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  #1 (permalink)  
Old Sat Feb 27, 2010, 11:18am
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Local Rules

I have no problem with local rules. That doesn't mean I just let other things slide, well, because. That's it, just because. This is why I am the ONLY umpire in the world to ever ask for a line-up card, to actually check bats before the game, to require to see the ball off the bench before it gets into the game and the best of all, I was the ONLY umpire to ever make players run the bases on an out of the park HR (before ASA changed the rule).

I told them that was not true. A player asked me if he HAD to run the bases, I said that was up to him if he did not want to. He sat down. When the defense appealed, I rang him up because I didn't tell him NOT to run, just told him he didn't have to if he didn't want to. I'm not his coach. They protested. They lost.

When asked about umpiring games with amended rules, my standard response is "not a problem, but make sure the 'local' rules are published and you get a copy."

Don't assume anything because players will try to talk an umpire into a "local" rule and all of a sudden, you are getting a call from the city/county/town/league office about a protest because YOU let them do this or that.

There are two leagues in this area with which this is a problem every year. They want "special" rules to allow a 80 yo veteran to pitch, but not bat. Or bat, but have a "courtesy runner" from the plate, or unlimited courtesy runners for the female players they are allowed to use because there are not enough men to have a team. Yep, that would be the Church League and the Firefighter's League. When the umpire tells them no, s/he is informed by these honest, trustworthy folks that they are special league rules (which there are not). When asked to see a copy, it is unbelievable that there can be six teams in one location and not one of them has a copy of the league rules that do not exist.

How do your local leagues handle exceptions or amendments to the standard rules?
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Old Sat Feb 27, 2010, 12:17pm
JEL JEL is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post

How do your local leagues handle exceptions or amendments to the standard rules?
If it ain't in the written rules the league has handed out, there are no exceptions or amendments. Our local rec league does print out and distribute the "local rules" but they aren't read very often it seems.
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Old Sat Feb 27, 2010, 01:06pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
I have no problem with local rules. That doesn't mean I just let other things slide, well, because. That's it, just because. This is why I am the ONLY umpire in the world to ever ask for a line-up card, to actually check bats before the game, to require to see the ball off the bench before it gets into the game and the best of all, I was the ONLY umpire to ever make players run the bases on an out of the park HR (before ASA changed the rule).

I told them that was not true. A player asked me if he HAD to run the bases, I said that was up to him if he did not want to. He sat down. When the defense appealed, I rang him up because I didn't tell him NOT to run, just told him he didn't have to if he didn't want to. I'm not his coach. They protested. They lost.

When asked about umpiring games with amended rules, my standard response is "not a problem, but make sure the 'local' rules are published and you get a copy."

Don't assume anything because players will try to talk an umpire into a "local" rule and all of a sudden, you are getting a call from the city/county/town/league office about a protest because YOU let them do this or that.

There are two leagues in this area with which this is a problem every year. They want "special" rules to allow a 80 yo veteran to pitch, but not bat. Or bat, but have a "courtesy runner" from the plate, or unlimited courtesy runners for the female players they are allowed to use because there are not enough men to have a team. Yep, that would be the Church League and the Firefighter's League. When the umpire tells them no, s/he is informed by these honest, trustworthy folks that they are special league rules (which there are not). When asked to see a copy, it is unbelievable that there can be six teams in one location and not one of them has a copy of the league rules that do not exist.

How do your local leagues handle exceptions or amendments to the standard rules?
The way I was taught (by SRW's predecessor, so no blame to him if I get this wrong):
Go to the plate meeting, do you have any local rules I should know about. Unless it's clearly insane or dangerous or they disagree with each other, go with it. If they disagree ask to see the printed rules. If they don't have the printed rules, tell them they can agree to what the local rules actually are or we'll play the book. I've had to see the printed rules a couple of times and make the team who didn't agree with them unhappy but almost all the time they just agree to what the local rules are.

Fortunately, most of our leagues rulebooks are online on our website now so I can read them before the game which solves the problem.
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Last edited by youngump; Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 07:15pm.
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Old Sat Feb 27, 2010, 01:15pm
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I'm very fortunate in this respect. The local league I most often work:

- Prints a summary of the rules and distributes them to all coaches.

- Publishes the rules on a website, accessible for anyone to read, copy or distribute as they wish.

- Holds a yearly rule clinic for coaches.

- Holds yearly umpire clinics.

You can't get much more informed than that. There's really no excuse for participants on either side of the fence not to be aware of the local rules.

Where I run into the old "it's a local rule" thing most often is in tournaments (where the excuse will be "it's a tournament rule"). Most are pretty good about distributing any special rules. Some aren't so good. Every year you can count on a tournament or two that will tell the umpires something like, "We're playing (fill in the sanctioning body) rules"- while forgetting to mention the two-page handout of exceptions that was given to the coaches but not the umpires!

Last edited by BretMan; Sat Feb 27, 2010 at 01:18pm.
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Old Sat Feb 27, 2010, 02:35pm
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The only problem with the "agreeing" thing is that some teams only agree until it works against them, then "that isn't right", "we never agreed to THAT", or more often "that's bull$hit" is a likely complaint.

