USSSA Where should an umpire stand

Discussion in 'Ask the Umpire' started by cbass300, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. cbass300

    cbass300 New Member

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    I don't get the opportunity to catch very often, but I learn something new every time I play. I was in a South Texas USSSA tournament, and the home plate umpire calling balls and strikes basically wanted 6 " and square behind the plate. As the catcher, I had to either stand behind him or off to the side. I have watched and played many games over a 17 yr career and have never noticed such a spectacle. Is this normal?
     
  2. NCASAUmp

    NCASAUmp My backpack’s got jets

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    Unless it's changed recently, USSSA has the plate umpire stand in front of the catcher. I have no idea why, I don't like it, but... that's their choice.

    NSA Canada does it that way, too.
     
  3. Joker

    Joker Well-Known Member

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    you're not framing pitches or blocking wild pitches. you're catching balls off a bounce and throwing them back to the pitcher. let the ump get the position they want to be able to make calls on balls and strikes
     
  4. EAJuggalo

    EAJuggalo Addicted to Softballfans

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    We are instructed to be wherever we need to be to get the best view of the pitch. Generally we ask the catcher where they are going to set up. If the catcher wants to be right behind the plate, I'm in the slot like a fastpitch ump. More and more guys want to stand 5-6 feet behind the plate or even more, in that case I'm right behind the plate and just off to the side. If you watch Conference those guys are almost always right on top of the plate. At E Worlds last year, Lee Eggers had the plate for the final and you could see him telling the catcher to back up so he could get a better view. Only a couple of times I've asked catcher's to move and each time it was a guy who set up right behind the plate then stood up and backed into me during the pitch. I can't call a strike if I can't see where it came across.
     
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  5. NCASAUmp

    NCASAUmp My backpack’s got jets

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    I've had similar issues within ASA/USA Softball when Big Bubba decides to crowd my view. I tell him, "catch, you can be there if you want, but you're blocking me out."

    They get the hint pretty quickly.
     
  6. Country469

    Country469 Well-Known Member

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    As a pitcher I want my catcher to gtfo. Never ever ever in a million years do I want a target from you or you catching a pitch before it hits. Gives a much deeper perception that way. As an ump its kills me watching guys squat and chase 20 times a game, for nothing. Why?
     
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  7. Donger73

    Donger73 Addicted to Softballfans

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    LOL "can't call what I can't see" they do move then
     
  8. NCASAUmp

    NCASAUmp My backpack’s got jets

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    Good catchers figure it out fast and are more than happy to move. The others, however...
     
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  9. legend4130

    legend4130 Addicted to Softballfans

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    I was catching in a ASA tournament out of town. I was that guy that always stands about 3-4 feet behind the plate. The ump was crowding me at the plate the first couple of innings. Next inning out, he tells me that I have to be right on top of the plate, so I move up where he wants me. Sure enough a couple batters later the ball hits the corner of the plate/dirt, and takes a bad hop hits me right in the eye. I was so PISSSED! Told the ump to GTFO with his postioning at the plate after that.
     
  10. Dogue

    Dogue Evil Genius

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    If there's no stealing then I'll stand with my back against the backstop if the ump wants me to. Normal position is about 5' behind the plate to get the one-hop...I might move up and squat if it's a crappy field with soft boxes.
     
  11. legend4130

    legend4130 Addicted to Softballfans

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    I don’t have to worry about anybody after the third batter. 90% of guys playing are pushing 260LB. They tried pushing the bases back to 70ft and all the fat asses cried.
     
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  12. irishmafia

    irishmafia Addicted to Softballfans

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    Tell him the catcher's box (asa/usa) is 8.5 wide and 10 deep from the back edge of the batter's box and you can stand anywhere within that box you choose. If s/he pushes you elsewhere, question him on the location of the box and if you do not get the correct response, protest the game for a rule misinterpretation. There is a reason the box is that big and the umpire should not force someone to stand where s/he is uncomfortable or detrimental to you and your pitcher.
     
