HS Umpiring

All this discussion about bad high school umpires seems to assume the coaches and players are performing at higher levels than the umpires are.

That's seldom the case.

In fact, one of the lines I use in post-game critiques with my partners--after we review any plays on which our movement or communication could have been improved--is, "OK, we've identified some things we need to work on, but all in all, I'd say the quality of the officiating tonight was at least as good as the quality of play and the quality of coaching."

It always gets a chuckle because it's nearly always true. (It's not true because umpires are special: it's true because it's easier to become a good umpire than to become a good player or a good coach.)

High school teams--even at large high schools--create opportunities for their opponents by not fielding ground balls, not covering bases on bunt plays, not hitting cut off men, putting in relievers who have no idea how to hold runners, and by not doing other basic things that well-coached teams routinely do. And their opponents routinely squander those opportunities by not taking proper leads, not knowing the situation, not reading pitches in the dirt, not exploiting poor throws, and by running into outs. These player and coach issues are far more likely to determine the outcome of games than even the most obvious umpire deficiencies.

Most high school hitters have terrible batting eyes. It is common for a player or parent or coach to act surprised or resentful over a called third strike that might have been a smidgeon off the plate after the first strike was a swing at a ball a foot out of the zone and the batter took the second strike right down the middle. When players vividly demonstrate lack of eye, discipline, and approach early in the count, they might want to consider a little humility when they get rung up.

Nah, just scream that the umpire sucks. That'll fix it.

Coaches are often no better than the players. In a recent game, a team surrendered a three-run home run after its coach chose to pitch to one of the top rated players in the state with first base open and then chose to keep pitching to him when the pitcher fell behind 3-1. Naturally, the coach was sure the reason his team lost was my partner's strike zone and my not awarding a strike on a checked swing appeal three innings later.

Creating a fuss about balls and strikes will always distract the rubes in the stands from noticing the coaching blunders.

Yes, there are bad high school umpires. There are games when blown calls or inconsistent strike zones affect the outcome. But if you look at the overall state of high school baseball, the quality of umpiring is not holding back the progress of the game.

 

Even so, there is room for improving high school umpiring, and it can be achieved much more simply and inexpensively than by installing advanced sensor systems. Schools can pony up the money to pay for a third umpire. Nearly every game, umpires make important calls from a sub-optimal vantage point (e.g., pick off plays at first) or don't make calls (e.g., checked swing appeals when the base umpire is in the middle of the diamond) because of the limitations of the two-man system. 

But as long as schools won't pay for three-man coverage, any talk of automating umpiring at the high school level is unrealistic.

Most high school hitters have terrible batting eyes. It is common for a player or parent or coach to act surprised or resentful over a called third strike that might have been a smidgeon off the plate after the first strike was a swing at a ball a foot out of the zone and the batter took the second strike right down the middle. When players vividly demonstrate lack of eye, discipline, and approach early in the count, they might want to consider a little humility when they get rung up.

I believe one of my major areas of growth over the past couple of years is cheering for individual pitches.  I used to cheer for every strike, including those that were right down the pipe and the batter took an awful swing.  I now probably cheer more for well positioned balls than I do for strikes.  I will cheer loudly for that valuable first pitch strike and hope the pitcher uses it to his advantage.  I've even gotten to were I cheer on successful balls in the dirt.  I am of the opinion that it is sometimes easier to strike out a good batter than a very poor batter - have seen many times where you just cannot get the poor batter to take the bait.

I have yelled at umpires my fair share, but these days I really try to provide encouragement for them to get it correct next time around.  The last thing I need when 2017 is on the mound is some loud mouthed parent from our team harassing the umpire - I love it when the other team brings theirs.

I think if you call the strike zone per the rule book, pitchers will throw to the zone.  If you give more in any direction, pitchers will take advantage and batters will have to adjust.  If you think expanding the zone reduces walks, I believe you are underestimating the savvy and capabilities of high school competition.

I do not disagree with the notion that one umpire doing his very best to follow the rule book will call some pitches differently from another umpire doing the same.  There are of course going to be differences in judgment from one human being to another.  What I object to is when the guy sets out NOT to follow the rule book.  If that's your goal, you'll be sure to meet it.

The umpire is empowered to use his judgment in determining whether a pitch is in the zone or not.  He is not empowered to change the zone and thereby intentionally calls balls strikes or vice versa.

