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uwApoligist

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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhblue
 One look and it's obvious that the weight issue doesn't apply to females.

 And over scrutinized.

 I'd put the ratio at 5:1 or 6:1 but either way, you are spot on how gender bias exists.  Race is also a consideration when selecting officials.

This is the reality of the college game.  The irony is that the bias applied in furtherance of women is damaging the credibility of the entire sport thus effectively hurting the furtherance of women.

Honestly Fat Guy bias and Gender Bias would be fine in a situation where you have a large number of people that have proven effective at making calls (balls/strikes/out/safe).   The reason it is so obvious is that they have too many umps that are just not that good at this level. 

To me the organization of Umpires at NCAA level was just slooow.  Like in sloooow thinkers.   Nothing made that more obvious than the timing of the change the HBP rules.  It was clear they were trying to get out of arguments, but the game had changed from the time they decided they wanted it, to the time they actually implemented it. 

The only recently stopped moving the dang strike zone all over the place (every dang year).  

Critiquing, has to be one of the most important ways to improve umpire quality.  Yes, in the game 50% of the fans are going to say you blew the call.  But getting accurate and concise feedback from other umpires is super important.  You missed this call, here is why I think you missed it.  In NCAA softball umpires anyone said anything they would just lose it.  

I think it is getting better.  Last 5 years you have seen the org settle down a lot, stop asking for stupid rule changes, stop being such activist whiners, stop changing the strike zone, start to make more focus on making calls, critiquing each other more.   It takes a long time to fix an org that was so far off track, but I think they are taking steps.   



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CrowHop

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Reply with quote  #32 
Quote:
Yes, in the game 50% of the fans are going to say you blew the call.



There's a big difference between the 'miss' and the 'gross miss.'    A 'miss" is where 50% say you blew it.  The "gross miss' is where EVERYONE knows you blew it.

It's the umpires with a predilection for the 'gross miss' we should be worried about.


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bhblue

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Reply with quote  #33 

Quote:
Originally Posted by uwApoligist

Honestly Fat Guy bias and Gender Bias would be fine in a situation where you have a large number of people that have proven effective at making calls (balls/strikes/out/safe).   The reason it is so obvious is that they have too many umps that are just not that good at this level. 


The post you quote was only about the bias in selecting officials and wasn't meant to explain why we see so many mistakes made.  Clearly though, anytime something other than someone's ability to do a job is used as a basis of promotion, the job will suffer.  

But obviously it's not just female umpires kicking calls. When training and critiquing college umpires, the National Staff (SUP) places so much emphasis on things that aren't necessary to officiate a softball game that umpires become so focused on the "minors" they can't, or don't, put enough focus on the "majors".  You may have missed a call on a tag play but you were at the prescribed starting distance pre-pitch and had the prescribed height on your out signal - Good Job!  You called a strike ball four but you looked good stepping out, removing your mask, and meaninglessly watching the batter jog down to first - Nice Work!  You mistakenly call a hit-by-pitch but you came up with your arms at the prescribed height and distance apart and were "big" so everyone knows what "happened"- Perfect!

Until the NCAA Softball Committee forces the leadership of the SUP to focus on what really matters when training and critiquing umpires, threads like this will be a yearly occurrence.

outofzone

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Reply with quote  #34 
Great post. Scheduling assignments, being politically correct & great mechanics override the single most important aspect of the job....being able to do it.
uwApoligist

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Reply with quote  #35 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhblue



The post you quote was only about the bias in selecting officials and wasn't meant to explain why we see so many mistakes made.  Clearly though, anytime something other than someone's ability to do a job is used as a basis of promotion, the job will suffer.  

But obviously it's not just female umpires kicking calls. When training and critiquing college umpires, the National Staff (SUP) places so much emphasis on things that aren't necessary to officiate a softball game that umpires become so focused on the "minors" they can't, or don't, put enough focus on the "majors".  You may have missed a call on a tag play but you were at the prescribed starting distance pre-pitch and had the prescribed height on your out signal - Good Job!  You called a strike ball four but you looked good stepping out, removing your mask, and meaninglessly watching the batter jog down to first - Nice Work!  You mistakenly call a hit-by-pitch but you came up with your arms at the prescribed height and distance apart and were "big" so everyone knows what "happened"- Perfect!

Until the NCAA Softball Committee forces the leadership of the SUP to focus on what really matters when training and critiquing umpires, threads like this will be a yearly occurrence.


We are in rabid agreement on this.

I think they have started doing better over the last 5 years.  Not sure what changed or how it changed.  I do not know the people at this level.  

It seemed 5+ years ago their focus was all over the map.  The HBP arguments.  Somehow trying to get out of arguing with people, but in the process always causing more arguments.  They just seemed to miss the point, that their lack of ability to be great at judgement calls was what created all the arguing.  Oh no, could not be that, we gotta change the HBP rules. The continuos strike zone 'teaching' adjustments was glaring evidence of their lack of ability. 

To me from the outside.  It seems there is less of the crazy stuff.  I think in general the calls are getting better.  While you definitely have some points on those calls, it seems this is happening less than it did even 5 years ago.  They still have a long way to go, but heading in a better direction.


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Prowler

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Reply with quote  #36 
Quote:
Originally Posted by uwApoligist

We are in rabid agreement on this.

I think they have started doing better over the last 5 years.  Not sure what changed or how it changed.  I do not know the people at this level.  

