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gumpire Fri Oct 21, 2011 09:40pm

Are you f***ing kidding me
 
Just got an e-mail from our local deputy UIC/assignor that I will not be working tournament this weekend because teams threatened not to play in the tournament if I was there!!!!!

1) What team named me (by name) and threatened not to play?
2) Since when do teams get to pick and choose umpire assignments?

3) If I'd known it was that easy to get rid of them, I'd have told them that I was working every single game ever!!!!

Honestly, I'm really irritated!!! If the issue is rule knowledge/application, that's 1 thing (1 thing the DUIC and/or UIC should have addressed long before now!!!), but if it's judgement, that's BULLSH*T!!!!

Thoughts? Opinions?

derwil Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:36pm

I think I'd find a new UIC to work for.

okla21fan Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:21am

There has to be more to this story and more history. Having a conversation with your assignor and executive board is warranted.

As an assigner, yes there are some blues on occasion (that I will put on a secondary list for 'issues' and not just one or even a few, but over time, its better for the softball association as a whole to not work 'said' umpire if possible) The point is, that before doing something like this, there should be specific instances and documented issues on hand :(

MrRabbit Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:21am

gumpire,

It is not worth it, find some place else to umpire.

IRISHMAFIA Sat Oct 22, 2011 08:17am

From association POV:

I would depend on who is running the tournament. Like it or not, in many, if not most cases, the sanctioning body is just that, the sanctioning body, not necessarily the host.

The host has every right to exclude umpires, teams, whomever from their tournament. Whether you like it or not, they are the customer and can just as easily pick up the phone and call XYZ Softball Assn and have them sanction the game and provide umpires.

From UIC POV:

I agree, if there is a problem with the mechanics/rule knowledge/attitude, I would hope that I would be aware of it and had it addressed long before something like this happens.

I would not tell an umpire the reason I'm not using him/her is because the teams do not want him/her working the games. However, I would want specifics of any allegations and if I thought they were unjustified, I would fight for the umpire to work if I needed him/her to complete the assignments. If they are justified, I'm having a talk with the umpire about something I obviously did not see.

I have often been criticized of some of the assignments I've given umpires, but always vindicated by the umpire's performance and willingness to step up their game when necessary (though I'm a firm believer an umpire should always give the same effort to every game)

Like it or not, the UIC is subject to the same "host" issues noted above and I've seen such an adjustement made at a high-level tournament by a NUS member simply because they did not have to choose ASA as the sanctioning body. If the UIC is instructed to not use a certain umpire(s), s/he will do just that or not be the UIC very long.

From umpire POV:

I would want specifics. If I'm doing something wrong or am acting in a manner detrimental to my game, I'm going to want the opportunity to correct it. If there are no specifics to be had or an unwillingness to discuss this by anyone in the organization, I may either retire or find another venue to ply my trade.

Simply telling an umpire they are not welcome without a reason is something that never occurs.

celebur Sat Oct 22, 2011 01:59pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by gumpire (Post 795273)
Honestly, I'm really irritated!!! If the issue is rule knowledge/application, that's 1 thing (1 thing the DUIC and/or UIC should have addressed long before now!!!), but if it's judgement, that's BULLSH*T!!!!

Thoughts? Opinions?

My first thought--there's more to umpiring than rule knowledge/application and judgement. Maybe it's something else?

My second thought--I don't think an email is a proper way for your deputy UIC/assignor to inform you of that news.

IRISHMAFIA Sat Oct 22, 2011 03:10pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by celebur (Post 795327)
My second thought--I don't think an email is a proper way for your deputy UIC/assignor to inform you of that news.

A couple years ago I would agree, but in today's world, an e-mail is probably preferred to a "tweet" or text message on the phone.

Also, if something is askew with this decision, it provides gumpire with documentation which you wouldn't have short of recording an unexpected phone or personal conversation.

gumpire Sat Oct 22, 2011 06:11pm

Thanks for the input received so far!!! I look forward to hearing more thoughts/opinions.

I'd just like to share; the issue at hand is not whether I was assigned games in the tournament or not, the issue is the situation:

1) Locally this is the last softball to be played for 2011;
2) there are 30+ teams playing on 6 different fields (as I understand it);
3) obviously, I was NOT the umpire assigned to any of those fields.
4) I have an EXTREMELY difficult time believing that players were willing to forgo playing in this tournament if I was even there, working their game or not.

If I had been assigned to games in this tournament, and a particular team (or 2, or even 3) went to the TD and said they did not want to play with me working the game, and on that basis the TD reassigned me, I wouldn't like it, but I would understand and comply.

