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Old Mon Sep 09, 2013, 09:55am
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Lineup Card SNAFU

I had the plate for a local weekend ASA girls fastpitch tourney championship game yesterday. The game was progressing well and went into extras with no score. Then the roof caved in on me. Here's what happened.

The visiting team's head coach reported a defensive substitution to me before the start of the bottom of the seventh inning. I had my lineup card out, and wrote down what I thought I heard her tell me--"ten for eleven". I repeated back to her what I understood was the change, and did my one slash mark through "11" and wrote "10" in the sub column next to that player as she stood next to me. After I asked if that was all, I then went over to the opposing team's scorer and announced the change.

In the top of the eighth, the visitors had runners at second and third with two outs. The next batter came up and hit a fly ball over F7's head to break the scoreless deadlock at 2-0. The home team's head coach then requested Time and came to me. He said, "They just used an illegal batter, Blue." I pulled out my lineup card again, and he said, "You did tells us that their #10 subbed for #11, right?" I checked the card and said, "Yes, I did." He responded, "Well, #11 is the one who just got that hit." Oh oh...

I walked up to the visitor's head coach who was in the third base coach's box talking to #11 who came over from second base, and asked her, "You did report to me that your #10 replaced #11, right?" She looked at me puzzled and replied, "No, #10 came in for #7. She's about to bat next." Sure enough, #10 was standing at the plate. I looked at my lineup card, and saw where #7 followed #11 in the starting batting order. I showed her my card and said, "I understood you to say '10 for 11', and that's what I wrote down in front of you." She insisted that she said "10 for 7", and that #11 was still in the game. In fact, #11 played defense in the bottom of the seventh inning.

So now, my mind's a blank, and I call over my partner. We talked it over a few seconds, and then decided to call over the tournament UIC. After explaining what happened, the UIC said, "Manny, what you have on your lineup card is official." I wanted to crawl under home plate and hide. I had no choice but to rule #11 as an unreported substitute, since she re-entered without being reported by what my lineup card reflected. At the time, I ruled #11 out, and took the runs off the board. Sure enough, the home team won the game--and the championship--in the bottom half of the eighth.

I had a lengthy discussion with the UIC in the parking lot after the game. I told her I felt horrible, but she insisted that the coach should have ensured what I reported back to her was the change she wanted. My UIC highly suggested, based on a similar situation that happened to her, that anytime I take a lineup change from a coach, I show him/her what I wrote down on my card, and ask him/her to verbally verify the change. I still felt at fault, and didn't have a pleasant drive home.

Now that I've had some time to reflect, was my ruling correct? Did the fact that #11 never left the field on defense in the bottom of the seventh make a difference? The opposing team never protested the unreported substitution until #11 batted, but in theory (although I can't verify) she became an unreported substitute when she stayed in the game to play defense.

What a way to end a well-played game...
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Old Mon Sep 09, 2013, 10:18am
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You said you repeated the change to her and she did not correct you then, so it was official when you recorded it. Once that happens it becomes the responsibility of the other team to catch the unreported substitution. Just because the player was still out on defense doesnt make a difference. Its completely within the other teams right to leave it be until such time as that player makes a play on defense or completes an at bat.

I have had a similar situation where a coach insisted I had taken the wrong substitution. Just as in your situation the coach gave me the change, I recorded it, repeated the change back to them and they just nodded and walked away. If you repeat the change to them and they dont correct an error at that point, it becomes their problem not yours.
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Old Mon Sep 09, 2013, 10:22am
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seven does sound like eleven. maybe you were thinking of a big gulp.

This seems to happen a lot. I been taught to have the coach stay with me and watch as I record the change on the lineup card
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Old Mon Sep 09, 2013, 10:36am
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You did nothing wrong. It's the coach's responsibility to make sure what they wanted is what you heard. Especially after you repeated it to her and she said that you got it.
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Old Mon Sep 09, 2013, 10:39am
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It may or may not help, but you could say back to the coach, #10 Suzie for #11 Gertie. Adding the name after the number may make the coach realize they told you wrong. Dave
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Old Mon Sep 09, 2013, 10:56am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
It may or may not help, but you could say back to the coach, #10 Suzie for #11 Gertie. Adding the name after the number may make the coach realize they told you wrong. Dave
Ruling was absolutely per the book, no doubt. And the tip above, verbalizing their names, Smith for Jones, is truly helpful.

The other tip/trick/suggestion I use is to think like I am in a college stadium with a remote official scorer/announcer. Point to the position (even in your head) you are changing while making the defensive change; it may well strike you that that isn't what they changed, that the new number/player isn't there. Then, you can call the coach back and get it repeated and clarified, before you report it as official. It is still correctable until you have completed the action of recording and subsequent reporting.

