Saturday, December 31, 2011

Behind the Backboard: With Lack of Indisputable Evidence, Referees Make Correct Call on Buzzer-Beater, Game Winner

With just seconds to go in the second half of Friday night's Wagner College vs. Santa Clara basketball contest, the Seahawks and Broncos were tied at 62 points apiece and looked poised for overtime.

That's when Wagner sophomore Kenneth "Kenny" Ortiz stepped in.

After a wild, backboard hitting attempt by Seahawks senior guard Tyler Murray, Ortiz was in the right place at the right time to set up one of the craziest finishes to a college basketball season thus far during the 2011-12 NCAA season.

Ortiz corralled the wild carom, heaving up a frantic prayer just fractions of a second before the final horn sounded, the clock struck zero and the backboard's red lights illuminated.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

UEFL 2012: League Registration and Appeals Board Nomination

The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League is pleased to announce the 2012 season's registration process.

Per Rule 1:
a.     A post announcing the opening of registrations shall appear on the UEFL website no later than two months prior to the start of the regular season. This post shall instruct members on the proper methods of signing up to participate in the UEFL for the upcoming season and will contain all appropriate pre-draft deadlines.
b.     Once the registration period is closed, a draft order shall be pre-assigned (see Rule 1-1-c and 1-1-d). Four umpires shall be drafted by each UEFL member in the form of one (1) crew chief per Rule 1-2, one (1) primary umpire per Rule 1-3 and two (2) secondary umpires per Rule 1-4.
c.     The draft will be conducted in two phases: Phase one encompasses the crew/primary round while phase two encompasses the secondary draft.

For more information about the UEFL draft and selection process, see the 2012 UEFL Rules Book. Note that the draft will occur in March 2012, no umpires will be selected until a draft order has been determined in March.

Any visitor, guest or user may become a league member. There is no cost to register for this league. If you would like to register for the 2012 season, please respond to this post with your requested username. If you participated during the 2011 season, please use the same username or otherwise mention what your username was last season. Do not select umpires during the registration process.

Important: It is recommended that UEFL members be placed on an e-mail list so that we may expeditiously communicate important site-related news, including UEFL draft order. If you wish to be included, click here to e-mail the primary UEFL Commissioner with your username and registration information.

For verification purposes, we also highly recommend that all league members do not post anonymously or with a write-in (Name/URL) username. Blogger's comment system accepts Google, Livejournal, Wordpress, TypePad, AIM and OpenID accounts. The reason for this is so that we may verify your identity during the registration, draft, challenge and case play processes.

Per Rule 6-4-a, the UEFL announces the creation of an Appeals Board that shall routinely rule on issues of Quality of Correctness. Any visitor, guest or user may become an Appeals Board member and may or may not also be a league member. The Appeals Board operates on a voluntary basis only and is a one-year term (no term limits). To apply, you must e-mail the primary UEFL Commissioner with your nomination. If you are interested in nominating yourself for the two at-large Appeals Board vacancies, please consider the following requirements:
  • Ability to separate subjectivity from objective analysis;
  • Extensive rules knowledge or ability to attain exceptional proficiency without significant disputation of UEFL rule interpretations;
  • Ability to objectively and thoroughly analyze plays to determine Quality of Correctness
  • Availability to respond to the "Office of the UEFL Commissioner" in a timely fashion. Generally, within 48 hours of being notified of the appeal.
  • Board members, including Commissioners, will be required to abstain from ruling on plays involving their drafted umpires (or crews, if applicable);
  • Board members with no drafted umpires may request ample abstention from a limited number of appeals if so desired, which may be comparable to appeals abstained from by Board members with drafted umpires.
The UEFL pre-sesason shall commence in observance of the following schedule. Note that all deadlines, except otherwise noted, will extend to 11:59 PM Pacific Time on the date indicated:
  • November 27, 2011 (Sunday): Registration and Appeals Board nomination processes open
  • March 5, 2012 (Monday): Registration process closed
  • March 9, 2012 (Friday): Draft order decided and distributed after registrations closed; latest of March 9.
  • March 10, 2012 (Saturday): Crew and Primary rounds of the draft open. These rounds will run concurrently.
  • March 16, 2012 (Friday): Crew and Primary rounds of the draft closed.
  • March 17, 2012 (Saturday): Secondary round of the draft open. This round is conducted publicly and operates according to the draft order that was sent out by March 9, 2012.
  • March 23, 2012 (Friday): Appeals Board nominations closed.
  • March 24, 2012 (Saturday): Appeals Board voting begins
  • March 30, 2012 (Friday): This is the latest day the non-live Secondary draft may close.
  • March 30, 2012 (Friday): Appeals Board voting ends
  • April 1, 2012 (Sunday): Live Secondary draft. Time TBD. For those participating in the Live Secondary draft, Primary picks may be submitted at this time as well.
  • April 2, 2012 (Monday): UEFL rosters and draft results posted
  • April 3, 2012 (Tuesday): Last day for roster changes (retirements, pre-season injuries)
  • April 4-6, 2012 (Wednesday): Opening Day(s), MLB season begins
If you have any questions, please post here. As you can see, registration will remain open for over four months while Appeals Board nominations will remain open for close to five months. We hope you enjoy this registration process for the 2012 season.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Basketball Ejections: Scott Foster (1)

