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Old Sat Mar 31, 2001, 12:54am
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Location: Gulf Coast of TX to Destin Fl
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Youngest daughter in tournament play tonight.........YAY.....Thank God it got dry enough to play..

This is what I call kid ball.......8U........my youngest just squeaked under the age cutoff between this age and 10U. She is a good ballplayer.......but small for her age and I thought it best she not move to 10U just yet.......anyway, I digress.......

In these age groups........our State association has adopted a rule which calls for a dead ball to be called for an overthrow on the first play that reaches the fence. i.e. - ground ball to F6 she overthrows first and ball hits/rolls to/etc. the fence. The award is 1 base from the time of the throw........if BR and all other runners had not reached the base they were running to at the TOT......then they are only getting that base......in the example I gave.......the BR would be held at 1st.

OK.......here is the situation.........the umpire in our game tonight was awarding the BR 2nd in all of these situations.......I think he was forgetting that the award was based on TOT and NOT when the ball became dead.

I am not calling in this tourney because my daughter is playing in it so in situations like this.......I consider myself "Just a Dad"........

After the game.......I mentioned this to one of my long time partners (I used him as a mentor early on) who was calling on an adjacent field after his game had ended.......and he told me that I should have corrected him between innings or after the game........(he was dumbfounded as to how this umpire was messing up this rule because he said they had all discussed this before the first games).

I told him I did not feel comfortable discussing this with him because I was not there in any official capacity and was "just a dad" tonight.........

His point........"well taken".......was that if he kept misapplying this rule........he was sure to be called on it as we got deeper into the tournament.

My question is.........what would you do in this situation.....keep your mouth shut and let nature take its course or make a friendly comment after the game?

I have called a number of games with this umpire over the years and his field and plate mechanics are A-One..........but he does have to seem lapses in rule applications.......(not just this particular rule).

Our UIC once told me that he had darn near given up on him.....because he won't accept corrections........but he is one of those that always wonders why he is not selected for post season assignments.

Anyway........I know a lot of you also have kids who play/have played and wonder how you would have handled this.......BTW.......I said nothing other than mentioning it to the umpire from the other field.

Joel



[Edited by Gulf Coast Blue on Mar 31st, 2001 at 12:17 AM]
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Old Sat Mar 31, 2001, 01:52am
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Joel

Just my opinion but if I was at the game as a Dad I would not say anything directly to the Blue but go to your team coach mention it to him and let him decide if he wanted to confront the Blue on the call


JMHO

Don
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Old Sat Mar 31, 2001, 08:26am
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Joel,
I tend to agree with Don. You've made known what's happening to another ump who is calling in the tournament, so sit back & relax & enjoy watching your kid & her friends. Maybe your old mentor will happen to stroll by & watch part of the game during one of his breaks.
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Old Sat Mar 31, 2001, 09:42am
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Joel,

If there is a tournament UIC, as an umpire I believe you have a duty to tell him what is going on. You might also tell him that you daughter's coach is aware of the misapplication and intends to protest the next time this occurs.

This seems like a seedy way to deal with this, but the UIC really has no choice, but to sit down with him and review the rule. He will also remind the umpire that if a protest is filed, he will be the one subjected to public ridicule as the UIC has no option, but to make the correction.

The idea is to get the point across to the umpire that he is being paid to enforce the rules set forth in the tournament he is working.

Don't feel bad about doing this because the umpires need to retain their integrity and we don't try to provide them with the best officiating available and this umpire's failure would threaten that integrity if left uncorrected.

Every association has an umpire like this one. Probably a nice guy, easy to get along with off the field and can hold a good rules conversation. But when he gets on the field, things just get goofy and he becomes his own worst enemy.

You never know. Maybe getting corrected by the UIC with the threat of embarrassment might make him a better umpire.

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Old Sat Mar 31, 2001, 10:07pm
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At the pre-game conference, if the Ump(s) don't bring up any special ground rules, the coaches should. "Excuse me blue. Remember, in this league it's only one base on an overthrow." Any decent blue would welcome the reminder.

Bob
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Old Sat Mar 31, 2001, 11:21pm
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Location: Gulf Coast of TX to Destin Fl
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Smile Thanks Guys

Thanks to everyone who responded........

Just to fill you in on how this turned out.......

Typical Spring Saturday from hell here.......

Oldest has Track meet.......youngest's has 11:30 a.m. game out of town......

Dad has to work a community environmental event......middle daughter being a rock and helps Dad with event and we get everyone where they are supposed to be on-time........

