Ask The Ump?

thavoice

Well-known member
To add my two cents...

1) How many umpires were working the game? I ask b/c if it was one man, that is a brutal call to have to make as to whether he was blocking all access to the bag prior to possessing the ball and no one should be losing their minds over it.

2) The umpire should not be talking to the parents anyways, especially on a controversial call. If I am making that call, at best, I would tell the head coach something courteous like "I apologize if I missed that sir, good luck to your team this season" and would not speak to a single parent on the way out. If they follow me to my car, police are being called.

3) This has nothing to do with umpiring, but how many times as a player or coach or fan have you heard a player be told "you would have been safe if you had slid"? If you get too far off the base and the throw can beat you back, you better be sliding/diving into the base. I think the coaches and fans should concentrate on coaching up their player rather than accosting an umpire about a judgment call that they are looking at from a good distance away.
I really dislike umps who hobknob with parents, fans. See it often, including this weekend.
Number of years ago was talking to fans every in between inning, how he had a hole in one the previous day, blah blah blah.

But
Overall good umpiring, no questions this weekend. Did feel bad for the plays down the like with no foul pole or lines in the OF. A few they did their best on. One even commented how it was an educatee guess.

Batting out of order was rules correct ly unlike last year.
 
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thavoice

Well-known member
Almost came up yesterda. Pitcher with sunglasses.

Most believe it's against the rules, but always been my belief it is not, but the umpire can rule that it is a distraction and have him take them off.

What's the ruling?
 

AllSports12

Moderator
AllSports, follow up question....based on my last question where you said obstruction = 1 base minimum from the base last safely occupied.

Let's say in Rossford's example, the umpire does call obstruction on F3, you giving R1 second base?

I could see the D parents "losing their minds" over that call too, since he was never attempting to achieve 2nd base and wasn't obstructed from getting there.

Welcome to the world of umpiring right? :)
Not only would I award 2nd base, I have awarded 2nd base on a obstructed runner returning to first. Did it in a District Final.

And yes, the experts were expressing their opinions.
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
@Rossford ... welcome to the world of umpiring. My son (14 years old) has just gotten started in it and I have taught him about not listening to nay-sayers....my philosophy is to always try and get the call right of course, but as long as you don't blow the easy ones, you never have to listen to people complaining. Every close pitch and close call is going to bother/anger 50% of the people there. As the BU this weekend at a tourney, I heard two fans complaining about umpires from the previous day's game, talking about how they can do it so much better. I of course didn't say anything, but my thought was "then get out here and do it". I played baseball my entire life, I played D-1 college, and it has taken me years to feel really comfortable out there. I wrestled in HS, probably could have in college if I didn't do baseball, coached wrestling, but when I officiated my first HS match, I felt like I didn't know a damn thing. Just a totally different perspective and not nearly as easy as people think. Just don't miss the blatantly obvious stuff and you won't hear a peep from me.

@thavoice...where are you located? NE Ohio? Couple times you have referenced things that I saw in the tourneys I worked, wonder if it was the same one, including batting out of order. I have not had that happen once in 5+ years of officiating, and it has happened twice in the last week. Once in a tourney this past weekend and another in a local travel ball game.

As for the sunglasses, the umpire can ask a pitcher to remove anything they deem is distracting. Some sunglasses are very different than others, very reflective, colors (some are just black, some look like multi-colors reflecting off the lenses)

Truthfully, the battery spots (plate and mound) should always be facing north and south so they never look directly in the sun; so shades shouldn't be necessary unless a kid has a medical condition of the eyes requiring protection. I might let dull dark lenses go, but highly reflective lenses I would have removed.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Almost came up yesterda. Pitcher with sunglasses.

Most believe it's against the rules, but always been my belief it is not, but the umpire can rule that it is a distraction and have him take them off.

What's the ruling?
Nothing illegal with sunglasses on the hat...... unless they are deemed distracting.

If they are reflective (mirrored) they need to go, other than that it's just anther myth.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Nothing illegal with sunglasses on the hat...... unless they are deemed distracting.