I don't really see any difference between strike zone and the foul lines.  I find it interesting that so many umps think the one area needs expanding but would never consider expanding the other.

The deal is, if you think the strike zone needs expanding, make your pitch to the rules committee.  They decide these things, not the HPU.

Midlo Dad posted:

I think if you call the strike zone per the rule book, pitchers will throw to the zone.  If you give more in any direction, pitchers will take advantage and batters will have to adjust.  If you think expanding the zone reduces walks, I believe you are underestimating the savvy and capabilities of high school competition.

I do not disagree with the notion that one umpire doing his very best to follow the rule book will call some pitches differently from another umpire doing the same.  There are of course going to be differences in judgment from one human being to another.  What I object to is when the guy sets out NOT to follow the rule book.  If that's your goal, you'll be sure to meet it.

The umpire is empowered to use his judgment in determining whether a pitch is in the zone or not.  He is not empowered to change the zone and thereby intentionally calls balls strikes or vice versa.

I don't really see any difference between strike zone and the foul lines.  I find it interesting that so many umps think the one area needs expanding but would never consider expanding the other.

The deal is, if you think the strike zone needs expanding, make your pitch to the rules committee.  They decide these things, not the HPU.

No disagreement here. 

As I said earlier, I call the book zone as I perceive it, knowing that perceptual limits may expand it slightly on the outside. It's the only way I know to approach consistency. 

Midlo Dad posted:

I think if you call the strike zone per the rule book, pitchers will throw to the zone.  If you give more in any direction, pitchers will take advantage and batters will have to adjust.  If you think expanding the zone reduces walks, I believe you are underestimating the savvy and capabilities of high school competition.

I do not disagree with the notion that one umpire doing his very best to follow the rule book will call some pitches differently from another umpire doing the same.  There are of course going to be differences in judgment from one human being to another.  What I object to is when the guy sets out NOT to follow the rule book.  If that's your goal, you'll be sure to meet it.

The umpire is empowered to use his judgment in determining whether a pitch is in the zone or not.  He is not empowered to change the zone and thereby intentionally calls balls strikes or vice versa.

I don't really see any difference between strike zone and the foul lines.  I find it interesting that so many umps think the one area needs expanding but would never consider expanding the other.

The deal is, if you think the strike zone needs expanding, make your pitch to the rules committee.  They decide these things, not the HPU.

I will disagree. It's not the umpires making these decisions. It's the people in the game.

hsbaseball101 posted:
CaCO3Girl posted:
hsbaseball101 posted:

Anyone who's been a pitcher knows how hard it is to hit the strike zone.  The plate looks like 2 inches wide from 60ft.  Pitchers in our division are averaging 200 pitches per 9ip, so it's an arm health concern as well.  

WHAT?  Was that a mistype?  200 pitches per 9 innings?  So 100 pitches per 4.5 innings?

Um, are these numbers typical because I have to say that is NOT what I'm seeing in my neck of the woods.

 

I recalculated taking a random sample of 6 teams, and it's actually 150 pitches per 9 innings on average.  This is the lowest division in CA.  

With 200 per 9 it was 22.2 pitches per inning.  At 150 per 9 it is down to 16.6, that is not great but it's more reasonable than 22.2 per inning. Thanks for checking.

Midlo Dad posted:

 

I don't really see any difference between strike zone and the foul lines.  I find it interesting that so many umps think the one area needs expanding but would never consider expanding the other.

The deal is, if you think the strike zone needs expanding, make your pitch to the rules committee.  They decide these things, not the HPU.

Is your field lined with chalk or paint or do you play with an unlined field?  When the ball is on either side of the 1 dimensional line is it obvious?  If it touches the line is it obvious. 

JohnF posted:

Interesting which part of my response you chose to focus on and which you chose to ignore.  There was certainly a lot of tongue in cheek though - an absurd response for the premise that using technology to call the game for pitches not swung at ostensibly "just" to make the strike zone better.  

 

Once you start down the path of technology people strive to keep improving it and to keep using for more things (which is what I was trying to illustrate)... Although I do recall one technological change that fell flat on its face - a chip inside a hockey puck so that TV viewers could "see" the puck. Luckily 60" HD televisions came along and fixed that ;-).

 

In any case, my point part of the joy of baseball is having the human element involved where mistakes are made and decisions are left open for interpretation.

 

I didn’t ignore any of what you said.

