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stkjock

LLWS Regionals -HPUs

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As for the rest, I used the same mechanics, timing, etc. at my WS and 3 regionals that I use for HS and college games.  Nobody (with the exception of rotations) has ever told me how to umpire a LL game differently than what I usually bring to the table.

@RichMSN, I know you worked at least one LL regional (LL meaning 11-12 year olds), but when was the last one you worked?  I think the micromanaging has only been happening for the last 2 years, and only at the LL level, as opposed to Intermediate, Junior, Senior and Big League levels.

I simply refuse to believe that every single umpire in the LL regionals and LLWS over the last 2 years chose, on their own, to use the hammer.  Not a single umpire in the last 2 years on TV pointing strikes?

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In the New England (RI vs. CT) game on ESPN right now the PU is a pointer. He is drawing out his strike call a great deal, however. 

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@RichMSN, I know you worked at least one LL regional (LL meaning 11-12 year olds), but when was the last one you worked?  I think the micromanaging has only been happening for the last 2 years, and only at the LL level, as opposed to Intermediate, Junior, Senior and Big League levels.

I simply refuse to believe that every single umpire in the LL regionals and LLWS over the last 2 years chose, on their own, to use the hammer.  Not a single umpire in the last 2 years on TV pointing strikes?

Asked my father last night about the hammer call for strikes. (My father is the District 8 Director for Indiana. This is the district where the Central Regional Headquarters is located)

He said that LL had instructed the umpires to use this mechanic as the preferred strike mechanic. @basejester you could shed some light on this as well I believe, since you are from the same area.

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@RichMSN, I know you worked at least one LL regional (LL meaning 11-12 year olds), but when was the last one you worked?  I think the micromanaging has only been happening for the last 2 years, and only at the LL level, as opposed to Intermediate, Junior, Senior and Big League levels.

I simply refuse to believe that every single umpire in the LL regionals and LLWS over the last 2 years chose, on their own, to use the hammer.  Not a single umpire in the last 2 years on TV pointing strikes?

The system is set up so you really only work one regional.  I know that technically you can work more than one, but I know nobody who has.  I've done the senior, junior, and major regionals.

I worked majors (11-12) in 2012.  Maybe it's time to change my avatar.

I'll check with my sources.  I do not believe they will tell umpires to change how they work the plate at a tournament, but I've been wrong before.

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Asked my father last night about the hammer call for strikes. (My father is the District 8 Director for Indiana. This is the district where the Central Regional Headquarters is located)

He said that LL had instructed the umpires to use this mechanic as the preferred strike mechanic. @basejester you could shed some light on this as well I believe, since you are from the same area.

The instruction I've received is always the hammer.  But at the same time, the instructors have always indicated that the point is acceptable and a regional game is not a time to try something new.

For what it's worth, Fall Creek, whose boundaries I believe include Central Region Headquarters, is now in district 7.

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Anyone just see the end of the Idaho/ Washington game?

Crazy!!!!!  U3 calls R3 out for the 3BC giving him a little push to try and score the tying run!!!!

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Anyone just see the end of the Idaho/ Washington game?

Crazy!!!!!  U3 calls R3 out for the 3BC giving him a little push to try and score the tying run!!!!

I saw a clip of it on FB.  He got it right.  Gutsy call in that spot.

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Well, I'll put in my .02 :-)

If I'm doing LL, which is mostly solo, I always use the hammer. I've NEVER been told to use it, but I do from lessons learned . . . aka "experience" (which is just the name "we" give "our" mistakes ;-) . . . anyway, I found that it's easier for me to use the hammer in LL and keep my eyes looking forward. Just as sure as *#%@, as soon as I use the standard "point", something is going to happen out there with these LL players! . . . It's "Murphy's Law" and I MAY miss it!

:-)

 

Edited by SJA

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Anyone just see the end of the Idaho/ Washington game?

