Ask The Ump?

AllSports12

Moderator
My guess is that this umpire is either new or a guy who's been around a while only working younger youth games. Set in his ways and myths with no interest in improving. (think about it, a severe shortage of umpires and you have an OHSAA certified umpire working a travel scrimmage)

This stuff is covered in day one of any credible training class.
 

Gnep27

Member
I saw that scenario happen at a tournament, can't remember if it was the Final or Semi Final but there was a passed ball on strike three of a tie game in bottom of last inning with 2 outs. When the runner scored from third, the team mobbed him and celebrated what they thought was a walk off and the batter never ran to first. The defense was aware enough to throw down to first and end the celebration. The umpires got it right, game went to extra innings.

Two similar questions: 1. Batter in box and the HU says the count is 1-1. Next pitch is a strike, batter takes. HU, catcher and batter all think it's 1-2 now. Coach yells, that was strike 3 (it was strike 3) and the HU then asks the BU who confirms that was strike 3. HU calls batter out. The batter approaches the entire pitch differently if he knows it is 1-2 instead of 1-1, he has no reason to swing at a pitch he doesn't like on a 1-1 count. Is this simply, batter should know the count and when he hears the HU say the wrong count, step out and clarify before the pitch?

2. Two strikes on the batter, runner on 2nd less than 2 outs. Pitch is low, HU says strike 3, batters out, catcher throws to third as the runner is stealing. Meanwhile, coach yells at batter to run to first because the ball hit the ground. Runner safe at third and now the batter is on first. Coach asks the HU to appeal to BU because the ball hit the ground so it was a dropped third strike. BU confirms and rules runner safe at first and third. The argument is when the HU calls batter out, it changes where the catcher throws as he isn't worried about throwing to first.

As always, appreciate the conversation.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Two similar questions: 1. Batter in box and the HU says the count is 1-1. Next pitch is a strike, batter takes. HU, catcher and batter all think it's 1-2 now. Coach yells, that was strike 3 (it was strike 3) and the HU then asks the BU who confirms that was strike 3. HU calls batter out. The batter approaches the entire pitch differently if he knows it is 1-2 instead of 1-1, he has no reason to swing at a pitch he doesn't like on a 1-1 count. Is this simply, batter should know the count and when he hears the HU say the wrong count, step out and clarify before the pitch?
Once a pitch occurred after the announced count (1-1), that count became official. The error cannot be rectified and the next pitch now becomes strike two.
2. Two strikes on the batter, runner on 2nd less than 2 outs. Pitch is low, HU says strike 3, batters out, catcher throws to third as the runner is stealing. Meanwhile, coach yells at batter to run to first because the ball hit the ground. Runner safe at third and now the batter is on first. Coach asks the HU to appeal to BU because the ball hit the ground so it was a dropped third strike. BU confirms and rules runner safe at first and third. The argument is when the HU calls batter out, it changes where the catcher throws as he isn't worried about throwing to first.

As always, appreciate the conversation.
The plate umpire erred in announcing that the batter is out. Like the situation above, it's now too late to change it. (for the reason you noted)

The umpire should have glanced at his partner for an affirmation that the catcher caught the ball.
 

CoachHoversten

Well-known member
Once a pitch occurred after the announced count (1-1), that count became official. The error cannot be rectified and the next pitch now becomes strike two.

is there a rule book cite for this? Never seen a statement that an announced count becomes official after following pitch, or does this fall under the “umpire has the requirement to undo an error on their part that disadvantaged a team”?

Should note you’re also having an ejection after this situation :/
 

AllSports12

Moderator
is there a rule book cite for this? Never seen a statement that an announced count becomes official after following pitch, or does this fall under the “umpire has the requirement to undo an error on their part that disadvantaged a team”?
No specific book citation, however, an official FED Interpretation addresses this type of situation...

SITUATION 10: With R1 on second base attempting to steal third, the left-handed B2 swings to protect R1. The plate umpire does not see the batter swing. The next pitch is a called strike, and the plate umpire announces the count as 1-1. The coach of the defensive team wants the count corrected to 0-2.

RULING: Since a pitch has been taken on the disputed ball/strike call, the count is 1-1.

