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First HS Ejection in 6 years


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2 minutes ago, beerguy55 said:

I think you're asking the wrong question...the FED rules say that you can appeal a half swing to determine if it can be changed to a strike...there's nothing explicit to say you can't do the opposite, but I'd say it's implied in the wording of this rule.   But the FED rulebook doesn't explicitly say that you're not allowed to pee on home plate either.

I get and understand exactly what your saying and I have no dispute with that. If the PU deems a check swing a strike the discussion is over before it starts. But on a check swing there is clear intent to strike at the ball--then a change of mind, either too late or in time, and the kid is not hit by the pitch (usually anyway).  I would deem that a 'half-swing' that could be appealed.

But this is completely different. Here the question is, is the movement of the bat an attempt to strike at the ball OR simply a by-product of trying to get out of the way of being hit by the ball.  As stated in the OP the PU is looking at his BACK I'm staring straight into his (fear riddled, 9th grade) eyes. I can see that the bat is moving but I can also see that it is not in an attempt to strike at the ball. I simply don't see why the umpires cannot get together on this 'strike' call to make sure its correct.

Regardless, as stated above this discussion has changed how I will handle this in the future.

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That should be the rule everywhere for HS

We did talk about it. We went through a couple of things after the game.  He is an experienced basketball/football guy so he has no problem learning from others and mistakes.

I'm not entirely sure that is correct. We can't change a strike to a ball. But we should be able to correct this into a HBP if warranted.

25 minutes ago, aaluck said:

I simply don't see why the umpires cannot get together on this 'strike' call to make sure its correc

Maybe they should in specific special exceptions, but right now by rule and guidance they can't.    Doesn't matter if it's a half swing, check swing, full swing, or frankly...a called strike.  Once the PU rules it a strike, end of discussion, like you said.  He saw a strike...he (sh)wouldn't have called a strike if he didn't see a strike.

Being blocked by the batter the ump should never have ruled a swing...if he had ruled it a ball/no swing/HBP then the defense could appeal to see if the no-swing should be ruled a swing.   The rules/mechanics create the very remedy for the scenario where a PU does not or cannot see a swing, to turn a called ball into a swinging strike - by allowing an ump with a potentially better view to determine if he saw a swing.  

Instead, this umpire guessed, and voided the potential remedy.

 

 

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That's not a rule it's a mechanic.

2019-2020 NCAA rule 3-6f. When asked by a coach or player, the plate umpire must seek a decision from the appropriate base umpire regarding the “half swing.” Such appeal may only be made when the plate umpire has called the pitch a ball.

Note 1: Balls, strikes, half swings or decisions about hit-by-pitch situations are not to be argued. After a warning, any player or coach who continues to argue balls, strikes, half swings or a hit-by-pitch situation shall be ejected from the game. Umpires shall record the warning.

Note 2: If a coach leaves the dugout or his position to argue a ball or strike call (including a half swing or hit-by-pitch), the coach may be ejected without warning.

2019 OBR Rule 8.02(c) Comment:

…The manager or the catcher may request the plate umpire to ask his partner for help on a half swing when the plate umpire calls the pitch a ball, but not when the pitch is called a strike. The manager may not complain that the umpire made an improper call, but only that he did not ask his partner for help. Field umpires must be alerted to the request from the plate umpire and quickly respond. Managers may not protest the call of a ball or strike on the pretense they are asking for information about a half swing.

Appeals on a half swing may be made only on the call of ball and when asked to appeal, the home plate umpire must refer to a base umpire for his judgment on the half swing. Should the base umpire call the pitch a strike, the strike call shall prevail. Appeals on a half swing must be made before the next pitch, or any play or attempted play. If the half swing occurs during a play which ends a half-inning, the appeal must be made before all infielders of the defensive team leave fair territory...

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On 3/16/2021 at 12:53 AM, BT_Blue said:

I've gotten players. But I cant recall ever ejecting a high school coach. Of course, for about 10 years there, I was working in Los Angeles. They have (had?) a great little rule in LA Section that said "if a HC gets dumped, the game is over right then and there!" So you barely heard a peep from the coaches.

Great rule. 

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10 hours ago, maven said:

My reading was that the call was a pitch in the zone that hit the batter. That's a dead-ball strike that: (a) BU has no business discussing, and (b) PU can't change.