We have same umpire assigned to our a.m. game......one of the host City umpires (he is also a board member with this city and is assigned to re-chalking lines and such between games) points out during our game that he is misapplying the overthrow rule (I was not aware of this exchange). I later learned that this board member was sent to watch and see if he was indeed misapplying the rule and if so......to correct it before he got any deeper. I guess my discussion with another umpire DID get to the right people.

After their discussion and between innings he comes to the fence and comments that the tournament people want the "rule" called differently now.

I gently reminded him of the official interpretation and that he should call it the way that it was interpreted.

A look of "understanding" came over him......and to the best of my knowledge he had no other boo boo's on this rule.

Youngest's team took their first loss tonight and we play early in the a.m. ........ but still in the hunt.

Thanks again for all responses.

Joel







[Edited by Gulf Coast Blue on Mar 31st, 2001 at 10:24 PM]
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Old Sun Apr 01, 2001, 07:35pm
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Hmmmm...

Joel.....
While it is hard to argue a successful solution to a problem, I personally would have gone directly to the official, in a timely fashion, after the game. Color me confrontational, but I just prefer to address perceived errors directly.
Like a lot of us have found, not all written sitch's posted are interpreted the way we had intended them to be. This creates a dialog.
Going through a third party can open yourself up to being misinterpreted along the rule itself (That comes from a family member working for a local newspaper too long).
It sounded to me, from your thread, that you personally have never interfaced with this individual before on rule interpretations but had heard "Our UIC once told me that he had darn near given up on him.....because he won't accept corrections........" Bringing it to his attention personally would have allowed the dialog to occur between you, who personally witnessed the rule misinterpretation and him, the official that applied rule incorrectly.
I'd like to think that any official worth his salt, would recognize that you are mentioning this error as a fellow official and not a dad.
Then again if he does take it personal....
Anyway that's my $.02 worth!
BTW I like that rule and will have to ask if we are implementing it for our youngsters locally! Thanks for the tip! (And I hope I haven't already missed it.)

Chuck
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Old Sun Apr 01, 2001, 08:54pm
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Chuck.........

The reason I posted was to get some honest feedback.......and thanks for yours.

I have kicked this around in my head for the last couple of days and imagined every different scenerio and outcome.

A. The umpire in question could have dismissed me as being a spectator only interested in the outcome of the event......

B. A meddler who has no business butting into HIS game.

C. A busy-body who gets into everyone's business.

D. A dumb-*** who does not know what he is talking about.

With this particular umpire.......I would probably be seen as "one of the above"

I am not a board member in our association, so have no official capacity for any interpretations or opinion.

I have called numerous games with this official over the years and would not have hesitated mentioning something to him if I were involved in the game........in this situation I was not.

It is very refreshing to be at the ballpark and be "Just a Dad"......not coaching/umpiring/working fields/etc......I really enjoy just watching sometimes...............in all the years as a coach/umpire/field worker........I learned to love the Dad/Mom who only offered encouragement.......not suggestions.........that is what I am trying to be.......just a Dad.

Joel

Also Chuck.......I love this rule in "kid-ball".......e-mail me if you want to know the specifics.......I think I gave a fairly generic version of it.......there can be some kinks in it if you are not prepared.

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Old Mon Apr 02, 2001, 01:03pm
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Be polite

I go to a lot of softball games that my sister-in-law plays in and while I don't like to see that "know it all" in the stands when I'm umpiring. I try and follow that my simple rule of acting as a fan like I would like fans to act while I'm out on the field. On the other hand I'm not ashamed of the knowledge I have worked hard at obtaining and will also go through the proper channels of letting the umpire may be making a mistake...coach, UIC, park board friend, ect., ect.
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Old Mon Apr 02, 2001, 06:00pm
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Being a Dad? Boy can I relate....

Joel...
Linda & I have 6 children... 5 Girls &, if my math serves me correctly, 1 boy... They range from 13 to 24 and with the exception of the youngest, they've all been jocks.
Basketball is probably our family's strong suit as both Linda & I are both over 6 ft.. 11 years of coaching at the Jr. High (7th & 8th Girls) and 17 years of calling at the High School level...
I love going out to watch a ball game... But I find that the real challenge comes from finding a place in the gym that nobody can find you! Otherwise there's always someone asking.... Hey Chuck, would you have called that player control.... what's so & so's coach thinking? etc.. etc...
Sooooo...... Maybe it is better to go to a third party Enjoy the game!

Chuck
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