 

How did you get that my premise for technology calling pitches not swung at was anything more than trying to make the game more consistent for every player everywhere. You’re taking all the bad things that have happened with using technology in sports and using them as an excuse for not using them in baseball to call pitches not swung at. I’m sure you noticed that I was being very specific and not including all kinds of other uses.

First off, I get why it's desired. Still it's a be careful for what you wish type situation IMO. To me it seems it's OK in your opinion to replace "a" human error factor just for balls and strikes just because there's a few borderline pitches every game, but not OK for other areas of the game? We already see technology creep for "reviewable plays" on some of those and it doesn't always work nor is it "time effective"...  Out of every pitch thrown in a game - how many are not swung at, that are borderline either called or not called a strike? Does calling a strike (or a ball) extend game time or reduce it? Everyone's focusing on the not a strike situation. What about those called a ball that do nip the zone? Out of all those "missed" calls let's say 20 a game - how many are called balls and how many are called strikes?  It goes both ways, so again be careful for which you wish. Maybe coaches shouldn't tell their batters to "see" a strike or two before "allowing" them to swing. Maybe batters shouldn't swing at pitches that are clearly out of the zone and then complain about the one that grabs the corner or is thrown on the inside corner under their arms which extend over the plate hoping to be hit. Everyone seems to forget the other human elements involved here and places blame squarely on the umpire. If a batter shows he doesn't know the zone, then is technology the answer to help the batter? 

Is what is proposed cost effective? It's probably only "affordable" at the MLB level. Doubtful Minors could afford it, but maybe they could. Certainly some D1 colleges could, but not all. Forget about it at the HS level or Travel level. Luckily it's not needed at T-Ball - those 4-6 year olds won't have to worry about being whacked out on strikes or receiving that free pass to 1B. 

If I'm "taking all the bad things that have happened with using technology in sports and using them as an excuse for not using them in baseball to call pitches not swung at." and "consistency" is provided as a reason for using technology, then how is it that something that has been shown to not work consistently in the past be considered as the panacea to solve *this* (perceived) problem? IOW, if it hasn't really made some other part of the game better, then why is it that it's believed it can solve a problem that affects perhaps 1% of the game? Oh and once a "true strikezone" is called those pitches above the belt to the midpoint of the chest become strikes - you want to see a batters, coaches, and especially parents go crazy, call the "high strike" all game long, your ears will be bleeding from all the noise...

JohnF,

 It may seem to you that I don’t want to see it in other areas, but you’d be mighty wrong. The reason I’m interested only in calling pitches not swung at right now for MLB, is that the technology is already in place and proven to have no effect on the flow of the game other than to help it.

 I know it “goes both ways” but I don’t care! What I want is for the calls to be consistent from game to game and from start to finish.

 I’m sure that right now it’s affordable only to professional baseball, but if and when MLB starts using it, the floodgates will open for technology to exploit other venues and it won’t take long for the price to come down to where it’s affordable to other levels as well.

 What hasn’t worked consistently? The system in place now has made the game better because it’s made umpires better. But the upper limit of a human being’s ability to call pitches not swung at correctly is a lot lower than a machine’s. Do you realize 1% of the pitches in a ML game is about 25. You talk as though its only one or two pitches. I keep in mind that every pitch changes what takes place after it.

 I don’t worry one whit about people going crazy if a “true strike zone” is called! If it changes the game in what’s perceived to be a bad way, the same thing that’s been done for over 100 years will take place. They’ll change the strike zone definition.

JohnF posted:

First off, I get why it's desired. Still it's a be careful for what you wish type situation IMO. To me it seems it's OK in your opinion to replace "a" human error factor just for balls and strikes just because there's a few borderline pitches every game, but not OK for other areas of the game? We already see technology creep for "reviewable plays" on some of those and it doesn't always work nor is it "time effective"...  Out of every pitch thrown in a game - how many are not swung at, that are borderline either called or not called a strike? Does calling a strike (or a ball) extend game time or reduce it? Everyone's focusing on the not a strike situation. What about those called a ball that do nip the zone? Out of all those "missed" calls let's say 20 a game - how many are called balls and how many are called strikes?  It goes both ways, so again be careful for which you wish. Maybe coaches shouldn't tell their batters to "see" a strike or two before "allowing" them to swing. Maybe batters shouldn't swing at pitches that are clearly out of the zone and then complain about the one that grabs the corner or is thrown on the inside corner under their arms which extend over the plate hoping to be hit. Everyone seems to forget the other human elements involved here and places blame squarely on the umpire. If a batter shows he doesn't know the zone, then is technology the answer to help the batter? 

