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8U machine pitch travel ball


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Has anyone done machine pitch travel ball?  Or, 8U machine pitch games?  Solo?  I did one game last weekend, and a 5-game one-day tournament today.  

 

If you have done such games, did you see or hear anything interesting?

 

I think 8U machine pitch is an acquired taste.  You have to be willing to take it seriously, and as a "horizon expanding experience."

 

What I saw and heard:

 

* Although I have done 10U, solo, and thought I saw all the obstruction and interference calls I could imagine, I was mistaken.  8U has more.

 

* I saw so many force plays involving soft tosses (no smack of the ball into the glove), that 8U is a great training ground for that sort of play. Oh, and don't count on the fielder receiving the ball to have his foot on the base.

 

* Machine pitchers get tired too.  The machine got wild.  It was a loose bolt.  Required a wrench.  During the game.  Also, at one point, the DM called time and walked out to the mound.  His team was giving up lots of runs during the inning.  Everything stopped.  Everyone watched.  I wondered if he was about to take out the machine!  But he just gathered his players to give them a pep talk.  Oh well.

 

* As if I did not already know this: You can never, ever relax.  There is no such thing as a level where you can relax.  This level was just as drama filled as any level I have done.  No, I take that back.  It has more drama than some.  Varsity HS is easier in many ways.  You even have a partner at other levels!

 

* The parents/fans are as driven and as overboard as at any level.  No, maybe more so.  They haven't yet learned, for example, to stop calling out instructions to their sons, from all directions at all times, between each pitch. Even though there are multiple coaches (6 on each side?) all doing the same thing.  It's madness!

 

* I got a wider range of "comments from the fans" than at any other level.  There were a number of "Good game" comments by the winning team fans (certainly not interesting).  But at the other end of the spectrum, during one game a fan in the stands shouted out "You're an idiot!" --- first time I got that comment!  I also got a sarcastic "Good game blue! That one's on you!" shouted at me from way down past the 3B dugout --- the side that lost a game by a near mercy-rule drubbing.  (I could only figure it was because I called an R2 on that team out for interference when he ran directly into the F6 who was trying to catch a popup.  The coaches and parents just could not understand why their runner was out --- isn't he entitled to the baseline????)

 

* Habits you develop doing games are...habits.  I found myself trying to take off my mask once a ball was put in play --- but I had no mask!  (You don't call balls and strikes, just count pitches and swings.)  One time, I said "3 balls, 2 strikes," when I meant, "3 pitches, 2 strikes."  

 

* Some of machine pitch is "alien" --- like a totally different game from baseball.  Counting pitches.  Umpire calls "Time!" as soon as an infielder has control of the ball that has come in from the outfield, and the runners have reached the bases they were heading toward.  There is an arc in front of HP that the ball must pass to be fair.  The F2 doesn't catch any pitch (well maybe some, but not many).  Doesn't matter, nobody can run, except when the ball is hit.  I just kept throwing a new ball to the "F1" after each pitch, as the "F2" ran down the passed ball/wild pitch.

 

* Some of the coaches are real novices.  They look to the umpire for guidance.  For example, at the plate meeting they will ask all sorts of questions about how the rules work, etc.

 

* At first, the kids all walked to their positions when they took the field.  Until I starting telling them, "Ok, hustle!   Nobody walks on a baseball field!"  Then the coaches started hustling them along.  Then they started getting into hustling.  Once when the F3 ran out to the plate, he smiled and said to me, "You don't know how hard it is to run in all this stuff!"  I said, "Oh yes I do!"

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You are preaching to the choir here... I had eight such games this weekend (although my games were coach pitch). It was a weekend of madness for sure and I second all of your observations. There were a total of x?!? Obstruction calls, more than a few interference calls (add on coach interference on shots that got the coach), fair foul fun from newer coaches, time plays everywhere, plenty of me husling all over the infield on the inevitable blown up play, and something like eights HWs, one of which R2 never even attempted to touch home he just joins the mob behind the plate. Nothing is said until later in the inning,

"Isn't that three blue?"

"No"

"Didn't you count the out for missing the plate?"

"There was never an appeal"

"Oh"

Sounds...um...interesting. Blows me away that they have travel ball at that age. How did it pay?

$31.5 a game for me.

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I used to do t-ball. There was the foul arc in front of the plate. The kids made some really interesting plays. One kid fielded the ball and went to first instead of throwing to the F3. Right before he touched the base, he stopped and placed the ball in the F3s glove. The F3 wasn't even paying attention. I even had tee interference one game. The coaches and fans can get really worked up in those games. One time they only got two innings in due to the two hour time limit. This year, t-ball umpires get $5 for a game.

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I've done plenty of coach pitch and tee ball before... I think one is enough for a lifetime, but I have done probably 20-30... The worst was a 10U travel tournament kid pitch... It. Sucked. I was public enemy number one except when someone was trying to kiss ass...

 

Everyone thought their little Tommy was headed to the pros, everyone else watching was a major league scout, and I was just getting in his way, making him look bad...  :shakehead:  :shakehead:  :shakehead:

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I used to do t-ball. There was the foul arc in front of the plate. The kids made some really interesting plays. One kid fielded the ball and went to first instead of throwing to the F3. Right before he touched the base, he stopped and placed the ball in the F3s glove. The F3 wasn't even paying attention. I even had tee interference one game. The coaches and fans can get really worked up in those games. One time they only got two innings in due to the two hour time limit. This year, t-ball umpires get $5 for a game.

