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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Mon Oct 06, 2008, 12:49pm
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ASA Rule; Access to,

PLEASE NOTE: I am not accusing the OP of attempting to pirate games/tournaments from an ASA-registered umpire group as I have absolutely no knowledge of the circumstances.

The use of Brand X is not meant to be demeaning in any manner and is merely a generic reference for any sanctioning body other than ASA for the purpose of this discussion.

Quote:
Our baseball/softball organization has been asked to do a very informal tournament in the next few weeks. They are 18 and under ages using ASA fast pitch rules. We do USSSA games.
I have gone to the ASA website and found the 2008 exam posted. I would like to give this test out to the guys in our organization. What I am looking for is an answer key. I cannot seem to find it and do not have an ASA rule book. Is there a place or someone who can provide this? I have sent 2 e-mails to contacts listed on the ASA website with no response.
All I am looking for is the answers to the test. Any help someone can give me would be appreciated.
I don't want to be unappreciative of any umpire group and their willingness to umpire softball games, but this is the perfect post for a discussion concerning rule books.

As we all know, some don't understand or don't want to understand why ASA does not openly publish their rules on the internet. I also have had some local experience with this.

As previously noted, ASA considers it's rule book as part of the "perks" of ASA registration. Locally, there isn't much restriction, but training at the national level is for ASA registered umpire. Like it or not, even the umpire organizations and registrations are part of the business and the rules are treated as property.

This is part of the deal. Why provide training and information for a group that chooses not to register with ASA, but has no problem accepting games that should go to the local ASA association?

Seems to me if teams want to play ASA ball, they should be using ASA-trained umpires. And maybe the group in question may have a crew of good umpires, but shouldn't they be registered to work the games they are accepting?

From the OP, it seems obvious this group is not prepared to work ASA ball. If you are a coach, what are you going to do when an umpire applies Brand X rule to a specific play when you know that is not the ASA rule? As a player and coach, I have had umpires tell me, "we don't do ASA ball" at a tournament that was clearly advertised as ASA. Not much different when an umpire kicks a rule and his/her excuse is "well, that's the way we do it at home." Trust me, that will send a UIC off the deep end.

I would have to think that if Brand X had an umpire association work the competitors game instead of pushing them to register with Brand X, they wouldn't be too happy, either.

If you owned/operated a business, would you train your competitors employees?
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old Mon Oct 06, 2008, 01:28pm
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Well, going this route is obviously a bad decision of whomever is coordinating the tournament, and it shows a fundamental lack of understanding of what it takes to be an umpire within each association. Granted, about 90+% of the rules between almost every association overlap either in their wording or in their effect, but it's those last few percentiles that can become the real gotcha.

Unfortunately, not every rule association has the same kind of presence as other rule associations, and finding registered umpires in the area that won't require lodging and travel reimbursement can be a challenge. For example, I know of VERY few NSA umpires in NC, simply because most of the ball played around here is ASA.

Regardless, it's up to the TD to weigh the choice between using the book they wish to use (for whatever reason) and using the umpires in the area who are (or at least more likely to be) properly trained. However, hey... You get what you paid for.

I'm with Mike on this one, but I can certainly see both sides.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Old Mon Oct 06, 2008, 01:40pm
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And I have, in the past, entered in on how I feel about this one. I know that Mike provides free training for umpires in his area. However, that is not the case in the area I am in. All ASA training around here, local, metro, state and national carry with it a fee. In some cases, a fairly substantial fee.

So, my belief is, just as the student in college, if I pay for my education, then you, the institution, have no right to tell me how to use this education. If I go to Baylor Medical School, they cannot tell me, that for the rest of my life, I have to work in a Baylor Medical franchise. Likewise, when I pay ASA for my training, they have no right to tell me that I can only use that training for ASA purposes. I am entirely within my rights to take the skills I have purchased from ASA, and go to Brand Z, Brand X, Brand Dos Equis, or whoever, and contract my services even though my skills are primarily those of an ASA umpire.

Just my .02, though looking at the way the market is going, it will on be my .0125 by the end of the day.
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Old Mon Oct 06, 2008, 02:26pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skahtboi View Post
And I have, in the past, entered in on how I feel about this one. I know that Mike provides free training for umpires in his area. However, that is not the case in the area I am in. All ASA training around here, local, metro, state and national carry with it a fee. In some cases, a fairly substantial fee.

So, my belief is, just as the student in college, if I pay for my education, then you, the institution, have no right to tell me how to use this education. If I go to Baylor Medical School, they cannot tell me, that for the rest of my life, I have to work in a Baylor Medical franchise. Likewise, when I pay ASA for my training, they have no right to tell me that I can only use that training for ASA purposes. I am entirely within my rights to take the skills I have purchased from ASA, and go to Brand Z, Brand X, Brand Dos Equis, or whoever, and contract my services even though my skills are primarily those of an ASA umpire.



