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Second Year Park League Ump


BuschLeague

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Hey gang, I've been lurking for a while since I started last year umpiring 16u baseball and softball at the local park.  I worked at the park before that refereeing soccer- which I still do- but have always liked the mechanics of baseball over soccer.  Around here, soccer pays more than baseball and I just have to accept it! 

I'm still on the learning curve, but appreciative of the discussions on this forum which have helped me with borderline call interpretations and selecting appropriate gear to protect against the MANY wild throws and foul tips I get behind the plate.  I have done my share of blown calls, but making up for a blown call against one team by favoring a call later on is not in my vocabulary.  I get my dose of irate parents, but the coaches understand where park-level umps come from.  When I'm walking through the parking lot after a game and a coach passing by in his car says out the window, without sarcasm, "thanks, blue!", I know I'm doing the right thing.

BTW if anyone has any suggestions on better positioning angles for a two man crew at the youth level with RISP, I'm all ears.  Our teenage ump crews tend to struggle, and I'd like to be able to help them out.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Depending on the configuration, R1/R3, R2, R3, R2/R3, R1/R2/R3 will determine if you are in B or C. From there, pre-pitch scenarios... if the ball is hit to the out field, where is the likely play? Ball hit to short with no force, will they just look them back and throw to 1st for the put out or will they just try and hold or back pick the runner at 3rd?

Just have the likely scenarios at the front of your mind, but really, chest to ball and let the throw take you to the play. Once the fielder is committed, MOVE as much as the play will allow and strive for the best angle you can. 2 man requires you keep your head on a swivel and that you react to what the players do. You do not have the luxury of a 3 or 4 man crew where there is normally someone ahead of the runner(s) and in a better position than you are to officiate a play way over on the other side of the diamond. 

 

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2 hours ago, ArchAngel72 said:

Btw foul tips never get to you

 

On 1/11/2022 at 10:13 AM, BuschLeague said:

and selecting appropriate gear to protect against the MANY wild throws and foul tips I get behind the plate.

Indeed. A plate umpire is never hit by “foul tips”, and if he/she is aware of the location of the baseball, should never be getting hit by “wild throws”. 

Am I being pedantic? Sure. But details matter. 
 

Now, wild pitches and foul balls / backs (colloquial term) are a whole different bag of hurts. Ouch. Feel for ya. 

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28 minutes ago, MadMax said:

wild pitches and foul balls / backs (colloquial term) are a whole different bag of hurts.

What's your practice / view on moving on the wild pitch that is going to hit you?

As I've gotten older, the rational about standing in for the 99% likely to hit me in the head/shoulder doesn't make as much sense as it used to. Flipside - if I do move out of the way but the batters hits it (for some reason) or the catcher miraculously catches it, I feel silly. 

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On 1/19/2022 at 7:26 PM, Velho said:

What's your practice / view on moving on the wild pitch that is going to hit you?

I caught for 16 years, and I’ve been an umpire for 14 years, doing some 150-160 plates per year… I think I can tell when a pitch is going to be a 58-59-footer and gonna skip in an’ keeeeelll me. Granted, a lot of this is contextual – a 19 year old collegiate F2, or a 23 year old Minor League AA F2 is gonna be a helluva lot more reliable at blocking that spike job than a 15 year old, snot-nosed, PS5-playin’ catcher kid-wearing-some-gear.

So yes, on a 16U game, I have been known to… er… slide or shuffle… or sidestep once I know this is going to be a ball. 

As maven has reminded us here at U-E many times – a pitch that bounces short of the plate cannot be a called strike. So why am I locked in, tracking it alllllll the way to the mitt???!!

Self-preservation, man. It means something. 

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1 hour ago, MadMax said:

I caught for 16 years, and I’ve been an umpire for 14 years, doing some 150-160 plates per year… I think I can tell when a pitch is going to be a 58-59-footer and gonna skip in an’ keeeeelll me. Granted, a lot of this is contextual – a 19 year old collegiate F2, or a 23 year old Minor League AA F2 is gonna be a helluva lot more reliable at blocking that spike job than a 15 year old, snot-nosed, PS5-playin’ catcher kid-wearing-some-gear.

