The Ole Ball Game

Call at first base.

by Tyler

Tyler asked: Is there a Pony Baseball rule I can refer to on this call?

If so can you mention the rule number. I have heard several different versions. Here is mine.

I'm coaching first base. My batter hits the ball and it is fielded by the pitcher. The pitcher gets control of the ball and throws to 1st.

The throw is off target pulling the first baseman off the bag as my batter reaches the bag. The Base umpire calls him safe and motions that the first baseman pulled his foot. Good call.

Well, I did not see but I guess the home umpire, who was still behind the plate, motioned that the runner was out at first.

The opposing team coach must have seen this and approached the field umpire about the call saying the plate umpire called him out.

Both umpires meet and the call is over turned and the runner is called out.

In talking to the field umpire he stated that the home umpire has the primary call of first base and due to that he was able to over ride the call.

My problem is the base umpire was very close and had a very good view and I as well saw the foot pulled from the bag.

The home umpire never left home plate but the call was over turned claiming the home umpire has the final call on plays at first base. I did not stomp off and start yelling but I am curious.

What do you think?

Rick answered: Tyler, thank you for your question.

The Pony League Rule Book, online, is mostly about administrative things such as player eligibility, tournaments, boundaries, etc.

They make reference that the Pony rules are MLB rules, unless otherwise stated as an exception.

Umpires: 9.02
(a) any umpires decision which involves judgement, 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 substitute shall object to any such judgement decisions.

(b)If there is reasonable doubt that any umpire's decision may be in conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision and ask that a correct ruling be made. Such appeal shall be made only to the umpire who made the protested decision.

(c) If the decision is appealed, the umpire making the decision may ask another umpire for information before making a final decision. No umpire shall critisize, seek to reverse or interfere with another umpire's decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it.

In the situation you described, the call at first base is the responsibility of the base umpire.

You didn't mention what the base runner situation was at the time. If there was no one on base, the base umpire should have been off the infield dirt, on the first base foul line. He is there because that provides him the best view for a play at 1B.

If there were a runner, or runners on, he moves down inside, between the mound and second base. Again, so that he has the best view to make calls on the bases.

The home plate umpire calls balls and strikes, plays at the plate, ocasionally will get down the line to third base when the base umpire is not able to get there; but he does not have the primary call of first base, the base umpire has that call.

Once the base umpire made his call, it was done. The opposing coach has a right to ask the base umpire to ask the plate umpire for help, the base umpire does not have to do that.

The home plate umpire cannot interject his own call over the base umpire's call, unless the base umpire specifically asks him for help. This is where the mistake came in. The home plate umpire should not have made any call, it wasn't his to make.

If the opposing coach thought the runner was out because he felt the 1B was on the bag, he has the right to appeal to the base umpire, who in turn has the option to ask for help from home plate, or stick with his original call.

At that point, the plate umpire can state what he thinks, they talk it over and decide if the call stands, or gets reversed.

Yours in baseball,


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