Jump to content

Fair strike call for 12U rec ball?


Recommended Posts

I’m very new to the umpiring scene, so apologies if I’m committing any fashion crimes here;

Anyway, does this look like a fair call to make for this level of play? I expanded my zone about 1.5 to 2 balls further off the plate than I would for a high school level game since the level of play was so low.

Even with a bigger zone, we were only able to get in 3 innings in 1 and a half hours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like strikes, so my knee-jerk reaction is: sure, get that.

If you're working a level where pitchers struggle to throw strikes, then you have to enlarge the zone. I can't tell from that angle where the pitch was, but we gotta do what we gotta do.

Welcome to the board. It's a better resource for rules study than for assessing judgment calls from poor angles.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, KayTup said:

I’m very new to the umpiring scene, so apologies if I’m committing any fashion crimes here;

Anyway, does this look like a fair call to make for this level of play? I expanded my zone about 1.5 to 2 balls further off the plate than I would for a high school level game since the level of play was so low.

Even with a bigger zone, we were only able to get in 3 innings in 1 and a half hours.

May I offer some tips/observations? I will start with the positives

1) Can already tell you look the part. Fit, dressed well, and not timid.  That alone will help you progress.

2) The strike is absolutely fine. I rewound it and slowed it down and I’d say half the ball was in the channel and half on the chalk. That’s a strike at every level below HS Varsity in my opinion.

3) You need to change your strike three mechanic. This isn’t opinion, it’s fact if you want to move up. Pause the video with 0:02 left. You are looking at the ground, almost 180 degrees away from field of play. What if the batter interfered with catcher? What if runner took off? What if catcher drops the ball so batter can run? Keep your eyes facing the action and POSSIBLE action

4) you have a nice “lock” mechanism (arms locked, keeps your head at the same height every pitch), prob will need to get a little lower as level advances as most college and mlb guys lock with their forearm or grab behind their hamstrings/knees. Only thing there is you drifted with the pitch, try to stay still. When you drift, a pitch that is 1 foot outside (shouldn’t be called) will look 3 inches outside bc you moved closer to it and you will grab it

5) Work the slot, you are directly over the catchers head. Very common for new umpires, but you don’t get a good look at low pitches and especially the low outside corner, will disappear on you. And above all else, is a major safety issue. Batters hardest foul balls tend to be straight back or just to opposite side (watch mlb game where foul balls get scorched backwards). Working the slot reduces number of times you will get drilled. Not so important at the age you are doing in the video but very important when you get to guys throwing harder

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You aren't here to make the game easier for the pitcher. A 5'2" kid with a 29" bat cannot hit the  "2 balls off the plate" pitch. It's not a strike. And in LL the batter's box is 4" from the plate so a pitch 2 balls off the plate is in the  the batter's box.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If that's 8 to 10 U  Yep have at it.

 

LL states armpits to top of knees and any part  of the ball over any part of the plate.

 

I will enlarge that to the batters box lines and top of shoulders to bottom of knees for 8-10u

 

12U 1st couple weeks of the season I may call that but Not right now in All Stars where I am  I call it a little larger than armpit to top of knee and plate but not much.  All stars I am right where LL states.  I tighten the zone to that exactly.  

 

Now with that said I do admit I call my zone on average about a ball low.  I dunno why its just me and I will give them the knee and the letters but not the top of them on the uni.  I am consistent as all hell on it though.   So its never more or less open for either team

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

At the risk of overdoing it... I'm with you @ArchAngel72 but I do have to combine it with @Rich Ives's point: imo you can't have the exact same physical zone for every batter because of that little batter who could stand on the chalk and still be 2 inches shy of reaching the outside strike you call on the normal size kid.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Velho said:

At the risk of overdoing it... I'm with you @ArchAngel72 but I do have to combine it with @Rich Ives's point: imo you can't have the exact same physical zone for every batter because of that little batter who could stand on the chalk and still be 2 inches shy of reaching the outside strike you call on the normal size kid.

Meh to be honest I have seen smaller kids stand at the back of the box as far away from the plate as they can be at that point I will open up the inside of the lines to the batters box to be a strike to them but if they are standing on that line I will close it down as I dont want to call a inside strike on a kid if it hits him. Albeit I did call one on a kid leaning heavy over the plate this year, It grabbed his elbow right over the plate and I called strike and told him NOPE stay here..