If they are reflective (mirrored) they need to go, other than that it's just anther myth.
Thought so. Game before us a pitcher was warning up and opposing fans were yelling. Coach made him take off but I was almost certain it was not against the rules.

Thanks
 

thavoice

Well-known member
@Rossford ... welcome to the world of umpiring. My son (14 years old) has just gotten started in it and I have taught him about not listening to nay-sayers....my philosophy is to always try and get the call right of course, but as long as you don't blow the easy ones, you never have to listen to people complaining. Every close pitch and close call is going to bother/anger 50% of the people there. As the BU this weekend at a tourney, I heard two fans complaining about umpires from the previous day's game, talking about how they can do it so much better. I of course didn't say anything, but my thought was "then get out here and do it". I played baseball my entire life, I played D-1 college, and it has taken me years to feel really comfortable out there. I wrestled in HS, probably could have in college if I didn't do baseball, coached wrestling, but when I officiated my first HS match, I felt like I didn't know a damn thing. Just a totally different perspective and not nearly as easy as people think. Just don't miss the blatantly obvious stuff and you won't hear a peep from me.

@thavoice...where are you located? NE Ohio? Couple times you have referenced things that I saw in the tourneys I worked, wonder if it was the same one, including batting out of order. I have not had that happen once in 5+ years of officiating, and it has happened twice in the last week. Once in a tourney this past weekend and another in a local travel ball game.

As for the sunglasses, the umpire can ask a pitcher to remove anything they deem is distracting. Some sunglasses are very different than others, very reflective, colors (some are just black, some look like multi-colors reflecting off the lenses)

Truthfully, the battery spots (plate and mound) should always be facing north and south so they never look directly in the sun; so shades shouldn't be necessary unless a kid has a medical condition of the eyes requiring protection. I might let dull dark lenses go, but highly reflective lenses I would have removed.
NEO?
Heck no! West Central Ohio, see lots games in central and swo.
 

rossford_resident

Active member
@Rossford ... welcome to the world of umpiring. My son (14 years old) has just gotten started in it and I have taught him about not listening to nay-sayers....my philosophy is to always try and get the call right of course, but as long as you don't blow the easy ones, you never have to listen to people complaining. Every close pitch and close call is going to bother/anger 50% of the people there. As the BU this weekend at a tourney, I heard two fans complaining about umpires from the previous day's game, talking about how they can do it so much better. I of course didn't say anything, but my thought was "then get out here and do it". I played baseball my entire life, I played D-1 college, and it has taken me years to feel really comfortable out there. I wrestled in HS, probably could have in college if I didn't do baseball, coached wrestling, but when I officiated my first HS match, I felt like I didn't know a damn thing. Just a totally different perspective and not nearly as easy as people think. Just don't miss the blatantly obvious stuff and you won't hear a peep from me.

@thavoice...where are you located? NE Ohio? Couple times you have referenced things that I saw in the tourneys I worked, wonder if it was the same one, including batting out of order. I have not had that happen once in 5+ years of officiating, and it has happened twice in the last week. Once in a tourney this past weekend and another in a local travel ball game.

As for the sunglasses, the umpire can ask a pitcher to remove anything they deem is distracting. Some sunglasses are very different than others, very reflective, colors (some are just black, some look like multi-colors reflecting off the lenses)

Truthfully, the battery spots (plate and mound) should always be facing north and south so they never look directly in the sun; so shades shouldn't be necessary unless a kid has a medical condition of the eyes requiring protection. I might let dull dark lenses go, but highly reflective lenses I would have removed.

I played in a church softball league years ago where we had to supply one player to ump the next/previous game to save on costs. It was incredibly difficult and I have always respected officials since ( and yes, church softball players will complain just as loudly to volunteer umpires as anyone else). I've tried to call balls and strikes from behind the mound during scrimmages and it was impossible.

I had a coworker who umped for a few years. He got stuck umping my son's 10U game when our regular catcher was on vacation. Our pitcher looked and threw like a 12 year old travel kid. We tried 3 or 4 different boys behind the plate. He was getting drilled all game.
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
I’m in my upper 30s, played baseball since I was 3, played D1 college, been umpiring for years, thought I’d seen it all.

then I went to my kids 14u game today and the umpire showed up in shorts and wore no protective gear behind the plate except a mask.

