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Umpire just looking to better myself

May 30, 2021
6
1
As described in the OP, I am 100% calling that out. @ang2bmd nailed it. The pitcher's reaction after the violation is inconsequential. Many newer umpires will miss this call because they are placing improper weight on the pitcher's reaction. Reaction ... not action.

As @marriard noted though, often the eyewitness account and the actual event can be different so this is, as we say, HTBT ("had to be there" for our cool new members!).


Thanks for catching this @The Man In Blue as the original post says the runner did change their direction after they stopped and was committed to go back to first and that would be an out from the look back rule...
 
Feb 13, 2021
466
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MI
Here's a quick question, 10U USSSA tournament. Player draws a walk and hustles to first, rounds the bag and stops and takes a step to first. Makes a motion to start running to second and pitcher sees her and turns to walk to her and player runs back to first.
Umpire called the runner out, is this correct?
Out is correct call if things happened in the order stated, as others have said, AND IF THE P HAS POSSESSION OF BALL IN THE CIRCLE. This isn't stated in the OP and no one has asked about that vital part of the LBR.
 
May 30, 2021
6
1
Out is correct call if things happened in the order stated, as others have said, AND IF THE P HAS POSSESSION OF BALL IN THE CIRCLE. This isn't stated in the OP and no one has asked about that vital part of the LBR.
@EdLovrich That is true and that is part of the reason I said I would not call it... with that said I did miss the part of the runner changing direction. Which is a huge no no with the pitcher in the circle with the ball... thankfully in my area the coaches have taught this very well. Haven't had to make that call. Funny thing is they know more about that rule than they do about the infield fly rule. I have called that two times this season and you would think I was marvin the martian landing my space ship in the infield.
 
Apr 20, 2015
663
93
Just had this call messed up at a huge pgf tournament. I think it surprised everyone including the umpires. Ended up not mattering but we watched the video to make sure our girls did it correctly. Runner on 2nd. Batter hits a mishit little dribbler slow roller. R1 continues to third rounds. Ss throws to first not in time. Runner rounds first in a slow jog towards second never stops in an attempt to bait the throw. First base ignores her throws back to pitcher. Runner on third returns to 3rd. Pitcher then realizes that the runner is still going towards second. Raises her throwing arm and takes a step at the runner going to second. Runner stops and a pickle play begins with the runner on third leaving the bag at the pitchers action. After a couple more ball fakes and the runner between first and second reacting to them the field umpire calls dead ball runner out because she can only stop if the pitcher actually throws the ball. These were pgf and I suspect ncaa umpires because overall they were were really good. It was crazy hot and honestly our team is one of the only teams I've seen at this level that runs this play well and can pull it off. My point of this being even really good umpires can get this rule wrong so don't be too hard on the 10u local ones.

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May 30, 2021
6
1
Just had this call messed up at a huge pgf tournament. I think it surprised everyone including the umpires. Ended up not mattering but we watched the video to make sure our girls did it correctly. Runner on 2nd. Batter hits a mishit little dribbler slow roller. R1 continues to third rounds. Ss throws to first not in time. Runner rounds first in a slow jog towards second never stops in an attempt to bait the throw. First base ignores her throws back to pitcher. Runner on third returns to 3rd. Pitcher then realizes that the runner is still going towards second. Raises her throwing arm and takes a step at the runner going to second. Runner stops and a pickle play begins with the runner on third leaving the bag at the pitchers action. After a couple more ball fakes and the runner between first and second reacting to them the field umpire calls dead ball runner out because she can only stop if the pitcher actually throws the ball. These were pgf and I suspect ncaa umpires because overall they were were really good. It was crazy hot and honestly our team is one of the only teams I've seen at this level that runs this play well and can pull it off. My point of this being even really good umpires can get this rule wrong so don't be too hard on the 10u local ones.

