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Keep your eye on the ball.....


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Just a note to you younger (newer) umpires out there to always watch the ball. Worked a game last night with a new guy. I am PU, R2 & R3, 2 out, BR hits blooper into right cf. R3 scores, BR safe at 1B, R2 rounds third. throw comes in to F1, who then zips the ball over to 3B, runner diving back. BU was caught totally unaware and comes to me for the call. :P

Needless to say - safe - since all i could see was nothing!

Make sure you don't shut down any time on the field.

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Just a note to you younger (newer) umpires out there to always watch the ball. Worked a game last night with a new guy. I am PU, R2 & R3, 2 out, BR hits blooper into right cf. R3 scores, BR safe at 1B, R2 rounds third. throw comes in to F1, who then zips the ball over to 3B, runner diving back. BU was caught totally unaware and comes to me for the call. :P

Needless to say - safe - since all i could see was nothing!

Make sure you don't shut down any time on the field.

Ty, It's not necessarly watching the ball but knowing what could happen and being there to watch it happen. As the BU, he has to know a) there is a potential tag play at 3rd either by the kid coming to the base or by him rounding it. :FIRE: there might be attempt on the BR either at 1st or 2nd if he attempts to advance. c) he has to know that you are not going to cover 3rd with the potential of a another runner coming home when you could of had a a play on R3 at home.

Your young BU didn't understand his responsibilities on the play, now my questions for you are did you have pre-game with your BU to discuss coverages? Did you talk to him after the game about that sitch? I know that if I am working with someone my junior that I have not work with before or have not work with in a while I will go over all coverage in each position on the field and I will always tell them what I will have with runners on base, which is usually not much because I have been told by more seasoned umpires that overhustle can be just as bad as underhustle.

Ty, I understand where you are coming from but just remember that guys with more experience need to know that less experience umpires are going to be a half-step behind because they are not truly thinking like umpires,yet.

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Great reminder!!!

Tho I have to say I'm glad I have started in little league, because you never know what them little buggers are going to do with the ball, and you se just about every situation (except balks) at this level :FIRE:. Just one persons opinion :P

IMO, starting on the small diamond is good because you will see stuff there you will not see at higher levels like passing, or 2 people on the same base, or R2, R3 with 2 outs trying to make a play on a non forced runner. It will give you good experience in identifying and ruling on such calls and making sound judgement calls in those off the wall situations. The stakes will be lower and you can learn in case you happen to see something similar at a higher level.

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IMO, starting on the small diamond is good because you will see stuff there you will not see at higher levels like passing, or 2 people on the same base, or R2, R3 with 2 outs trying to make a play on a non forced runner. It will give you good experience in identifying and ruling on such calls and making sound judgement calls in those off the wall situations. The stakes will be lower and you can learn in case you happen to see something similar at a higher level.

I totally agree with doing LL before getting to higher levels. You'll see 1 or 2 sitches at say Legion level but you could see 10-15 sitches at LL level. I always recommend people who ask me how to get started that they start with the little men.:P

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Like others have stated not only keep your eyes on the ball, but anticipate the next play and expect it. The younger guys are not always in the correct position nor are they ready for the play because they have not anticipated what will happen next. Just as Treedog stated I always talk about coverages during the pre-game meeting between my partner and myself. After each game I make sure to have a quick post game with all of the younger (read as rookie) umpires. I hope this will help them as they progress along.

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A play cannot happen, usually, without the ball. If you do know know where the ball is and/or not covering your area, bad things are about to happen.

I remember having a partner who didn't watch the ball. Had a runner coming into the 3B. I was PU. BU takes his eyes off the ball to look at 3B and sets up for a play. Next thing he knows, ball hits him square in the back, knocking the breath out of him.

He is lying on the ground and I am having to wait until all play has stopped. Luckily, the runner stopped at 3B so I could call "Time". He slowly starts to get up. All I could do was laugh at him b/c he knows better. He was not a rookie by no means.

Later, he tells me the sun blinded him so he turned to watch 3B. I knew better but let him go with that story. He was looking at 3B long before the ball was coming in.:yippie:

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#1- BU, chest to ball, chest to ball, chest to ball!!! Always read the ball!!!

#2- I don't necessarily agree with small field as the best place to start. For the very reasons stated before. I have always believed that it is easier to train a recruit doing games he knows and understands. The unpredictability of LL makes it more difficult to get "into it". Heck trying to teach a rookie to call minors (U10) is almost impossible. I have found that if you start with big field 13-14, 15-16 games and then work down they can transition more easily.

just my .02$ :clap:

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In response to Treedog, yes we did a pre-game, to wit..."I am staying at home with runners in scoring position, meaning 2B, or 2B and 3B."

I also had an "in game" quickie meeting between innings, (about 2 innings later), just to ask if that play caught him by surprise. Yup. My response was - you got to watch the ball always. We did not have time for a post game as this game started after 8 pm and it was 10:30 ish by the time one of the teams wrested defeat from the jaws of victory. : )

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  • 4 weeks later...

Haha Ive learned this lesson.

I was doing a little league juniors game this season. Im PU. We are working a 2 man crew. Kid comes up hits a double. Into to second with the throw and my base umpire makes the safe call. I put my mask back on and get behind the catcher. Batter comes up. R2 leads off. Pitcher comes set. Shortstop runs up and tags R2. I was surprised at first and I think my base umpire was too. He must not have been paying any attention and not seen that the ball never came back to the pitcher. I couldnt have seen as I was walking back behind the catcher and grabing my mask.

Anyways, I immeadiately call a balk and explain to the pitcher that he cannot come astride the rubber without the ball.

I guess sometimes the players can even fool the umpires if they're not watching.

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