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Everything posted by LRZ

  1. LRZ

    Catch or no Catch?

    Maybe I misread the OP, but I understood "tries to tag" as "tries, but is unsuccessful," and then F5 drops the ball. In this case, no proper appeal and no legal tag = safe. However, if F5 did tag the runner and then dropped the ball, then I would agree that this is a HTBT judgment call whether F5 held "hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball." In this case, no proper appeal and a legal tag = out. Merely coming down on the base is nothing, without something more to indicate an appeal.
  2. FWIW, I would have also addressed F6's earlier running commentary on your partner's calls. "Son, that's unacceptable. Knock it off." Fall ball or not, it's always a good time to teach a lesson.
  3. I can't believe Boone got ejected! He's usually.... What? Oh, never mind.
  4. LRZ

    Catch or no Catch?

    Yes, F5 had complete control, however momentarily, but was his landing on the base an appeal? Two possibilities. (1) The throw to F5 was to enable F5 to tag the retreating R3, who had been "halfway between 3rd base and home plate," off the base; or (2) The throw to F5 was to enable him to make a unmistakable appeal on R3 for having left early. I'll quote the rule again: "An appeal should be clearly intended as an appeal.... A player inadvertently stepping on the base with a ball in his hand would not constitute an appeal." The most logical inference is that F5 did not clearly intend an appeal; otherwise, he would not have tried to tag R3. Even if the facts are ambiguous and 50/50, they don't support a "clearly intended" appeal.
  5. LRZ

    Catch or no Catch?

    Correct call, wrong reasoning. The requirements for a tag are often confused with those for a catch. Voluntary release is not necessary for a tag: "TAG is the action of a fielder in touching a base with the body while holding the ball securely and firmly in the hand or glove; or touching a runner with the ball or with the hand or glove holding the ball (not including hanging laces alone), while holding the ball securely and firmly in the hand or glove. It is not a tag, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his touching a base or touching a runner, the fielder drops the ball. In establishing the validity of the tag, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball. If the fielder has made a tag and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the tag, the tag shall be adjudged to have been made." [OBR Definitions] I would equate the fielder trying to tag the runner with the act of making a throw, as in the "tag" definition. But R3 leaving early is subject to an appeal. However, "An appeal should be clearly intended as an appeal, either by a verbal request by the player or an act that unmistakably indicates an appeal to the umpire. A player inadvertently stepping on the base with a ball in his hand would not constitute an appeal." [OBR 5.09(c) Comment] I would equate the fielder jumping up, catching the ball, and landing on the base with inadvertently stepping on the base. Without anything further, like an actual tag of the runner, I would have a "safe" call: the act of inadvertently landing on the base does not constitute an appeal, even if we deem the base touched inadvertently by the fielder with complete control.
  6. LRZ

    Umpire Drills

    Go early to local games, introduce yourself to the umpires in the parking lot, ask if you can sit in on their pre-game discussion, then watch them work. You will see techniques you like and want to incorporate, and possibly things to avoid. If you have questions after the game, ask if they would answer them. School ball is typically under the aegis of an NFHS-affiliated statewide organization (here in PA, it is the PA Interscholastic Athletic Association, PIAA), with local or regional chapters. These chapters likely have regular meetings, where members talk about plays, rules and mechanics; the meetings may be virtual (Zoom, GotoMeeting, etc.), and you might ask to sit in even though you are probably too young to actually get certified. If your local Little League offers training and clinics, sign up, even if it is just to audit (joining informally) the course.
  7. https://umpire-empire.com/topic/77888-ask-uefl-obstruction-2-in-little-league-rules-review/
  8. Lucky, are you talking about this: https://umpire-empire.com/topic/77869-conflicting-calls-by-umpires-in-little-league-game/
  9. The only question I had--and I honestly don't know the answer, so this is not a criticism--is whose call is the award? U1 called the obstruction at first, U3 had the out call at third. Is it the "obstruction-calling" official's call, or should the crew have gotten together for a brief discussion?
  10. If anyone would, it's Senor Azul. Send him a message.
  11. There is another sports forum that uses blue font to indicate sarcasm. FWIW.
  12. LRZ

