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LRZ

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Everything posted by LRZ

  1. Assigner phones Official, "[Name], I need somebody at X HS right away. Can you make it?" Official (a cop in X HS's township and DARE liaison at the school): "Sure, I'm on my way." Official arrives at X HS, where he was told, "Sorry, [Name], you can't officiate because your clearances are not on file." True story. Go figure.
  2. LRZ

    Ruling

    You assume a lot of "facts" that may or may not be true. Absent those assumptions, I would not allow a coach to game the umpires and other team. YMMV.
  3. LRZ

    Ruling

    I would have handled this as you did, MT73. I'm not going to impose the IFF call after the fact because both teams apparently relied on the pre-game understanding, however misguided that was. Besides, this was an U9 game, for pete's sake, not the WS. For whatever reason, the umpires in your case were relying on the coaches for the local rules. Consequently, they thought they were calling the game by the tournament rules, although they were misinformed. I'm curious: was the pop-up caught or dropped? Did the IFF no-call affect anything?
  4. If a coach likes you but doesn't respect you, what does that suggest?
  5. LRZ

    Home Run

    Boards like this are like folks sitting at a bar or in someone's backyard at a BBQ, talking about topics of shared interest. The discussions wander, go off on tangents, come back to the original, take off again. As long as some respect is maintained, it's all good!
  6. The official's report starts the review process. Then, PIAA reviews it (1) to determine if the EJ/DQ was justified or not, and (2) to determine if the EJ/DQ merits the enhanced penalty, regardless of whether the official checked that box. I have no stake in whether PIAA overrules, affirms as is, or enhances. I just officiate, tossing offenders when necessary. But your comment about potential conflicts, Matt, actually arose in the case I related--but it was between my chapter/district interpreter and district representative, on one hand, and me. They didn't like how I drafted my report and that I issued a red card, instead of a yellow. The state apparently had no problem with either my language or my card, disagreeing only on the implications for supplemental enhancement. PIAA acted to support officials, I was told, but the local "powers that be" do not share that concern.
  7. "I am clearly doing something wrong here because I am continuing to run afoul of base coaches." "There comes a time when you have to be yourself and accept that fact." If "me being me" ain't working, try something else.
  8. PA is trying to deter misconduct in school athletics. We've had some ugly incidents in recent years, and PIAA apparently realized that a standard, one-game suspension was an inadequate deterrent. Hence the enhancement and the PIAA authority to impose it even if the official does not check the box. A player who gets a supplemental DQ must complete an on-line NFHS sportsmanship program and provide his/her principal with certification of completion, which the principal then submits to the district chair in that sport. This is in addition to the enhanced, two-game suspension. When a coach is DQ'ed supplementally, he/she must complete both the NFHS Sportsmanship program and a "Teaching and Modeling Behavior" program, then provide certification to the principal. This, also, is in addition to the two-game suspension. My soccer case was interesting because I, as the official on the field and the target of the player's misconduct, did not think the player's conduct warranted the enhanced penalty, but PIAA disagreed.
  9. All you PIAA umpires, take heart! PIAA has your back! Several years ago, Pennsylvania's PIAA instituted a supplemental disqualification category with an enhanced penalty. Usually an ejection or disqualification carries a one-game suspension, but an egregious case can be upgraded to a two-game sit-out. PIAA reviews all ejections and disqualifications. In filling out the form, the reporting official can check a box raising the DQ to a supplemental; if the official does, PIAA can deny the enhanced penalty; if the official does not check the box, PIAA, on its own, can increase the penalty to two games. Here is the language from the on-line reporting form: A Supplemental Disqualification is triggered when a Coach or contestant is ejected from a contest and a component of the disqualification is the act(s) of confronting, contacting or addressing a Coach, contestant or official using foul or vulgar language, ethnic or racially insensitive comments or physical contact. This section is NOT intended for other infractions described as “rules of the game” or actions which do not meet the above criteria. On Saturday, in a jv soccer match, I issued a red card (disqualification) to a player, filed the report and did not check the supplemental box, as I did not think the conduct rose to the requisite level of severity; my chapter interpreter disagreed with my red card, opining that the conduct was only worthy of a caution/yellow card. On Monday, PIAA responded, informing me that I misapplied the rule, that the situation satisfied the requirements for a supplemental report, and that the player would sit for two games, not just one. Tough lesson for a 14-15 y/o HS kid to learn, but a necessary one.
  10. As to the "yelling across the field" issue, there is a world of difference between an exchange, however brief, and a quick, assertive KTSO. Why engage them in a dialog? Explanations can easily lead to a "Then do your job, blue!" You must know that that coach had no interest in your point of view--he was fishing for a call and he was baiting you. Just tell them to stop. Take a step towards the offending dugout or coach, put your hand up in the "stop" gesture, and announce, not necessarily yelling but firmly, "Knock it off!" Approaching the dugout or the coach could be perceived as you escalating things. If coaches and players want to ratchet up situations into confrontations, they'll be the aggressors and come to you. As for being "liked," respect--for your professionalism, hustle, rules knowledge, etc.--is more important.
  11. This might just be a matter of personal style, but, to me, your interactions with that coach were all way too long. "Coach, that's enough. That's not a balk" or "Coach, that's not a balk. Knock it off." For me, in the context of what transpired before that, the change-over shouted sarcasm would have elicited a warning. He was showing you up.
  12. LRZ

    Home Run

    Until Manfred decides eliminating the home run trot/celebration would speed the game up.
  13. LRZ

    Balk to third

    Ask him. Besides, the rules always are, or should be, the starting point for getting answers. That's why Senor Azul, for one, is so helpful.
  14. LRZ

