happens on a baseball field and understand that the ball will take you to whatever play that needs to be adjudicated. And it seems like your PU graduated from the MSU school of umpiring.
  3. Can anyone explain how the first move of F1's pivot fort, while engaged with the rubber in the set position, can be backward and not upward?
  4. I had the great pleasure of working with @Richveetoday in a summer college DH. I wish the level of play equaled the pleasure of working with Rich. I am continually amazed by how baseball has an unending combination of peculiarities that allows us to see things we have never seen before in a game. In today's second game there were R1 & R2 with less than two out. F1 had a motion where he rocked on and off his non-pivot foot several times before coming set. Many times he was close to not coming set, but there was a clear stop each time. He then delivered a pitch on one occasion where there clearly was no stop. I balked him and he delivered a pitch that hit the BR in the back just below the numbers. My understanding of the NCAA (and OBR) balk rules is that the balk is ignored if F1 delivers a pitch that allows the BR and all base runners to advance one base. There are examples in the NCAA rules book on hits and wild pitches, but no clear example dealing with a HBP. As such, the BR was awarded 1B on the HBP with R1 & R2 advancing. A whole lot of the peanut gallery were gobsmacked by the result of the sequence and started expounding on their vast knowledge of balks and penalties. In game, I was 100% positive that the placement of runners was correct. Now the seed of doubt has germinated into me questioning the way we addressed the situation. I see nothing in the rules book to suggest that the play was improperly adjudicated. I came across this thread that seems to support the the way we ruled. That thread includes the OBR penalty that includes a hit batter as reason to ignore the balk, but that does not exist in the NCAA rule. So did we get it right?
  5. Not according to the interpretation. Hence, my question. I might suggest that this falls under the practice of using the rule book to solve problems rather than create problems.
  6. For clarification purposes... Is this saying that obstruction should be called for F2 reaching over the plate without a swing from the batter? If that is the case, I would like to witness that call being made and the ensuing clown show.
  7. I wasn't making an attempt at humor. This league has local rules that address, in my opinion, the relatively low level of play for the age group. When enforcing the rules of the league it is probably a far better idea to use the rule book to solve problems than to create problems, as our friend @JonnyCat has mentioned many times in the past. Regardless of what league or what level or what sport one may be officiating, One will probably find it far more productive to officiate with the book rather than by the book. By enforcing the rules that you are wondering about in this situation, you will run the significant risk of being labeled an OOO. YMMV
  8. I might suggest that in this case, it would be a good idea to not go looking for trouble. You will probably find it.
  9. Sometimes game management is about establishing a relationship. Most knowledgeable coaches recognize that your offer to repeat themselves is an opportunity to correct their inappropriate comments. I would suggest that @Richvee is giving a pass to comments that are ejection worthy, but by affording the offender a chance to reflect on his transgression(s) is, in essence, saying that the warning has been issued without spelling it out in specific terms. If an umpire has no experience working with said coach, this pass may help the coach realize that he is working with an umpire who has some credibility and would rather keep the coach in the game than not. On the other hand, if said coach insists on repeating the dumb comment(s), his ticket will be punched not only because of the comments but because said coach is dumber than a bag of hammers.
  10. That call belongs to U1. As you have indicated, the concern is the positioning he adopted to make an anticipated call at 3B. One of the principles beaten into my head when I started umpiring was that I should be still whenever I needed to make a call. Instructors have repeatedly referenced the idea of a camera needing to be motionless when capturing an image. In the haste to get to the 3B cutout, U1 abandoned his responsibility to see the catch/tag up sequence properly. I would have a hard time accepting any justification from any partner about them being on the move for this part of the play. If U1 moved toward 3B as the ball was in flight, he could have come set at the time of the catch and then continued moving once the ball touched F8s glove. NFHS rules allow for the PU to be the umpire in chief, but specifically curb his authority when it comes to decisions on situations "commonly reserved for the field umpire." (10.2.1) Some umpires are more open to receiving and using information than others. Perhaps this U1 was less than receptive. Perhaps PU did not see the catch/tag. Perhaps U1 blinked at a bad time. Sometimes umpires just kick a call. Or, as you said @isired, it could just be bad luck.