Should note you’re also having an ejection after this situation :/
If the umpire realizes that he screwed up he had better give the coach plenty of latitude to air his grievance. If after that time he fails to move on, then a verbal "stop" is in order. If that doesn't work then a written warning (includes restriction to the bench) is appropriate. If that doesn't cause the coach to move on, then we need to accommodate him by sending him home early.
 

CoachHoversten

Well-known member
No specific book citation, however, an official FED Interpretation addresses this type of situation...

SITUATION 10: With R1 on second base attempting to steal third, the left-handed B2 swings to protect R1. The plate umpire does not see the batter swing. The next pitch is a called strike, and the plate umpire announces the count as 1-1. The coach of the defensive team wants the count corrected to 0-2.

RULING: Since a pitch has been taken on the disputed ball/strike call, the count is 1-1.


If the umpire realizes that he screwed up he had better give the coach plenty of latitude to air his grievance. If after that time he fails to move on, then a verbal "stop" is in order. If that doesn't work then a written warning (includes restriction to the bench) is appropriate. If that doesn't cause the coach to move on, then we need to accommodate him by sending him home early.
Interesting, I often will be asked on a TAKEN pitch if it was a ball or strike (despite having a strong and loud strike call) but I could easily see them “taking for granted” that since batter swung, it was “obviously a strike”, thus creating this possible scenario
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Interesting, I often will be asked on a TAKEN pitch if it was a ball or strike (despite having a strong and loud strike call) but I could easily see them “taking for granted” that since batter swung, it was “obviously a strike”, thus creating this possible scenario
Wow, I can count on one hand how many times a player asked me if I called a pitch a ball or a strike.
 

thePITman

Well-known member
This happened last week...

Dropped third strike, catcher blocks the ball, which bounces and rolls and was about to come to a stop several feet in front of the left-handed batter's box (clearly outside the batter's box and clearly in fair territory, if that matters). The right-handed batter begins running to first and inadvertently kicks the baseball half way up the first base line, causing the catcher to have to chase it the entire way, ultimately leading to a safe runner at first.

The umpire seemed to acknowledge that the ball was in fair territory, outside the batter's box, and that the runner was directly responsible for the ball getting kicked half way up the baseline. But the umpire said since it was inadvertent, then you just keep playing. Seems weird, but is this correct?
 

umpire16

Active member
This happened last week...

Dropped third strike, catcher blocks the ball, which bounces and rolls and was about to come to a stop several feet in front of the left-handed batter's box (clearly outside the batter's box and clearly in fair territory, if that matters). The right-handed batter begins running to first and inadvertently kicks the baseball half way up the first base line, causing the catcher to have to chase it the entire way, ultimately leading to a safe runner at first.

The umpire seemed to acknowledge that the ball was in fair territory, outside the batter's box, and that the runner was directly responsible for the ball getting kicked half way up the baseline. But the umpire said since it was inadvertent, then you just keep playing. Seems weird, but is this correct?
The fair-foul status here is not pertinent as the hall was not hit. A dropped third strike’s location as fair or foul doesn’t have any bearing here in the normal interpretation of the word.
Given how you described it, this falls under NFHS 8-4-1a “The batter-runner is out when he intentionally interferes with the catcher’s attempt to field the ball after a third strike.”
Key word is intentionally. If the umpire deems it unintentional play on. This sounds like what happened here. Always a judgment call in this case.
 

CoachHoversten

Well-known member
The fair-foul status here is not pertinent as the hall was not hit. A dropped third strike’s location as fair or foul doesn’t have any bearing here in the normal interpretation of the word.
Given how you described it, this falls under NFHS 8-4-1a “The batter-runner is out when he intentionally interferes with the catcher’s attempt to field the ball after a third strike.”
Key word is intentionally. If the umpire deems it unintentional play on. This sounds like what happened here. Always a judgment call in this case.
College the batter is out, if HS allows unintentional impediment of the catchers ability to make a play, then that stinks
 

umpire16

Active member
College the batter is out, if HS allows unintentional impediment of the catchers ability to make a play, then that stinks
Agreed. I worked NCAA for ten years and miss many of its rules. Oh well.
I’ll say this though - I tend to believe many situations on here are hard to visualize without of course being there. But to me “unintentional” has a very narrow scope. Most of what’s out there in HS is unscrupulously intentional.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Agreed. I worked NCAA for ten years and miss many of its rules. Oh well.
I’ll say this though - I tend to believe many situations on here are hard to visualize without of course being there. But to me “unintentional” has a very narrow scope. Most of what’s out there in HS is unscrupulously intentional.
Guys, unless the original question specifically refers to any other rule code, let's keep the answers NFHS related.