Thats also the way I read it, the first time. After re-reading, it stated RH batter "which hits the kid in the left chest". I was thinking the "old school sqaure to bunt" as he decribed it, ball hits him in the RIGHT chest would have been very close to, if not in the strike zone.  

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So here is my take away from this.

So to me the largest error here is the PU calling it a strike cause he did not see the ball and where it hit the kid.  

To me this is crucial because if you did not see a strike nor where it actually hit the batter how are you to say the batter offered at the pitch.   by calling the strike it introduced something that was technically against the rules to make a change on.  "

Once its a strike you cannot un call it a strike"

So here is how I am going to work around that.

9.02 Umpire Decisions

(a) Any umpire’s decision which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out, is final. No player, manager, coach, or substitute shall object to any such judgment decisions.

(b) If there is reasonable doubt that any umpire’s decision may be in conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision and ask that a correct ruling be made. Such appeal shall be made only to the umpire who made the protested decision.

(c) If a decision is appealed, the umpire making the decision may ask another umpire for information before making a final decision. No umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse, or interfere with another umpire’s decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it.

 

Because the coach saw it NOT as a strike but as a HBP or not HBP  he was asking for an appeal based on that.  He is allowed to I believe ask for that.  At least clarification from the PU.   

Its as simple as this

"Hey blue we all saw the batter get hit by that pitch. I ask because it hit him in the chest"

This lets PU who knows at this point he probably should have called ball take the appeal to the BU ( if he's like me and has no BU hes fubar and its a strike)   PU then gets to use 9.02c and ask his partner, "Hey I had my head up my arse did you see what happened cause my view of that was crap"   

Thus the coaches appeal works

the PU's appeal works

the call is right and the game goes on without a protest hopefully.

 

:sarcasm:

 

Anyway moral of the story is don't call it a strike if you don't clearly see its a strike 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, ArchAngel72 said:

So here is my take away from this.

So to me the largest error here is the PU calling it a strike cause he did not see the ball and where it hit the kid.  

To me this is crucial because if you did not see a strike nor where it actually hit the batter how are you to say the batter offered at the pitch.   by calling the strike it introduced something that was technically against the rules to make a change on.  "

Once its a strike you cannot un call it a strike"

So here is how I am going to work around that.

9.02 Umpire Decisions

(a) Any umpire’s decision which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out, is final. No player, manager, coach, or substitute shall object to any such judgment decisions.

(b) If there is reasonable doubt that any umpire’s decision may be in conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision and ask that a correct ruling be made. Such appeal shall be made only to the umpire who made the protested decision.

(c) If a decision is appealed, the umpire making the decision may ask another umpire for information before making a final decision. No umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse, or interfere with another umpire’s decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it.

 

Because the coach saw it NOT as a strike but as a HBP or not HBP  he was asking for an appeal based on that.  He is allowed to I believe ask for that.  At least clarification from the PU.   

Its as simple as this

"Hey blue we all saw the batter get hit by that pitch. I ask because it hit him in the chest"

This lets PU who knows at this point he probably should have called ball take the appeal to the BU ( if he's like me and has no BU hes fubar and its a strike)   PU then gets to use 9.02c and ask his partner, "Hey I had my head up my arse did you see what happened cause my view of that was crap"   

Thus the coaches appeal works

the PU's appeal works

the call is right and the game goes on without a protest hopefully.

 

Anyway moral of the story is don't call it a strike if you don't clearly see its a strike 

A thousand times no.

This remedy only applies to interpretations, not judgement. There can't be a protest on the original call, but there sure could be if you try this.

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1 hour ago, Matt said:

A thousand times no.

This remedy only applies to interpretations, not judgement. There can't be a protest on the original call, but there sure could be if you try this.

Coach is saying "So your interpretation is HE was not hit by a pitch"

 

Matt it was all tongue-n-cheek sorry no I was not lobbying for that. totally playing an end around the whole thing.

I should ended it with a sarcasm off emote. my bad

 

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From the 2016 BRD (section 548, p. 359):

FED Official Interpretation:  Rumble:  An umpire who becomes convinced his call was in error, until a pitch or a play, may reverse his call.

