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Old Sat May 25, 2013, 05:14pm
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Tenn v. Bama

Bases loaded. Fly ball about 5 feet onto the grass directly behind 2nd base. CF runs in, bobbles the ball and drops it. They pick the ball up and get the force on R1 going into 2nd base.

To my surprise, I see the 3rd base umpire making the call. 1BU went out on the ball; however, there was no where to go out to. She must have gone out to accept responsibility for the call. Now the 3BU has to fly over to 2nd for the call.

It's rather shocking to me that the NCAA hasn't gone to shared responsibility on catch/no catch regardless of whether the umpire goes out.

Common sense umpiring would mean that 1BU turn to her right, signal "no catch" and then take the play into 2nd base. Why aren't umpires allowed to walk and chew gum at the same time?

When I first got into umpiring, our state mechanics used shared responsibility. It seemed to be logical and as a brand new umpire, I had no trouble using these mechanics. 15 years later, the mechanic is the same for my state and 2500 umpire use it without a problem.

Anyone who believes that there is a close correlation between proximity to the play and correctness of the call has to see the logic behind shared responsibility, without then wasting the umpire.
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Old Sat May 25, 2013, 05:41pm
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Maybe they pregamed that.
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Old Sat May 25, 2013, 06:03pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EsqUmp View Post
Bases loaded. Fly ball about 5 feet onto the grass directly behind 2nd base. CF runs in, bobbles the ball and drops it. They pick the ball up and get the force on R1 going into 2nd base.

To my surprise, I see the 3rd base umpire making the call. 1BU went out on the ball; however, there was no where to go out to. She must have gone out to accept responsibility for the call. Now the 3BU has to fly over to 2nd for the call.

It's rather shocking to me that the NCAA hasn't gone to shared responsibility on catch/no catch regardless of whether the umpire goes out.

Common sense umpiring would mean that 1BU turn to her right, signal "no catch" and then take the play into 2nd base. Why aren't umpires allowed to walk and chew gum at the same time?

When I first got into umpiring, our state mechanics used shared responsibility. It seemed to be logical and as a brand new umpire, I had no trouble using these mechanics. 15 years later, the mechanic is the same for my state and 2500 umpire use it without a problem.

Anyone who believes that there is a close correlation between proximity to the play and correctness of the call has to see the logic behind shared responsibility, without then wasting the umpire.
Where would U3 have been positioned with R1 on 1st?
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Old Sat May 25, 2013, 06:44pm
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Originally Posted by CecilOne View Post
Where would U3 have been positioned with R1 on 1st?
That wasn't the situation, so I'm not sure why it matters.

If it was only R1 on 1st base at TOP, then 3BU would have been near 2nd base.
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Old Sat May 25, 2013, 06:45pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shagpal View Post
Maybe they pregamed that.
I wouldn't recommend pregaming that a base umpire goes out on what amounts to an infield hit.
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Old Sat May 25, 2013, 09:58pm
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I believe bases were loaded at the time, so the third base umpire started off the 3rd base line.
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Old Sat May 25, 2013, 10:18pm
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Originally Posted by Tru_in_Blu View Post
I believe bases were loaded at the time, so the third base umpire started off the 3rd base line.
He started on the 3rd base line.
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Old Sun May 26, 2013, 07:04am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EsqUmp View Post
That wasn't the situation, so I'm not sure why it matters.

If it was only R1 on 1st base at TOP, then 3BU would have been near 2nd base.
That was my point, sorry for the misread.

OK, I was going by the "pick the ball up and get the force on R1 going into 2nd base."
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Old Sun May 26, 2013, 11:03am
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I have had partners tell me they might only turn to make that call, and perhaps hold up a hand to indicate they are staying in. Not "pivot" in the college sense, but simply opening up, making the call, then turning back in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EsqUmp View Post
I wouldn't recommend pregaming that a base umpire goes out on what amounts to an infield hit.
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Old Mon May 27, 2013, 10:54am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EsqUmp View Post
I wouldn't recommend pregaming that a base umpire goes out on what amounts to an infield hit.
Sometimes a "pre-game" isn't so much between partners as it is a "from-me-to-you" from a UIC or other umpire supervisor.

Don't like it and have never done it, but know of UICs that instruct (not optional) BU to "go out on everything that is not in front of you". I think it is absolutely absurd, but it happens with some UICs of any type of softball game.
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Old Mon May 27, 2013, 11:20am
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I would think that on a fly ball that shallow, with F8 charging in with the possibility of a shoestring catch, you would want an umpire chasing to get a good angle on that.

I don't work a lot of 3 umpire in the NCAA system, but I do know that the philosophy is to chase on "trouble" balls...and this meets that criteria from the initial description.

If I was U3 in this situation, I would expect my U1 partner to be chasing and I would have any calls at first or second.
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Old Mon May 27, 2013, 11:24am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
I would think that on a fly ball that shallow, with F8 charging in with the possibility of a shoestring catch, you would want an umpire chasing to get a good angle on that.

I don't work a lot of 3 umpire in the NCAA system, but I do know that the philosophy is to chase on "trouble" balls...and this meets that criteria from the initial description.