Is what is proposed cost effective? It's probably only "affordable" at the MLB level. Doubtful Minors could afford it, but maybe they could. Certainly some D1 colleges could, but not all. Forget about it at the HS level or Travel level. Luckily it's not needed at T-Ball - those 4-6 year olds won't have to worry about being whacked out on strikes or receiving that free pass to 1B. 

If I'm "taking all the bad things that have happened with using technology in sports and using them as an excuse for not using them in baseball to call pitches not swung at." and "consistency" is provided as a reason for using technology, then how is it that something that has been shown to not work consistently in the past be considered as the panacea to solve *this* (perceived) problem? IOW, if it hasn't really made some other part of the game better, then why is it that it's believed it can solve a problem that affects perhaps 1% of the game? Oh and once a "true strikezone" is called those pitches above the belt to the midpoint of the chest become strikes - you want to see a batters, coaches, and especially parents go crazy, call the "high strike" all game long, your ears will be bleeding from all the noise...

I agree with this entire post.

Stats4Gnats posted:

But the upper limit of a human being’s ability to call pitches not swung at correctly is a lot lower than a machine’s.

The upper limit of a human's ability to throw strikes is a lot lower than a machines, too, which is not a good reason to get rid of human's pitching (although, at really young ages...).

It's OK for games to be played imperfectly.  In fact, it's almost certainly desirable to have them played imperfectly.  It's similarly OK for them to be officiated imperfectly.  While I understand the desire of some people to get every single call right, I disagree that it makes the game better, and I think the experience of replay, both in baseball and in other sports, and the way it disrupts the games is evidence in favor of my position (though I'm sure you, and others, will disagree).

Stats4Gnats posted:

JohnF,

 It may seem to you that I don’t want to see it in other areas, but you’d be mighty wrong. The reason I’m interested only in calling pitches not swung at right now for MLB, is that the technology is already in place and proven to have no effect on the flow of the game other than to help it.

 I know it “goes both ways” but I don’t care! What I want is for the calls to be consistent from game to game and from start to finish.

 I’m sure that right now it’s affordable only to professional baseball, but if and when MLB starts using it, the floodgates will open for technology to exploit other venues and it won’t take long for the price to come down to where it’s affordable to other levels as well.

 What hasn’t worked consistently? The system in place now has made the game better because it’s made umpires better. But the upper limit of a human being’s ability to call pitches not swung at correctly is a lot lower than a machine’s. Do you realize 1% of the pitches in a ML game is about 25. You talk as though its only one or two pitches. I keep in mind that every pitch changes what takes place after it.

 I don’t worry one whit about people going crazy if a “true strike zone” is called! If it changes the game in what’s perceived to be a bad way, the same thing that’s been done for over 100 years will take place. They’ll change the strike zone definition.

I think your math is off a little.  Average number of pitches in a MLB game is 392.  1% of that is not 25!  It is about 4!!!!  That is pretty close to one or two!

Since you didn't address my other point which was perhaps more up your alley, I'll turn the tables a bit. Technology today knows a lot of things and can factor in an incredible amount of data in a blazingly short time period. Factors such as size of the stadium, height of the grass, quality of the field crew, infield "soft" or "hard" ness, location of players, speed of pitch, speed of bat, speed of batted ball, topspin, backspin, rain/snow, heat, humidity, wind, elevation, propensity for certain fielders to make certain plays, location of the sun or lights, flight of the ball, whether a gnat affects a play, etc., etc.  It's all data analytics, they make movies about it ;-).

So why does this matter? Well, today when scoring a game it's up to a human to ultimately decide whether a batted ball should be scored an error or a hit. Yes, there are guidelines, history, yadda, yadda.  But a computer can decide a lot of things based on algorithms to determine how any one play in time should be scored. It can record that *and* use it for the future.  It can provide gobs of details afterwards as well for anyone with the time or desire to consume.  So does or should that obsolete the "official scorer"?  Personally, I think not.  You know why?  Because algorithms break down, there are bugs in the code, injuries that happen during a game or even a play, and some factor not considered can affect the result.  Besides similar to balls/strikes - the "questions" about judgement on scoring a single play over the course of a game results in less than 1% of the total plays that were either judged correctly or weren't controversial. 

cabbagedad posted:
Stats4Gnats posted:

... Do you realize 1% of the pitches in a ML game is about 25. You talk as though its only one or two pitches. I keep in mind that every pitch changes what takes place after it.

