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BLarson

Thrown bat rule at plate meeting

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11u USSSA trounament game.   At the plate meeting the umpire told us the boys need to control their bats...we agreed.
Then he went on to tell us that any bat that is thrown that hits him, the catcher, or the backstop the batter would automatically be out.

I told him that's not the rule, or even close the correct rule and he told me "That's my rule".

Of course we never had an issue during the game, but since he declared this at the plate meeting does it make it so?

If a thrown bat and the umpire calling the batter out affected the outcome to either team, can this be protested?

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Yes, it can, and should be, protested.  Heck, without making a big deal about it, I'd let the game start and get the TD over to discuss the rule and have the TD inform the umpire on how it was to be called. 

 

Or, if it's some sort of tournament rule, have the coaches informed.  ;)

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As a coach, I wouldn't start the game without clarification on the rule. "That's my rule" doesn't make it a rule.

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I'm sure the TD wouldn't know the rule, they usually don't.
When I told him that's not the penalty for a thrown bat and he said "That's my rule" I knew I wasn't going to win this battle and that's all the clarification I was going to get.

I just wasn't sure since it was covered and stated at the plate meeting  (like ground rules?) and then enforced in the game, I could protest it.

I'm in the process of finding out what umpire association they came from so I can contact them.

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15 minutes ago, BLarson said:

I'm sure the TD wouldn't know the rule, they usually don't.

The TD would know the rule if it was a tournament rule.   Unless it's in the USSSA rulebook or the tournament rulebook, or any rulebook they reference, it's not a rule.   In a protest situation, the TD/UIC are going to look up the applicable rulebooks...not the umpire's arbitrary library.

However, at 11U you are then left with an interesting decision...yes, your player shouldn't be "out"...but he could/should be ejected.  So be careful what you ask for.

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1 hour ago, BLarson said:

I'm sure the TD wouldn't know the rule, they usually don't.

Unless the TD has a rule that's different than the rule book, there's no out penalty for a tossed bat.

"That's my rule" as a justification is not only a bad umpire, but an umpire that needs to be set straight. As his partner, I wouldn't say anything at the plate meeting (assuming he's the PU), but I'd definitely say something once the coaches get to their dugouts.

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This guy is a clown, and I support you contacting his association.

I don’t get bothering to bring up bat tossing at a plate conference. Should we cover, say RLI at the plate meeting to cover as many hypotheticals as possible? I hate when my partner wants to play the game of if this then that. Get the meeting over as quickly as possible. 

It’s one thing if you don’t know the rule or enforce the wrong penalty on something. This isn’t that. He was likely shocked someone knew what they were talking about. He has probably used that hundreds of times and the coaches just don’t know enough to chime in. 

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Agreed @Thatsnotyou. Other than lineup cards, legally equipped and sportsmanship (Fed games only), ground rules, and any special rules for the games, I tend to keep my mouth shut on anything else at a plate meeting. As BU, I might have said something pertinent to the game (usually clarifying a ground rule) a half-dozen times.

The plate meeting isn't a place to discuss the rulebook.

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42 minutes ago, BLarson said:

I just wasn't sure since it was covered and stated at the plate meeting  (like ground rules?) and then enforced in the game, I could protest it.

Solo umpire, or was a partner present?

8 minutes ago, yawetag said:

As his partner, I wouldn't say anything at the plate meeting (assuming he's the PU), but I'd definitely say something once the coaches get to their dugouts.

On this, I'm differing. We succeed as a crew and we fail as a crew, and this partner is already setting us up for failure? At the plate meeting? Nope, we're not doing this. That PU can whine, gripe, complain, and hold a grudge as long as he likes, but I will not allow a partner to create, modify, or willingly omit a rule as he sees fit. I don't care if he's a 30-year veteran and a local institution. I don't care if I'm new to the scene. Unless the Tournament / League / Event has a posted, published, or circulated (amongst all participants) Rules Modification(s), then we default to the core, adopted, codified Rules Set(s) – OBR, NCAA, NAIA, Fed, LL, etc. Umpires are NOT at liberty to make up their own rules!!!

So, at that very plate meeting, I would "officially" interject and prevent the implementation of that (concocted) "Rule". If my partner gets bent out of shape on it, then so be it. If he threatens to leave (or does), then so be it.