    BU Ejection

    Hybrid rules. As if umpiring different rule sets wasn't difficult enough....
  13. Whether straight-lined or not, you saw something definite (the step into the bag, which depressed) and exercised your judgment. How do you know your partner's judgment was correct and yours wrong? You don't. Trust yourself, trust your judgment. I don't particularly care what a coach thinks he saw--confirmation bias affects one's perceptions.
  14. You might consider not engaging in the "back-and-forth", as it only adds fuel to the coach's fire. Explain your ruling, let him respond and vent a little--a very little--then, "Coach, that's it. Let's play ball now."
  15. A noted rules expert, Rich Marazzi, has served as rules advisor to several MLB teams. It seems like there are a couple of other teams that could benefit from his knowledge.
  16. Thunder is indeed "something." It is produced by lightning. You may hear the former, but not see the latter. If you hear thunder, clear the field and start the clock on the mandatory waiting period. In its guidelines about lightning and thunder, NFHS talks about "When thunder is heard or lightning is seen...."
  17. LRZ

    Batting out of order

    May we assume this is softball? The LL RIM says this, about 6.07(c) in both baseball and softball: "When the improper batter becomes a runner, or is put out, and a pitch is made to the next batter of either team before an appeal is made, the improper batter thereby becomes the proper batter, and the results of such time at bat become legal." The "Instructor's Comment" adds, "Appeal must be made before the next pitch, play or attempted play. Baseball and Softball treat this element differently. In Baseball, a fake throw is NOT considered an attempted play. However, in Softball, if the pitcher is in the eight-foot circle, a fake throw IS considered an attempted play for consideration of the circle rule." Consequently, the ruling is "appeal denied," batter 1 at first, batter 2 at bat with a 1-1 count.
  18. LRZ


    OBR 5.06(a)(1): "A runner acquires the right to an unoccupied base when he touches it before he is out. He is then entitled to it until he is put out, or forced to vacate it for another runner legally entitled to that base." OBR 6.01(h)(1): "If a play is being made on the obstructed runner, or if the batter-runner is obstructed before he touches first base, the ball is dead and all runners shall advance, without liability to be put out, to the bases they would have reached, in the umpire's judgment, if there had been no obstruction. The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base he had last legally touched before the obstruction...." [Emphasis added.] You don't award a runner a base that he is already entitled to.
  19. And the batter-runner? By the way, Legion is OBR, not NFHS, or it was when I worked it.
  20. Although I was never involved in a protest, I would not consider myself "the subject of the protest," nor would I feel compelled to defend my ruling. I'd simply explain what happened, from my perspective, as impartially as humanly possible, and the basis for my ruling. If I got a rule wrong, I'd welcome the correction. That is, I'm not on anyone's side.
  21. MadMax, I am going to disagree with you on this. What if your partner goes to his "nuclear option" option and continues to argue back? I would approach my partner, but at some point, I would mentally shrug my shoulders, "Well, this is on you, buddy." There is an (in)famous video, widely circulated in basketball circles, of two basketball referees arguing at mid-court, after one of them stepped (improperly and inappropriately) on his partner's call, then insisted he was correct. His error was compounded by "bad optics," as they say. Fortunately, I imagine that umpires who frequent this forum (or any other reputable on-line officiating resources) would not be that obstinate, so let's hope that we are never put in this position.
  22. I got the situation backwards when I opined--my error. If ultimately ruled "no catch," the likely negation for me would be R1 out on the force at second (on the assumption that he was holding up on the play, as Don Summers noted) and the batter at first. Shallow fly to CF, with a short throw to second? But there is an element of HTBT--what did R1 do, where did he stop to see if the ball would be caught?--although I think the assumption of caution is most reasonable. I would not place R1 at second, although if the circumstances suggested it strongly enough, you could [possibly, but unlikely] have R1 and R2.
  23. Sounds like a case for OBR 8.02(c), which reads, in part: If the umpires consult after a play and change a call that had been made, then they have the authority to take all steps that they may deem necessary, in their discretion, to eliminate the results and consequences of the earlier call that they are reversing, including placing runners where they think those runners would have been after the play, had the ultimate call been made as the initial call, disregarding interference or obstruction that may have occurred on the play; failures of runners to tag up based upon the initial call on the field; runners passing other runners or missing bases; etc., all in the discretion of the umpires. If ultimately ruled a catch, I'd have an out on the batter and R1 remaining at first. There may be specific challenge/review protocols, of which I am unaware.
  24. Guest Curious George, here is the actual HS rule, NFHS Rule 8-4-2(j)(1), which discusses force outs: "No runner may be forced out if a runner who follows him in the batting order is first put out (including a batter-runner who is out for an infield fly)."
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