Just my .02, though looking at the way the market is going, it will on be my .0125 by the end of the day.
And therefore supporting an organization that doesnt care enough about umpiring to train its own.They would rather steal ASA trained umpires....and WHY would you work for an organization such as that?
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old Mon Oct 06, 2008, 02:40pm
SRW SRW is offline
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Mike, are you lumping in the "published" rules availability with the mechanics and training availability? There's a fine line between the two when it comes to ASA in particular... but the two issues are separate, IMO. What do we care if Person A comes and trains and learns our mechanics, then leaves and goes to Brand X and works with our mechanics?

However, I am with you 100% when it comes to Brand X working Brand Y's games and trying to use Brand Y's rules and mechanics.
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  #6 (permalink)  
Old Mon Oct 06, 2008, 02:52pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azbigdawg View Post
And therefore supporting an organization that doesnt care enough about umpiring to train its own.They would rather steal ASA trained umpires....and WHY would you work for an organization such as that?
As an independent contractor I have the right to work for any organization that is providing games. I stay current with the various rules and attire.

ASA Fast pitch seems to be on the decline in the Metro DC area. I'm seeing more and more teams that used to only play ASA ball competing at NSA, U-Trip and PONY tournaments.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old Mon Oct 06, 2008, 02:54pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRW View Post
Mike, are you lumping in the "published" rules availability with the mechanics and training availability? There's a fine line between the two when it comes to ASA in particular... but the two issues are separate, IMO. What do we care if Person A comes and trains and learns our mechanics, then leaves and goes to Brand X and works with our mechanics?

However, I am with you 100% when it comes to Brand X working Brand Y's games and trying to use Brand Y's rules and mechanics.
The issue becomes a matter of availability. If ASA-registered umpires aren't able to get into clinics because they're overbooked with non-ASA umpires, then that's a problem.
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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!

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  #8 (permalink)  
Old Mon Oct 06, 2008, 02:55pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelVA2000 View Post
As an independent contractor I have the right to work for any organization that is providing games. I stay current with the various rules and attire.

ASA Fast pitch seems to be on the decline in the Metro DC area. I'm seeing more and more teams that used to only play ASA ball competing at NSA, U-Trip and PONY tournaments.
Of COURSE you have that right......but WHY wouldnt you stay loyal and support (and Improve) the organization that make the effort to actually train you? For a paycheck?
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  #9 (permalink)  
Old Mon Oct 06, 2008, 03:01pm
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I agree with the vast majority of what Mike has said and have a few thoughts of my own -
- why would a non-sanctioned tournament worry about using ASA rules - or any other rules code for that matter.
-I've paid for the training I've gotten, most from ASA, but some from the high school group in my state and some through other organizations. So I do not feel an obligation to work only ASA games - and with the local ASA commissioner, I try to work for him as little as possible but that's a whole 'nother matter - one of his thought is that loyalty is a 1-way street.

Mike said "Seems to me if teams want to play ASA ball, they should be using ASA-trained umpires." Absolutely, who else could possibly know the ASA way of doing things, let alone ASA's rules.

"And maybe the group in question may have a crew of good umpires, but shouldn't they be registered to work the games they are accepting?" Again, absolutely. I do not think that I'd be willing to work a Brand X game or tournament if I was not registered with Brand X (and my use of Brand X here inludes ASA and all other sanctioning bodies).

Darrell makes a good point with "And therefore supporting an organization that doesnt care enough about umpiring to train its own.They would rather steal ASA trained umpires....and WHY would you work for an organization such as that?" To the best of my knowledge, the other sanctioning bodies I work games for do have some umpire training - I just have not taken their training. The local chapter that I belong to provides umpires for ASA and a couple of other groups. We strive to call ASA games the ASA way and Brand X games the Brand X way.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old Mon Oct 06, 2008, 04:03pm
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I may be wrong to do so, but I feel there is a distinct difference in ASA sanctioned tournaments like qualifiers, regionals, etc. and non ASA tournaments being played by ASA rules, which is the case in the OP. The former absolutely should require ASA "certified" officials, while the latter only officials with ASA rules knowledge.

As to mechanics, I don't feel any obligation to use strickly ASA mechanics even when working ASA sanctioned tournaments. While one rule set may not be fundimentally superior to another, some mechanics are and I will use those that make the most sense and put me in the best position to success.
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Old Mon Oct 06, 2008, 04:26pm
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I see both sides of this arguement and don't like any of them!

