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A thread for the umps...what would you do’s, oddball plays, war stories

Dec 15, 2018
243
43
CT
So, first year ump. At this point I’ve done 40 or so games. 90% are solo, and only a couple have I had someone there to evaluate or comment. So I’m definitely missing the feedback and chatter with other umps. Thought it would be nice just to share questions, weird plays, whatever.

A couple just from today:

14u, USA, solo, COVID rules have me behind pitcher. Tapper up 1st baseline fielded by F3...I have ZERO angle on tag attempt, so call her safe. Almost sure I kicked it, but no partner to ask. Coach came out to argue, and just told her I didn’t see a tag (which I didn’t - I couldn’t).

Same game, R1 steals second, “safe” by 2 seconds...but this field has so much fluffy dirt that there’s a full 2 inches of built up dirt between her cleat and the bag...fortunately for me F6 never tags her. I would have hated to call that out.

Last today, 10u, USA, PU...2 outs, bottom of last inning, an overmatched 9yo who has already been nailed by a pitch earlier in the game, swings crazily at a hummer that hits her in the chest. She’s crying, writhing in pain, grandpa yelling “take your base!”...and I have to call “dead ball, strike.” She ends up striking out to end the game. Not exactly a high to end the day.

Anyway, feel free to add your stories, things you wish you could chat with someone about. even if no one replies, I’ll keep using this as a place just to document all the weird stuff umps see (and feel).
 
Dec 15, 2018
243
43
CT
Did two rec games today, both great reminders about timing. In rec around here, anything can, and everything does happen, so anticipating plays will burn you.

Balls drop that would never drop in travel, girls randomly take the ball out of their glove before tagging someone, throws go where you wouldn’t expect them. It’s actually great because it is so easy to get caught raising your hand for the out call, or taking that step to the spot that would get the angle too early.

Biggest takeaway from the day was that it was great to see two towns with vibrant 10u and 12u rec programs, and the girls had a blast. (And with temps in the 50’s, didn’t have to change shirts between games)...
 
Oct 11, 2018
155
28
Did my 1st 2 games since March. 16U travel. Good games. Had 3 infield DPs, a Derek Jeter full layout at 2B followed by a bounced throw to 1st for the out. A couple of amazing catches in OF; one sliding in by F9 and one going away by F8. Girl thrown out at 3rd going for a triple to deep center. 1 man games so bit of hustling. Highlight, runner scoring followed by play at 3rd and I made to 3rd for the call. As I'm walking back towards plate a dad said, your hustling more than the girls. Good day. Good to get back out there. Icing the knees now!
 
Aug 25, 2019
522
63
Right on Wildcat!...Welcome to the club, brother!....Only 2nd year here, and I've learned, if you make the call (especially by yourself) then its the call that's gonna stand.

I had a 12U rec game this year by myself behind the pitcher. Girl gets a hit, the girl on third comes home, and the girl on second comes home, but for some reason the first girl was standing in the lefty batters box cheering on the 2nd girl. The 1st girl kind of interfered with the throw to the catcher. I didn't really comprehend what I saw since it was so odd, so I called her safe. the coach came out to question it, didn't really argue, I told him the 2nd girl beat the throw, he was good with that, a good guy. After running the play back in my head a few times, I did blow the call, the 1st runner was clearing interfering. Didn't really make a difference in final score, but afterwards, I did tell the coach I blew that one. He appreciated it.
That same game, the hotshot pitcher (12 years old) was giving me lip about the strikezone ...."Ah that was in there!....."That wasn't high", and after she said to me "come on, call it right" I called time, had her coach come out and said "If you say another word to me again, I'm throwing you out, and let me tell you something, this may be the first time you hear this, but if you ever talk to another umpire like that in rec ball, in travel ball, in school ball, or in college ball, you will be thrown out again and again. The coach apologized to me, but the girl didn't.

A quick one: Was working bases last year, a real close play at first, she was out by half a step, I saw it clearly, but for some reason my arms shot out in the "safe" sign (good thing I didn't verbalize it)no one said anything, so the called stands!
 
Dec 15, 2018
243
43
CT
That same game, the hotshot pitcher (12 years old) was giving me lip about the strikezone ...."Ah that was in there!....."That wasn't high", and after she said to me "come on, call it right" I called time, had her coach come out and said "If you say another word to me again, I'm throwing you out, and let me tell you something, this may be the first time you hear this, but if you ever talk to another umpire like that in rec ball, in travel ball, in school ball, or in college ball, you will be thrown out again and again. The coach apologized to me, but the girl didn't.
Yep, the only warning I gave all summer was to a catcher who after a “safe” call on a steal of third gave a “ARE YOU...KIDDING ME?!?!”