Crew Chief Scott Foster ejected Mavericks forward Lamar Odom for arguing an offensive foul call during the 3rd Quarter of the Heat-Mavericks Christmas Day season opener game. With 5:06 remaining in the 3rd, Odom was called for an offensive foul on Heat forward LeBron James. Replays indicate that Odom drove into the lane and passed out to Mavericks Guard Jason Terry outside the 3-point arc along the baseline. As Odom passed out to Terry, he crashed into James, who appeared to have obtained legal guarding position. Odom shouted towards Foster, after Foster reported the offensive foul call and was subsequently charged with a technical foul by Foster. Odom then became increasingly unsportsmanlike towards Foster and received a second technical foul from Foster, and with it an ejection. At the time of Odom's ejection, the Heat were leading, 82-54. The Heat ultimately won the contest, 105-94.

This is Scott Foster (48)'s first ejection of the 2011-12 season.
This is the first ejection of of the NBA 2011-12 season.
This is Lamar Odom's first ejection of the 2011-12 season.

This is Lamar Odom's second consecutive ejection in a non-preseason game.
Odom was ejected in his 2010-2011 NBA season finale in the 2011 playoffs with the Los Angeles Lakers for a flagrant foul against Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Odom was ejected by Scott Foster in that game.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Explaining the NBA 2011-12 Season's Points of Emphasis

As the NBA begins its shortened 2012-plus-one-week-of-2011 season, fans might notice some differences on the court in regards to the officiating: how games are being called, as well as some more seemingly cosmetic parts of the game; such as the 24-second shot clock.

Every year, the NBA's competition committee goes through the league's rules book and interpretation manual, occasionally adding, modifying and deleting sections at a time.

Some rule changes are so substantial—and some old rules additionally become so significant—that the committee sends its crew chiefs, referees and other officials a list of those items, called points of emphasis.

Points of emphasis (POE) are often considered the most important year-to-year revisions or adjustments in the officiating arena. Officials are extensively trained in the new curriculum.

Occasionally, some points of emphasis review concepts unchanged from the previous year, but every POE is correspondingly vital.

Prior to the 2011-2012 season, the NBA trained, drilled and exhaustively tested its officials with the following POE for the upcoming year.

According to NBA executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Stu Jackson, many of the following points of emphasis emanate from the universal truth that "players are always going to have tricks in the game."

With the following POE for the 2011-2012 season, the NBA is clearly trying to crack down on the thespian, phony and dangerous sides of basketball:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Baseball (Offseason) Ejections: Dario Rivero, Jr. and Jairo Martinez

HP Umpire Dario Rivero, Jr. ejected Leones catcher Yorvit Torrealba for arguing balls and strikes in the bottom of the 8th inning of the Caribes-Leones game. With one out and none on, Torrealba swung and missed at a 2-2 slider from Caribes pitcher Alex Serrano. Replays indicate all pitches to Torrealba were correctly ruled including a disputed strike call earlier in the at bat, the call was correct. After his ejection, Torrealba began yelling at Rivero, Jr., ultimately throwing an open hand slap at Rivero, Jr.'s face mask.* At the time of the ejection, the Caribes were leading 3-2. The Caribes ultimately won the contest, 3-2.

Prior to Torrealba's ejection, 1B Umpire Jairo Martinez ejected Caribes shortstop Luis Nunez for arguing an out call in the top of the 8th inning of the Caribes-Leones game. With none out and one on, Nunez bunted a 0-1 fastball from Leones pitcher Darwin Culliban. Culliban fielded the bunt, threw to Leones shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera for a fielder's choice force out, who threw to second baseman Marwin Gonzalez, covering first, for a ground bunt double play. Replays are unavailable, this call is inconclusive. At the time of the ejection, the contest was tied, 2-2. The Caribes ultimately won the contest, 3-2.

* Had Torrealba battered or assaulted this umpire in the United States, and the umpire elected to press charges and/or pursue the matter in civil court if damages were present, the umpire (or referee, linesman, judge, or other sports official in any sport) would receive enhanced protections in several states because 21 states have officiating assault laws (19 criminal + 2 civil). States with enhanced penalties for assault or battery against a sports official in commission of his or her duties include: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.

If your state does not currently have enhanced penalties for assault or battery on or against a sports official (or even if your state does), you may request a NASO Assault Legislation Packet at These packets are available by request free of charge to NASO members.

*Source: Referee Magazine (pp. N4-N5, July 2011 Issue) 

News: Click here for a brief history of players punching, battering and assaulting umpires (b/r)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Ajax vs. AZ: Referee Correct to Red Card Goalkeeper for Kicking Fan Who Attacked

An intoxicated 19-year-old spectator invaded the pitch during Wednesday's Dutch Cup Ajax vs. AZ Alkmaar soccer match, ultimately resulting in the contest's premature termination.

AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado kicks a pitch invader
Field intrusions at any level are no laughing matter. Hooligans in all sports have been known to wreak havoc after making it into the open field, especially when a player or referee just happens to be nearby when the playing area is being invaded.

So when this spectator—not to be confused with a fan, for fans do not commit such irresponsible and dangerous actions—encroached upon the playing field and attacked AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado, the Costa Rican keeper justifiably fought back.

Yet Alvarado didn't stop after simply kicking his attacker to the ground. He continued wailing on the subject long after he became incapacitated.

The incident occurred during the contest's 35th minute, with Ajax leading 1-0 at the Amsterdam ArenA, and resulted in match referee Bas Nijhuis issuing a red card to Esteban.

Per FIFA Law 12—Fouls and Misconduct—violence of any nature is listed as a sending-off offense. Specifically, the Laws of the Game rules book states, "a player, substitute or substituted player is sent off if he commits any of the following seven offences...violent conduct."

Furthermore, the law states a player "is also guilty of violent conduct if he uses excessive force or brutality against...and other person."

Alvarado's extra activity—continuing to kick his attacker after his attacker had already been decked—represented conduct in excess of force appropriate and reasonable to protect himself and was correctly penalized by a send-off penalty.

The rules further specify that disciplinary sanctions, including a send-off, are to be used whenever a player "commits a cautionable or sending-off offence...[towards] any other person." This includes spectators who have invaded the pitch, which are known as "outside agents" under FIFA Law 3.

However, Alkmaar coach Gert Jan Verbeek might have saved his team by ordering them to leave the pitch after the 35th minute incident.

Referee Nijhuis was then forced to abandon the match, which means Dutch Cup officials and FIFA will now determine whether to resume, conclude or replay the match. Per Law 8, this match likely will be replayed.

Complicating matters, the Amsterdam ArenA is Ajax's home field, meaning a supporter of the home team evaded the home team's field security to attack a visiting player.

Because Verbeek and Alkmaar club director Toon Gerbrands had gone on the record saying, "The players didn't feel safe anymore." FIFA will encounter a complex situation in determining whether Alvarado will or will not be eligible when the match is replayed or resumed.

It is almost always the home team's responsibility to provide adequate security during events. The security staff must ensure the safety of both teams and other on-field personnel, while assuring absolutely no outside agents—streakers, attackers or otherwise—get within striking distance of any person they have been designated to protect.

Ajax security clearly failed to adequately protect the players—stewards should have arrived on scene far before Alvardo started excessively beating the outside agent—and as a result, officials will have to consider whether this match was abandoned because of Ajax's security failing, Alkmaar's voluntary withdrawal in protest or a combination of the two.

Because play could not continue after the outside agent's field intrusion and before Alkmaar's voluntary withdrawal from the pitch, Nijhuis' report to FIFA and Dutch football officials will play a huge role in determining who is at fault for the match's abandonment—specifically whether Nijhuis abandoned the match due to "infringement of the Laws" or due to "outside interference of any kind" (Law 5).

If officials determine the match was abandoned because of both an Ajax security lapse and Alkmaar's protest, they will have to consider what one event was most at fault for causing the game's vacation.

In the grand scheme of things, there are responses which are appropriate and proportional to the stimuli that produce such reactions and there are responses which are not.

In the end, Alvarado was correctly disciplined for his infringement of the Laws, clearly violating the "excessive force" component of Law 12 by kicking the outside agent while said agent was down and no longer an imminent threat.

Alvarado's reaction was over the line per FIFA Laws, an illegal offense punishable by no less than a send-off, which is exactly what happened March 8, 2011 when Dorchester Town's Ashley Vickers was ejected for tackling a Borat-inspired streaker to the ground.

As for the person who committed the field intrusion, he was arrested and should expect penalties, not the least of which will be a multi-year ban from Ajax facilities.

Related Post: Soccer Ejections: Bas Nijhuis

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Soccer Ejections: Bas Nijhuis

Continuing the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League "Other Sports" coverage, we turn to Wednesday's Dutch Cup (soccer).

For a more in depth explanation of this play and call, click here.

Referee Bas Nijhuis sent off (ejected) AZ Alkamaar goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado for violent conduct in the 35th minute of the AZ Alkmaar-Ajax Dutch Cup match. A spectator had invaded the pitch and was running straight for Alvarado. Alvarado defended himself with a kick that knocked the 19-year-old field intruder to the ground. After the initial strike, however, Alvarado continued to kick the intruder until security stewards shooed him away. Per FIFA Law 12, Alvarado was ejected for violent conduct. Even though the violent conduct was brought on because of a spectator's intrusion (called "outside agents" in FIFA's Laws of the Game), Alvarado used "excessive force or brutality against" another person, an automatic send-off offense, even if the other person happens to be an outside agent.