And then, of course, there is the "where did that come from" which is when I point to the putz who couldn't relay a message which took the ground rules.
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Old Sat Feb 27, 2010, 10:05pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
The only problem with the "agreeing" thing is that some teams only agree until it works against them, then "that isn't right", "we never agreed to THAT", or more often "that's bull$hit" is a likely complaint.

(snip)rolleyes:
Exactly - it's like so many of those things which can turn on you in an instant.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old Sun Feb 28, 2010, 12:25am
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local rules not only confuse coaches and players, but also umpires. when umpires work too many different leagues, tournaments, etc., frequently, it's the various run (ahead) rules that I see getting mixed up. I get the "runner has to slide" plea alot in SP rec ball, but no such rule exists for the local league. many rec leagues in my area have mandatory sliding or no-slide on doubles, particularly for senior leagues for safety reasons.

not that I am trying to harsh and make enemies, but I think the HR protest described below shows poor stewardship of the game. most players want to help umpires speed the game along, particularly w/ rec ball. softball is slowly dying, and outsmarting players doesn't help that one bit. I cringe when I think what they must think of umpires (specifically) after that call. "A"-HOLE comes to mind. maybe ASA changed the rules for that very reason. a protested game is nothing to be proud of.

that aside, 1B coach shoulda instructed that masher to run the bases. if a player asks me such a question, my reply is, "you want MY advice?", and smile. I always smile and have fun. if they persist, my answer is, "I am the last guy you should ask for advice".


Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
I have no problem with local rules. That doesn't mean I just let other things slide, well, because. That's it, just because. This is why I am the ONLY umpire in the world to ever ask for a line-up card, to actually check bats before the game, to require to see the ball off the bench before it gets into the game and the best of all, I was the ONLY umpire to ever make players run the bases on an out of the park HR (before ASA changed the rule).

I told them that was not true. A player asked me if he HAD to run the bases, I said that was up to him if he did not want to. He sat down. When the defense appealed, I rang him up because I didn't tell him NOT to run, just told him he didn't have to if he didn't want to. I'm not his coach. They protested. They lost.

When asked about umpiring games with amended rules, my standard response is "not a problem, but make sure the 'local' rules are published and you get a copy."

Don't assume anything because players will try to talk an umpire into a "local" rule and all of a sudden, you are getting a call from the city/county/town/league office about a protest because YOU let them do this or that.

There are two leagues in this area with which this is a problem every year. They want "special" rules to allow a 80 yo veteran to pitch, but not bat. Or bat, but have a "courtesy runner" from the plate, or unlimited courtesy runners for the female players they are allowed to use because there are not enough men to have a team. Yep, that would be the Church League and the Firefighter's League. When the umpire tells them no, s/he is informed by these honest, trustworthy folks that they are special league rules (which there are not). When asked to see a copy, it is unbelievable that there can be six teams in one location and not one of them has a copy of the league rules that do not exist.

How do your local leagues handle exceptions or amendments to the standard rules?
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Old Sun Feb 28, 2010, 09:10am
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I've been doing the Senior Texan Winter League games for about 10 years. The minimum age is 55. Average age is a little over 67. The league has 12 teams and is divided into 3 Divisions based on skills & athleticism. Differences in abilities and physical condition in the Divisions is quite apparent. The Competitive Division (which I do) is just that! A lot of the players also do summer ball when they return their northern homes.

They have always had written amendments to the rules.
  • They started using the 10 foot maximum pitch height at the league's inception.
  • Sliding is NOT allowed.
  • ITB is used.
  • ALL players must play 4 innings of defense.
  • Games are 8 innings. (Makes math easier for above. )

In the Leisure & Recreational Divisions, runners are also allowed to "run past" 2B & 3B w/o being in jepoardy. This is to eliminate sudden stops on old muscles & remove the "crash" possibilities.

For those of you still froze in, league play started the first week January. Championship games are Tuesday. The U.S.A. / Canada game is Thursday.
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Old Sun Feb 28, 2010, 09:41am
SRW SRW is offline
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As youngump stated, we get the league rules from each league in electronic format, then we put them on our website for our umpires (see how we do it here) IF they disagree on something at the plate meeting, then we go by "championship book rule". They'll usually figure it out and agree on something at that moment.

It'll be interesting when we get to call more IP's for the change in arc height.
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Old Mon Mar 01, 2010, 04:28pm
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For the fun of it, I was looking at some of your local league rules and I saw this in the "Kent 12U rules"

Quote:
4. only a player in the starting line-up may re-enter the game (same as ASA)
I guess you're not responsible for the accuracy of any statement in the local rules, eh?
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Old Tue Mar 02, 2010, 09:27am
SRW SRW is offline
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Originally Posted by JefferMC View Post
I guess you're not responsible for the accuracy of any statement in the local rules, eh?
Nope.
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Old Tue Mar 02, 2010, 04:55pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
How do your local leagues handle exceptions or amendments to the standard rules?
From what I've seen with our city co-ed SP league, the local rules are handed out and/or e-mailed to both umpires and team managers.
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