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Seen in a game this weekend.

Aug 2, 2019
342
63
I'm going to challenge you for the worst umps of the weekend.

Picture this:

14C

Runner on 1st steals. Throw comes in way high, runner slides in. Runner sitting on the base, SS applies cursory tag. Runner called out. The ump called it as if it were a force. I think he still got it wrong if it was a force. That went in favor of us.

There was another similar play on a back pick where our runner was called out as if a force back to the bag, and the plate umpire corrected the call.

Runner on 1st, ground ball to second. Ball fielded in baseline. Runner retreats and is chased back by 2B. Runner then circles ten feet toward RF, runs around 2nd baseman. 2B throws late to first after chasing into RF. Everyone safe. Coach comes out and suggests that the runner was out of the baseline and should be out. Both umps act as though the did not see it happen. It happened 15ft from one that was watching the play. Call was in favor of us.

At this point I promised the other coach we didn't pay the umps. He said he wasn't mad at us, just wanted to know where to send the check.

Had a play at first that was an out by a full step called safe. That went against us. Make up call? Maybe.

Runners 1st and 2nd, single to outfield. Runner on second scores, girl on 1st goes to 3rd. Ball back to circle. Pitcher is standing with arms at sides looking back and forth between the runner and the ump as the runner dances for three back and forth for three seconds 10ft off 3B. Runner returns to base, no call. Pitcher is as confused as I have ever seen her. I call time and approach the umpire to tell him that the runner was stopped in the baseline after the pitcher had the ball in the circle, the runner should be out. He had a confused look on his face and said, "Didn't see it coach. Runner is safe." You were looking right at it. "Didn't see it." I asked the other ump if he saw it. He just shook his head and motioned safe. I calmly stated that it was clearly a look back rule violation, and it was clear they had never heard of it.

The last two extended the final inning and we blew a two run lead. I'm not sure if the earlier mistakes are what ended up giving us the lead in the first place, but it felt like the impact was bigger at the time.

UIC apologized to us later. She knew they shouldn't be on the field, but didn't have any available options. To the ump's credit, I did hear them asking about that play at the ump shack later on. The guys just didn't have any experience, and were thrown out there because they needed bodies and these guys were willing.
 
Feb 13, 2021
387
43
MI
I will suggest 2 reasons for this, one is umpires aren't working due to Covid. Any takers on guessing the other? (pssst, it isn't because all umpires suddenly want to take a day trip to zoo).

If coaches, parents, and players want to do something about the lack of umpires then they can start by acting like they appreciate them (yes, even the bad ones, without them there will not be games). They can also get out there and umpire themselves or work to recruit new umpires. You girls playing 16u and 18u, get out there and work 12u and under games. Parents, I am sure you know someone who used to play, or officiates other sports. Coaches, contact your past players.
 
Dec 15, 2018
366
63
CT
work to recruit new umpires.
This is big, especially the need for junior umpires. I'm not sure if it's just lack of kids willing, or liability or whatever, but need junior umps. When I'm assigned a 10U or 10U rec game even, I give them my best, because they deserve it...but I can't help thinking it's too much ump for them, and me doing this game means that the pool is diluted, so somewhere there's a 14U or 16U or middle school or high school game being done, where the game is faster, more intense, and the stakes are a little higher, and maybe isn't getting the level of officiating it needs. And the junior umps can develop skills and experience in a slower, lower stakes setting (provided parents aren't maniacs).
 
Feb 13, 2021
387
43
MI
I'm not sure if it's just lack of kids willing, or liability or whatever,

The reason is one of the 2 I mentioned above (HINT: It isn't due to covid).. Treat umpires with care and respect, even the "bad" ones. It is possible they ARE just starting out. They might be in over their heads, but I will bet dollars to donuts that they are NOT out there 'just to collect a check'. HCs work with them just as you work with your players, allow them to make mistakes and get better. Parents, cheer your DDs and their teammates. But, just as you wouldn't cheer AGAINST the other team, mocking them, ridiculing them, because that shows poor sportsmanship, don't do it with the umpires either. Without the men and women in blue there wouldn't be games. (Hrmmm, there is an idea, t-shirts and bumper stickers with an umpires mask and "I back the blue")
 
May 6, 2015
2,021
113
so how do you handle when an umpire completely blows a "judgement" call, like it really required no judgement whatsoever. this past weekend, semifinal game, 3rd or 4th inning, team at bat down 5-2, no outs, runner on 3rd, batter hits a squibber in the infield (effectively a bunt), on throw to 1B, runner on 3rd breaaks, after getting out at 1B, they throw home. ball was caught as runner began slide, but by the time tag was applied, runners hip was on top of plate (ie her entire leg had slid accross plate already? Call, out. correct call would have made it 5-3 with one out, instead still 5-2 with two outs. he simply blew it. our HC ended up getting tossed, arguing that the umpire was already starting out call on the catch (like it was force, did not even wait for tag).
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,848
113
Florida
If the count is wrong - while the ultimate responsibility lies on the umpire, you have scorekeepers, coaches and players who can question the count and let the umpire know that they need to double check they have it right. I am more than happy to go to my partner if I am not certain (or questioned about) my count, and then the scorekeepers if we are still uncertain. No umpire should turn down a request to verify the count if the coach says "I have 2-1 and you have '1-2' on your indicator.

