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I have worked in three different HS associations in the last three years and heard something I would like your comments on.

 

A discussion took place in a HS association meeting concerning the mechanic for a time play being in effect. One of the more respected umpires said that if a play occurs, the base umpire should make the call immediately so the PU knows if the run scores before or after the out on the bases.

 

I disagreed with this because it goes against everything we were taught about your timing on the call.  See the play, look for secure possession, make a determination, make the call.  Takes about a second.

 

If I'm the plate umpire, I line up the play much as I would if I were getting in position to see a runner tagging up on a caught fly ball.  I really don't pay attention to the BU, but if he has an out, because I saw the play I know which occurred first, and don't have a problem making the call.

 

Has anyone heard of this?

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I've heard of it, and it's wrong. The point of signaling a time play situation (2 outs, RISP) is to remind the PU to be alert to an out on the bases being made around the time a runner scores.

 

The BU should NEVER change his timing for making a call on the bases, which is often sufficiently challenging as it is (crap throws and tags, goofy slides, clouds of dust, etc. etc.). Responsibility for ruling correctly on a time play is entirely on the PU. Benefit of any doubt goes to the defense (that is, discount the run).

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I wonder, would it be beneficial for the BU to call "TAG!" on the tag at 2B, then after verifying control through the tag call "OUT!"?

 

The call of "TAG!" might help the PU establish the sequence of events. 

 

I was PU and I had a time play where F6 attempted to tag BR at 2B twice, once before R1 made it home and once again immediately after.   I had to conference with the BU to figure out which tag was the out. 

 

 

I wonder what the downside is, other than doing things outside the book?

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I wonder, would it be beneficial for the BU to call "TAG!" on the tag at 2B, then after verifying control through the tag call "OUT!"?

 

The call of "TAG!" might help the PU establish the sequence of events. 

 

I was PU and I had a time play where F6 attempted to tag BR at 2B twice, once before R1 made it home and once again immediately after.   I had to conference with the BU to figure out which tag was the out. 

 

 

I wonder what the downside is, other than doing things outside the book?

 

I think it would be difficult to hear your partner while his back is turned making a call at second base from 127 feet away.

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I wonder, would it be beneficial for the BU to call "TAG!" on the tag at 2B, then after verifying control through the tag call "OUT!"?

 

The call of "TAG!" might help the PU establish the sequence of events. 

 

I was PU and I had a time play where F6 attempted to tag BR at 2B twice, once before R1 made it home and once again immediately after.   I had to conference with the BU to figure out which tag was the out. 

 

 

I wonder what the downside is, other than doing things outside the book?

 

I think it would be difficult to hear your partner while his back is turned making a call at second base from 127 feet away.

 

But you can point as soon as you have a tag and then make the out call a few seconds later when its confirmed.  PU can see the point.

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I wonder, would it be beneficial for the BU to call "TAG!" on the tag at 2B, then after verifying control through the tag call "OUT!"?

 

The call of "TAG!" might help the PU establish the sequence of events. 

 

I was PU and I had a time play where F6 attempted to tag BR at 2B twice, once before R1 made it home and once again immediately after.   I had to conference with the BU to figure out which tag was the out. 

 

 

I wonder what the downside is, other than doing things outside the book?

 

I think it would be difficult to hear your partner while his back is turned making a call at second base from 127 feet away.

 

But you can point as soon as you have a tag and then make the out call a few seconds later when its confirmed.  PU can see the point.

 

 

First, depending on how things line up your partner may not see the point, because he might have to look through your back.

 

Second, both the point and calling out "tag" will look to be a call of out to many if not all players, coaches and fans. Probably not a problem if it does result in the out, but definitely a problem if the ultimate call is safe.

 

Third, the possibility that the ultimate call is safe. To everyone except possibly your partner it will look like you called the runner out but overruled yourself. Yes we make mistakes and this happens outside of this type of situation. But who likes it when they do? Depending on the game situation and the level of play, it might become the first step in what winds up being your next ejection. Why make this headache any more likely than normal?

 

Fourth, the plate umpire is now supposed to rely on your reaction time to make an indication which he may not see or hear clearly anyway.

 

Fifth, though you may not be ruling safe or out at the time, you are making a call. I've been taught that proper timing means letting the play happen, then deciding on what the call should be, then making the call. When some combination of those three things overlap - you're deciding as the play is still ongoing, you're calling as either you're still deciding or the play is still happening - you're a much bigger chance of getting it wrong than you otherwise would be.

 

I think its best that if you're the base umpire you call it the same way you would in any other case, rather than trying to speed it up because its a time play. If you're the plate umpire, you line it up to see the play and the runner crossing the plate as best you can and decide at what point the out was made, if it was made. If there's something weird that makes a difference - two (or more) points that look like could have been tags, happening before and after the runner crosses the plate - you confer with your partner to work out what actually resulted in the out, and then rule on the run scoring or not.

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I had this the other day and had to explain to the coach that it wasn't when the BU CALLED the out, but when the actual PUT OUT occurred.  

 

As the PU, you line it up, period.  The BU shouldn't need to say a single thing for you to correctly rule on this.

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First, depending on how things line up your partner may not see the point, because he might have to look through your back.

 

Second, both the point and calling out "tag" will look to be a call of out to many if not all players, coaches and fans. Probably not a problem if it does result in the out, but definitely a problem if the ultimate call is safe.

 

Third, the possibility that the ultimate call is safe. To everyone except possibly your partner it will look like you called the runner out but overruled yourself.

 

 

1) Possible but not likely.

2) Not to any of the players or coaches in the leagues I do.

3) The only reason to have a "safe" now is if the fielder drops the ball, so it's easily explainable.

 

Sure, in non-time play situations, the better mechanic is to just wait and make the call.  But here, you need (imo) to get the time of the out before the out becomes official and the point can help.

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