I believe this sets a local precedence that will benefit no person, complex, league, tournament, etc:
If my team doesn't like that umpire, we just refuse to play if he/she's at the complex --- he/she'll be "unassigned"!!!!

Please continue to share thoughts and opinions. Thanks.

LIUmp Sat Oct 22, 2011 08:41pm

Not to put you on the spot, but I am sure there is more to this story. Can you elaborate all you know? Have you ever, at any point, had a UIC or your assignor have a conversation with you about your umpiring? If so, what was it concerning?

Do you know of the teams/level/association involved? How often have you done their games this past year? Have you had any issues in those games?

Have you had issues with partners?

Have you had issues with parents? How about a certain level? I know some guys that I've UIC'd for who are good umpires, but who have a quick temper and can not manage coaches or spectators - that is they will argue with all around.

I was umpiring in a tourney this year where the TD said that he didn't want a certain umpire to work the semis and finals because he had an issue with his game management. It was taking 3 hours and 15 minutes to play an untimed semi final because his strike zone was very inconsistent and he was out to prove a point to all involved that HE was in charge. The UIC of the tourney asked me to do the next game behind the plate and we moved him to third base for the finals. After the game he was told about his "attitude" and that he would be limited in his assignments if things didn't change.

I'm curious as to why you are completely unaware of any reason why this might be happening. Your UIC/assignor and association owe you some explanation. But, unfortunately, they do not owe you much else (meaning work).

I don't mean to sound like a hard a$$ here...but in order to get to the bottom of it, you have to start digging and finding out the problem so it can be rectified, whatever it may be.

On edit: Did you have any harsh words with your UIC or assignor? Did you turn back any games? Did you have limited availability when he needed you and now he's "taking it out on you?" Do you work for a competing organization and there's a conflict of interest?

IRISHMAFIA Sat Oct 22, 2011 08:48pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by LIUmp (Post 795372)
I was umpiring in a tourney this year where the TD said that he didn't want a certain umpire to work the semis and finals because he had an issue with his game management. It was taking 3 hours and 15 minutes to play an untimed semi final because his strike zone was very inconsistent and he was out to prove a point to all involved that HE was in charge. The UIC of the tourney asked me to do the next game behind the plate and we moved him to third base for the finals. After the game he was told about his "attitude" and that he would be limited in his assignments if things didn't change.


I think this is apples/oranges. Not using an umpire because s/he is not qualified isn't (or at least I think it isn't) the conversation here.

LIUmp Sat Oct 22, 2011 08:55pm

While I'm not disagreeing Mike, I don't know if it is the conversation here or not. Suppose this is an 18U tourney and the umpire in question is more "suited" to work 12U and below and runs into many more issues working any higher level games. Then we just may be talking about the same fruit after all.

MrRabbit Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:06pm

gumpire stated...

"Just got an e-mail from our local deputy UIC / assignor that I will not be working tournament this weekend because teams threatened not to play in the tournament if I was there!!!!!"

The reason aside for his local UIC / assigner choose to address this issue with an e-mail is nothing but "Chicken "Sh*T".

This matter should have handled by a phone call at least.

Better yet should have been in person with a detailed discussion with the facts in either case.

And gumpire said that he has not heard of any problems concerning rule knowledge / application, or any other reasons at this point in time.

If there are issues they should have been deal with long before this happened.

This UIC need to have come to meeting with their high ups, lets hope their next in charge does not operate the same way.

gumpire Sun Oct 23, 2011 01:55am

Quote:

Originally Posted by LIUmp (Post 795372)
Not to put you on the spot, but I am sure there is more to this story. Can you elaborate all you know? Have you ever, at any point, had a UIC or your assignor have a conversation with you about your umpiring? If so, what was it concerning?

The TD for this tournament also run a rec league at the same complex and has stated to me on occasion that teams complained (during regular leave play) that I was allowing pitchers to exceed the height limit and asked me to bring it down. This was when the limit was 12' and he suggested I call anything above 10' illegal.

Quote:

Do you know of the teams/level/association involved? How often have you done their games this past year? Have you had any issues in those games?
I do not know any of the teams for absolute, but we are a pretty small community and I would estimate I know (from league play) at least 1/2 of the players. It is a Co-Ed C/D/E for fun tournament. ASA rules. I have worked other tournaments this year (including a local Co-Ed for fun last weekend, which probably had many of the same teams) as well as Fall season (ended early Oct). No issues.

Quote:

Have you had issues with partners?
No.

Quote:

How about a certain level? I know some guys that I've UIC'd for who are good umpires, but who have a quick temper and can not manage coaches or spectators - that is they will argue with all around.
I only work SP "adult" rec league locally. I have been doing that within the same association and the same local rec leagues for 4 years now.

