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MadMax last won the day on September 5

MadMax had the most liked content!


About MadMax

  • Birthday 06/13/1975

Profile Information

  • Location
    Phoenix, AZ
  • Interests
    Rally racing, Snowboarding (instructor / tech / barnstormer), Soccer (still play it), Hockey (working toward being a linesman), Baseball (umpiring, obviously), Architecture, Restorations

More information about you

  • Your Association Name
    the West Valley Vultures
  • Occupation
    Designer / Fabricator
  • Types/Levels of Baseball called
    U18 – NFHS, mNFHS, mOBR; NCAA / NAIA; MiLB -level; CDP
  • How did you hear about Umpire-Empire?
    ABUA (umpire.org)

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Community Answers

  1. You are, unfortunately, never going to find it. The reason you will never find it lies in the purpose of NOCSAE's existence. Sure, on paper, NOCSAE can state they are striving to improve safety and protection of amateur athletes, but their purpose is to alleviate liability of the manufacturers, especially in regards to a class-action lawsuit. NOCSAE is comprised of representatives of several professional medical review boards, experts therein, certified equipment managers, certified equipment reconditioners, coaches, and a representative of each of the (acknowledged / licensed) manufacturers, as well as an NCAA and NFHS rep. The primary focus of NOCSAE is to mitigate or eliminate head injuries in sports requiring helmets and/or involving head trauma; as to this goal, this usually involves football, baseball, and lacrosse. Do note – none of the professional sports leagues are represented within NOCSAE, nor do any of the manufacturers necessarily want them to be included. The reason for this is that professional (ie. adult) customers can make their own research and decisions when purchasing their equipment. However, amateur athletes – especially those at public-funded schools – cannot afford that luxury, and are often using institution-issued gear. Thus, the institutions must perform due diligence with the manufacturers to assure (or certify) that the produced gear meets safety criteria that a governing body – in this case, NOCSAE – ratifies. Why am I explaining all this? Because, if the ulterior motive of NOCSAE's certification is remove litigious liability in the instance of an injury, you – the parent and/or legal guardian – might be able to have a lawyer draft you up an exemption letter. Think this out with me... A traditional "two-piece" mask and hard hat (AKA skull cap, AKA earflap-less batting helmet) is and has been just as protective as HSMs regarding frontal concussive impacts. However, to achieve NOCSAE certification, the piece of gear must impede or reduce impact forces that has been determined by physicians to a number (I can't remember it off-hand) that breaks cranial bones and produces hemorrhaging, and prevents visible head injuries (bruises and lacerations). It's on this second point where traditional "two-piece" masks fail because they don't cover the ears, and the ears are definitely considered part of the head. As such, side impacts (such as when a catcher turns his head, or a ball ricochets to find its way there, or a batter has a "loose" follow through, or lets go of the bat) bring with them a much higher risk. So, as callous as it sounds, accept (officially, legally) the risk. Perhaps a lawyer can draft for you a legally-binding document that waives liability for your son (specifically; no-one else on the team could use this) to use a conventional two-piece. Again, the reason for the NOCSAE certification is to limit (remove) the liability for a player to sue a school and/or manufacturer for issuing them gear that "would have prevented this injury" (or failure therein). This document would have to be presented to the school, retained by the coach, and also presented to the UIC (in Fed, it's the PU) prior to that game (the reason we umpires get conjoined in this liability crap is because we are the Fed's "enforcers"). This isn't unprecedented. Many amateur leagues and tournament series utilizing NFHS rules waive or ignore the NOCSAE requirements because they themselves are not issuing the gear. Instead, the participants are bringing their own gear and are (purportedly) making their own purchasing decisions. There's a whole bunch of other legalese in this, but that's the gist of it. Now, from the other perspective or approach... Have you (more so, your son) truly tried keeping the HSM on as much as possible? I was a catcher for 16 years (and have been an umpire for 13 years), and while I never used a HSM during that time (as a catcher, they became prominent after my high school days), it never ceases to amaze me that coaches / fans think and project that a catcher must take that mask off every time a pitch gets away from the mitt, or becomes a batted ball. I've lost count the piles upon piles of HSMs (and, to be fair, TMs) that have been catapulted off the catcher in front of me to land at my feet... on a ball that is already over the backstop, or rolling just over ~there~ while no runners are on base! It just becomes engrained habit! Well, stop engraining it! How often do we see MLB catchers catapult off their HSMs? Relatively few times, actually. They certainly don't fling them off so as to throw during a steal attempt (no time!), they typically don't fling them off on a pitch in the dirt (again, no time!), and even on most pop-ups, they leave the HSM on so as to pursue the pop-up as rapidly as possible. Most pro-grade HSMs (think All-Star and Easton) have minimal cages on them to maximize visibility. Why's that? Not only because visibility is an utmost premium in the pro game, but also because these HSMs aren't being dumped on the ground on a repetitive basis like shared, issued amateur HSMs are!!!! I spent several years as a hockey goalie, several years as a Wide Receiver, Punt & Kick Returner in football, and even tried my hand at lacrosse. In each of those, you're looking for a (moving) ball (puck) through a wire cage anyway... right??!! So why this obsession with dumping off the mask for baseball??!! So, another option, as @ousafe has mentioned is to get a really, really good HSM and leave it on as much as possible. From my experience and knowledge base, All-Star and Easton have the most minimal of cages so as to promote visibility. Going further, I got my hands on an UnderArmour Converge HSM (not the Victory!) and it is noticeably wider and more accommodating in the eyes area, with less intrusion(?) on the flanks, so maybe your son would be able to flick this HSM up and off without disturbing or unseating his glasses? Wow, I pushed the word count on this one... thanks for keeping up. Got any more questions, drop us a message.
  2. If it's a P220, it's a 13". If it's a P210, it's a 15". If it's a P200, it's a 17". And yes, an All-Star DeltaFlex will work on it... as would a Force3 NewFlex... as would that What-Took-Them-So-Freakin'-Long??!! Wilson replacement harness... as would the Schutt O-Flex... ... but why wouldn't you get an UmpLife "RayFlex" harness??!!
  3. My adjacent opinion is they are sniffing and becoming envious of the aroma of Jomboy's popularity on YouTube. Viewers don't seem to care if your material is analytical or particularly correct (different than generally correct), they want to be entertained. And Jomboy's videos are entertaining. And of course, YouTube compensates for viewings and click-thrus. Who other than fellow umpires want to hear the minutia of a baseball play that no one other than fellow umpires will understand? Who wants chapter and verse of rulebooks quoted and dissected to them? Especially in that voice. *shudder* A very applicable parallel can be drawn between Top Gear / The Grand Tour / Drive Tribe (whichever entity Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May appear on) and MotorTrend. MotorTrend has always produced factual reviews and analysis of hundreds of automobiles over the years. Top Gear made it entertainment, and enjoys viewership in excess of 350 million viewers across 200-some territories. The material they present is outlandish, only marginally factual, and spilling over with biased opinions, but damn!... is it entertaining.
  4. MadMax


