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Old Mon Jul 24, 2017, 02:50pm
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Thoughts, notes, and questions from Nationals

I recently returned from my national. Here's my random collection of commentary:

Thoughts:
  • Florida is a wonderful place to visit, but not somewhere I would want to work all the time. The late July rain coming off the coast was quite disruptive, and out of everyone's control. We basically got rained out of our last two days. As an out-of-town umpire, I don't mind the delays. (It is what it is.) The teams did not get everything they'd hoped for, I imagine.
  • As mentioned above, it rained a lot. This is the third year in a row I haven't worked my last assignment at a national, for various reasons. I have the worst luck.
  • My roommate was awesome. He was a local, and gifted me some beach sand and shark's teeth to take home for my kids.

Notes:
  • I am so glad I rented a car. While it ate up my entire game fee check, transportation was inconvenient for the umpires without vehicles, especially due to the changes due to rain.
  • While we might not all like the new look, the new USA uniforms are quite slimming. I sent my wife the link to the live stream of my games during a rain delay. She didn't believe it was me until she watched three or four innings. I told her the wide angle lens takes off 20 lbs. She commented positively on the "fat man panel" on the shirts. For what it's worth...we did look good.
  • The new Starter brand "moisture-wicking" Core Tee shirts currently sold at Wal-Mart are crap, unless wicking means "retaining". They were worse than a cotton tee. Even at $6 a shirt: DO NOT BUY.
  • I posted here about an incorrect INT call I made on a force at 2B last year. I had a similar play this year, and did not make the same call on the collision. Unfortunately, this year, the SS suffered a compound tibia-fibula fracture when slid into. That was not pleasant to see and hear from 12 feet away. I hope she gets well soon.

Questions:
  • What is the best course of action at a National when presented with a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" rules moment? For context, my crews twice encountered situations where we felt we needed to enforce the rules as written. The first time was a team with mixed color and style hats/visors...the TD and UIC instructed us to let it go, as the TD had told the team that headgear matching the team colors (red, white, and blue) was OK, so the players wore a bunch of different hats/visors. The other situation was a foreign substance discovered after a new pitcher had thrown for two outs + a runner in the inning.
  • What has happened to the "community" at these events? The past two years, very few umpires have gotten together after games ended for dinner or (for those who enjoy them) adult beverages? That used to be a common thing...but granted, both times I traveled to the East Coast and knew no one. That may have had something to do with it...
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Old Mon Jul 24, 2017, 09:35pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post

Questions:
[*]What is the best course of action at a National when presented with a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" rules moment? For context, my crews twice encountered situations where we felt we needed to enforce the rules as written. The first time was a team with mixed color and style hats/visors...the TD and UIC instructed us to let it go, as the TD had told the team that headgear matching the team colors (red, white, and blue) was OK, so the players wore a bunch of different hats/visors.

Always do what the UIC tells you to do. That is their call.

Quote:
The other situation was a foreign substance discovered after a new pitcher had thrown for two outs + a runner in the inning.
What happened there?

Quote:

[*]What has happened to the "community" at these events? The past two years, very few umpires have gotten together after games ended for dinner or (for those who enjoy them) adult beverages? That used to be a common thing...but granted, both times I traveled to the East Coast and knew no one. That may have had something to do with it...
Damn good question, but it is happening everywhere. I used to grill after every tournament, but it got to the point that it ended up being myself and the TD. If I had known there was nothing going on last year, I would have taken you out to a couple of places.
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Old Mon Jul 24, 2017, 10:27pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
Always do what the UIC tells you to do. That is their call.
Sure...always do what they tell you. I should have worded this better: What do you do BEFORE they tell you? I always lean towards enforcing the rules as written at these events. It's Championship play, after all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
What happened there?
Just as it says. We enforced the rule and its effect as written when we discovered the violation. I'm not sure if discussing the entire situation in a public forum is the best course of action.

All that said...I did get to FINALLY watch and evaluate myself for once. I had one nice call, at least: https://youtu.be/vDocZqE_iZs?t=18770, although I should have stepped into the signal to finish it.
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Last edited by teebob21; Tue Jul 25, 2017 at 12:16am. Reason: Play at the plate
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Old Tue Jul 25, 2017, 07:47am
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I assume you worked the Gold in Clearwater? I did that four years ago. Your observations are spot-on. I, too, rented a car, primarily so I can find a laundromat to do my stuff. We were in a hotel with some of the teams, and there was no way in hell I was going to try and compete with the team moms for the hotel's services.