Quote:

...you have to start digging and finding out the problem so it can be rectified, whatever it may be.
Digging has begun!!!!

Quote:

On edit: Did you have any harsh words with your UIC or assignor? Did you turn back any games? Did you have limited availability when he needed you and now he's "taking it out on you?" Do you work for a competing organization and there's a conflict of interest?
I was not available to work this summer and communicated that to the assignor early in the year. When I became available at the beginning of August (start of Fall season) I was regularly assigned games and worked all that I was assigned.

soundedlikeastrike Sun Oct 23, 2011 03:08pm

"3) If I'd known it was that easy to get rid of them, I'd have told them that I was working every single game ever!!!!"


I gotta ask, is this the problem?

Did/do you have specific issues/problems with certain teams you work in this league?

TD's/Host's or whomever is putting on this tournament, are in it usually for one thing, to make money. At least in my experiences, tournaments are fund raisers.

Let's see, do I lose out on X teams fees (3 teams X 250-350 bucks per) or do I hurt one umpires feelings?
Seems a no brainer to me from the TD's perspective.

Your assigning organization is somewhat in the same boat, they generally get a cut for each assignment, no? Do they lose X amount or do they hurt one guys feelings? Do they back one at the expense of all the others?

I was faced with a similar situation, a local BB Pres. and coach I'd umpired disagreed with my " verbatim, by the book ruling" and stated to my UIC, "we will not play if this guy works." He was an uniformed, unknowlegable, loud mouthed hot head and really had no clue but, he was still the boss, it happens.

My association and fellow umpires backed me all the way, at the risk of losing lot's of money.
And unlike you're scenario it was all up front, communication was candid and open. My association confirmed to the Pres that; "we do the assigning not you." I was assigned the next game "the pres's" and additonal upcoming games as well the following week, this was also communicated to the pres.

I feigned injury and sickness and said "sorry boss I can't cover those games, please find someone else."
They did and all were happy and content including me. I was not willing to jeopordize a good thing for my association just so my feelings would go unhurt, this was a youth league, they had seen enough of this pres's antics already and didn't need any further embarrasing moments via him, and it was a great local training ground for our newbies, noI to mention a cash cow, I know a good thing when I see it..

So give em the benefit of the doubt, but do indeed keep digging and certainly communicate with your assigning body to get the "no stuff" details of the situation.

If it was really the TD's decision then I would be hesitant to hang your assignor just yet. Just a thought, but unless you've signed agreements between your assoc. and the leagues your covering, you're assoc. really has no choice but to swallow some pride and cover the games the way the customer wants it or move on and find something else, not always a viable option these days.

Express your feelings with the assoc. E-board or whatever mechanism is in place, perhaps at one of your all hands meetings? Get this in the open, then attack it as an association in a "consolidated manner." Perhaps an amendment to your by-laws, if a blue gets singled out and banned for no good reason, we'll pay him a stipend anyway, file it under travel, or misc. funds and move on.

Continue to work hard to make teams say; hey, if this guy "isn't" working this tourny, we won't show up."

IRISHMAFIA Sun Oct 23, 2011 04:21pm

Any ultimatum by any team should be, "thank you, maybe the next tournament" and move on.

Use to hear all sorts of crap from teams and the State Player Rep (ASA) whining about how 'WE', not anyone else, did not run tournaments for SP teams in the area and that is why the teams didn't play ASA. It should be noted that 'WE' have tried, but it seems no matter what weekend is chosen, it just wasn't good enough for them. So, last year at the state meeting I stood up and challenged the State Player Rep to get together with his friends and teams and pick any weekend and we would run a tournament for them, they set any parameters that would not be a safety issue (HR, time limit, etc). The next call I get from him will be the first in more than a year.

Had an associate work a Men's Major or Super Nat for either Bernie P or Dan B and the tournament had to go to a reserve box of softballs and two brands ended up on a field in the same game. My buddy threw in whatever ball came out of his bag, didn't really pay attention to the brand name. Well, at one point the manager of one of the teams started giving my pal a hard time and demanded they be able to hit the ball they want. The umpire told them they were going to hit whatever ball came out of the bag. After a few minutes, the UIC was at the field and asked what the problem was. Before the umpire could say anything, this manager started on him and stated his team wasn't playing with XYZ ball. The UIC told the PU to pull his crew, the game was over. The manager started back-pedaling quickly. The UIC told him he and team could pack their bags, if they weren't going to play, they could go home.

Moral of the story is that dealing and complying with ultimatums usually doesn't end well for anyone and can actually be detrimental to those who think they have helped the situation through accommodation.


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