If I was U3 in this situation, I would expect my U1 partner to be chasing and I would have any calls at first or second.
That's because it only takes someone as big as you three steps to get into position
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Old Mon May 27, 2013, 06:32pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
I would think that on a fly ball that shallow, with F8 charging in with the possibility of a shoestring catch, you would want an umpire chasing to get a good angle on that.

I don't work a lot of 3 umpire in the NCAA system, but I do know that the philosophy is to chase on "trouble" balls...and this meets that criteria from the initial description.

If I was U3 in this situation, I would expect my U1 partner to be chasing and I would have any calls at first or second.
What is often lost in the entire "chase" theory in softball is the fact that quite often, the umpire can't get more than two or three steps before the ball gets to the defender. As a result, far too many umpires are moving when the ball arrives, rather than stopping, getting set and focusing. In that case, the umpire is better off not going at all.

While there are some occasions where going out is helpful, all too often the resulting position isn't much better, if at all, than the original position. Another problem is that umpires "chase" fly balls. This is a horrible term as it implies that the umpire should, wait for it...chase the ball. That is far from the truth. The umpire should run to get as close to a 90 degree angle looking into the ball.

Consider this: A baseball umpire's starting position is approximately 115 feet from home plate. From his original position, the foul pole can be another 190 feet away. In softball, the foul pole is 190 from home plate. So a baseball umpire's original starting position is the same distance as the plate umpire's position in softball. Somehow the baseball umpire's get most correct and look at the difference in distance, plus the added difficultly because of the smaller ball.

In the play I brought up, the 1BU couldn't possibly gain an advantage by "going out." The most she could have taken was a step and she would have gotten the 90 degree angle. In all reality, if the 2nd baseman had been playing back and actually made a play on the ball, this could have been (though it ultimately wasn't) a potential infield fly. I tend not to go out on infield flies.

My primary point, however, is that if NCAA would simply let the base umpire have catch/no catch responsibility WITHOUT having to commit to going out, they would make must greater use of all umpires.

Here's another example: No runners on. Low liner to the right fielder. NCAA would have the base umpire go out and then have the plate umpire take the play on BR at 1st base. Reality: 1BU can't take but two steps before having to get set. Getting 6 feet closer does virtually nothing to help get the call right. Why not have 1BU turn, signal fair/foul & catch/no catch, then turn back and make the call at 1st base?
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Old Tue May 28, 2013, 09:43am
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Originally Posted by EsqUmp View Post
That wasn't the situation, so I'm not sure why it matters.

If it was only R1 on 1st base at TOP, then 3BU would have been near 2nd base.
It was your terminology that caused his misread. If R1 is on first, bases can't be loaded, can they?
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Old Tue May 28, 2013, 10:33am
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Originally Posted by EsqUmp View Post
What is often lost in the entire "chase" theory in softball is the fact that quite often, the umpire can't get more than two or three steps before the ball gets to the defender. As a result, far too many umpires are moving when the ball arrives, rather than stopping, getting set and focusing. In that case, the umpire is better off not going at all.

While there are some occasions where going out is helpful, all too often the resulting position isn't much better, if at all, than the original position. Another problem is that umpires "chase" fly balls. This is a horrible term as it implies that the umpire should, wait for it...chase the ball. That is far from the truth. The umpire should run to get as close to a 90 degree angle looking into the ball.

Consider this: A baseball umpire's starting position is approximately 115 feet from home plate. From his original position, the foul pole can be another 190 feet away. In softball, the foul pole is 190 from home plate. So a baseball umpire's original starting position is the same distance as the plate umpire's position in softball. Somehow the baseball umpire's get most correct and look at the difference in distance, plus the added difficultly because of the smaller ball.

In the play I brought up, the 1BU couldn't possibly gain an advantage by "going out." The most she could have taken was a step and she would have gotten the 90 degree angle. In all reality, if the 2nd baseman had been playing back and actually made a play on the ball, this could have been (though it ultimately wasn't) a potential infield fly. I tend not to go out on infield flies.

My primary point, however, is that if NCAA would simply let the base umpire have catch/no catch responsibility WITHOUT having to commit to going out, they would make must greater use of all umpires.

Here's another example: No runners on. Low liner to the right fielder. NCAA would have the base umpire go out and then have the plate umpire take the play on BR at 1st base. Reality: 1BU can't take but two steps before having to get set. Getting 6 feet closer does virtually nothing to help get the call right. Why not have 1BU turn, signal fair/foul & catch/no catch, then turn back and make the call at 1st base?
I disagree for a couple of reasons. First...one or two steps often does provide a better angle or view in most situations. Of course, there will always be exceptions and perhaps your play is one of them.

I also don't like the idea of "shared responsibilities" as you call them. I believe it can lead to too much confusion between the crew as to who is going to take what call in what situation, and what happens if the two umpires that are "sharing" responsibilities come up with two different calls on the same play? The other issue I have is how to read that your partner is going to turn to take an outfield call, then come back in to make an infield call...I worked with a guy in a two umpire system game this past year that would do this on any ball to right field when he was on the line. He would turn and even take a step or two, which I read as chasing the ball, then he would come back in to pick up runners. We even had a double call at first on one play, fortunately, we both had the same call. For umpires that work together infrequently, even those at a very high level, I just think this could cause more problems than it solves.
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