People are already confused on what they hear and see on TV, we don't need to add to that by interjecting OBR or NCAA rulings.

Thanks......

AS12
 

CoachHoversten

Well-known member
4-man mechanics question; and I know this would only be used in D1 college, college postseason at all levels, and HS state championships, but wondering about something:

Situation: R1 only, fly ball to right field, U1 goes out for the catch/no-catch.

Question: Mechanics manual for the situation where the ball is caught, U3 should "enter into the working area immediately" and be ready for any plays at 2nd or 3rd on R1 should he tag and advance, and U2 slides to first for any plays back into 1st base. Okay, that makes a lot of sense, no issues there.

My question stems from the same situation where the ball is not caught, the manual U3 stays at 3rd in foul territory for any plays there, and U2 has all plays at 1st and 2nd bases.

When the ball is hit and U1 goes out, U3 can't know if it will be caught or not. By definition, U1 is going out b/c it is a trouble ball and not a can of corn. So how can U3 decide whether to "enter immediately" or not? Do you key on the runner and not the ball/catch? I.E, if you see R1 tagging, come in and assume catch/tag? If R1 is halfway, stay at 3rd? (because if he is half-way and it is caught, he isn't running all the way back to 1st, tagging, and then running all the way to 2nd)

Follow up question:
I know once you begin a rotation, you stay in it, so if you read catch and enter immediately and U2 begins to slide to 1st, and the ball is dropped, does U3 now have all plays at 2nd and 3rd? Only plays at 2nd on R1 and U2 takes batter to 2nd? (like a slide)

Hope this makes sense, just studying up on 4-man because I have never done it and will have to in May and these 2 scenarios threw me because you do one thing if caught and another if not, but you can't know when ball is in the air if the trouble ball will be caught....there is another situation with U1 would have to do the same thing when U3 goes out, but I assume the answers mirror one another...he drops down and gets tag if caught and enters if not
 

AllSports12

Moderator
4-man mechanics question; and I know this would only be used in D1 college, college postseason at all levels, and HS state championships, but wondering about something:

Situation: R1 only, fly ball to right field, U1 goes out for the catch/no-catch.

Question: Mechanics manual for the situation where the ball is caught, U3 should "enter into the working area immediately" and be ready for any plays at 2nd or 3rd on R1 should he tag and advance, and U2 slides to first for any plays back into 1st base. Okay, that makes a lot of sense, no issues there.

My question stems from the same situation where the ball is not caught, the manual U3 stays at 3rd in foul territory for any plays there, and U2 has all plays at 1st and 2nd bases.

When the ball is hit and U1 goes out, U3 can't know if it will be caught or not. By definition, U1 is going out b/c it is a trouble ball and not a can of corn. So how can U3 decide whether to "enter immediately" or not? Do you key on the runner and not the ball/catch? I.E, if you see R1 tagging, come in and assume catch/tag? If R1 is halfway, stay at 3rd? (because if he is half-way and it is caught, he isn't running all the way back to 1st, tagging, and then running all the way to 2nd)
In Ohio....
- U1 goes out on all catchable and any trouble balls in his/her area. (goes for any ball that may enter into dead ball territory)
- U2 moves into position to take touches at 1st and 2nd as well as any throw back to 1st after a catch.
- U3 moves down the line towards 3rd to cover any play or touch at 3rd.
- PU needs to be ready for potential help at 1st if requested by U2
Follow up question:
I know once you begin a rotation, you stay in it, so if you read catch and enter immediately and U2 begins to slide to 1st, and the ball is dropped, does U3 now have all plays at 2nd and 3rd? Only plays at 2nd on R1 and U2 takes batter to 2nd? (like a slide)
Again, see Ohio's mechanic....
there is another situation with U1 would have to do the same thing when U3 goes out, but I assume the answers mirror one another...he drops down and gets tag if caught and enters if not
When U3 goes out, (he goes out just as U1 would go out above....)