  11. In my best @Senor Azul voice: From 2007 NFHS Interpretations SITUATION 19: With R1 on first and no outs in a close game, the first baseman is playing about 20 feet in front of first base in case of a bunt attempt by B2. The pitcher, in the stretch position, throws to F3 in a pick-off attempt on R1. RULING: This is a balk. The first baseman is not in proximity of first base and is not close enough to legitimately make a play on the runner. The ball is dead and R1 is awarded second base. (6-2-4b)
  12. @SeeingEyeDogindicated in the OP that it was a "a pop fly which is going to come down in the vicinity of me in A." Per the 2018 CCA Manual (I don't have the 2020 pdf, but it is the same) the catch/no catch responsibility belongs to U1. Per the 2018 CCA Manual, fair/foul is also the responsibility of U1 What am I not seeing? Infield Catch.pdf Fair Foul Cov.pdf
  13. Your first reaction should be based on the actions of the defensive players. They need to gain unaltered access to wherever the play is going to occur. I would suggest that rather than abandoning your positioning near the foul line to get inside that it would be best to remain in that vicinity, reestablish your position on the foul line, and rule on the play. In my pre-games it is established that U1 has all fair/foul calls from the front edge of 1B all the way down the line. Don't forget the priorities of catch/no catch and fair/foul. These can't be forsaken in order to stay ahead of a potential advancing BR. By reading and reacting to the fielders, you can be on the line, give them access to make a play, and rule on whatever happens. In this scenario PU should be busting up to read your decision on staying with the ball, not unlike a screamer to F9's left where you would be going out and he needs to be able to cover a potential at 2B and rule on the touch/no touch at 1B. My .02.
  14. Correct me if I am wrong, @MadMax, this is a site about baseball, isn't it? There are lots of other places that indulge in many other topics, but I have found this site most attractive because of its focus on umpiring. My season has been chock full of not only baseball, but boys and girls volleyball as well. Since the beginning of March I have been a part of 27 volleyball matches and 25 baseball games, including HS varsity, JUCO, and DIII. In volleyball there are never any rainouts and no need to layer up for those balmy 38 degree March days were a zephyr like breeze caresses my cheeks at 35-40mph. State playoffs await as does summer college leagues. The first athletic event I officiated was wonderful because it was kids being kids and people starting to emerge from a darkness that most of us would like to keep in the past. Most of the folks in these parts are happy to be doing normal things even if they need to make some modifications. I have noticed as the season has progressed some of the usual suspects are showing cracks in their civility, but nothing crazy. I'm sure it will find its way back to normal sooner or later.
  15. You can in NJ this year: NJSIAA Baseball and Softball modification for the 2021 Season only: The game may be started with 8 players (no out in the 9th batting order spot), however must finish with eight players to be counted as a game. If the lineup is reduced to seven players, the game is over and should be reported as a forfeit
  16. If your partner has had "10+ years experience with multiple high school playoff and championship games under his belt" he would be using the standard mechanics on a 90' baseball field. In the 2 man system, when the BU is in B or C, the standard is that he will have primary responsibility on the catch/no catch on balls hit from the left fielder to the right fielder, without regard to the number of outs. Variations on secondary responsibilities like tag ups may vary depending on any number of circumstances, but the idea that the PU has primary responsibility on all fly balls with lass than 2 outs is not in any mechanics book I have ever read nor is it anything I have ever learned in a clinic. It sounds like a variation on the mechanics on the little field where PU has responsibility for fly balls in most circumstances because the BU may be moving from outside the bases to inside the bases to get in position for plays on the infield. I would hope in those many playoff and championship games he was using standard mechanics. If he wasn't, he is fortunate that there was nothing crazy like F8 diving at a sinking liner and he left that call to the PU. I am quite sure that such a play, especially if the ball found its way out of the fielder's glove, would likely set a HC on edge if the guy 50 feet away deferred to the guy 140 feet away.