Play 336-542 (p. 354):  FED only. On a wild pitch, R3 tries to score and crashes into F1 covering. The umpire calls “Safe!” On his way back to the mound, F1 curses the umpire and is ejected. His coach arrives to say he believes the contact at the plate was malicious. The umpire agrees, changing his call:  R3 is now out and ejected. The offensive coach argues the call cannot be changed since it was a judgment call. Ruling:  The umpire has the authority to change his judgment call because there has not been a pitch or a play.

Note 506:  Rumble, while acknowledging the umpire has the power to change a judgment call, admits “the umpire made a serious error in changing his call the way he did.”

2000 NFHS Baseball Rule Interpretations SITUATION 10: With R2 on second base attempting to steal third, the left-handed B2 swings to protect R2. The plate umpire does not see the batter swing. The next pitch is a called strike, and the plate umpire announces the count as 1-1. The coach of the defensive team wants the count corrected to 0-2. RULING: Since a pitch has been taken on the disputed ball/strike call, the count is 1-1. (10-2-3i note)

Also see current case plays 10.2.3 I, M, and N.

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3 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

2000 NFHS Baseball Rule Interpretations SITUATION 10: With R2 on second base attempting to steal third, the left-handed B2 swings to protect R2. The plate umpire does not see the batter swing. The next pitch is a called strike, and the plate umpire announces the count as 1-1. The coach of the defensive team wants the count corrected to 0-2. RULING: Since a pitch has been taken on the disputed ball/strike call, the count is 1-1. (10-2-3i note)

Also see current case plays 10.2.3 I, M, and N.

ew - I get it...you gotta draw a line somewhere...if you let it go after one pitch, what about two or three pitches?  But man, if this does happen in a game and you give THIS ruling to a coach he's gonna be asking for the count after every swinging strike the rest of the game.   At that point it doesn't really matter that you have a rule to back you up.

Nobody's keeping their eyes on the umpire to see if he's making his strike mechanic or not on a blatant and obvious swing - especially when there's a play at third base immediately after the swing...and umps are widely and wildly inconsistently on their "ball" mechanic...from very loud "BALL!" to a low key "no" that only F2 could hear...to nothing at all.   There's often very little reason presented for a coach/player to know the umpire didn't see a swing that everyone else did.   

And yes, it's perfectly understandable and not uncommon for an umpire, and even F2, to not realize the batter swung - the issue is not about the missed call, but about the inconsistent communication that conveys it.

I would suggest, wherever feasible, to take the road of talking with your partner and playing this as a count correction/verification, as opposed to "I didn't see the swing, and nobody realized I called it a ball until it was too late".   Sorry...clicked ball instead of strike....fixed now 0-2.  Little white lies never hurt anybody.   Better game management.

Having said that...if you're the loud "BALL!" type of umpire, it's pretty easy to use that as your defense and justify the "too late" ruling...but I'd bet a lot of money that if that's your ball mechanic then this scenario never has and never will happen to you.

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4 hours ago, Senor Azul said:

FED Official Interpretation:  Rumble:  An umpire who becomes convinced his call was in error, until a pitch or a play, may reverse his call.

Play 336-542 (p. 354):  FED only. On a wild pitch, R3 tries to score and crashes into F1 covering. The umpire calls “Safe!” On his way back to the mound, F1 curses the umpire and is ejected. His coach arrives to say he believes the contact at the plate was malicious. The umpire agrees, changing his call:  R3 is now out and ejected. The offensive coach argues the call cannot be changed since it was a judgment call. Ruling:  The umpire has the authority to change his judgment call because there has not been a pitch or a play.

Thanks for the info.

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Mr. beerguy55, the language in that FED rule you cited (10-1-4a) means the appeal on a half-swing is made only on a call of “ball.” Here’s what Carl Childress wrote about this rule in his 2016 BRD, “The appeal of the call of ‘ball’ on a half-swing is not automatic:  The UIC may ask for help if he wishes.”

I agree that the language used in the rule is stilted and easily confused; but the funny thing is that it is the way it has appeared in the FED rule book since the very first Federation rule book in 1945.

As for your objection to the interpretation I posted, that is entirely consistent with all other forms of appeal. The question of when does the appeal opportunity end is always answered by a statement that includes this proviso—the defense must appeal before the next legal or illegal pitch… By the way, both the NCAA and OBR have the same limitation.

