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Guest Rookie umpire

Dealing with coaches

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Guest Rookie umpire

How do you deal with asshole coaches? I recently had a game we’re 1 team was getting beat badly. The pitching coach starts chirping about every call I made. I finally had enough and restricted him to the dugout. Then his players start in on me. I told the head coach I’ve had enough next time I’m going to run him if I hear one more chirp. Then he starts in on my zone so I run him. I know this is kinda vague  but did I do the right thing? 

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4 minutes ago, Guest Rookie umpire said:

How do you deal with asshole coaches? I recently had a game we’re 1 team was getting beat badly. The pitching coach starts chirping about every call I made. I finally had enough and restricted him to the dugout. Then his players start in on me. I told the head coach I’ve had enough next time I’m going to run him if I hear one more chirp. Then he starts in on my zone so I run him. I know this is kinda vague  but did I do the right thing? 

There will always be ahole coaches and players.   Sounds to me you did the right thing:  You warned him, then restricted him, and kept chirping, ...he's got to go.  This is a perfect example of a coach ejecting himself!

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Perfect example of why I stand by the fact that I have never ejected a coach.  I have only confirmed their desire to no longer participate in that days contest.

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Guest Rookie umpire

Why is it ok for the coaches to chirp at us? If I was that good I wouldn’t be umpiring high school varsity games. I try to do my best in every game I call for the love of the game. No matter how good I am or bad, it seems I can’t do anything right. I think if the fans and coaches would actually hear what they’re saying they would be embarrassed. I can see why people don’t stick with umpiring. 

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21 minutes ago, Guest Rookie umpire said:

Why is it ok for the coaches to chirp at us? If I was that good I wouldn’t be umpiring high school varsity games. I try to do my best in every game I call for the love of the game. No matter how good I am or bad, it seems I can’t do anything right. I think if the fans and coaches would actually hear what they’re saying they would be embarrassed. I can see why people don’t stick with umpiring. 

If you don't want them to chirp, shut it down. Ignore it, Acknowledge it, Warn them, Eject them. 

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1 minute ago, Guest Rookie umpire said:

Why is it ok for the coaches to chirp at us? If I was that good I wouldn’t be umpiring high school varsity games. I try to do my best in every game I call for the love of the game. No matter how good I am or bad, it seems I can’t do anything right. I think if the fans and coaches would actually hear what they’re saying they would be embarrassed. I can see why people don’t stick with umpiring. 

it's not ok, and it's getting worse, but trust me, it won't happen every game.  Your screen name is Guest Rookie Umpire .... so if you're a rookie,  you'll need time to adjust.  Be confident, go out there and show them you know what you're doing!  Keep doing your best, it'll become easier!

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You can learn many MANY different ways of dealing with coaches.  It comes with time & experience.  Stick to your guns & don't let them run you off.  If you love the game the way you said you do (in another post), then defend it.  Stand your ground and do what is right.  Eventually, the coaches will talk, and know that you won't put up with their antics and word will travel.  There are some that will always try to push you to the edge.  Maintain IAWE and you can't go wrong (even though there will be times you don't necessarily follow the specific order).

 

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Guest Rookie umpire

I’m most certainly a rookie with about 20 varsity games under my belt. I’ve had a lot of bangers at the plate. Every time I have one I’ve been in the right position to see the play unfold. Every time the coach comes running out like Billy Martin. I don’t know if they can smell that I’m a rookie umpire or what but it happens every time it’s a close play. I’ve ran two coaches for that and one bumped me. I don’t know if they’re trying to see how far they can go with me. It’s been a very frustrating season. 

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Don’t give up. What works for me is staying calm, professional and respectful. I am in control of the field but I don’t have to be an ahole about it. Also say as little as possible. Coaches will find something to hang you on.  Never say “I think” or “it looked like”. Be decisive and brief.  “My zone coach.”  “Throw beat the runner.”  I always say at pregame conference that judgement calls are not debatable and these include ball/strike. I also remind myself I am there for the players and enjoy what I’m doing. Have fun!

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Years ago, I was taught that the moment we crossed the white lines to umpire, we were 20-year veterans--that is, to conduct ourselves that way. So I will ask:

Where are you that you are doing varsity as a rookie? How old are you? How old do you look? Do you sell your bang-bang play calls with voice and body language? How experienced are your partners? Do you talk after the game and go over any issues? Do you have a mentor, a more experienced umpire who knows the coaches and teams, with whom you can talk about these problems? Is there a procedure for filing reports following ejections? A coach bumping you? That's a definite no-no.

