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Old Mon Jul 18, 2005, 10:02am
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This is a question pertaining to an ASA-sanctioned women's league game that took place in West Plains, MO. Game was in the 6th inning; home team was up 9-5 and batting. First batter hit a triple, slid into third and "took out" the 3rd baseman. Umpire noticed the 3rd baseman looked young and asked her age. She was 13. He informed the team that since she's under 16, she needs to be in the outfield so she doesn't get hurt. The team said she'd been playing on the infield all season and he never said a word before. He again said that she needs to go to the outfield or they have to forfeit. They said they forfeit and are going to file a protest.

I'm the coach of the home team and have a couple of questions:

1. Is the "Under 16" rule which the umpire stated an ASA rule or a local rule? According to the rules I have, it says that a player under 16 can play but must have written consent by their parent. However, it's pretty much an unwritten rule around here that anyone under 16 who plays must be in the outfield. I wasn't sure if the ASA had anything on this.

2. If by chance the team wins their protest, is the game replayed from the beginning or do we start from where it was left off?

Thanks for any insight any of you can offer!
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Old Mon Jul 18, 2005, 10:15am
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Posts: 306
I think this umpire overstepped his authority. Umpires do not rule on play eligibility or playing positions. And certainly can not forfeit a game based on either of these citations is completely out of any umpires authority. This protest should be upheld and the game should be continued from where is was ended.

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Old Mon Jul 18, 2005, 12:33pm
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Location: Little Elm, TX (NW Dallas)
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I would assume the umpire was wrong here, but any rule like this has to be local anyway, so who knows what it (or some other unmentioned local rule) has to say on the subject. Maybe your "unwritten rule" was written after the original rules, and your umpires have been asked to enforce it.

My question - what if F5 had simply said she was 16. Is the umpire likely to ask for a birth certificate? Seems wrong to have an umpire enforcing that in any case.
"Many baseball fans look upon an umpire as a sort of necessary evil to the luxury of baseball, like the odor that follows an automobile." - Hall of Fame Pitcher Christy Mathewson
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