To: CBUA Instructional Chairmen
Copy:CBUA Executive Board, Ken Allan
From: Bradley Hungerford, CBUA
Executive Instructional Chairman
Memo # 1 -2016 Season
· CONGRATULATIONS RENE FRANCO: I would like to send a special congratulation out to Long Beach Instructional Chairman Rene Franco and his Wife Lisa Tran-Franco for the birth of their first child Elias. What a great honor. I am sure you are very proud!
· THANKS FOR THE INVITATIONS: I would like to thank all of the associations that were so kind to invite me to address their groups this year. It is so nice for me to get out and meet other umpires from other associations and see what a fantastic job these associations are doing training and preparing umpires.
· FACEBOOK & SOCIAL MEDIA: I am sure we are all aware of the double edge sword that is social media. I know we like to share things with our “friends” but please be aware that many of us have mutual friends that might have a mutual friend that might be related to, or even worse, a coach of a team that we officiate. Worse yet, one of your colleagues just might be facebook friends with a coach that he officiates for. As unprofessional as I believe this to be I am aware that this takes place. Please know that everything that is put out there on social media can be viewed by almost everyone and once it is out there it is out there. Please refrain from using locations of games, problems with specific people or even personal feelings. I was once told that the “Silent man could never be misquoted.”
· RULES CLARIFICATIONS: Please let us all spend a few minutes a day looking into the rule book and refresh ourselves with some of the more uncommon rules. I have fielded several emails, phone calls, and text messages regarding several different rules that seem to be causing some issues this spring. Some of the more common rules and interpretations have been:
o Force Play Slide Rule: This rule has been very popular in the media lately with Major League Baseball adopting a version of this rule into their book. The obvious intent of this rule is safety. I feel that this is a topic that should be incorporated into your pre-game discussion each and every time you work. Discuss:
§ Who will cover which portion of the slide
§ What the runner can and cannot do as he approaches the base
§ Where the fielder is and is not protected by this rule as the runner approaches the base
§ What will the penalties be.
o Phantom Tags: Remember that in NFHS baseball it is not legal for a player to fake a tag at a base without the baseball. PLAY: Runner on 1st base. The runner attempts to steal 2nd and the batter hits a fly ball to the outfield for a base hit. The shortstop, trying to slow down the runner from 1st fakes a tag at 2nd base trying to make the runner believe that there is a play being made on him. (a) The runner from first does nothing knowing where the ball is and continues to run to 3rd, (b) the runner slides thinking that there is a play being made on him, or (c) the runner pulls up until he notices that there is no play being made and continues on to 3rd base where he is thrown out by 2 steps. What is your ruling? Are they all the same? Are they different? What is the deciding factors? Please reply with your answers to: CBUAIC@gmail.com. One lucky winner will be selected from the collection of correct answers to win a prize. GOOD LUCK!
o Positioning of the pitcher’s free foot in the windup and the set positions. I am still receiving many phone calls and emails from coaches concerned with the lack of consistency in the enforcement of this rule. This is not a minor “ticky tack” rule to be loosely enforced. We MUST enforce this correctly across the units for the consistency of officiating. Please familiarize yourselves again with this rule and what the penalties are for violating. Please let’s all make a commitment to consistently and effectively officiate this.
o Coaches not in team uniform coaching: Please remember that a coach not properly dressed in his team’s uniform may not occupy a coach’s box. I attended a game a few weeks ago and noticed this: This should be used as a coaching tool and nothing else. No one should feel embarrassed or like they are being singled out. This is happening too often. I am merely using this picture as a coaching moment to help the entire group get better.:
o Personnel outside of the dugout during live ball situations. I know that this rule has been very loosely enforced over the years but this is a safety rule and safety needs to be paramount. I attended a game a few weeks ago and witnessed this situation twice. In the first photo you will see the head coach out of the dugout where most coaches like to stand. As I was talking to a friend of mine I said, “I sure hope that this coach pays attention.” As luck would have it, the coach was drilled by a foul ball about 3 pitches later. Luckily this coach was not injured.
In the 2nd picture you will see kids standing outside of the dugout after their coach had already been hit by a foul ball. And, to make matters even worse, with the exception of the on deck hitter, these young student athletes are not even wearing any form of head protection. We all need to do a little better job of patrolling the dugout for these types of situations. In a multiple umpire game, base umpire(s) can certainly assist in this. It is all about safety these day
· SOMETHING NEW: Last year, with the entrance of a new national coordinator, the NCAA started posting thought pieces on our central hub. Interviews, situational discussions, handling different types of situations, etc. Not that I am trying to copy the NCAA, but sometimes imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. As umpires I know that many situations happen to us where we feel “Completely alone!” But, believe me, you are not. Chances are there are several or our brothers out there that have made the same mistakes. That being said, I have started reaching out to officials asking them to put together simple articles of things that I think might help us all grow as officials. As I get them in I will be posting them in memo’s, on our website, and on the unit’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/602222183188834/ It is a closed group but ask to join and I will accept your invitation. This week’s piece was submitted by Scott Jones. Scott is a NCAA, Junior College and High School Umpire from the Channel Coast Association.
o The College Official's perspective of working high school as well:
§ I am fully aware of the stigma that college officials receive when we work high school. That we "big time" high school officials and/or coaches don't care about the game, showboat, belittle fellow officials, are unapproachable, etc. I know there are some guys who fit that first stereotype, but the vast amount of college officials I know that still work the high school level have made it their goal to help and mentor.
From the College Official perspective, we actually work harder mentally when working a high school game. When most of us work the high school game, our partners ask us to help them, so we pay attention to them plus our on-field duties, which doubles our work load. Coaches also play a different card with us since there are times they come out and want an explanation, ruling, to get help, etc. We tend to be more firm and direct with them which to them seems unapproachable. But as a whole, most of us work high school still to give back since most of us started there.
Thank you all for your hard work and dedication. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.
Bradley L. Hungerford
CBUA Executive Instructional Chairman
In : Memos