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Opinions on New Social-Distancing Regulations for Officials


AlbertaUmpire

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9 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

This brings up an interesting theoretical ... would moving out from behind the plate ever become an accepted norm (after all of this) to mitigate the risk of physical injury to umpires?  (I suspect not.)

I can see this as a possibility if social distancing was required next season (Spring 2021 and beyond) with a solo umpire because of the fact umpires are already stretched thin in many areas and there's a vested interest in keeping them as healthy as possible. Otherwise, I think it's a 50/50 toss-up at best.

 

6 hours ago, BLarson said:

I had some games behind the mound.   At plate meeting we discussed balls down each line and check swings...whatever I call is the call...even though other people (coaches) may have a better vantage point.   That didn't stop some of the coaches complaining about the call.   I just call time and remind them (in front of everyone) what we discussed at plate meeting.

I wish I had thought about saying something similar this weekend. The second umpire assigned to the softball games was a no-show. So, the umpire I eventually replaced had to do the first three games solo. Having arriving early with the games behind schedule, he asked me to be the BU for the next game before he had to leave for the day. This meant I worked solo behind the plate for the day's last two games. While I can't say for certain such a comment would have prevented a coach from arguing a call he disliked, it would have been good to have that to fall back on and it'll be something I add to my toolbox moving forward.

In terms of COVID frustration, I couldn't help wondering if this was the first tournament experience of the year for all involved parties. Goodness forbid an umpire be less than perfect when the players are also showing rust indicative of their first games in a long time :rolleyes:.

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@StatsUmp, that is a mixed bag and a variety of opinions around here.

Some would say do NOT bring up working solo at the plate meeting as you are already planting seeds with the coaches saying that you will get calls wrong.

Some would say acknowledge it up front and that builds integrity in the coaches’ eyes.

Some will say “Don’t work alone.”  ;)

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23 hours ago, BLarson said:

 At plate meeting we discussed balls down each line and check swings...whatever I call is the call

 

17 hours ago, StatsUmp said:

I wish I had thought about saying something similar this weekend

Don't - any coach with two brain cells to rub together and an ounce of integrity knows the difficulties and limitations of solo umping...this is why we always want at least two umps - if they have any complaints they'll raise it with the league or TD  (and in this environment, when it comes to umps, be it the quality or the quantity, coaches should be complaining about sfa)

Any coach that lacks the above inventory requirements is going to be on your ass regardless, and take your admission as an excuse to do so (at that same time, run him without a thought, and sleep well that night)

 

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@The Man in Blue & @beerguy55 - Thanks for your thoughts and reminder that some situations can be no-win no matter how gracefully we strive to handle them.

You're right that there are coaches who correctly realize that someone working solo because of an unanticipated no-show or last-second change may miss something just because of the inherent limitations of having one umpire and they handle those situations with class. Those coaches that don't get it and want to die on that sword likely find themselves warned, restricted, or tossed.

 

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