By the way, if I were in your position, I might skip the "ignore" part of IAWE and go directly to "Knock it off!"

 

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1 hour ago, Guest Rookie umpire said:

I’m most certainly a rookie with about 20 varsity games under my belt. I’ve had a lot of bangers at the plate. Every time I have one I’ve been in the right position to see the play unfold. Every time the coach comes running out like Billy Martin. I don’t know if they can smell that I’m a rookie umpire or what but it happens every time it’s a close play. I’ve ran two coaches for that and one bumped me. I don’t know if they’re trying to see how far they can go with me. It’s been a very frustrating season. 

Not sure about your area but around here the high school baseball conference is a pretty tight community. All the coaches know each other and all the umpires. If your a newcomer expect a "feeling out" process so to speak where the HCs will try to work you and see what they can get away with.

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2 hours ago, Guest Rookie umpire said:

I told the head coach I’ve had enough next time I’m going to run him if I hear one more chirp.

First, I would not issue an ultimatum like that.  Either use "that's enough" (they know what it means) or a more formal "coach, this is your warning for arguing balls and strikes."

Second, what did your partner have to say about your zone?  With no offense, I can see that someone who is 20-games into this could be a little inconsistent.

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1 hour ago, noumpere said:

First, I would not issue an ultimatum like that. 

That's a good point: don't paint yourself into the proverbial corner.

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4 hours ago, rinbee said:

Be decisive and brief.  “My zone coach.”  “Throw beat the runner.”

I was taught by a much-wiser umpire than me to never say more than 5 words on your reply.

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Guest Rookie umpire

Every other inning I ask my partner how is my zone. He said I was consistent don’t change a thing. Thanks for all the advice guys 

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6 hours ago, Guest Rookie umpire said:

 Every time the coach comes running out like Billy Martin. I don’t know if they can smell that I’m a rookie umpire or what but it happens every time it’s a close play. I’ve ran two coaches for that and one bumped me. I don’t know if they’re trying to see how far they can go with me. It’s been a very frustrating season. 

Everyone else can handle the measured responses;  I'm gonna run more to the "Dump 'em all, and let God sort 'em out" end of the spectrum.

First, a question on that first sentence I quoted:  are they LITERALLY running out on you?  If that's actually true, dump them at that moment, and never mind what they say.  Eff those guys.  (Please note:  "Eff those guys" is NOT official language from the Fed rule book, but it IS ejectable - somewhere in the 3-3-1 rule, I think - for charging an umpire.)

And yes, fresh meat is a scent coaches are finely attuned to (mumbles:  "like the rats they are....").  And it's not always because you're a rookie - if you're a rookie to them, you get tested.  I'm in my 17th year, but this is my first year here, so I'm making all KINDS of new friends in the greater San Antonio region.

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29 minutes ago, Guest Rookie umpire said:

Every other inning I ask my partner how is my zone. He said I was consistent don’t change a thing. Thanks for all the advice guys 

You shouldn't be talking to your partner during the game unless it's necessary.  Certainly not every other inning.

Regarding the chirping - shut it down early and stick to your guns.  We teach our guys to use the tools provided - the warning progression as mapped out in the rules.  For me, I will generally ignore the first instance (unless it's severe).  The next time, I will tell him I heard him and that's enough.  After that, use the word "warning."  "This is your official warning for arguing balls and strikes.  If you continue to argue, you will leave me no choice but to eject you from the game."  You can also use the intermediate step of a written warning with a restriction if you so desire.

Coaches will walk over you as far as you will let them.  So don't let them and they will know not to try it in the next game.  Keep in mind that none of this requires you to raise your voice or show any anger.  Just be businesslike.  Handle your business or it will handle you.

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Guest Rookie umpire

But why isn’t necessary to talk to your partner about that? I was thinking maybe I’m off today. I’ll check with my partner and see if I need to change the way I’ve been calling the game. Yes I’ve been charged twice and I’ve ran them both. I played collegiately and played another 15 years on a semi pro team. With that being said I didn’t know half what I thought I knew about this game. This has been fun for the most part with a few bad times. The reason I’m calling varsity games is the area doesn’t have enough umpires. So baptism by fire. Thanks guys I really appreciate the advice

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It's a perception issue. When you two come together between innings, especially after an inning with some tough/close calls, it gives a perception of discussing the game. Anything overheard will be magnified by those who hear it. If you slow the game down, it puts your ability to control the game in question.

