Umpire discussion

I wanted to add something, but the topic is just so frustrating.

been trying to find a place to bring this up to @dr_t_non-fan. The Utah High School Activities Association has put boy’s soccer on probation for the next 3 years. This is the 3rd time boy’s soccer has been sanctioned since it was introduced in 1983. The penalty next year is that teams can only have 14 matches rather than the 16 they were allowed this year. I’m not sure if that sticks around for the future or if they plan to modify things in the future.

The reason is too many ejections from soccer matches this year. According to the statistics they listed boy’s soccer accounted for just over 50% of all ejections from all activities that are regulated by the Association. I would assume that includes ejections from basketball games (2 techs or straight ejection) though probably not simply fouling out.

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I’m not an umpire, but I can answer this:

No, not at all. I know people who do similar gig work, and they all keep their gear in their trunk. You don’t want to walk in with it, as if you expect to be hired, but it’s good to be prepared if stepping up is something you are happy or even willing to do.


Seems like maybe they’re not comparing apples-to-apples, because technically (pun intended) if you foul out of a basketball game you’ve been disqualified from it, just like if you receive 2 technical fouls or commit a flagrant foul.

I would also ask how many times unsportsmanlike conduct calls have been made in American football, to understand if there’s a behavior issue there that’s worse than in other sports but “meh, it’s only 15 yards, we never kicked anyone out for it.”

I tend to agree and there has been a lot of talk about 2 yellows for aggressive play as opposed to unsporting play is not the same as a direct to red for unsporting play and often shouldn’t be considered the same.

However, the real issue was the extreme level of unsportsmanlike conduct in boy’s soccer. One region did sent a letter to all boy’s soccer and boy’s and girl’s lacrosse coaches along with their administers because of perceived sportsmanship issues.

Not sure if volleyball is still using yellow/red cards but I think a lot of sports should adopt the yellow/red card method for sportsmanship issues.

I do not understand what is meant by “aggressive play.”
Also, “unsporting behavior” should be a single yellow. I understand that many State Sports Administrations change The Laws of The Game (count down the clock, turn it off at the 2-minute mark, cuz Murica!), but here is the IFAB:

Cautions for unsporting behaviour

There are different circumstances when a player must be cautioned for unsporting behaviour including if a player:

  • attempts to deceive the referee, e.g. by feigning injury or pretending to have been fouled (simulation)
  • changes places with the goalkeeper during play or without the referee’s permission (see Law 3)
  • commits in a reckless manner a direct free kick offence
  • handles the ball to interfere with or stop a promising attack
  • commits any other offence which interferes with or stops a promising attack, except where the referee awards a penalty kick for an offence which was an attempt to play the ball
  • denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity by an offence which was an attempt to play the ball and the referee awards a penalty kick
  • handles the ball in an attempt to score a goal (whether or not the attempt is successful) or in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent a goal
  • makes unauthorised marks on the field of play
  • plays the ball when leaving the field of play after being given permission to leave
  • shows a lack of respect for the game
  • initiates a deliberate trick for the ball to be passed (including from a free kick or goal kick) to the goalkeeper with the head, chest, knee etc. to circumvent the Law, whether or not the goalkeeper touches the ball with the hands; the goalkeeper is cautioned if responsible for initiating the deliberate trick
  • verbally distracts an opponent during play or at a restart

Finished a tournament this weekend. Super fun, great positive participants.

Was asked if a batting team could forfeit an out. (Done either to not put MORE runs on a huge lead - usually appreciated. Or to end an inning faster to allow another inning to be played in episodes with a “no new inning after…” time limit.)
Umpire empire board says no (as in, rules don’t allow for that directly). But there is theater we could make them perform to end it and some (not all) have greater consequences than just the out. Like batter jumps from batters box to batters box (out for doing so). Steps on home and makes contact w pitch w bat. Enters the box w illegal bat. batter gets ejected before the at bat, in which case the hole in the lineup is now an out.
Decision was to just allow the forfeited out (counts as that player’s at bat). Score it however.

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other wrinkle this weekend. U9. Rules don’t allow a runner who started the play on 3rd to steal home. Can advance if batter’s action (hit, walk, hit by pitch, etc.) opens the action/forces them in. Or if defense makes a play on them (attempted pickoff type thing) and that makes them live.

Local org gave no guidance on how to enforce it.

So I had runner on 1st R1 and runner on 3rd R3. R1 leaves to steal 2nd and gets there safely. Thrown ball goes wild to CF and now R1 and R3 both start running. R3 can’t advance and that blockage means R1 can’t really advance either. They are 9 yrs old.

