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The Man in Blue

Mask on ... Mask off ... Mask on ... Mask off

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The 2020 NFHS Baseball Preseason Guide has arrived and I have an odd question ...

Accompanying the front page article on the new DH rule is a 1/2 page above-the-fold picture of an umpire talking to a coach and making a lineup change.  The umpire has his lineup card out and is looking down at it while wearing his mask.

I was taught —and firmly believe — this is extremely bad form.  Any time you are going to talk to someone face-to-face you should be removing your mask. 

I was taught that you should even remove your sunglasses when having a discussion with a coach as a professional courtesy.  (I will admit I am bad about that one because I pretty much wear sunglasses all the time and just forget that I have them on.)

What say you all?

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I agree wholeheartedly, especially about sunglasses.  You make eye contact with the manager, and you are being genuine and heart-to-heart.  You are respecting his dignity and thus he should respect yours.

As for the mask, I have seen plate umps take off their mask to check a swing with U1.  Too much!  OOO!  But, even if you wear a helmet, take it off to do administrative things.

BTW, do not EVER put your mask or helmet down while you are working something.  I did a European tournament once when the PU stuck his mask by the throat protector into the fence while he did the plate conference.  Some of us colleagues promptly wire-tied his mask to the screen!  That was a hoot!  But the lesson is that once you take the field, have your headgear with you at all times.  You look professional!

At the WR Academy, you went EVERYWHERE (except the mess hall) with your mask and indicator in your left hand.  I think they were trying to impress something on you.

Mike

Las Vegas

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The sunglasses thing came up at the Mid America camp. One instructor (if you work college baseball, you know of this person) went off on a bit of a tangent about taking sunglasses off when talking to coaches. After he left, another one of the instructors (who was a little newer to the scene, but still working very high level D1) said that that was a little old school, and that newer school umpires have stopped the practice when not working with older school umpires. 

I for one think it kind of tacky to take sunglasses in and off each time you talk to a coach, but that's just my opinion.

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2 hours ago, Biscuit said:

The sunglasses thing came up at the Mid America camp. One instructor (if you work college baseball, you know of this person) went off on a bit of a tangent about taking sunglasses off when talking to coaches. After he left, another one of the instructors (who was a little newer to the scene, but still working very high level D1) said that that was a little old school, and that newer school umpires have stopped the practice when not working with older school umpires. 

I for one think it kind of tacky to take sunglasses in and off each time you talk to a coach, but that's just my opinion.

I have to say my opinion of the sunglasses being removed is horse crap.  How is removing sunglasses respecting somebody's dignity?  I do agree with removing the ask, but I would never consider this a big deal.  Would never ding someone for that.

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On 11/23/2019 at 4:00 PM, umpstu said:

I have to say my opinion of the sunglasses being removed is horse crap.  How is removing sunglasses respecting somebody's dignity?  I do agree with removing the ask, but I would never consider this a big deal.  Would never ding someone for that.

I think the polite thing to do is to take them off when greeting someone and/or introducing myself - that is whether I"m golfing, coaching, umping, etc.  And I teach my kids when they are talking to an adult they should take them off (they are all adults now) - unless they are in the middle of instruction in the middle of practice or something - not pre-/post-game meetings.  But I don't think once the intros are done I need to take of my sunglasses for any subsequent conversations.  

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I think this is a good rule of thumb. It’s not an every time thing. Once intros are done you’re good to just leave them on. Having eye contact can do a lot for a conversation. Your eyes can do a lot of talking on their own. That’s why a lot of poker players wear them. 

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I wear prescription sunglasses. If I took them off, I'd be squinting. Not sure which is less professional.

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Don't mistake pictures to be tacit instructions or part of the manual. The mask is there so they don't have to bother drawing a face.

Yes, remove the mask and cast a cold, steely eye at the coach during the plate meeting. If you need glasses to read the lineup card, put them (back) on to read the card, no shame in that.

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On 11/24/2019 at 10:14 PM, The Short Umpire said:

I think this is a good rule of thumb. It’s not an every time thing. Once intros are done you’re good to just leave them on. Having eye contact can do a lot for a conversation. Your eyes can do a lot of talking on their own. That’s why a lot of poker players wear them. 

Agree.  Mask off (as indicated by the OP and the photo of the article).

Sunglasses can remain on in my book, however, I like to keep them off for the plate meeting for that first intro to the coaches.  Then, they'll stay on after that.

