Saturday, November 16, 2013

Polls: 2013 UEFL Rules Summit Voting

The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League announces 2013 Rules Summit voting, which follows the Summit's discussion phase. It is now time to vote for UEFL rules modifications in advance of the 2014 baseball season.

The following ballot includes a description of proposals and an opportunity to vote on each measure. Upon Commissioner approval, all passing proposals will become rules for the 2014 UEFL season. Pursuant to the terms of UEFL Rule 8-1, a proposal with two options (e.g., Yes/No) is considered passing if it receives an absolute majority.

The Rules Summit ballot will close Saturday, November 23, at 11:59 pm PST. A run-off ballot and/or election will follow, beginning the afternoon or evening of Sunday, November 24.

The 2013 Rules Summit includes five proposals with 16 polls. Carefully consider the below options before submitting your ballot. As in years past, you may vote in as many or as few polls as you wish. Be advised we will review voting records to determine ballot authenticity, which includes allegations or suspicions of fraudulent activity or misconduct. Click "read more" or click here to access the ballot.

NBA Ejections: Marc Davis, Marat Kogut & Michael Smith

Referees Marc Davis (crew chief), Marat Kogut (R) and Michael Smith (R2/umpire) ejected Pacers forward Chris Copeland and Bulls forward Carlos Boozer for unsporting technical fouls in the 4th quarter of the Pacers-Bulls game. With 0:21.9 remaining in the 4th period, a double technical foul was issued to Boozer and Copeland for a charged physical altercation. At the time of the ejection, the Bulls were leading, 110-94. The Bulls ultimately won the contest, 110-94.

Wrap: Indiana Paceers vs. Chicago Bulls, 11/16/13
Video: Copeland and Boozer are deemed to have fought with time running out in the 4th

NBA Ejections: Ron Garretson, Matt Boland, Kevin Scott

Referees Ron Garretson (crew chief), Matt Boland (R) and Kevin Scott (R2/umpire) ejected Miami Heat guard Mario Chalmers for a flagrant foul type two in the 4th quarter of the Mavericks-Heat game. With 5:01 remaining in the 4th period, Chalmers was charged with elbowing opponent Dirk Nowitzki in the head, resulting in a flagrant foul penalty two, which was upheld upon instant replay review. At the time of the ejection, the Heat were leading, 98-93. The Heat ultimately won the contest, 110-104.

Wrap: Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat, 11/15/13
Video: Chalmers swings elbow around the neck/head area, resulting in flagrant 2 call and auto-heave

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Instant Replay: Owners Approve Funding, Tweak Challenges

MLB owners approved funding for expanded instant replay during Thursday's GM meetings in Florida, clearing a financial hurdle and setting up a final owners' vote on the technology in mid-January when the owners have their quarterly meetings in Phoenix. Funding was approved in a unanimous vote.

The final rules and replay terms are expected to be in place for that January vote.

Reviews will be conducted remotely in New York.
Though expanded replay graduated the November session with a financial green light, the plan was adjusted. Instead of a one-plus-two system, wherein managers would be given one challenge for innings #1-6 and two challenges for 7+, as previously proposed, the new iteration of replay calls for two unsuccessful challenges per manager per game, theoretically putting into a play a scenario of unlimited (successful) challenges, though with a 99.5% umpiring accuracy rate, such an event would be unlikely. The penalty for an unsuccessful challenge under the new framework would simply be the loss of one challenge for the remainder of the game.

Play eligibility for expanded replay was not wholly addressed during the funding vote. During the 2013 Arizona Fall League, nearly all plays save for balls and strikes (and balks, check swings, foul tips) were reviewable, including one hit-by-pitch/foul ball call that was upheld upon instant replay review. Also unaddressed at this stage was the so-called neighborhood play and other less overt situations and calls such as obstruction, interference or invocation of the infield fly; the issue of camera locations and angles—whether all stadiums will incorporate the same placement plan in both number and position—remains unknown.

News: Major League Baseball owners approve funding for expanded instant replay (

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

NBA Ejections: Ken Mauer, Nick Buchert, Scott Wall (x2)

Referees Ken Mauer (crew chief), Nick Buchert (R) and Scott Wall (R2/umpire) ejected Thunder forward Serge Ibaka and Clippers forward Matt Barnes in the 2nd quarter of the Thunder-Clippers game. With 0:06.2
remaining in the 2nd period, Clippers forward Blake Griffin rebounded a Chris Paul miss and was fouled in the act of shooting by Thunder guard Thabo Sefolosha. Following the foul call, Griffin and Ibaka remained entangled; disengagement was violent and Griffin received a technical foul while Ibaka and Barnes were ejected for fighting, as confirmed following instant replay review. At the time of the ejection, the Thunder were leading, 58-52. The Clippers ultimately won the contest, 83-78.

Wrap: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 11/13/13
Video: Griffin and Ibaka remain locked after foul, leading to technical and flagrant ejections

Discussions: 2013 UEFL Rules Summit

The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League announces its 2013 Rules Summit, a postseason forum with a purpose of discussing any controversial issues which have surfaced during the past season and to set forth a framework for rectifying these issues by altering the existing UEFL Rules Book in advance of the 2014 UEFL season.