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, SH0102 said:

May I offer some tips/observations? I will start with the positives

1) Can already tell you look the part. Fit, dressed well, and not timid.  That alone will help you progress.

2) The strike is absolutely fine. I rewound it and slowed it down and I’d say half the ball was in the channel and half on the chalk. That’s a strike at every level below HS Varsity in my opinion.

3) You need to change your strike three mechanic. This isn’t opinion, it’s fact if you want to move up. Pause the video with 0:02 left. You are looking at the ground, almost 180 degrees away from field of play. What if the batter interfered with catcher? What if runner took off? What if catcher drops the ball so batter can run? Keep your eyes facing the action and POSSIBLE action

4) you have a nice “lock” mechanism (arms locked, keeps your head at the same height every pitch), prob will need to get a little lower as level advances as most college and mlb guys lock with their forearm or grab behind their hamstrings/knees. Only thing there is you drifted with the pitch, try to stay still. When you drift, a pitch that is 1 foot outside (shouldn’t be called) will look 3 inches outside bc you moved closer to it and you will grab it

5) Work the slot, you are directly over the catchers head. Very common for new umpires, but you don’t get a good look at low pitches and especially the low outside corner, will disappear on you. And above all else, is a major safety issue. Batters hardest foul balls tend to be straight back or just to opposite side (watch mlb game where foul balls get scorched backwards). Working the slot reduces number of times you will get drilled. Not so important at the age you are doing in the video but very important when you get to guys throwing harder

Really appreciate the advice! I’ve heard similar critiques about the strike three call, so that’s good to hear.

As for the slot, I agree with that as well. I always thought I did a good job of lining up in a good spot, but watching some video (which I don’t usually have access to) I realized that I wasn’t very far from the catcher at all; I realize now why I struggled to see those low outside pitches!

I appreciate the compliments on the look though; I always try to look as professional as possible no matter the level and be as confident as possible. You get less questions from players, coaches, and fans that way. Thanks again for the thoughts!

 

EDIT: Grammar

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, ArchAngel72 said:

If that's 8 to 10 U  Yep have at it.

 

LL states armpits to top of knees and any part  of the ball over any part of the plate.

 

I will enlarge that to the batters box lines and top of shoulders to bottom of knees for 8-10u

 

12U 1st couple weeks of the season I may call that but Not right now in All Stars where I am  I call it a little larger than armpit to top of knee and plate but not much.  All stars I am right where LL states.  I tighten the zone to that exactly.  

 

Now with that said I do admit I call my zone on average about a ball low.  I dunno why its just me and I will give them the knee and the letters but not the top of them on the uni.  I am consistent as all hell on it though.   So its never more or less open for either team

 

 

Interesting about your low zone, but consistency really is everything! The biggest complaint I’ve heard from coaches when I’ve been playing hasn’t necessarily been a “bad” zone, but consistency.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, SH0102 said:

Oh, and invest in a pair of plate shoes! One ball off the toes and I guarantee you will, but save yourself that first hit off the toe!

They’re coming in the mail sometime next week 😉👍

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Velho said:

At the risk of overdoing it... I'm with you @ArchAngel72 but I do have to combine it with @Rich Ives's point: imo you can't have the exact same physical zone for every batter because of that little batter who could stand on the chalk and still be 2 inches shy of reaching the outside strike you call on the normal size kid.

Absolutely agree! The unfortunate part about the level I was working is that just about every pitch was over the catchers head (or in the other batters’ box) and to the backstop. At some point you just have no choice but to call a wide zone (wider to kids with longer bats, of course) so you don’t get stuck with a walk fest that goes 2 innings in 2 hours.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

KayTup, just to be clear: the slot refers to the space between the catcher and the batter, regardless of how close you may be to the catcher. If the catcher crowds the slot, thereby blocking your look, set up a little higher.

image.png.403cb66953627e9da61b376259470414.png

By the way, I'm impressed that an 18 y/o pays attention to grammar. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

KayTup, pay attention to that middle upper diagram. You'll feel exposed and want to creep to the catcher's left shoulder. DON'T. It takes you out of the slot (as shown, the slot is based on the batter not the relationship between the batter and the catcher).