I have a fairly recent experience that illustrates exactly this point. The MSBL World Series has a published set of Rules Modifications to the core OBR set. One provision explicitly prohibits a courtesy runner for a catcher unless that catcher is listed as one of the three players on the roster that are Non-Runners, and are eligible for a courtesy runner. Well, my PU partner allowed a courtesy runner for a catcher during a tight game. The DT exclaimed, "That's not a rule! MSBL doesn't allow that!" My partner replies, "I don't care, it's my rule.", and placed a courtesy runner on 1B. Well, instead of protesting at that moment, the DT got on the phone to the MSBL-WS President and four pitches later (during which R1 advanced on a WP to 2B), come out of the dugout requesting Time, phone in hand. We had to resolve this via speaker phone, with both team managers and we two umpires standing huddled around the phone with the SP on the end of the line. Both team managers figured out pretty quick that I was the more... stable? reliable?... Umpire (while my partner looked terrified because he was getting called to the carpet), and we came to a compromise. Moral of the story? As the SP said, with a parting shot before hanging up, "Don't make SH*# up."

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18 hours ago, yawetag said:

As his partner, I wouldn't say anything at the plate meeting (assuming he's the PU), but I'd definitely say something once the coaches get to their dugouts.

 

7 hours ago, MadMax said:

So, at that very plate meeting, I would "officially" interject and prevent the implementation of that (concocted) "Rule". If my partner gets bent out of shape on it, then so be it. If he threatens to leave (or does), then so be it.

Your (hypothetical) partner has painted himself (and by extension, you) into a corner with his ego trip, and opening his mouth without any consideration to whether or not you're on the same page.

You choice is to undermine him in front of the coaches (and possibly create an argument, a scene, and an impression of dissension), but you nip this in the bud now, and let the teams know that there is at least one reasonable umpire to keep the cowboy in check (of course, if it doesn't get resolved there things could get interesting) ....

OR

Let him save face, and talk to him in private, and then hope the issue doesn't come up in the game (then again, you could just keep your mouth shut and hope it never comes up in the game).   And hope he agrees with you.  Because if he doesn't, now you're in open argument in the middle of a game the first time a bat goes to the fence.   But even if he does agree with you, the first time someone throws a bat to the fence, or that hits the catcher, the DC is gonna be asking wtf the batter hasn't been called out - and now the PU has to explain why he changed his mind.

Neither is pretty.   And it all came because an umpire believes he's above the game, and nobody put him in his place before this.   And now you have to put him in his place during a game (or let him keep doing what he's doing).

"My rules" is only one step beyond "my strike zone".

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It was 2 man umpire.  The PU was older (10-15 years) than BU and the BU said nothing at plate meeting except introducing himself.

I will say that the game was officiated consistently by both umpires and there were no issues.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, BLarson said:

It was 2 man umpire.  The PU was older (10-15 years) than BU and the BU said nothing at plate meeting except introducing himself.

I will say that the game was officiated consistently by both umpires and there were no issues.

 

 

Well, BU rarely should say anything at a plate meeting other than introducing him/herself... You may have found a situation where he should say something though. 

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It never happened by either team in the game, so no protest was needed.

I could start another thread about another umpire a few weeks ago stated at the plate meeting:
"You both aren't going to like my strike zone, so better have the kids swinging."
Honest to god.

We expected big strike zone, but it wasn't.   Like 16 walks in that game between both teams.

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We joke so much about youth ball coaches. The unspoken problem - at least here - are youth ball umpires. Stories like this are exactly why "umpires" as a group are looked negatively upon.

The ones who come here know this isn't a good umpire. But when it's all you see, you tend to think it's all that's out there.

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I'm assuming this wasn't the PUs first game, so why wasn't he corrected about "his rule" before this?

Had he called players out before for throwing the bat and if so, what if anything was said/what happened?

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4 hours ago, yawetag said:

We joke so much about youth ball coaches. The unspoken problem - at least here - are youth ball umpires. Stories like this are exactly why "umpires" as a group are looked negatively upon.

The ones who come here know this isn't a good umpire. But when it's all you see, you tend to think it's all that's out there.

Good point. Every time I’m either at a complex with other fields or follow a previous game, I cringe if I see an umpire that doesn’t hustle, has a mismatched, dirty uniform, backwards hat, etc. You’re really hurting all of us by doing it. It takes more for the rest of us to overcome it. If they have ten of those guys in a row, then one of us, they likely still start us out at the respect level of the other ten. That creates quick problems at times.

Note, this doesn’t apply to anyone maybe 16ish or under doing kids games. I’m just glad you’re out there. No judgment at all. 

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I've thought about this all night.

 

I had an out on a thrown bat tonight.

 

Bases loaded. Grounder to Pitcher. Batter launches the bat at the catcher, hitting him in the thigh, knocking him almost to his knees. Pitcher wants to throw home. Hesitates some. Catcher tries to recover, Pitcher throws to the plate, and Catcher can't get there for the throw.

 

"Time! That was interference!" I called Batter out and sent runners back. I think we could have grabbed the DP, since it was a pretty easy 1-2-3, but catcher ended up leaving the game the next inning.

 

That's about the only way I can see getting an out on a thrown bat.

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7 hours ago, udbrky said:

I've thought about this all night.

