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LittleBlue

Only One to Not Know it's the Championship

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Have you ever been assigned a championship game and not known it? I was moved from a 9u to a varsity summer league game. All went well and when the game was over the catcher ran to hung the pitcher and the team celeberated. Seemed odd. As we're walking back to the car a woman says "good job guys, see you next year." I was confused and she said "that was the championship (of that summer league)." I checked Arbiter again to make sure I didn't miss anything but me and my partner confirmed that nothing pointed to this being a championship game. Even the game it didn't play like a championship. Odd to say the least. 

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That's happened to me, although I found out before the game started. I was assigned a 16u game. My partner and I started ground rules and the coach mentioned that it was the championship game. My partner remarked that it would be nice if we knew these things beforehand.

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23 minutes ago, bluejersey said:

My partner remarked that it would be nice if we knew these things beforehand.

Why? Would he umpire "better"? Differently? Maybe cleaned his shoes? Sorry but statements like that bother me. It's right up there with guys who's #1 concern is how quick the game was.

Give your best effort every game, every level you accept to umpire. Any less is cheating the game. And yourself.

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1 hour ago, Richvee said:

Why? Would he umpire "better"? Differently? Maybe cleaned his shoes? Sorry but statements like that bother me. It's right up there with guys who's #1 concern is how quick the game was.

Give your best effort every game, every level you accept to umpire. Any less is cheating the game. And yourself.

Not to mention the players, coaches, fans, parents, groundskeepers, etc.

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2 hours ago, Richvee said:

Why? Would he umpire "better"? Differently? Maybe cleaned his shoes? Sorry but statements like that bother me. It's right up there with guys who's #1 concern is how quick the game was.

Give your best effort every game, every level you accept to umpire. Any less is cheating the game. And yourself.

I agree that we shouldn't umpire a championship game any differently than we would a regular season or rec game. We should give 100% for all games we do, but it's nice to know before hand what we're getting ourselves into. In this case the teams didn't seem to treat it much like a championship game but I could see us getting ready for a run of the mill high school summer league game and then getting snapped back to reality when both teams being more competitive than normal. Again, it wouldn't change how we work the game, but it's nice to know in advance.

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6 hours ago, Richvee said:

Why? Would he umpire "better"? Differently? Maybe cleaned his shoes? Sorry but statements like that bother me. It's right up there with guys who's #1 concern is how quick the game was.

Give your best effort every game, every level you accept to umpire. Any less is cheating the game. And yourself.

You got that right. One of the reasons I won't work more than 2 games in a day, 3 if I can have a break in between.  You should umpire every game like your hair is on fire.  It may not be the championship game or have a big meaning to you, but it could be the only game a parent is available to see their kid play.  Or the kid could be fighting for a starting spot on next year's roster.  And here's another one, somebody is always watching you.

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3 hours ago, LittleBlue said:

I agree that we shouldn't umpire a championship game any differently than we would a regular season or rec game. We should give 100% for all games we do, but it's nice to know before hand what we're getting ourselves into. In this case the teams didn't seem to treat it much like a championship game but I could see us getting ready for a run of the mill high school summer league game and then getting snapped back to reality when both teams being more competitive than normal. Again, it wouldn't change how we work the game, but it's nice to know in advance.

Doesn't matter.  Just umpire.

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Every game is a championship for some kid - could be their first hit or first win

Every game deserves your best, and we should treat them all as a championship game

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I was actually quite surprised to find so many umpires on here that don't care to know the potential importance of a ball game.

Knowing the status of the game or the team participants/history is valuable information for managing the game. This isn't to say that you treat a championship game any differently from a regular season game, but you'd be hard pressed to find any higher level umpire that just 'goes and umpires' the game. Case in point, a partner and I this year had a big rivalry series between two JUCOs this past season... Winner of the series won the division and the teams had a history. You don't just show up and umpire. A few potential game issues were recognized early by us because we knew the ramifications of the game and how the teams were.

Knowledge is power and having the knowledge of the meaning of a game may allow us to stay ahead of potential issues and actually more effectively manage the game. Yes, every game is important, but I'm not buying into living in a complete bubble.

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38 minutes ago, ALStripes17 said:

I was actually quite surprised to find so many umpires on here that don't care to know the potential importance of a ball game.

Knowing the status of the game or the team participants/history is valuable information for managing the game. This isn't to say that you treat a championship game any differently from a regular season game, but you'd be hard pressed to find any higher level umpire that just 'goes and umpires' the game. Case in point, a partner and I this year had a big rivalry series between two JUCOs this past season... Winner of the series won the division and the teams had a history. You don't just show up and umpire. A few potential game issues were recognized early by us because we knew the ramifications of the game and how the teams were.

Knowledge is power and having the knowledge of the meaning of a game may allow us to stay ahead of potential issues and actually more effectively manage the game. Yes, every game is important, but I'm not buying into living in a complete bubble.

