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Should I have ejected?


MarsOmega

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Hello, this is my first time posting so please tell me if i'm doing something wrong. This was my 4th game of the fall season and I have been umpiring for 2 years.  Given I am a new ump. any feedback would be helpful.

This was a 12u fall ball game played using standart little league rules. I was on the bases and was in B with a runner on 1st. The home team was in the field. the shortstop (13) was making some remarks about the calls my partner (PU) was making behind the plate saying things such as: we should have got that one, that was a strike, ect. This was unusual for me as usuly I hear these kind of comments from the offensive bench not players in the field but this is fall ball and I tend to let some things go. The batter walked on a ball that was at least 4 inches outside and as I was moving to position "C" I hear 13 say "F-word that call" loud enough for the runner and his team members to hear him. I said, "13 please watch your language". I got no response. I said again " Hey 13, watch your language." He said "I heard you the first time." I decided to not escalate and informed the head coach of this interaction at the half inning. No further incidents happened.

Should I have ejected this kid in a fall ball game or was I right to tone it back and warn?

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1 hour ago, MarsOmega said:

Should I have ejected this kid in a fall ball game or was I right to tone it back and warn?

I think there is a couple of ways to handle this situation, and this can help you in others, as well.

1. You could have just ejected right after the F-bomb. Kid was mouthy, maybe it was time he learns in a Fall Ball game rather than a regular season. I'd have no problem with you dumping the kid.

2. Rather than saying, "please watch your language," a stern "That's enough" in conjunction with your hand up giving the stop sign, is a better warning. Now if the kid doesn't get the warning and mouths off again, he's done. He got his warning, after that, it's on him.

Saying, "please watch your language," and wanting a response back, sets you up for needless banter with the player. What if he doesn't answer you? Now you have to decide if you want to escalate the interaction. You told him twice to watch the language, and you got a snarky remark back. Keep your conversation to a minimum.

Give him a stern warning. If the player decides to continue with being a jerk, then he gets dumped and learns a lesson. Saying "please watch your language" is asking him to comply. "That's enough" is telling him to knock it off. You're the one that is in charge of the situation. Don't let the kid be in charge.

Hope that is helpful.

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In 12U I probably would have dumped for an F-Word.  As @JonnyCatsaid, I probably wouldn't have said 'watch your language' 2x (just once!).

As a bit of a humorous story, I had an ejection in a tourney (not in pool play too IIRC) a while back that is somewhat similar, 13U IIRC, OBR rules with some mods.

Top of the last, less than 2 outs, bases empty, so I'm at A.  Visitors are winning by a comfortable amount, so just hitting their way through the last inning.

BR hits a grounder to F6, and hustles down the line, but is out in a banger.  I call him out, and he yanks his helmet off and says in a 'medium' volume (enough I'm sure F4 heard, but not much beyond), "What the F was that!"

SO, I toss him. Kid hangs his head, says "oh man", and goes to the bench.  BC calls time, and waves HC over (some umps in this tourney are VERY strict about the 'only a HC can talk to the umps' rule, and BCs if they try, so the smart teams know this!) from 3BC position to talk to me.

Coach: You ejected my kid?  Why?
Me: He dropped an F-Bomb, we can't have that out here.
Coach: I'm sure he didn't mean it to you, he was just upset with himself!
Me: Thats why he's out for this game, and not the a +1.
Coach: Yeah... thats fair...

After the half inning, coach comes to the PU and I and asked about the lineup.  Turns out this was a starter who had re-entered, so he isn't replaceable!  So we tell the coach he's gotta play the home-half with 8! They end up getting their 3 outs without any adventure, and win, but both the coach and the player came up to me after the game and apologized/thanked for the game.

At the time of the "you have to play with 8!" convo, I felt SUPER bad about it, but after discussing it, I came down to "You encourage what you permit".  The player was likely a better person as a result of the lesson from the ejection, and it didn't effect much otherwise. 

So long-story-short: In the end, I'm glad I tossed him, and everyone was likely better off because of it.

