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Getting overruled by the Head Ump: But they are wrong!


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End of an inning today (weekend tourney, OBR rules), I checked a pitcher's glove (noticed mid-way through the inning), and confirmed that the laces on the glove were in act quite white.  I told F1 to get a new glove for the next inning.  A little complaining from the coach as he is one of the only 2 lefties on the field, so had to swap with a fielder!

During the other half of the inning, they apparently went to the site director, who called the "head umpire", who decided that 'the white/grey rule only counts for the leather, not the laces', and came to the field to let me know before the pitcher finished warming up before the next inning.  He's a very experienced ump, and a better ump than me, so I figured I must have misremembered the rule.

I went with it, and wasn't particularly bothered by it, but I confirmed my understanding with 3.07 after the game.  Just a little grumpy/venting 😕

Otherwise, I got a bunch of made-up rules from a coach today who insisted his way was the right way and the way 'in the book', "I'm not arguing, but you got that call wrong!" that I was glad to find out after that I got wrong (U3k where the catcher/batter come together at the plate, time-limit for 'no new inning after' is when the 3rd out is made, 1 other I forget at the moment...).

Anyway, 4 more tomorrow, but a fairly eventful day today!

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I see you’re from Gaston. I had Gaston twice this year, once at St. Paul and once at Amity. You working the Premier Portland or the Bend Elks Tourney? Those tourneys are always a blast, and well run. We got a big group over in Bend this weekend. Have fun!

With youth ball or even small town varsity high school ball (especially JV), I’m never a rules Nazi with that white/gray on the pitcher’s mitt rule. That might be the only mitt that player or his family could afford. The Rule is designed to keep a pitcher from being distracting. Is his mitt truly distracting? I’m not saying to ignore the rule (or any rule). But here’s how I usually handle it:

I go to the opposing coach and quietly say, “Hey, John, that boy’s pitcher’s mitt is technically illegal, because it has white on it. . . . Do have a problem with it?”  98% of the time the opposing coach won’t care. But if he does, I enforce the rule, not throwing the opposing coach under the bus—I’m the bad guy. If he says, “No,” then end of potential problem which no longer exists. 

Just my two cents on how to handle that. 

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36 minutes ago, ErichKeane said:

 

Otherwise, I got a bunch of made-up rules from a coach today who insisted his way was the right way and the way 'in the book', "I'm not arguing, but you got that call wrong!" that I was glad to find out after that I got wrong (U3k where the catcher/batter come together at the plate, time-limit for 'no new inning after' is when the 3rd out is made, 1 other I forget at the moment...).

 

when did he want it to expire?

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2 hours ago, Catch18 said:

White/gray on a glove: laces, piping, logos…leave that alone. We’re talking the actual leather panels and makeup of the glove. Leave the 1st one, go get the 2nd.

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Yeah, might have been a bit of a over-kill in retrospect.  Though, its one of those that I noticed it, and felt like it was a rule I had to enforce once I noticed it.  Its tough to ignore those sometimes...

 

 

2 hours ago, Recontra said:

I see you’re from Gaston. I had Gaston twice this year, once at St. Paul and once at Amity. You working the Premier Portland or the Bend Elks Tourney? Those tourneys are always a blast, and well run. We got a big group over in Bend this weekend. Have fun!

With youth ball or even small town varsity high school ball (especially JV), I’m never a rules Nazi with that white/gray on the pitcher’s mitt rule. That might be the only mitt that player or his family could afford. The Rule is designed to keep a pitcher from being distracting. Is his mitt truly distracting? I’m not saying to ignore the rule (or any rule). But here’s how I usually handle it:

I go to the opposing coach and quietly say, “Hey, John, that boy’s pitcher’s mitt is technically illegal, because it has white on it. . . . Do have a problem with it?”  98% of the time the opposing coach won’t care. But if he does, I enforce the rule, not throwing the opposing coach under the bus—I’m the bad guy. If he says, “No,” then end of potential problem which no longer exists. 

Just my two cents on how to handle that. 

I'm going doing the WCP in Portland/Vancouver tourney this weekend.  I LOVE how well they do these.  So far I'm doing a lot of 14U/12U/10U (JBO) around town, and once the Gaston fields dry out, I'm supposed to do a ton of the Junior/Minor games in Gaston.  I was recruited to do these games.  I appreciate that approach on the glove.  I'm a bit of a "rule enforcer" (my day job is teaching compilers to be as pedantic as possible so it is sometimes tough to lose that mindset), but I probably shouldn't have cared in thsi case.

 

2 hours ago, ATXBlue said:

when did he want it to expire?

