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Old Wed Jun 07, 2006, 11:52pm
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Did I mess up?

I was doing an 11-12 year old championship game tonight. I volunteer my time umpiring for this league because my kids play in it. I also call traveling league for my association. Umpiring three years now. Anyway the game is going well, no chirping from the benches when in the top of the fourth inning, the 1st batter hits the ball, it glances off his foot and he runs down to first. I didn't see it hit his foot and my partner bangs him out at 1st. Well everyone is yelling it hit his foot, the coach asks for help with the call and I walk out to talk to my partner. I can see the kid limping as he is walking back across the diamond. I'm pretty sure he fouled it off his foot so I say to the kid" Did that ball hit your foot"? He says yes it did.

The coaches come unglued on me. They start yelling that I can't ask the kid, that not the procedure, yada yada. I tell them I can use any means I want to determine the right call. I also say the kids don't lie at this age. I still walk out to my partner and he says he didn't see anything. I go with the foul call anyway. Nobody disputes that this is the wrong call. The kid gets back up to bat and strikes out on the next pitch. Somebody yells it didn't matter anyway.

Well to make this story a little longer. It the top of the 6th, visitors down by 3, bases loaded, 1 out. Portly kid up to bat with two strikes. Ball comes in behind him, he moves in, and the ball misses him. The third base coach is now yelling" Hey ask him if it hit him, they don't lie at this age. You got to do it to both sides blue". I tell him to get back in his box or he'll finish the game from the parking lot. Kid strikes out, catcher drops the ball, kid starts to run, and I yell "batters out, batters out". Dumb coach sends kid on 3rd and he comes 3/4 of the way down and gets tagged out for the third and final out. I didn't feel to bad about that.

I would never ask the kids in the older leagues a question like that but I didn't think I was out of line doing this with the younger ones. I probably shouldn't have and most likely won’t do it again just because I can see the problems it can cause. Thanks for letting me vent.

Steve
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Old Thu Jun 08, 2006, 12:10am
DG DG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest Ump
I was doing an 11-12 year old championship game tonight. I volunteer my time umpiring for this league because my kids play in it. I also call traveling league for my association. Umpiring three years now. Anyway the game is going well, no chirping from the benches when in the top of the fourth inning, the 1st batter hits the ball, it glances off his foot and he runs down to first. I didn't see it hit his foot and my partner bangs him out at 1st. Well everyone is yelling it hit his foot, the coach asks for help with the call and I walk out to talk to my partner. I can see the kid limping as he is walking back across the diamond. I'm pretty sure he fouled it off his foot so I say to the kid" Did that ball hit your foot"? He says yes it did.
At this age, they are more likely to tell the truth than not, and if you are already pretty sure it hit is foot, then I have no problem taking his word for it.

The coaches can take their complaints and stick it..
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Old Thu Jun 08, 2006, 12:18am
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Really. DG's got it. It is really unusual for a kid at that age to know enough to fake limping, so I would take that as a good enough sign that the ball hit his foot while in the box.

The adults out here take things waaaaaaay too seriously, and take the fun out of it for the kids with their behavior. That mouthy 3rd base coach is lucky he didn't get run!
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Old Thu Jun 08, 2006, 12:58am
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Thanks for the comments guys, I appreciate it.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old Thu Jun 08, 2006, 06:13am
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As this board knows, I'm the biggest proponent of 'Get the Call Right', but I must have missed the section that allows the umpire to seek input from the contestants when making this type of call.

While many youths in this age group are honest, I've also seen church league pastors come unglued and get bounced during the heat of competition. Please don't base your call on what the player says - especially after you've already made a call.

1) Swipe tag at second and you call the runner out. The runner is irate and storms off the field insisting that you blew it. You turn to the second baseman and say, "You did get him, right?" The second baseman say that he didn't. Do you change the call?

2) The pitch is delivered and you get screened on this high and tight delivery. The batter drops his bat and you call "Time" and award him first base. As he trots down there, do you ask him if it really hit him?

3) The outfielder makes a great attempt - diving away from you as he goes to corral the ball. He stands up with the ball in his mitt and you signal emphatically, "Out". The opposing coach had a better angle and is jumping up and down that the ball was trapped. You ask the fielder if he really caught the ball and he says, "Well, it was really close, blue." Do you then signal "No catch" and place the runner where you think he may have wound up if the ball had not been caught cleanly?

Come on...
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Old Thu Jun 08, 2006, 09:03am
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WWTB, Forest asked if what he did was right. I don't think a dissertation like yours above was really necessary, for I think it's obvious Forest knows that umpires don't seek a show of hands when deciding calls.

With respect to Forest's situation specifically, while the manner in which he handled it is not the preferred way, in his specific situation it worked out fine, and that's what is important. He may have gotten lucky things didn't get worse, or he may have handled it relatively well. That's probably a matter of opinion. However, a simple advisory comment is better than a rather condescending dissertation.
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Old Thu Jun 08, 2006, 09:06am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest Ump
I volunteer my time umpiring for this league because my kids play in it.
Steve...this is a VERY dangerous practice. I've been there, done that...and trust me, no matter how much you want to "give back" to the league, it isn't worth it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest Ump
I would never ask the kids in the older leagues a question like that but I didn't think I was out of line doing this with the younger ones. I probably shouldn't have and most likely won’t do it again just because I can see the problems it can cause.
I think you learned from this. That's the whole point. Sometimes we do things in games that when we reflect on, we decide it wasn't wise, and we won't repeat it in future games. Personally, I won't ever ask a player, no matter what level. I'm sure at one point I did, but it was one of those things I learned never to do. Coaches seem to appreciate it better when you admit "Coach I can't call something I didn't see...I'll check with my partner, but if he didn't see it either, we're sticking with the original call". At least they then know what to expect all game, and you won't have a situation happen later in the game (like you did). Hope this helps!
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Old Thu Jun 08, 2006, 11:26am
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Run, Forest, run!!!
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Old Thu Jun 08, 2006, 01:10pm
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Volunteering

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueump
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest Ump
I volunteer my time umpiring for this league because my kids play in it.
Steve...this is a VERY dangerous practice. I've been there, done that...and trust me, no matter how much you want to "give back" to the league, it isn't worth it!
blueump: I'm always interested in horror stories for volunteer umps. Care to elaborate?

