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Cato the Younger

Umpires Will Be Required To Issue A Warning In 2016

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The batters box rule is diligently enforced here in NW Oregon and SW Washington. 

Oh... and the "delayed-dead-ball" signal hasnt existed for a few years now.

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I went from pro ball to high school ball over one winter.  I hated the "restriction to the dugout" when I first started doing high school ball because I had a "pro umpire" mentality.

Once I learned to chill out (and not have the pro umpire mentality of "us vs. the world" at all times), I realized that restrictions are a great device.  In our state, high school baseball coaches get fined a minimum $300 if they get tossed.  And this amount is strictly enforced.  (I've even had an ejection where the head coach was fined $500 and it was his first ejection of the year.)  If they are a volunteer assistant coach, they are barred from the athletic department for one calendar year.  (That means if the football team's defensive coordinator (a paid position) is helping out his friend by being a volunteer assistant baseball coach during the spring and he gets tossed from a baseball game...guess what he is not doing the next fall? He is not coaching football (and in our state many football coordinators get paid more than the teachers). 

Paid baseball coaches in our state usually only get paid a few thousand dollars, at most.  Their wives are already mad at them for spending almost every day for 5 months away from home doing something that they barely get paid to do.  Do you think the coaches want to go home and tell the wife that there is an extra $300 household bill they have to pay this month?  Hell no.

The point of all of that is to say this: when they have been restricted they know that they are a short distance away from a $300 fine or a 1-year suspension.  As a result, I have never had a restricted coach ever say another word the rest of the game about anything.  The game gets magically quiet and peaceful.

[With that said, I've still had 5 head coaches since 2002 go from zero to ejection in a half-a-second.  In those cases, I had no chance to warn or restrict.  But, when restriction to the dugout is available...use it.  The game gets quiet quickly.]

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If "that's enough" is too vague, then perhaps Ken Allan's phrase is too specific. If I warn a coach about arguing balls and strikes (using "argue balls and strikes" to fill in the blank of your warning phrase), and he later persists in arguing a safe/out call, then the prior warning would seem not to apply.

I guess I don't see what's vague about "that's enough." If you want to use the word "warning" in there somewhere, that's fine, but it doesn't seem to add much substance.

The problem is thinking that we can verbally legislate coaches into submission. There is no magic phrase or any other form of language that we can employ to guarantee either (a) coach will comply from then on, or (b) coach will have no basis for complaint or confusion. Human behavior is far too complex for that to be so. Add in the fact that much of what we communicate in these confrontations is non-verbal, and the imperative to wordsmith the phrasing just right goes by the board.

I agree, looking over with a sharp "that's enough" lets everybody in the ball park know whats going on.  And mostly the coach knows that your acknowledging his garbage.  The worst thing I see when I hear my partners go "that's enough" is when they allow the coach to continue. 

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I went from pro ball to high school ball over one winter.  I hated the "restriction to the dugout" when I first started doing high school ball because I had a "pro umpire" mentality.

Once I learned to chill out (and not have the pro umpire mentality of "us vs. the world" at all times), I realized that restrictions are a great device.  In our state, high school baseball coaches get fined a minimum $300 if they get tossed.  And this amount is strictly enforced.  (I've even had an ejection where the head coach was fined $500 and it was his first ejection of the year.)  If they are a volunteer assistant coach, they are barred from the athletic department for one calendar year.  (That means if the football team's defensive coordinator (a paid position) is helping out his friend by being a volunteer assistant baseball coach during the spring and he gets tossed from a baseball game...guess what he is not doing the next fall? He is not coaching football (and in our state many football coordinators get paid more than the teachers). 

Paid baseball coaches in our state usually only get paid a few thousand dollars, at most.  Their wives are already mad at them for spending almost every day for 5 months away from home doing something that they barely get paid to do.  Do you think the coaches want to go home and tell the wife that there is an extra $300 household bill they have to pay this month?  Hell no.

The point of all of that is to say this: when they have been restricted they know that they are a short distance away from a $300 fine or a 1-year suspension.  As a result, I have never had a restricted coach ever say another word the rest of the game about anything.  The game gets magically quiet and peaceful.