 ....

Huh?

I get that.  Hitter has an 0-1 count, watches a pitch well out of the zone get called a strike.   His chance of reaching base with an 0-2 count are much less than with 1-1 count.

Anyway, drifting along on the topic of  HS umpiring, here's a situation I'd be interested in comments on, though to be honest I don't know all of the circumstances to it's somewhat rhetorical.

A player in our league was disqualified for play during the final 3 weeks of his senior season because he was ejected from a game for a second time this season, which is apparently a league rule.  So question #1 is -- is that a good rule?  #2  has to due with causes for ejections. I witnessed the player's first ejection and it was well-deserved.  Catcher tagged him hard on a possible dropped 3rd strike. He did not like it, and then he called the catcher an effing f****t after he struck out.  I did not witness his second  ejection, but I heard that it was done by an ump who is known to tell both coaches in the plate meeting that any time he hears a player utter the F word that is cause for ejection.  Apparently he did with this kid, but I don't know the specifics.   If he cursed an opponent again, fine. But if he said the magic word to himself after missing a play or something like that, it seems like a bit much.  This kid is clearly no choirboy but it's a shame to lose his last few weeks of his final season of baseball due a word.

umpin757 posted:

I think your math is off a little.  Average number of pitches in a MLB game is 392.  1% of that is not 25!  It is about 4!!!!  That is pretty close to one or two!

 

Actually, I didn’t look the number up. I just used 250 per game because I thought it was on the low end and didn’t want to get into the upper limits. I appreciate you looking it up and don’t mind being corrected at all. Thanx.

JohnF posted:

Since you didn't address my other point which was perhaps more up your alley, I'll turn the tables a bit. Technology today knows a lot of things and can factor in an incredible amount of data in a blazingly short time period. Factors such as size of the stadium, height of the grass, quality of the field crew, infield "soft" or "hard" ness, location of players, speed of pitch, speed of bat, speed of batted ball, topspin, backspin, rain/snow, heat, humidity, wind, elevation, propensity for certain fielders to make certain plays, location of the sun or lights, flight of the ball, whether a gnat affects a play, etc., etc.  It's all data analytics, they make movies about it ;-).

 

So why does this matter? Well, today when scoring a game it's up to a human to ultimately decide whether a batted ball should be scored an error or a hit. Yes, there are guidelines, history, yadda, yadda.  But a computer can decide a lot of things based on algorithms to determine how any one play in time should be scored. It can record that *and* use it for the future.  It can provide gobs of details afterwards as well for anyone with the time or desire to consume.  So does or should that obsolete the "official scorer"?  Personally, I think not.  You know why?  Because algorithms break down, there are bugs in the code, injuries that happen during a game or even a play, and some factor not considered can affect the result.  Besides similar to balls/strikes - the "questions" about judgement on scoring a single play over the course of a game results in less than 1% of the total plays that were either judged correctly or weren't controversial. 

 

Maybe I’m just missing what your other point is.

 

You seemed to have gone way off track with the scorer, but that’s OK too. I just don’t see what the scorer has to do with it. There’s no scorer’s judgement on a pitch not swung at. It is what the umpire says it is, no matter where the pitch was. As for data analytics, there are “gobs of details” available and the vast majority aren’t things the scorer marks. There’s a report for batters and runners, fielders, and pitchers, along with 13 additional items. There are also 6 percentages calculated from the scorer’s information.

 

The rest of the data, and there’s a boatload of it, come from technology, not the official scorer, so his/her job isn’t in any jeopardy. But, even at that, everything a scorer marks is subject to scrutiny and can and may be overturned. Why not the calling of a pitch not swung at?

JCG posted:

A player in our league was disqualified for play during the final 3 weeks of his senior season because he was ejected from a game for a second time this season, which is apparently a league rule.  So question #1 is -- is that a good rule?  #2  has to due with causes for ejections. I witnessed the player's first ejection and it was well-deserved.  Catcher tagged him hard on a possible dropped 3rd strike. He did not like it, and then he called the catcher an effing f****t after he struck out.  I did not witness his second  ejection, but I heard that it was done by an ump who is known to tell both coaches in the plate meeting that any time he hears a player utter the F word that is cause for ejection.  Apparently he did with this kid, but I don't know the specifics.   If he cursed an opponent again, fine. But if he said the magic word to himself after missing a play or something like that, it seems like a bit much.  This kid is clearly no choirboy but it's a shame to lose his last few weeks of his final season of baseball due a word.