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That's a far cry from the OP, in my opinion.   Of course I'd want to know if there was recent history between two teams, because that will be relevant to how you will respond to 'the history' issue.

Nobody said anything about a 'bubble'.   Every game is different of course, and we are there to respond  to all manner of events that may occur during a game.  

Let me provide this supposition:  suppose your JUCO "big rivalry" had turned into a big nothingburger, that the teams played a great game with no ill effects whatsoever?  Had you prepared yourselves to umpire something completely different, or did you let that information influence how you ran the game?   

We've all had those 'meaningless' games where major crap storms developed out of nowhere.   So we respond to that as it happens, but sometimes our expectations are of a sleepy, quiet game,and we can end up overwhelmed when things don't go quite according to expectations.  The opposite is also true, when the anticipated storm turns out to be smooth as silk.  

I worked a college game this season where there was 'history' between the teams, and also some bad blood between the manager of Team A and my partner.   You know what we got?    An incredibly quiet, 5-3 game where Team B won.  Absolutely nothing rocked the boat.  Sure, it was good that I had been informed of the history beforehand, but had I been working the game and influenced (in a bad way) based on the history, I'd have come off looking like a bona fide red ass.   Just umpire the game you have.

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That's a far cry from the OP, in my opinion.   Of course I'd want to know if there was recent history between two teams, because that will be relevant to how you will respond to 'the history' issue.
Nobody said anything about a 'bubble'.   Every game is different of course, and we are there to respond  to all manner of events that may occur during a game.  
Let me provide this supposition:  suppose your JUCO "big rivalry" had turned into a big nothingburger, that the teams played a great game with no ill effects whatsoever?  Had you prepared yourselves to umpire something completely different, or did you let that information influence how you ran the game?   
We've all had those 'meaningless' games where major crap storms developed out of nowhere.   So we respond to that as it happens, but sometimes our expectations are of a sleepy, quiet game,and we can end up overwhelmed when things don't go quite according to expectations.  The opposite is also true, when the anticipated storm turns out to be smooth as silk.  
I worked a college game this season where there was 'history' between the teams, and also some bad blood between the manager of Team A and my partner.   You know what we got?    An incredibly quiet, 5-3 game where Team B won.  Absolutely nothing rocked the boat.  Sure, it was good that I had been informed of the history beforehand, but had I been working the game and influenced (in a bad way) based on the history, I'd have come off looking like a bona fide red ass.   Just umpire the game you have.

Better to have and not need, than to need and not have.

The OP is exactly what we are talking about. Despite the fact that higher levels of baseball require more prior knowledge and game management readiness (or expectation of), it is still better to have the knowledge, even at the youth levels. Sometimes those participants think those games are important than the MLB World Series.

It's not changing how you umpire. It's preparation. This should be a part of any pregame.

Those that get bogged down with prepping their ejection mechanic or prepping ultimatums in the locker room have missed the point and need be corrected. We are a team and need to be prepared to work together in almost every situation. And a lot of times, we may have to do that without being able to come together.

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8 minutes ago, ALStripes17 said:


Better to have and not need, than to need and not have.

The OP is exactly what we are talking about. Despite the fact that higher levels of baseball require more prior knowledge and game management readiness (or expectation of), it is still better to have the knowledge, even at the youth levels. Sometimes those participants think those games are important than the MLB World Series.

It's not changing how you umpire. It's preparation. This should be a part of any pregame.

Those that get bogged down with prepping their ejection mechanic or prepping ultimatums in the locker room have missed the point and need be corrected. We are a team and need to be prepared to work together in almost every situation. And a lot of times, we may have to do that without being able to come together.

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
 

Sure, knowledge is good, but it's not a good idea to let it influence how you work a game.  Players, managers and coaches act.   We umpires react.   

Knowledge-Good.jpg

Edited by BrianC14
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Sure, knowledge is good, but it's not a good idea to let it influence how you work a game.  Players, managers and coaches act.   We umpire react.   
Knowledge-Good.thumb.jpg.363868c8208a03a143a1387f2b79f084.jpg

We are on the same page...

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I agree that knowing it is a Championship game is definite knowledge (which from the pic above is 'good') that I want to have. Just the basic rules can often change when it comes to no new inning time limits, drop dead time limits, number of umpires assigned to a game, announcers versus no announcers, walk up music etc, etc.

Do I go out to umpire the game differently? no, of course not. But knowing ahead of time that the level of intensity from the players, coaches and fans will most likely be ratcheted up over a run of the mill game is knowledge worth having. Would we as a crew have a more detailed pre-game? Most likely especially if like my last Championship game we went from working 2 man to working 4 man... different mechanics, rotations etc... this is the time to be on your A+ game and cover all your bases.

Not telling the crew via Arbiter or just an email is lazy on the assignor and disadvantageous to the crew. 

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In my summer association an Umpire Crew swap from a 9U game to a Varsity Summer League Championship would have been a disaster............

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