So yes, on a 16U game, I have been known to… er… slide or shuffle… or sidestep once I know this is going to be a ball. 

As maven has reminded us here at U-E many times – a pitch that bounces short of the plate cannot be a called strike. So why am I locked in, tracking it alllllll the way to the mitt???!!

Self-preservation, man. It means something. 

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one with that philosophy. I hate the feeling of "this rookie catcher is going to cleat my nice plate shoes when he *ahem* gracefully slides to block that".

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5 hours ago, MadMax said:

I caught for 16 years, and I’ve been an umpire for 14 years, doing some 150-160 plates per year… I think I can tell when a pitch is going to be a 58-59-footer and gonna skip in an’ keeeeelll me. Granted, a lot of this is contextual – a 19 year old collegiate F2, or a 23 year old Minor League AA F2 is gonna be a helluva lot more reliable at blocking that spike job than a 15 year old, snot-nosed, PS5-playin’ catcher kid-wearing-some-gear.

So yes, on a 16U game, I have been known to… er… slide or shuffle… or sidestep once I know this is going to be a ball. 

As maven has reminded us here at U-E many times – a pitch that bounces short of the plate cannot be a called strike. So why am I locked in, tracking it alllllll the way to the mitt???!!

Self-preservation, man. It means something. 

Ok, but I'd also be worried about that 15-year-old batter kid-holding-a-bat-with-no-discipline taking that pitch off the bounce and fouling it back into the side of my skull with the new and improved angle.

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Just now, Matt said:

Ok, but I'd also be worried about that 15-year-old batter kid-holding-a-bat-with-no-discipline taking that pitch off the bounce and fouling it back into the side of my skull with the new and improved angle.

If you're turning your head to the side, that would be a problem. I don't do that. I still keep my eye on the ball, but I do slide my feet so I'm out of the direct path.

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5 minutes ago, kylehutson said:

If you're turning your head to the side, that would be a problem. I don't do that. I still keep my eye on the ball, but I do slide my feet so I'm out of the direct path.

If you're moving either way, you're increasing the angle to the bat, even if you don't turn your head. It's a bigger issue if you're sliding to the outside than the inside, but both increase the risk.

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16 hours ago, MadMax said:

I caught for 16 years, and I’ve been an umpire for 14 years, doing some 150-160 plates per year… I think I can tell when a pitch is going to be a 58-59-footer and gonna skip in an’ keeeeelll me. Granted, a lot of this is contextual – a 19 year old collegiate F2, or a 23 year old Minor League AA F2 is gonna be a helluva lot more reliable at blocking that spike job than a 15 year old, snot-nosed, PS5-playin’ catcher kid-wearing-some-gear.

So yes, on a 16U game, I have been known to… er… slide or shuffle… or sidestep once I know this is going to be a ball. 

As maven has reminded us here at U-E many times – a pitch that bounces short of the plate cannot be a called strike. So why am I locked in, tracking it alllllll the way to the mitt???!!

Self-preservation, man. It means something. 

Gee @MadMax you shouldn't repress your feelings.  Its not good for the heart....

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  • 1 month later...
On 1/21/2022 at 9:10 PM, MadMax said:

So yes, on a 16U game, I have been known to… er… slide or shuffle… or sidestep once I know this is going to be a ball. 

As maven has reminded us here at U-E many times – a pitch that bounces short of the plate cannot be a called strikeSo why am I locked in, tracking it alllllll the way to the mitt???!!

Self-preservation, man. It means something. 

 

You have never seen a little leaguer swing and miss at a spiked ball?

 

OR for that matter Swing and connect and get a base hit on one?  

 

Come on man.. They can be called strikes..

 

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1 hour ago, ArchAngel72 said:

 

You have never seen a little leaguer swing and miss at a spiked ball?

 

OR for that matter Swing and connect and get a base hit on one?  