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I told this one before, but, I threw a 13U F4 out when he missed a tag on a steal.  I announced the tag was missed on the safe signal. F4 walks past me and says 'Missed tag my ass!'.  Five seconds later we were walking toward the dugout so I can explain why F4 was done.  I heard the parents behind the fence say, "What? No warning?" Coach thanked me afterwards for proving him right.

But, I have given warnings about language when the language was toward their selves.  That usually knocks it off.

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Little league fall ball I would let it go but speak to his coach after the inning
 
Little league regular season  Hear the F bomb   Time   "13 you are gone"  LL does not condone language at all.
 
 

Why the double standard for behavior?

I get some “looseness” on rules/procedures/etc. because maybe we’ve got 12 y.o. coming to Pony/Babe Ruth for the first time and pitching from the set is like walking on the moon to some kids.

I’d never sacrifice behavior for “well, it’s just fall ball.”
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2 minutes ago, Catch18 said:


Why the double standard for behavior?

I get some “looseness” on rules/procedures/etc. because maybe we’ve got 12 y.o. coming to Pony/Babe Ruth for the first time and pitching from the set is like walking on the moon to some kids.

I’d never sacrifice behavior for “well, it’s just fall ball.”

because I am not booting a kid during what I see as in instructional league which is really not competitive.

I would rather grab him and the coach and say "Hey  #13 here ,out there on the field did xyz.  Coach we do not let that go during the year and I want you both to know I wont let it go from any  ANY of your team the rest of the night.  Please see to it that this is understood."

And go from there.  let the coach be the bad guy then with whatever penalization he feels need be. 

 

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5 minutes ago, ArchAngel72 said:

because I am not booting a kid during what I see as in instructional league which is really not competitive.

I would rather grab him and the coach and say "Hey  #13 here ,out there on the field did xyz.  Coach we do not let that go during the year and I want you both to know I wont let it go from any  ANY of your team the rest of the night.  Please see to it that this is understood."

And go from there.  let the coach be the bad guy then with whatever penalization he feels need be. 

 

I tend to agree, fall-ball is a glorified and over-umpired scrimmage league ANYWAY.  Depriving a kid of swings/experience in such a non-competitive game feels like over-umpiring for minor things like that.

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7 minutes ago, ErichKeane said:

I tend to agree, fall-ball is a glorified and over-umpired scrimmage league ANYWAY.  Depriving a kid of swings/experience in such a non-competitive game feels like over-umpiring for minor things like that.

Yeah around here it is SO much needed "extra practice"  for these kids they all need the extra work fielding hitting and in general paying attn to the game. 

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7 minutes ago, 834k3r said:

What do you mean by "not the a +1"? Sorry if it's a n00b question, but I'm not familiar with it.

Ah, in tourneys, ejections can have a couple of levels of 'severity'.  The first is for minor things, which is 'rest of game'.  The second is '+1', which means "this game, plus the next".  Our tourney also has "Rest of day", "Rest of tourney", and sometimes, "Forever".

The 1st 2 (rest of game vs +1) is up to the ump to decide on their own.  Ump + Site Director can do a "Rest of Day", and typically Tourney Director is required for the other two.

 

 

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2 hours ago, ArchAngel72 said:

because I am not booting a kid during what I see as in instructional league which is really not competitive.

That is EXACTLY why you SHOULD have ejected him.  It goes with that time-honored saying, "What you permit, you promote."  If it's under his breath, I'll probably be OK with it.  But if it is loud enough to be heard by those close by, it's bye bye.

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Area of the country could matter: hell, in NJ, their state motto has the F word in it!

It's hard to get much traction on this issue when every other YouTube video they watch is chock full of obscenities. For HS kids, it's a routine part of their vocabulary.

I tend to distinguish ordinary "kids talking" obscenity from that directed at me/us or an opponent. The latter needs to be addressed, and there's no hard & fast rule about whether EJ is the right way—sometimes it's right for the first offense, sometimes just a KTSO.

But I recommend addressing it every time in one way or another.