    Yes, IFF can be called post-facto, your Humble Opinion notwithstanding. Were the conditions for IFF met? Yes. Did the batted fly ball qualify as an IFF? Yes. Obviously, the ball wasn't caught, and as you said, a "series of runs were scored off several throwing errors". So, chaos ensued, and no outs were recorded on the play as it happened. This would be an entirely different discussion had the defense let the ball drop, and turned a triple play by forcing runners to advance that weren't (by IFF rule) under obligation to do so. Thus, a very appropriate judgement to make on this play, even post-facto, is to call the BR out on the IFF. The ball wasn't caught, so any tag-up responsibility is off the table. Any advancements or runs scored by the offense (other than the BR) are valid. It's not like this ends the inning – there'd only be 1 out or 2 outs, now. Your Humble Opinion or not, there isn't a grounds for a "do over". That was a Fair batted ball. The umpires did not call "Foul" or "Time" during the play (thereby killing it / making it Dead), so the play has to stand. There wasn't an act of nature or of God that disrupted the play. So, you're correct in saying that there is no do-over, but it's not based on your Opinion.
  5. Hmm… 🤔 I’m sensing something. Based on what @johnnyg08 so aptly summarized above, have you considered that those plate partners might be wrong, or overdoing things, or adding complexities that aren’t needed, don’t fit the context, or aren’t used elsewhere?
  6. On who’s part? The PU?? If we’ve got PU making a safe / that’s-nothing signal (either on his own, or taught to) to indicate he’s declining / denying / refusing a check swing appeal… 😵‍ 😬 🤨 Why not just grant the appeal??!!
  7. @johnnyg08, you must be citing an OBR-based ruleset, because if I recall correctly, NFHS still lacks the compulsion / obligation / direction – “must” – for PU to check. I think that’s still a part of a Fed PU’s “god complex”, that he doesn’t have to, or can refuse to… … and one of the reasons why, I’ve heard, is due to this: I’ve attended more than my fair share of umpire / association meetings and classes, and the topic of check swing appeals comes up, and there’s always someone who mentions, or prognosticates, or recalls a game where the PU was so wishy-washy or milquetoast with his pitch calling that a coach (and/or thru his catcher) would invoke a check-swing appeal on every pitch, just to irritate and show up the PU. There have been, of course, no documented cases of that happening… but Nessie t-shirts and plushies are still sold, and the NFHS RC still has not modified that rule. Our own state association merely directs, “If you’re asked to check, just check.” You gotta be a pretty stubborn ol* git of a PU if you refuse a check swing appeal… or working solo. * - relative
  8. It's neither. The first UnderArmour HSM, called the Victory, was nothing more than an All-Star MVP shell with a unique-to-UA cage bolted on (and dare I say, uglier): The second rendition, called the Converge, departed from the All-Star family pretty radically. Not only was the cage updated, but the shell was completely redesigned. UA's project lead for baseball likely had a hand in it, and farmed it out to a different producer in China / Asia: Ready for this? This Douglas is actually the same shell as a Champro Optimus, just with a different cage: I don't know about you, and I will never claim to be a HSM wearer, but I'd be skeptical about a Champro shell and the padding behind it. I don't think Douglas put their own pads in it. I respect Douglas for hangin' in there and staying in the USA (instead of selling out to a Finnish international conglomerate, and watching all your time and resources – which could be spent improving your baseball and softball umpire gear – making golf, tennis, and basketball gear, where the accolades all go to the big-time brands anyway) 🤨... but they, too, haven't improved their foam beyond upholstery foam.
  9. To @Matt’s point, it doesn’t, but further – you’re introducing intention to the argument? That 1BC ain’t intending to confuse a fielder. He’s doing that (hoping) to influence or upstage you.
