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So, I've always grabbed my mask by the throat guard. (Not the dangling throat guard, the integrated throat guard bars.) One, it's what's comfortable and what works for me. Two, you get more leverage from there than any other place on a mask.

Then today I saw Ty's video. What technique do you guys use and is it time for me to change to this mechanic?

~Dawg

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If your mask comes off and your hat stays on and you use your left hand, the rest doesn't matter (okay, there might be something in there that matters, but exactly where you grab the mask probably doe

What is this indicator you speak of?

Now I feel like I am really missing out on a new gear trend. I only wear ONE harness on my mask! In all honesty... I do pretty much this exact motion in the video with my TM. Grabbing the throat e

I use much the same technique, albeit without the indicator. We must understand, this technique is one of those “best practiced / best practices” that accommodates the use of an indicator. 

I don’t use an indicator. I don’t even own an indicator. 

In taking my mask off, I don’t lift up as dramatically. I have my mask harnesses (plural, as in, four) so well-rigged and at the ideal tension that all I have to do is pull outwards and it comes right off. So too, the harnesses are under the tension they are so as to allow an impact to spin or knock the mask off my face, (hopefully) taking most of the energy with it. Major League guys are not afforded this latitude, since if their mask hits the ground, they can no longer use it. As such, they wear their masks waaaayyy too tight. 

Consider, too, that Ty is over-dramatizing it because those Wilson mask harnesses suck. The nylon is too stiff, too wide, and the spherical shape it creates is too shallow. The hardware, too, is terrible. I use four different harnesses (RayFlex, All-Star basic, Honig’s and +POS), and while each is unique, each is far-and-away better than Wilson. 

I can’t comment about the HSM technique, because HSMs are not my cup ‘o tea. @KenBAZ

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12 hours ago, MadMax said:

I have my mask harnesses (plural, as in, four)...

Now I feel like I am really missing out on a new gear trend. I only wear ONE harness on my mask!:wave:

In all honesty... I do pretty much this exact motion in the video with my TM. Grabbing the throat extention looks... odd... to me. But as long as the mask comes off and your hat doesn't end up in the dirt, you are good.

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I do as in the video. Frankly, it doesn't matter too much, but grabbing the throat guard just looks different from most (serious) umpires, and it's something that an assignor may or may not notice. That's the kind of thing that, even if the assignor doesn't care, you don't want to bring attention to yourself with. In addition, I fell like, but I'm not completely sure on this, that grabbing it could make it swing around as you run, which just seems like it could be distracting to me. I'd rather have a nice firm grip where I know it's not going anywhere. I don't know, just my :2cents:

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27 minutes ago, Biscuit said:

...but grabbing the throat guard just looks different from most (serious) umpires, and it's something that an assignor may or may not notice. 

This is an excellent point. Though the mechanics are the same and it doesn't hinder your abilities at all. A deviation from the norm could be a reason an assigner decides not to bring you on or give you that next assignment. It isnt fair. But it is a possibility. 

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On 2/20/2021 at 12:40 PM, BT_Blue said:

This is an excellent point. Though the mechanics are the same and it doesn't hinder your abilities at all. A deviation from the norm could be a reason an assigner decides not to bring you on or give you that next assignment. It isnt fair. But it is a possibility. 

I'd have to agree here.  Being 'watched' or 'assessed' , an assignor may say "do this, not that".  If he does, it'll be to tell you to take your mask off as shown in the video.   There's only a couple guys in the MLB that don't take off their mask as in the video:  a couple tend to grab the back of their mask and/or do a "two handed" style removal.  OR ... Jerry Meals take off his mask by grabbing the center bar, just above the built-in throat guard.   But if you watch them, or all of the college guys, it's "textbook" ...right from the video ;) 

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On 2/20/2021 at 12:10 PM, Biscuit said:

I do as in the video. Frankly, it doesn't matter too much, but grabbing the throat guard just looks different from most (serious) umpires, and it's something that an assignor may or may not notice. That's the kind of thing that, even if the assignor doesn't care, you don't want to bring attention to yourself with. In addition, I fell like, but I'm not completely sure on this, that grabbing it could make it swing around as you run, which just seems like it could be distracting to me. I'd rather have a nice firm grip where I know it's not going anywhere. I don't know, just my :2cents:

Maybe it is ME and I am missing something.   How would it "swing around"?  @SeeingEyeDog stated "So, I've always grabbed my mask by the throat guard. (Not the dangling throat guard, the integrated throat guard bars.)"

I added the underline in case something was missed in context, but this was from his post.  If you don't have a dangling throat guard, the mask (unless chopped) has a "throat guard" built in.

Again, maybe it's just me, be as long as you have a firm grip in the mask when you remove it, I don't understand how it could swing.  Just to point out that most if not all realize I am not a professional umpire.  So if an assignor has an issues with the mask (grab) removal being 2 inches lower than where he/she wants it............are they focusing on the rest of umpires game?

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3 hours ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

Thanks for the feedback as always, brothers. I've got a solid relationship with my assignor and neither he nor any of my partners has ever brought this up. We're getting ready for pre-season cage work, clinics and scrimmages here soon so, I'll see what some of the instructors have to say on this, too.

~Dawg 

My statements and thought are more along the lines of advancing... say in to college ball, or the next level of college ball. Or at a clinic not held locally or within your area 

College umpire assigners/recruiters are trying to find reasons to set you apart from others. Be it good or bad. And a deviation from the norm, though not anything that ACTUALLY speaks to your ability as an umpire (i.e. my first eval after moving to Portland was "hem your pants longer"), could be the reason they need to not move you forward.

YMMV.

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