(Full Disclosure: I help organize an entire league with volunteer umps, and I myself have never worked a paid game. I'm open minded, but I'm really looking to eliminate problems in my current system, not to convert to a fee-based system.)
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Old Thu Jun 08, 2006, 01:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilLeaguer
blueump: I'm always interested in horror stories for volunteer umps. Care to elaborate?

(Full Disclosure: I help organize an entire league with volunteer umps, and I myself have never worked a paid game. I'm open minded, but I'm really looking to eliminate problems in my current system, not to convert to a fee-based system.)
I mean, goodness knows that umpires shouldn't get paid for working....
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Old Thu Jun 08, 2006, 01:19pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Fronheiser
I mean, goodness knows that umpires shouldn't get paid for working....

I smell another "CDP" thread approaching....
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Old Thu Jun 08, 2006, 05:39pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UMP25
WWTB, Forest asked if what he did was right. I don't think a dissertation like yours above was really necessary, for I think it's obvious Forest knows that umpires don't seek a show of hands when deciding calls.

With respect to Forest's situation specifically, while the manner in which he handled it is not the preferred way, in his specific situation it worked out fine, and that's what is important. He may have gotten lucky things didn't get worse, or he may have handled it relatively well. That's probably a matter of opinion. However, a simple advisory comment is better than a rather condescending dissertation.
What Forest did was wrong. Is that better?

The player contradicted the umpire's original call (lack of one by PU and the BU obviously didn't kill it on a foul ball). This is not okay and the fact that it 'worked out' is not what is important. An umpire is not seek the input of the player in making his calls! The umpire then reversed his partner's call based on this input. That is not a dissertation, it is the basic premise of umpiring - call what you see.
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Old Thu Jun 08, 2006, 08:17pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest Ump
I was doing an 11-12 year old championship game tonight. I volunteer my time umpiring for this league because my kids play in it. I also call traveling league for my association. Umpiring three years now. Anyway the game is going well, no chirping from the benches when in the top of the fourth inning, the 1st batter hits the ball, it glances off his foot and he runs down to first. I didn't see it hit his foot and my partner bangs him out at 1st. Well everyone is yelling it hit his foot, the coach asks for help with the call and I walk out to talk to my partner. I can see the kid limping as he is walking back across the diamond. I'm pretty sure he fouled it off his foot so I say to the kid" Did that ball hit your foot"? He says yes it did.

The coaches come unglued on me. They start yelling that I can't ask the kid, that not the procedure, yada yada. I tell them I can use any means I want to determine the right call. I also say the kids don't lie at this age. I still walk out to my partner and he says he didn't see anything. I go with the foul call anyway. Nobody disputes that this is the wrong call. The kid gets back up to bat and strikes out on the next pitch. Somebody yells it didn't matter anyway.

Well to make this story a little longer. It the top of the 6th, visitors down by 3, bases loaded, 1 out. Portly kid up to bat with two strikes. Ball comes in behind him, he moves in, and the ball misses him. The third base coach is now yelling" Hey ask him if it hit him, they don't lie at this age. You got to do it to both sides blue". I tell him to get back in his box or he'll finish the game from the parking lot. Kid strikes out, catcher drops the ball, kid starts to run, and I yell "batters out, batters out". Dumb coach sends kid on 3rd and he comes 3/4 of the way down and gets tagged out for the third and final out. I didn't feel to bad about that.

I would never ask the kids in the older leagues a question like that but I didn't think I was out of line doing this with the younger ones. I probably shouldn't have and most likely won’t do it again just because I can see the problems it can cause. Thanks for letting me vent.

Steve
You set yourself up for the comments from the coach. Don't ask players about plays at any age. It doesn't matter if you feel you can believe them or not. The calls are made by you and your partner, period.
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Old Thu Jun 08, 2006, 08:45pm
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It sounds like "things worked out" as described in the OP. Maybe "Forest Ump" was lucky. I choose to NOT ask players (at any age level) questions that could "help" me make the right call. Situation tonight: I am PU. Left handed batter. I see (and hear) the pitch hit the knob of the bat (inside pitch that batter was attempting to avoid). Ball goes foul. I call "foul ball". Batter immediately says to me "the ball hit my arm first". I say nothing to the batter and consult with the BU who confirms pitch hit bat and not batters arm. Game continued.
Simply enough IMO: Call what you see and not what you think (at any age level of ball).
Sam
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Old Thu Jun 08, 2006, 10:54pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhatWuzThatBlue
An umpire is not seek the input of the player in making his calls! The umpire then reversed his partner's call based on this input. That is not a dissertation, it is the basic premise of umpiring - call what you see.
Did I ever say an umpire should seek the input of a player? No. In fact, I specifically stated umpiring isn't up to a vote. I don't need to be lectured from someone who obviously assumed the wrong thing. I suggest you ditch the patronizing attitude and reread things once or twice before you puff up your chest and post. You're not dealing with a rookie umpire here.
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