This call is correct per 2011's UEFL Rule 6.b.ii.e., which governs ejections for Fighting; this call would be irrecusable (neither correct nor incorrect) per 2012's UEFL Rule 6-2-b-5. At the time of the ejection, Ajax was leading, 1-0. The match was abandoned as a result of AZ coach Gert Jan Verbeek protesting the red card and safety circumstances. KNVB recently rescinded the red card, but has not yet decided whether to replay, resume or forfeit the contest.

Wrap: (Match information unavailable because match was abandoned)
Video: Hooligan attacks goalie, keeper is sent off for violent conduct, match is abandoned
News: Ajax vs. AZ: Referee Correct to Red Card Goalkeeper for Kicking Fan Who Attacked

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

MLB News: Proposed Labor Deal Includes Expanded Instant Replay

When MLB first introduced instant replay in 2008, the release was limited to potential home run boundary calls. Now, in possibly the first ever revision to the original replay release, MLB has indicated a desire to expand instant replay to the following situations and calls:

  • Fair/Foul (Supported by 36 percent of UEFL'ers)*
  • Catch/No Catch (Supported by 30 percent of UEFL'ers)*
  • Expansion to include all spectator interference calls (Supported by 68 percent of UEFL'ers)
*According to the UEFL's August poll regarding the subject.

What does expanded replay mean for MLB in 2012? What does it mean for the UEFL and ejections? 

Consider these case plays which have no correct answer: 

IR 1: With one out and one on, B1 hits a line drive to F8 who dives for the attempted catch. U2 rules "no catch," as he believes the ball was trapped. R1, upon seeing U2's "safe" mechanic, rounds second base and arrives at third base safely while B1 hustles into first. Meanwhile, F8, believing he caught the ball and unaware of U2's call, throws the ball to F3 who tags first base (after B1 already overran it). Believing they have just completed an inning-ending double play, the defensive team leaves the field as R1 makes a mad dash for the now-uncovered plate. Instant replay indicates the ball was clearly caught. What happens to R1?

IR 2: With one out and two on, B1 hits a line drive to F7 who dives for the attempted catch. U3 rules "catch," as he believes the ball was caught. R1, unaware of (and unable to see) U3's mechanic and believing the ball was not caught, advances to and rounds second base. R2, upon seeing U3's "out" mechanic, returns to second base where he runs right by R1, who has already rounded the second base bag. U2 immediately declares R1 out for passing R2, while R2 runs toward third base and B1 takes second base. F7 throws to F5, who steps on the bag before R2's arrival. F5 never tags R2's person. Instant replay indicates the ball was clearly trapped. What happens to our runners?

The umpires still must ratify this proposal for it to take hold in 2012, but according to our August poll, these three issues (fair/foul, catch/trap, fan int.) are the three issues that have been most supported as expansion candidates.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Football Ejections: Terry McAulay

Continuing the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League "Other Sports" coverage, we turn to the National Football League on this Thanksgiving night.

Referee and Crew Chief Terry McAulay ejected Green Bay Packers defensive back Patrick Lee for an unsporting personal foul with 0:30 left in the second quarter and Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh for an unsporting personal foul with 9:16 left in the third quarter of the Packers-Lions Thanksgiving game. In the second quarter, Lee became entangled with multiple Lions players during a punt play. Though no penalty was called until the ball became dead, Lee was punished for his apparent retaliation for what he felt was an uncalled series of penalties committed by Detroit. Replays indicate Lee appeared to have been held by a combination of two Lions players, the call was incorrect. In the third quarter, after Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw an incomplete pass intended for wide receiver Donald Driver, Suh and the Packers' Evan Dietrich-Smith became tangled. Replays indicate Suh slammed Dietrich-Smith's helmet into the ground after the play, followed by a kick to the Dietrich-Smith's right arm. This call is correct per 2011's UEFL Rule 6.b.ii.e., which governs ejections for Fighting; this call would be irrecusable (neither correct nor incorrect) per 2012's UEFL Rule 6-2-b-5. As McAulay noted in his penalty announcement, Suh was disqualified immediately upon committing his flagrant personal foul. At the time of both ejections, the Packers were leading, 7-0. The Packers ultimately won the contest, 27-15.

Wrap: Packers at Lions, 11/24/11
Video (1): Packers DB Patrick "Pat" Lee is ejected for throwing a punch
Video (2): Lions DT Ndamukong Suh is ejected for kicking Packers OL Evan Dietrich-Smith

Monday, November 21, 2011

Results: 2011 Rules Summit

The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2011 Rules Summit is now complete. The following includes an abbreviated list of proposals and initiatives which have been adopted by the UEFL Office of the Commissioner. These proposals are now rules and will take immediate effect. To view the unabridged 2012 UEFL Rules Book, click here or visit the "UEFL Rules Book" tab.

Please note that signups for the 2012 UEFL will begin over the holiday weekend. Further instructions will be contained within the signups and registrations post. The signup process will run until early March.