This is big, especially the need for junior umpires. I'm not sure if it's just lack of kids willing, or liability or whatever, but need junior umps. When I'm assigned a 10U or 10U rec game even, I give them my best, because they deserve it...but I can't help thinking it's too much ump for them,
A big reason is the death of rec and travel becoming year round.

A lot of junior and new umpires used to come through rec programs - but now everyone is in travel so they don't have time for rec (either playing or umpiring). Years ago you could play a rec game and then help umpire a game on the same night. Used to be able to have your 14U+ play the later game, but turn up early to help umpire the 8U/10U early game.

Because of the tournament format, you can't play travel and umpire on the same weekend. Most new umpires are starting in 10U travel - that is NOT ideal even when they are paired with more experienced partners. 10U Travel Parents are generally insane and weird stuff happens because the players don't know what they are doing half the time. Other are starting with garbage HS games (which are awful) or are baseball umpires looking for some extra games.
 
Feb 13, 2021
387
43
MI
so how do you handle when an umpire completely blows a "judgement" call, like it really required no judgement whatsoever.
HCs work with them just as you work with your players, allow them to make mistakes and get better.
A batter swings at a pitch in the dirt, a fielder boots an easy grounder, of throws to a wrong base, what do you do? You realize this IS a game and one plate appearance or one fielding chance is not going to cost a player a scholarship or condemn to a life in the gulag. If an umpire truly, blatantly misses an easy call, it most likely won't be the last time it happens, the next time it could go against the other team. I am not exonerating poor umpiring, but bad calls, like bad bounces, tend to even out over a season/lifetime.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,848
113
Florida
so how do you handle when an umpire completely blows a "judgement" call, like it really required no judgement whatsoever. this past weekend, semifinal game, 3rd or 4th inning, team at bat down 5-2, no outs, runner on 3rd, batter hits a squibber in the infield (effectively a bunt), on throw to 1B, runner on 3rd breaaks, after getting out at 1B, they throw home. ball was caught as runner began slide, but by the time tag was applied, runners hip was on top of plate (ie her entire leg had slid accross plate already? Call, out. correct call would have made it 5-3 with one out, instead still 5-2 with two outs. he simply blew it. our HC ended up getting tossed, arguing that the umpire was already starting out call on the catch (like it was force, did not even wait for tag).
Depends on the situation; if the umpire is in perfect position and has all the elements of the play in front of them; you might as well stay where you are. If the umpire is in position, can see the ball, the runner, the plate and the fielder, then they have all the elements to make the call.

If you think there is an element they missed - you politely come out, say something they can check on - "I believe your view of the tag was blocked, can you see if your partner had a better angle' if true is a good one. "Runner never made the bag" is also a good one. "I believe the runner touched the bag with her outside foot and you were blocked from seeing that" might be a good one. "Your angle makes it difficult for you to see a pulled foot" is a very good one. These all say that the judgment call didn't have all the information needed to make the call.

"You got it wrong"... REALLY not a good one. "The tag was high" not a good one. "She beat the tag or throw " or "She already touched the bag" not good ones. Just saying "Can you check with your partner" is also a terrible one - because I am going to ask "What would you like me to check with my partner on" because I need to hear the element I was missing so I can get any additional information they may have on that element.

You HAVE TO give the umpire a legitimate element of the play that they couldn't see and take into account - that you just saw the call differently to the umpire is not enough.
 
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May 6, 2015
2,021
113
A batter swings at a pitch in the dirt, a fielder boots an easy grounder, of throws to a wrong base, what do you do? You realize this IS a game and one plate appearance or one fielding chance is not going to cost a player a scholarship or condemn to a life in the gulag. If an umpire truly, blatantly misses an easy call, it most likely won't be the last time it happens, the next time it could go against the other team. I am not exonerating poor umpiring, but bad calls, like bad bounces, tend to even out over a season/lifetime.
those are all instances of the girls playing the game deciding the game, how it should be.

not saying it is a capital crime, but this was just no way to not see it blown call. frustrating to girls mostly.
 
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