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Old Fri May 29, 2009, 12:23am
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how to catch batter being out of batter's box

I had a recent game (16-0) where the losing coach jumped all over me about a batter being out of the batter's box. This is a coach who's pitcher couldn't find the strike zone if I spray painted the strike zone for her. He seemed to be far more interested in nit-picking the rules with me rather than coaching his team because his team was just AWFUL, i've never seen more mental mistakes combined with a lack of talent in all my games. I really wanted to tell him: "Look at the scoreboard, if you spent half the energy you're spending by arguing with me, maybe your team would be somewhat competent..."

Anyways, he then jumps on me for calling a borderline pitch by his pitcher a ball, which I have to admit that I kinda froze on because I was surprised his pitcher actually threw something that good. Another problem was, the previous batter maybe had been slightly out of the batter's box when she hit a grand slam, and he jumped on me for that, so I stared at the batter's feet and only saw the pitch out of the corner of my eye...

so how do you look for the batter being out of the box? some of my senior umps tell me that the batter has to be all the way at the pitcher's circle before they even bother calling it...of course they're exagerrating but usually, I may take a quick glance at where the batter is after the hit and if they're reasonably close, I give it to them...since it is something that is in my peripheral vision, if i see it, i see it...

And he also argued with me on that new bunt attempt rule. The opposing batter held out to bunt, and just as the ball came, she started to pull back, I figured, good enough for me, Ball! What exactly is the ruling on that? I figure if the batter starts to pull back, it's good enough for me since the rule never said that the bat has to be withdrawn "completely" from the zone, so I interpret that as a "start to withdraw" is fine...
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Old Fri May 29, 2009, 12:39am
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If a slapper sets up forward, then there is a good chance they could be out of the box. Their pre pitch positioning sets off my radar.

Their foot must be COMPLETELY outside the box when contact is made... thats not usually going to happen with a regular hitter.

NFHS rules - if they pull it back or are pulling it back, that would be good enough. They arent holding it there and they arent offering, so its not a strike.


Your problem was not rules, it was game management. You should have shut him down, he was a cancer of that game and was violating the rules when arguing judgment. You had him and let him go.
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Old Fri May 29, 2009, 09:53am
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I watch the ball all the way in, nothing can happen without the ball. When the bat makes contact with the ball I quickly glance at the batter's feet. If their feet are in the box no problem, if not "DEAD BALL! this batter is out!" The key is to develop a routine, do the same thing the same way every time you will get the same result.

Wade is right. That coach must go, or at least shut up.
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Old Fri May 29, 2009, 10:06am
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Anyways, he then jumps on me for calling a borderline pitch by his pitcher a ball, which I have to admit that I kinda froze on because I was surprised his pitcher actually threw something that good. Another problem was, the previous batter maybe had been slightly out of the batter's box when she hit a grand slam, and he jumped on me for that, so I stared at the batter's feet and only saw the pitch out of the corner of my eye...

So the guy jumps on you because the batter may have been out of the box when she made contact???

Then claims you missed a pitch??

That's easy to answer:

"Coach, I didn't see a strike, so I can't call it... but I can assure you, the batter was in the box"


BTW, she wasn't "slightly" out of the box.... she was or she wasn't....

Last edited by HugoTafurst; Fri May 29, 2009 at 10:10am. Reason: added "BTW" comment
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Old Fri May 29, 2009, 10:28am
Ref Ump Welsch
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Install land mines around the batter's box. If they trip them, they're out!
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Old Fri May 29, 2009, 10:30am
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Originally Posted by Ref Ump Welsch View Post
Install land mines around the batter's box. If they trip them, they're out!
Nah, that won't work. You would lose too much time to everyone cleaning up because of the blood rule.
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Old Fri May 29, 2009, 10:54am
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Can't speak for FP or MP, but I'll toss my $0.02 in for SP. BuggBob is absolutely correct in that nothing can happen without the ball.

Remember: we're always working in priorities.

As the pitch comes in, my priority at this time is the pitch crossing the plate. I focus on the ball, of course, but keeping the batter's movements in my peripheral. In my peripheral, I can see if they're starting to reposition themselves to try and chase that outside pitch, or if they're going to swing their lead foot out on an inside pitch.