- PU moves up the line to take all touches and calls at 3rd
- U2 moves into position to take all touches and calls at 2nd, as well as anything back at 1st if U1 rotates home
- U1 moves into position, preferably in foul territory, to take touches at 1st and R1 back into 1st. He will rotate home once R1 commits to 3rd
 

VTJGball

Well-known member
Here is the play.
Batter hits a pop up that bounces of the dug out fence back to the pitchers feet standing in fair territory. He picks it up and sees umpire pointing fair ball so he throws to first base and PU call runner out.
Doesn't the ball become dead after hitting fence?
 

CoachHoversten

Well-known member
Here is the play.
Batter hits a pop up that bounces of the dug out fence back to the pitchers feet standing in fair territory. He picks it up and sees umpire pointing fair ball so he throws to first base and PU call runner out.
Doesn't the ball become dead after hitting fence?
Yes, foul ball
 

CoachHoversten

Well-known member
Here is the play.
Batter hits a pop up that bounces of the dug out fence back to the pitchers feet standing in fair territory. He picks it up and sees umpire pointing fair ball so he throws to first base and PU call runner out.
Doesn't the ball become dead after hitting fence?
Once it hits anything other than the ground in foul territory, it is foul (or caught if it is caught in the air).

once it hits the ground beyond the base (1st or 3rd) it is also foul.

The only thing that wouldn’t kill it is if it hits the ground only before the base bc it could still bounce/roll/spin it’s way back into fair territory if untouched.

Did the umpire not realize it hit the fence/pole?
 

umpire16

Active member
Here's a crazy play that happened to me on Tuesday and I finally got around to posting.

R1, R2, 1 out. Batter hits a gap shot between right and left. Both runners took off on the pitch. As R1 is rounding second he is obstructed by the second baseman. The third base coach, hearing the call of "That's obstruction" tells R1 to return to second. As this is happening R2 who has rounded third starts to come back to third as well. The third base coach physically grabs him and pushes him towards home saying, "no you score" as the ball is coming back into the infield. As the throw has started its approach towards second, both R1 and B3, who rounded first and wanted a double, both arrive and look like they are going to stand on second simultaneously. Upon realizing they are both there, R1 heads to third and the BR starts to return to first. The defense gets the BR in a rundown while R1 heads to third, touches it, and heads home. R1 scores before B3 is tagged out in the rundown.

Discuss (before I reveal the end result). I'll preface this with neither coach was satisfied with the result based on lack of rules knowledge.
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Here's a crazy play that happened to me on Tuesday and I finally got around to posting.

R1, R2, 1 out. Batter hits a gap shot between right and left. Both runners took off on the pitch. As R1 is rounding second he is obstructed by the second baseman. The third base coach, hearing the call of "That's obstruction" tells R1 to return to second. As this is happening R2 who has rounded third starts to come back to third as well. The third base coach physically grabs him and pushes him towards home saying, "no you score" as the ball is coming back into the infield. As the throw has started its approach towards second, both R1 and B3, who rounded first and wanted a double, both arrive and look like they are going to stand on second simultaneously. Upon realizing they are both there, R1 heads to third and the BR starts to return to first. The defense gets the BR in a rundown while R1 heads to third, touches it, and heads home. R1 scores before B3 is tagged out in the rundown.

Discuss (before I reveal the end result). I'll preface this with neither coach was satisfied with the result based on lack of rules knowledge.
- Let's get R2 out of the way as he will be declared out (for the 2nd out) for the coach physically assisting him.
- Since R1 has scored, the OBS by F4 is irrelevant
- The tag on B3 during the rundown ends the inning.

Score 1 run on the play
 

CoachHoversten

Well-known member
AS beat me to it but that’s exactly correct, coach INT is an immediate out but not dead ball, so r2 is out and irrelevant to the rest of the story.