It also came in handy when my schedule and the provided transportation did not sync. Our last night's games did not start until after midnight due to weather, and I certainly didn't want to wait around for a ride at 1:30 am to get back to the hotel. Also, since Clearwater had three different venues for fields, I really couldn't leave my gear overnight in the umpire trailers because I was not working in the same park every day. So it was convenient to have the rental to carry my stuff back to the hotel each evening.

If memory serves, we did have a few of our umpires participate in evening get-togethers. That was another benefit of my having a rental car, so I can take a couple of umpires with me to grab some dinner. But I think I did that only once or maybe twice during the tournament. Most nights I was doing laundry or getting back to the hotel late because of the weather delays.

The opening ceremony at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort was pretty good. Don't know if they did the same thing for you guys.

As for the umpiring aspect, I don't know why anyone would feel they need to call the game differently unless directed by the TD. There's no reason to not enforce the rules as written. Those girls and their coaches have played plenty of games to get to the National, so they should know what to expect. Yeah, if there is a lax attitude by the TDs when it comes to things like chinstraps on batting helmets, uniform colors, the one-foot-in-the-box rule, or the "take or simulate taking" rule, that needs to be announced to all the umpires before the games begin. I watched a few of the streaming telecasts, and I noticed a bunch of batters walking away from the box between pitches, and many of the pitchers immediately putting their hands together when they stepped on the plate after referring to their arm bands for signals.
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Old Tue Jul 25, 2017, 07:59am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
Sure...always do what they tell you. I should have worded this better: What do you do BEFORE they tell you? I always lean towards enforcing the rules as written at these events. It's Championship play, after all.
I agree, you cannot be faulted for enforcing the rules.
Quote:

Just as it says. We enforced the rule and its effect as written when we discovered the violation. I'm not sure if discussing the entire situation in a public forum is the best course of action.
Understood, but I certainly hope you were not criticized by someone associated with the tournament for doing your job

Quote:

All that said...I did get to FINALLY watch and evaluate myself for once. I had one nice call, at least: https://youtu.be/vDocZqE_iZs?t=18770, although I should have stepped into the signal to finish it.
Yeah, always square up. Then again, I was wondering where you were going when the ball was hit.
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Old Tue Jul 25, 2017, 10:04am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
Sure...always do what they tell you. I should have worded this better: What do you do BEFORE they tell you? I always lean towards enforcing the rules as written at these events. It's Championship play, after all.



Just as it says. We enforced the rule and its effect as written when we discovered the violation. I'm not sure if discussing the entire situation in a public forum is the best course of action.

All that said...I did get to FINALLY watch and evaluate myself for once. I had one nice call, at least: https://youtu.be/vDocZqE_iZs?t=18770, although I should have stepped into the signal to finish it.
Am assuming that was you behind the plate - very nice!
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Old Tue Jul 25, 2017, 09:07pm
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Good call! I was at the 16u. ...Why do you brush off the plate after the 3rd out?
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Old Tue Jul 25, 2017, 10:19pm
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Originally Posted by Scooby View Post
Good call! I was at the 16u. ...Why do you brush off the plate after the 3rd out?
I was on autopilot a little bit...play at the plate; brush it off. I realized as I was doing it that it was unnecessary.
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Old Tue Jul 25, 2017, 10:37pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
Sure...always do what they tell you. I should have worded this better: What do you do BEFORE they tell you? I always lean towards enforcing the rules as written at these events. It's Championship play, after all.



Just as it says. We enforced the rule and its effect as written when we discovered the violation. I'm not sure if discussing the entire situation in a public forum is the best course of action.

All that said...I did get to FINALLY watch and evaluate myself for once. I had one nice call, at least: https://youtu.be/vDocZqE_iZs?t=18770, although I should have stepped into the signal to finish it.
I enjoyed the sequence starting at 9:13:16, including the coach with the clipboard and the screaming mom.

(I still think starting point of plate and working right as the play unfolds is the best way to see this play, but I get that softball does it diff'ernt.)

Also, there's what looks like a pretty severe injury on a slide at 11:14:30 on the video that ends up delaying the game for about 27 minutes.
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Old Wed Jul 26, 2017, 12:07am
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Originally Posted by Rich View Post
I enjoyed the sequence starting at 9:13:16, including the coach with the clipboard and the screaming mom.

(I still think starting point of plate and working right as the play unfolds is the best way to see this play, but I get that softball does it diff'ernt.)

