Saturday, February 11, 2012

Conflict of Interest or No-Brainer? Jim Evans Academy for Professional Umpiring Banned from Minor League Baseball

Former MLB Umpire Jim Evans
When Jim Evans opened his Academy for Professional Umpiring in 1989, the 28-year MLB veteran revitalized the baseball officiating academy experience with extensive hands-on classroom and on-field opportunities for the duration of the five-week professional course that runs from early Jan. to Feb. each year.

However, by the time the 2012 course had concluded, Minor League Baseball and its subsidiary the Professional Baseball Umpire Corp were investigating the Evans Academy for deplorable conduct alleged to have occurred during an Academy-sponsored bowling party.

During that event, one team of Academy employees allegedly donned costumes associated with the Ku Klux Klan and bowled under a racially insensitive team name—Klein's Kleaning Krew.

After the league's review, MiLB president Pat O'Conner concluded the Academy employees' actions were "reprehensible ... It was shocking, it was offensive, and it was disgusting to me."

As punishment for this misconduct, MiLB has taken the stern step of severing ties with the school, meaning that from this point forward, the Jim Evans Academy for Professional Umpiring will not be sending any students to PBUC and MLB's network of professional baseball.

Is this the death penalty for Jim Evans' Academy?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

NSAA (Nebraska): Girls' Basketball Team Earns Technical Foul for Wearing Pink Uniforms for Charity

Earlier this week, Burke High School (Nebraska) hosted a late-season basketball game against the visiting Columbus Discoverers. In lieu of their home white uniforms, the Burke Bulldogs donned pink jerseys in a charitable effort: Assistant coach Tom Law purchased the pink uniforms specifically for that game. The jerseys were to be auctioned off afterward, with proceeds benefitting the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Burke's pink uniforms. Columbus' visiting jerseys were red.
Burke Athletic Director Kyle Rohrig signed off on the idea and all seemed fine until halftime, when the Bulldogs took a one point lead into the locker room.

That's when Columbus head coach Dave Licari spoke with the officials and asked if the pink uniforms were legal. If not, a penalty should have been assessed. Licardi had reportedly been tipped off by Columbus AD John Krogstrand.

Columbus' own away uniforms are red, though the hue of pink used on Burke's uniforms still provided a decent contrast between the two colors.

The officials accordingly issued a technical foul against the Bulldogs for the uniform infraction and a Columbus player made both free throws. NFHS Rule 3-4 mandates all home jerseys be white, while Rule 10-5-4 specifies a technical foul is to be issued directly to a head coach who allows his players to participate while wearing illegal uniforms. Only one technical foul is charged regardless of the number of the offenders, while there is no statute of limitations for this penalty: the infraction is penalized when discovered at any point during the contest.

By rule, this call was correct. Burke's special jerseys were in violation of NFHS Rules, the penalty for which is one direct technical foul charged to the offending team's head coach.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

UEFL 2012: One Month Left to Register

There is just one month left to register for the 2012 Umpire Ejection Fantasy League. The registration process will close at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, March 5, 2012.

The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League is a a quasi-rotisserie league in which league members draft four umpires: One crew chief, one primary umpire and two secondary umpires. Crew Chiefs, primaries and individual secondary umpires may overlap, but combinations of secondary umpires must be unique.

The UEFL uses the following statistics to compute points for each and every MLB ejection: Umpire classification (AAA vs MLB), Calling status (Primary or Secondary), Quality of Correctness, Ejector's Crew Chief. League members also have an opportunity to earn points via Case Plays, which are a form of baseball rules application trivia, for instance responding with how one would officiate a hypothetical odd situation on the diamond.

Click here for more information and to register for the 2012 season and/or submit your Appeals Board nomination. As has been tradition in years past, registration is free. We are additionally putting together an e-mail distribution list for all interested UEFL members in 2012. See the registration post for more information and to be added to that list.

As of 10 a.m. Pacific Time on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, we have received the following registrations. If your name does not appear on this list, we have not yet received your sign-up e-paperwork:

Veterans Rookies Appeals Board
kickersrule shtuck91 yawetag
sachmet JRD BrooklynUmp
clement30 brettjwhaley Albertaumpire
zcr57 Streetmedic jhagen88
cyclone14 hitit2me tmac
yawetag Cricket Big_Marc
KTurner14 Umptm4
BrooklynUmp FearlessFixxer
DanNJ316 nkcaump
BONZ_kansascity Canadian_Scott
jhagen88 nwsquid
josh7377 Turducken
Scumpire Albertaumpire
SPballsandstrikes amccormick99
Spence1222 RadioPearl
TonyTheRed Heyblue
Bino TheGunsofHochuli
Rich MSN ThePeoplesChamp
Kid Chicken

Monday, February 6, 2012

NFL Super Bowl Officials Deliver Tremendous Performance, a Rules Review

Once again in 2012, the NFL got the Super Bowl right, thanks in part to a wonderful contest by the game's officiating crew.

From referee John Parry's announcement of an early safety against the New England Patriots to side judge Laird Hayes' ruling of a completed catch on the New York Giants' final fourth quarter drive, the game was well officiated.

See below for a more in-depth analysis of the game's biggest officiating plays.

Play No. 1: Correct Call, Intentional Grounding in the End Zone Results in a Safety