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Question for the umpires: Tournament vs Showcase

Dec 6, 2016
58
18
Question:
Does your strike zone change when you are umping a tournament vs showcase?

I ask this question because it seems to me that the strike zone is getting smaller at these showcases...and I can't understand it. I swear there are more walks at a showcase than true tournaments. It seems like the strike zone should "grow" a little (if at all) to get these girls swinging. The college coaches are there to see girls hit/pitch.

I'm not talking about calling strikes on balls that are clearly out of the zone, but maybe make the zone a ball wider on all sides to promote putting the ball in play.
 
May 23, 2019
12
3
Question:
Does your strike zone change when you are umping a tournament vs showcase?

I ask this question because it seems to me that the strike zone is getting smaller at these showcases...and I can't understand it. I swear there are more walks at a showcase than true tournaments. It seems like the strike zone should "grow" a little (if at all) to get these girls swinging. The college coaches are there to see girls hit/pitch.

I'm not talking about calling strikes on balls that are clearly out of the zone, but maybe make the zone a ball wider on all sides to promote putting the ball in play.

An umpire in DD JR High league game had a zone about 6”x6” in center of plate. Opposing team went through 3 pitchers in 1st inning. Mine pitched most of game, with some walks but Defense supported her. She lived on drop ball at the time and he wasn’t calling it, not one bit.
 
Jul 16, 2013
3,150
83
Pennsylvania
I didn't really notice any difference between the two. For the most part I thought the umpiring at the showcases we attended was pretty good. There was only one event that I found somewhat annoying. Teams were required to pay the umpires before each game. Home team played the plate umpire. Away team paid the field umpire. During that tournament many of the umpires wouldn't even give you the time of day until they received their cash. Just seemed like a strange arrangement to me. I remember when we first arrived, one of the parents commented to me that she saw one of the coaches "paying off" one of the umpires. Once I explained the process, she understood. But it just seemed like an unnecessary process.
 
May 27, 2013
396
28
Sometimes it seems like that - but I think it has the opposite effect of forcing the pitchers to throw more over the plate so the batters can hit more balls and hit them much better. When our coaches see that pattern I notice they start calling more changeups and more rise / drop balls as opposed to curves / screwballs. When it happens it seems like they don’t give the pitchers the corners as much.

Just my 2 cents.
 
May 29, 2015
1,108
113
I didn't really notice any difference between the two. For the most part I thought the umpiring at the showcases we attended was pretty good. There was only one event that I found somewhat annoying. Teams were required to pay the umpires before each game. Home team played the plate umpire. Away team paid the field umpire. During that tournament many of the umpires wouldn't even give you the time of day until they received their cash. Just seemed like a strange arrangement to me. I remember when we first arrived, one of the parents commented to me that she saw one of the coaches "paying off" one of the umpires. Once I explained the process, she understood. But it just seemed like an unnecessary process.
That is about the worst possible arrangement you could ever have ... and that illustrates why.

Then again, I don’t even like for the coach to hand me my check at the plate meeting. I’m just old-fashioned.
 
May 29, 2015
1,108
113
It’s possible that you are just seeing more experienced (or maybe less experienced) for that particular showcase. I’ve seen both schools of thought on hiring umpires for showcases:

A) It’s a showcase, you should have the best you can get
OR
B) It’s a showcase so the skill level of the umpires don’t really matter that much

I’m scheduling for a showcase this weekend, but I had to take what I could get. Too many tourneys going on around here.
 
Feb 3, 2011
1,860
48
I can't say I've ever noticed it, but neither can I declare "that would never happen". I think it's fair to state that umpires often have tendencies - e.g. one likes the high strike, another likes the inside corner, etc - and it's not common for umpires to deviate from their tendencies.

Sometimes the zone might appear smaller when you have a higher-than-average concentration of great hitters in an event.
 
Apr 16, 2013
918
63
Honest question, but is this just moving to a "college strike zone" vs a "high school strike zone"? My DD has a very good eye. She knows what's a strike or not 99% of the time. Some umps have a large strike zone and for 3rd strike, she'll be swinging at things she knows isn't a strike because she knows the ump will call it. We've gone to lots of college games at her #1 college choice, a local university. I can't tell you how many time she's smiled and said, "I can't wait to have umps like that!" She's only done a small handful of "real" showcases, so I haven't noticed a smaller or larger strike zone. That's coming soon though, very soon, where the majority will be showcases.
 

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