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Kicked call (did we kick the secondary ruling, too?)


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Greetings brothers,

     13U travel, FED, regular season game...low leverage. 2 man, I am U1.

     R1 and R2, no outs and we have an uncaught third strike. (I know, I know...) PU gives safe mechanic and verbalizes, "No catch! No catch!" Ball rolls 10 feet behind F2 and batter/runner starts for 1st. (I know, I know...)

     We have lots of coach noise and spectator noise...by the time I fully process all of this, batter/runner is about 20 feet up the baseline. I am pointing at batter/runner, running towards batter/runner whilst hammering and saying, "Batter's out! Batter's out!" Nobody hears/sees me...or maybe nobody cares.

F2 sails the ball past F3, the ball remains in play and F9 moves to finally secure it. OTM finally sees me/hears me, thinks I am calling his runner out at first after F2 sailed the throw (he never made the putout, how could he be out at 1B?) and asks for time. (I know, I know...)

PU, perhaps thinking he's being preventative, says, "Time!" and then moves R1 and R2 back to 1B and 2B. They had advanced to 3B and 2B on the throw.

We now come together. PU, OTM and I. OTM calmly to PU, "What do you have here, Blue? Why are my runners being sent back?"

PU, "The batter cannot attempt to advance to 1B there because 1B is occupied and there are less than two outs. The batter is out. However, because the catcher is throwing to 1B on my incorrect call of no catch of the third strike thus allowing your other runners to advance...I am returning your runners."

OTM accepts the decision and the game resumes. The next pitch gets by F2 and his runners advance...err, re-advance?

I got home and searched FED. I have no cite to support returning those runners...

Roast me if you must and I am here to learn.

Damn this game is humbling.

~Dawg

 

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Kicked in a couple places.

I don't have a BIG issue with PU saying "No catch" initially, but he should *immediately* have verbalized "He's out!," or similar, several times, to try and keep the ensuing clusterF*#K from occurring.  (I mean, after all - it WAS a "No catch."  The call wasn't incorrect.)

And for the secondary call?  It's still on the players to know the game situation, so if F2 'decides' to airmail a throw into RF, by all means - let him.  DON'T put the runners back for the defense not knowing what they're doing.  The offensive manager took that surprisingly well, especially since it cost him a run one pitch later.

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9 minutes ago, HokieUmp said:

Kicked in a couple places.

I don't have a BIG issue with PU saying "No catch" initially, but he should *immediately* have verbalized "He's out!," or similar, several times, to try and keep the ensuing clusterF*#K from occurring.  (I mean, after all - it WAS a "No catch."  The call wasn't incorrect.)

And for the secondary call?  It's still on the players to know the game situation, so if F2 'decides' to airmail a throw into RF, by all means - let him.  DON'T put the runners back for the defense not knowing what they're doing.  The offensive manager took that surprisingly well, especially since it cost him a run one pitch later.

At 13U, I don't have a problem putting them back.  JV? Hmmm...  Varsity?  Play on.

YMMV

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"No catch" may not have been incorrect, but it was, in the circumstances, either misleading or irrelevant, or both.

As for putting the onus of the players to know what's what, not only is it U13, but also "low level" (if that's what was meant in the OP's "low leverage"). Principles that apply to varsity and above might not be appropriate at levels below. For me, this depends on the quality of play. I've done lots of HS-age rec games, where the players are neither skilled nor experienced,  just kids having a good time playing ball with their friends.

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Our goal is communication: what did "No catch!" communicate? Why did anyone need to know that?

A big "batter's out!" when the ball gets away solves this. If the runners go, that's on them.

If the question is: given what the crew actually did, what's the best way to deal with it, then I recommend letting the play stand.

There's no rationale for putting the runners back: there was no judgment call reversed (there is no FED rule that says "repair your mistakes").

And PU was wrong: it's not illegal for the batter to advance when he's struck out (up to delay of game, but that still wouldn't warrant returning runners). 

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5 minutes ago, maven said:

 

There's no rationale for putting the runners back: there was no judgment call reversed (there is no FED rule that says "repair your mistakes").

Don't have to but 10-1-4, 10-2-3(l) allow them too. 

