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3898 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Aug 21, 2012 1:53 PM by HugoTafurst
softball_umpire Rookie 5 posts since
May 16, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 19, 2012 3:05 PM

Umpire Interference, yes or no..also need help with a "terrible" umpire

First I would like to know if these 2 rulings were correct.  Everything here is based on ASA softball rules.


sit 1... I am the plate umpire, a runner on 3rd base,, a passed ball on the pitch, the catcher goes back to my left to retrieve the ball, the runner from third comes into home to try and score.  I position myself to see the play.  However I did not realize that the ball took a wierd hop and ended up right behind me.  The catcher grabs the ball and tosses it to the pitcher who is in position to attempt a tag.  However, the ball hits me square in the back and the play is not made.  I shook my head in disbelief and sent the runner back to third for umpire interference.  My understanding of the rule is that it is umpire interference if the umpire prevents or hinders the catchers throw to retire or attemt to retire a stealing runner.  Was I correct here?


Sit 2.  I am the base umpire, the plate umpire never pays much attention to the game.  The players constantly complain that he is out of postion and makes biased calls against certain teams, and does not know the rules and he also will never make the difficult calls.  Once again, runner on third, passed ball, umpire just stands there with his hands on his hips, he doesnt move at all, runner comes running in to home, the catcher blindly pitches the ball back to the plate, he hits the umpire square in the back, the pitcher however is not in position to make the catch, and the runner scores.  The catcher complains about the umpire being in the way, and the plate umpire has no idea what umpire interference is, and states that he has never heard of it so there is no such thing.  I clearly see the play unfold and make the ruling of umpire interference and send the runner back to third.  Was I wrong for this?


Sit 3...  This same umpire that was in sit 2 has made several bad calls and refuses to get into position to make the calls, several times he has not made his own calls and wanted his partners to make the call, yet several times he has also made his partners calls for them without being asked to then looks at them and smiles.  He took a foul ball to the mask last week and actually stated to the batter that he did it on purpose and because of that, when they got back into the field thier strike zone was going to shrink drastically.  The next batter came up to bat and asked him if he was ok, the umpire responded with "what do you F%$#@*G care?"  Then proceeded to strike him out on pitches that actually hit the ground in front of the plate.  When this team got back to the field, he did actually shrink the strike zone and walked the 1st 4 batters on 17 pitches.  Many of which looked like "pipe shots", now before you say anything, I know you cannot argue balls and strikes, but that is not my issue.  He has admitted to two of us that he calls pitches at the chin a strike deliberately so the batters will swing at them, popping them up so they can be caught for an out.  He is very inconsistant on the strike zone as well.  Refuses to listen to any of his fellow umpires when they try to help him.  He will call the pitch before the catcher even catches the pitch, calls foul balls before the ball hits the ground or before passing the bags, calls "fair Ball" even after being told that it is not proper mechanics.  He will let the players influence his calls, and has his roomate in the stands making cat calls and making fun of his partners some of the time.


Here are 2 examples......I am the plate umpire, he is on bases, batter bunts the ball, pitcher fields the ball and the throw pulls the 1st baseman off the bag, but the ball gets there before the runner.  He calls the runner out.  The offense appeals the fact that the 1st baseman pulled his foot.  He then looks at me and I tell him "yes I have a pulled foot at the bag", he changes his call to safe because of the pulled foot.  The center fielder then says "but what about the tag" The umpire responded with "oh, he tagged him, ok he is out on the tag"


I am base umpire with a runner on 2nd base, so I am positioned between 2nd and 3rd bases (position C), long ball hit to left field, I move infield as I was taught to do when the ball goes to the outfiled area, (inside-out maneuver).  As I am about ready to make my turn to face R2 and left field I hear the fence being hit.  by the time I pick up the action in left field, I see the ball come down into the left fielder's glove, his back is to me at the time.  At this time the R2 is now rounding 3rd and the BR is coming into 2nd.  I visually pick the plate umpire up as he is signalling and out on the catch.  Runners stay where they are, I inform the BR that he is out on the catch, he askes me why I am making that call, I told him I am not making that call I am just relaying the plate umpires call.  A discussion ensued with many players for about 20 seconds, some were saying the hit was a home run, others say out, others were saying ground rule double.  By this time I am confused as all hell, because I cannot see how these calls can be confused with each other.  PU askes me for help, he tells me what happened on the play...which is this   "fly ball hits the top of the fence, bounces straight up and back into the field of play where the left fielder fields it before it touches the ground"  I say ok, so what is your question.  he asks me if it is an out, I tell him no, he askes if it is a double.  I say noooo.  He then askes if it is a home run, I say nooooo.  He then asks what is it then.  I tell him the ball is live and in play.  he then says OH, OK.


How do you handle an umpire/partner like this?  Please help.  He does stuff like this EVERY GAME!!!!



  • HugoTafurst Legend 515 posts since
    May 25, 2007

    As for your first point - That is not umpire interference.


    ART. 6 . . . (F.P.)