[With that said, I've still had 5 head coaches since 2002 go from zero to ejection in a half-a-second.  In those cases, I had no chance to warn or restrict.  But, when restriction to the dugout is available...use it.  The game gets quiet quickly.]

I wish they would understand that the field is an extension of the class room.Why would we let the coaches and players do something on the field that would get them disciplined by the AD/ Principal?  

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I wish they would understand that the field is an extension of the class room.Why would we let the coaches and players do something on the field that would get them disciplined by the AD/ Principal?  

+100%

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I went from pro ball to high school ball over one winter.  I hated the "restriction to the dugout" when I first started doing high school ball because I had a "pro umpire" mentality.

Once I learned to chill out (and not have the pro umpire mentality of "us vs. the world" at all times), I realized that restrictions are a great device.  In our state, high school baseball coaches get fined a minimum $300 if they get tossed.  And this amount is strictly enforced.  (I've even had an ejection where the head coach was fined $500 and it was his first ejection of the year.)  If they are a volunteer assistant coach, they are barred from the athletic department for one calendar year.  (That means if the football team's defensive coordinator (a paid position) is helping out his friend by being a volunteer assistant baseball coach during the spring and he gets tossed from a baseball game...guess what he is not doing the next fall? He is not coaching football (and in our state many football coordinators get paid more than the teachers). 

Paid baseball coaches in our state usually only get paid a few thousand dollars, at most.  Their wives are already mad at them for spending almost every day for 5 months away from home doing something that they barely get paid to do.  Do you think the coaches want to go home and tell the wife that there is an extra $300 household bill they have to pay this month?  Hell no.

The point of all of that is to say this: when they have been restricted they know that they are a short distance away from a $300 fine or a 1-year suspension.  As a result, I have never had a restricted coach ever say another word the rest of the game about anything.  The game gets magically quiet and peaceful.

[With that said, I've still had 5 head coaches since 2002 go from zero to ejection in a half-a-second.  In those cases, I had no chance to warn or restrict.  But, when restriction to the dugout is available...use it.  The game gets quiet quickly.]

I think the key thing here is that there are additional consequences for ejection, unlike my state. When it was first allowed as an option, it was passed down as a point of emphasis for game management. Now we generally don't restrict adults in my state because we found that they used it as their "free shot." Since there is no additional penalty for ejection other than a one-game suspension, there was little incentive for those who would get a restriction to stick around. A coach that was going to get tossed was still getting tossed, just after a bit more BS. The only time this was useful was for those coaches who were generally well-behaved but got a case of the stupid, and we still can use it for those guys.

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I think the key thing here is that there are additional consequences for ejection, unlike my state. When it was first allowed as an option, it was passed down as a point of emphasis for game management. Now we generally don't restrict adults in my state because we found that they used it as their "free shot." Since there is no additional penalty for ejection other than a one-game suspension, there was little incentive for those who would get a restriction to stick around. A coach that was going to get tossed was still getting tossed, just after a bit more BS. The only time this was useful was for those coaches who were generally well-behaved but got a case of the stupid, and we still can use it for those guys.

I agree. I really feel that the restriction is best for things unrelated to acting like a fool at the sandlot. For example equipment related issues, multiple jewelry offenses or even substitution problems (even though the rules are not as draconian regarding substitution violations as they were in the past). To me restriction is not something to put some teeth behind these types of issues but not the guy who's constantly whining and crying and putting on a show about how he thinks he's getting hosed by the umpires in the game.

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 Again my biggest issue with this rule change is that when umpires tossed somebody before they restrict them for really what would be over-the-top behavior there's going to be questions on why they weren't given their written warning/restriction.

Edited by Cato the Younger

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 Again my biggest issue with this rule change is that when umpires tossed somebody before they restrict them for really what would be over-the-top behavior there's going to be questions on why they weren't given their written warning/restriction.