He absolutely deserves to get ejected and and miss the rest of the season.  It is literally in the rules that cuss words are not to be said under NFHS rules (I don't remember the exact wording).  People know (or at least should) these rules and he chose to break it.  He had a choice to control himself or to continue behaving the same way he's always behaved.  

I didn't know that about NFHS rules, so fair enough.  Funny thing is tho that this can be another area in which blue can prove himself human at times.  A few years ago a player I know was tossed from a game for cursing. I've known this kid for years and he was, and still is, the most honest and upright kid you can imagine. A  model citizen. He said he didn't say the word but a nearby kid did.  I'd literally bet the house on it.

coach2709 posted:
JCG posted:

A player in our league was disqualified for play during the final 3 weeks of his senior season because he was ejected from a game for a second time this season, which is apparently a league rule.  So question #1 is -- is that a good rule?  #2  has to due with causes for ejections. I witnessed the player's first ejection and it was well-deserved.  Catcher tagged him hard on a possible dropped 3rd strike. He did not like it, and then he called the catcher an effing f****t after he struck out.  I did not witness his second  ejection, but I heard that it was done by an ump who is known to tell both coaches in the plate meeting that any time he hears a player utter the F word that is cause for ejection.  Apparently he did with this kid, but I don't know the specifics.   If he cursed an opponent again, fine. But if he said the magic word to himself after missing a play or something like that, it seems like a bit much.  This kid is clearly no choirboy but it's a shame to lose his last few weeks of his final season of baseball due a word.

He absolutely deserves to get ejected and and miss the rest of the season.  It is literally in the rules that cuss words are not to be said under NFHS rules (I don't remember the exact wording).  People know (or at least should) these rules and he chose to break it.  He had a choice to control himself or to continue behaving the same way he's always behaved.  

 Yes, everyone should know profanity is a no-no in all high school sports.

Even the most argumentative high school coaches know they have to keep it clean.

Suspensions are a matter for higher authority.

(Note: I am subject to momentary bouts of deafness when profanity is the immediate reaction to physical pain or clearly directed inward--as long as it's not too loud. Cup shots always get a pass.)

If a senior was suspended once already for actions and language, he obviously didn't learn his lesson.  Shame he got suspended during final season but it is all his own fault.

Heard my kid drop some language crossing first one time....threw his helmet.  I almost lost it at third.  My son DID not finish the game and he DID NOT play the next.  That was my call.

 

Never did it again.  And if when he does, I hope he gets suspended.   No place for it.

Swampboy posted:
coach2709 posted:
JCG posted:

A player in our league was disqualified for play during the final 3 weeks of his senior season because he was ejected from a game for a second time this season, which is apparently a league rule.  So question #1 is -- is that a good rule?  #2  has to due with causes for ejections. I witnessed the player's first ejection and it was well-deserved.  Catcher tagged him hard on a possible dropped 3rd strike. He did not like it, and then he called the catcher an effing f****t after he struck out.  I did not witness his second  ejection, but I heard that it was done by an ump who is known to tell both coaches in the plate meeting that any time he hears a player utter the F word that is cause for ejection.  Apparently he did with this kid, but I don't know the specifics.   If he cursed an opponent again, fine. But if he said the magic word to himself after missing a play or something like that, it seems like a bit much.  This kid is clearly no choirboy but it's a shame to lose his last few weeks of his final season of baseball due a word.

He absolutely deserves to get ejected and and miss the rest of the season.  It is literally in the rules that cuss words are not to be said under NFHS rules (I don't remember the exact wording).  People know (or at least should) these rules and he chose to break it.  He had a choice to control himself or to continue behaving the same way he's always behaved.  

 Yes, everyone should know profanity is a no-no in all high school sports.

Even the most argumentative high school coaches know they have to keep it clean.

Suspensions are a matter for higher authority.

(Note: I am subject to momentary bouts of deafness when profanity is the immediate reaction to physical pain or clearly directed inward--as long as it's not too loud. Cup shots always get a pass.)

I'm the same way...and it is analogous to the conversation of the expected strike zone.