Crazy!!!!!  U3 calls R3 out for the 3BC giving him a little push to try and score the tying run!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dqt4i519mAw

 

Clearly 3BC pushed the runner.  If he had just tapped his shoulder is the call the same?

Edited by stkjock

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dqt4i519mAw

 

Clearly 3BC pushed the runner.  If he had just tapped his shoulder is the call the same?

The rule is that the coach cannot "physically assist" the runner to advance or return.  Mere touching is probably not physical assistance as it probably doesn't alter the runner's physical state.

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I personally think that touching to convey information isn't physical assistance,  However, the official interpretations do not agree with Rich and me.

2012 RIM:

(h) in the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at third base, or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physically assists that runner in returning to or leaving third base or first base;

“The Right Call” Casebook -- Play 7-12: Runner on third, one out, fly ball hit to deep left. Runner on third stays on the bag waiting for the third base coach to signal when the catch is made. The coach slaps the runner on the back when the ball is caught; he/she runs home and scores. Ruling: WRONG! Runner declared out because the third base coach touching him/her was illegal assistance. Play 7-13: The runner trips over the base rounding third. The coach helps him/her up and pushes the runner back to third or sends him/her home. Ruling: Runner is out because of the coach’s assistance. Play 7-14: The batter hits a home run with the bases full. Each runner who passes the third base coach is congratulated with a “high five” by the base coach. Ruling: No call. This is not assistance. Comment: When a play is being made on the assisted runner, the umpire shall call “Time” and enforce the penalty: The runner is out and all runners return to the bases occupied at the time of the interference. If no play is being made on the assisted runner, the umpire shall signal that the runner is out and allow plays on other runners if possible (delayed dead ball).

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The thing that bothers me (and it's not just at the LL level) is the umpires never watching the ball. I watched one of the games a few days ago and a ball was hit down the LF line with R1 going to 3rd. The 3rd base umpire never looked at the ball...EVER. He stood there watching every step R1 took and had no clue where the throw was going, or if he was going to have a play.

This is what leads to plays exploding and not being in the correct position to see the entire play.

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Well, I'll put in my .02 :-)

If I'm doing LL, which is mostly solo, I always use the hammer. I've NEVER been told to use it, but I do from lessons learned . . . aka "experience" (which is just the name "we" give "our" mistakes ;-) . . . anyway, I found that it's easier for me to use the hammer in LL and keep my eyes looking forward. Just as sure as *#%@, as soon as I use the standard "point", something is going to happen out there with these LL players! . . . It's "Murphy's Law" and I MAY miss it!

:-)

 

And more power to you if you choose to use the hammer. My issue is not that umpires use it, it's that LL appears to be mandating it (and the incredibly stiff and robotic mechanics used by so many I see on TV).

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The thing that bothers me (and it's not just at the LL level) is the umpires never watching the ball. I watched one of the games a few days ago and a ball was hit down the LF line with R1 going to 3rd. The 3rd base umpire never looked at the ball...EVER. He stood there watching every step R1 took and had no clue where the throw was going, or if he was going to have a play.

This is what leads to plays exploding and not being in the correct position to see the entire play.

There's an abundance of tunnel vision and running to a spot, that's for sure.  If I watch a game for 5 minutes, I already know where the good umpires on a crew are -- and in the semifinal games it's likely the best umpires are on a foul line as they're working a plate in the final.

Still a bunch of umpires blindly pivoting in, too, for no reason other than "it's what I'd do in 2-man."  There was a foul fly down the right field line and U1 still pivoted in as if he'd have to take a BR to second base.

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And more power to you if you choose to use the hammer. My issue is not that umpires use it, it's that LL appears to be mandating it (and the incredibly stiff and robotic mechanics used by so many I see on TV).

It is as if these umpires are straight from the NCAA softball WS.

Maybe they are the first generation of "Byrnes' Bots" mechanical umpires.

Edited by conbo61

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It is as if these umpires are straight from the NCAA softball WS.

Maybe they are the first generation of "Byrnes' Bots" mechanical umpires.

