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  #16 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 10, 2017, 01:56pm
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Just my opinion, but NFHS never really gave the 2017 equipment check rule change an opportunity to prove itself out. Before, we had to go into the dugouts to do them, which quite often required umpires to get in the players' way (and vice versa), and also discouraged players from actually removing bats from their equipment bags, etc.

With the rule change in 2017 requiring teams to have the equipment outside the dugouts for the inspection, I thought it made things more efficient for both umpires and teams. It rarely took us longer than 2 minutes per team if they had their gear out as required. As the season wore on, teams were quicker at being prepared. Seems odd that after a rule change that improved the process, in my opinion, they decided to scrap inspections altogether.
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  #17 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 10, 2017, 03:39pm
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As a baseball guy, FED made the same rule change on equipment inspection 4-5 years ago eliminating the requirement for umpires to inspect the equipment. We gain respect of the coaches, since the assumption now is that they are educators working for their young men an women. The coaches have a major penalty as well as the liability exposure if illegal equipment is used.

Since umpire inspections have ended, we have not had a rash of, or any that I know of, cheating cases.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 10, 2017, 04:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKBUmp View Post
Quickest stats I could bring up were 2015 MLB season on intentional walks. 3 teams were tied for tops in intentional walks at 45 allowed in 162 games for an average of .278 per game. So, roughly 1 IW every 4 games. And this is saving time and speeding up the game how? They are saving maybe 30 seconds every 4th game ? Ok, yep, really speeding up the game.
I don't know if you are a fan of the NFL, but they did something about as stupid. In the name of "safety" they reduced the overtime from 15 minutes to 10 minutes. I saw an analysis of the 2016 season that calculated that if this rule had been in effect for 2016, it would have reduced playing time by 0.16%, or 24.5 minutes total across all teams, all games.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old Mon Jul 10, 2017, 11:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
Just my opinion, but NFHS never really gave the 2017 equipment check rule change an opportunity to prove itself out. Before, we had to go into the dugouts to do them, which quite often required umpires to get in the players' way (and vice versa), and also discouraged players from actually removing bats from their equipment bags, etc.

With the rule change in 2017 requiring teams to have the equipment outside the dugouts for the inspection, I thought it made things more efficient for both umpires and teams. It rarely took us longer than 2 minutes per team if they had their gear out as required. As the season wore on, teams were quicker at being prepared. Seems odd that after a rule change that improved the process, in my opinion, they decided to scrap inspections altogether.
I'm agreeing here. For Dakota, I've disallowed many bats for being on the non-approved list, or having the 2013 ASA stamp, and one small-barrel baseball bat.

Signalling intentional walks is stupid, as is allowing the pitcher to step back or allowing only one foot in contact with the pitcher's plate.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:03am
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You need to remember a couple of things.

When the bat issue reared its head in the SP game, the FP folks mocked any concern in their game and laughed at the possibility that any illegal or non-approved bats showing up on THEIR field. Yeah, little did many realize that some SP playing daddies were providing their carrot-chasing DD with hot bats. I don't believe this happened in HS simply because kids aren't being recruited out of HS.

Meanwhile, baseball, especially NCAA laughed their asses off at the possibility of altered bats in their game until HR started flying out of the park and all of a sudden there was a concern to the point they placed a moratorium on composite bats until they could address their safety 10 years after ASA got into the bat testing business.

And then there are the coaches who believe winning is everything and that means anything that they can get away with goes. No, this isn't rampant and probably barely a blip on the overall radar of the game. But it only takes one time and as an umpire, I would rather have done what I could on my end. After all, are you really expecting the manager to do a real equipment check to make sure someone didn't bring a non-approved or altered bat to use without the coach's knowledge?

As previously noted, it isn't just non-approved equipment, though helmets and masks need to have their certification check, but also the condition of the equipment. If there is any chance something could go wrong, I'd like to think I could help avoid and injury or worse by taking 2-5 minutes checking the equipment.

And then there is the issue of liability
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  #21 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 11, 2017, 12:42am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
And then there is the issue of liability
Which SHOULD fall squarely on the shoulders of the head coaches, and by extension the schools. NFHS themselves says, in print and in several places, that head coaches are responsible for ensuring that players are legally and properly equipped. That responsibility should extend into whatever legal concept EsqUmp can tell us about, where the adult assuming said responsibility at the plate meeting is in some way culpable for any harm resulting from a breach of it, and officials are released and held harmless.

But I'm an idealist and a die-hard believer in the weight of the printed word. Neither of these traits is worth a hill of beans defending ourselves as Random Joes in this litigious society...I know this. Sue me, I guess. No, wait: DON'T!

Your signature is as true and relevant as it was 8 or more years ago when you set it up. I am glad my off-hand comment generated so much good discussion about this topic.
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Last edited by teebob21; Tue Jul 11, 2017 at 12:46am.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 11, 2017, 08:29am
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I've not read verbiage of new rule but I'm sure that it will say equip checks are responsibility of HC. That does not prevent umpires from checking equipment as they deem necessary. I've personally never found anything illegal in 13 years. Just been rattles in bats or loose cages on helmets, which I will still address when I notice it.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 11, 2017, 08:59am
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If it's true then I'm a fan of no longer checking equipment. As others have said, that doesn't mean that I can't check if I feel I have a need to. But it is repetitive to have a coach state that they are properly equipped but still have to go through the checking process. And it may not be a big thing, but I still have coaches who say they're "not ready" or that some of their bats are being used in the outfield for warm ups. I hope this change makes for a less confrontational beginning to a game.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old Tue Jul 11, 2017, 09:53am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
Which SHOULD fall squarely on the shoulders of the head coaches, and by extension the schools. NFHS themselves says, in print and in several places, that head coaches are responsible for ensuring that players are legally and properly equipped. That responsibility should extend into whatever legal concept EsqUmp can tell us about, where the adult assuming said responsibility at the plate meeting is in some way culpable for any harm resulting from a breach of it, and officials are released and held harmless.

But I'm an idealist and a die-hard believer in the weight of the printed word. Neither of these traits is worth a hill of beans defending ourselves as Random Joes in this litigious society...I know this. Sue me, I guess. No, wait: DON'T!

Your signature is as true and relevant as it was 8 or more years ago when you set it up. I am glad my off-hand comment generated so much good discussion about this topic.
HS is different from non-scholastic organizations. The coach is an employee of the school/district which carries the relatively same authority as a teacher when is comes to guardianship of the students. In many cases, the issue of coverage is self-contained within the system AFA insurance issues. However, even though a rule may be written placing the responsibility on the coach, I don't believe anyone is exempt from potential legal action. And while those should be dismissed, that person must still respond which can be problematic to some even though the umpire may have multiple levels of coverage from various sources.

It sounds ludicrous, but so did a finding that a bat company was liable for an injury because there wasn't a warning noting the danger present when using a metal bat. Article

The State of New Jersey passed legislation that attempted to ban non-wood bats. Luckily, that movement died after about a week or so.
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