To Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox – does anyone sing?

Hardly anyone sings the Star Spangled banner, to the dismay of my companion, CC, a baseball traditionalist (who does sing)…I am a visitor, so I am forgiven. The line “the land of the free” does get the crowd cheering, but why wait so long to participate?

“They are all too uptight”, is CC’s diagnosis – “there’s no physical contact in the crowd, and no one sings until they have had a few drinks.” And, indeed, come the seventh innings stretch, many more voices join in with “Take me down to the ball game”. And by comparison with the anthem, the rendition of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline…oh, oh, oh”, a favourite for the Red Sox fans, before the ninth is almost ecstatic.

But I had expected something else in the home of the brave, and so did CC.

“Mental disintegration” – is sledging ever justified?

I have spent more time umpiring than coaching this season. Not a conscious decision, but it seems to have worked out that way. And it has to be said that you do get a different view of the game when you are wearing the white coat. Continue reading “Mental disintegration” – is sledging ever justified?

You are the umpire…Google to the rescue

A fast full toss flashes over the top of the stumps, pitches just in front of the wicket-keeper and bursts through his gloves, hits the keeper’s helmet (correctly placed on the ground behind the keeper, in line with the stumps), then careers on to crash into the sightscreen.

No ball (full toss, above waist height).
Five penalty runs (ball strikes protective helmet belonging to the fielding side, on the ground)

…then what? Four (more) no balls?

I stood in a Colts’ game a couple of weeks ago, when this happened. I am not a qualified umpire; nor was my colleague. We conferred, scratched our heads, thought about running off to find a copy of the Laws…then my colleague pulled out his smartphone, googled “helmet penalty runs”, and got the answer back in seconds.

I know the professionals (and all qualified umpires) would never need to resort to Google, but it worked for us!

oh, the answer – the ball was dead as soon as it struck the helmet on the ground (Law 41, paragraph 3), so 1 no ball plus 5 penalty runs (plus a warning to the bowler).