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Umpire Interaction Policy

Pahrump Valley Little League Umpire Interaction Policy

PVLL has a zero-tolerance policy for behavior that is disrespectful, discourteous, or may in any way be construed as intimidating towards its umpires.  With this policy, we hope to maintain an environment in PVLL that is both umpire friendly and that teaches our players to have respect for those in positions of authority.  Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary actions including suspensions and potentially expulsion from PVLL.

Players, coaches, and fans should understand that any critical behavior towards umpires (the kind that is all too common at professional sporting events and some other youth sports programs) will not be tolerated in PVLL.  Basically, we want every coach and parent to treat the umpire the way they would want their son or daughter that was the umpire treated.  It is far more productive for a player, coach, or team to react to disadvantageous umpire calls by focusing on how to overcome those "bad breaks," rather than focusing on the umpire who is just doing the best that he/she can.  

Our umpire crew is comprised of adult volunteers, paid adults and youths 14 years old and up.  Our youth umpire program is an important part of our mission to provide the kids of Pahrump with a positive environment to grow and learn through sports.  All our umpires must feel they are safe and protected.

Parent/Spectator Interaction With Umpires:  

There is no reason for a parent or spectator to be addressing the umpire during a game.  It is not appropriate for you to ask umpires questions such as “what’s the count”, etc, during a game.  Do not complain about the umpiring.  If you have a concern, please address it with the manager of the team your child plays on.  If the manager agrees it is a valid concern, they will bring it to the umpire in chief at the appropriate time.  If you do not feel you can approach your child’s manager, please bring your concern to one of the board members and they will address it as needed.  

Manager/Coach Interaction With Umpires:

You should recognize that your actions on the field are viewed by both parents and players on both teams and therefore they should set the highest standard of behavior.  Any and all communications with umpires should be done in a respectful and deferential manner.

Managers/Coaches are also expected to exercise control of their players and parents.  Failure to be proactive in this regard will also place manager/coaches at disciplinary risk.  We know that managers/coaches can’t guarantee parent and player behavior; however, managers/coaches are expected to take responsibility for proactively intervening early in situations that could put a player or parent at disciplinary risk.  We are all here to teach the kids the right way to play the game; conduct is part of that. Treat the umpires right and you will get their best effort.

Judgment calls by an umpire can NEVER be questioned (strikes, balls, safe, out, foul, fair).

Interpretations of a rule may be questioned but only in a quiet and respectful way by requesting to approach the umpire.  Because you want, request or even demand a conference does not mean you will receive it - umpires aren't under any obligation to give you one.  For example, if a coach wanted to discuss the proper penalty for an interference call it would be appropriate since there are guidelines spelled out in the Little League International Regulations and Rules Book and it is not up to umpire discretion.  However, arguing the umpire's judgment to call interference is not acceptable.  If something cannot be resolved on the field, refer to the protest rules in the book.  Once the umpire says the discussion is final or over, do not continue discussion about the play or call.  Move on and play the game.

Always speak directly to the umpire who made the call you are unclear on.  You may not demand that an umpire seek help from another umpire.  Umpires are not allowed to "overrule" each other on the field.  They may, at their discretion, consult with the other umpire for help.  We understand that you may not like the umpire’s call and you may voice your displeasure, but it must be done in an appropriate manner and tone and not be disrespectful of the umpire, question his integrity, or be demeaning in any way. A controversial call may come at a crucial point in the game, but it does not lose a game.  Everything your team does or does not do combined, wins or loses the game.

Yelling across the field at an umpire over a call is not acceptable.  Yelling can come across as hostile even when you don't intend for it to.  Request a time out to approach the umpire and discuss the situation in a respectful and conversational manner.  Please remember that an adult coach approaching a youth umpire can be somewhat intimidating in and of itself, so a coach acting in a deferential manner will go a long way to mitigating that.

Any comments regarding a PVLL umpire should be submitted through email to the Umpire-In-Chief and the President and to [email protected]

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