The Protocols for Ejections

Requirements for umpires after the game

The ejecting umpire must submit an electronic Incident Report no later than 24 hours after the game to the appropriate person. IN ADDITION: the CCSUA Assigners’ request that before leaving the game site or between games of a doubleheader or tournament, the crew chief (plate umpire in a 2-umpire game) or the ejecting umpire, sends a text message or calls the assigner with the basics of the ejection – team, coach, cause for the ejection; make the text or voicemail short and concise. The assigner will call you later for a more detailed explanation.

For NCAA contests the form is on the Forms tab of the SUP Central Hub – Umpire Incident/Ejection/Suspension Form. The NAIA has its ejection report on their website. For Community College games the form is included on the CCSUA Arbiter Group in the List/Forms page – California Community College Softball Incident Report.

Read the article in the Protocols Corner titled Detailed Instructions for Completing an Incident Report for tips on properly completing the report.

Ejection Reflection

A proper ejection is a tough decision. At the college level, umpires know that we must do everything we can to avoid an ejection, as it is a true test of our game management skills. However, sometimes a coach or player “has to go.” The best way to look at this is – you did not eject the coach or player, he or she necessitated the ejection by his/her highly unacceptable actions.

What matters now is what happens next. You MUST NOT keep reflecting on it during the remainder of the game. That must wait until after the game, and perhaps for the next day or two. Were you right in your reasoning? Was there something you could have done differently? Did the cause of the ejection start with a questionable call for which you might not have been in the right position? If you talk about the ejection during the post-game or thereafter, do you change the situation as you tell it to portray yourself in a better way? If so, what does it say about your decision?

If you do reflect on the ejection circumstances, that most likely means that you care about what happened and you have passion for the game and your umpiring. That is a good sign! So, now what should you do – forget about it completely and move on? No, because during your reflection you should include what could you have done better; was there any way you could have not had the ejection?

Then you move on, keeping this experience as a learning opportunity. If you honestly feel (and only you know if you are being completely honest with yourself) that the situation was handled correctly, this is an important positive learning experience – use the same techniques in future engagements. Otherwise, you should write down the things you could have done better and review them once in a while. The best umpires, the ones who reach the highest levels, keep a journal of their umpire experiences, on and off the field, and constantly review that journal.

Keep putting yourself back out there and focus on the next game, the next pitch, the next discussion with a coach or player. Time goes on and more calls are made; make every one of them count.