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Sometimes 'stuff' happens. This was one of those situations. Regardless of what you did it seems like no one complained--which is a good thing. I do agree that the age group is also important to take into consideration, as stated above.

At 13, an umpire hollering "No catch!, No catch!" TWICE is the same as saying "throw the ball! throw the ball!"

Coaching is also a problem here--he should have been throwing it to 3rd to get the lead runner--but again he's 13.

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3 hours ago, HokieUmp said:

I don't have a BIG issue with PU saying "No catch" initially, but he should *immediately* have verbalized "He's out!," or similar, several times, to try and keep the ensuing clusterF*#K from occurring.  (I mean, after all - it WAS a "No catch."  The call wasn't incorrect.)

 

The real crux of all of this is highlighted in red and bolded.  

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For a 13U travel team, from one who has coached at that level, if I'm the defensive team's coach I'm expecting my F2 and others to KNOW, stone cold, that the batter is out...this may not be laps, but the next practice may involve a whiteboard session.  Not only am I expecting my F2 to NOT throw to first, I'm expecting him to gun out R2 at third.  You're not going to hear a peep out of me if you let the play stand, and I'm going to quietly snicker inside if you put the runners back, and chalk it up to the big luck scoreboard in the sky that eventually evens out. 

If I'm the offensive team coach and you put the runners back, I'm protesting.   The play should stand.    That is true in the OP...and would also be true if F2 threw out R2 at third base.

Every player on that field (especially travel ball) should know the batter is out.   The coaches should know.  The coach did see one ump, if too late, calling the batter out.

To me, this is no different than an umpire calling IFF when it is impossible to have one (eg. only R2)...the players are expected to know these basic rules, and know when an umpire is factually wrong.

 

If this was rec ball I'm good with putting players back and making it a teachable moment for all players, and daddy coaches who never saw a baseball bat in their life until three weeks ago, though I tend to think letting the play stand is a better teaching mechanism.   

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2 hours ago, agdz59 said:

Don't have to but 10-1-4, 10-2-3(l) allow them too. 

That's not what those rules say: they don't allow umpires to "repair mistakes" for any generic error we make. They allow us to rectify a disadvantage to a team when we change a judgment call. We don't even get to fix it when we screw up a rule (that's what protests do).

No judgment call was changed in the OP. Thus, there's nothing to rectify, and the only disadvantage was self-inflicted by the defense.

Note the difference between:

  • Getting a particular call right, which threatens to put a team at a disadvantage when we change it, so we fix that, versus
  • Determining what the outcome should have been (according to someone's sense of fairness or whatever), and changing the actual outcome to that

All codes allow the former (terminology differs across the major codes); we should never be doing the latter. It's the difference between applying a pre-determined procedure fairly and guaranteeing a pre-determined outcome results.

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1 hour ago, Thunderheads said:

The real crux of all of this is highlighted in red and bolded.  

Which is pretty much what I do.  Right or wrong, I have trained myself and/or evolved to say "No catch!" when it happens.  At the SAME time, I have also trained myself AND/OR evolved, at the 2-strike point, to re-check the situation and be prepared.  So if the ball is uncaught, I STILL say "No catch!" and then loudly and repeatedly call the batter out.

I get what some are saying - hollering out loud causes 13yos to panic.  But there are things that I file away as Not My Problem.  I HAD two 13 yos of my own, that didn't listen to what I said/yelled.  So I did my time, and I'm over it. 

Again, there's not an umpire error to fix, and teams are expected to know - or have coaches who have some vague idea - what the situation is. 

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I'm curious about everyone's take on PU granting OTM's request for time. Why not let the play finish and then call time and get together with U1? As described, it becomes umpire's judgement where to put the runners if they decide to let the play stand. If the play is allowed to finish, then deciding to let it stand or not seems (to me) to be an easier judgement call than judging where the runners would have ended up.

Players not knowing/remembering U3K rules is common in my LL Majors games. FWIW, I cover it in my preseason coaches meeting (I'm league UIC). Some of our Majors coaches refresh with F2 what to do each time a potential U3K situation comes up, and they have little problem. Other coaches never mention it and continue to be frustrated by the situations that ensue.

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