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Thread: Umpire would NOT call strikes

  1. #11
    Administrator Ken Krause's Avatar
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    Theoretically, balls and strikes are based on where the ball crosses the plate. If the ball cross the plate knee-high and over the plate, then takes a dive into the dirt right after, it should be a strike. Not everyone understands that, however. Umpires shouldn't be relying on where/how the catcher catches the ball, but if they never did we wouldn't spend so much time teaching catchers to frame the pitch.

    What I've never understood is why some umpires have such small strike zones. Not good ones, of course, and certainly none who are members of DFP. But some just don't seem to like to call strikes. You would think it was in their best interest to call them since no one wants to see a walk fest and the game will take longer if you're not moving it along. Maybe it has something to do with time limits, since there's no penalty of staying longer if there are fewer outs. Still, no one is going to be happy on either if pitchers aren't allowed the corners, even with the whole ball on. So why do it?
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    Softball Junkie pattar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Krause View Post
    Theoretically, balls and strikes are based on where the ball crosses the plate. If the ball cross the plate knee-high and over the plate, then takes a dive into the dirt right after, it should be a strike. Not everyone understands that, however. Umpires shouldn't be relying on where/how the catcher catches the ball, but if they never did we wouldn't spend so much time teaching catchers to frame the pitch.

    What I've never understood is why some umpires have such small strike zones. Not good ones, of course, and certainly none who are members of DFP. But some just don't seem to like to call strikes. You would think it was in their best interest to call them since no one wants to see a walk fest and the game will take longer if you're not moving it along. Maybe it has something to do with time limits, since there's no penalty of staying longer if there are fewer outs. Still, no one is going to be happy on either if pitchers aren't allowed the corners, even with the whole ball on. So why do it?
    Not to be cynical...ok I am being cynical, but some umpires/referees/judges seem to like to be the center of attention and don't seem to care if that
    attention is all negative...

  4. #13
    I can talk softball all day CoachJD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pattar View Post
    Not to be cynical...ok I am being cynical, but some umpires/referees/judges seem to like to be the center of attention and don't seem to care if that
    attention is all negative...
    Yep. Give them a little bit of power, and they have to exert it. I feel bad for those umps (they're rare, of course). I imagine their lives outside of umpiring are not very fulfilling, and this is the one time they're "in charge" and they don't really know how to handle it.

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    Certified softball maniac marriard's Avatar
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    Most people would probably be shocked by how much catchers receiving is discussed in umpires forums and various publications in regards to calling close balls and strikes. Especially in baseball - and especially in amateur umpiring where the officials are for the most part not full time professionals.

    I have seen seasoned umpires say (in writing) after all their advice - "if you want to survive, if the catcher catches it like a ball, call a ball. If he catches it like a strike, call a strike"

    You would probably NOT be shocked by how much arguing goes on about it. Discussion about building a zone from the top down or bottom up or even sides. How much to give outside (and not inside). Height addition to the zone by age group.

    One thing I have learned is that small zones are actually easier to be consistent on - which makes sense - it is a smaller defined area where you have to make a decision.

    Common across umpiring almost any sport (and I have umpired 3 or 4 including 1 at the college level) is discussion about avoiding 'gross mistakes' or 'gross misses'. Avoiding looking incompetent is important in officiating a good game. People will forgive a confident close call you may miss - but they will question everything when you totally miss something (there are ways you CAN recover - none are easy).

    So considering that a smaller zone is easier to be consistent on and most umpires in travel and rec are not what you would class as full time professional officials... would you rather see a larger inconsistent zone or a consistent smaller zone?
    Last edited by marriard; 11-13-2017 at 10:05 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4 girl's dad View Post
    It could be worse....
    Yes, it can. At least a small zone keeps it to pitches that can actually be hit.
    Hit hard. Run fast. Turn left.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marriard View Post
    Most people would probably be shocked by how much catchers receiving is discussed in umpires forums and various publications in regards to calling close balls and strikes. Especially in baseball - and especially in amateur umpiring where the officials are for the most part not full time professionals.

    I have seen seasoned umpires say (in writing) after all their advice - "if you want to survive, if the catcher catches it like a ball, call a ball. If he catches it like a strike, call a strike"

    You would probably NOT be shocked by how much arguing goes on about it. Discussion about building a zone from the top down or bottom up or even sides. How much to give outside (and not inside). Height addition to the zone by age group.

    One thing I have learned is that small zones are actually easier to be consistent on - which makes sense - it is a smaller defined area where you have to make a decision.

    Common across umpiring almost any sport (and I have umpired 3 or 4 including 1 at the college level) is discussion about avoiding 'gross mistakes' or 'gross misses'. Avoiding looking incompetent is important in officiating a good game. People will forgive a confident close call you may miss - but they will question everything when you totally miss something (there are ways you CAN recover - none are easy).

    So considering that a smaller zone is easier to be consistent on and most umpires in travel and rec are not what you would class as full time professional officials... would you rather see a larger inconsistent zone or a consistent smaller zone?
    Consistency is key, always. Give me a consistent zone any day. But the OP says that the umpire TOLD him he wouldn't call strikes because of where the catcher caught it. That is ridiculous. Just because the catcher wasn't catching correctly doesn't mean the pitches aren't strikes.
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    Always learning... Eric F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamommax3 View Post
    Consistency is key, always. Give me a consistent zone any day. But the OP says that the umpire TOLD him he wouldn't call strikes because of where the catcher caught it. That is ridiculous. Just because the catcher wasn't catching correctly doesn't mean the pitches aren't strikes.
    My DD loves catching in front of umpires that tell her their calls are affected by how she receives the ball.
    Hit hard. Run fast. Turn left.

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    Checking out the clubhouse gamommax3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
    My DD loves catching in front of umpires that tell her their calls are affected by how she receives the ball.
    Absolutely! We have two catchers that are awesome at getting calls. I certainly am not taking anything away from the great catchers out there working their craft. Just commenting on the fact that the umpire admitted to not watching where the ball was pitched but instead focusing on the catcher's technique and where she caught the ball. That is a shame for the pitcher and the game in general. (NOT a pitcher mom either )
    Coach's wife and #7's mom

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    For me, as long as the umpires is consistent i don’t care too much what their strike zone is. The pitchers and batters who adjust to the umpires strike zone will be more successful.

  13. #20
    JAD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
    Yes, it can. At least a small zone keeps it to pitches that can actually be hit.
    This is the umpire I want when my DD is pitching, when she is hitting, not so much...
    "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times" ~Bruce Lee

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