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Old Thu May 13, 2010, 09:18pm
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Help with unruly coach - Coach out of dugout

I apologize in advance for the length, but I really need some help here.

I umpire in both Maryland and Texas. (I fly back and forth each week for work). In Maryland we enforce and abide by the rule of the game. The league that I am umpiring in in Texas is far more relaxed.

The rule that is a problem is, the coaches must not be on the field of play. I've heard of a case where a coach, out of the box, was hit by a ball. He suedthe umpires personally. (and everyone else also, but I'm most concerned with being personally sued) The issue was that the rule says, 'must be in box', and the umpire did not enforce the rule.

Here in Texas, they allow the coaches to walk around all around the dugout, and in foul territory. Not the first/third base coach - the dugout coaches. The league has told the coaches that they are allowed to be on the field. I don't allow it. The rule is the rule, and they have not provided me with any rule-override.

The coaches have not been thrilled with this, but have been willing to go along. Tonight's coach was far far less accomodating, raising a stink. I was base, and plate was unsupportive. After the game I called the UIC of the league and he suggested that I relax. Frankly, if the league would just send me an email telling me that the rule is over-ridden, and they ARE permitted, I'd be fine. I could just follow *that* rule.

Lets set aside the whole issue of who is right here. Frankly I don't care. And lets set aside the issue of whether I should have tossed her. Don't care.

The Question is, if, at the coach's meeting, I tell them that they must stay in the dugout, does THAT ALONE let me off the hook? One coach said that it did. "Judge, I told 'em, then they didn't follow the rules." I am not so sure. If the rule says that the catcher must be properly equipped, and I tell them that in the meeting, then I let him play without a helmet, I think I'd be liable.

I really need some help here. Cause if I can just say it in the coach's meeting and be done with it, I will just relax. If not, then I gotta back out of the league.

I love umpiring. Not enough to be sued.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old Thu May 13, 2010, 09:28pm
Stop staring at me swan.
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Minnesota
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The best way to get rid of a "bad" rule (if the coaches think it's a bad rule) is to enforce it.

Those are the rules of the game. You should enforce it, bring it up at your plate meeting.
I suppose if they don't abide by the rules, you can maybe eject (is this FED ball?) worst case, I suppose you could quit umpiring in that part of the country.
You can call time and not continue the game until they abide. It is a rule and your job is to enforce the rules as they're written. What other rules do your partners want to fudge? Those are national rules, not state rules...unless the state sets it own rules around that type of thing. I don't know enough about jurisdictions and what rules the state can and can't change in their state. I wouldn't use liability as your argument to get them to abide on the field, but rather enforcing the rules of the game.

In your pre-game with your partner you should talk about how as a crew you will handle this type of situation. You should come to common ground before you walk on the field so you're both on the same page.

Those are my thoughts, certainly others will chime in.
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Old Thu May 13, 2010, 10:03pm
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I hear you, and agree. However, the league has told the coaches that it is OK to roam the field, 'just try to keep it in front of the dugout'. Since I don't have support from the league, I am looking to ensure that I dont get sued.
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Old Thu May 13, 2010, 10:19pm
Stop staring at me swan.
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 2,969
Then you have to take care of you. Keep it simple. Is the league going to pay for your legal counsel? no. If the state says they can't do it, then if you're uncomfortable with it and you have a rule to support you, then enforce it.

Don't over think it.
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Old Fri May 14, 2010, 12:34pm
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First of all, relax. If getting sued is your most important concerned, my advise is to quit officiating.

Having said that, you can go to just about any sports contest held and find a rule violation. You can also take EVERY precaution written and not written and still get sued. Worrying about a coach in the coaches box is probably low on my list unless he is trying to interfer with the game. Wonder if there is no box? As much as you would like , you can not 100% of the time enforce where the coaches stand or sometimes sit. If you are, then your not paying attention to the game.

Now if this how you think you should handle an unruly coach, don't use this rule to take care of directly dealing with the them. Don't allow them to be unruly, period.

As far as the league not enforcing every rule you think they should, well you have to decide if you want to work there or not. Again having said that, you can go to just about any sports contest held and find a rule violation.

Your choice.
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Old Fri May 14, 2010, 01:53pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jicecone View Post
Worrying about a coach in the coaches box is probably low on my list unless he is trying to interfer with the game. Wonder if there is no box? As much as you would like , you can not 100% of the time enforce where the coaches stand or sometimes sit.
He's not worried about a coach in the coaches box as clarified by this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by paustin
Not the first/third base coach - the dugout coaches.
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Old Sat May 15, 2010, 10:12am
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I am not a lawyer, but:

1) Anyone can be sued

2) the standard is "what would a reasonable umpire have done?"

3) If the league allows it, get something from them in writing. Perhaps just write them an email asking if it's allowed and save the reply.

4) if the league allows it, then that is the rule and you are less likley to be found liable (assuming you continue to only allow them to roam "around the dugout" and not, say, behind the catcher, etc)
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