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Which rule book???

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I'm going to begin umpiring for a summer league that is not affiliated with Little League; they are independent.  I've been studying one and two umpire mechanics because we will use both in different age groups.  My son is on a travel team not affiliated with my league, and they have allowed me to get some field time at their scrimmages.  The age groups in my league are between 9-10, 10-11, 12-14, and 15-18.  However, the web site says "standard baseball rules will be used" with league modifications.  I *THINK* that means OBR.  I've asked the umpire-in-chief and he just says "standard rules."  

Well...in Colorado where I live, the high school athletic association uses FED rules, so if you're used to high school you may consider that "standard."  But OBR is the grandaddy of the other rule books, as far as I understand, so is that "standard?"  I tried to clarify my question, explaining there are differences between OBR and FED, but he just reiterated I have to have good knowledge of "standard baseball rules."  In other words, I don't think our umpire-in-chief knows there are different rule books out there.  

They do not issue a rule book to either umpires or coaches (gasp!), and there isn't one available for download except for the league modifications (must slide rule, no infield flies for the two lower age groups, etc.).  

So...am I right in assuming I should be ruling based on OBR???  That's the one I've been studying, and it's the one I downloaded onto my phone (our association allows umpires to have phones on the field).  

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I would go with OBR. But I would push the question to get an answer from those in charge. "Standard" isn't an acceptable answer when there are 3 major rule sets.

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Just call OBR, especially as that's what you've been studying. If anyone argues, tell them it's the standard rule. If they are still unhappy, tell them to check with the UIC.

I'm being facetious, but only slightly so--I have little patience with bureaucrats like your UIC.

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Is there another group you can join where they actually know what rules are being used?

When you are spanning that range of ages it can be a problem.  For example: Around here our "youth" ball is all Dixie and they have their own rule book. So we use Dixie rules. However, even though the Dixie boys (14-16) and Dixie Majors (17-18) are Dixie we use the FED rules because these are high school aged kids, and those are the rules they operate under in school ball.

A bigger problem is the "league modifications".  How are you to know what modifications are being made if they don't tell you? Again, around here we get an email from the UIC that he gets from each park/league on how they choose to modify any rules.  That way we know ahead of time. 

Good luck! I can see this coming a mile away....First game something is going to happen and one coach will tell you they "all voted on this modification" and the other will disagree. Unfortunately, you will have no clue who's right. Nothing better than your UIC setting you up for failure in your first year.

Sorry, re read OP

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The first thing that needs said is: Welcome to the ranks!  I hope you enjoy it and find this forum to be a valuable resource!
 

Are you sure you aren’t in Springfield, IL?  I won’t call summer baseball for this very reason.  I did one tournament early on in my career and said “nope” after that.  If they ever figure out which rulebook they are using, I will consider going back.

If they don’t know what rules they are using, they don’t need to umpires to enforce those rules.

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On 6/15/2020 at 8:34 AM, JSam21 said:

I would go with OBR. But I would push the question to get an answer from those in charge. "Standard" isn't an acceptable answer when there are 3 major rule sets.

Agreed.

I worked a showcase tournament a couple of years ago in a new location (first time this tourney was held). When I got onsite, I asked the (again, new) TD what rule set we were playing under and his exact quote was "Uhhh. Baseball rules?" After more pressing, I found he was a local NAIA baseball coach, and they were playing under NCAA rules.

Believe it or not, there are lot of people that don't understand that there *are* different rule sets (even those you think would know that), never mind the differences between them. I've found that most "summer ball" uses OBR as a baseline.

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OBR is only the answer to Part 1. Part 2: will someone tell you what the modifications are?

(1) Some youth leagues here don't play the IFF rule.

(2) When can runners take leads?

(3) Is stealing allowed?

(4) Some youth leagues here don't allow batters to run on uncaught third strikes, regardless of the outs and runners on base.

(5) Local modifications often address substituting/re-entry, DH rules, etc.

(6) What slide/avoid/contact rule is in effect? Is it different for different ages? Is hurdling a fielder allowed?

(7) Can coaches be restricted to the dugout (an intermediate "punishment" for misconduct, short of ejection)?

(8) Is there a mercy rule? A time limit? If there is a time limit, is it "drop dead" or "no new inning"?

These are just some of the questions I would have about "local modifications." You will likely have some interesting pre-game conferences, where you may well hear some timeless classics as "The last ump didn't call that" and "Some times we've played that way, other times not." And you are also likely to deal with coaches who either don't know what the modified rules are or who disagree.

Good luck.

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8 hours ago, noumpere said:

I think "We use Which rule book"  "Yes" is one part of the "Who's on First" sketch that got dropped.

The Witches at Gardner Village - Organize and Decorate Everything

 

 

We use the witch rule book!?

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2 hours ago, LRZ said:

OBR is only the answer to Part 1. Part 2: will someone tell you what the modifications are?

(1) Some youth leagues here don't play the IFF rule.

(2) When can runners take leads?

(3) Is stealing allowed?

(4) Some youth leagues here don't allow batters to run on uncaught third strikes, regardless of the outs and runners on base.

(5) Local modifications often address substituting/re-entry, DH rules, etc.

(6) What slide/avoid/contact rule is in effect? Is it different for different ages? Is hurdling a fielder allowed?

(7) Can coaches be restricted to the dugout (an intermediate "punishment" for misconduct, short of ejection)?

(8) Is there a mercy rule? A time limit? If there is a time limit, is it "drop dead" or "no new inning"?

These are just some of the questions I would have about "local modifications." You will likely have some interesting pre-game conferences, where you may well hear some timeless classics as "The last ump didn't call that" and "Some times we've played that way, other times not." And you are also likely to deal with coaches who either don't know what the modified rules are or who disagree.

Good luck.

 

Yes, he gave us the league modifications by age division (no IFF for the lowest two age brackets, but IFF in the upper two age brackets, etc.).  He just didn't realize there were different rule books until I hounded him.  

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