Rule 1 - Selection of Umpires
Adopted: Poll 1. Four umpires, 1 Crew Chief + 1 Primary + 1 Secondary (69%)
Adopted: Poll 3. Pre-assigned draft order (54%) / Rejected: Poll 3. Live draft (42%)

Rule 2 - The Season
Rejected: Poll 2. Adoption of the injury provision (39%)

Rule 3 - Crew Division
Rule 4 - League Scoring
Rule 5 - Statistics

Rule 6 - Challenges and Appeals
Adopted: Poll 4. Creation of a three (3) member appeals board (64%)
Adopted: Poll 6. Elimination of QOC from unsportsmanlike ejections (76%)
Rejected: Poll 5. Removal of the post-inning exemption (37%)
Rejected: Poll 7. Elimination of QOC from check swings (32%)

Rule 7 - Unresolved Classifications and References

Rule 8 - Umpire Odds & Ends and Community Issues
Rejected: Poll 8. Adoption of posting guidelines (39%)

Rule 9 - Unaddressed and Authorization Provisions
Adopted: Poll 9. Commissioners as restricted participants (73%)

Stay tuned for 2012 UEFL registration and instructions on Appeals Board nominations.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Polls: 2011 Rules Summit

The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League has concluded its week-long Rules Summit discussion and now it is time to vote for rules modifications and additions as we continue our preparations for the 2012 baseball season.

The following matters have been proposed during the Rules Summit discussion this past week and are now ready for a membership vote. You will notice several polls within this post, one for each proposed rule modification. Each poll carries its own set of instructions, including whether you may select one or multiple options. Please consider your options and vote prudently: upon Commissioner approval, all passing proposals will become rules for the 2012 UEFL season. The Rules Summit polls will close Monday, November 21, at 12:01 am PST.

Proposal 1: Restructuring the Primary and Secondary Umpires

  • Poll 1: Shall the UEFL expand to four drafted umpires? This would result in the drafting of a crew chief, who would receive one point for any non-incorrect ejection by any person on said crew chief's crew (incorrect ejections would receive zero points). The primary umpire would remain and the secondary umpire would be expanded to two secondary umpires.
  • Poll 2: Shall the UEFL employ an injury provision? If so, how shall this system function? This would result in the replacement of an umpire mid-season if said umpire becomes injured.
  • Poll 3: Shall draft order be pre-assigned? Shall the secondary draft be conducted in a live format? This would result in a preseason process to determine draft order. League signups would need to be completed by the beginning of March in order to create and distribute this draft order.
Proposal 2: Creation of a UEFL Appeals Board

  • Poll 4: Shall an Appeals Board be created? This would result in the creation of a 3/5/7 person board which would routinely rule on QOC challenges.
Proposal 3: Elimination of the Post-Inning Exemption, Balls/Strikes Exemptions

  • Poll 5: Shall the post-inning exemption be removed from the rules? This would result in all post-inning ejections (other than ejections regarding the third out) to be ruled unsportsmanlike.
Proposal 4: Elimination of QOC for "6.b.ii.e" Unsportsmanlike/Throwing/Fighting and Check Swing Ejections

  • Poll 6: Shall QOC be eliminated from "6.b.ii.e" ejections? This would result in only two base points per ejection (three for a AAA umpire), instead of four or five (2+2=4 becomes 2+0=2).
  • Poll 7: Shall QOC be eliminated from check swing ejections? This would result in only two base points per ejection and the elimination of determining QOC for check swing calls.
Proposal 5: UEFL Posting Guidelines and Commissioners as League Participants

  • Poll 8: Shall posting guidelines be adopted? This would add standard guidelines for acceptable/unacceptable posts and comments.
  • Poll 9: Shall Commissioners be permitted to participants in the UEFL? This would allow UEFL Commissioners to draft umpires and participate in the league. Commissioner picks would remain mutually exclusive from one another and commissioners would be prohibited from ruling on their owned umpires' ejections and participating in case play discussions.
Polls 1-9: You may place your vote below using the following polls
If the following polls do not load, you may use the following links to access the polls: Poll 1Poll 2Poll 3Poll 4Poll 5Poll 6Poll 7Poll 8Poll 9.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Discussions: 2011 Rules Summit

As baseball's offseason begins, the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League presents the 2011 Rules Summit. The purpose of the UEFL Rules Summit is to discuss any controversial issues which have surfaced during this past season and to set forth a framework for rectifying these issues by modifying the existing UEFL Rules Book in advance of next season.

This discussion thread is an open forum for proposing, discussing and debating potential rules changes. The 2011 Rules Summit discussion thread shall remain open for one week, which should provide ample time for the discussion of possible rules changes heading into the 2012 season.