  17. New Jersey is too small to have a section called central.
  18. In today's fairly quiet varsity game I had a minor disagreement with the DHC that helps emphasize how important on field communication is and that sometimes we can fail to do the little things that really good umpiring contains. Top 5, home team up 7-1. R1, 2 outs and 2 strikes on the batter. F1 throws a 60 foot breaking ball that the batter attempts to check his swing on. He does not. I clearly see the swing, the pitch bounce, and hear the ball skip into F2's glove. F2 had dropped to block the pitch and I pointed at the batter with my left hand and told everyone that, "Yes he did!". I then clearly signaled but did not verbalize that there was no catch on the pitch and F2 lobbed the ball back to the mound thinking the inning was over. The batter ran to first and the defense flubbed the play, resulting in R1 and R2 with 2 outs rather than the inning being over. The DHC came out to me and we had a conversation about me not giving F2 any indication that the pitch had not been cleanly caught. He had no disagreement with the pitch not being caught, but that I never verbalized like I normally would that it was no catch or a catch. I understand that all participants should know the situation and should not necessarily depend on the umpire to tell them the situation, but this tiny mental gaffe on my part could have led to something much bigger. In this case, the next batter rolled into a 4-3 ground out and nothing came of it Perhaps the check swing combined with the ball breaking sharply may have caused my brain to short circuit momentarily. Perhaps I thought F2 should have known he didn't catch the ball cleanly. It seemed fairly obvious that he hadn't. For whatever reason, my momentary lack of concentration could have created a real sh*tshow in another situation. I can say with some level of certainty that I will likely never do this again. I hope this helps someone avoid a similar situation.
  19. Kevin_K


    FED interference rules do not address team personnel who are unauthorized to be on the field. The only penalty for this is a warning and an ejection on the next violation(3-3-1). The dead ball table in addresses interference by others connected with the team, but each reference in the table offers no guidance on bench personnel. This might be an instance where 10-3-g is invoked by the UIC to fix a situation not addressed by the rules. If that is the case, the crew needs to have a discussion about what they all saw and to have a remedy that corrects any hindrance that the interference may have caused. Once that decisions made, a conversation with either or both HCs to explain the reasoning for the decision needs to be had understanding that someone may become unhinged. If it's the offensive coach outside the dugout, I have nothing in A or C since in the OP there was no hindrance, hence no interference. In B I have an out based on the above. If it's a defensive team coach, the play stands as is.
  20. Older, more physically mature, and baseball savvy F2's are usually far better at protecting their PU then their younger counterparts. Getting hit is part of being an umpire, but it is likely that those who work 12U are getting more shots because of F2 bailing out, missing a pitch, or suiting up with the tools of ignorance for the very first time. I will accept the inherent risk of 80-90mph fastballs because the guy in front of me understands his responsibility not only to his team, but to the guy standing behind as well. Because there are others who are willing accept the risks associated with younger players I have no need to get involved with them. YMMV.
  21. Kevin_K

    Another oldie

    Make your call. If you are 100% certain F3 held the bag tell everyone as you are making your call: " He held it!" or something like that. If you are not certain, make your call as you would normally. If anyone asks you to get help, call time if necessary and conference with your partner(s) so only the umpires are a part of the conversation. I am not a fan of yelling across the field to get input on a play. If no one asks you about a pulled foot or a swipe tag, the call belongs to you and stands as it was judged.
  22. Kevin_K


    Yes. If he never disengages the rubber by stepping back with his pivot foot he is still considered a pitcher in the set. Without coming set, F1 cannot legally deliver a pitch to the batter. With a runner on base it would be a balk. Unlike other bases, F1 cannot step toward home for the purpose of retiring an advancing runner without the aforementioned disengagement of the pitching rubber.
  23. I might suggest that it would be better to get in the habit of calling "That's a balk!" since not all rules codes are the same. Using that phrasing usually stops all play, but, in the event the game is other than NFHS rules, the play can continue without an inadvertent call on your part. Any conversation about a dead ball versus a live ball on the subsequent action(s) with either HC can be easily handled as indicated in the OP.
  24. Once the manger's confirmed that the players were properly equipped, your responsibility for the player's equipment has been satisfied under rule 4-3-b. Unless some one brings my attention to non-conforming equipment, I will never go looking for that kind of trouble. I have never looked for a NOCSAE stamp on a helmet or a BBCOR label on a bat once the manger has confirmed all of their equipment is legal. Only when it is brought to my attention later would I do anything to question the legality of their equipment unless there is an obvious concern like a knobless bat, a cracked batting helmet, or a skull cap for F2. @SeeingEyeDog...How did you know the chest protector was nonconforming?
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