I texted a few ppl that I may witness a death today.

Amazingly he never got hit once, though he jumped out of the way of every pitch before catcher caught it.

but my last tournament game I took two fouls straight back into my chest, and can not fathom how someone can umpire with no gear
 

thavoice

Well-known member
I’m in my upper 30s, played baseball since I was 3, played D1 college, been umpiring for years, thought I’d seen it all.

then I went to my kids 14u game today and the umpire showed up in shorts and wore no protective gear behind the plate except a mask.

I texted a few ppl that I may witness a death today.

Amazingly he never got hit once, though he jumped out of the way of every pitch before catcher caught it.

but my last tournament game I took two fouls straight back into my chest, and can not fathom how someone can umpire with no gear
Wonder if he showed up that way to "ensure" he wouldnt have to do the plate, but didnt work as planned? A local ump was notorious for that. He would show up right at game time to almost make certain his partner would be doing the plate!
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Wonder if he showed up that way to "ensure" he wouldnt have to do the plate, but didnt work as planned? A local ump was notorious for that. He would show up right at game time to almost make certain his partner would be doing the plate!
We call those guys Plate Dodgers. Would leave them a Dodger hat as a hint.
 
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CoachHoversten

Active member
The game was a one man game, so no. He was definitely first game of his life, he had balls and strikes backwards on his hands, never moved, mis-applied at least three rules...

As for plate dodgers, never understand that. I prefer the plate and would do it every game if I could.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Last weekend my buddy did his first ever game, a HS, contest, and did well. His partner, a wily vet, left his gear in his Jeep overnight and it rained like crazy so he did the bases for the varsity and plate for the JV to let it dry out!

No questionable calls last night, but imagine I'll have more material come Monday.
 

Bugsy8875

Member
Wonder if he showed up that way to "ensure" he wouldnt have to do the plate, but didnt work as planned? A local ump was notorious for that. He would show up right at game time to almost make certain his partner would be doing the plate!
I've come across a couple of these guys. Sob story about having to do the plate several games in a row before our game.... blah blah blah... I don't mind either and I actually find that I enjoy the plate more. Constant action and actually less complaining from fans and coaches when the strike zone is dialed in. :)

ps. I also feel like I got a little workout in while at the plate while squating and hustling when ball is in play.
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
Had three 18U games today, couple “odd” things...I swear I’ve had more firsts this summer than ever...

1) to make a long story short, couple bad throws and batter ended up going to third on overthrow to second; with ball still in outfield, F5 acted like he was catching and tagging. Both myself (PU) and the BU immediately called obstruction and batter was awarded home. Got me thinking about two questions though:
— can’t the F5 be ejected for that? Is that judgment or should it be automatic?
— since the fake tag occurred before batter reached third, should he not have been awarded home? Again, hard to fathom an illegal play like that not punishing the defense, since batter had zero chance of not obtaining third as the ball was just coming in from outfielder.

2) had an “almost” situation...no one on base, batter hits a lazy pop to F4. As F4 was catching the ball, the batter-runner was jogging around first and F3 was just standing there watching the ball, and runner almost collided with F3 in baseline.

had they collided, would you declare obstruction on F3 even though the ball was being caught, and award batter first or second base (depending on where the OB occurred)?
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Had three 18U games today, couple “odd” things...I swear I’ve had more firsts this summer than ever...

1) to make a long story short, couple bad throws and batter ended up going to third on overthrow to second; with ball still in outfield, F5 acted like he was catching and tagging. Both myself (PU) and the BU immediately called obstruction and batter was awarded home. Got me thinking about two questions though:
— can’t the F5 be ejected for that? Is that judgment or should it be automatic?
— since the fake tag occurred before batter reached third, should he not have been awarded home? Again, hard to fathom an illegal play like that not punishing the defense, since batter had zero chance of not obtaining third as the ball was just coming in from outfielder.

