SPAA Coaches Guide
This is not the Major Leagues. This is recreational youth baseball and softball league being played for the enjoyment of the kids. No one is perfect on the field; umpires, coaches, or players. We are all amateurs and we are on the field to have fun. If we can remember this, we will have less problems and the games will stay enjoyable to watch, play, and umpire.
Here are a few guidelines that will help keep things in perspective.
How to approach an umpire when you do not agree with a ruling during a game:
- When entering the field of play “ask” for time out from the umpires. The umpires will grant you time out when all play has ceased, i.e. all runners have stopped advancing and no plays are being made. Coaches should not just walk out on the field before all play has stopped or time out has been called by the umpires.
- Do not enter the field or approach an umpire yelling and screaming about a call or ruling and expect any cooperation. (This is a good way to get ejected.) If you think you have a valid point to make or disagree with a ruling, calmly ask for time out. Ask to talk with the umpire who made the decision in dispute. If is the managers right to do so.
- Any umpires decision which involves judgment, such as but not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or ball, or whether a runner is safe or out, is final. No player, manager, coach or fan shall object to any such judgment decisions.
Managers or coaches leaving the bench or coaches box to argue on balls & strikes will not be permitted. They should be warned if they start for the plate to protest the call. If they continue, they could be ejected from the game.
- If a manager wishes to appeal an umpire’s decision, he must make his appeal to the umpire who made the disputed decision. Such umpire may ask another umpire or umpires for information before making a final determination on the play. However, no umpire shall in any way criticize or seek to reverse another umpire’s decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it.
- Remember, stay calm, be polite and do not get personal in any way during your discussion with the umpire. State your case in a timely manner and stay focused on the play in question.
- Once an umpire has made his decision, do not try to argue with him to change his mind. A warning and maybe an ejection could be coming if you persist with un-sportsmanlike behavior and delay of game.
- If a manager still thinks the umpire ruled incorrectly (on a non-judgment call) he must immediately protest. Direct the protest to the umpire who made the decision in question. Calmly go through the protest procedure and then get on with the game. The Manager has the right to protest and the umpire and other team should not think anything less of him/her for protesting the game.
- The managers and coaches are responsible for the conduct of their fans. They should handle team problems at the field when brought to their attention. Un-sportsmanlike conduct from fans is unnecessary and will not be tolerated by the umpires.
- Do not approach an umpire after the game is over to offer unsportsmanlike comments or to argue about things that happened in the game. Any person who does this is at risk of being ejected and / or suspended for their un-sportsmanlike behavior, even after the game is over.
- Have patience with our younger umpires. Many are umpiring their first games. A young umpire may need a few seasons to get his/her strike zone and overall game better. We depend on many 14-15 year old umpires working for the SPAA to be there at 18 years old and beyond. If they get too much abuse from coaches and fans they just simply quit, and the training process starts all over again. Maybe the umpire for your game could be better if it were not for the turnover from year to year.
- If you have a problem with an umpire, please contact the SPAA office by calling 636.397.3149 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your complaint will be taken seriously and dealt with promptly.
Have a great season!
St. Peters Athletic Association