It seemed 5+ years ago their focus was all over the map.  The HBP arguments.  Somehow trying to get out of arguing with people, but in the process always causing more arguments.  They just seemed to miss the point, that their lack of ability to be great at judgement calls was what created all the arguing.  Oh no, could not be that, we gotta change the HBP rules. The continuos strike zone 'teaching' adjustments was glaring evidence of their lack of ability. 

To me from the outside.  It seems there is less of the crazy stuff.  I think in general the calls are getting better.  While you definitely have some points on those calls, it seems this is happening less than it did even 5 years ago.  They still have a long way to go, but heading in a better direction.



I had no idea that umpires made the rules.

Every other sport has a rules committee and they vote on any rules changes, like the fair catch rule in football, targeting, etc.
Still_JAD

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Reply with quote  #37 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhblue



The post you quote was only about the bias in selecting officials and wasn't meant to explain why we see so many mistakes made.  Clearly though, anytime something other than someone's ability to do a job is used as a basis of promotion, the job will suffer.  

But obviously it's not just female umpires kicking calls. When training and critiquing college umpires, the National Staff (SUP) places so much emphasis on things that aren't necessary to officiate a softball game that umpires become so focused on the "minors" they can't, or don't, put enough focus on the "majors".  You may have missed a call on a tag play but you were at the prescribed starting distance pre-pitch and had the prescribed height on your out signal - Good Job!  You called a strike ball four but you looked good stepping out, removing your mask, and meaninglessly watching the batter jog down to first - Nice Work!  You mistakenly call a hit-by-pitch but you came up with your arms at the prescribed height and distance apart and were "big" so everyone knows what "happened"- Perfect!

Until the NCAA Softball Committee forces the leadership of the SUP to focus on what really matters when training and critiquing umpires, threads like this will be a yearly occurrence.



LMAO, so umpiring has fallen victim to political correctness...who cares if you get the call right, as long as you look good doing it!
MadDogsDad

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Reply with quote  #38 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Still_JAD


LMAO, so umpiring has fallen victim to political correctness...who cares if you get the call right, as long as you look good doing it!


why wouldn't it fall victim. When coaches dictate who cannot umpire their regular season games, they are taking money from the ump's pocket.

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Still_JAD

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Reply with quote  #39 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDogsDad
why wouldn't it fall victim. When coaches dictate who cannot umpire their regular season games, they are taking money from the ump's pocket.


The NCAA needs to step in and assign umpires like they do for football.
uwApoligist

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Reply with quote  #40 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowler
I had no idea that umpires made the rules. Every other sport has a rules committee and they vote on any rules changes, like the fair catch rule in football, targeting, etc.

Rules committees take input.  One source of such input might be officials of the sport.  I would say it is very rare in other sports, or in mens sports for the officials to offer much in way of new rules.  

More officials comment as a rule is being considered.  Your targeting rule is a great example, there was lots of referee feedback on the language for that rule.   

Softball was one of the rare sports that umpires historically took a very active role.  

There is a lot of reasons for this.  The sport is relatively young.  UW for instance did not have a team until 1993.   So coaches, softball conferences and players were probably not as organized.  NFCA in 2000 still seemed pretty small.  Umpires came from an area that was big on organization, ASA softball. 

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Prowler

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Reply with quote  #41 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Still_JAD


The NCAA needs to step in and assign umpires like they do for football.


The NCAA doesn't assign officials for football. Conferences do that.

Bowl games contact conference to get neutral officials who don't officiate the conferences that the participating teams are from.

The NCAA does assign college umps in the postseason.
Prowler

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Reply with quote  #42 
Quote:
Originally Posted by uwApoligist

Rules committees take input.  One source of such input might be officials of the sport.  I would say it is very rare in other sports, or in mens sports for the officials to offer much in way of new rules.  

More officials comment as a rule is being considered.  Your targeting rule is a great example, there was lots of referee feedback on the language for that rule.   

Softball was one of the rare sports that umpires historically took a very active role.  

There is a lot of reasons for this.  The sport is relatively young.  UW for instance did not have a team until 1993.   So coaches, softball conferences and players were probably not as organized.  NFCA in 2000 still seemed pretty small.  Umpires came from an area that was big on organization, ASA softball. 


Ideally, there should be input from coaches, umps and players.

But a rule should be VERY difficult to change. You don't want your rulebook shifting from year to year due to the latest complaint or trend.

Most people, even those who have spent years in the sport, can't understand all the variations on the flex rule. Imagine subtle changes in that from year to year and then getting a batter called out at the wrong time because the coach wasn't up on the latest change in verbiage to 16.3.4.6.9.9-1234abc. No thanks.

How to interpret and best enforce and officiate the rules should be the focus.

And while we're at it, can I get a crew to actually call the infield fly rule when it's appropriate. I bet I see 3-5 such situations a year and maybe one gets called. And it's not like I'm attending tripleheaders four days a week.
bhblue

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Reply with quote  #43 
The rules committee includes one non-voting umpire. Coaches make up the rest for the most part. I'm told the more influential coaches from high profile programs carry a lot of sway to get the changes they want. I think rules should change as the game changes and not in response to a one-off instance that happened to a big name team.

While rule changes affect the game on their own, how and if umpires enforce them has a much larger impact. It is the responsibility of the SUP to train officials how these changes are handled. Often there is an overreaction and the game is negatively affected. When a point of emphasis comes out, umpires fall all over themselves to comply. Fear of losing assignments or their shot at the post season causes them to do whatever comes down the pike no matter how absurd or useless.

Of course this is only my opinion.
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