2) had an “almost” situation...no one on base, batter hits a lazy pop to F4. As F4 was catching the ball, the batter-runner was jogging around first and F3 was just standing there watching the ball, and runner almost collided with F3 in baseline.

had they collided, would you declare obstruction on F3 even though the ball was being caught, and award batter first or second base (depending on where the OB occurred)?
I understand the fake tag rule and its safety ramifications. I don t know the punishment but I would think getting tossed would be over the top.

What I dont understand is why a middle infielder cannot decoy the runner in this scenario. R1 steals and the hitter pops it up. I dont quite understand why a M-INF cannot act as if he is trying to field a ground ball to decoy the runner into not going back to base?


Also umpires...do you ever ragret (Not even one letter...) tossing a coach or player?

I got thrown our a number of years ago. Long story short, umpire calls time, walks over and says "your outta here". The asst who was barking gets his bag and starts to walk out of the dugout. Umpire says "No, not you. HIM" and points to me." The umpire's rabbit ears obviously had the wrong person. The coach apologized to me, the players started laughing as I started the walk of shame as did the parents as I am very mild mannered.

It was funny. Was like the 5th inning. Game went 9. I watched from the parking lot. When the umps walked by the third base umpire looked at me, smiled, and said 'sorry about that' as I think he knew the HP made a mistake!


But i digress! We got a kick out of it. I had to miss the next day's practice due to work and they told the players I was at some anger managment class or whatever.

Oh i miss coaching....
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Had three 18U games today, couple “odd” things...I swear I’ve had more firsts this summer than ever...

1) to make a long story short, couple bad throws and batter ended up going to third on overthrow to second; with ball still in outfield, F5 acted like he was catching and tagging. Both myself (PU) and the BU immediately called obstruction and batter was awarded home. Got me thinking about two questions though:
— can’t the F5 be ejected for that? Is that judgment or should it be automatic?
— since the fake tag occurred before batter reached third, should he not have been awarded home? Again, hard to fathom an illegal play like that not punishing the defense, since batter had zero chance of not obtaining third as the ball was just coming in from outfielder.
Under NFHS Rules, a fake tag is obstruction so we apply that rule as we would on any other obstruction play. The runner is awarded a minimum of one base past the base he has already obtained and additional awards can be made if in the umpire('s) judgment the obstruction prevented the runner from obtaining that additional base.

A fake tag also carries a warning to the head coach of the offending team and the next offender from that team shall be ejected.

2) had an “almost” situation...no one on base, batter hits a lazy pop to F4. As F4 was catching the ball, the batter-runner was jogging around first and F3 was just standing there watching the ball, and runner almost collided with F3 in baseline.

had they collided, would you declare obstruction on F3 even though the ball was being caught, and award batter first or second base (depending on where the OB occurred)?
There is no obstruction because the batter-runner is put out on the catch. There should be a discussion with F3 ("hey, don't do that") with regards to his awareness to the play.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
I understand the fake tag rule and its safety ramifications. I don t know the punishment but I would think getting tossed would be over the top.

What I dont understand is why a middle infielder cannot decoy the runner in this scenario. R1 steals and the hitter pops it up. I dont quite understand why a M-INF cannot act as if he is trying to field a ground ball to decoy the runner into not going back to base?
A decoy or a deke is different than a fake tag. A decoy or a deke is also 100% legal.


Also umpires...do you ever ragret (Not even one letter...) tossing a coach or player?
No.

An ejection is a rule prescribed penalty for the unsporting or malicious conduct of a participant. There's on person(s) responsible for the penalty, and it's not me.

That said, knowing that the ejection isn't the only ramification for the unwarranted conduct, an official/umpire has to be damn sure that not only is the ejection proper, they have to get the correect person.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Thanks; didn’t warn the coach. Will remember that for future (though that was first time I’d ever seen someone do it)
Hopefully the coach kne
A decoy or a deke is different than a fake tag. A decoy or a deke is also 100% legal.




No.

An ejection is a rule prescribed penalty for the unsporting or malicious conduct of a participant. There's on person(s) responsible for the penalty, and it's not me.

