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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon May 15, 2006, 03:09pm
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Asking for help? What's the deal here?

What is the rule of thumb here? It seems like almost every close play in tournaments (12u ASA) is getting a time out called and a coach coming out, asking for help on the call. Too often, the BU does go to the PU and ask for help. We have had 6 calls over-turned this year and not even rightfully so. I'm a big fan of getting it right, but it's getting ridiculous. Close plays are close plays, coaches have to learn to live with it and Umps need to stop asking for help.

Yesterday, in an ASA 12-u tournament it happened to us again. Runner on 1st attempts to steal second. Ball and glove and player all arrive at the base at the same time. BU hesitates waiting for the F6 to show him the ball, or something, F6 reaches into the cloud of dust pulls out the ball with her bare hand, BU calls her safe.

Time out, other coach comes out, blah blah, BU goes to PU, blah blah, PU signals OUT. WHAAAAT?

Now, I'm sitting behind the fence with practically the same vantage point as the PU, give or take ten feet, and there is no way in heaven he could have determined with enough evidence to over-turn the call. Seriously, CLOUD OF DUST. The BU was in great position to see the call and if F6 would have lifted the glove with the ball in it and he called it out, I would have no problem, nor would our coaches have challenged the decision.

Point being, there are like 3 calls a game where the coaches come out and ask for help and get it. Where is the good ole days when you ask a BU for help and he says, "Nope, calls stands, I saw it."
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Old Mon May 15, 2006, 03:45pm
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I have had this exact situation occur several times this season, where I had an un-obstructed view of a close play made my call and had coach wanting me to go to my partner for help??? To which I replied, " don't need my partners help coach as I saw the play and made my call now let's play ball"!!!!! If I'm aboslutley sure of my call I'm not going to my partner,because then you'll have the coach wanting you to ask for help on every call he doesn't like!!!!
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Old Mon May 15, 2006, 04:10pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkPSkins
What is the rule of thumb here? It seems like almost every close play in tournaments (12u ASA) is getting a time out called and a coach coming out, asking for help on the call. Too often, the BU does go to the PU and ask for help. We have had 6 calls over-turned this year and not even rightfully so. I'm a big fan of getting it right, but it's getting ridiculous. Close plays are close plays, coaches have to learn to live with it and Umps need to stop asking for help.

Yesterday, in an ASA 12-u tournament it happened to us again. Runner on 1st attempts to steal second. Ball and glove and player all arrive at the base at the same time. BU hesitates waiting for the F6 to show him the ball, or something, F6 reaches into the cloud of dust pulls out the ball with her bare hand, BU calls her safe.

Time out, other coach comes out, blah blah, BU goes to PU, blah blah, PU signals OUT. WHAAAAT?

Now, I'm sitting behind the fence with practically the same vantage point as the PU, give or take ten feet, and there is no way in heaven he could have determined with enough evidence to over-turn the call. Seriously, CLOUD OF DUST. The BU was in great position to see the call and if F6 would have lifted the glove with the ball in it and he called it out, I would have no problem, nor would our coaches have challenged the decision.

Point being, there are like 3 calls a game where the coaches come out and ask for help and get it. Where is the good ole days when you ask a BU for help and he says, "Nope, calls stands, I saw it."

An umpire is urged to seek help when his view is blocked or positioning prevents him from seeing crucial elements of a play. An umpire is also encouraged to seek help in instances when he has any doubt and a partner has additional information that could lead to the proper ruling.

In the situations listed below, a partner who is 100% certain he has additional information unknown to the umpire making the call should approach unsolicited and alert the other umpire to such information. However, the ultimate decision to change a call rests with the calling umpire.
1) Deciding if a home run is fair or foul.
2) Deciding whether a batted ball left the playing field for a home run or ground rule double.
3) Cases where a foul tip is dropped or trapped by the catcher.
4) Cases where a foul fly ball is caught or not caught.
5) Cases when an umpire clearly errs in judgment because they did not see the ball dropped or juggled after making a tag or force.
6) Spectator interference plays.

Umpires are not to seek help on plays which they are 100% confident in their judgment and view of the play. Head coaches are not entitled to a second opinion when the calling umpire is certain his decision is correct. On the other hand, and contrary to past practice, umpires are not to “die with a call” in cases where a) the calling umpire is not 100% certain he is right; and b) another umpire has additional information which could lead to a proper ruling.

Judgment calls, which have traditionally not been subject to reversal include: steal and other tag plays (except if the ball is dropped without the umpire’s knowledge as discussed above); force plays (when the ball is not dropped and foot is not pulled); balls and strikes (other than check swings). This practice shall continue. Also, some calls cannot be reversed without creating larger problems. An example is a “catch/no catch” with multiple runners.

Last edited by Justme; Tue May 16, 2006 at 10:24am.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old Mon May 15, 2006, 07:07pm
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When I make a call that I need help from my partner, I will go to them, away from the coaches and players, where we quietly and quickly talk about what I saw and what they saw, it is then up to me to either change or keep the call.

But your right coaches are asking on every close call now days. Dang this gentle kinder umpiring.

