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Old Fri May 23, 2008, 09:18pm
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removal of helmet

One of the heads of a local rec league called me tonight with a rules question. It involved the removal of a batting hemet after numerous team warnings. My first reaction was that it probably could have been handled a lot differently, but I wasn't there and she simply wanted to know if the decision on the field was supported by any rule. I'm not sure, but I know what I read.


Rule set is ASA with some variations. As I said, the single umpire had warned team A "numerous" times about removing their helmets before reaching the dugout. 1 out. B1 hits a routine grounder to F6 who throws her out at 1st. As she turned to go to the dugout, she removed her helmet. Umpire says "you've been warned enough" and declared the now retired runner out again for a 3rd out. This 3rd out did not set well with team A's coach, who contacted the league president who called me after the game.

The only thing I can see is ASA 3-5-E which says in part ..."failure to wear the batting helmet shall cause the player to be removed from the game". It also goes on to to say that if the umpire judges this to be a deliberate act the violator shall be "declared out immediately".

In my opinion, I might have removed the player from the game but I don't think a second out on a retired runner is what this rule is speaking of. Any thoughts?
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Old Fri May 23, 2008, 10:07pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Jimmy
In my opinion, I might have removed the player from the game but I don't think a second out on a retired runner is what this rule is speaking of. Any thoughts?
I would have done the same.
No need for an additional out to be called.
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Old Fri May 23, 2008, 10:20pm
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Agree with runner removed from game and not an additional out. Only other thing I might have done, considering numerous team warnings, was sent the coach as well.
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Old Fri May 23, 2008, 10:32pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Jimmy
One of the heads of a local rec league called me tonight with a rules question. It involved the removal of a batting hemet after numerous team warnings. My first reaction was that it probably could have been handled a lot differently, but I wasn't there and she simply wanted to know if the decision on the field was supported by any rule. I'm not sure, but I know what I read.


Rule set is ASA with some variations. As I said, the single umpire had warned team A "numerous" times about removing their helmets before reaching the dugout. 1 out. B1 hits a routine grounder to F6 who throws her out at 1st. As she turned to go to the dugout, she removed her helmet. Umpire says "you've been warned enough" and declared the now retired runner out again for a 3rd out. This 3rd out did not set well with team A's coach, who contacted the league president who called me after the game.

The only thing I can see is ASA 3-5-E which says in part ..."failure to wear the batting helmet shall cause the player to be removed from the game". It also goes on to to say that if the umpire judges this to be a deliberate act the violator shall be "declared out immediately".

In my opinion, I might have removed the player from the game but I don't think a second out on a retired runner is what this rule is speaking of. Any thoughts?
Sorry, based on the given scenario I wouldn't even have warned the player.

Read the last sentence of 3.5.E.Effect "Umpires should use discretion as to the intent of the rule concerning player safety." IOW, if there is no play, there is no inherent danger, there is no reason for a "gotcha".

And ejecting the player is a bit extreme, in a case where an out is questionable.
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Old Sat May 24, 2008, 05:31am
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Mike,I agree with you that discretion needs to be used to avoid the "gotcha" penalty. But since I was asked and now we're having the discussion, when would the out as stated in 3-5-E come into play? Is it the primary penalty (if runner was still on the field) or is the removal from the game the first step? If removed from the game, but not out, I assume a substitute would be brought in?

Just curious what the protocol is..
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Old Sat May 24, 2008, 07:35am
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The best protocol is to not pick out one sentence in the book and OOO it to death. I cant even ever remember making this call.

On the other hand, I wouldnt have warned a team "numerous times" about anything. And you certainly dont call an out twice.

I think this umpire needs a lot of training and a mea culpa may be in the works.
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Old Sat May 24, 2008, 09:10am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Jimmy
Mike,I agree with you that discretion needs to be used to avoid the "gotcha" penalty. But since I was asked and now we're having the discussion, when would the out as stated in 3-5-E come into play? Is it the primary penalty (if runner was still on the field) or is the removal from the game the first step? If removed from the game, but not out, I assume a substitute would be brought in?

Just curious what the protocol is..
To start, there must be a true concern for safety. In the scenario offered, there was no mention of any other runners, hence no subsequent play after that at 1B. Unless there is some other play to be had, I don't even see the player remove the helmet. Even if there was a play at 3B and the retired BR is turning and walking to the dugout on the 1B side, there would really have to be a TWP involved that got the live ball to the 1B side of the field before I would even consider a warning.

AFA the protocol, the out occurs as soon as the umpire announces it. The ball remains live. If you eject a player for removing the helmet during a play, something is terribly wrong and it is not on the player's side of the issue.
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Old Sat May 24, 2008, 09:49am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Jimmy
Mike,I agree with you that discretion needs to be used to avoid the "gotcha" penalty. ...
Just to follow up a bit...

This rule is a safety rule. It is not a uniform (fashion police) rule. Basically, the runner is required to keep her helmet on during a live ball when there is a possiblity of being hit by a batted or thrown ball. If the ball is dead and / or there is nothing going on, the runner is NOT required to keep her helmet on (OK, by strict rule, yes, she is, but by interpretation and instruction to the umpires, no, she is not).

The umpire in question made several errors (taking your report as stated):

1) "warned team A "numerous" times about ..." "Susie, turn off that TV and get to bed. I MEAN it this time." "Sure, Mom." (continues to watch TV). Numerous warning are bad parenting and bad umpiring.

2) "declared the now retired runner out again..." No support at all for this action. Unless you have some goofy local rule.

3) "you've been warned enough..." Mom got fed up, I guess.

4) "B1 hits a routine grounder to F6 who throws her out at 1st. As she turned to go to the dugout, she removed her helmet." Unless there was some other play going on / other runners on base, misapplication of the helmet (safety) rule.

You decide what you want to do publically (i.e. in communication with the league president) about this umpire, but clearly some private words are in order. JMO.
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Old Sat May 24, 2008, 05:48pm
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I took the original post as meaning the ball was still being thrown around, I can see making them keep it on then. Now if the pitcher is holding the ball in the circle and no other runners on base, then no big deal.
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Old Sat May 24, 2008, 08:53pm
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Thanks to all for the replies. I often get calls from the local rec league concerning some rule application/misapplication. I guess that's what I get for living in a small town. The guy who made the call is a first year ump who is going to be good but still has some things to learn. This looks like it falls under OOO.
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