Thursday, October 7, 2010

What to do when an umpire screws up a rule?

You've been there.  An ump calls time and enforces a rule that you know is clearly wrong.  An outfielder throws the ball out of the play and the runners are awarded the wrong number of bases.  Or a batter swings at a pitch that hits him and is awarded first base.  Or....... What should you do?

Call time and calmly discuss it with him.   Always give him an opportunity to save face.  Tell him what you think the rule is and have him explain why he thinks it’s different.  If you are convinced you are correct, suggest that he check with his partner just to be sure.  If he refuses, then, and only then you can suggest that you may ask to play the game under protest, and at the same time quote the rule number that he is violating.  In many cases, the ump may think you may know what you are talking about and he may confer with the other umpires, and hopefully get it right.   And if he doesn’t, should you bring out the rule book and show him the rule?   I’ll discuss this in my next post.

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