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Old Wed Apr 25, 2007, 08:16pm
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Runners requesting time

I can swear I saw something recently either on this board or the NFHS board regarding this, but even trying searches I have been unable to locate any threads that talk about this.

Do you grant time when a runner slides safely into a base when the only reason for the request is to stand up safely? I'm hesitant to kill the play when there is no good reason to do so, but I have been unable to find anything in the rule book or case book which addresses this topic. Most of the time what I find is that a runner quickly requests time, stands up, breaking contact with her base while the fielder returns the ball to the pitcher. Meanwhile I never signal nor verbalize "Time". Runners seem to have it ingrained into them that a slide should always be followed with a request for time, and fielders are used to having umpires grant them time.

I'm asking this because I encountered a situation where a runner slid safely into third (advancing on a wild pitch) and immediately she and her third base coach are requesting time. I asked the runner why she was requesting time and got only a puzzled look in return. Meanwhile, third base coach tells me "Well if you're not going to give her time I'll get the plate umpire to do it." He follows up by asking the plate umpire for time and has it immediately granted.

I guess part of my reasoning for not killing the play is a question I asked last year regarding umpires getting back to their positions at the conclusion of a play. Even though most of my partners turn their backs on the play, I have taken the advice I received here and hustled quickly back to my position while never taking my eyes away from any possible plays. Thus, my thinking that I'm doing this because the ball should remain live.

Thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated.
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Old Wed Apr 25, 2007, 08:40pm
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If thats the only thing going on I certainly grant time when the runner requests it after a sliding play.

Your argument in opposition is WAY over officiating IMO. Grant the time, let them stand up and dust themselves off, you clean off the base in the mean time and move on to your position.

Of course if there is potential action somewhere else, you would not kill the ball.
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Old Wed Apr 25, 2007, 08:41pm
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I generally try to wait until the ball is in the circle and all play has stopped before I grant a time request. I may call time on my own if the runner is in an awkward position and can't get to her feet without releasing contact of the base - AND all other play has stopped.

I'll tell the players/coaches that if I call time and the defense throws the ball away, you've lost an opportunity to advance. But I'm much more selfish than that, since what I really mean is if I call time, it's going to be much tougher to get an out.
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Old Wed Apr 25, 2007, 08:43pm
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What the heck is wrong with you two???

Just grant it jeez!! This is not rocket surgery.

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Old Wed Apr 25, 2007, 08:48pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadeintothem
What the heck is wrong with you two???

Just grant it jeez!! This is not rocket surgery.

That's why I'm asking.

I'm not trying to over officiate and since it seems I was doing just that, please accept my gratitude for setting me straight!
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Old Wed Apr 25, 2007, 09:27pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlitzkriegBob
That's why I'm asking.

I'm not trying to over officiate and since it seems I was doing just that, please accept my gratitude for setting me straight!
If the play is over, grant the request. If the runner is not stable and is trying to get time prior to losing their balance, the play is not yet over.

And remember, if there are other active runners, make sure ALL play is complete before considering honoring the request.
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Old Wed Apr 25, 2007, 09:52pm
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Question

How 'bout ...
R1 goes 1st to 3rd on long single to left center. BR 2 steps off 1st.
SS gets ball 30' out on the grass and takes a coupla steps in and requests time. Neither runner is looking to advance.

Grant it or not.

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Old Wed Apr 25, 2007, 10:12pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mick
How 'bout ...
R1 goes 1st to 3rd on long single to left center. BR 2 steps off 1st.
SS gets ball 30' out on the grass and takes a coupla steps in and requests time. Neither runner is looking to advance.

Grant it or not.


In this case, I generally wait for the ball to get into the circle . . . This situation really could put the offense at a disadvantage. In the other case I grant it if play has stopped - no one is at a disadvantage since the O requested it.
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Old Wed Apr 25, 2007, 10:24pm
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Big difference in defense requesting time. Thats beer league status.
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Old Thu Apr 26, 2007, 09:21am
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I guess I am in the minority here; the NCAA manual reminds us of how I understood ASA to teach the game. This is a live ball game, and that means there should be a reason to make the ball dead. I have had several members of the NUS as UIC at an ASA NationalChampionship Final clearly state that, unless a player is likely to lose a limb or is in an equally perilous situation, NO BASE UMPIRE SHOULD CALL TIME. If it needs to be called, only the plate umpire, with the entire field in front, should call time. If U1 has rotated home, that is the umpire who calls time.

The runner asks for time; if there is no reason to grant it, don't. The coach asks for time; I will ask "why?" Runners are capable of standing up without time being granted. Runners are capable of brushing off without time being granted. Coaches can speak or give signals without time being granted. The only situation when I grant time is when a fielder is holding a tag while the runner is holding a base, and we are simply killing time waiting, since the fielder thinks she should keep holding that tag. Or, obviously, if it appears a runner may be injured (even then, looking to the plate umpire to be sure all play has ended). Otherwise, I do not grant time; runners and coaches learn quickly that it is unnecessary.

Oh yeah, base umpire, call time and sweep the base, and your NCAA evaluator is writing away. You only stop play to sweep a base if it is completely covered. Otherwise, it is only to be done in already dead moments, like between innings, pitching changes, etc.

The defense asks for time; with runners on, if the ball is not in the circle in possession of the pitcher, it simply should not be granted. That is basic.

Now, l know that Mike prefers the slowpitch protocol of calling time automatically whenever play "has stopped". He will argue that would render the circle and the lookback rule unnecessary. But, not even he will state that is what fastpitch mechanics are at this time. I don't think it is overly officious; it is how the fastpitch game is officiated at the highest levels. And there is no reason to play differently at any other level.
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Old Thu Apr 26, 2007, 09:37am
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In Slow-Pitch I call time as soon as a infielder has the ball and all runners are at a base or within 3 ft of one. In FP I never call time unless requested by a player or coach. Also I have no problem calling time as long as I have the play in front of me. Calling time when the play is in back of you can make for a long game with the complaining from the teams for killing their opportunity to throw the ball in to a DB area.
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Old Thu Apr 26, 2007, 09:47am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve
The only situation when I grant time is when a fielder is holding a tag while the runner is holding a base, and we are simply killing time waiting, since the fielder thinks she should keep holding that tag. Or, obviously, if it appears a runner may be injured (even then, looking to the plate umpire to be sure all play has ended). Otherwise, I do not grant time; runners and coaches learn quickly that it is unnecessary.
Dirt in runner's shirt to jock ?
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Old Thu Apr 26, 2007, 09:59am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve
I The only situation when I grant time is when a fielder is holding a tag while the runner is holding a base, and we are simply killing time waiting, since the fielder thinks she should keep holding that tag.
in my mind, that is exactly the situation we are discussing.

Quote:
Oh yeah, base umpire, call time and sweep the base, and your NCAA evaluator is writing away.
That was part of the discussion for after you call time for the "holding the tag".

NCAA does do things differently though, and they are not the standard IMO. In fact, NCAA robots are about the worst in mechanics I've seen and they are particularly robotic this year, to the point of being irratating to watch.
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Old Thu Apr 26, 2007, 10:13am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mick
How 'bout ...
R1 goes 1st to 3rd on long single to left center. BR 2 steps off 1st.
SS gets ball 30' out on the grass and takes a coupla steps in and requests time. Neither runner is looking to advance.

Grant it or not.

Not ... not until the ball's in the circle and everything has stopped.
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Old Thu Apr 26, 2007, 10:18am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcrowder
Not ... not until the ball's in the circle and everything has stopped.
Mountaineer and mcrowder,
Thanks.
That works.
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