Bugg
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old Mon May 15, 2006, 09:38pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme
7) Balks called by an umpire who clearly did not realize the pitcher’s foot was off the rubber.
Really? In a softball game?
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old Tue May 16, 2006, 08:09am
JEL JEL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve
Really? In a softball game?
Steve,

You betcha! I had a game last week where the 1B bleacher umpire called two balks in a 12U FP game! As plate umpire of course I overruled him.
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Old Tue May 16, 2006, 08:13am
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I think that if this is the situation in your area, the umpires need some serious retraining, and you should address your question to the area UIC and/or scheduler. There should be no overruling of judgement calls at all. "Help" should be requested when there was truly additional information unavailable to the calling umpire, and even then, it is the calling umpire that should reverse the ruling, not the "overruling" umpire.
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Old Tue May 16, 2006, 08:48am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JEL
Steve,

You betcha! I had a game last week where the 1B bleacher umpire called two balks in a 12U FP game! As plate umpire of course I overruled him.
I think Steve's question centered on the calling of a 'balk' in a softball game as opposed to the more accurate 'illegal pitch'.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old Tue May 16, 2006, 09:12am
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme
I didn't change the words to fit the softball illegal pitch; sorry you weren’t bright enough to figure it out on your own.
Nice attitude, Justyou. Sorry you weren't an actual softball umpire; you would have never used the word in the first place. On my keyboard, "balk" does not seem like a likely typo for "illegal pitch."
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Old Tue May 16, 2006, 09:36am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota
Nice attitude, Justyou. Sorry you weren't an actual softball umpire; you would have never used the word in the first place. On my keyboard, "balk" does not seem like a likely typo for "illegal pitch."
So your attitude toward me is better? You're funny, strange funny not haha!

The fact that I failed to change the wording when I 'cut & pasted' it from another document has nothing to do with intent of my post. I was using NCAA wording (allbeit baseball) to answer a question. You can also find basically the same verbage if you google for "NCAA softball umpire guidance."

I was trying to provide a serious answer to the original post. What positive input were you trying to provide?

It's obvious when the word 'balk' appeared it offended you and your "friend" AltUmpSteve. I guess some you guys are just super-sensitive souls huh?

After 20+ years of baseball umpiring I was 'asked' to help out with HS softball. So maybe the title of "Softball Umpire" doesn't fit me as well as it does you but the title "Umpire" seems to fit me just right.

Last edited by Justme; Tue May 16, 2006 at 09:46am.
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Old Tue May 16, 2006, 10:14am
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Returning now, to the OP's question.

There should be no counsel from the other umpire on the field on issues strictly based on judgement. If I am in position to make the call, then there is no way that I am going to go to the other umpire who is much further away from the play than I am.

You nailed it when you said "Close plays are close plays, and coaches (and umpires) have to learn to live with (them)."
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Old Tue May 16, 2006, 10:24am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme
So your attitude toward me is better? You're funny, strange funny not haha!
Let me make sure I'm getting this right... You quote a baseball rule that is completely invalid for softball (Just changing the word "Balk" to "Illegal Pitch" does not make the statement correct - the entire sentence is meaningless in softball), and YOU feel slighted when someone calls you on it? You post a wholely inaccurate response to OP, likely misleading them, and post it as fact... and it bothers you that ACTUAL umpires tell you rudely that you're wrong? Idiot.

Quote:
The fact that I failed to change the wording when I 'cut & pasted' it from another document has nothing to do with intent of my post. I was using NCAA wording (allbeit baseball) to answer a question. You can also find basically the same verbage if you google for "NCAA softball umpire guidance."
Send me a link to where NCAA softball says an umpire should ask for help on an illegal pitch when it was clearly made from off the pitcher's plate. What, you can't? Maybe because there's no such thing as a pickoff from the pitcher's position in softball. Hmmm.. Idiot.

Quote:
After 20+ years of baseball umpiring I was 'asked' to help out with HS softball. So maybe the title of "Softball Umpire" doesn't fit me as well as it does you but the title "Umpire" seems to fit me just right.
I think the term Softball Umpire fits you as well as the term Cricket Umpire fits me. Two different games, with two completely different sets of rules and procedures. And you obviously know as much about Softball as I do about Cricket. Idiot.
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Old Tue May 16, 2006, 10:42am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme
It's obvious when the word 'balk' appeared it offended you and your "friend" AltUmpSteve.
No, I was annoyed by your arrogant and disdainful response to what was a simple pointing out of YOUR error.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme
After 20+ years of baseball umpiring ...
Well, that's no surprise all the way around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme
...but the title "Umpire" seems to fit me just right.
Maybe in your world view. Your ego seems a bit too close to the surface, though.
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Old Tue May 16, 2006, 10:49am
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When a coach comes and asks me to "go for help" on a call I have made, the first thing I will say is "Coach, why are you asking me to get help?" If the response is anything like:

"She slid under the tag!"
"The ball beat her to the base!"
"Your partner had a better angle!"
etc, etc...all of these statements are just another way of saying "your call is wrong"
My response is "Coach, it's my call, I made it, let's play."

If the coach comes out with a statement like:

"She dropped the ball"
"She pulled her foot"
Or any other statement that indicates that s/he saw something I may have missed, I will call my partner over and get his/her input.

Of course, after I have talked to my partner, it's up to me to stay with or change my call.
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Old Tue May 16, 2006, 11:42am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justme
... sorry you weren’t bright enough to figure it out on your own.
In somebody's strange world, this is not considered arrogant and disdainful, let alone personal and insulting. Somehow, through no fault of our local baseball umpire, I became personal. Right.
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