We all know that FED states that profanity is an ejection. If I follow the letter of the law, I have to eject anybody who says any profanity. However, I know of no umpire in my area that wouldn't give similar leeway, nor of any coach that would agree that ALL profanity should result in ejection. An umpire that took that rule literally would be having a very quick come-to-Jesus meeting after the second such incident (as there would be mandatory reporting of them.) That's not because we are condoning profanity; we are acknowledging that there are times where ejection is not a suitable remedy for a situation. No one wants to see a kid suspended for a game or four (the second time in my state) because he got hit in the balls.

SomeBaseballDad posted:

Yes RC's/scouts can tell balls /strikes. The thing is interest in the kid is because of how far he hits the ball. Fact is there are many players with higher batting averages, but I would guess not to many able to send a ball 450'. Between pitchers pitching around him and some very generous strike zones it can be a challenge to put the ball in play. 

The kid has his ticket punched college wise. I'm assuming the MLB will still exist in 3-4 years. The pitchers throwing around him,  and the umpires with very liberal zones enabling them, becomes very frustrating none the less. 

If you trust and understand the process and College coaches and Scouts doing their job I don't understand the frustration

Matt13 posted:
Swampboy posted:
coach2709 posted:
JCG posted:

A player in our league was disqualified for play during the final 3 weeks of his senior season because he was ejected from a game for a second time this season, which is apparently a league rule.  So question #1 is -- is that a good rule?  #2  has to due with causes for ejections. I witnessed the player's first ejection and it was well-deserved.  Catcher tagged him hard on a possible dropped 3rd strike. He did not like it, and then he called the catcher an effing f****t after he struck out.  I did not witness his second  ejection, but I heard that it was done by an ump who is known to tell both coaches in the plate meeting that any time he hears a player utter the F word that is cause for ejection.  Apparently he did with this kid, but I don't know the specifics.   If he cursed an opponent again, fine. But if he said the magic word to himself after missing a play or something like that, it seems like a bit much.  This kid is clearly no choirboy but it's a shame to lose his last few weeks of his final season of baseball due a word.

He absolutely deserves to get ejected and and miss the rest of the season.  It is literally in the rules that cuss words are not to be said under NFHS rules (I don't remember the exact wording).  People know (or at least should) these rules and he chose to break it.  He had a choice to control himself or to continue behaving the same way he's always behaved.  

 Yes, everyone should know profanity is a no-no in all high school sports.

Even the most argumentative high school coaches know they have to keep it clean.

Suspensions are a matter for higher authority.

(Note: I am subject to momentary bouts of deafness when profanity is the immediate reaction to physical pain or clearly directed inward--as long as it's not too loud. Cup shots always get a pass.)

I'm the same way...and it is analogous to the conversation of the expected strike zone.

We all know that FED states that profanity is an ejection. If I follow the letter of the law, I have to eject anybody who says any profanity. However, I know of no umpire in my area that wouldn't give similar leeway, nor of any coach that would agree that ALL profanity should result in ejection. An umpire that took that rule literally would be having a very quick come-to-Jesus meeting after the second such incident (as there would be mandatory reporting of them.) That's not because we are condoning profanity; we are acknowledging that there are times where ejection is not a suitable remedy for a situation. No one wants to see a kid suspended for a game or four (the second time in my state) because he got hit in the balls.

Look I'm completely fine with this to be honest.  The thing is IF that umpire is out there who doesn't have your judgement displays the finger and tells them to follow it there is nothing anybody can say because it is a rule.

Not to run this into the ground but I do have work I need to avoid doing.  I was talking to another parent about this situation today and he said that perhaps with this particular kid, because the 1st offense was egregious, maybe the association had been told by the league or section officials to put him on a very short leash.  From what I've seen in my area, ejections are very rare in baseball, though from what I  hear from my kid, inappropriate language is not.

JCG posted:

Not to run this into the ground but I do have work I need to avoid doing.  I was talking to another parent about this situation today and he said that perhaps with this particular kid, because the 1st offense was egregious, maybe the association had been told by the league or section officials to put him on a very short leash.  From what I've seen in my area, ejections are very rare in baseball, though from what I  hear from my kid, inappropriate language is not.

This seems plausible. He did use a slur at an opponent, after all. Here, that would have resulted in additional penalties in addition to the minimum one-game suspension.