The following matters are already on the docket for the 2011 Rules Summit, though any UEFL'er or guest may contribute an idea by replying to this thread. Modifications are identified by plaintext, while deletions are identified by italics and additions are identified by bold text.
  • Rules 1 and 2 (Selection of Umpires via the Pre-Season Draft), Deletion, Modification or Addition.
    • Revising the description of the draft process so as to preserve consistency
    • Consolidating these two rules into one single rule, AND/OR
    • Adding to these rules a selection of umpiring "crew" based on 2012 Crew Listings, AND/OR
      • Modifying Rule 4.a. to attribute "crew" points as one point per ejection, QOC notwithstanding.
    • Adding the selection of a tertiary and fourth umpire, in which all umpires receive equal points* and the mutual exclusivity requirement is eliminated.
      • *AAA umpires would/would not continue to observe their points structure.
    • Adding a provision for injured umpires ("Wegner Rule")
      • "Alternate Umpire" system wherein a back-up umpire is picked in the event of injury which sidelines an umpire for >1/2 the season.
        • Time injured is variable, decision to replace umpire would be determined by individual UEFL'ers who own the injured umpire
  • Rule 6.a. (Challenges and Appeals)
    • Creating a UEFL Appeals Board, which shall be comprised of 3 OR 5 OR 7 UEFL'ers, including Commissioners
      • Board Members would routinely rule on QOC Challenges (Affirm/Deny/Defer)
  • Rule 6.b.ii.e. (Unsportsmanlike Conduct/Throwing At/Fighting Ejections), Modification.
    • Ceasing the assessment of Quality of Correctness points associated with this Rule by modifying Rule 4.a., OR
    • Eliminating the attribution of Quality of Correctness for these ejections, OR
      • Umpires will receive points for the ejection, but not receive QOC nor its associated points
    • Eliminating the attribution of ANY points as a result of these ejections by modifying Rule 4.a.
    • Adding Post-Inning Ejections to this rule
      • Removing QOC points attributed to ejections resulting from post-inning exemptions, OR
      • Removing the Post-Inning Exemption and Ball/Strike Exemption entirely.
      • Exempting the third out from this provision, so as to give ample argument opportunity.
  • Rule 6.b.ii.h (Check Swing Calls), Addition.
    • Ceasing the assessment of QOC points associated with check swing ejections by modifying Rule 4.a., OR
    • Eliminating the attribution of Quality of Correctness for these ejections.
  • Rule 10 (Umpire Odds & Ends), Addition
    • UEFL Posting Guidelines
      • Adds standard guidelines for acceptable/unacceptable posts and comments.
    • Commissioners as League Participants
      • Allows UEFL Admins to participate in League
        • Commissioner umpire picks must be mutually exclusive
        • Commissioners prohibited from ruling on their owned umpires' ejections
The discussion phase of the UEFL Rules Summit will remain active for one week, after which proposals will be officially drafted and voting will commence.

Standings: 2011 Final UEFL Standings

Pursuant to UEFL Rule 8.a., the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League presents the final standings of 2011. You can view the UEFL Roster and Standings at any time via the Roster and Standings page. You can view the UEFL Ejection List at any time via the Ejection List page.

With 2,467 games played* and 0 games remaining...
*The second game of the September 8 Dodgers-Nationals doubleheader was postponed, and, because neither team was within a 1/2 game of a playoff spot, officially cancelled at the conclusion of the regular season. 38 games were played during the 2011 postseason.

1. kickersrule (West/Wendelstedt) - 35
2. sachmet (West/Bellino) - 33
3. tt49 (Wendelstedt/Guccione) - 32
3. mtn335 (West/Hudson) - 32
5. yawetag (Hernandez/Joyce) - 30
6. cyclone14 (Wegner/Johnson) - 28
6. BONZ_kansascity (West/Hernandez) - 28
8. BSBALLUMP (Rapuano/Drake) - 26
8. RichMSN (West/Emmel) - 26
10. DanNJ316 (Rapuano/Kulpa) - 25
10. spence1222 (O'Nora/Nelson) - 25

199 Ejections: 98 Manager ejections, 88 player ejections, 13 Coach ejections
Top 3 Reasons for Ejection: Balls/Strikes (101 Ejections), Safe/Out (45), Throwing At (20)
Cumulative Ejection Quality of Correctness: 147 Correct, 52 Incorrect: Accuracy = 73.9%

Umpire Ejection Leaders
1. Rob Drake - 9
2. Bob Davidson - 8
2. Hunter Wendelstedt - 8
4. Joe West - 7
5. Mike Estabrook - 6
5. Mike Muchlinski - 6
5. Brian Knight - 6
5. Dan Bellino - 6
10. Marvin Hudson - 5
10. Chad Fairchild - 5
10. Angel Campos - 5
10. Vic Carapazza - 5

Umpire Points
1. Rob Drake - 30
1. Mike Estabrook - 30
1. Mike Muchlinski - 30
4. Marty Foster - 23
4. Alfonso Marquez - 23
6. Jeff Nelson - 22
7. Hunter Wendelstedt - 18
7. Sam Holbrook - 18
7. Dan Bellino - 18
10. Angel Hernandez - 17
10. Chris Guccione - 17