Umpires have positions to go to between innings. PU on one side of the plate to watch the pitcher warming up and let the battery and batter know when there's two pitches. BU takes a position between 1B and 2B at the outfield grass.

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8 hours ago, Guest Rookie umpire said:

How do you deal with asshole coaches? I recently had a game we’re 1 team was getting beat badly. The pitching coach starts chirping about every call I made. I finally had enough and restricted him to the dugout. Then his players start in on me. I told the head coach I’ve had enough next time I’m going to run him if I hear one more chirp. Then he starts in on my zone so I run him. I know this is kinda vague  but did I do the right thing? 

In case you actually said one more chirp, don't say one more chirp.  Next thing you'll have a million bird calls out of the dugout.  Sounds like you did ok to me as far as the rest.

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33 minutes ago, yawetag said:

It's a perception issue. When you two come together between innings, especially after an inning with some tough/close calls, it gives a perception of discussing the game. Anything overheard will be magnified by those who hear it. If you slow the game down, it puts your ability to control the game in question.

Umpires have positions to go to between innings. PU on one side of the plate to watch the pitcher warming up and let the battery and batter know when there's two pitches. BU takes a position between 1B and 2B at the outfield grass.

Not to derail this thread, but does it matter which side you stand on? I've always gone to the 1st base side and watched from there. Are there any situations where you might switch, I.E based on handedness of the pitcher?

One more question, how far up the line should you be? I sometimes feel I may not be far enough the line, but I also do want to stay towards the plate. 

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1 hour ago, Guest Rookie umpire said:

But why isn’t necessary to talk to your partner about that? I was thinking maybe I’m off today. I’ll check with my partner and see if I need to change the way I’ve been calling the game. 

In my experience, I don't need my partner to tell me if I appear to be off; no one knows better than I do when I'm struggling. 

Trouble with one team? Generally, go to the opposite foul line. One manual I have, from 2014, says 1/4 to 1/2 up the line. I usually go about halfway, maybe a little less.

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1 hour ago, Biscuit said:

Not to derail this thread, but does it matter which side you stand on? I've always gone to the 1st base side and watched from there. Are there any situations where you might switch, I.E based on handedness of the pitcher?

One more question, how far up the line should you be? I sometimes feel I may not be far enough the line, but I also do want to stay towards the plate. 

Derailment complete.

Unless there's something else going on (e.g., coach giving me subs, getting more balls, in which case I just go to the closer side), I stand on the side of the team coming up to bat. That way the batter has to be further away from me (i.e., not crowding the catcher) when warming up. I usually stand 3-5 feet outside the dirt circle (or the equivalent on all-dirt infields). Being that close also lets me toss a new ball to the catcher in case one (or two, or ...) gets by him.

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Derailment continued.

I agree with @kylehutson on positioning. There are some situations in which I'll stand on the other side, usually when there isn't a lot of space around the backstop and I'm crowding the offensive team area by standing there.

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16 hours ago, Guest Rookie umpire said:

But why isn’t necessary to talk to your partner about that? I was thinking maybe I’m off today. I’ll check with my partner and see if I need to change the way I’ve been calling the game.

So, go once; not "every other inning."  Or, learn to communicate silently to ask the question.

 

As to which side to go to  -- go to the side coming up to bat -- they are at least happy that they finally got three outs, and you don't have someone running from behind you going out to defense take a cheap shot.

Or, go to the new defense side -- you can look across to see how many batters are out and where they are standing and shoo them back.  And, the most likely sub here is a pitching change, so you are in a position to see  / take that.

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Guest Kcump

You sound like you are doing a great job, you have just hit the wall of wtf!!!!  It happens to us all and usually several times a year. It is when you are doing a great job but you run into a few games where coaches are so ignorant they make you feel like it’s your fault or you are doing something wrong. 

On a side note I have always had an issue with don’t talk to your partner during the game. I think there is a difference between talking to your partner during the game and screwing around. I generally get with my partner every other inning, we chat in a professional manner and address any issues we see happening or just a hey you are doing great. We are out there for anywhere from 2-4 hours and it helps. As I said in a professional manner. Keep track of warmups, don’t be laughing and talking loud and don’t be trashing players or coaches. I know some will disagree with me but it’s just how I do it

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