As an administrator and educator in umpire programs for many years, I have become known as a person who constantly works on teaching umpires to improve their mechanics. In the last several years I’ve noted that many of my counterparts, even in other sports, likewise emphasize mechanics in all we do. Recently, a group of us were asked to make sure that we were not only teaching mechanics but also were going beyond that to make sure that we were working to insure that officials were trained to get their judgment calls right.
This caught me way off guard because, although mechanics have multiple purposes the vast majority of what it taught and what we do is designed to promote good judgment calls. I had heard comments from umpires down through the years that mechanics were overemphasized but...
The “Time Play” rule has caused confusion for players, coaches, managers and umpires at all levels ever since God made little green apples. The rule is universal in all playing codes.
Erick Aybar and the Angels’ team were the latest victims of the poorly understood “Time Play” rule. The following play occurred in the June 7 game between the Angels and Yankees in New York.
In the top of the third inning the Angels were batting with Aybar on third and Mike Trout on first with one out when David Freese flied to Carlos Beltran in right field. Both Aybar and Trout tagged-up and headed to the next base. Trout was called out at second base before Aybar crossed the plate.
If you watch the play carefully, you will notice that Aybar slowed down as he approached the plate and watched the play...
There are some things that umpires will hear until the end of time. Here are some of the fairy tales relating to batting. Except as noted, the material applies equally to NFHS, NCAA and pro rules.
Holding the bat in the strike zone is a strike. This falsehood emanates from a softball rule. It can surface on an attempted bunt when the batter holds the bat across the plate as the pitch crosses. If the pitch does not enter the strike zone, the batter must actually strike (“offer at it”) at the ball for a strike to be called. The strike zone has nothing to do with the position of the bat. A batter may actually attempt a bunt by letting the pitched ball strike the static bat; or, he may actually attempt to touch the ball while retracting the bat (thus deadening the bunt). When he does those and...
On a day America set its eyes on the Kentucky Derby, ML baseball provided its own long shot when three baserunners were called out because they were struck by a batted ball. Two of the runners, Taylor Featherston and Jordan Pacheco, incredibly made the last out of the game. Andrelton Simmons (Braves) completed the trifecta when he was hit with a sizzling grounder off the bat of Jace Peterson.
The possibility of a game ending with a runner getting hit by a batted ball is quite remote. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only two ML games over the past 13 years ended with a baserunner being struck by a batted ball. But on May 2 two games ended in such fashion.
The San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Angels, 5-4, when Featherston, the Angels’ pinch-runner on first base, was struck...
The high school softball season is in full swing for many of us and for some is already coming to an end. With the school calendar it is generally the shortest sports season and it is a good testimony to our umpires who frequently put as many weeks into preseason preparation as we do to the actual season. Fortunately summer ball is on the way – another rather short season but an opportunity to extend our time on the diamond. Let’s take a look at some tournament questions and plays that have come up in the past weeks.
Question – It is coming up on tournament time for us. How should we handle games interrupted by bad weather. Answer – NFHS rules permit each state to adopt their own game ending procedures. Most states require that tournament games be played to completion. When such a...
A throw is any propelling of the ball with the hand that is not a pitch or per the NFHS definition: the act of voluntarily losing possession through having the ball leave the hand for a purpose other than a pitch. It may result in the ball being bounced, handed, rolled, tossed or thrown (2-37-1). A pitch is a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher and can be legal or illegal. Because the rules treat pitches and throws differently, we must understand the distinction between these acts. Except as noted, the material applies equally to NFHS, NCAA and pro rules.
Throws out of play. Balls that are thrown out of play are worthy of a two-base award. The challenge here is whether to make the award from the base occupied at the time of the pitch or the throw. The time of throw is when the ball...
LEXINGTON, Ky. - (WKYT) - What police say started as an argument between parents got a little out of hand at a little league game in Lexington.
Police showed up and stepped in to stop it and after things calmed down, the young players decided to have some fun with one of the officers.
It didn't take three strikes for some parents to get kicked out of a little league game at Kenawood Park where the usual cheers and applause was replaced with screaming and yelling on Sunday.
We’re told the disagreement started because of the calls the umpire made during the baseball game.
“The parents were harassing the umpires,” said Officer John Steele with Lexington Police. “They were refusing the leave…the parents were standing in the park and they were still yelling across the parking...
Witnesses told police the coach punched the 16-year-old umpire in the face.
SILOAM SPRINGS -- A youth baseball coach was banned from the league and issued a misdemeanor citation Tuesday after reportedly striking a 16-year-old umpire in the face.
Siloam Springs police were called to James Butts Baseball Complex on Tuesday evening when the incident happened.
Brandon Duncan, 34, of Colcord, Okla., was cited in connection with abuse of athletic contest official, a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.
"There's two sides to every story," Duncan said Friday. "Just like this deal, I've got kids too, and it's a bad deal. I'm sorry that it is what it is now. There's more to the story.
"I had no idea this kid was a kid to start...