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1 hour ago, Thunderheads said:

 

Sunglasses can remain on in my book, however, I like to keep them off for the plate meeting for that first intro to the coaches.  Then, they'll stay on after that.

Coach comes out to question a call, I take them off, put them on the top of my hat, a mortal sin HS baseball in NJ, coach leaves his on, I will never take my sunglasses again for a coach wearing sunglasses. It is that simple. 

 

Take the mask off. Yes I know it is easier, but personally I would be embarrassed if I was on the cover of this book with my mask on doing that.

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3 hours ago, Thunderheads said:

Sunglasses can remain on in my book, however, I like to keep them off for the plate meeting for that first intro to the coaches.  Then, they'll stay on after that.

Ditto

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2 hours ago, Jackrabbitslims said:

Take the mask off. Yes I know it is easier, but personally I would be embarrassed if I was on the cover of this book with my mask on doing that.

I don’t disagree with you, I just want to say that I think they picked this photo for a few very specific reasons.

1. The guy is huge, his arms are probably the size of my head... 

2. He has his mask on— I think this makes it easier to tell that he is the umpire and therefore easier to tell what is going on. 

Photos like this are never meant to be instructions, they just need to look good. 

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@The Short Umpire, you must not have much experience with Referee Magazine (the people who publish the newsletter). I don't know their process of obtaining photos for their publications, but they are frequently by the same few people and have little regard to written and unwritten mechanics for the officials they portray. Not only baseball, but all sports.

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@yawetag I forgot to specifically say that I was being sarcastic. My point was that I don’t think they choose the photos on the basis of how good of an example it is of the mechanics, but because it’s an appealing photo to look at (for someone that doesn’t know the difference and won’t be bugged by all the mistakes they see). I see this a lot in the photos they use for the wrestling publications. So if I’m reading your post, and writing my opinion correctly I think we are on the same page. 

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On 11/26/2019 at 9:32 AM, The Short Umpire said:

Photos like this are never meant to be instructions, they just need to look good. 

@yawetag I think this might be the part that caused some confusion. I do understand that NFHS publications and referee magazine are meant to be instructional, I was just referring to the cover and other portions that are not specifically labeled as instruction. They have to make the magazine look good and those filler pictures should not be taken as doctrine. As is evident by this thread even existing.

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On 11/26/2019 at 7:45 AM, Jackrabbitslims said:

Coach comes out to question a call, I take them off, put them on the top of my hat, a mortal sin HS baseball in NJ, coach leaves his on, I will never take my sunglasses again for a coach wearing sunglasses. It is that simple. 

 

Take the mask off. Yes I know it is easier, but personally I would be embarrassed if I was on the cover of this book with my mask on doing that.


Doesn’t that make them “jewelry” in New Jersey?  

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On 11/27/2019 at 1:15 PM, The Man in Blue said:


Doesn’t that make them “jewelry” in New Jersey?  

The policy of the NJSIAA is that sunglasses worn on the bill of the cap are considered "styling that may be appropriate for other levels of the game" for which there is no allowance. 

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On 11/23/2019 at 12:56 PM, The Man in Blue said:

What say you all?

From the topic title, I thought I had been diverted (unliked) to a karate forum, which I thought was hilarious and a(oh don't you wish, your prayers and everyone else's answered) moment.

Just remember, at one time from old articles, sunglasses were not allowed, end of story, and even glasses themselves were not allowed for umpires in some baseball levels.

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59 minutes ago, dumbdumb said:

From the topic title, I thought I had been diverted (unliked) to a karate forum, which I thought was hilarious and a(oh don't you wish, your prayers and everyone else's answered) moment.

Just remember, at one time from old articles, sunglasses were not allowed, end of story, and even glasses themselves were not allowed for umpires in some baseball levels.

For the uninitiated, the title is a reference to a song called Mask Off by Future. At least, I assume that's the reference. You may not want to play it over the air at work or with family.

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For the uninitiated, the title is a reference to a song called Mask Off by Future. At least, I assume that's the reference. You may not want to play it over the air at work or with family.
I thought it was from Karate Kid, lol

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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16 minutes ago, Thunderheads said:

I thought it was from Karate Kid, lol

Yeah, I think a lot of us got that reference.

I never understood how that got a PG rating: "Whacks on! Whacks off!" 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

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On 11/30/2019 at 10:39 AM, maven said:

I never understood how that got a PG rating: "Whacks on! Whacks off!" 

The first PG-13 movie was Red Dawn, released on August 10, 1984.

Karate Kid was released on July 2, 1984.

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