My comments below are only based on my experience in my area, other areas are compeltely different I am sure.
1) ASA is the only training in my area, the other alphabets really have none, pay your money get your license and go umpire. You can with ASA too, but you have the opportunity to get training, and you don't move up (state tournies, Nationals) until you have gotten training.
2) I see guys jumping to other organizations for the money. "why not go make $30 a game for 1 hr 15 min time limit? I only get 25 a game as ASA and there is no time limit (or 1hr 45min)." I have heard that a number of times, to me as a player why would I want to play in their tournies over ASA if the time limits are truly that different?
3) As a trained ASA umpire you are far better than the untrained folks (again my knowledge of this area). Guys have told me they look like heros compared to the guys that are calling ball around here. I have seen pictures of these umpires, just unprofessional dress, standing with arms folded when umpiring bases, etc. But an ASA guy that cares can go over to the Brand X world and be considered an elite official.
4) People not happy with their progression through ASA ranks. Around here you are evaluated by UIC's that is reviewed and your assignments are increased based on your experience and ability. Some feel they are not elevated to a high enough level, they feel they are better than the assignments they are getting, should have been at 18U gold instead of a 12U, etc. So they go to Brand X where they are just happy to have a warm body, they look darn good compared to someone that has no training so they get the "good" assignments.

Again just the things I have heard from umpires and coaches in this area that play all sorts of brands of softball.

I also agree that anyone should be able to take their training and use it anywhere they want to, Purdue didn't tell me where to go to work when I paid them for my degree, so I bet ASA won't either. BUT I do think that is an issue I paid them for it. I deserve to use it where I want to, the OP (from my understanding) is looking for a hand out, give me a test to give my guys/gals and the answers please. Well IMO that is not right ASA works VERY hard to publish the rule books, and make tests develop training...they will provide all these things to you, if you register (pay) and attend training classes (usually a fee). I see no issue with them asking for $$ to provide you with training, I know I am still paying on student loans where I got training.

Last edited by DaveASA/FED; Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 04:29pm.
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Old Mon Oct 06, 2008, 04:42pm
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Okay, let's take a step back.

I thought I was clear that I was simply using the post as a reason ASA acts in the manner they do when choosing to take steps to protect their product.

NO WHERE did I even suggest that an umpire should be limited in their use of the knowledge they gained at their expense. NO WHERE did I suggest that an umpire shouldn't work for more than one association. I have repeatedly stated that I will never tell an umpire that s/he cannot work games of the competing sanctioning bodies. However, I do ask that in exchange for the training, communications and information provided, the umpire give the local association the consideration they would like from the local association.

There is also another issue for umpires that the OP may not have taken into consideration. If a tournament is not sanctioned with the same organization as the umpire and the teams, their insurance is not in effect. Of course, many umpires carry additional insurance that may help cover a multitude of situations, but this is something many umpires sometimes fail to take into consideration. BTW, U-trip is the same as ASA. All teams must be registered and the tournament sanctioned by them for the insurance to kick in.

But again, my post has nothing to do with any umpire here or anywhere else. Just noting part of ASA's deal.
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Old Mon Oct 06, 2008, 05:51pm
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ASA/NFHS Only!

I won't touch or even consider any games that are not ASA or Fed. Why? I don't know, other than I personally consider the other sanctioning bodies to be "Johnny Come Latelies".
I could do USSSSSSSSSA and probably make more money but the umpires around here that I know that do are not what I aspire to be. The umpires that I see moving up i.e. college ball are the ones that are ASA/NFHS only.
There is some unsanctioned ball around here that I won't return the calls for and it's not for insurance if I get hurt, it's liability and I really like the roof over my family's head and the last time I asked they appreciate not being rained on.
My main problem with ASA is that they seem to sit idly by while the other organizations move in and take away teams and programs. No one monitors growth or contraction, or if they do, they fail to take action. If they want to stay the "premier" sanctioning body in softball they need to realize that they would be well served to look beyond So Cal.

Last edited by PtotheB; Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 06:17am.
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Old Mon Oct 06, 2008, 06:21pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PtotheB View Post
I won't touch or even consider any games that are not ASA or Fed. Why? I don't know, other than I personally consider the other sanctioning bodies to be "Johnny Come Latelies".
I could do USSSSSSSSSA and probably make more money but the umpires around here that I know that do are not what I aspire to be. The umpires that I see moving up i.e. college ball are the ones that are ASA/NFHS only.
There is some unsanctioned ball around here that I won't return the calls for and it's not for insurance if I get hurt, it's liability and I really like the roof over my family's head and the last time I asked they appreciate not being rained on.
My main problem with ASA is that they seem to sit idly by while the other organizations move in and take away teams and programs. No one monitors growth or contraction, or if they do, they fail to take action. If they want to stay the "premier" sanctioning body in softball they need to realize that they would be wee served to look beyond So Cal.
EXACTLY my thoughts....


I would be NICE to see ASA actually make an effort, instead of standing on its "governing body of softball" rhetoric. The lack of attention to the SP game has been shameful for years....
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Old Mon Oct 06, 2008, 07:41pm
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Originally Posted by azbigdawg View Post
Of COURSE you have that right......but WHY wouldnt you stay loyal and support (and Improve) the organization that make the effort to actually train you? For a paycheck?
When there's no ASA games during the week or tournaments on the weekends, I'm umpiring where the games are played.

I support ASA by paying my dues, attending their clinics and umpiring ASA games when they are available.
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