The statement from NFHS says:

"Previously, issuing a warning to an offending coach was optional for umpires, who will now restrict to the bench/dugout or eject coaches who commit a violation after previously being warned for a minor offense. However, coaches can still be ejected on a first offense if it is deemed to be major."

Not sure what the issue might be @Cato the Younger .

AD/Assigner: Why was the coach not warned first?

Me: Did you read my ejection report? Because when he _____________________ (select your favorite jackassery), I deemed his behavior to be serious enough that he needed to be ejected.  

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I'm going to make up some 3x5 cards with "This is your warning"

I'll have to buy a whole case.

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The statement from NFHS says:

"Previously, issuing a warning to an offending coach was optional for umpires, who will now restrict to the bench/dugout or eject coaches who commit a violation after previously being warned for a minor offense. However, coaches can still be ejected on a first offense if it is deemed to be major."

Not sure what the issue might be @Cato the Younger .

AD/Assigner: Why was the coach not warned first?

Me: Did you read my ejection report? Because when he _____________________ (select your favorite jackassery), I deemed his behavior to be serious enough that he needed to be ejected.  

I agree with you and is not going to change my personal game control philosophy, but that doesn't mean that the rule change is not going to come with issues. 

I not only umpire a lot of games, but I assign a significant amount of games at the high school level. I work a lot with coaches and athletic directors. Most of them are very reasonable people that I enjoy working with, but I also hear lots of whining about game control situations about umpires in the same way that umpires would complain about coaches. Trust me what we see as over-the-top behavior is not considered so ridiculous by all the of the games stakeholders.

I'll repeat the scenario that I'm most concerned about:

There is a close play.....Coach "Tasmanian Devil" comes flying out of the dugout protesting the call. The umpire has had enough because of prior complaining but has not issued a formal warning now throws coach Taz out of the game. Coach Taz goes back to his athletic director and says: "This guy must have been yelled at by his wife as he had rabbit ears. I was supposed to receive a warning. I didn’t swear at the official. It was a terrible call. He should not have thrown me out of the game. It a shame that guys like that are getting paid with that brutal of a call. Blah blah blah.......Now the umpire who had a legitimate ejection is now defending why he did not give a warning to his assignor. If he’s lucky enough to have a supportive assignor no problem. But there is a lot of athletic directors and assignors that I know that are company men and women that would throw the umpire under the bus in support coach Taz not getting his warning.

 Before the rule change they might have asked why coached Taz was not warned but now it's a rule..... yada yadda yadda

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There is a close play.....Coach "Tasmanian Devil" comes flying out of the dugout protesting the call. The umpire has had enough because of prior complaining but has not issued a formal warning now throws coach Taz out of the game. Coach Taz goes back to his athletic director and says: "This guy must have been yelled at by his wife as he had rabbit ears. I was supposed to receive a warning. I didn’t swear at the official. It was a terrible call. He should not have thrown me out of the game. It a shame that guys like that are getting paid with that brutal of a call. Blah blah blah.......Now the umpire who had a legitimate ejection is now defending why he did not give a warning to his assignor. If he’s lucky enough to have a supportive assignor no problem. But there is a lot of athletic directors and assignors that I know that are company men and women that would throw the umpire under the bus in support coach Taz not getting his warning.

 Before the rule change they might have asked why coached Taz was not warned but now it's a rule..... yada yadda yadda

Though jackass coach may try to spin the situation in his favor, it is simple, either:
a) HC didn't say/do anything worthy of an immediate EJ ... then this coach has a legitimate beef. 
b) HC did say/do something 
worthy of an immediate EJ ... then this coach has no legitimate beef. 

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Though jackass coach may try to spin the situation in his favor, it is simple, either:a) HC didn't say/do anything worthy of an immediate EJ ... then this coach has a legitimate beef. 
b) HC did say/do something 
worthy of an immediate EJ ... then this coach has no legitimate beef. 

,,,,,and my ejection report will include exactly what was said or done to earn the all expenses paid trip to the golden chariot waiting in the parking lot. 

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Though jackass coach may try to spin the situation in his favor, it is simple, either:a) HC didn't say/do anything worthy of an immediate EJ ... then this coach has a legitimate beef. 
b) HC did say/do something 
worthy of an immediate EJ ... then this coach has no legitimate beef. 