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2 hours ago, ErichKeane said:

Ah, in tourneys, ejections can have a couple of levels of 'severity'.  The first is for minor things, which is 'rest of game'.  The second is '+1', which means "this game, plus the next".  Our tourney also has "Rest of day", "Rest of tourney", and sometimes, "Forever".

The 1st 2 (rest of game vs +1) is up to the ump to decide on their own.  Ump + Site Director can do a "Rest of Day", and typically Tourney Director is required for the other two.

 

 

Worked many tournaments in my neck of the woods and never come across that terminology--thank you for the explanation!

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6 hours ago, ArchAngel72 said:

because I am not booting a kid during what I see as in instructional league which is really not competitive.

 

So f--- ball is the place to work on your f---ing language?

I disagree.  If that is the view of f--- ball in your area, then it is the place to get better at what you are doing, not a (root) beer league for the kids to get away with things they won't get away with in other games.

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On 9/23/2022 at 1:24 PM, ArchAngel72 said:

because I am not booting a kid during what I see as in instructional league which is really not competitive.

Do you get paid less for fall ball?

Because you just instructed a 12-year-old that he can drop an F-bomb at your partner. On the field.  During a game.

Well done.

But hey, it's fall ball right? 

 

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On 9/23/2022 at 2:24 PM, ArchAngel72 said:

because I am not booting a kid during what I see as in instructional league which is really not competitive.

I would rather grab him and the coach and say "Hey  #13 here ,out there on the field did xyz.  Coach we do not let that go during the year and I want you both to know I wont let it go from any  ANY of your team the rest of the night.  Please see to it that this is understood."

And go from there.  let the coach be the bad guy then with whatever penalization he feels need be. 

 

 

On 9/23/2022 at 4:42 PM, maven said:

Area of the country could matter: hell, in NJ, their state motto has the F word in it!

It's hard to get much traction on this issue when every other YouTube video they watch is chock full of obscenities. For HS kids, it's a routine part of their vocabulary.

I tend to distinguish ordinary "kids talking" obscenity from that directed at me/us or an opponent. The latter needs to be addressed, and there's no hard & fast rule about whether EJ is the right way—sometimes it's right for the first offense, sometimes just a KTSO.

But I recommend addressing it every time in one way or another.

Understood and I did note I would discuss it at the end of that half inning with the kid and the coach. 

On 9/23/2022 at 4:41 PM, BigBlue4u said:

That is EXACTLY why you SHOULD have ejected him.  It goes with that time-honored saying, "What you permit, you promote."  If it's under his breath, I'll probably be OK with it.  But if it is loud enough to be heard by those close by, it's bye bye.

 

On 9/23/2022 at 8:27 PM, The Man in Blue said:

 

So f--- ball is the place to work on your f---ing language?

I disagree.  If that is the view of f--- ball in your area, then it is the place to get better at what you are doing, not a (root) beer league for the kids to get away with things they won't get away with in other games.

 

8 hours ago, BrainFreeze said:

Do you get paid less for fall ball?

Because you just instructed a 12-year-old that he can drop an F-bomb at your partner. On the field.  During a game.

Well done.

But hey, it's fall ball right? 

 

 

The rest of you all take a look at the bold and italicized bold words..    I noted I would address it with not only him but the coach as well. 

Jeez   I get crap here for wanting to be a red azz or whatever its called and then I be a little lenient on a kid and let the coach deal with his mouth and I'm getting folks red azzing me for being too lenient when I clearly stated I would speak to coach and kid inbetween innings and let the coach deal with it as he sees fit.  To me as long as its noted and taught that is not a thing than its handled for Fall ball purposes..

 

 

EDIT

 TO note I also am on record as saying I treat Fall Ball around my area as a training thing.  I want these games to be less anxiety and pressure and more fun for these guys.  Please note I am speaking at the levels of 7 to 11 when talking fall ball.  I do not want to be that umpire who kicked a kid cause he dropped an F bomb and have him say well effe this sport.  I like basketball better anyway and next year I will play football so screw baseball.  I am not saying let it go either.   I am saying let the coach be the bad guy. 