  10. Whoa, hold on there a minute. We need to qualify that statement. I will fully admit it – one of the points that routinely irritates me in @SeeingEyeDog‘s posts is when he (you, now that I have your eyes here, Dawg) closes a post with “you do you”. I read it as, “I’ve read all the advice that the rest of you have expressed and given, but I’m going to ignore it and not even consider the integration or application of it.” Now, I can’t change him/you, nor force him/you to accept and integrate advice. However, when within the context of someone else asking for or courting advice, and Dawg/you remark with a post “you do you”, in a way condoning the dismissal of the advice! So, I’m not correcting you Ranger, simply qualifying or clarifying that statement. @UMP45 has had some (blunt? gruff?) advice, that back in 2012/3 at the beginning of my career and presence here at U-E, gave me pause and I gave some friction to, but now realize how applicable it is. Paraphrased, it goes – “Stop thinking and behaving like a player; think and behave as an umpire” (notice that I didn’t include “like a” in that second part; more on that later). I chafed at that advice, initially, because I was a very cerebral player for 16 years. I’m also the son of an All-Michigan pitcher and coach. Of course, I wanted to be liked and appreciated, but to that, we (umpires) may be fellow participants in the game, but we will utterly fail ourselves and the game if we try to be liked. We simply won’t be liked, and we’re not performing our role if we base it on whether or not they – the other participants – like us. Over time (it wasn’t immediate) I cared and endeavored less to be liked; conjunctively, I gained more acumen (in the rules and my judgements thereof) and respect. Did I have to abandon my experience as a player? Not at all! In fact, it’s a distinguished tool in my skillset, such that Major League Umpires, Coaches and Players see it in how I move and conduct myself on the field. This is a foundation and building block to developing the all-important rapport so as to effectively interact with other baseball participants. I did, however, have to temper my experience (as a player), and measure and discern when and where it affects my conduct and role as an umpire. One of the chief elements of cultivating and developing that respect is consistency. Without even getting into the minute details of balls & strikes, or base calls, or interpreting balks (what Balk? I’ll call one when one happens!), do you like going out to do every game on your schedule? Do you like each team that shows up to play, and like each coach that walks up to the plate meeting, and like each and every catcher, or each pitcher on the mound (fact for me: I hate all pitchers), and like each and every batter that steps into the batter’s box? No! And you’re not expected to! If you liked even half of what I just rattled off, all and each time, I’d call you a liar! However, it doesn’t matter if we like it or not, we’re still going to go out an do this game on time to the best of our umpiring abilities. It doesn’t matter if I don’t like this ballpark because it has a s#!tty infield and a half-ass backstop, this is the game I’ve been assigned, and I’m going to do it like any other game. It doesn’t matter if I don’t like this catcher, or that pitcher (really?! This guy again?!), I’m going to call balls & strikes as I judge them to be… consistent. Lastly, an anecdote passed from the justice system – they can’t hold your silence against you (can’t quote silence).
  11. All of @LRZ‘s answer is correct. I wanted to expand on this further, and explain the you don’t see this often in professional baseball because, contextually, the speeds are so much faster, and the pitchers are practiced and conditioned to step off very quickly and effectively. A MLB runner must be committed to running towards the advance base – an action judged by MLB Umpires – so as to allow a MLB pitcher to throw directly to that base without it being read as a Balk. It can’t just be an “aggressive” bluff or feint. So there’s a risk on both parties, and with the speeds involved (both throwing and foot speeds), getting it wrong or getting caught is either a certain Balk or Out. Many in MLB subscribe to risk aversion or risk calculation, especially with a runner in scoring position (2B or 3B) already. As such, most pitchers are coached to either step off, or deliver a pitch so that either the hitter fouls it off, or the catcher has an opportunity to throw the would-be stealer out.
  12. MadMax