The OBS is delayed dead ball and he advanced beyond his guaranteed base (your judgment if he would have had home but he got it anyways) so OBS is acknowledged but ignored.

Rundown is simply a time play, run counts, inning over.

Edit: The fact that coach sent runner back bc of an obstruction call (and grabbed his runner) tells you all you need to know about his/her rules knowledge. Not bashing them, it’s our job to know rules better than coaches, but you know the discussion of the results of this play won’t go well at that point.
 

jdizzle

Member
Here is a scenario that has never happened, but one of the recent scenarios has me thinking:

I have been in ground rules and a coach has said, you can play a ball off the face of a dugout. Literally the header of the dugout, completely open dugout (no fence or rails or anything between the field of play and the dugout). The example used is that the catcher can catch a foul ball off of the header and it is an out.

So here is the situation, and like I said, this has never happened to my knowledge. A batted ball is hit hard at this header and it bounces back into play between home and first, or home and third. By virtue of the "ground rules" discussion, is this considered a foul ball? If a catcher can catch it off the header, shouldn't this be considered a fair ball?
 

AllSports12

Moderator
AS beat me to it but that’s exactly correct, coach INT is an immediate out but not dead ball, so r2 is out and irrelevant to the rest of the story.

The OBS is delayed dead ball and he advanced beyond his guaranteed base (your judgment if he would have had home but he got it anyways) so OBS is acknowledged but ignored.

Rundown is simply a time play, run counts, inning over.

Edit: The fact that coach sent runner back bc of an obstruction call (and grabbed his runner) tells you all you need to know about his/her rules knowledge. Not bashing them, it’s our job to know rules better than coaches, but you know the discussion of the results of this play won’t go well at that point.
I can hear the offense complaining that since R1 was obstructed he would have been awarded home, so R2 should be awarded home as well. (I actually had that play once)

I also can hear the defense claiming that the third out would negate the run. (not understanding what a time play is)
 

AllSports12

Moderator
Here is a scenario that has never happened, but one of the recent scenarios has me thinking:

I have been in ground rules and a coach has said, you can play a ball off the face of a dugout. Literally the header of the dugout, completely open dugout (no fence or rails or anything between the field of play and the dugout). The example used is that the catcher can catch a foul ball off of the header and it is an out.
:oops: Good Grief !!
So here is the situation, and like I said, this has never happened to my knowledge. A batted ball is hit hard at this header and it bounces back into play between home and first, or home and third. By virtue of the "ground rules" discussion, is this considered a foul ball? If a catcher can catch it off the header, shouldn't this be considered a fair ball?
A ground rule can never supersede a book rule, so, once that batted ball while on or over foul territory, touches the person of an umpire or a player or any object foreign to the natural ground ......

By rule, we have a foul ball


Now, a thrown ball..... all you have is a live ball.
 

umpire16

Active member
I can hear the offense complaining that since R1 was obstructed he would have been awarded home, so R2 should be awarded home as well. (I actually had that play once)

I also can hear the defense claiming that the third out would negate the run. (not understanding what a time play is)
You both hit the nail on the head and your outcomes are exactly what occurred. Had to circle the wagons to handle this one. As soon as I heard the coach tell him to go back to second I immediately went into crisis communication mode in my head.

Result was of course R1 scored (he would not have in my opinion anyway, but he did) and of course BR was out for the third out as the second out was the coach assist. I was glad my partner did not kill the play for that as I have seen that occur and it's not a dead ball.

Here are the responses (paraphrased):

Offensive coach: How can you not score my other runners? I didnt do anything wrong, I just made sure he scored. Obstruction on one runner is obstruction on them all they all get one base. It's your judgment anyway and you can't tell me my batter isnt at least getting to third on that one.

Defensive coach: Why do they get a run? The batter was out and it's a force on the batter no matter where he is tagged out even if it's after first.

I did my darndest to explain it all and ended up putting one coach in the dugout while getting booed by the highly unbiased fans. Though the AD of the coach I restricted (and losing team on a walk off) did come up to us in the parking lot after and tell us we did a great job and nailed that play (he is the former coach).

It's the little things.
 
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