This discussion thread is an open forum for the proposal, discussion and debate of potential rules changes. This thread will remain open through Friday, November 15, which will provide ample time for the proposal and subsequent discussion of possible rules changes for the 2014 season. If necessitated by certain below decisions, a Summit runoff ballot may be presented after the initial voting closes.

The following matters are presently on docket for 2013 Rules Summit consideration. Any UEFL'er or guest may contribute an idea by replying to this thread; in turn, the following list will be updated to reflect the added item(s). Proposed rules modifications or changes are identified by plaintext, deletions by italics and additions by bold text. Editorial changes underlined. Individual propositions are identified by the ">>" symbol.

Rule 1 (Selection of Umpires).

Rule 2 (The Season).

Rule 3 (Crew Division).
>> Section 3-a. Adds provision: "Each incorrect ejection committed by a UEFL crew chief's crew shall result in the assignment of negative one (-1) points toward a UEFL member's overall score."
>> Section 3-b. Adds provision: "Each upheld instant replay challenge during a Crew Chief's purview shall result in the addition of X points toward a UEFL member's overall score. Each overturned instant replay challenge shall result in the addition of -X points." If this measure passes, precise points assignment will be determined during the Summit's runoff (supplemental) ballot. Also see proposal 4-7.

Rule 4 (League Scoring).
>> Section 2-b-6. Adds "or instant replay review" to each instance of the phrase "consultation" so the phrase will read "consultation or instant replay review."
>> Section 2-b-8. Adds the proposed text: "Quality of Correctness for an ejection that occurs after instant replay review and reversal shall be adjudged as to whether the call after reversal is correct or incorrect."
>> Section 2-c-1-a. Adds "or instant replay review" to "umpire consultation" so the phrase will read "...umpire consultation or instant replay review."
>> Section 2-c-1-b. Adds the phrase "home run" before "instant replay review" to reflect the grandfathered home run review procedure so the phrase will read "...home run instant replay review..."
~~~~~~ If 2-c-b is modified, the associated Approved Ruling will also be modified to reflect HR review.
>> Section 4-i. Adds provision: "X points shall be awarded to any umpire who passes away during the season. Known as the 'Wally Bell Memorial Award.'" Note: If this provision passes, precise points assignment will be determined during the Summit's runoff (supplemental) ballot.
>> Section 7. Adds section "INSTANT REPLAY CHALLENGES." "Points shall be assessed as a result of instant replay challenges throughout the championship and post-season pursuant to the following schedule: X" If this measure passes, precise points assignment will be determined during the Summit's runoff (supplemental) ballot. Also see proposal 3-3-b.

Rule 5 (Statistics).

Rule 6 (Challenges and Appeals).
>> Section 1. Editorial change: Replaces "Challenges" with "UEFL Challenges." This change reflect's MLB's adoption of instant replay challenges and is meant to clearly delineate an on-field instant replay challenge from an online UEFL challenge or appeal.
>> Section 1. Removes the phrase "or visitor/guest to the UEFL." Removes the ability of a non-participant to appeal an Original Ruling.
>> Section 1. Adds requirements for challengers. (1) Must be logged in, and/or (2) balls/strikes [pfx] cannot be challenged, and/or (3) adds a penalty and/or reward for (un)successful challenges. If points penalty/rewards are incorporated, precise assignment will be determined during the Summit's runoff (supplemental) ballot.
>> Section 1. Adds sentence: "A challenge denied on QOC grounds may be renewed as irrecusable and vice versa."
>> Section 2-b-5-a. Editorial change: Adds the phrase "and/or argument" to complete the lede "repeat visit and/or argument ejections." This change reflects the Approved Ruling that an ejection that does not qualify as a repeat visit, but does as a repeat argument, may be deemed irrecusable.
>> Section 2-b-5-c. Adds provision: "Ejections exclusively for the throwing of equipment not related to actions indicating overt resentment at an umpire's call shall be deemed Irrecusable."
>> Section 2-b-5-d. Adds provision: "Ejections exclusively concerning the call of check swing (ball or strike) shall be deemed Irrecusable."
>> Section 5-a. Editorial change: Replaces the phrase "upheld or denied" with "upheld or overturned." This change reflects the wording of "denied" to signify challenges summarily struck by the Appellate Interpreter while "overturned" signifies a challenge considered and voted down by the Appeals Board. The word "appeal" shall be changed to "Original Ruling."
>> Section 5-b-8. Adds provision: "UEFL post language shall routinely and directly reflect the associated Quality of Correctness. APPROVED RULING: If QOC is reversed as the result of a challenge, the original ejection post shall be edited such that its language reflects the revised QOC value."
>> Section 5-c. Adds formal clarification the "realistically resulted in a different outcome of the at-bat" standard as it relates to balls/strikes called during a single at-bat pursuant to the following schedule, given that such contributing pitch has preceded a decisive pitch (not necessarily consecutively):
~~~~~ YES (Offense) = x-1, x-2 or 3-x ==> Called Strike (Unless x-2 results in a foul ball); or
~~~~~ YES (Defense) = x-2, 1-x, 2-x or 3-x ==> Called Ball; and
~~~~~ NO (Offense) = 0-0, 1-0, 2-0 ==> Called Strikes / NO (Defense) = 0-0, 0-1 ==> Called Ball.

