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Old Wed Aug 08, 2007, 07:50am
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Game/Time management

I am the PU. Two teams from the same area playing each other in round of 16 Winner bracket. The game goes 9 innings and lasts 2 hours 15 minutes. After the game the UIC believed I didn't do a very good job of managing the game, i.e. I let the players control the pace of the game.

The biggest time management issue I had was one of the pitchers would pause for literally 7-10 seconds before delivering the pitch. It was a noticeable delay. These teams knew each other, so often, during this pause, the batter would ask for time and I would grant it. So then we would do the drill again.

At the time it seemed to me that these time out requests were legimate. But having got dinged by my UIC for this area in particular I am wondering if there is anything or anyway else i could have handled this .

Feedback or comments please.......
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Old Wed Aug 08, 2007, 10:26am
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ASA 6.1-E "The pitcher shall bring the hands together for not less than one second and not more than ten seconds before releasing it."

ASA 6.3-O "The pitcher has 20 seconds to release the next pitch after receiving the ball or after the umpire indicates "play ball".

NFHS 2007 Points of Emphasis "Once in the batters box, the batter may request "time", but it should only be granted by the plate umpire for a valid reason. A batter merely putting her hand in the air toward the umpire does not guarantee that time shall be granted. Batters should not be allowed to step in the batters box and meet the 20 second requirement, only to delay the game by putting a hand up requesting time to perform rituals in the batters box. This is not a valid reason for an umpire to grant time. Once a batter is in the batters box, the pitcher is entitled to deliver her pitch.

Granted, the NFHS POE is not binding on ASA, but it is a real reflection on the state of fastpitch softball. Batter takes forever to get in the box after multiple unnecessary "signals", wants time to regroom after each pitch, take three practice swings, and, after finally getting set, requests time if the pitcher doesn't then pitch on the batter's schedule. And, her team tells her "good job" and "way to take control" for delaying your game.

I am 100% with your UIC. The two ASA rules point out the pitcher has 20 seconds, and may pause with hands together up to 10 seconds (of the 20 seconds). No where does it say we should grant "time" to allow the batter to control if the pitcher may do that!!

Nothing personal, Chess Ref; one of my pet peeves is failure of umpires to manage the pace of their game. It is the players game to play; it is your game to manage. In my game, the batter needs to be in the box and ready in 10 seconds; the pitcher has the rest of the 20 seconds to pitch. The batter only gets "time" if the wind blows something in her face, or something else happens to break that sequence; not just because she thinks she is waiting too long.
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Last edited by AtlUmpSteve; Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 10:30am.
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Old Wed Aug 08, 2007, 03:03pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve
...The batter only gets "time" if the wind blows something in her face, or something else happens to break that sequence; not just because she thinks she is waiting too long.
While I agree with the concepts you are talking about, I don't follow this hard-core of a game management approach. Game management issues vary a lot with the level of play, and the head games between batter and pitcher generally only become a real problem at medium levels - below that, they don't try it, and above that, they don't bother with it much (I don't call college ball, where I guess this delaying between pitcher and batter is a real annoyance ...).

If the pitcher is intent on taking her entire allowed 20 seconds, and the batter has been standing like a statue for 10+ and requests time, I'll grant it. At least a few times to allow the teams to get accustomed to each other.

But, 20 seconds to pitch the ball is an eternity; rarely will a pitcher need that much time for any legitimate purpose. Occasionally, the coach may be sending in complex signs for a specific situation, but otherwise, when the batter is set, the pitcher should also be nearly ready.

Besides, it only becomes a real issue for me with there is no time limit. Otherwise, it is the players who are depriving themselves of playing time.
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Last edited by Dakota; Wed Aug 08, 2007 at 04:59pm.
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Old Wed Aug 08, 2007, 04:23pm
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Time limits are like ASA's umpire liability coverage. Just because it is there, doesn't mean we need to rely upon it to dictate the manner in which we work a game.
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Old Wed Aug 08, 2007, 04:59pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA
Time limits are like ASA's umpire liability coverage. Just because it is there, doesn't mean we need to rely upon it to dictate the manner in which we work a game.
I shoulda put a smilie after my last sentence... there, fixed it.
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Old Wed Aug 08, 2007, 05:43pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota
I shoulda put a smilie after my last sentence... there, fixed it.
Notice I didn't cite your post. I know umpires who take that exact approach and then tell the coaches that they should have done a better job managing the game.