Luckily she edited out the expletive she clearly wanted to say (12u btw). Her coach was super apologetic. Her, not so much.
 
Oct 2, 2011
3,711
113
Florida
I have SO, SO many stories..... For softball this one comes to mind first.

My first game umpiring softball (so what feels like the somewhat distant past now).... 10U travel so anything can happen. I am behind the plate... runners on 1st and 3rd. no out... runner hits the ball right behind 3b.

The runner on 3 takes a couple of steps and returns to 3b. runner on 1b runs to 3b. Batter runner never stops and also runs to 3b. Parents, coaches, random people shouting instructions that none of the players are following. Fielders are randomly throwing the ball around.

So now I have 3 girls on 3b. Finally, the ball makes it over to 3b; and after much confusion, the fielder goes ahead and tags all three players.

I go "you're out, you're out and you can stay (to the girl originally at 3b)"

Coach comes out and before he says anything I say "Whatever you want to say, two of them are out and one gets to stay - it is these two because the runner on third has the right to the base" - which is correct but totally a guess on my part during my first game umpiring.
 
Sep 13, 2020
36
18
Sounds like a CT LL sectionals game yesterday where there were two runners on second and a runner on third. After a bit of throwing the ball around it ended up with bases loaded.
 
Dec 15, 2018
243
43
CT
12u game yesterday, they had a teen (16-17yo) coaching third. Called my first “non-runner aiding a runner” out, as runner rounded third, 3rd base coach held out her arm to stop her continuing to home, and runner ran into it and stopped.

Play ended, I said “time, runner at third is out”. Coach said, “what did she do?” I said “you touched her, can’t aid a runner”. She gave me innocent plea “I didn’t touch her!!!” I probably shouldn’t have replied, but I did, I said “yeah you did”. HC was cool about it, lesson learned. Team was getting crushed at the time, so I kind of felt bad. Rules is rules though.
 
Oct 11, 2018
155
28
12u game yesterday, they had a teen (16-17yo) coaching third. Called my first “non-runner aiding a runner” out, as runner rounded third, 3rd base coach held out her arm to stop her continuing to home, and runner ran into it and stopped.

Play ended, I said “time, runner at third is out”. Coach said, “what did she do?” I said “you touched her, can’t aid a runner”. She gave me innocent plea “I didn’t touch her!!!” I probably shouldn’t have replied, but I did, I said “yeah you did”. HC was cool about it, lesson learned. Team was getting crushed at the time, so I kind of felt bad. Rules is rules though.
Just a couple of things on this situation. You told the coach she "touched her". Touching is different than aiding. if she truly aided the runner by physically preventing her from advancing, the runner is out. If the runner accidently ran into the base coach, that would not necessarily be aiding the runner. Also, in USA softball the out would be applied as a live ball out and the runner called out as soon as the infraction occurred with the ball kept live.
 
Last edited:
Feb 25, 2018
274
43
So, first year ump. At this point I’ve done 40 or so games. 90% are solo, and only a couple have I had someone there to evaluate or comment. So I’m definitely missing the feedback and chatter with other umps. Thought it would be nice just to share questions, weird plays, whatever.

A couple just from today:

14u, USA, solo, COVID rules have me behind pitcher. Tapper up 1st baseline fielded by F3...I have ZERO angle on tag attempt, so call her safe. Almost sure I kicked it, but no partner to ask. Coach came out to argue, and just told her I didn’t see a tag (which I didn’t - I couldn’t).

Same game, R1 steals second, “safe” by 2 seconds...but this field has so much fluffy dirt that there’s a full 2 inches of built up dirt between her cleat and the bag...fortunately for me F6 never tags her. I would have hated to call that out.

Last today, 10u, USA, PU...2 outs, bottom of last inning, an overmatched 9yo who has already been nailed by a pitch earlier in the game, swings crazily at a hummer that hits her in the chest. She’s crying, writhing in pain, grandpa yelling “take your base!”...and I have to call “dead ball, strike.” She ends up striking out to end the game. Not exactly a high to end the day.

Anyway, feel free to add your stories, things you wish you could chat with someone about. even if no one replies, I’ll keep using this as a place just to document all the weird stuff umps see (and feel).
Not having a partner to go to for help isn't fun!

I work a fair amount of solo games and at the plate meeting I tell the coaches I can only call what I see. Is what it is, accept my judgement calls.
 

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