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On 9/23/2022 at 4:42 PM, maven said:

Area of the country could matter: hell, in NJ, their state motto has the F word in it!

 

The circumstances of the game and the "non-routine event" also matter.  I posted this story somewhere on the internet years ago (I may have even posted it on this site):

Generally speaking, I do not eject "shaving aged" players for merely swearing...that includes varsity high school.  However, there are occasional exceptions.  I had a play where there was a tag attempt right at the 45-foot line (it was the first batter of the inning).  There was a drag bunt up the line, F1 picked it up and swiped.  I was the plate umpire.  Since the tag attempt was right at the 45-foot line, I looked at my partner (I didn't want two calls), realized he wasn't going to make a call, and I made a "no tag" call.  The B/R was then safe at first.  Because of the extra one or two seconds to glance at my partner before signaling and making the call, the call was delayed a second or two from what one would normally expect.  In short, I had textbook mechanics for a tag attempt right at the 45-foot line...but the delay made it seem to the defensive team that I was "unsure" of my call.

Anyways, I start getting some moaning, groaning, and complaining from the defensive team (first base) dugout and their parents/fans in the stands.  Then, all of a sudden, F2 said very loudly, "NO F*#KING WAY!".  Now, normally that would not result in an ejection.  We may have a talk, but not an ejection as it was not personal.  He was just arguing the call; he wasn't personally attacking me.

However, the way he said it caused everyone in the park to suddenly go silent.  You could here an ant pissing on a blade of grass.  Then, I heard one Momma gasp and another Momma said, "Tommy, you can't say that!"  Anyways, the entire ballpark came to a pause and everyone was staring at me.  I immediately knew that I had to eject the kid.  Everyone was waiting for me to do it.  If I had not ejected him, everyone (players, coaches, etc.) were going to think that they could have done whatever they wanted the rest of the game and not be ejected.  It would have been open season on my partner and I. 

Nothing I could type in this post can convey the absolute feeling that I knew I had to eject the player to keep control of the game.  Rather, you have to be there, in that situation, to come to the realization that the player had to go.  Its also having a ton of game management experience with having umpired since 1989 at every level from LL to MiLB that led me to realize I had to eject this kid to keep control of the game.  

Anyways, there was absolutely no argument from the defensive coach about the ejection.  The game continued and finished without a single peep from anyone the rest of the day.

If the kid had been a little quieter, or if he had waiting until he squatted behind the plate before the next pitch and said, "there is no F*#King way he was safe," we could have had a talk.  But, when he yelled it causing every person in the park to suddenly stare me down to see if I would eject him...he had to go.

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On 9/26/2022 at 9:03 AM, ArchAngel72 said:

Jeez   I get crap here for wanting to be a red azz or whatever its called and then I be a little lenient on a kid and let the coach deal with his mouth and I'm getting folks red azzing me for being too lenient when I clearly stated I would speak to coach and kid inbetween innings and let the coach deal with it as he sees fit. 

When we post a borderline play, we should expect responses on both sides. If we also post what we did, some will agree, some will disagree.

The tone of the disagreement is another matter, and posters ought to recognize that handling borderline cases is (a) the hardest thing, (b) varies widely in different parts of the country, different levels, and a hundred other variables (see (a) above), and (c) what works for one umpire will produce disastrous results for another (see (a) above).

On the other hand: we need a thick skin. 

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@MarsOmega, first thank you for posting such a simple, basic question...which has stimulated a lot of really interesting discussion.

Brothers, this discussion highlights one of the most important aspects of The Craft...discretion and judgement. OP, logic dictates that if you are here posting this question, your subliminal mind is telling you...yes, you should have made that ejection. It's like when a plate umpire "balks" on a strike call. We are taught to stay down and locked when calling balls. We are taught to come up big and tall when calling strikes. And we've all balked at calling a strike by starting to come up and stopping or coming all the way up...and calling a ball. The pitch is a ball because that is what you verbalized but...that action of unlocking your knees and standing up? That's your subliminal mind telling you what you just saw...was a strike. So call a strike.