If a specific umpire is known to follow the letter of the law for cuss words regardless of how loud they are said, then you can bet all the coaches know who it is and let's face it - the coach could "advise" his player to control himself especially around that specific umpire... Still, with or without the advisement, the onus is squarely on the player.  He really already was warned after the first ejection/suspension. Rather than thinking that an association told it's umpires to put the kid on a short leash, consider this - maybe the kid is known to be a habitual abuser. Umpires do talk before games about a lot of stuff. You know if two teams are rivals, you know sometimes if they've had an incident before because the umpire grapevine works pretty well. The perhaps more interesting questions are - so his parents are OK with how he acts on the baseball field?  His coach is willing to look the other way even after the first incident?  The administration at the school is willing to look the other way? Does he really want to play in college?  Just because swearing has become part of everyday vernacular doesn't mean it should. As they say, high school sports are an extension of the classroom. Does this player cuss around his teachers too?  Would he expect to do at a job?

JohnF posted:

If a specific umpire is known to follow the letter of the law for cuss words regardless of how loud they are said, then you can bet all the coaches know who it is and let's face it - the coach could "advise" his player to control himself especially around that specific umpire... Still, with or without the advisement, the onus is squarely on the player.  He really already was warned after the first ejection/suspension. Rather than thinking that an association told it's umpires to put the kid on a short leash, consider this - maybe the kid is known to be a habitual abuser. Umpires do talk before games about a lot of stuff. You know if two teams are rivals, you know sometimes if they've had an incident before because the umpire grapevine works pretty well. The perhaps more interesting questions are - so his parents are OK with how he acts on the baseball field?  His coach is willing to look the other way even after the first incident?  The administration at the school is willing to look the other way? Does he really want to play in college?  Just because swearing has become part of everyday vernacular doesn't mean it should. As they say, high school sports are an extension of the classroom. Does this player cuss around his teachers too?  Would he expect to do at a job?

I think you overestimate how often the same umpire sees the same teams. This isn't the pros.

Also, I really don't care about swearing around teachers (I had some great ones that were masters at it) and I have yet to see a job where swearing didn't occur (ok, maybe some sort of religious leader...but even those can sometimes use it.)

I swear at my job, judiciously, and I'm actually a MS teacher. Obviously, I don't swear around the kids, but I don't spend a lot of time policing their swearing either (I mostly don't have to). I'm quite certain the kids swear all the time out of earshot of the adults (I've raised three teenagers), but as long as they're aware of the context (when and in front of whom) I think that's probably a good thing.

Matt13 posted:

I think you overestimate how often the same umpire sees the same teams. This isn't the pros.

Also, I really don't care about swearing around teachers (I had some great ones that were masters at it) and I have yet to see a job where swearing didn't occur (ok, maybe some sort of religious leader...but even those can sometimes use it.)

Depends - my son tells me where he's at there are some guys that always work the same schools. I get assigned to a variety.  I think it really depends on the area, quantity/quality of umpires available, etc. Still umpires talk, coaches talk - the grapevine works.

As for swearing - I do agree it's about being judicious. If only a couple of people can hear the s/f-bomb - it's usually a quick reminder to the player to not get himself in trouble... If grandma can hear it in the stands, as they say we have no choice. There's a time and place for everything - directing those words at an opposing player in such a demeaning manner seems to cross more than one line to me.

Re: Profanity.......

As an Umpire, I cannot swear on a ball field....I cannot swear at coaches, players or fans. If I do, I can expect  immediate and  severe consequences. I will be suspended by my chapter, my association and possibly the league I am calling for.  They apply a ZERO tolerance to Umpires.

Couple disclosures....

my comments below do not apply to youth baseball. I don't tolerate profanity from any participant at the youth level.

Personal profane comments directed at Umpires, opposing players or coaches will get you ejected.      

Now for the levels I call, expecting no profanity from the playing participants is not a realistic expectation. Profanity in general conversation nowadays is far more prevalent. So as much of the rulebook relies on Umpire judgment, I handle profanity on a contextual basis.....

Profanity coming out from an injury/pain situation gets a pass.

Inward facing "quiet 'profanity gets a "watch your language"- e.g.: strikes out with bases  loaded, swears but only heard by catcher and me...

Unless directed at me personally, and if  I'm the only one who hears it gets a  "watch your language" ... or I may choose not to hear it.

I have ejected players for profanity, and those that were ejected deserved it. If you direct profanity at Umpires, opposing players or fans expect to go.

In the end, I'm umpiring a baseball game, not a prayer meeting....but there is a link between unchecked profanity and escalating behavior issues on the ball field. I understand it and deal with it.      

 

 

 

 

  

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