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Guest Jack Strap

Game delay between innings

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Guest Jack Strap

We have a HS coach that whenever the opposing team's pitcher is shutting them down, he tries to slow the game down. When his team comes to bat, he holds a meeting on the field and does not send a batter to the plate for WAY TOO LONG. I would like to keep them from illegally delaying the game by calling penalty strikes. Am I allowed to do this ? Can I keep calling them while he protests the penalty ? What rule should I cite when challenged ? 

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At last year's clinic, they said the middle-school State Tournament actually had the base umpires keep a stopwatch.  It was kind of unclear if the state body directed them to, or if they did it on their own, but it received positive feedback from the state body.  It hasn't become a directive, but I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't in the next few years.

My area high schools aren't too bad, for the most part.  Middle school around here is horrendous though.

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On 2/3/2020 at 12:19 PM, Guest Jack Strap said:

I would like to keep them from illegally delaying the game by calling penalty strikes.

I like the intent, but there's no need to do this... quite... yet. Just like Address (Acknowledge), Warn (or Caution), Warn-by-Writing, Restrict and Eject, there's a process you can certainly use. I would encourage you (as PU) to not let that team's dragging their feet affect the pace of the defensive team warming up. Keep them on task, get their quick infield and 5 warmup pitches done, get the catcher back by you and the plate, with the pitcher on the mound and ready to go... 

And then start to turn up the heat on the water. "Let's go, we need a batter in the box!", directed towards their dugout should get someone moving. If that doesn't, something akin to, "Coach, if we don't have a batter, this will be a charged Offensive Conference." Then, if he starts squawking about how you're rushing him, respond with, "Coach, you've had more than enough time, we're ready to play here." If he continues to squawk or gripe, then we can start on our Warn, Warn-in-Writing, Restrict, then Eject ladder.

Always be collective, by that I mean – try not to use "I" when engaging a coach in this way; instead, use the collective "we", as in the other umpire(s) and, indeed, the other team are standing here... waiting on his uncouth behavior. By going right to calling strikes on an absent batter, you're just going to pi$$ him off, and make for a very ugly situation.

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12 hours ago, MadMax said:

I like the intent, but there's no need to do this... quite... yet. Just like Address (Acknowledge), Warn (or Caution), Warn-by-Writing, Restrict and Eject, there's a process you can certainly use. I would encourage you (as PU) to not let that team's dragging their feet affect the pace of the defensive team warming up. Keep them on task, get their quick infield and 5 warmup pitches done, get the catcher back by you and the plate, with the pitcher on the mound and ready to go... 

And then start to turn up the heat on the water. "Let's go, we need a batter in the box!", directed towards their dugout should get someone moving. If that doesn't, something akin to, "Coach, if we don't have a batter, this will be a charged Offensive Conference." Then, if he starts squawking about how you're rushing him, respond with, "Coach, you've had more than enough time, we're ready to play here." If he continues to squawk or gripe, then we can start on our Warn, Warn-in-Writing, Restrict, then Eject ladder.

Always be collective, by that I mean – try not to use "I" when engaging a coach in this way; instead, use the collective "we", as in the other umpire(s) and, indeed, the other team are standing here... waiting on his uncouth behavior. By going right to calling strikes on an absent batter, you're just going to pi$$ him off, and make for a very ugly situation.

You really want to go through all the bureaucracy?   "charged offensive conference"???  Really?  The object is to save time...not waste another five minutes going through all that process.   I'm a coach, and if I'm telling my team it's time to get their asses in gear I'm not worried about your charged conference.  And frankly, I'm not even worried about an ejection...it might actually fire up my team.  Strikes and outs worry me.   Those hurt my team's chances of winning...ejecting me does not.  You have a rule in black and white that lets you start a 20 second timer when the pitcher is ready to go...use it.  "Let's have a batter"...or "Play ball"...if no movement immediately, "Coach, you've had enough time, I'm going to start calling strikes"....then start your 20 second clock.  Next inning..."Play ball" and start the timer, no warning.  Somewhere in there you might get lip, and then you can get to warn-in-writing pretty quickly.  But I promise you, start calling strikes and they'll figure out it's real.   You're pissing off the coach in either scenario...you may as well exact a punishment that will accomplish the goal you're trying to achieve.

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