Also, there's what looks like a pretty severe injury on a slide at 11:14:30 on the video that ends up delaying the game for about 27 minutes.
ASA/USA wants us to start 1BLX as PU and rotate as necessary. NCAA is OK with starting at point of plate from the get go. This being an ASA/USA tournament, I went 15-18 feet 1BLX to read the play and closed to 10-12 to make the call on a tag. (I was not the umpire at 9:13)

That injury at 11:14 is the compound fracture I mentioned in the OP. I was U3, right on top of it. Sounded horrible. Sounded like a combination between a wooden bat breaking and a .22 starter pistol. You'll see me immediately kill it and call for medical personnel. Nothing but a clean late slide and an SS who unfortunately stepped directly into a sliding runner, instead of out of the baseline.

As an aside, if you're wondering why I was a bit defensive to the assistant coach immediately after the injury, that's because he told me "That call was absolute bullshit and you know it. You got her hurt and you're gonna cost her that scholarship." Normally in this level of play, that's an ejection for me, but not at that moment. I told him to knock it off, let's be concerned about the player and we could talk about his thoughts on the call later. Instead of talking to me, they went to the TD and said I was rude while they had a hurt player. :|
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Last edited by teebob21; Wed Jul 26, 2017 at 12:26am. Reason: injury commentary
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Old Wed Jul 26, 2017, 06:34am
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Quote:
That injury at 11:14 is the compound fracture I mentioned in the OP. I was U3, right on top of it. Sounded horrible. Sounded like a combination between a wooden bat breaking and a .22 starter pistol. You'll see me immediately kill it and call for medical personnel. Nothing but a clean late slide and an SS who unfortunately stepped directly into a sliding runner, instead of out of the baseline.

As an aside, if you're wondering why I was a bit defensive to the assistant coach immediately after the injury, that's because he told me "That call was absolute bullshit and you know it. You got her hurt and you're gonna cost her that scholarship." Normally in this level of play, that's an ejection for me, but not at that moment. I told him to knock it off, let's be concerned about the player and we could talk about his thoughts on the call later. Instead of talking to me, they went to the TD and said I was rude while they had a hurt player. :|
And poo on that coach....he should know shit happens..TD say anything?
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Old Wed Jul 26, 2017, 09:45am
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Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
As an aside, if you're wondering why I was a bit defensive to the assistant coach immediately after the injury, that's because he told me "That call was absolute bullshit and you know it. You got her hurt and you're gonna cost her that scholarship."
How in the hell does your call lead to her getting hurt? It wasn't as if you did something that resulted in her putting her leg into the runner's slide. Even if you had judged that the runner did something malicious, ruled the BR out as well, and ejected the runner, the shortstop's leg is still broken. What could you have possibly done differently that would have prevented that and kept the scholarship intact? What an idiotic thing to say.
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Old Wed Jul 26, 2017, 11:21am
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What an idiotic thing to say.
I won't disagree with that. But we've all probably reacted that way at some point. The fact that it was associated with such a traumatic injury had to be very emotional. And if it happened to be his daughter (perhaps not) that was hurt, that would be real tough.

I think Teebob took the right approach (if there is such a thing in that kind of situation) in focusing on the injured player.

I'm fortunate to not have something like that happen in games I've worked. I had a woman get a broken nose on a bad hop grounder, one broken leg on a play at the plate, and a torn up leg on a slide into home by a woman wearing shorts.
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Old Wed Jul 26, 2017, 01:44pm
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Originally Posted by ASA/NYSSOBLUE View Post
And poo on that coach....he should know shit happens..TD say anything?
The UIC on the field went to the video during the injury delay and came to the same conclusion we did: late slide resulted in an unfortunate injury. He asked what I said to the assistant, and I told him. Nothing further came of it. It was just a "wrong place, wrong time" incident.
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Old Wed Jul 26, 2017, 02:50pm
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Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
I won't disagree with that. But we've all probably reacted that way at some point. The fact that it was associated with such a traumatic injury had to be very emotional. And if it happened to be his daughter (perhaps not) that was hurt, that would be real tough.

I think Teebob took the right approach (if there is such a thing in that kind of situation) in focusing on the injured player.

I'm fortunate to not have something like that happen in games I've worked. I had a woman get a broken nose on a bad hop grounder, one broken leg on a play at the plate, and a torn up leg on a slide into home by a woman wearing shorts.
Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm not criticizing Teebob's approach. I'm just appalled that the coach would come up with such a blatantly wrong accusation of the umpire's role here. I would've expected something more like the coach accusing the other team's coach for teaching runners to take out fielders. But to place fault with the umpire here is way out of line, even in the heat of the moment.
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