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Almost Ejection

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A few weeks ago I was working a Little League game and the visiting teams pitcher was throwing a lob pitch almost and I kept calling it a ball and every time the assistant coach of the team kept throwing his hands up in the air and asking where it was. I let it go through the first inning. The second inning was the same and he kept throwing his hands up and asking where it was. I said "Its low" and the coach said "No its not its right down the middle" and I said"The ball is in the dirt" and he yelled back"No its not it is a strike all day". So, I took my mask off and said, "I dont want to here anymore about it. Your are not the head coach, if the head coach has an issue he will take it up with me." The coach proceeded to say "I'll relay what I want to say through him" I said,"Thats fine as long as it comes from him." Then I had the same team next week had no issues until about the 3rd inning. There was a bases loaded walk and as his player walk in he did not touch home plate. The other teams coach properly appealed the touch and I call the kid out. The head coach came out I told him "He missed the plate and you know that I would do the same thing if it happened to them" He said "ok" and walked into the dugout. It was the 3rd out so I was standing up the foul line and all of the sudden two mom jumped up and started yelling "You're wrong he touched the plate, we have it right here on video". I walked over and said, "Absolutely not you're not going to show me the video to try and change the call, go sit down." I walked back toward home plate and the scorekeeper staed yelling " What are you doing on our side, we are not even saying anything, get back to where you were". So I said I am over here because your fellow fans are crossing the line if you don't want me over here control them and I wont have to be." When the team came up to bat again the next inning every time the kid would touch home plate they would take a few steps walk back and stomp on home plate again. I told the coach the next player that does it again is gone. 

 

 

I need advice on how to handle these situations in the future. Any advice helps, Thanks!

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First, don't EVER talk to a fan. Ever. (did I make that clear?)

Second, Ignore / Acknowledge / Warn / Eject

You ignored at first; AC was throwing hands up and asking where some pitches were - not a good thing, but not worth anything.

The moment he says "it's down the middle," you jump to Acknowledge - "I had it down, coach." This tells him you understand what he's saying, but it's not the place to argue.

He replies with "it's a strike all day," you're in Warn - "That's enough!" If he doesn't understand what that means, he will soon enough.

After "That's enough," if he says anything back to you other than "Sorry," you're probably in Eject.

This is all increasingly so because he's an assistant coach. Leashes for them should be much shorter, but that comes with him understanding his leash is shorter.

Oh, and don't ever talk to fans.

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First I agree with everything yawetag said. Assistant coaches get no rope at all. I would have ignored the first inning but in the second you gotta call time and nip it. I simply say coach it’s enough (not explaining location to him) the next time he is gone. As far as the fans don’t ever ever ever talk to them. It never gets that far with me because I am turning back around and ignoring them until they drop the F bomb at me. 

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This is LL... sadly.

I disagree with giving the Asst Coach this much leeway. The first time he does the hands in the air crap, he gets shut down. The manager is going to receive a team sportsmanship warning right there as well. Any further demonstrative actions from ANYONE on that team is now going to be an ejection, or at least you have that as an option since the team is well aware of where the line in the sand is.

Asst. Coach for balls and strikes, he gets one knock it off, we're not arguing balls and strikes today warning. If your feeling generous from there, you can tell the manager that the Asst. Coach is a problem, and does he want to handle that problem, or have you handle it? If your not feeling generous, the next time the Asst. Coach argues balls and strikes, you dump him.

Never argue with a coach about your zone, ever. If they ask a question" Kevin, was that in/out?' I'll say yes or no, but if they come back with an argument, then were done and moving on to either the B&S warning, or dumping them if they already had the warning. I disagree with telling the Asst. to argue B&S though the manager... Your not going to allow him to argue B&S's, so why even go there?

@yawetag already gave you the best answer about talking to the fans... 

Scorekeeper... they are telling you where to stand or not stand? Yeah, right. My conversation with them is going to be unpleasant. Mr/Mrs. scorekeeper... You are acting in the capacity as an official in this game, which means you actually work for me. If you continue to insert yourself into the officiating of this game, I will eject you immediately. Are we clear?

Kids stomping on home? Whatever. At least the other team will know they actually stepped on it. I wouldn't even acknowledge this for Minors... they will tire of it soon enough and go back to missing base touches like they always do.

 

 

 

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Too much conversation ... the less said, the better.

It’s already been said, but preferably don’t engage the AC but if you do he gets a short leash.  If you do engage, be professional and very succinct.  “Coach, we aren’t discussing the strike zone.”  Done.  Do not yell, do not talk loudly.  Calmly walk just as far as you have to to be heard.  Then I would catch the head coach as he is walking out to coach the bases and let him know the AC is reaching the end of the rope.  Let the HC have a word with him before you do.  The next word you have is in unofficial sign language.

I think yawetag was trying to make a point, but it wasn’t very clear.  Just in case “don’t ever” wasn’t crystal clear ... NEVER talk to the fans.  Have a conversation with the HC and let him know his fans are getting a little too rowdy.  Let him know it is his responsibility to calm them down.  Now that you’ve had that conversation, if he balks at confronting them, let him know he will be following them if any of them choose to eject hisself or herself from the game.  If he works with you, he gets some extra leniency.

As for the scorekeeper ... I view him/her the same as a fan unless the facility hired him/her.  Why would you stand anywhere near the fence?  Go stand on the baseline extended on the side of the team taking the field where you should be.  (I’m sure there are others who will disagree with this mechanic as there are some different schools of thought on which side and baseline extended or up the baseline.)  

 

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4 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

(I’m sure there are others who will disagree with this mechanic as there are some different schools of thought on which side and baseline extended or up the baseline.

This is a "When in Rome" mechanic. Where I worked before had no mechanic, so I stood on the "in the field" side - keeps me away from moving metal. Current organization wants us on "up to bat" side - closer to the batter to let them know there's 2 pitches remaining.

I've got no strong opinion on either, so I'll do what I'm told.

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Just to digress from the topic ... :)

I like the “when in Rome” adage yawetag.

Personal opinion/preference ... I think it makes more sense to have your back to the defense dugout and be facing the on deck hitter.  If you are on the hitter’s side “to be closer for the two pitch notification” then you are not only standing closer to a swinging bat, but you are having to take your eyes off the field while balls are still being thrown around.

I also prefer base line extended as opposed to up the base line for a similar reason, it just pulls you away from any “moving parts” and gives a fuller view of the field.

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