    The plate umpire or any part of the plate umpire's clothing

    interferes with the catcher's attempt to throw out a runner stealing, or an attempted

    ick off play.

    PENALTY: (Art. 6) This is a delayed dead ball at the time of the interference.

    If the runner is ruled out, the ball remains live. If the runner is not out, she

    must return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch. It is not umpire interference

    if, on a passed ball or wild pitch, the umpire gets hit by a thrown ball

    from the catcher or if contact is made with the catcher trying to retrieve the

    ball. The ball would remain live.





    That's the first point.



    Point 2 = Right or wrong, that was not your call. You should keep out of it unless asked. A


  • HugoTafurst Legend 515 posts since
    May 25, 2007

    BTW, The above quote was from the NFHS 2011 book - ASA is similar


  • Mason_Dixon_Blue Legend 246 posts since
    May 25, 2007

    As Hugo already said;  In Situation 1, it is not umpire Interference.


    Regarding your incompetent partner, that's an easy answer.  REFUSE TO WORK WITH HIM!

  • NELL_blue Legend 303 posts since
    May 21, 2010

    Umpire Interference has been answered. My recommendation to your other plight is 3 fold.


    1) Go to breakfast and talk to this guy about his questionable skills, your concerns of them and how you might help improve him.

    2) Tell the assignor your issues and have him evaluate him at a live game.

    3) Refuse to work with him.

    Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!

  • HugoTafurst Legend 515 posts since
    May 25, 2007

    Another thing I noticed was you didn't say what level of ball you are talking about..

    If you are talking about low level rec ball, maybe you are dealing with an umpire who is just getting his feet wet and hasn't really been trained....


    Maybe you would go with NELL's advice 2) or 3).

    Certainly not 1) as you have already said you can't communicate with this guy.


    "he asks me if it is an out, I tell him no, he askes if it is a double.  I say noooo.  He then askes if it is a home run, I say nooooo.  He then asks what is it then.  I tell him the ball is live and in play. "

    When he told you what happened, why not just say, the ball is in play, it's not a catch. (add, "because it hit the fence first" if you feel the need.....


    Of course, having been so completely wrong about the interference call makes me think maybe you should concentrate on your own understanding of the game and mechanics.....


    Let the umpire in charge of your group handle it....


  • NELL_blue Legend 303 posts since
    May 21, 2010
    Certainly not 1) as you have already said you can't communicate with this guy.

    You are both grown men, communicate with the guy.  I have had some tough discussions with umpires I have worked with over the years. I have to say, "Can we talk, and you might not like what I say, but I want to talk anyway?"  Never have I been refused. Occasionally I we will agree to disagree but I then notice we have more respect for each other.


    Let me make this a longer story but not about baseball.  I was the safety officer for my local Harley Owners Group. One of my jobs was to talk to people who were unsafe or couldn't ride well and attempt to get them to understand. When bikes ride in a group there is a safe way to do it, and we had one guy who just couldn't follow the rules. His name is Tom. Because Tom was a poor rider and slower than most, I always asked him to be 2nd or 3rd in line. That would allow the lead rider to keep an eye on him and motion him up if he was lagging. Tom had his own rules and loved to ride in the back. he lagged and was always missing lights, and turns and became a huge burden on the group. So I had a talk with him, he blew up like a volcano. He told me we ride to fast, (max 5 over speed limit) that is was the rest of us that was unsafe and he would sue me for defamation(I kid you not) if I continued to say he was a poor rider. (which were my words) 3 weeks later to the Sunday, Tom was on a group ride, fell behind because the group was sick of waiting for him and was last by 4 car lengths and got hit by a car turning out of a gas station. The woman said she never saw him.  We spent the rest of the day in the hospital. Tom gets healthy again and instead of listening to me buys a bright orange bike, wears a huge bright yellow jecket and helmet and insists to this day he is a safe rider. The difference is?  He doesn't ride in our group, we have told him unless he follows direction of group leaders he can not ride with us.

    Tom is a stuborn, know it all, that can not take constructive criticism and accept that others were trying to help him. Some men just can't ride a Harley, as some men just can't umpire. But they still do.

    Better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it!

  • Manny_A Legend 840 posts since
    May 25, 2007

    HugoTafurst wrote:


    BTW, The above quote was from the NFHS 2011 book - ASA is similar

    The pertinent ASA rule is 8-6-F.  It's in the Note at the end of the section.


    No disrespect intended, but you're throwing a whole lot of stones at this umpire partner of yours.  And yet, you don't understand the umpire interference rule, nor do you realize your responsibilities as the base umpire.  You had no business making a call when your partner got in the way of the throw at home plate.


    I also agree with Hugo.  When your partner told you he saw a batted ball hit the fence and then settle in the fielder's glove, you should have simply said, "That's just a live ball.  It hit the fence so it cannot be caught for an out, and it stayed in the field of play."  No need to play 20 Questions with him.

  • HugoTafurst Legend 515 posts since
    May 25, 2007

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