While I cannot dispute the latter, it never should be said to the team or be prevalent to the game we are working.
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Old Wed Aug 08, 2007, 06:38pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve
I am 100% with your UIC. The two ASA rules point out the pitcher has 20 seconds, and may pause with hands together up to 10 seconds (of the 20 seconds). No where does it say we should grant "time" to allow the batter to control if the pitcher may do that!!

Nothing personal, Chess Ref; one of my pet peeves is failure of umpires to manage the pace of their game. It is the players game to play; it is your game to manage. In my game, the batter needs to be in the box and ready in 10 seconds; the pitcher has the rest of the 20 seconds to pitch. The batter only gets "time" if the wind blows something in her face, or something else happens to break that sequence; not just because she thinks she is waiting too long.
Yea in hindsight I could have done a better job with the whole batter, time out, deal.....live and hopefully learn.....
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Old Wed Aug 08, 2007, 07:48pm
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WOW i tell ya, a full 9 innings in 2:15 sounds prety good to me!!
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Old Wed Aug 08, 2007, 09:11pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UmpLarryJohnson
WOW i tell ya, a full 9 innings in 2:15 sounds prety good to me!!
For baseball...
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Old Wed Aug 08, 2007, 10:07pm
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Game tempo is important for a team in order to win. When one team controls the tempo of a game, their chances of winning goes up.

As such, I let teams decide the pace of the game, within reason. If I see a lot of stalling, I nudge the players along, but ride the fine line between keeping the pace and appearing to "want to just get home early." The rules allow for these nudges (batters not stepping up quickly enough, pitchers not pitching within an allotted amount of time, etc.), and I work within said rules.

Pushing the players along, if not done carefully, can present the appearance that you have somewhere else you want to be, reflecting negatively on your impartiality.

However, I am in agreement with AtlUmpSteve and the rules that nowhere in ASA championship rules (anywhere I can find, anyway - if anyone cares to correct me, I'm all ears!) does it say that an umpire must grant time anytime the batter asks, either by verbally requesting or by stepping out. "The Dance" done by pitchers and batters is excessive, and we're justified in calling "play ball" and calling the pitch, with or without a ready batter.
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I haven't decided if I should call it from the dugout or the outfield. Apparently, both have really great views!

Screw green, it ain't easy being blue!

I won't be coming here that much anymore. I might check in now and again.
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Old Wed Aug 08, 2007, 11:25pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCASAUmp
...and we're justified in ...calling the pitch, ...without a ready batter.
Speaking ASA, no, you're not. You are, however, justified in issuing a warning to the batter and/or calling a strike without a pitch. ASA 7-3-C EFFECT.
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Old Thu Aug 09, 2007, 06:03am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota
Speaking ASA, no, you're not. You are, however, justified in issuing a warning to the batter and/or calling a strike without a pitch. ASA 7-3-C EFFECT.
Actually, I was referring to 7-3-E. As soon as the ball's live, the batter can't step out to suspend play unless the PU grants it.
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Dave

I haven't decided if I should call it from the dugout or the outfield. Apparently, both have really great views!

Screw green, it ain't easy being blue!

I won't be coming here that much anymore. I might check in now and again.
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Old Thu Aug 09, 2007, 09:40am
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True, but what I was referring to is the umpire calling for the pitch when the batter is not ready / in the box. It is unnecessary and a safety hazard. Just warn / call the strike.
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Old Thu Aug 09, 2007, 11:59am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota
True, but what I was referring to is the umpire calling for the pitch when the batter is not ready / in the box. It is unnecessary and a safety hazard. Just warn / call the strike.
In that case, yes, you're absolutely right. If the batter doesn't take their position within 10 seconds, "strike!" If they've stepped into the box, gotten ready, then start that darned dance with the pitcher, I'll tell them to step in once I see the pitcher ready. If they don't... strike. But if the pitcher and batter are ready, pitcher starts the pitch, and THEN the batter steps out, I call the pitch as though the batter never left. If the batter is too stupid to stay in the box when they're supposed to and they get injured, that's their problem. Darwin strikes again.
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Dave

I haven't decided if I should call it from the dugout or the outfield. Apparently, both have really great views!

Screw green, it ain't easy being blue!

I won't be coming here that much anymore. I might check in now and again.
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