1. Mike Estabrook - 100% (6/6)
1. Mike Muchlinski - 100% (6/6)
1. Marty Foster - 100% (6/6)
4. Alfonso Marquez - 100% (4/4)
4. Jim Joyce - 100% (4/4)
4. Angel Hernandez - 100% (4/4)
4. Sam Holbrook - 100% (4/4)
4. Jeff Nelson - 100% (4/4)
9. Chris Conroy - 100% (3/3)
9. Dana DeMuth - 100% (3/3)
9. Jerry Meals - 100% (3/3)
9. Mark Wegner - 100% (3/3)
9. Chris Guccione - 100% (3/3)
9. Mark Carlson - 100% (3/3)
9. Bill Welke - 100% (3/3)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Awards: 2011 Umpire of the Year: Jeff Nelson

2011 UEFL Awards: Umpire of the Year: Jeff Nelson (45)

Jeff Nelson is the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2011 umpire of the year.

In his 13th Major League season, Jeff Nelson called four ejections at 100% accuracy (4/4) and was selected to umpire his fourth Championship Series and his fourth consecutive postseason.

Nelson's ejection of Nationals left fielder Jerry Hairston, Jr. concerned an overturned call at first base. Originally ruled an out by 1B Umpire Mike Estabrook, the call was correctly overturned to "safe" after umpire consultation. While some UEFL'ers have speculated that acting crew chief Nelson improperly overruled Estabrook, others praised Nelson for his hustle and work ethic in working to get the call right.

Nelson has been described as "definitely one of the best," turning in the best plate performance of the 2011 postseason. In Game 5 of the ALCS, Nelson missed just two pitches and called 98.7% correctly, a full 2.6% higher than second place Greg Gibson's 96.1% during Game 2 of the World Series.

Nelson's ALCS Game 5 Plot
UEFL'er clement30 described Nelson as "a total class act, and an A+ umpire...He would be deserving of this award based off his umpiring skills alone, but his incredible work this year should put him over the top."

Others referred to Nelson as a "consummate professional" and praised him for a tremendous performance as interim crew chief while Tim Tschida was injured during the latter half of the 2011 season. These consistent praises for Nelson combined with his tremendous all-around performance this season have combined to make Jeff Nelson the UEFL's 2011 Umpire of the Year.

Jeff Nelson now has 22 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (17 Previous + 5 Award = 22).
Final Standings will be released tomorrow. The Rules Summit will begin tomorrow as well.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Awards: 2011 Noteworthy Umpires of the Year: Jim Wolf and Chris Guccione

2011 UEFL Awards: Noteworthy Umpires: Jim Wolf and Chris Guccione (28 and 68)

Jim Wolf and Chris Guccione are the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2011 noteworthy umpires of the year.

In his 13th Major League season, Jim Wolf had one ejection and was selected to umpire his first Championship Series.

In Wolf's sole ejection of 2011, the original Quality of Correctness ("correct") was challenged based on a balls and strikes exemption. Despite criticism directed at Wolf's zone, the correct Quality of Correctness was confirmed: Wolf had umpired the corresponding half-inning at a rate of 13-for-13, or 100%.

UEFL'er highschoolump described Wolf as an "all around good umpire, well liked, a rising star." Wolf has been hailed as one of the more amiable umpires in Major League Baseball, exemplified by this mic'd up segment broadcast during Wolf's 2011 ALCS plate assignment.

Indeed, Wolf has made his way up the MLB umpiring ladder. By working his first Championship Series in 2011, Wolf is now eligible for a World Series selection.

In his 10th Major League season (3rd on the full-time roster), Chris Guccione finished with three ejections at 100% accuracy and worked his first MLB All-Star Game followed by his second consecutive Division Series.

During our discussion of Guccione's ejection of Buck Showalter, baseball broadcasters were against thrust into the spotlight, criticizing Guccione for what some commenters described as a "no doubter" of a check swing call. Matt further speculated, "No wonder that the average baseball fans think that the umpiring in MLB is subpar, simply because they have been incorrectly told so by these clueless announcers."

Guccione was praised by UEFL'ers for consistency and for his continued development and improvement during his time on the full-time staff: "Guccione is an umpire who has made great strides in recent years. He has some of the best mechanics in the game as well."

Jim Wolf now has 5 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (2 Previous + 3 Award = 5).
Chris Guccione now has 17 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (14 Previous + 3 Award = 17).
The final postseason award, Umpire of the Year, will be released tomorrow.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Awards: 2011 Honorable Umpires of the Year: Gary Darling and Alfonso Marquez

2011 UEFL Awards: Honorable Umpires: Gary Darling and Alfonso Marquez (37 and 72)

Gary Darling and Alfonso Marquez are the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2011 honorable umpires of the year.

In his 24th Major League season, Gary Darling had three ejections and was selected to umpire the 2011 NLCS.

In referring to Darling's San Francisco ejection in 2011, one UEFL'er predicted, "Tough call for Darling, he missed it, but is still a very good umpire and will be in the playoffs again."