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On 3/15/2021 at 1:11 PM, wolfe_man said:

My first game/scrimmage is tonight.  It's JV. I'll let you know.

Season starts next week for us.

FWIW, my only HS ejection remains a JV coach a couple years back.  

In 18 years (and close to 2,000 games), I can count the number of coaches I've ever ejected (3) on 1 hand. 

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On 3/16/2021 at 12:53 AM, BT_Blue said:

I've gotten players. But I cant recall ever ejecting a high school coach. Of course, for about 10 years there, I was working in Los Angeles. They have (had?) a great little rule in LA Section that said "if a HC gets dumped, the game is over right then and there!" So you barely heard a peep from the coaches.

This would put an end to coaches taking liberties with umpires.

I'm not sure if this is a NFHS rule- but the PIAA has put an end to assistant coaches arguing with umpires.  What the PIAA has done, is if an assistant starts arguing a call with an umpire- he's ejected, and the HC is restricted.

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1 hour ago, philaump said:

I'm not sure if this is a NFHS rule- but the PIAA has put an end to assistant coaches arguing with umpires.  What the PIAA has done, is if an assistant starts arguing a call with an umpire- he's ejected, and the HC is restricted.

There is a FED rule regarding assistants arguing certain topics to the point of ejection that results in the HC being restricted. 

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22 minutes ago, Matt said:

There is a FED rule regarding assistants arguing certain topics to the point of ejection that results in the HC being restricted. 

3-3-1 (f)(6) penalty - related to leaving their position (box or dugout) to argue a call.

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6 minutes ago, ousafe said:

3-3-1 (f)(6) penalty - related to leaving their position (box or dugout) to argue a call.

Thanks. With my no longer doing HS ball and FED removing themselves from Arbiter, I'd have to go from memory for the cite.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I moved up to HS this year after getting my feet wet with youth ball.  I'm not having those problems.  In fact, the HS coaches (I'm working JV and C squad, no varsity yet) seem to be just fine with me.  I haven't had anything that turned negative or even came close to warranting an ejection.  Once I heard a little chirping about my zone from the players.  That's about it.  When I worked youth ball last year (little league, rec league, and younger levels of travel ball), it was a constant stream of idiocy from the coaches.  They not only don't know the rules, but they think they do and they argue vehemently -- a batted ball of the plate is foul, the hands are part of the bat, an obstructed runner must make an attempt at the next base to be awarded that base, etc.

I worked a travel ball tournament in Denver a few weeks ago.  Triple Crown uses NFHS rules, whereas, USSSA uses OBR as a base.  There is a huge difference in how to adjudicate a balk -- Triple Crown / NFHS is an immediate dead ball.  USSSA / OBR is a delayed dead ball.

My partner balked a kid; we called it dead immediately because this was a Triple Crown tournament.  The offensive coach did NOT argue or protest.  He simply asked for time and then asked why we called it dead immediately (his batter hit one up the middle with runners on, but the ball was dead as soon as we called "TIME, THAT'S A BALK!").  He told us, "In Texas they assessed the balk after the play."  

Me:  "Was it a USSSA tournament?"

Coach:  "Yes."

Me:  "That's why.  Their rule book has it as a delayed dead ball.  Ours has it dead immediately."

Coach:  "Ok, thanks, blue."

No arguing, no whining, no accusations.  A simple rule explanation and the game went on.    

Of course, it's only April :)  

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13 minutes ago, mac266 said:

He told us, "In Texas they assessed the balk after the play."  

Me:  "Was it a USSSA tournament?"

Coach:  "Yes."

Me:  "That's why.  Their rule book has it as a delayed dead ball.  Ours has it dead immediately."

Coach:  "Ok, thanks, blue."

I gather from your posts that you're a newer umpire. Let me be the first to point out that this was really good game management for a newer umpire.

Some newer umpires (and, alas, veterans too) reach for the ol' irony gun: "Well, we're not in Texas, are we?!?" Now we're escalating the situation pointlessly.

You got right to the rules difference, explained it in just a few words (some guys want to explain the whole damn balk rule, plus bitch about whatever code "displeases" them, as if anyone gave a fudge about their opinion). 

