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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Oct 29, 2007, 11:35pm
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Give'em the Finger

In our area we are encouraged to point at stuff. An example would be runner going to 2B and is tagged, we are suppose to point and yell "tag". So I assume the other areas use the finger/point also.

My question is for those that point or those who have an opinion on the finger.

BR is sliding into 3B, BU gives the point/finger, then gives a big safe call. It looked awkward. i was on the 1B side of the field and my immediate thought was we had an out call coming. I have never seen the finger used on a safe call like that.......i talked to the BU afterwards and he said the people who look for potential college blues strongly encouraged him to point, as often as possible........

So any thoughts on give'em the finger on safe calls......
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Old Tue Oct 30, 2007, 07:40am
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In our area, and every National clinic I have attended (both NCAA and ASA), the opposite is true; pointing is to be used only to add emphasis to a situation, not to be used routinely. The general example of when to use it is, if there is a tag play, whether the tag is made or not, there is nothing to point at; everyone knows it is a tag play, and either the tag was made, or not. But, if it is a force play, like a wide throw pulls 1B off the bag, and she makes a sweep tag, that is the play you point on, to emphasize "on the tag".

In my opinion, the play you referenced should not have a point; not safe, nor out. The closest I can see is to point to the ball on the ground, saying "the balls down", if it was out, but hidden from general view; if I did that, there would be no further (safe) call, since, no ball, no call.
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Old Tue Oct 30, 2007, 07:57am
Ref Ump Welsch
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Going along with what Steve said, I would only point if the ball comes out or is on the ground. I'll point when the 1B has the ball trapped, yelling "Trap! Safe!" In coed slow-pitch, if I'm working the bases, I always point when there's a potential double play, and they get one of the outs but not the other. For example, they get the runner going into 2nd but fail to get the runner going to 1st. After I've made the safe call at 1st, I'll point back at 2nd and signal the out again just to make sure they all know we've got the out. (Like I said, COED only!)
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Old Tue Oct 30, 2007, 08:25am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve
In our area, and every National clinic I have attended (both NCAA and ASA), the opposite is true; pointing is to be used only to add emphasis to a situation, not to be used routinely.

I was just going to say the same thing. As a matter of fact, on a banger at first in a game where I was being evaluated last year, I made the mistake of pointing just prior to giving a big sell out. You can bet that I was dinged on that in my evaluation.

Chess Ref, you might want to tell your buddy that if he aspires to be an NCAA umpire, he should buy or download a copy of the NCAA Umpire Improvement Committee's manual and learn it cover to cover, and to also attend some clinics.
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Old Tue Oct 30, 2007, 08:27am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chess Ref
So any thoughts on give'em the finger......

Now that opens a whole nuther can of worms.
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Old Tue Oct 30, 2007, 09:18am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlUmpSteve
In our area, and every National clinic I have attended (both NCAA and ASA), the opposite is true; pointing is to be used only to add emphasis to a situation, not to be used routinely. The general example of when to use it is, if there is a tag play, whether the tag is made or not, there is nothing to point at; everyone knows it is a tag play, and either the tag was made, or not. But, if it is a force play, like a wide throw pulls 1B off the bag, and she makes a sweep tag, that is the play you point on, to emphasize "on the tag".

In my opinion, the play you referenced should not have a point; not safe, nor out. The closest I can see is to point to the ball on the ground, saying "the balls down", if it was out, but hidden from general view; if I did that, there would be no further (safe) call, since, no ball, no call.
agree 100% .......... also I would not change my mechanics to "impress" any possible college ump recruiters
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Old Tue Oct 30, 2007, 10:07am
Ref Ump Welsch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skahtboi
I was just going to say the same thing. As a matter of fact, on a banger at first in a game where I was being evaluated last year, I made the mistake of pointing just prior to giving a big sell out. You can bet that I was dinged on that in my evaluation.
You got dinged for that? My UIC would have hugged me for doing that! Matter of fact, he compliments me on the point, the out sell signal, and my "ARRRRRRRGH!" when I sell that sucker.
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Old Tue Oct 30, 2007, 10:39am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ref Ump Welsch
...My UIC would have hugged me for doing that!...
TMI...
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Old Tue Oct 30, 2007, 10:57am
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Steve pretty much summed it up.

The point is there when needed, to use as an emphasis on an unusual play.
If you use the point routinely, it loses its effectiveness and will not help you to sell a call when you really need to.
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Old Tue Oct 30, 2007, 11:56am
Ref Ump Welsch
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota
TMI...
I meant it in jest Dakota. Really, my UIC probably would have bought me a keg instead of just a mug.
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Old Tue Oct 30, 2007, 12:10pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ref Ump Welsch
I meant it in jest Dakota. Really, my UIC probably would have bought me a keg instead of just a mug.
I know... (or at least, I assumed so.. ..)... I was just poking at you...
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Old Tue Oct 30, 2007, 12:52pm
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I agree with Steve here, but a lot of it comes from what type of training you get.

I've been to some sessions where the point is acceptable depending on who the intructor may be.

I have also seen it as a timing device to slow down an overenthusiastic umpire to slow down the overhand and keep the umpire balanced.

All that said, it should be used as a method of emphasizing a part of a play, but whatever you do, at least make sure you are pointing as something, not just walking around with a finger in the air. Which is another thing.

Do you really point with your finger? I never point at the pitcher or my partner, but extend my left arm with an open hand with the palm facing right. Though I'm sure there may have been exceptions, I pretty much don't point with a finger.
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Old Tue Oct 30, 2007, 02:54pm
SRW SRW is offline
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Point at the pulled foot, swipe tags, ball on the ground... weird stuff that shows you saw something... that's what the NUS was teaching at the Advanced Camp this year. It serves the dual purpose of hesitation as well... to let your brain process that weird play you just saw.

2007 ASA umpire manual pages 233-234...
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Old Tue Oct 30, 2007, 03:54pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRW
Point at the pulled foot, swipe tags, ball on the ground... weird stuff that shows you saw something... that's what the NUS was teaching at the Advanced Camp this year. It serves the dual purpose of hesitation as well... to let your brain process that weird play you just saw.

2007 ASA umpire manual pages 233-234...
Just don't do what one of our newbies did in a JV game this past spring. He had learned that you "point at the foot" to clearly show that the safe call was because of a pulled foot. He did so -- pointing at his own foot.
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Old Tue Oct 30, 2007, 09:11pm
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The odd thing is that I've been doing that for a while without ever realizing that I was doing it. I'm not even sure if I point with a finger, or if I have all my fingers extended. However, I guess for me, it was to emphasize that I did see the play, and that this IS my call.
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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!

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