Instructional Memo #7

Long Beach Unit Baseball Memo #7

TO: Officials, Coaches, Administrators, Observation Team, Contacts

FROM: Chris Maher, Instructional Chairman, Long Beach Unit

RE: Instructional Memo #7

A common term heard in the officiating community is the idea of “Moving Up.” It has different meanings from working a better quality of schedule, advancing into the postseason, working a CIF Championship as well as aspirations of working collegiate and/or professional sports. Many officials believe they have the answer or solution to their needs and know what one has to do to advance in their careers. The reality is that there is no magical process that everyone goes through to ensure this kind of success and not everyone goes down the same road to get to the same goal. Regardless of what each person’s goal is, there is one truth in this avocation: “Being Great at the Level You Are Working At.” Today’s game is the most important game one is working in their career whether its a youth game, high school game or collegiate game and we owe it to all the participants to be our best every time we are out on the field. We also owe it to ourselves to do our best each game and when we don’t do that, we also stunt our own growth as officials and as human beings. It is one of the things that we have control over in our own development. In other umpiring news….

  • Ejections: An alarming number of our ejection reports have dealt with abusive language. Most of these offenses have been committed by players and include derogatory, direct and/or prolonged statements directed at an opponent or an umpire. In many cases, umpires have either immediately ejected serious offenders or issued a warning to the offending team when necessary prior to an eventual ejection. Other cases involve umpires not recognizing situations quick enough and either administering an unnecessary ejection or escalating the situation by doing absolutely nothing. Let’s do our part in taking charge of the situation early so it does linger throughout the game.
  • Sportsmanship: Following up on the previous section, we need to understand that players and coaches are competitors and there has to be an expectation of showing emotion on the field. Choice language is going to slip and we must be aware of when that occurs. The problem is when it continues to be an issue or it turns derogatory or personal. There is a fine line that as we have mentioned before and please exercise sound judgment when taking the appropriate course of action. 
  • Games Involving non-CIF Southern Section Schools: A reminder that any contest played at a CIF-SS institution falls under the jurisdiction of the CIF-Southern Section. Please remember the guidelines in effect (i.e. coaches wearing helmets, NFHS playing rules, lower-level time limits, etc.) especially when a contest is involving a team from another section or state.
  • Passing of a Preceding Runner (8-4-2m): a runner is out when he passes an unobstructed preceding runner by rule. The interpretation of “passing” the runner is that there must be daylight between the trail runner and the runner that he passes. If such passing occurs, the trail runner is out and the ball remains live. When in question, there was no passing of the runner(s). 
  • Intentional Dropping of a Fair Batted Ball or Bunt (5-1-1j, 8-4-1c,1): When at least first base is occupied and there are less than two outs, an infielder may not intentionally drop a fair batted ball (fair fly or line drive) or fair bunt in flight. The ball becomes dead, the Batter-Runner is out and all runners return to their respective bases. Please note, that the batter is not out if the ball is permitted to drop untouched to the ground even if the above conditions are met. This rule does not apply in a situation when the infield fly rule in effect (2-19)
  • Mechanics: With runners on 2nd and 3rd , 2nd only and 3rd only in the 2-Umpire system, the base umpire is to position himself in the “C” position (halfway between the mound and 2nd base on the 3rd base side of the mound) regardless of the number of outs. We are noticing times where officials are reverting back to a previous mechanic such as this one. Our veteran officials need to do a better job of being a proper example to our younger officials and position themselves in the correct location.
  • Having a Rapport with the Catcher: Understanding the relationship that the plate umpire and the catcher have is critical in regards to game flow. As umpires, it is only as good as we allow it to be. Communicating information early and often with them is a good way to keep them engaged as well as giving positive feedback when necessary. It’s a working relationship during the course of a ball game and we want to do our part in ensuring this. Remember what we have talked about all year that we should not be waiting until we need something to begin communicating or when something bad happens to initiate that process. 

Preparation is vital in anyone’s success in the world. Please make sure we arrive early to our games and have all equipment available at all times. Do not be the one that relies on his partner for not having the appropriate attire or asks his partner to do something because he doesn’t have his equipment. Let’s finish this final 1/3 of the year on a stronger note.

Chris Maher

Instructional Chairman

(714) 292-6345

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