That said, knowing that the ejection isn't the only ramification for the unwarranted conduct, an official/umpire has to be damn sure that not only is the ejection proper, they have to get the correect person.
i tell you what, every year of coaching we were warned by umpires that our MiF was not allowed to do it.
Every.
Year.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Hopefully the coach kne
i tell you what, every year of coaching we were warned by umpires that our MiF was not allowed to do it.
Every.
Year.
I have no doubt. I deal with umpires emailing me at least 5 times a season telling me (incorrectly) why it's illegal.

It's also bantered about on Umpire Facebook groups. There's a disappointing number of umpires that simply don't want to understand the rule.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
I have no doubt. I deal with umpires emailing me at least 5 times a season telling me (incorrectly) why it's illegal.

It's also bantered about on Umpire Facebook groups. There's a disappointing number of umpires that simply don't want to understand the rule.
Rule number so I can cite it when needed?
Thank you.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Rule number so I can cite it when needed?
Thank you.
Two Rules to refer to.......

2-23-2 -- A fake tag is an act by a defensive player without the ball that -simulates a tag. A fake tag is considered obstruction.
2-24-4 -- A tag out is the put out of a runner, including the batter-runner,who is not in contact with his base when touched with a live ball, or with the glove or hand when the live ball is held securely therein by a fielder. The ball is not considered as having been securely held if it is juggled or dropped after the touching, unless the runner deliberately knocks the ball from the hand of the fielder.

Nowhere in the course of your play does a defensive player attempt to tag a runner. The runner is responsible for knowing where the ball is in this situation.

There is an official interpretation (case book play) out there that is similar to what you describe. I'll dig that up shortly and post it. It's related to the old fake pickoff play.
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Two Rules to refer to.......

2-23-2 -- A fake tag is an act by a defensive player without the ball that -simulates a tag. A fake tag is considered obstruction.
2-24-4 -- A tag out is the put out of a runner, including the batter-runner,who is not in contact with his base when touched with a live ball, or with the glove or hand when the live ball is held securely therein by a fielder. The ball is not considered as having been securely held if it is juggled or dropped after the touching, unless the runner deliberately knocks the ball from the hand of the fielder.

Nowhere in the course of your play does a defensive player attempt to tag a runner. The runner is responsible for knowing where the ball is in this situation.

There is an official interpretation (case book play) out there that is similar to what you describe. I'll dig that up shortly and post it. It's related to the old fake pickoff play.
That will suffice.
Thank you.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Case Book Play 6.2.4e:
With R1 on second base, F1 wheels and fakes a throw to second base in a pickoff attempt. As R1 dives back into second base, F4 and F6 run into short center field as if chasing an errant throw. R1 seeing this, takes off for third base where he his thrown out by F1 to F5.

Ruling:
This is legal and not considered unsportsmanlike conduct. R1's base coach has the responsibility to keep R1 informed.
 

bucksman

Moderator
Given how I manage games in terms of ejections, I would be much much more likely to regret NOT ejecting someone than ejecting someone. The number of people I have ejected in 15 years of umpiring is few and far between. For me, the only reasons ever to regret an ejection would be if I "ran" the wrong person or "ran" someone based due to error on my part (misapplication of a rule).
 

thavoice

Well-known member
Scenario: runner on first. Slow ground ball to third.
Fielder throws to second for the out.

As an umpire, do you take into account the possibility of a DP when you rule inteferance on the runner to second, or is it as simple as interference and the batter runner is out to complete the DP?

Scenario Tonite was there was no way a DP was getting turned as the 3B probably should have went to first as it was hit so slow and the play was very close at second.

Umpires did not call interference, nor do I feel there was. Contact was made but I feel the slide was legal and contact was because everyone and the ball for to second at the same time.


Defense coach was wanting to call the batter out, an was wondering if they did rule inteferance on a wide, or througj slide, is it auto out at first?
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
No, it isn’t an automatic out. If you judge that the illegal slide hindered the possibility of a double play, then you call the batter out as well. If “there is no way” the double play would have occurred, then the batter is not out. Note above, the word “possibility” is important, bc if there was even a slight chance that the D never got the opportunity to attempt at, then you’re getting the batter too
 
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