 

I had an out on a thrown bat tonight.

 

Bases loaded. Grounder to Pitcher. Batter launches the bat at the catcher, hitting him in the thigh, knocking him almost to his knees. Pitcher wants to throw home. Hesitates some. Catcher tries to recover, Pitcher throws to the plate, and Catcher can't get there for the throw.

 

"Time! That was interference!" I called Batter out and sent runners back. I think we could have grabbed the DP, since it was a pretty easy 1-2-3, but catcher ended up leaving the game the next inning.

 

That's about the only way I can see getting an out on a thrown bat.

I don't think you could grab the DP there, unless it's FED. 

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2 hours ago, Biscuit said:

I don't think you could grab the DP there, unless it's FED. 

It was Fed.

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10 hours ago, udbrky said:

I've thought about this all night.

 

I had an out on a thrown bat tonight.

 

Bases loaded. Grounder to Pitcher. Batter launches the bat at the catcher, hitting him in the thigh, knocking him almost to his knees. Pitcher wants to throw home. Hesitates some. Catcher tries to recover, Pitcher throws to the plate, and Catcher can't get there for the throw.

 

"Time! That was interference!" I called Batter out and sent runners back. I think we could have grabbed the DP, since it was a pretty easy 1-2-3, but catcher ended up leaving the game the next inning.

 

That's about the only way I can see getting an out on a thrown bat.

okay, so maybe the ruling in OBR is slightly different, but I was under the impression that the only way you could have interference resulting in an out for a thrown bat is when the interference is on a batted ball, not a thrown ball. But, alas I look at the rules and comment 5.09(a)(8) says:

Quote

If a whole bat is thrown into fair or foul territory and interferes with a defensive player attempting to make a play, interference shall be called, whether intentional or not.

So is that situation an out in OBR as well? Pretty sure I made a topic here years ago for a very similar play you described and the consensus was "play on"

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1 hour ago, Gfoley4 said:

okay, so maybe the ruling in OBR is slightly different, but I was under the impression that the only way you could have interference resulting in an out for a thrown bat is when the interference is on a batted ball, not a thrown ball. But, alas I look at the rules and comment 5.09(a)(8) says:

So is that situation an out in OBR as well? Pretty sure I made a topic here years ago for a very similar play you described and the consensus was "play on"

I believe that's for a bat and ball making contact. Any action by the batter that hinders the defense making a play could be interference.

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On 5/7/2019 at 1:46 AM, MadMax said:

requesting Time, phone in hand. We had to resolve this via speaker phone, with both team managers and we two umpires standing huddled around the phone with the SP on the end of the line. Both team managers figured out pretty quick that I was the more... stable? reliable

You said you were more stable and reliable but you allowed a coach to come on your field with a phone and then took the call? I don’t care who is on the phone never happening on my field. You either stop the play and have a conversation with the other UMP when it happens or the team protest the game. 

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5 hours ago, Dotteump said:

You said you were more stable and reliable but you allowed a coach to come on your field with a phone and then took the call? I don’t care who is on the phone never happening on my field. You either stop the play and have a conversation with the other UMP when it happens or the team protest the game. 

Ah, you’ve never worked a MSBL World Series game, I see. This is a glorified Adult Rec league. Phones are everywhere. In the very bylaws and rules of the MSBL WS is the “phone call” option. Because of the need to be timely, and the effect that a suspended or protested game has on the rest of the tournament, issues and protests must be resolved as rapidly as possible. These games are taking place at venues throughout the Phoenix valley, all coordinated by... can you guess?... phones!

And, there are no “coach”-es here. There are managers, usually player-managers at that. 

Lastly, I don’t own that game, nor is it “my field”. I’m an umpire of that game, surely, and therefore the arbiter of it, but ultimately a servant of the game. If the president of the MSBL World Series was to show up behind the backstop, beckon me over, and address an issue with me – such as a rule (mis)interpretation, or a ground rule issue, or a pending weather issue, or a player eligibility issue – I’d be a fool not to comply.

So, how is having that president of the tournament series on the phone any different??

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27 minutes ago, MadMax said:

Lastly, I don’t own that game, nor is it “my field”. I’m an umpire of that game, surely, and therefore the arbiter of it, but ultimately a servant of the game. If the president of the MSBL World Series was to show up behind the backstop, beckon me over, and address an issue with me – such as a rule (mis)interpretation, or a ground rule issue, or a pending weather issue, or a player eligibility issue – I’d be a fool not to comply.

So, how is having that president of the tournament series on the phone any different??

And that's the difference between umps like you vs umps like the one in the OP.

And case in point to what I was saying above...

My Field, My Game, My Plate, My Strike Zone, My Rules (but not My Responsibility)...my, my my, me, me, me - some umps call the game, some umps are the game.

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