Especially the PU for the Rhode Island vs Vermont game this morning. He verbals first, then stands up and punches the sky. Softball all the way.

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I'm probably like a whole bunch of umpires.  Due to a big need, I started umpiring in LL when my kids were playing.  After a few years of volunteer umpiring in LL, determined I liked it and decided to start doing HS games.

I have attended the weekend umpire clinic in Williamsport on 2 occasions.  Great clinic, $85.00 for the entire weekend, includes meals and lodging.  This was the first formal training I had and they do in fact teach the "hammer" due to the simple fact they don't want you to turn your head from the field of play.  That said, they say the turn and point is just fine.  They do encourage some creativity on 3rd. strike punch outs.

I will add that I was also our local LL president in 2013 and 2014.  I had little difficulty getting coaches, concession workers, fundraising help, etc. but I did have constant headaches getting umpires.  LL specifically prohibits paying umpires.  I realize many leagues do, but if they are a LL chartered league, it's under the table.  

I only mention that just to encourage folks not to be too critical of LL umpires.  I realize the ones on TV should be more accomplished than most LL umpires, but they are volunteer and trying to do their part to make the game a little better.  Mistakes will happen, just as they do at every level of umpiring.

Just my $0.02 cents. 

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I will add that I was also our local LL president in 2013 and 2014.  I had little difficulty getting coaches, concession workers, fundraising help, etc. but I did have constant headaches getting umpires.

LL specifically prohibits paying umpires.  

I realize many leagues do, but if they are a LL chartered league, it's under the table. 

That's not the case.  Little League insurance covers volunteer umpires but not paid umpires.  They encourage (but do not require) the use of volunteer umpires. 

Actual laws require reporting income to the government, through an agency or directly.  That's not a Little League thing.  And yes, many leagues are paying under the table.

We have very similar arcs, by the way, and I appreciate your post in general.

 

 

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Umpire working the Midwest Championship plate points.  And his zone is great and has great timing.

So the hammer is obviously not mandated, as this was one of the 2 best plate umpires there and he's working today (Central has two championships). 

Edited by RichMSN

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Umpire working the Midwest Championship plate points.  And his zone is great and has great timing.

So the hammer is obviously not mandated, as this was one of the 2 best plate umpires there and he's working today (Central has two championships). 

He looked more like a baseball umpire.

I can see the hammer if you are working solo or in a two man and you don't want to look away, but when you are in a 4-6 man crew, there should be plenty of coverage.

FTR - I point to the side, but still look forward.

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I work in the West Regional, and for the past 2 years (since I started umpiring again after a 10 year break), they've been pushing the hammer very hard. Not that they won't let you do a point, but that they won't teach it. It won't necessarily prevent you from doing higher levels, but it could be a factor. Before last year I'd never used the hammer for a strike, but made the switch, figuring that if that was what they wanted, I'd comply.

Growing up, LL always paid to umpire, and while they aren't prohibited from doing so, they're highly discouraged. Many District and Regional Administrators strongly, strongly discourage paying, and at the District Umpire meeting this year there was a 5+ minute presentation on why we shouldn't pay (including, as jester mentions, the insurance issue). That being said, there are at least a few leagues in our district who do pay, though mine doesn;t.

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I have done 2 regionals at the major level, 1 at the senior level and a world series at the big league. When I asked if there was anything specific, that they wanted us to follow - I was told do what you have done to get here. I have never been told to use the hammer on the plate or bases. As far as specific field mechanics, I have worked some "odd" coverages/rotations, but that is what they wanted - so we did it.

I use the point on the plate, and pretty subdued on the bases - I have been fortunate to get a plate in a semi or final game in these tournaments - when not on the plate in finals, an infield assignment. My mechanics seem to be OK with the bosses in those tournaments.

I wonder if the teaching of the hammer is to simplify the training? Most of the training is for the 60' diamond and is for baseball and softball. As we all know, the mechanics of the big field is a lot different (or should be).

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