Again, even when you did nothing wrong, it is a sinking feeling when you realize you affected the result of the game, and maybe could have avoided it. Good for you, actually, that you care; so many don't.
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Old Mon Sep 09, 2013, 12:22pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shagpal View Post
seven does sound like eleven. maybe you were thinking of a big gulp.
Yeah, after the explanation, the coach kept repeating, "Seven eleven. Seven eleven," as if to either remind herself that they sound alike, or to subtly chastise me for not understanding the difference.

Candidly, she could've been the one who made the mistake, and actually said "Ten for Eleven". It's possible she first wanted to replace 11, but then changed her mind as she approached me, only to verbalize her original intent. Who knows?

I should've repeated back to her the way I normally announce changes to coaches and scorers. I verbalize "11" as "One-One," not "eleven." For some reason, I didn't do this with her, and it came back to bite me. Oh well, lesson definitely learned...
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Old Mon Sep 09, 2013, 01:52pm
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SNAFU? If that's Situation Normal, Manny, you have my sympathies. I kid, I kid....

It certainly was FUBAR, though. Glad I haven't had anything like that happen to me. I usually use the name suggestion above for subs; "11 Molly in for 10 Mary, Coach?"
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Old Mon Sep 09, 2013, 02:27pm
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I'll usually only use the numbers, but I will have the coach watch me make the change and then look at the lineup card and verify the change before we part.
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Old Mon Sep 09, 2013, 02:43pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
Yeah, after the explanation, the coach kept repeating, "Seven eleven. Seven eleven," as if to either remind herself that they sound alike, or to subtly chastise me for not understanding the difference.

Candidly, she could've been the one who made the mistake, and actually said "Ten for Eleven". It's possible she first wanted to replace 11, but then changed her mind as she approached me, only to verbalize her original intent. Who knows?

I should've repeated back to her the way I normally announce changes to coaches and scorers. I verbalize "11" as "One-One," not "eleven." For some reason, I didn't do this with her, and it came back to bite me. Oh well, lesson definitely learned...
Manny,
I had a similar situation in a District LL tournament game. The Home Team Manager came to and made a change that I repeated back to him in the bottom of the 4th inning.
Top of the 6th inning ended with the player not receiving their 1 at bat and even though the HT was winning 8-2 and were celebrating the win, the VT Coach came out and asked for a protest that the player was in violation of not having his 1 at bat.
I went to the TD and informed him of the protest, (no need to go to my partners since the were not involved in the change).
Since this was back in the day when this type of violation of LL's Mandatory Play rule was a forfeit, it went quickly to District, to Region, to Williamsport who upheld the forfeit as my line up is the official one.
The HT Manager and Coaches were screaming at me during the process and all I said to them was that I repeated their change back to them so why was I the one who misunderstood.
Manny, I am sure you have successfully made hundreds, if not thousands of changes over the years you have umpired. Don't beat yourself up over this. You did what you were told to do, plain and simple.
The only change I have made in my method of making changes is to have the manager making the change on defense, make them with me by the scorekeeper and have them confirm back to both of us the change. It is obvious on offensive changes because LL requires them to be made at the time of the at bat, so there is virtually no chance of a wrong change.
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Old Mon Sep 09, 2013, 04:39pm
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oh thank heaven, for 7/11! maybe she wanted a big gulp.

it's really on her once you acknowledge back, but if you have her stay with you and watch while you make the changes on the lineup card, what can she say? that she didn't hear OR see the changes acknowledged back? sometimes I'll even show the lineup card and ask, "that the way you want it"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
Yeah, after the explanation, the coach kept repeating, "Seven eleven. Seven eleven," as if to either remind herself that they sound alike, or to subtly chastise me for not understanding the difference.

Candidly, she could've been the one who made the mistake, and actually said "Ten for Eleven". It's possible she first wanted to replace 11, but then changed her mind as she approached me, only to verbalize her original intent. Who knows?

I should've repeated back to her the way I normally announce changes to coaches and scorers. I verbalize "11" as "One-One," not "eleven." For some reason, I didn't do this with her, and it came back to bite me. Oh well, lesson definitely learned...
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Old Mon Sep 09, 2013, 05:39pm
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Due to problems I've seen in other games (this is a good example) I make the coach stand next to me as I write it down and confirm that it is what they want. I always use names and numbers, especially because it is the name, NOT the number that dictates the change.

While there are no guarantees, these small things go a long way to prevent problems.
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Old Mon Sep 09, 2013, 08:02pm
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You can talk to the coach, repeat the change, ask him/her to stay there and watch, but you cannot control the coach's mind or attention if they are not willing to partake.

You can only listen, record, repeat and present the information. You cannot force them to partake if they don't want to be bothered.
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Old Mon Sep 09, 2013, 09:01pm
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Originally Posted by shipwreck View Post
It may or may not help, but you could say back to the coach, #10 Suzie for #11 Gertie. Adding the name after the number may make the coach realize they told you wrong. Dave
That's what I do. It's caught more than one error.

Rita
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Old Tue Sep 10, 2013, 01:09pm
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I always add "10 for 11 in the sixth spot in the order, right?
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