 

He was super upset that the "no new inning" started after the 3rd out and NOT after he made his catcher 'adjust' his gear for a while, and had his pitcher's warmup pitches take forever, and the 1st pitch happening.  He started yelling about it at one point that we shouldn't have been playing when the game was already over... (and the other team's base coach responded at one point, so I had to say "coaches, thats enough, we're here to play baseball!" to shut them up).  BUT, we ended the 6th with 3 minutes to spare, whether or not it took your pitcher ages to get ready...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Unless they are genuinely deceiving or making it difficult to see the ball, I wouldn't make an issue of white/grey laces on the glove. Some of these kids (and their parents) have no idea that those could even be an issue and they buy a glove that the kid thinks looks really cool. Often, coaches don't educate players & families on what's acceptable, so making the kid find another glove (especially a lefty) could be a challenge.

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11 minutes ago, NateWalter said:

Unless they are genuinely deceiving or making it difficult to see the ball, I wouldn't make an issue of white/grey laces on the glove. Some of these kids (and their parents) have no idea that those could even be an issue and they buy a glove that the kid thinks looks really cool. Often, coaches don't educate players & families on what's acceptable, so making the kid find another glove (especially a lefty) could be a challenge.

Yep! I've actually taken to just warning coaches, particularly during league, that the glove is one the other coach could make me throw out.

A kid in my league has a light grey glove I mentioned to the coach, and they now have him swap it out to pitch, as they didn't know that rule!

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11 minutes ago, NateWalter said:

Unless they are genuinely deceiving or making it difficult to see the ball, I wouldn't make an issue of white/grey laces on the glove. Some of these kids (and their parents) have no idea that those could even be an issue and they buy a glove that the kid thinks looks really cool. Often, coaches don't educate players & families on what's acceptable, so making the kid find another glove (especially a lefty) could be a challenge.

I've taken to this much more lax approach, too.  Simply put, like jewelry, I got tired of fighting the fight.  I will enforce it if somebody complains, but I'm not being proactive like I should.  It was much more prevalent in softball, believe it or not.  Black gloves look really good with that optic yellow stitching/logo.

For posterity though: white laces are illegal in all rule sets.  OBR and NCAA allow white piping.  Fed does not allow ANY white.

OBR

3.07 Pitcher’s Glove

(a)  The pitcher’s glove may not, exclusive of piping, be white, gray, nor, in the judgment of an umpire, distracting in any manner. No fielder, regardless of position, may use a fielding glove that falls within a PANTONE® color set lighter than the current 14-series.

NCAA Baseball

d. The pitcher’s glove may not be white or gray, exclusive of piping nor, in the judgment of the umpire, be distracting in any way

NFHS Baseball

SECTION 2 INFRACTIONS BY PITCHER

ART. 1 . . . Illegal acts include:

h. wearing a glove/mitt that includes the colors white or gray;

NCAA Softball (not just pitchers)

3.6.2 Gloves/mitts may not be the color of the ball but may be any combination of other colors.

NFHS Softball (not just pitchers)

SECTION 4 GLOVES/MITTS

ART. 1 . . . Gloves/mitts shall:

a. Be a maximum of two colors excluding lacing and manufacturer’s logo colors. Lacing shall not be the color of the ball.

b. Not be entirely optic in color.

c. Not have an optic-colored marking on the outside or inside that gives the appearance of the ball.

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17 minutes ago, ErichKeane said:

Yep! I've actually taken to just warning coaches, particularly during league, that the glove is one the other coach could make me throw out.

A kid in my league has a light grey glove I mentioned to the coach, and they now have him swap it out to pitch, as they didn't know that rule!

Plus, it could be a two-base award (in Fed).

Section 3 Baserunning Awards

ART. 3 . . . Each runner is awarded:

c. two bases if a fair batted or thrown ball becomes dead because of bouncing over or passing through a fence, or lodges in a defensive player's or umpire's equipment or uniform (except ball lodged in glove); or if a live thrown ball:

1. including a pitch, is touched by an illegal glove or mitt, or by detached player equipment which is thrown, tossed, kicked or held by a fielder; or

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49 minutes ago, Vegas_Ump said:

I'm a little hung up on a post I previously answered.  So, how did the protest come out?  🙂

Mike

Las Vegas

Did you mean to ask this of someone else? The LL protest thread perhaps?

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12 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

Plus, it could be a two-base award (in Fed).

Section 3 Baserunning Awards

ART. 3 . . . Each runner is awarded:

c. two bases if a fair batted or thrown ball becomes dead because of bouncing over or passing through a fence, or lodges in a defensive player's or umpire's equipment or uniform (except ball lodged in glove); or if a live thrown ball:

1. including a pitch, is touched by an illegal glove or mitt, or by detached player equipment which is thrown, tossed, kicked or held by a fielder; or

This is not illegal equipment. The color of the glove has nothing to do with how the ball interacts with it.

If you ever have an issue regarding an illegal glove/mitt, it involves substances or dimensions, things that actually matter to the play at hand.

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10 hours ago, Matt said:

This is not illegal equipment. The color of the glove has nothing to do with how the ball interacts with it.

If you ever have an issue regarding an illegal glove/mitt, it involves substances or dimensions, things that actually matter to the play at hand.

