Instructional Memo #3

Long Beach Unit Baseball Memo #3

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

FROM: Chris Maher, Instructional Chairman, Long Beach Unit

RE: Instructional Memo #3

The time has finally come for us to “put the ball in play” on what should be an exciting 2019 high school baseball season. All that hard work in the offseason should come to fruition for all parties involved. Let’s also remember we are a team on the field together and all parties are here together to do what’s best and make the game right. The game is in an excellent state and let’s continue to keep it that way. Here are just a few notes as we get this season rolling.

  • Preparation For Your Contest: We’ve stressed the importance of preparation from a physical and mental standpoint, but this also applies from an administrative aspect. Umpires should be contacting (call or email) the host institution confirming the date, location and time of their scheduled contest at all times. There are a number of our institutions that play games off campus and it is encouraged that we are proactive in finding out this information prior to our arrival. This is also a very important tool when dealing with adverse weather conditions. There are contacts listed in Arbiter for each institution and if a school would like us to add additional contacts, please let me know and we will get them situated.
  • Weather:  With the season now starting earlier, we could be seeing the effects of Mother Nature far more than we have in the past. Communication is vital with your partner(s) and the schools as things can take unexpected turns. The magic hour for schools and officials is 1pm (CIF-SS Blue Book, Article 1221) for verification purposes. There are also games that are being played earlier or Saturday games that have various start times. The official would need to notify the school what time he would need to leave home or workplace in those instances. If the official contacts the host institution, the school verifies the contest and the official is instructed to leave his home or work place followed by the school cancelling the game (weather, unplayable field conditions, etc.), then the official is entitled to 1/2 game fee. If an official does not verify the status of a game and arrives, then he is not entitled to a 1/2 game fee. Please remember to confirm these items with either the Athletic Director, an athletic administrator or head coach in these events and note exactly who was spoken to and when it happened.
  • Between Games of a Doubleheader: This Saturday involves many of our teams playing a doubleheader. After the conclusion of the first game, both umpires need to bring both coaches together to agree on a starting time for Game 2 as well as when the plate meeting is going to happen. For example, “1:30pm start time and plate meeting at 1:25pm.” These timelines are mainly for the teams as this revolves around the starting pitchers “getting hot”
  • Crew Consultation/Getting the Call Right: There are various instances where the crew may be needed to get together to adjudicate the proper ruling or “Get The Call Right.” Some of those instances include, but are not limited to:
    • A swipe tag or pulled foot at any base
    • An out is called with the ball clearly on the ground
    • A balk is erroneously called and the pitcher had stepped off the rubber.
    • A caught third strike, that was ruled uncaught in a situation where a dropped third strike is possible by rule.
    • Possible ground rule double or home run
    • Correcting the count
    • Correcting an award of bases
    • A possible misapplication of a rule
  • When these conferences happen, the head coach must return to his position either in the dugout or in the coaching box. If a ruling is not changed and a head coach comes back out a second time after the crew has conferenced, he is subject to an immediate ejection. Umpires should remind a coach before that point “Coach if you come out after we get together, then you will be ejected.”
  • When a ruling is changed, the offended coach may seek an explanation of such ruling.
  • Balls and Strikes: The prolonged arguing of balls and strikes is prohibited during contests, but as a reminder these are the items that are in reference to “balls and strikes.”
    • The location of a pitch 
    • Check swing
    • When a batter is brought back for permitting a pitch to touch him and is ruled a ball or a strike.

Again, I cannot begin to express my appreciation that our institutions and umpires have for this great game. Please keep us up to date on each of your happenings as we begin the road to the CIF Championships.

 

Good Luck,

Chris Maher

Instructional Chairman

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Instructional Memo #2

Long Beach Unit Baseball Memo #2

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

FROM: Chris Maher, Instructional Chairman, Long Beach Unit

RE: Instructional Memo #2

I hope everyone had a healthy holiday season and now we are less than a month away from the first pitch being thrown. During that same time, many of our teams have been preparing for a 25-30 game regular season as well as a winter baseball schedule. These players have been on the field and in the weight room for countless hours to become part of the best team they can possibly be. The staffs at our institutions spend even more time developing programs so their student-athletes can succeed. Preparation also applies to our officials who have been participating in meetings, classroom breakouts, training videos and preparing to take a rules exam. What we can take away from all of this is that everybody involved in sports is doing something to stay ready for their respective season. How have we taken action to improve our craft?

A few notes to think about as we move forward…..

  • Extension of the dugouts: We understand there are a few of our institutions that have extended their dugout towards home plate. This is technically not legal by rule (1-2-4), but some of these extensions are made of concrete or other hard surface that cannot be corrected. More importantly, these can be perilous areas for players and we do not want them on it. We understand that there is nothing we can do to make it compliant by rule, but the best way to handle this is to keep this as dead ball territory and ask the teams to keep their players out of these areas as it could lead to potential safety issues.
  • When a batter may leave the batters box (7-3-1 Exception): Pace of play is a critical element of our game today and it is one thing we must be aware of. As a matter of fact, nobody (players, coaches and even officials) wants a game without flow. We must understand that a batter must keep a foot in the box at all times with the following exceptions:
      • When he swings at a pitch
      • Batter forced out of the box by a pitch (i.e. pitch up and in causing batter to get out of the way)
      • Batter attempts a bunt
      • Pitcher or catcher feints a play or attempts a play at any base (i.e. fake to 3rd, spaghetti move to 2nd, catcher back picks to 1st)
      • Pitcher leaves the dirt area of the mound after receiving the ball
      • A member of either team requests and is granted “Time”
      • Catcher leaves his box to adjust his equipment or give defensive signals
      • Catcher does not catch the pitched ball
    • Although these are all situations when the batter may leave the batters box, he is not liberated or protected from interfering with the catcher’s fielding or throwing in any of the above the situations. He is still subject to rule (7-4-5a-d)
  • Charged Conferences: A conference involves a team’s coach or non-playing representative (2-10). A team has three (3) defensive conferences during a seven-inning game(3-4-1) and only one (1) offensive conference per inning (3-4-2). These conferences are not cumulative and do not carry over into extra innings, however each team receives one (1) defensive conference per inning during extra innings (3-4-1). If after the third defensive conference or extra conference in extra innings, the pitcher shall be removed from the game. Contrary to other rules of baseball, a team is not required in high school baseball to remove a pitcher when a team has made a second visit to the same pitcher in the same inning. When one team is having one of it’s charged conferences, the other team may also get together without penalty provided they do not delay the game (3-4-5).
  • Fake Tags and “Deke” moves : The game has very much evolved and players have gotten very creative in ways of gaining an advantage or in some ways, putting an opponent at a disadvantage. When balls are hit into the gaps in obvious extra base situations, you have probably seen a fielder attempt a fake tag on an advancing runner or simulate a throw to another base in order to create hesitation by that same runner. These acts are not legal because they hinder a runner by slowing him down which may cause him not to achieve base(s) (2-22-2). As a matter of fact, these are also unsportsmanlike acts that really have no place in our game today. We need to be alert for these acts and the effects it has on the pattern of play. 

Video is becoming a huge part of our game today. We as officials must embrace that and use it as an opportunity to better our craft. Our training videos have yielded positive results so far and we hope that can translate to the field. It is my pleasure to be of service to all of you.

Best Regards,

Chris Maher

Instructional Chairman

(714) 292-6345

Ic@socalofficials.org

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