How much is too much: Rain and game management

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Dec 15, 2018
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CT
I am not saying the umpire is to blame or that he is not to blame for the weather part (I do believe he is absolutely culpable for the lack of game management) . . .

I am just going to say that, while the rulebook bestows the authority on the umpire to determine whether to play or suspend, there can be other factors exerting influence.

Speculating here, but I'm guessing he was operating without certainty about whether they would be able to re-start if they suspended play (i.e. is the rain going to continue, and if so will the game ultimately be called).

If they couldn't continue, score reverts to last complete inning, and the appearance is that LA gets "screwed". But if he let's it play out, Cal clearly is disadvantaged and Cal gets "screwed".

I believe the right thing to have done would have been to suspend play, endure the yelling that you'd inevitably receive from the LA coach, and hope you're able to restart.
 

sluggers

Super Moderator
Staff member
May 26, 2008
7,126
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Dallas, Texas
From what I have read in attempt to avoid a repeat of the first game they decided not to have the national anthem. The spectators weren't having it so they stood and sang it themselves.

The national anthem is played only once at a double-header.
 
Jul 26, 2022
9
3
Absolutely terrible game management by the umpires. The game should have been suspended after the first wild pitch if not earlier. It was clear that the pitcher could not grip the ball at all. Letting play continue was very unfair to Cal and it was only a matter of time before a confrontation with coaches ensued.
 
Jun 6, 2016
2,724
113
Chicago
Speculating here, but I'm guessing he was operating without certainty about whether they would be able to re-start if they suspended play (i.e. is the rain going to continue, and if so will the game ultimately be called).

I don't know if I buy this because the rain stopped very shortly after the whole thing got out of hand. I don't expect umpires to be meteorologists, but a quick check of a weather app could tell you if it might be a small but heavy cell that's quickly passing through.

Regardless, when the pitcher can't grip the ball because of the rain, you have a dangerous situation. Should've gone to a rain delay. Not doing so, especially once the rain was creating a clear disadvantage for the defense, gave the appearance of bias.
 
May 29, 2015
3,794
113
Speculating here, but I'm guessing he was operating without certainty about whether they would be able to re-start if they suspended play (i.e. is the rain going to continue, and if so will the game ultimately be called).

If they couldn't continue, score reverts to last complete inning, and the appearance is that LA gets "screwed". But if he let's it play out, Cal clearly is disadvantaged and Cal gets "screwed".

I believe the right thing to have done would have been to suspend play, endure the yelling that you'd inevitably receive from the LA coach, and hope you're able to restart.

I get what you are saying, but unless you an MLB umpire*, an umpire should NOT be concerned about whether they could restart or not. That is on the game administration to work out. An umpire is concerned with safety and managing the game on the field.

*OBR (The Official Rules of Baseball) written by MLB have very specific instructions about called/suspended games in their rule book for umpires. No other code does that. The responsibility is on the site/game administrator.

I don't know if I buy this because the rain stopped very shortly after the whole thing got out of hand. I don't expect umpires to be meteorologists, but a quick check of a weather app could tell you if it might be a small but heavy cell that's quickly passing through.

Regardless, when the pitcher can't grip the ball because of the rain, you have a dangerous situation. Should've gone to a rain delay. Not doing so, especially once the rain was creating a clear disadvantage for the defense, gave the appearance of bias.

Just to chime in on that, it should NEVER be the umpire looking on her/his cell phone for that information either. Not in college, not in HS, not in a summer tournament. That is on game/site administration to be monitoring and keeping the umpire updated. This is another reason coaches should not be considered as the game/site administrator.

How it should work:

Site/game administrator should be monitoring the weather and providing updates to umpires between 1/2 innings.
  • "There is a cell popping up, looks like it is an hour out" OR "There is some $#!+ brewing NOW."
  • "It is just rain and we'll keep an eye on it" OR "We need to clear the park now, this is bad and coming fast."
  • Pre-emptive actions should be made by site/game administration.
Umpire should take that information and use it.
  • The umpire should suspend action on the field as soon as adverse playing conditions occur.
  • The umpire should listen to players (not necessarily coaches).
  • The umpire should not "try to squeeze it in" regardless of the game circumstances. Dangerous is dangerous NOW.
  • The umpire should defer to site/game administration to determine if a resumption in play is possible based on the radar/forecast. Umpires do not know fields and organizations' capabilities for ground work; they should consult with the site/game administrator (again, NOT the coaches if possible) to find out what can be expected.
  • The umpire should deliver information to the coaches.
  • The umpire should consider the input of the coaches, but the umpire ultimately makes the decision. (Note: the coach or site/game administrator can say "We can't fix this" and then the call is seemingly made, but the umpire is the official word.)
  • If site/game administration thinks play can be resumed, they should provide the umpire with a realistic time expectation. The umpire still gets to make the call though*.
*Now, you may say I am being greedy or mean, but I must stop to say, "Sorry, I am not hanging around for hours for no compensation." I am not saying "PAY ME" . . . I am saying that you should be proactive and have a plan if you are expecting umpires to sit. We are not compensated for sitting and we are human beings with lives outside of the dirt and fence. This is not my living wage.
 
