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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Sun Mar 13, 2005, 12:28pm
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I recently ruled an ejection at the plate on the following NFHS play:
Quote:
R1 at third is coming home on a short sac-fly. F2 receives the ball while R1 is still 6-8 feet from the plate. F2 has 'poor' position, almost behind the plate. She is half bent over to make a tag but R1 does not slide. R1 knocks F2 onto her back. F2 is laying in the left handed batter's box and drops the ball. R1's momentum causes her to fall on top of F2. R1 did not throw any type of forearm or punch.
The director of the local association stated that if I felt it was malicious contact then the ejection was proper. However, at the same time he implied that I was too strict on this rule and that I was 'leading the state' in these type of ejections. I have three 'malacious contact' ejections in the last 10 years.

Since I have not received direction other than his remarks and implications, I thought I would do more research, including getting input from you folks. I would like to hear your opinions. This specific play was NFHS, but I would love input from other organizations also.

In the above play, I see this as excessive force that would warrent the ejection. I feel that R1 was not attempting to harm F2, but I feel she was using force excessively to cause F2 to drop the ball. The reason I note that I don't think "harm" was intended was that in a different "malicious contact" ejection two years ago, R1 bowled over F2 and F2 was in a neck brace for 3-4 weeks. I immediately ejected obviously before I knew the extent of the injuries. I was later told that in this case the offender did not have to sit out the next game as is the norm, because there was no ill intent. (R1 and F2 went to rival high schools, but were best friends. R1 was with F2 at the emergency room until 1:00 AM.)

This is HTBT, but what are your thoughts?
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Old Sun Mar 13, 2005, 01:19pm
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Contact

ISF
Why wasnt the runner sliding .
Obviously to create interference .
HTBT to see actual contact but I would go with you .
The only way to get rid of this type of play is to do just what you did .
Three ejections for contact in 10 years wow .
I think this was an inappropriate comment .
After 3 ejections in 2 tournaments 1 week apart a similar comment was made to me by the tournament chief.
The same situation happened as you described and I hesitated and didnt eject .Guess what the chief said I should have .
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Old Sun Mar 13, 2005, 02:43pm
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"However, at the same time he implied that I was too strict on this rule and that I was 'leading the state' in these type of ejections. I have three 'malacious contact' ejections in the last 10 years."

I think there are too many umpires in your state who don't have the "huevos" to call malicious contact.

Bob
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Old Sun Mar 13, 2005, 04:34pm
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Quote:
I feel that R1 was not attempting to harm F2
By your own admission you didn't think there was intent to harm which is the basis for a malicious contact call.
Webster's defines malicious as, "given to, marked by, or arising from malice". Malice as, "desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another".
I know HTBT but by what you describe, no call other than "safe".
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Old Sun Mar 13, 2005, 11:26pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by emaxos
Webster's defines malice as, "desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another".
This was not the case in the original play... but if I understand you correct, that you feel that EVEN IF a runner went in with full force or head down, or EVEN IF her fists and elbows were swinging, but IF her only "desire" was to knock the ball out of the glove then it is all legal? In other words if the catcher received collateral injuries from a runner being negligently over-aggressive, there is no penalty as long as the runner did not "desire" to injure the catcher? (I don't agree, I'm just trying to clarify the opinion.)

[Edited by SC Ump on Mar 14th, 2005 at 07:15 AM]
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Old Mon Mar 14, 2005, 12:26am
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Quote:
Originally posted by emaxos
So are you saying that you feel a runner can go in with full force, head down, fists and elbows swinging, but if the only "desire" was to knock the ball out of the glove that this is legal? That if the catcher received collateral injuries from a runner being negligently over-aggressive, there is no penalty as long as the runner did not "desire" to injure the catcher? [/B][/QUOTE]

You said fists and elbows swinging. Doesn't that signal malice to anyone else?

HTBT to make this call.
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Old Mon Mar 14, 2005, 04:57am
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Definitely agree with the HTBT. Usually, for me to see malicious contact, I need to see a thrown elbow or something along those lines - something that convinces me that the runner attacked the fielder. I've seen that a few times in JO ball & dumped the runner every time. I have not seen that in any of the HS games I've had & only once in games I've been watching - the runner was not dumped in this game and I noted that on the observation form.
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Old Mon Mar 14, 2005, 12:43pm
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speaking ASA...
Quote:
Originally posted by emaxos
I know HTBT but by what you describe, no call other than "safe".
Say what? I can understand the discussion / room for differing judgment on the ejection, but SAFE? This was clearly crash interference. Absolutely no doubt about that. No need for HTBT unless the description is somehow incomplete.

Contining to speak ASA, ASA does not use the term "malicious." It uses the term "flagrant." I would consider a full-speed, upright, with ample opportunity to avoid crash with the apparent intent to dislodge the ball to be flagrant. And eject the runner. Am I always faithful to this judgment on the field. No. But I should be.

