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Discussion: You make the call - umpire gets over-ruled by TD in Phoenix

Posted Discussion
Oct. 22, 2007
Hacker
Men's 65
41 posts
You make the call - umpire gets over-ruled by TD in Phoenix
Interesting ruling…how do you think this should have been called?

Situation:

elimination game - 60AAA - Papago Park:

Game score is tied…visiting team did not score in the top-half of extra inning, the home team is coming to bat in the bottom-half of the extra inning and is supposed to start the inning with a runner placed at second base (last batter from previous inning) per the tie-breaker rule.

Before the inning starts, the home team wants to use a courtesy-runner to replace the runner on second, however, there is much dispute among the home team players as to whether it is allowed, so to be on the safe side and before they allow the courtesy runner to even touch second base, they ask the umpire…he is uncertain but after much discussion, he allows the courtesy runner to replace the original runner on second.

The visiting team immediately disputes the umpire’s ruling and seeks the tournament director’s decision…the TD over-rules the umpire and calls the courtesy runner out before the inning even starts!!

Although the ruling is correct to not allow a courtesy runner until the runner reaches third base, do you think it was the right call that the courtesy runner is out after the umpire incorrectly allowed it?

The home team had to start the inning with no runner at second and 1 out!

How would you make the call?



Rich
Oct. 22, 2007
hitt2
354 posts
This situation was presented in St. George the ump made the call it was disputed by the other team. The TD corrected it and no penaslty was applied. It's unfair to penalize a team for the umps mistake. The last out runner returned to the bag due to the umpires misinterpretation of the rule and play resumed. If the ball is dead and time is called how can an out be applied? Unless the substitution rule then comes into play.
Oct. 22, 2007
T-REX
64 posts
What a mess on an easy call..no you can not sub for that runner,unless it was done the inning before and they played the field or the runner reaches third.The ump should have known this rule,as should the TD,it should have not cost the home team,the player in the game the inning before should have just been put back on second,no harm no foul,however if they had not asked the umpire and did it on there own,the sub is out.The TD should have just put the original runner on base because he over ruled the umps decision and the runner was there due to the umps decision...and they ended up both being wrong...
Oct. 22, 2007
BruceinGa
Men's 60
2582 posts
I agree. Since the home team replaced the runner in good faith they shouldn't be penalized for it.
T-Rex, one would think that it is a simple rule, for which associantion? We play in 6 or 8 different associations and a large number of rules are different. This might be the reason the umpire was incorrect. That still doesn't explain why the TD made his ruling.
Oct. 22, 2007
VegasPaul
Men's 60
30 posts
Seems to me that the visiting team was protesting a rule interpretation by the umpire before the next pitch as per rule 6.53. Thus the protest committee should have been formed comprising 3 people per rule 5.2. One of the members of the protest committee should have been the UIC. Umpires need to know the rules but also the teams need to know them. I would like to hear from the UIC on how he would rule. I believe the umpire made a mistake and there should have been a correctable action.
Vegas Paul, Nevada Gold
Oct. 22, 2007
T-REX
64 posts
Your right about that Bruce,so many different rules for different associations,you'r think they'd get it figured out by now..When I played with Fergies it happened twice in a 2 day period,by the same team,the other team substitued illegally in a tied game ,as in the thread,our coach caught it and the sub was ruled out by the umpire both times...Personally with travel involed as well as expense,just play the game the way it was intended to be played,whats the hurry,you have a 1-1 count,no fouls,tie game rules,5 run rules,home run rules,different strike zones,illegal bats,balls players etc.....expecting an ump and TD to make the right call is not asking to much..is it?
Oct. 22, 2007
green rocket
51 posts
Senior umpire here. We have had many discussions about this subject when we all get together and talk about things.

When we do small tournaments (Nor-Cal) we allow a pinch runner on second base starting an international tie-breaker inning. However, our UIC (Rudi Rodriguez) empaizes to his crew that in regional or world championship play, the runner must be the last batter who appeared at the plate the previous inning (not the out made) and that the runner cannot be subsituted for until he reaches third base.

Clear plain and simple. If the umpire did allow another runner other than the batter at second, he did not get the rule straight.

They do have an umpire meeting before the tournament begins, so this should of been clairified. I personally think that this umpire probably has done few or no Senior tournaments prior to this one. Every umpire I know is versed on this rule.
Oct. 23, 2007
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
588 posts
Too much. First the umpire should have checked with the tournament director if there was any doubt. Even a good, in-depth meeting with the umpires up front would not help on a rule that does not come up often. (The cheat sheet that I give the umpires at Midwest's tournament includes this scenario because I can expect them to be a senior softball expert.)

Second this whole thing is a correctable error. You just go back to where you started from. I know that if this was a major game that I would be wanting to protest the ruling of the tournament director to the national office. Of course if the TD is the national office...you have no recourse, and I guess you save the protest fee and maybe lose the game.
Oct. 23, 2007
T-44
9 posts
Hacker you forgot one thing. The visiting team was allowed to change runners in the top of the inning using the reentry rule. The umps allowed that. In the bottom of the inning the home team just wanted to change runners, and the rest is history Either way both teams, turf pro and mustangs agreed these 2 umps made a mess of that game, minimum of 4 terrible calls. Too bad cause the rest of the games had excellant umps. I know cause I had a front row seat. Pitcher on turf pro.
Oct. 23, 2007
green rocket
51 posts
Nancy, that rule comes up more often than you think. Like I said, I do not personally know any of my officating crew that does not know that rule.
Oct. 23, 2007
Nancy Allen
Men's 55
588 posts
GR, many of the umpires that officiate the Midwest tournament only do this one tournament, and I can not expect them to know all of the rules. I brief them out on the field and then give them a cheat sheet (it's like regular softball except). It came up in a league game the other night that I was not directly involved in. The umpire let the courtesy runner go out to second base, and I had him put the last batter out there instead. He scored on a long hit to the outfield anyway to win the game. I would guess that most leagues do not go that in-depth into rules, and everyone has an opinion. We try to keep the league rules as much like tournament play as possible, but the umpires here have very little opportunity to officiate senior games. That would make me the lucky one.
Oct. 24, 2007
Joncon
285 posts
Did the call cost them the game?
Oct. 24, 2007
curty
Men's 60
99 posts
could the team have used a substitute runner? Or perhaps had an injury? Was the td baseing his call on the " he touched the base" rule before play started? Interesting, would have liked to have seen it!
Oct. 25, 2007
Hacker
Men's 65
41 posts
JonCon,

Although the home team's first batter popped up to left for the 2nd out, they still ended up winning the game.

This demonstrates how important it is to know your rules!!

We played a game in the Calif Cup where the opposing pitcher deliberately walked a batter with two outs to get to a vacant spot in the batting order (because a player was ejected) for an automatic out (3rd out)...we had no subs 'cus we were batting everyone.

some associations don't allow you to walk a player (with 2 outs) to get to the vacant spot for the 3rd out and we were not sure if that was allowed and are still unsure of the rule!

Rich
60 AAA
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