It also shows how far outside the catcher is setup and, even though the pitch "hit the mitt", it was well outside when you properly balled it.

Trap its a trap.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, Velho said:

KayTup, pay attention to that middle upper diagram. You'll feel exposed and want to creep to the catcher's left shoulder. DON'T. It takes you out of the slot (as shown, the slot is based on the batter not the relationship between the batter and the catcher).

It also shows how far outside the catcher is setup and, even though the pitch "hit the mitt", it was well outside when you properly balled it.

Trap its a trap.jpg

This is awesome, I appreciate the diagram! Definitely saving that one to study. The slot is for sure something I’m still a bit timid about, feeling exposed is a real issue.
 

And yes, I get that a lot about the grammar; I’ve always been a bit of a stickler for making sure I look neat and tidy with my writing; I guess that helps out with umpiring too 😂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, KayTup said:

The slot is for sure something I’m still a bit timid about, feeling exposed is a real issue.

The point of the diagram is that working the slot is actually the safest place to set up.

A typical problem for new(er) umpires is the players' relative lack of skills. When pitchers can't throw strikes with any consistency and catchers can't catch, it's easy to feel like you are a clay pigeon in a shooting gallery. But trust your equipment, hold your position and do the best you can.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, LRZ said:

The point of the diagram is that working the slot is actually the safest place to set up.

A typical problem for new(er) umpires is the players' relative lack of skills. When pitchers can't throw strikes with any consistency and catchers can't catch, it's easy to feel like you are a clay pigeon in a shooting gallery. But trust your equipment, hold your position and do the best you can.

Exactly. Appreciate the diagram! Definitely something to focus on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@KayTup ... 

 

Nobody noticed the strike call with the left hand first?!  😁

 

The slot is more about protection than getting a perfect look (though it does give better odds of an unobstructed look).  This is why umpires will want to creep out behind the catcher.  Keep in mind "line of fire" principals.  The "line of fire" is the direction in which a projectile (or hazard) can travel.  

Your best protection is standing out of the line of fire, not behind cover.  By positioning yourself basically in line with the batter, you are taking yourself out of the line of fire of a foul ball (as much as possible, anyway).  Yes, you will feel exposed when the catcher moves to the outside, but you are actually exposing yourself more by following that catcher.  Think about the direction a foul ball travels ... how often have you seen it go behind the batter (barring a pop up, of course)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

@KayTup ... 

 

Nobody noticed the strike call with the left hand first?!  😁

 

The slot is more about protection than getting a perfect look (though it does give better odds of an unobstructed look).  This is why umpires will want to creep out behind the catcher.  Keep in mind "line of fire" principals.  The "line of fire" is the direction in which a projectile (or hazard) can travel.  

Your best protection is standing out of the line of fire, not behind cover.  By positioning yourself basically in line with the batter, you are taking yourself out of the line of fire of a foul ball (as much as possible, anyway).  Yes, you will feel exposed when the catcher moves to the outside, but you are actually exposing yourself more by following that catcher.  Think about the direction a foul ball travels ... how often have you seen it go behind the batter (barring a pop up, of course)?

Got it! Thanks for the explanation, I knew about the slot, and I thought I utilized it, but obviously I wasn’t nearly as far over as I should have been!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/2/2021 at 9:31 PM, KayTup said:

Interesting about your low zone, but consistency really is everything! The biggest complaint I’ve heard from coaches when I’ve been playing hasn’t necessarily been a “bad” zone, but consistency.

For me consistency is the best of anything.  You can call a ball width one way(tight or widening the zone) as long as you do it (at least in LL) the same all game most coaches wont care. They just want to see the game called fairly for them and their opponent.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Nothing like a nice hard punch out.  Just don't look at the ground 🙃.  Lot of solid advice here. When I filled in for LL stuff, it's hard.  Do not second guess your zone in a kids game.  It will drive you mentally insane.  And, please for heavens sake, watch the LL world series, certainly not what I would consider the epitome of calling a book strike zone. They'd be out there for 4 days if they called the book, which inevitably somebody will quote.  

+2 on them plate shoes.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...