Lots of ways to screw up game management: it's the difference between a pro umpire moving up and getting released. It's almost impossible to teach (rules of thumb go only so far) and to learn (so much depends on personality developed over a lifetime).

So, well done. Direct, to the point, respectful, and responsive (answers his question). No coach could reasonably ask for anything more (though some do, which becomes its own game management issue). 

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42 minutes ago, maven said:

I gather from your posts that you're a newer umpire. Let me be the first to point out that this was really good game management for a newer umpire.

Some newer umpires (and, alas, veterans too) reach for the ol' irony gun: "Well, we're not in Texas, are we?!?" Now we're escalating the situation pointlessly.

You got right to the rules difference, explained it in just a few words (some guys want to explain the whole damn balk rule, plus bitch about whatever code "displeases" them, as if anyone gave a fudge about their opinion). 

Lots of ways to screw up game management: it's the difference between a pro umpire moving up and getting released. It's almost impossible to teach (rules of thumb go only so far) and to learn (so much depends on personality developed over a lifetime).

So, well done. Direct, to the point, respectful, and responsive (answers his question). No coach could reasonably ask for anything more (though some do, which becomes its own game management issue). 

Thanks, maven.  Yes, this is only my second year, first doing HS.

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2 hours ago, mac266 said:

My partner balked a kid; we called it dead immediately because this was a Triple Crown tournament.  The offensive coach did NOT argue or protest.  He simply asked for time and then asked why we called it dead immediately (his batter hit one up the middle with runners on, but the ball was dead as soon as we called "TIME, THAT'S A BALK!").  He told us, "In Texas they assessed the balk after the play."  

I might suggest that it would be better to get in the habit of calling "That's a balk!" since not all rules codes are the same. Using that phrasing usually stops all play, but, in the event the game is other than NFHS rules, the play can continue without an inadvertent call on your part. 

Any conversation about a dead ball versus a live ball on the subsequent action(s) with either HC can be easily handled as indicated in the OP.

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13 hours ago, Kevin_K said:

I might suggest that it would be better to get in the habit of calling "That's a balk!" since not all rules codes are the same. Using that phrasing usually stops all play, but, in the event the game is other than NFHS rules, the play can continue without an inadvertent call on your part. 

Any conversation about a dead ball versus a live ball on the subsequent action(s) with either HC can be easily handled as indicated in the OP.

I one million percent agree with this! There are few things worse than getting yourself confused and yelling "TIME! THATS A BALK!" in a game that it doesn't apply too.

An example of this was a college scrimmage I was working with a bunch of other college guys. Super informal and we were jumping in and out to call plays and such. A very good umpire took his turn and the pitcher balks. Ball is live and rolling around (I cant recall if the pitch was hit or the throw got by F3... its been almost 20 years). And everything stops because he yelled "TIME!"

He IMMEDIATELY knew he had screwed up. And we teased him mercilessly (as we should). But it will be a mistake he will never make again.

Long story short (to late, I know)... in NFHS the simple statement of "THATS A BALK!" is enough to legally kill the ball by rule.

So just call the balk the same way you would in OBR to avoid a mistake. The ball is automatically dead anyway in NFHS. 

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23 hours ago, Kevin_K said:

I might suggest that it would be better to get in the habit of calling "That's a balk!" since not all rules codes are the same. Using that phrasing usually stops all play, but, in the event the game is other than NFHS rules, the play can continue without an inadvertent call on your part. 

Any conversation about a dead ball versus a live ball on the subsequent action(s) with either HC can be easily handled as indicated in the OP.

Unfortunately that's what my association wants us to do.

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2 hours ago, mac266 said:

Unfortunately that's what my association wants us to do.

I believe that's also the official FED mechanic. Another reason why they are...not great.

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There's a cute illustration in the Evans/Nelson manual of a base umpire hands on knees set, standing and pointing ("That's a balk!"), immediately going back to hands on knees set, and then standing up again to call time, repeat the verbal and point, and then award bases. Helps me remember the sequence and the signalling mechanic. If it's a high school game and you do inadvertently go back to hands on knees set, it's real easy to pop right back up and call time--nobody will notice, and if they do, they'll probably think you must be a college umpire who forgot he was working a high school game 😀

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