    Balk to third

    In OBR and NCAA: Provided he made the throw in one (generally) continuous, natural motion, and you’ve got him – “the pitcher stepped to third base” – with distance and direction towards third base, then you have a legal pick off attempt. It is NOT a Balk. Now, if he was to step towards 3B, and delayed his throwing motion in waiting for F5 to get there, or double-pump it then throw, then you wouldn’t have a legal pick off throw, thus, it would be a Balk. In NFHS (Fed): Provided he steps toward 3B (being occupied) with distance and direction, he doesn’t even need to throw; thus, whether his foot hits the ground prior to throwing (if he in fact throws at all) is inconsequential. Thus, not a Balk.
  13. A better idea would be to employ former professional umpires (or, perhaps, collegiate umpires). Broadcasters wouldn't be speculating then.
  14. The only way they could be legally shut down by a third party would be for misrepresenting any certifications or trademarks the original bat manufacturers had on the bats, the details of which are in that link @Matt posted. Otherwise, Big Dawg Bat Rolling states rather blatantly that: Use of a rolled (shaved) bat is not legal in league play The rolling / shaving of a bat voids the manufacturer’s warranty (and liability) for that bat The bat is much more prone to cracking or breaking in cold temperatures All the bat is really good for, legally, is for home run derbys and non-sanctioned “pickup” games. But, no one has stepped in to “shut them down”.
  15. Several umpire associations have arrangements with Douglas and/or an outfitter/rep who sells for Douglas. Douglas has no interest in fabricating its own mask (no point in reinventing the wheel), so instead brokered a deal with Force3 to rebrand the Defender TM and HSM with Douglas marks so it can be sold alongside Douglas CPs and Shins – as a package deal, if need be – to associations. Likewise Smitty, being predominantly a uniforms / fabrics company, is in no position to wade in and develop an all-new CP. So, they brokered a deal with Douglas to brand a Douglas CP with the Smitty mark so it can be sold in Smitty's catalog, which is often supplied to associations as package deals.
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