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Old Wed May 11, 2005, 10:42am
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Field umpire in the A position when a ball is hit past the second baseman and into right-center field. The outfielder is charging fast.

You know in softball you may either have a normal outfield throw come lobbed to second base, or the fielder may try to cannon a shot to the first baseman for a shot at the force.

What is the proper technique for the field umpire in this situation? Where does he go and set up?
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Old Wed May 11, 2005, 11:07am
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If you get into position for a play at first, you will be there if it's a banger. No need to move for a play at 2nd yet - BR isn't heading toward second. If F9 ends up lobbing it in to 2nd, you've lost nothing by being ready for a play at 1st.

You should be on the infield, in the Bermuda Triangle between pitcher, F3 and F4, ready for the play at 1st.

This can be difficult occasionally on a shot past the FIRST baseman to a charging F9 - trying to get to your spot without getting in the way of the ball can occasionally be troublesome.
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Old Wed May 11, 2005, 12:38pm
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If you think there is a possibility of a throw to first then there's no way you'll have time to get inside the baseline. If you try, your gonna get in the way. Stay along the foul line and adjust your angle as the play dictates. Your partner, the PU has to recognize the situation and should be starting to shade towards 2nd base and be ready to take any calls at 2nd should the play get that far. Also, be aware of the runner coming down the line at full speed. Make sure you're not gonna collide when she over runs first base!!

[Edited by NSABlue on May 11th, 2005 at 01:41 PM]
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Old Wed May 11, 2005, 12:44pm
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Why not come inside fair territory, but not inside the diamond? that way you can keep the ball and the runner in sight, you can make a call at first if the ball is fired back there, or you can get in position to make a call at second if the play takes you there.
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Old Wed May 11, 2005, 01:03pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by NSABlue
If you think there is a possibility of a throw to first then there's no way you'll have time to get inside the baseline. If you try, your gonna get in the way. Stay along the foul line and adjust your angle as the play dictates. Your partner, the PU has to recognize the situation and should be starting to shade towards 2nd base and be ready to take any calls at 2nd should the play get that far. Also, be aware of the runner coming down the line at full speed. Make sure you're not gonna collide when she over runs first base!!

I completely disagree. As soon as the ball is past the infielder, bust your butt inside. You may have to do a reverse pivot (turn toward right field and back around to first base) to keep the ball in sight. Now you are ready to rule on the play at first and are still in position to take the runner to second if the ball is overthrown.

I am old, big and slow, but I have never gotten in the way of this play by going inside the infield as mcrowder described and it has happened to me several times.

If the BU goes in to foul ground to make this call, he has taken himself completely out of any secondary play and put a lot of pressure on his partner to cover everything else.
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Old Wed May 11, 2005, 01:15pm
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My two cents

One of my pet peeves, and you can ask Streamdoc and SRW if we continually emphasize this...

As BU you MUST know where your outfielders are on EVERY pitch. Just a quick peek will let you know. This will help you on whether you need to bust inside for that quick buttonhook or if you need to work it from the foul side of the bag.

We have one umpire, Bo Legged, who ain't gonna make it inside no matter what. We also have a tremendous umpire, Mike Hodge, who has NO legs. He ain't doing any button hooks either. Doesn't make him a bad umpire. Before we lump everyone together, let's not forget that some folks do have legitimate physical conditions that preclude them from getting inside on that. That, however, does not excuse laziness. Just because I am not HWP doesn't mean I can't haul my fat *** inside MOST of the time.

And don't forget if your PU has to bust his/her butt to get to second or third, your butt better be somewhere around the bottom right hand corner of the RH batter's box.
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Old Wed May 11, 2005, 01:21pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by blueump
Field umpire in the A position when a ball is hit past the second baseman and into right-center field. The outfielder is charging fast.

You know in softball you may either have a normal outfield throw come lobbed to second base, or the fielder may try to cannon a shot to the first baseman for a shot at the force.

What is the proper technique for the field umpire in this situation? Where does he go and set up?
In this situation, I tend to modify the ISF mechanic for beign at first base. More than likely I am going to stay in foul territory and move toward the plate. This will keep the ball and play in front of you. Then get inside the diamond and move toward second as the play dictates.

From the description, I don't think a BR is going to have a real shot at getting to second but even if they do, you are still inside while the ball is outside.

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Old Wed May 11, 2005, 01:50pm
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First let me say that there CAN BE a play that makes it so that you can't get to the proper spot. It's not a hard shot to right past the second baseman though. It's more the medium speed hit past F3 to a shallow F9.

Ask yourself this - if you can get in position for a ball hit to F4 to make a call at first... why can't you get into that same position (or 2 steps further toward the pitcher) when the ball gets PAST F4? You actually have an extra click or two on that play. You don't have to wait for the ball to get by - if F4 can't get to it, you can't get in it's way either.

On the medium speed ball past F3, it's sometimes difficult to get by it before it goes by - and that delay (waiting for the ball to pass you) is what keeps you on the foul side to make this call. I can count these instances on 1 hand though in the past 5 years.
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Old Wed May 11, 2005, 02:50pm
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Look at it this way. As soon as the ball is hit, the BU should already be into fair territory for a possible play by F4 at 1B. That means the BU should already be one-third of the way to an inside pivot.

Once the BU see the ball clear F4, they should continue inside the diamond. It is not that difficult, even with a charging RF. Remember, if the ball is coming from RF, the BU doesn't need to be completely inside at a 45 degree angle.

I have come to notice many base umpires, young and old, who have a bad habit of watching to see where the ball is going and then begining their move to the proper position. Instead, the BU should be moving into position the moment they see the ball batted. Makes the BUs life much easier.

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Old Wed May 11, 2005, 03:44pm
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As a PU, I don't mind the BU staying in foul for this play. While I'm larger than I was when I played, I have only ever found one player who could outrun me - and that was early this year & only by a step. This play is one that must be talked about in your pre-game.

As a BU, I agree that knowing where F9 is is a must. And I have been pinned into foul several times. The vast majority of the time, I'm inside in a mirror of my normal calling position. IF - big IF - you can get inside & buttonhook, that's the best place to be.

Guys like "Bo Legged & Mike Hodge" - the lack of mobility is also a "must cover" in the pre-game.
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Old Wed May 11, 2005, 04:09pm
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Re: My two cents

Quote:
Originally posted by bkbjones
One of my pet peeves, and you can ask Streamdoc and SRW if we continually emphasize this...
Yes, continually...
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Old Wed May 11, 2005, 04:56pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by NSABlue
... Stay along the foul line and adjust your angle as the play dictates. Your partner, the PU has to recognize the situation and should be starting to shade towards 2nd base and be ready to take any calls at 2nd should the play get that far.
I prefer this method and I discussed it at pregame with my partner. No, I'm not trying to be 'lazy'. I prefer it whether I'm PU or BU.
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Old Sat May 14, 2005, 06:04am
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I am 6'5 290 with bad feet, and I can bust inside and get there in time to see that play...the key is to be moving asap and dont wait for the fielder to field it...once she does its too late...It CAN be done with relative ease.
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