Wednesday, November 5, 2008

5 Things Umpires Wish Coaches knew

1. The slide/avoid contact rule - while there are a few associations that require a slide to avoid a collision, the majority of the association rulebooks (e.g. NFHS and USSSA) require the baserunner to "avoid contact." There is generally no requirement to slide.

2. The base line/path rule - this rule can be complicated for umpires, so it is not surprising that coaches have difficulty (wow, that sounded condescending. . . good). Generally the baserunner establishes his base path. The instant a play is being made on the base runner, the runner's base path becomes a direct line between his position and any base. There isn't a base path UNTIL a play is being made on the runner.

3. Appeals - a requested appeal TO THE HOME PLATE UMPIRE must be made BY THE HOME PLATE UMPIRE on a check swing called ball. Outside of this narrow rule, there is no "right" to an appeal. However, most umpires will consider a reasonable request made in a calm manner. Umpires want the call right - it is the whole reason for their presence on the field. Often once a call is made the coach is so consumed by his outrage he forgets to ask for an appeal. Especially in two man systems, an umpire will often consider a coach's request based on his partner having a better view of the play.

4. You really do get fewer calls if you are an ass and more if you're nice.

5. Obstruction / interference - again a complicated issue. Some general rules are (1) the base runner does not have an absolute right to the base path and must avoid contact; (2) the fielder cannot deny access to the base without the ball; and (3) sometimes the ball the runner and the fielder meet in the same place at the same time. We call that last situation a "train wreck" and no call is made.

1 comment:

Files from The Crief Case said...

Great list Pete. The one I would add is asking for more coaches to know the infield fly rule. You'd be surprised how many, especially secondary coaches who don't run their team, don't know this rule or how it's applied.