 

$5?? I hope that is a typo.

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God bless you guys. 

Yeah, it seems like we might be "angels" for doing this.

 

But the parents know better!  We are the most evil scum of the Earth!   ;)

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I used to do t-ball. There was the foul arc in front of the plate. The kids made some really interesting plays. One kid fielded the ball and went to first instead of throwing to the F3. Right before he touched the base, he stopped and placed the ball in the F3s glove. The F3 wasn't even paying attention. I even had tee interference one game. The coaches and fans can get really worked up in those games. One time they only got two innings in due to the two hour time limit. This year, t-ball umpires get $5 for a game.

 

$5?? I hope that is a typo.

 

No I'm afraid it is not a typo. When I did it last year I got about $13.50. They lowered it this year. 

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No I'm afraid it is not a typo. When I did it last year I got about $13.50. They lowered it this year.

Lowered it from $13.50 to $5? I can't get 18 year old kids to do time limit 10U-12U for $45/game. Do you have a child who plays on the machine pitch team?

I trust that this is part of your personal community service plan to your city/town?

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I used to do t-ball. There was the foul arc in front of the plate. The kids made some really interesting plays. One kid fielded the ball and went to first instead of throwing to the F3. Right before he touched the base, he stopped and placed the ball in the F3s glove. The F3 wasn't even paying attention. I even had tee interference one game. The coaches and fans can get really worked up in those games. One time they only got two innings in due to the two hour time limit. This year, t-ball umpires get $5 for a game.

 

$5?? I hope that is a typo.

 

No I'm afraid it is not a typo. When I did it last year I got about $13.50. They lowered it this year. 

 

Refuse

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No I'm afraid it is not a typo. When I did it last year I got about $13.50. They lowered it this year.

Lowered it from $13.50 to $5? I can't get 18 year old kids to do time limit 10U-12U for $45/game. Do you have a child who plays on the machine pitch team?

I trust that this is part of your personal community service plan to your city/town?

 

I no longer do t-ball. Wow I would take those time limit 10u and 12u games for $45! In one league I get $20 for 10u and another league I get $25 to do 12u plate. The only time I got $45 for 12u was because I got an extra $15 dollars because I was on call. 

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I know that most adults would work for $22.50 an hour for basically showing up and collecting your money.

I don't think the kids these days are very good at math.

 

$45 for a 2-hour game?  I'm not most adults, then.  I'd rather be bored at home - they can keep the money.

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It amazes me that these tournaments and leagues pay peanuts ($5 a game, seriously?!) and then complain when the umpiring is sub-par.  You can't have it both ways.  I've taken a few games at a local little league (very established program, nice facilities etc.) that pays $20 a game and each time the assignor has more and more questions about how to improve the umpiring etc.  Maybe I'm going "out on a limb", but I would rather pay a single, experienced umpire $45 to do the game solo, than $20 to two teenagers that wear flip-flops and text between innings.  It amazes me that these leagues and tournaments have extravagant uniforms, equipment, facilities but then decide to "go cheap" on umpiring, but expect quality called games.......Okay, I feel better now :)

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I would rather pay a single, experienced umpire $45 to do the game solo, than $20 to two teenagers that wear flip-flops and text between innings.  It amazes me that these leagues and tournaments have extravagant uniforms, equipment, facilities but then decide to "go cheap" on umpiring, but expect quality called games.......Okay, I feel better now :)

 

I would like to say that not everyone who is young is out there just for the money.

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Except for a few Regular Season LL Volunteer games and post season LL, I have one major requirement to umpire.

Show me the Money

AS far as umpiring T-Ball, Machine Pitch or Coach Pitch, I never umpired any, would never umpire one and would never assign a umpire to one.

I don't care what they pay.

The coaches need to be Adults and let the kids have fun.

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I know that most adults would work for $22.50 an hour for basically showing up and collecting your money.

I don't think the kids these days are very good at math.

 

$45 for a 2-hour game?  I'm not most adults, then.  I'd rather be bored at home - they can keep the money.

 

I take $44 for a 1:45 NO New game all the time. ;)

11U and 12U

$49 for a two hour No New.

13U and up.

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No I'm afraid it is not a typo. When I did it last year I got about $13.50. They lowered it this year.

Lowered it from $13.50 to $5? I can't get 18 year old kids to do time limit 10U-12U for $45/game. Do you have a child who plays on the machine pitch team?

I trust that this is part of your personal community service plan to your city/town?

 

For $5 a game, should do jury duty instead.  Pays better.

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Several years ago I got a call from my assignor in california. He's in desperate need for a plate guy for a Mustang PLAYOFF game. I get to the field and its NOT mustang, the kids look like they are in pre-school. I guess it's called Pinto? The catchers are so small, I can't even kneel and get into the proper place, so I take my shin guards off so I can kneel comfortably. As it turns out, one pitcher is pitching like Nolan Ryan, and the other team is getting upset at ME for calling strikes (imagine that). Between innings I have a talk with the pitcher's coach/dad. He tells me that the league considered not letting his son pitch because he was too good. Sheeze.

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