 

Come on man.. They can be called strikes..

 

Those are not CALLED strikes.

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4 hours ago, conbo61 said:

Those are not CALLED strikes.

 

I guess I should have clarified better.

 

You still have to maintain your vision well enough to know if the batter swings or offers at the pitch.

You should not be bailing out completely 

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59 minutes ago, ArchAngel72 said:

In Little League you still make the motion and SAY "Strike"

 

I would there for say you called it a strike   😄

Not sure if this is what you mean, but you do not verbalize a swinging strike.

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44 minutes ago, ArchAngel72 said:

In LL yes we do.  Specially for the 8 to 10 yr olds

 

We want NO confusion on was that or not a strike

 

That's incorrect, even for LL.

That is not what is taught at LL Western Region, nor at any of the schools, camps, or clinics that I have ever been to.

You can do what you want, but that is an incorrect mechanic.

Are the sanctioned LL schools and clinics in your area teaching it that way? Or is it something you picked up at a local clinic? Where were you taught this practice?

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On 3/18/2022 at 5:37 PM, JonnyCat said:

That's incorrect, even for LL.

That is not what is taught at LL Western Region, nor at any of the schools, camps, or clinics that I have ever been to.

You can do what you want, but that is an incorrect mechanic.

Are the sanctioned LL schools and clinics in your area teaching it that way? Or is it something you picked up at a local clinic? Where were you taught this practice?

Well you are correct but I been told locally to do so because not all scorekeepers are watching us all the time as well as the kids in the booth running the board do not pay enough attention too.

But that's just me trying to keep everyone on the same page that I am as best I can.

Admittedly I do not hollar "strike"  its much less and merely spoken 

 

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14 minutes ago, ArchAngel72 said:

Well you are correct but I been told locally to do so because not all scorekeepers are watching us all the time as well as the kids in the booth running the board do not pay enough attention too.

But that's just me trying to keep everyone on the same page that I am as best I can.

Admittedly I do not hollar "strike"  its much less and merely spoken 

 

Understood, thanks for the reply. Often times in clinics I instruct at, I'll tell people to do what works for you at your games and league, but they need to know what they are doing is non-standard and won't be recognized when they might be somewhere else. We just try to teach a standard that everyone can follow, but I understand things are done differently sometimes. 

 

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23 hours ago, ArchAngel72 said:

Well you are correct but I been told locally to do so because not all scorekeepers are watching us all the time as well as the kids in the booth running the board do not pay enough attention too.

But that's just me trying to keep everyone on the same page that I am as best I can.

Admittedly I do not hollar "strike"  its much less and merely spoken 

 

I was told a verbal strike on a swing is showing up the batter. Probably no offense at your level.

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1 hour ago, Jimurray said:

I was told a verbal strike on a swing is showing up the batter. Probably no offense at your level.

I was told at that level doing "punch outs" is showing up the batter..

So I do not tend to do those until 10-12 Yr olds

 

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25 minutes ago, ArchAngel72 said:

I was told at that level doing "punch outs" is showing up the batter..

So I do not tend to do those until 10-12 Yr olds

I'm interested in this... what scenario are we talking about? On a swinging 3rd strike or called 3rd strike?

Swinging 3rd strike - sure. Nothing much is needed. I give a little out same as a BR out by 10 feet.

Called 3rd strike - I've thought about this and can see both sides since it's against batter but for pitcher but have settled into a punch out that is natural for me that I've toned down a bit over the years.

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19 hours ago, Velho said:

I'm interested in this... what scenario are we talking about? On a swinging 3rd strike or called 3rd strike?

Swinging 3rd strike - sure. Nothing much is needed. I give a little out same as a BR out by 10 feet.

Called 3rd strike - I've thought about this and can see both sides since it's against batter but for pitcher but have settled into a punch out that is natural for me that I've toned down a bit over the years.

called 3rd strike

I don't do the punch out on 8-10 yr olds 

12 U yep figure they are at the point where its time to toughen up a bit.

 

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