Same thing with ejections...nobody drives home from a game thinking about an ejection they made and things, "Wow...what was I thinking? I should NOT have made that ejection." No...far more commonly is the ejection we did not make or the ejection we waited to long to make, "Wow...what was I thinking? I should have made that ejection MUCH sooner." or "Wow...what was I thinking? I should have made that ejection." Of course, calling balls and strikes is nothing like making an ejection. As evidenced by the discussion here, no two ejections are alike. No two situations are alike. In fact, the same situation viewed by more than one umpire is not alike.

@Senor Azul...or someone else with the proper publication will no doubt be along shortly with the proper citation, but yes, LL does not permit profanity directed at an umpire (or in this case..."at their call") so, as described, you had a textbook ejection there.

Check with your UIC on what your league wants as far as ejection mechanics. Absent any other league specific instructions, at the Little League level, unless it's patently obvious what caused the ejection...avoid the dramatic ejection mechanic that we use in upper levels of baseball. For a LL ejection, if possible, call time, call the manager over and calmly explain exactly what you heard to the manager, then turn to the player and inform them they are ejected from the game and they need to leave site and sound of the field. Then turn and walk away and resume the game as efficiently as possible. There should be no negotiation or further discussion. It's pointless. You will ultimately end up right where you started...with an ejected player. Take notes about the incident as you will no doubt have to speak with your UIC post-game and or complete an ejection form.

~Dawg 

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7 hours ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

No two situations are alike. In fact, the same situation viewed by more than one umpire is not alike.

100% "Situations are situational"

7 hours ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

For a LL ejection, if possible, call time, call the manager over and calmly explain exactly what you heard to the manager, then turn to the player and inform them they are ejected from the game and they need to leave site and sound of the field. Then turn and walk away and resume the game as efficiently as possible. There should be no negotiation or further discussion. It's pointless. You will ultimately end up right where you started...with an ejected player. Take notes about the incident as you will no doubt have to speak with your UIC post-game and or complete an ejection form.

110% My to adds at the LL level: 1) Don't get too wrapped up in the player leaving (as long as them staying doesn't cause a disruption). You have no idea the situation. They may not even have a caretaker at the game. You can't demand a 10, 11, 12 year old leave unattended.

2) As for the mechanic, I agree with the player BUT if it's a coach it's may well demand the bigger mechanic. I had one last year (my 1st) and I did a calm middle of the road mechanic. The other team didn't even realize I had tossed the other manager. 

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6 minutes ago, Velho said:

100% "Situations are situational"

110% My to adds at the LL level: 1) Don't get too wrapped up in the player leaving (as long as them staying doesn't cause a disruption). You have no idea the situation. They may not even have a caretaker at the game. You can't demand a 10, 11, 12 year old leave unattended.

2) As for the mechanic, I agree with the player BUT if it's a coach it's may well demand the bigger mechanic. I had one last year (my 1st) and I did a calm middle of the road mechanic. The other team didn't even realize I had tossed the other manager. 

I believe this is why NFHS ejection of a player is 'restrict to dugout', right? 

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13 hours ago, SeeingEyeDog said:

Absent any other league specific instructions, at the Little League level, unless it's patently obvious what caused the ejection...avoid the dramatic ejection mechanic that we use in upper levels of baseball.

There is nothing unique about ejecting a LL player than there is for any other organization/age range. LL doesn't mandate that a low key ejection mechanic be used the majority of the time. LL is no different than other youth organizations such as PONY, Babe Ruth, Travel-ball, etc. Use whatever ejection mechanic you normally use for the infraction that you deem appropriate. LL age range is up to age 16. You bet I have given some players in LL the big heave ho, and it hasn't harmed their self esteem or psyche in the least.

I'm not saying don't do the low key ejection (I have at many levels, it can be a good tactic), but you don't need to do the low key approach just because it is LL. Do what ever works for you, but a regular ejection mechanic is perfectly acceptable for LL players or coaches.

I pretty much use the same overhand mechanic at any level. The voice inflection varies depending on the circumstance.

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