On a nearly identical play (last year, 16U), I called the runner out but did not eject. It would have been the winning run, state tournament semifinal. I was congratulated later by the tournament UIC (who was watching) and later my a member of the NUS (who had the play described) for making the tough call on the OUT, but was dinged for neglecting to eject. (Even though I have been accused of "loving" to eject players - WMB?)

As part of my continuing education, I consider remaining upright and crashing Pete Rose style with intent to dislodge the ball is "flagrant". (And "malicious.")
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Old Mon Mar 14, 2005, 01:12pm
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As to my previous post .
Ask yourself this .
Why in a close call at home is the runner not sliding .
Obviously in hope to dislodge the ball and in effect this is interference and the player is out.
Afterwards think is this malicious and need for ejection .
The runner should be sliding .
Now I am referring to top mens fast pitch .
Different for say u14 or 16 girls where they dont tend to slide ( Well not in NZ anyway )
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Old Mon Mar 14, 2005, 01:45pm
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Dakota: you just knew that I had to get in on this!


” but SAFE? This was clearly crash interference. Absolutely no doubt about that.”

Can you be sure, from the description, that this was not a retired runner? Probably was not, but we were not there.

” ASA does not use the term "malicious." It uses the term "flagrant."

Though the words have different meanings, both represent an action that is way out of line with normal standards of behavior.

From Webster, Flagrant is “so obviously inconsistent with what is right or proper as to appear to be a flouting of law or morality” or “ usually applies to offenses or errors so bad that they can neither escape notice nor be condoned.”

Malicious, “arising from malice;” and malice is “desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another, intent to commit an unlawful act or cause harm without legal justification or excuse.”

When a runner makes contact with a defender, we have three levels of increasing negative actions, with corresponding penalties.

First - an accident, when the runner had no opportunity to avoid the contact. Call wreck, or maybe obstruction.

Second – runner has an opportunity to avoid contact, and does not. Call interference, and out.

Finally, the contact itself is the result of an obvious and deliberate action that is outside the normal standards of player behavior. Eject the player.

I think that too many of us are trying to drive the penalties down from the top to the lower levels.

In all three cases, contact can be violent. Players can be injured. But violent contact in itself is not malicious nor flagrant. It is the action of the runner prior to the contact that you have to judge to determine flagrant or malicious contact.

WMB
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Old Mon Mar 14, 2005, 01:58pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by emaxos
Quote:
I feel that R1 was not attempting to harm F2
By your own admission you didn't think there was intent to harm which is the basis for a malicious contact call.
Webster's defines malicious as, "given to, marked by, or arising from malice". Malice as, "desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another".
I know HTBT but by what you describe, no call other than "safe".
This isn't the E-Club, Chief. Intent to harm is irrelevant and impossible to read unless you are the Amazing Kreskin.

Since no one can foresee specific injuries caused by a callous act, there are rules to penalize those who place others well-being in jeopardy through stupid acts and blame them on the game.

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Old Mon Mar 14, 2005, 02:08pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by WestMichBlue
Dakota: you just knew that I had to get in on this!
I was hoping you would.
Quote:
Originally posted by WestMichBlue
Can you be sure, from the description, that this was not a retired runner? Probably was not, but we were not there.
Good point. So, I concede the HTBT. But not the "no call other than 'safe' " that emaxos said.
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Old Mon Mar 14, 2005, 03:18pm
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Cool

Am I missing something? I thought all he asked were opinions as to when others might call "ejections" and what the basis for their logic was. It seems folks are trying to figure out his specific play and HE said HTBT.

My opinion, for the small amount it's worth, if I saw a runner, who had the opportunity to slide and didn't, the catcher or fielder on the wrong side of the bag for a play and the runner simply crashed into the fielder ..... my gut says ..... nasty, nasty, it ain't right, not the normal stuff I'd want to see in youth games, be it 8's, 10's 12, 14's 16's or 18's .....it's youth.

The only way I might not call this "flagrant" or whatever word you choose, is if I see the runner try and hold up at the last instant.

Isn't one of our jobs is to be sure the youth play safely?

Hindsight might be: What's the runner thinking about on the way there? Tag the base first before I get tagged? Knock the ball out by hitting the catcher so she can't tag me? Was she going for the ball/glove or just hitting the catcher?

If anything, you send a message and it just may not happen again.
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Old Mon Mar 14, 2005, 08:55pm
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My apologies.
In my efforts to refute the judgement of malicious contact, I did not think through the rest of the scenario.
I know the onus is on the runner to attempt to avoid contact. Sliding is the most obvious way to do that.
Runner is certainly out for failing to avoid contact, no ejection.

E-club???
Remember the line from "Men of Honor", "My name is Master Chief Billy Sunday and I am God"?
I think below that but absolutely above Kreskin!!
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old Tue Mar 15, 2005, 07:22am
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Quote:
Originally posted by emaxos

E-club???
Remember the line from "Men of Honor", "My name is Master Chief Billy Sunday and I am God"?
I think below that but absolutely above Kreskin!!
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