In practice, I agree that  I am not dying on this hill @Matt.  However, that is NOT what the rulebook says.  The rule has nothing to do with how a ball interacts with the glove, it has to do with the pitcher gaining an unfair advantage when the white can confuse or deceive a hitter/runner.

Gloves are equipment.  Gloves are given specific requirements to be legal, just like bats, and if it does not meet those requirements it is illegal.  If a coach pushes the issue, it is illegal equipment by rule.  Illegal equipment has a specific penalty.

Batter hits into a double play using an illegal bat.  Are you going to actively seek out that illegal bat?  Probably not.  If the catcher hands it to you and says, "Hey, Blue.  I think this is illegal," are you going to say "Meh, he hit into a double play anyway, so I'm going to let him keep using it" or "The kid is little, he needs the help"?  I hope not.

While I have some issues with where it is applied, I have no problem teaching the "don't cause yourself headaches" strategy (as I stated above).  However, we also need to be sure that we know what is proper by rule when the time arises.  Otherwise, we are little better than a guy collecting a check and ensuring he gets home in time to watch Matlock.

This is a place where I seem to deviate from the accepted standard around these parts.  Call it what you will in the game (and I agree with you that it makes sense), but don't perpetuate improper teaching of umpires who don't open a rulebook and just accept what they are told.  Don't say "that's legal" when what you mean is "that isn't worth enforcing right now."

I may not always have my readings or understandings correct (and I admit that -- I am a lifelong learner), but I always try to show what I am reading and how I am understanding it.  Show me the flaw in my thinking and I can fix it.  Simply correcting a person's mistake is not sufficient in my book, they need to understand where the mistake happened.  Critical thinking.  Thinking like an umpire.

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On 6/20/2022 at 8:23 PM, ErichKeane said:

Did you mean to ask this of someone else? The LL protest thread perhaps?

No!  I am using a little license here to suggest that if the umpires on the field hosed something up--regardless of what the league's chief umpire says--if a manager didn't file a protest, tough!

I was being a little curt to ask "How did the protest come out?"  But seriously, did anyone protest?  [I bet they didn't!]  That's the point!  It's all moot and cannot be changed.

Mike

Las Vegas

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21 hours ago, The Man in Blue said:

In practice, I agree that  I am not dying on this hill @Matt.  However, that is NOT what the rulebook says.  The rule has nothing to do with how a ball interacts with the glove, it has to do with the pitcher gaining an unfair advantage when the white can confuse or deceive a hitter/runner.

Gloves are equipment.  Gloves are given specific requirements to be legal, just like bats, and if it does not meet those requirements it is illegal.  If a coach pushes the issue, it is illegal equipment by rule.  Illegal equipment has a specific penalty.

Batter hits into a double play using an illegal bat.  Are you going to actively seek out that illegal bat?  Probably not.  If the catcher hands it to you and says, "Hey, Blue.  I think this is illegal," are you going to say "Meh, he hit into a double play anyway, so I'm going to let him keep using it" or "The kid is little, he needs the help"?  I hope not.

While I have some issues with where it is applied, I have no problem teaching the "don't cause yourself headaches" strategy (as I stated above).  However, we also need to be sure that we know what is proper by rule when the time arises.  Otherwise, we are little better than a guy collecting a check and ensuring he gets home in time to watch Matlock.

This is a place where I seem to deviate from the accepted standard around these parts.  Call it what you will in the game (and I agree with you that it makes sense), but don't perpetuate improper teaching of umpires who don't open a rulebook and just accept what they are told.  Don't say "that's legal" when what you mean is "that isn't worth enforcing right now."

I may not always have my readings or understandings correct (and I admit that -- I am a lifelong learner), but I always try to show what I am reading and how I am understanding it.  Show me the flaw in my thinking and I can fix it.  Simply correcting a person's mistake is not sufficient in my book, they need to understand where the mistake happened.  Critical thinking.  Thinking like an umpire.

Color does not make equipment illegal.

It is illegal for a pitcher to have certain colors, but that does not make the equipment illegal. Two different rules.

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44 minutes ago, Matt said:

Color does not make equipment illegal.

It is illegal for a pitcher to have certain colors, but that does not make the equipment illegal. Two different rules.

Agreed.  Also agreed FED could make it more clear.

 

SITUATION 18: With runners on second and third, the pitcher makes a great catch of a line drive hit back up the middle. The opposing coach notices that his glove has a large manufacturer's logo that is white. He complains to the umpire-in-chief. RULING: Upon discovery, the glove used by the pitcher that includes the colors white and/or gray shall be removed. The out stands and there are no subsequent base awards. (1-3-6)

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Thank you for the citation @noumpere.

Like I said, I fundamentally agree with this, but where I have an issue is where we (NFHS) decide which parts of illegal are illegal that we care about and which parts are illegal but we don't really care.  Using the standard @Matt posited earlier means we reference the same rule that color is included in.  However we are going to say one part of it is illegal-illegal while the other part is OK-illegal.  Fix the rulebook so an umpire can actually umpire from it.

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