Once they hit the ball, my priorities change. I determine "is this ball going forward? Up? Back? Did the batter miss?" If I determine it's going up or forward, and I might have a split second to look elsewhere, I'll check the batter's feet. If the ball is going back, I've gotta watch for a foul tip. If the ball isn't well-hit, or if it looks like it's going to the sides (and have to worry about it hitting the batter) I focus on what the ball does.

It's difficult to describe what goes through one's mind when calling behind the plate, as there are so many things to focus on: the ball, the batter, the feet, the runners, the fielders, the hot moms. However, I believe if you begin to think in terms of priorities, it will all become clearer. If a coach whines that you missed a batter making contact with their foot out of the box, just tell them, "hey, coach, I couldn't see it, because I had to watch this, or watch that." If they can't accept it, "sorry, coach. Play ball."

Regardless, I've gotta have the entire foot out of the box at the time of contact, and I'm not going to call it if it's only a quarter of an inch or so. It has to be CLEARLY out of the box if I'm going to call it.
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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 Fri May 29, 2009, 11:04am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadeintothem View Post
If a slapper sets up forward, then there is a good chance they could be out of the box. Their pre pitch positioning sets off my radar.

Their foot must be COMPLETELY outside the box and on the ground when contact is made... thats not usually going to happen with a regular hitter.
Edit added by me.
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Old Fri May 29, 2009, 11:05am
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Originally Posted by SRW View Post
Edit added by me.
Very, very true. If their foot is still in the air when contact is made, bad form, but not an out (unless their other foot is completely out of the box and on the ground).
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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 Fri May 29, 2009, 11:37am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SRW View Post
Edit added by me.
Thanks!
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  #11 (permalink)  
Old Fri May 29, 2009, 01:10pm
Ref Ump Welsch
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Originally Posted by NCASAUmp View Post
It's difficult to describe what goes through one's mind when calling behind the plate, as there are so many things to focus on: the ball, the batter, the feet, the runners, the fielders, the hot moms. However, I believe if you begin to think in terms of priorities, it will all become clearer. If a coach whines that you missed a batter making contact with their foot out of the box, just tell them, "hey, coach, I couldn't see it, because I had to watch this, or watch that." If they can't accept it, "sorry, coach. Play ball."
No such thing as hot moms in slow pitch...they're hot potential steals!
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Old Fri May 29, 2009, 01:27pm
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Originally Posted by NCASAUmp View Post
BuggBob is absolutely correct in that nothing can happen without the ball
Have you ever seen obstruction without the ball?
Have you ever seen a missed base withouth the ball?
Have you ever had USC without the ball?
Have you ever had runner assistance without the ball?
Have you ever.....

Well, you get the point. Yes, knowing where the ball is and seeing it is usually a must. However, it is not necessary for an umpire to perform their assigned tasks.

I've seen too many umpires hang their hat on the theory that nothing can happen without the ball including an ASA DEPSPVR who gigged an umpire a few years back because he buttonhooked and watched BR touch 1B instead of finding the ball in the outfield (it was 290' away).

The phrase has a place in officiating, but is completely situational.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old Sat May 30, 2009, 07:55am
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Coach here.

Can the BU make the call that the batter is out of the box?
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Old Sat May 30, 2009, 08:35am
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Originally Posted by reccer View Post
Coach here.

Can the BU make the call that the batter is out of the box?
Umpires work as a team and any umpire can make any calls but as a coordinated team certain calls are made by specific umpires who may ask their teamate for his/her assistance. Some over zealous base umpires may offer their opinion without being asked and that can lead to mistakes and is highly frowned on but not against the rules.

Good example, BU has the batter to third by convention, PU calls him off, "I've got third", error on play and batter heads for home and the BU is already there to make the call at the plate. They are working as a team.

Bad example, BU calls batter out for being out of the box because he sees a foot in front of the plate, only to find out that player wears a size 16 and his heal was touching the line. Bad teamwork leading to a lot of unnecessary confusion.

He can make the call but probably shouldn't unless his partner has specifically asked him to watch for it on certain batters that for whatever reason he can't see their feet.
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Old Sat May 30, 2009, 08:40am
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Originally Posted by ChampaignBlue View Post
Good example, BU has the batter to third by convention, PU calls him off, "I've got third", error on play and batter heads for home and the BU is already there to make the call at the plate. They are working as a team.
Or else they are very confused in their mechanics!
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