Last edited:
Apr 18, 2023
9
3

I love the fact that CCS is giving softball coverage, especially when it is on issues that apply to any game.

Cal and Louisiana and a game that gets out of the umpires’ control. Wait, let me rephrase that: the umpires sank themselves.

Lots of topics to dive into! When do you call a rain delay? When do you nip problems in the bud? When do you look in the mirror?
If you have ever worked one of these early season tournaments you know that the site administrator has a lot of input as to whether you continue play. The ultimate decision is up to the plate umpire. Do we know if the SA told them it was just a passing shower?
 
Jan 1, 2024
56
18
In our state at the high school level, the site administrator has ultimate authority in a situation like this. The host school is writing the umpire's pay check and the host school will be named in any injury claim resulting from poor decision making. Fortunately this incident was an extremely rare event. Common sense normally prevails in weather-related situations with administrators, umpires, and coaches all conferring. The time to stop a game is when the weather becomes the factor that affects players' ability to perform. If NCAA (or any governing body) places ultimate responsibility solely in the hands of umpires, its a problem that needs to be addressed.
 
May 13, 2023
1,538
113
I get what you are saying, but unless you an MLB umpire*, an umpire should NOT be concerned about whether they could restart or not. That is on the game administration to work out. An umpire is concerned with safety and managing the game on the field.

*OBR (The Official Rules of Baseball) written by MLB have very specific instructions about called/suspended games in their rule book for umpires. No other code does that. The responsibility is on the site/game administrator.



Just to chime in on that, it should NEVER be the umpire looking on her/his cell phone for that information either. Not in college, not in HS, not in a summer tournament. That is on game/site administration to be monitoring and keeping the umpire updated. This is another reason coaches should not be considered as the game/site administrator.

How it should work:

Site/game administrator should be monitoring the weather and providing updates to umpires between 1/2 innings.
  • "There is a cell popping up, looks like it is an hour out" OR "There is some $#!+ brewing NOW."
  • "It is just rain and we'll keep an eye on it" OR "We need to clear the park now, this is bad and coming fast."
  • Pre-emptive actions should be made by site/game administration.
Umpire should take that information and use it.
  • The umpire should suspend action on the field as soon as adverse playing conditions occur.
  • The umpire should listen to players (not necessarily coaches).
  • The umpire should not "try to squeeze it in" regardless of the game circumstances. Dangerous is dangerous NOW.
  • The umpire should defer to site/game administration to determine if a resumption in play is possible based on the radar/forecast. Umpires do not know fields and organizations' capabilities for ground work; they should consult with the site/game administrator (again, NOT the coaches if possible) to find out what can be expected.
  • The umpire should deliver information to the coaches.
  • The umpire should consider the input of the coaches, but the umpire ultimately makes the decision. (Note: the coach or site/game administrator can say "We can't fix this" and then the call is seemingly made, but the umpire is the official word.)
  • If site/game administration thinks play can be resumed, they should provide the umpire with a realistic time expectation. The umpire still gets to make the call though*.
*Now, you may say I am being greedy or mean, but I must stop to say, "Sorry, I am not hanging around for hours for no compensation." I am not saying "PAY ME" . . . I am saying that you should be proactive and have a plan if you are expecting umpires to sit. We are not compensated for sitting and we are human beings with lives outside of the dirt and fence. This is not my living wage.
That's a Kick the can response. On one hand you're saying the Umpire has the responsibility of safety on the field and yet you would not want them to look at a weather app to help them make that decision. And then revert to saying it is the site administrators obligation to make that decision.
( regardless of using a phone app obviously the Umpire could make a decision if they do have the responsibility of safety)

Potentially the comments in your post are an explanation of how that situation turned out...
everyone kicking the can to each other.
Lol who's can is it???
 
Last edited:
May 29, 2015
3,794
113
That's a Kick the can response. On one hand you're saying the Umpire has the responsibility of safety on the field and yet you would not want them to look at a weather app to help them make that decision. And then revert to saying it is the site administrators obligation to make that decision.
( regardless of using a phone app obviously the Umpire could make a decision if they do have the responsibility of safety)

Potentially the comments in your post are an explanation of how that situation turned out...
everyone kicking the can to each other.
Lol who's can is it???

I guess I was a little unclear on that . . . if an umpire wants to look at a weather app once they have cleared the field and are no longer inside the fences, go for it. I know I am old fashioned, but I have SEVERE issues with an umpire having a phone in hand on the field under any circumstance (even as a timer). The future weather does not impact the current playing conditions. We should NEVER let an unsafe game go on just to "try to get it in." We should not be looking at a BAD situation and saying, "It's going to get WORSE, so let's keep going."

It is the site administrator's responsibility to determine how/if/when we can resume once I have cleared the field. I am responsible for what is on the field. At the point I have pulled us off for rain, we are no longer on the field. The site administrator is responsible for judging the possibility of restarting -- that includes the forecast and whether or not they can repair the field in a reasonable amount of time. Those are not the umpires' calls once we walk off the field.
 

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