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Well the holy grail of the play has everything to do with "does the pitcher have the ball and is the pitcher in the circle.... if this is not the case then what you describe here I dont see the look back rule being called until the pitcher having the ball in the circle and then the they(umpire) can I force the look back rule on the runner when the infraction happens... once the pitcher engaged it is not in force until the pitcher has the ball in the circle... now with all that said I am assuming usssa look back rule is the same in pgf/ncaa.
 
May 29, 2015
2,103
113
Just had this call messed up at a huge pgf tournament. I think it surprised everyone including the umpires. Ended up not mattering but we watched the video to make sure our girls did it correctly. Runner on 2nd. Batter hits a mishit little dribbler slow roller. R1 continues to third rounds. Ss throws to first not in time. Runner rounds first in a slow jog towards second never stops in an attempt to bait the throw. First base ignores her throws back to pitcher. Runner on third returns to 3rd. Pitcher then realizes that the runner is still going towards second. Raises her throwing arm and takes a step at the runner going to second. Runner stops and a pickle play begins with the runner on third leaving the bag at the pitchers action. After a couple more ball fakes and the runner between first and second reacting to them the field umpire calls dead ball runner out because she can only stop if the pitcher actually throws the ball. These were pgf and I suspect ncaa umpires because overall they were were really good. It was crazy hot and honestly our team is one of the only teams I've seen at this level that runs this play well and can pull it off. My point of this being even really good umpires can get this rule wrong so don't be too hard on the 10u local ones.

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I may be misreading this, but it did not sound like a lookback violation to me. There is a critical piece of misinformation from the calling umpire in there.

Going to boil down the important parts ... (and skip some of the non-important ones).

"Runner rounds first in a slow jog towards second never stops" ... legal.
"First base ignores her throws back to pitcher." ... still legal for the batter runner to be in a continued motion.
"Pitcher then realizes that the runner is still going towards second. Raises her throwing arm and takes a step at the runner going to second." ... The look back rule no longer applies to any runner at this point.

" ... the field umpire calls dead ball runner out because she can only stop if the pitcher actually throws the ball. " ... Incorrect. Citations below (PGF uses NFHS).

NFHS 2.47.2(a) ... part of the definition of "Make a play" is "Any action by the pitcher intended to cause a reaction from the runner(s) as it pertains to the look-back rule."

NFHS 8.7 (Look Back Rule) states in its "Exception" that "The runner will not be declared out if a play is made on another runner (a fake throw is considered a play) ..."
 
Apr 20, 2015
663
93
Yeah it was just one of those things. We are down here in Newberry Florida at a big money pgf tournament with tons of top teams from East of the Mississippi and these umps have been very very good but they let the coaches of the other team talk them into a bad call on this one. Over all really pleased with all the crews down here that we've had. I suspect many of them are college umps because the strike zones are smaller and they obstruction calls plentiful, but the majority of these teams are full of future high level players so its good for them

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Jul 31, 2015
253
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Hello everyone.

I'm an umpire in Indiana and just looking to better myself in the game, so if you have any cool situational calls I would love to hear the story. Just be sure to tell me what sanction/leauge of play and age group to help narrow down the possibilities of what the call should be versus what it was called in the game... hopefully I can be of assistance here to better the community that coaches and play the game. I know it helps to know what an umpire looks for when making a call on the play. In the lower levels like 12u and younger groups there are alot of things to learn and hopefully not form any bad habits to become a better player/coach or lord willing, an informed fan of the sport.
Welcome. And thanks for checking in.

As you can see by my byline I love the rules section, it’s where I spend most of my time on this site. But I never comment there because the members who frequent that board - marriad, Man in Blue, edlovrich, and many others - are so far out of my league I am rendered speechless.

They are truly softball umpiring experts. They’ll quote you chapter and verse and will debate everything so you’ll come away with not just understand why some ruling is the way it is but also why it’s not something else.

If you truly want to understand the rules, just start reading the rules forum. It’s amazing.
 
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