    Balk to third

    The rule says "before" so apply it with common sense. If you mean to suggest that "almost simultaneously," "close enough" or "approximately" could satisfy the rule in the real world in which we umpire, I can live with that, as we don't officiate with lasers or micrometers. Besides, the OP asked a question and I quoted the applicable rule, without delving into nuances or interpretations.
  15. LRZ

    Balk to third

    You don't read the OP to mean "throw" by the word "release" in the context of "picks off to third"? What scenario are you envisioning?
  16. LRZ

    Balk to third

    OBR 6.02(a)(3): it is a balk when the "pitcher, while touching his plate, fails to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base...." [Emphases added.] Taking a step implies lifting the foot and setting it down* which must occur "before throwing" to the base. *Consistent with common sense and ordinary usage, dictionaries define "step" along these lines: " to move by raising the foot and bringing it down elsewhere."
  17. In the interest of both accuracy and thoroughness, I should make clear, hookminor, that, no, the pitcher does not need to step off in the circumstances you've described. In addition, the comment to OBR 6.02(a)(4) states: "When determining whether the pitcher throws or feints a throw to an unoccupied base for the purpose of making a play, the umpire should consider whether a runner on the previous base demonstrates or otherwise creates an impression of his intent to advance to such unoccupied base." This covers situations where the runner begins to steal but then stops, or bluffs, drawing the pitcher's throw.
  18. As many people do, you are overlooking the "for purposes of making a play" language. In OBR, the rule is 6.02(a)(4): it is a balk when the "pitcher, while touching his plate, throws, or feints a throw to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making a play...." The NFHS version is, I think, 6-2-4(b): it is a balk for "throwing or feinting to any unoccupied base when it is not an attempt to put out or drive back a runner...."
  19. I used to know a guy who worked pretty high up in the minors. He often said that he did his best plate work when hung over--it slowed him down just right.
  20. SCRookie, be careful how you "support" your kid's league, and avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. Years ago, I was a licensed USSF (club soccer), NISOA (college) and PIAA (school) referee, and I also worked the intramural rec league in which my kids played. One day, I made a controversial call against my son's U12 team. I later learned that, after the game, the coach told the players that I had cost them the game; my son did not talk to me for three days.
  21. Yep, yep, yep, to everything--but this, which is good-intentioned but, I think, somewhat misleading. Do the best you can, but starting out solo--I'm assuming--no way you'll see everything you need to. And that's ok. If a coach says, "How could you not see that [whatever X might be]," the reply might be, "That's my partner's call. Oh, there is no partner." That is why I spoke of priorities. Getting a shoestring catch or fair/foul call right is more critical than runners touching or missing a base. A BR stretching a single and thrown out at second for the third out is more important than R1's touch of home on the time play. One more thought: always hustle, as this helps to establish your credibility. Hustling also keeps the game moving, which makes for everyone's greater enjoyment.
  22. Some random thoughts. Go watch games--any level--and observe; introduce yourself to the umpire(s) after the game and ask questions, if they seem receptive. Think about what you notice and what you might incorporate into your own style. Join your state association (here, it's PIAA) and affiliate with a chapter, go to meetings and listen and ask questions. If possible, see if there is someone whose game and insight impress you, and ask if he'd mind answering questions during the season. As for on-the-field mechanics, try to control "rookie" jitters and take the field with confidence. When I started, we were taught that the first day you crossed the lines to umpire your first game, your body language should say "20-year vet." Besides the "slow down" advice others have given you, I'll add don't make calls on the run--be stationary. Watch the ball and let it take you to the play, except for quick glances to watch runners touching bases. This requires prioritizing, especially if you are working solo. Try to anticipate common situations so you are prepared if/when they occur. For example, remind yourself that you have a possible infield fly rule situation when appropriate. Don't take grief from coaches or players, especially the three major no-nos: personal, persistent, profane. Use the IAWE, or some version: Ignore, Acknowledge, Warn, Eject. Umpires have a saying: the only ejection you regret is the one you didn't issue. Study the rule book, especially after games where you've had some odd plays or calls. However, don't be overly officious: as we say, use the rules to solve problems, not create them. Good luck! Report back after you've had some games.
  23. I'll channel my inner Senor Azul. 5.09(a): A batter is out when ... [a]fter hitting or bunting a fair ball, his bat hits the ball a second time in fair territory. The ball is dead and no runners may advance. If the batter-runner drops his bat and the ball rolls against the bat in fair territory and, in the umpire's judgment, there was no intention to interfere with the course of the ball, the ball is alive and in play. Frankie, here is the rough, shorthand version of this rule: did the ball hit the bat or did the bat hit the ball?
  24. I think you are reading too much into the OP, which, it seems to me, was about spectator interference. I think Pete meant if the "interferer" was a fan, a "civilian" spectator, not a pitcher, the bullpen coach or other member of the team; I doubt he was equating "fan" and "pitcher." However, I'll also answer the question on the assumption that it was a reliever (or bullpen coach) on the offensive team who made contact with the fielder's glove. That would be interference under 6.01(b): "The players, coaches or any member of a team at bat shall vacate any space (including both dugouts or bullpens) needed by a fielder who is attempting to field a batted or thrown ball. If a member of the team at bat (other than a runner) hinders a fielder’s attempt to catch or field a batted ball, the ball is dead, the batter is declared out and all runners return to the bases occupied at the time of the pitch."
  25. The answer to your "fan" hypothetical depends on where the contact between fielder and fan occurs. Is it over the right field fence or on the playing field side? Where the fan is standing is irrelevant. OBR 6.01(e) Comment: "No interference shall be allowed when a fielder reaches over a fence, railing, rope or into a stand to catch a ball. He does so at his own risk. However, should a spectator reach out on the playing field side of such fence, railing or rope, and plainly prevent the fielder from catching the ball, then the batsman should be called out for the spectator’s interference." [Emphases added.]
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