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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 12:55pm
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NCAA Softball Umpires

Now I know this is a baseball forum, and I do umpire baseball, but in watching the NCAA softball tournament this weekend, especially the umpires, has anybody noticed that they are like robots on the field. What I mean by that, is they have no style like baseball umpires. They are mechanical in their calls. Strike calls are right arm straight up no style, and on bang bang plays same mechanic straight up with the right arm. Baseball umpires have their own style in calling strikes, and at least they sell the call on bang bang plays and make it look good.
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 12:59pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteHat Ref
Now I know this is a baseball forum, and I do umpire baseball, but in watching the NCAA softball tournament this weekend, especially the umpires, has anybody noticed that they are like robots on the field. What I mean by that, is they have no style like baseball umpires. They are mechanical in their calls. Strike calls are right arm straight up no style, and on bang bang plays same mechanic straight up with the right arm. Baseball umpires have their own style in calling strikes, and at least they sell the call on bang bang plays and make it look good.
Yes, it's been noticed and commented upon. It's what the NCAA softball group wants. shrug.
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 01:24pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteHat Ref
Now I know this is a baseball forum, and I do umpire baseball, but in watching the NCAA softball tournament this weekend, especially the umpires, has anybody noticed that they are like robots on the field. What I mean by that, is they have no style like baseball umpires. They are mechanical in their calls. Strike calls are right arm straight up no style, and on bang bang plays same mechanic straight up with the right arm. Baseball umpires have their own style in calling strikes, and at least they sell the call on bang bang plays and make it look good.
I am going to make an assumption (could be a mistake as with all assumptions) but getting high level softball games is similar to high level baseball games.

Politics are most likely involved and also you have to umpire "THEIR" way if you want to get the BIG game.

I do not think they are acting "robotic" because they want to be as it stands to reason that each umpire has their own "punch out" mechanic, banger mechanics etc., however, the umpires if they want to get the BIG game better umpire the way their association wants and that's what we have here.

Pete Booth
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 01:55pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteHat Ref
Strike calls are right arm straight up no style, and on bang bang plays same mechanic straight up with the right arm.
This mechanic keeps the purse from sliding off the shoulder.
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 02:14pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GarthB
This mechanic keeps the purse from sliding off the shoulder.
New style of ball bag?

Amazing how that pitch 8 inches outside is called a strike, though, and nobody seems to complain. Just like every runner leaving early from base, too.
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 05:40pm
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In the Tennessee/Northwestern game, the PU immediately called a slap-hitting batter out for being out of the box. The replay showed that it was very borderline at best. But the first thing I thought of was how did he see this and track the pitch properly, as has been discussed here at length. The batter slap-hit the ball to shortstop, and beat the throw to first by plenty, only to be called out of the box by the ever alert PU.

The commentators just gushed about how the PU is responsible to watch the batter's feet. By the replay, maybe the front foot was past the line, but the batter's box was pretty well obliterated by this point of the game. I wonder how the umpire could see this violation so clearly when he was supposed to be watching the pitch.
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 06:19pm
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NCAA is not the only softball association in which—if you want their high-level games—you buy in to the entire program and do everything their way. You practically follow a script or, like a robot, a program.

If you don't care about doing those particular high-level games, though, you can ignore the narrow clique of evangelicals at the top and make calls pretty much however you want.
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 06:36pm
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Then why does the Softball create such and environment and other sports in the NCAA do not seem to care what the officials do?

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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 07:43pm
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The association I work with does both softball and baseball, and I do roughly 75% baseball and 25% softball. So, I basically consider myself a baseball guy who does softball. My experience has been that the ASA controls most of the mechanics and techniques that both the NCAA and FED softball umpires use.

In spite of not having 'drunk the kool-aid', I still received a 3A NCS Softball Playoff assignment (as well as a 2A NCS baseball semi-final). I use the GD both in baseball and softball, and I wear uniforms with numbers and shoes with little white "N's" on them. I suspect that my upward mobility in softball will be limited due to this fact, and I can live with that.
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 07:51pm
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Then why does the Softball create such and environment and other sports in the NCAA do not seem to care what the officials do?

Good question. I can only surmise that the NCAA looks to Fed and ASA as examples. Even then, I can go only by my experience in NJ; I don't know how Fed and ASA operate in other states.

I must say that I don't understand the appeal of having every umpire make calls exactly the same way, choreographing the umpire's movements and timing down to the last detail. It reminds me of certain large corporate training organizations that want all their instructors to teach every session exactly the same—on Tuesday at 10:42 a.m. you are pointing with your right hand to square number 11 on the flip chart and mentioning this or that team-building theory. It's almost cult-like.

I don't want to get into names and specific organizations, but I've been somewhat put off when various bigwigs have tried to recruit me to be one of "them." It's all about "our way" and "selling the [you name the association] method" and "getting the big games." It reminds me oddly of the sort of come-on I used to hear from multi-level sales schemes.
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 10:06pm
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I wouldn't say that NCAA doesn't care about officials who do other sports...I know a few DI football guys who don't ref anymore for either blowing a call, calls, or messing up mechanics...(ie...a umpire who signals TD)...the other sports probably aren't as robotic as softball, but micromanaging your officials doesn't necessarily correlate with quality either...
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 10:52pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greymule
Then why does the Softball create such and environment and other sports in the NCAA do not seem to care what the officials do?

Good question. I can only surmise that the NCAA looks to Fed and ASA as examples. Even then, I can go only by my experience in NJ; I don't know how Fed and ASA operate in other states.

I must say that I don't understand the appeal of having every umpire make calls exactly the same way, choreographing the umpire's movements and timing down to the last detail. It reminds me of certain large corporate training organizations that want all their instructors to teach every session exactly the same—on Tuesday at 10:42 a.m. you are pointing with your right hand to square number 11 on the flip chart and mentioning this or that team-building theory. It's almost cult-like.

I don't want to get into names and specific organizations, but I've been somewhat put off when various bigwigs have tried to recruit me to be one of "them." It's all about "our way" and "selling the [you name the association] method" and "getting the big games." It reminds me oddly of the sort of come-on I used to hear from multi-level sales schemes.
Hear, hear,

Fast pitch softball umpires are clones...no individuality....no sense of anything.


And the mehanics they are dealt are abyssmal
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 11:34pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteHat Ref
Now I know this is a baseball forum, and I do umpire baseball, but in watching the NCAA softball tournament this weekend, especially the umpires, has anybody noticed that they are like robots on the field.
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto---Domo domo...
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Old Mon Jun 04, 2007, 11:54pm
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At the risk of angering you guys (I don't do baseball and only did slow pitch softball in college), I'm going to have to side here with the uniformity of the softball umps. Individual style may be a baseball umpire tradition, but in some ways it creates laziness and provides an excuse for those who don't try and improve their game. I've always been a big fan of uniformity, but with one caveat: do what you must do to sell the call.

However, you guys are light years ahead of the softball folks in uniforms. I think the black shirts look sharp and are very authoritative. The blue pants in softball look like something out of the sixties, and look horrible with navy jackets. I keep waiting for them to wear beanies and ties too.
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Old Tue Jun 05, 2007, 09:19am
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The guy who did home plate last night in the Arizona-Tennessee game was different than the rest. He made strike calls right away instead of waiting several seconds and held is arm at 45 degrees instead of 90.
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