Darling was praised as an honorable umpire for the charities he is involved with, both during the season and during the offseason. 

UEFL'er Dan made the case for Darling as Honorable Umpire: "If you want an Honorable Umpire, read this story (from UmpsCareBlog), where at a Nationals game this season, Gary Darling gave a game ball to a wounded soldier that lost his leg defending our country. And he did it quietly, privately, not wanting to draw attention to himself. That is the definition of honorable, and why Gary Darling deserves everyone's vote for Honorable Umpire."

In his 12th Major League season, Alfonso Marquez had four ejections at 100% accuracy and was selected to umpire the 2011 NLDS and the 2011 World Series. His ejection of Blue Jays pitcher Jon Rauch won the UEFL's Ejection of the Year award.

Marquez was praised after fully coming back from injury in a strong way. Marquez had been tabbed by many UEFL'ers as 2010's most declining umpire (award no longer exists), but was praised in 2011 for his game management abilities and his overall return to pre-injury form. Marquez missed all but seven games in 2009 with a bad back. Alfonso's return to prominence was a unique story which many UEFL'ers thought deserved something more significant than the Most Improved Award.

The Honorable Umpire of the Year Award goes to one or two umpires who, "perhaps through Community Service, or through struggling with and overcoming his own difficulties, has been the most personally admirable of all." Darling clearly embodies the former, while Marquez has likewise embodied the latter.

Gary Darling now has 11 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (9 Previous + 2 Award = 11).
Alfonso Marquez now has 23 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (21 Previous + 2 Award = 23).
The next postseason award, Notable Umpire(s) of the Year, will be released tomorrow.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Awards: 2011 Crew Chief of the Year: Gerry Davis

2011 UEFL Awards: Crew Chief Umpire of the Year: Gerry Davis (12)

Gerry Davis is the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2011 crew chief of the year. In his 28th Major League Baseball umpiring season and 13th as a crew chief, Davis finished 2011 with two ejections, including an April 30 ejection of Milton Bradley.

Mariners batter Miguel Olivo had been incorrectly called out at first base by 1B Umpire Todd Tichenor, who entertained an argument from Manager Eric Wedge without ejecting Wedge. Meanwhile, Bradley, who was the Seattle's base-runner at second base, began arguing with 2B Umpire Davis and Tichenor before getting the heave-ho from Davis.

Davis also ejected Red Sox batter Kevin Youkillis for arguing a check swing call on August 2. Davis had correctly ruled "swing" and Youkillis was thrown out after running down the first base line while yelling in protest (the count was 3-2; Youkillis was heading for first base in anticipation of a ball four call).

UEFL'er tmac called Davis' Aug 2 ejection the "best handled ejection of the year," while other UEFL'ers praised Davis for, among other things, "getting Angel [Hernandez] from one of the most noticed to one of the least noticed in less than 1/2 season"

Davis officiated the 2011 ALDS, extending his consecutive postseasons streak to 14 straight years with a DS, CS and/or WS assignment.

Gerry Davis now has 7 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (6 Previous + 1 Award = 7).
The next postseason award, Honorable Umpire(s) of the Year, will be released tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Awards: 2011 Ejections of the Year: Ed Rapuano and Alfonso Marquez

2011 UEFL Awards: Ejections of the Year: Ed Rapuano and Alfonso Marquez (19 and 72)

Ed Rapuano's ejection of Jim Leyland and Alfonso Marquez' ejection of Jon Rauch are the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2011 Ejections of the Year.

On June 27, Rapuano initially and incorrectly had ruled Tigers batter Andy Dirks safe at first base on a tag play. After conferring with HP Umpire Marquez, Rapuano reversed his call and correctly declared Dirks out. As Leyland came out to argue the call, he was ejected.

UEFL'er Jon Terry watched this peculiar sequence without audio, and observed "Rapuano making a very unsure call, Farrell asking for a completely justified appeal, two umpires getting it right, and Leyland making an utterly shameful display of himself." Many commenters were amused by Leyland's exaggerated antics, with one UEFL'er remarking, "I wish they would turn up those on-field mics just a bit louder. That conversation had to have been priceless."

On July 2, Marquez ruled Phillies baserunner Chase Utley safe on a routine play at the plate. Rauch had been unhappy with what he perceived was an unfair strike zone and promptly was ejected for arguing balls and strikes.

Though his strike zone came into question, many commenters marveled at the sheer visual spectacle of a very angry 6'11" Rauch being restrained by three Blue Jays personnel, all the while ripping off his jersey and vehemently yelling at a calm and unflinching Marquez, who is 5'11" in height and considerably thinner than Rauch. As one UEFL'er put it, "This argument was 'big league'. Awesome."

Ed Rapuano now has 5 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (4 Previous + 1 Award = 5).
Alfonso Marquez now has 21 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (20 Previous + 1 Award = 21).
The next postseason award, Crew Chief of the Year, will be released tomorrow.