I think the issue with this rule changes is that what many umpires think is clearly over the line many athletic directors and coaches feel is minor and deserves a warning. 

 I can tell you this if a number of the coaches that I know read this board they would be shocked at the defensive attitude that many here have about their " competitive" behavior.

Edited by Cato the Younger

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,,,,,and my ejection report will include exactly what was said or done to earn the all expenses paid trip to the golden chariot waiting in the parking lot. 

 I love the golden chariot analogy!

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I also think the other problem comes than the number of umpires are not going to be all that excited about issuing the warning that comes with restriction. 

Trust me coaches that are not used to being restricted to the dugout are not going to head to the penalty box like a veteran "enforcer" in hockey and sit down with an issue.

Certainly some coaches will, but these are not the problem guys that this rule is directed at.  The informal warning that many of us have used in the past works very well with this type of coach.

 I can see coaches getting ejected over complaining about receiving their written warning and now being restricted to the dugout.

 I'm totally biased, and I admit it. I have never restricted a coach to a dugout unless it was for an administrative reason and typically that's because it was a rule in softball. I have no recollection of ever restricting a baseball coach to a dugout, and I'm not thrilled about this rule change because I don't feel that it's going to in any way enhance sportsmanship and better etiquette from the most problematic coaches.

 

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This should be a non-issue for every smart umpire, as there's ways around the warning. This is no different than selling a judgment call.

 

Now, my son is a varsity coach, and he loves this new twist, as not every umpire in his world is that sharp. Being a decent umpire himself, he's able push the envelope pretty far, and this makes the envelope that much bigger. What a dumb rule.

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I think the issue with this rule changes is that what many umpires think is clearly over the line many athletic directors and coaches feel is minor and deserves a warning. 

But that has always been the case. Coaches often believe that an umpire pulled the trigger too early. This rule changes nothing about that.   

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But that has always been the case. Coaches often believe that an umpire pulled the trigger too early. This rule changes nothing about that.   

Agreed.

Let me switch gears, though. I also assign a lot of basketball at the high school level. I can count on my hands with fingers to spare how many times basketball officials went directly to an ejection for a lot of behavior that many baseball umpires would throw the guy out of the game without hesitation for without a warning. 

If a basketball official were to toss the coach with a flagrant technical foul immediately, it has to be Bobby Knight throwing the chair on the court type material or the official is going to be under scrutiny for the immediate ejection and not giving the first "T." 

Unfortunately, I see this rule change moving in that type of incremental direction.

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This should be a non-issue for every smart umpire, as there's ways around the warning. This is no different than selling a judgment call.

 

Now, my son is a varsity coach, and he loves this new twist, as not every umpire in his world is that sharp. Being a decent umpire himself, he's able push the envelope pretty far, and this makes the envelope that much bigger. What a dumb rule.

I agree it's a nonissue for smart umpires. But rule changes like this are directed at the masses not the astute umpires that will always operate around this type of rules change if necessary.

Edited by Cato the Younger

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Sorry, but when I watch a local HS basketball game, but thinking like a baseball umpire, those head coaches usually last less than three minutes if I'm on the floor. Friends will look to me during a game, watching for the "the hook" signal, early in the game.

 

Why refs put up with that kind of nonsense is beyond me. Here's the rule of thumb I like to go by: Don't yell something at me on the playing field that you would say to me in line at the local Costco. I swear I've seen bb coaches yell directly at refs, at less than three feet away. Nothing. Hell, on more than one occasion I've loudly mentioned to the ref "Why are you allowing him to yell at you like that?!"

Edited by kylejt

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This should be a non-issue for every smart umpire, as there's ways around the warning. This is no different than selling a judgment call.

 

Now, my son is a varsity coach, and he loves this new twist, as not every umpire in his world is that sharp. Being a decent umpire himself, he's able push the envelope pretty far, and this makes the envelope that much bigger. What a dumb rule.

Why would he want to push the envelope? 

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