A - declare dead ball there (since nothing really can happen) and leave those runners at 2nd and 3rd.
B - let it all play out. Everyone screaming wildly. 1/3 yelling for the offense to score. 1/3 yelling for the defense to make the play. 1/3 yelling that “THEY CAN"T DO THAT!!!” At the end of that play, any outs made would stand and surviving (not out) runners would go back to the base they were at when they illegally advanced.

Perhaps in both cases, a warning should be issued to avoid a repeat of the problem.

I went with A and could be talked into B. No one complained. If you talk me into B, I will not be persuaded that in my play, the throw from CF to home counts as a “play” on R3 making their advancement live.

Slightly different of same scenario - had R3 left to steal at same time as R1, and SS cuts throw off early to throw to plate to prevent the potential score - that would be more to discuss where I might call someone out.

I would’ve gone with A fwiw

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Seems like a dumb rule. Just don’t allow any steals at that age.
(Unless it is some National/Area-level Rule, in which the league winners would play other league winners and it’s best if all leagues played under the same rules.)

However, if the field had a PA system, a booming, authoritative voice from above could easily explain it.

And, yes, A is preferred.

First post: Can’t the batter just come up and wildly swing and miss the first 3 pitches with his teammates on base remaining on base regardless of plays by catcher/pitcher?

Second post: I agree with you unless the wild throw that went to CF was an actual play on R1 stealing 2nd. Though in my grandson’s league, I believe R3 can only advance to home if the other team makes a play on him. So even if they attempt to get the out at 2nd, R3 cannot advance on that play.

@dr_t_non-fan - regional tournament rule. every town might use a different one but the org that runs the tourneys and state has this as the standard. I saw 0 runners retired on steals (except for the kid who didn’t slide and over-ran 2nd and was tagged trying to get back). Coaches are all told the rule at signup, at checkin, and at the home plate conference (in my games). Do they remember? I guess not. Bc if there’s only one runner (R1 at 1st) they could run all the way around and score on a steal bc they didn’t start the play on 3rd. That brings a source of confusion and limits a developmental aspect bc it isn’t worth it to try and throw someone out bc it is nearly futile and most runners can just keep going.

First post - the team forfeiting outs is worried about time limit exhausting. Pitcher delays, mound visits, pitching change shoe tying, errant throwbacks, etc. 3 pitches can easily take the last 2 minutes or more. But yes, swing at everything for 3 in a row and sprint to the dugout after the 3rd (in case it bounced so the put out is delayed).

2nd post - play was on R1. R3 only live if they play on R3. This was not that.

I assume there is some reason for this rule?

They are trying to cut the baby in half. And imo getting it wrong.

The u9 pitchers & catchers stink and they dont want walks to become runs semi-automatically w passed balls.

If it was me writing the rule, i would only allow scoring through action involving the batter. Hit, error on batted ball, walk, hbp, etc. So one can steal 2nd or 3rd. But advancement home has to come from something other than a steal/passed ball. My rule would encourage stealing/alert baserunning and encourage catchers theowing to catch a thief.

Yeah, but that originally was a bluff. The mothers are not supposed to call the bluff. One is supposed to give up their argument, so that the baby can live.

If the pitchers and catchers stink this much, then no stealing at all.
At “All-Star” Level, with advanced pitchers and catchers, they can add stealing, and not half-way.

Wait, they can’t steal home unless played on but they can attempt 1st base on a dropped 3rd strike? Our league didn’t allow either of those.

Dropped 3rd at this age is always an out but ball is live. U12 is when that changes where i am

I recall when I was growing up that the top-level U10 division allowed steals, but the two lower levels did not.
Yeah, three whole divisions of teams in a 15,000-population (plus exurbs) town.

I’m too old to remember what the rules were when I played. We had 8&9 Mustang, 10&11 Bronco, 12-14 (ircc) Pony and 15-18 corresponding to HS was American Legion.

You would think I would remember since at 9 I was catcher and after that I was either 2nd or catcher until HS (catcher and outfield) when I should have quit but was too invested. I don’t remember a no stealing rule but I think in Mustang league you couldn’t lead off the base so there might have been other rules that only applied to that league (no infield fly rule? probably).

Local rules here… 9u local leagues, runner on third can only score on a batter action, team has to earn home. Field has a deep back stop and there’s maybe 2 decent catchers in a league of 6 teams. Travel ball, can steal home all day. Once we get up to 10u they can steal home in both local/travel. Personally I like it.