  13. reno44

    reno44 New Member

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    Men,
    ALL UMPIRES should position themselves in the "slot" (between batter and catcher). It's the same for USSSA, GSL, and USA (proper mechanics). As for the catcher complaining, commenting or needing his space, my response would be simple, Do You Want Me To See All of The Plate or Just The Portion You Allow Me To (due to your overwhelming need to be closer to the plate). The "ONLY" time I will concede more space to the catcher, is during USA games due to stealing. When a runner is on any base (USA), I'm constantly communicating with the catcher to make sure he has a clear throwing lane in the event the runner steals. Both umpire and catcher should communicate this during initial warm up pitches at the beginning of each half of the first inning. Bottom line on positioning of the umpire, the umpire is there to call balls and strikes, give him his DAMN SPACE!!! HELP HIM HELP YOU IN CALLING YOUR PITCH LOCATION..Your pitcher will love you for this!!!
     
  14. blakcherry329

    blakcherry329 Well-Known Member

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    Standing right behind the plate is kind of strange. Never seen that.
    But, bottom line, set up where you set up, as a catcher, if the ump doesn't say anything, then you're fine. If he does, move to where it's ok. Like everyone said, he's there to call the game, give him the best angle to do so.

    Don't argue or protest. Why would you want to antagonize the ump over something that doesn't really matter, in the grand scheme of things. Geez
     
  15. EAJuggalo

    EAJuggalo Addicted to Softballfans

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    Was talking to a Conference Umpire on Saturday at a National umpire clinic and he told us that he stands even with the back of the batter's box with his right foot directly behind the point of the plate. He will tell catcher's to move and if he can't see it, he can't call a strike.
     
  16. NCASAUmp

    NCASAUmp My backpack’s got jets

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    Wow. That's just... Wow.
     
  17. irishmafia

    irishmafia Addicted to Softballfans

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    How would an umpire end up in a "throwing lane" from a catcher to a base?
     
  18. defos

    defos Active Member

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    I'm afraid he'd get intimately acquainted with my bat. I'm a low pitch, opposite field hitter, and my back heel goes in the back corner of the batter's box. If my positioning seems extreme it's because the batter's boxes on the city fields here are not as wide as they should be. Regardless, his position - physical and mental - is extreme and puts him in a dangerous position. Besides, even at that level it's still slow pitch. It's not like the pitches are coming in at 90 mph. I'd bet he's not well respected by the players.
     
  19. EAJuggalo

    EAJuggalo Addicted to Softballfans

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    If you're back heel is all the way in the corner of a properly drawn box, you've got almost no chance at hitting against a good USSSA Conference pitcher unless you're walking the box. Most of the Conference players are even or in front of the plate.
    He would not still be a Conference umpire if he wasn't respected by the players, especially considering the CEO of USSSA is a Conference player.
     
  20. defos

    defos Active Member

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    ASA, don't walk the box, and like I said, the boxes are not properly drawn. I've never measured them, but I prep another field and know how big they're supposed to be. These are nowhere near as wide as they should be and are probably a little short too. I've played on fields at other area complexes and had to move up and in quite a bit.
     
  21. Reno4

    Reno4 New Member

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    Hi "irishmafia,"
    Thanks for replying. I hope to clearly explain my response to your reply. It has been my experience as an umpire during USA (formally ASA) games with stealing, the umpire can find himself in the throwing lane on a RHB and runner attempting to steal 3B. If the catcher and umpire are "side by side" and no prior communication between them, its inevitable that the this will occur. However, if umpire is positioned slightly infront of catcher and in the slot between the batter and catcher, and if the catcher is positioned/set up behind the umpire (he has a clearer view/lane). It is less likely that the umpire will be in the lane (unless he backs into it lane). ****PLEASE keep in mind that the actual location/spot that the pitched ball lands plays a big part with the catchers ability to get a clear view/lane as well; RH or LH throwing catchers can complicate this as well. Catchers who tend to crowd the plate and or demand "their" space find themselves dealing with the batter and the umpire in the lane.
    LHB, can cause the same issues on a back door to 1B.

    AGAIN, PLEASE KEEP IN MIND with my original post, I strongly encourage communication between the catcher and umpire. I ATTEMPT to give all the room needed to the catcher. I'M FAR FROM PERFECT!! Its best that I ADJUST during this situation and reduce the chance of interfering with the throw!!

    Thanks,
    Reno4
     
  22. irishmafia

    irishmafia Addicted to Softballfans

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    Speaking USA, the umpire should never be alongside or in front of the catcher. The proper set position is behind the catcher. I know it places the umpire in a difficult position at times, but it is what it is. The umpire absolutely needs to make every effort to not interfere with the catcher's attempt to make a play, but should never be between the catcher and 3B.
     

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