Rule 7 (Unresolved Classifications and References).

Rule 8 (Umpire Odds & Ends and Community Issues).
>> Section 3. Adds section requiring entry fee. If passed, terms will be drafted during runoff ballot.

Rule 9 (Unaddressed and Authorized Provisions).
>> Section 2. Adds APPROVED RULING: "Challenges may be reinstated based on newly discovered evidence not present at the time of the initial decision."

Appeals Board Membership: Re-Election Ballot (Click here to view 2013 Appeals Board decisions)
The following 2013 UEFL Appeals Board Members are seeking re-election via the 2013 Rules Summit.
>> This section will be completed in advance of Rules Summit voting.

Again, this is the discussion phase of the 2013 UEFL Rules Summit and will remain active until 11/15, after which proposals will be officially drafted and voting will commence. Please do not vote in this thread.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Basketball: To Save or Not to Save? Two Points in Question

With basketball season well underway, it's time for a quick rules review. During last week's Falcons-Wildcats NCAA Men's Basketball game, Kentucky freshman James Young attempted to save a ball headed out of bounds, throwing the ball high above his head back onto the court, a successful save...until the ball happened to fly straight through opponent Montevallo's basket, referees ruling a two-point award for the Falcons pursuant to NCAA Rule 5, Section 1, Article 4, Provision a (5-1.4.a), which states, “When a player scores a field goal in the opponent’s basket, it shall count two points for the opponent regardless of the location on the playing court from where it was released. Such a field goal shall not be credited to a player in the scorebook but shall be indicated with a footnote.” NFHS and NBA codes agree (NFHS 5-2-1 "two points for the team into whose basket the ball is thrown" and 5-2-3 and NBA 5-I-d), though the NBA credits such a goal to "the opposing player nearest the player whose actions caused the ball to enter the basket."

Young saves ball, back to bucket.
Scenario: (a) Had Young saved the ball but instead had been a member of the Falcons team, what would be the result? (b) What if instead of entering the goal, the ball clanked off the rim and was rebounded by a (Falcons) teammate and the Falcons were unable to get a shot off in, for instance, 23 [NBA] or 34 [NFHS/NCAA] seconds? (c) Young is fouled in the act of saving the ball, after releasing the ball: score the goal?

Answer, NFHS: Three points (5-2-1, "A successful try, tap or thrown ball from the field by a player who is located behind the team's own 19-foot, 9-inch arc counts three points" / Though a try is "an attempt by a player to score two or three points by throwing the ball into a team's own basket" [4-41-2], a try is not presently required for a three-point goal [Case Play 5.2.1 SITUATION B]).
Answer, NCAA: Three points (5-1.4, "A successful try from beyond the three-point line shall count three points..." and 5-1.1, "A try for field goal is an attempt by a player to score two or three points by throwing or tapping the ball into his basket" / BUT Approved Ruling [A.R.] 138[1], "Score three points [on pass attempt entering basket]" // NCAA Rules Error [AR clearly specifies that a ball thrown [passed] @ basket shall be scored two-, or three-, if successful, but does not account for this scenario in Rule 5-1.4 re: 3-pt FG tries]).
Answer, NBA: Three points (5-I-c, "A successful field goal attempt from the area outside the three-point field goal line shall count three points" and 4-X, "A field goal attempt is a player's attempt to shoot the ball into his basket for a field goal...the term is also used to include the flight of the ball until it becomes dead or is touched by a player" and Case Book 370, "If a ball on its upward flight [e.g., pass] toward the basket...continues into the basket, three points shall be awarded").

Answer, NFHS: No penalty (for states not employing a shot clock) / Shot clock violation (for states using a 30- or 35-second boys' shot clock; for instance, CIF addition NFHS 9-14, "the team in control shall attempt a try within 35 seconds").
Answer, NCAA: Shot clock violation (9-12.4, "It is a violation when a try for field goal does not leave the shooter's hand before the expiration of the allotted shot-clock time...or when it does leave the shooter’s hand before the expiration of the allotted shot-clock time and the try does not subsequently strike the ring or flange or enter the basket" and A.R. 136, "When a passed [thrown] ball hits the ring and does not enter the basket, there is no reset of the shot clock").
Answer, NBA: No penalty (7-IV-c, "the 24-second clock shall be reset...(2) ball from the playing court contacting the basket ring of the team which is in possession" and Case Book 437, "The 24-second clock is reset anytime the ball from inbounds touches the basket ring of the team which has possession").

Answer, NFHS: No. Young was never in the act of shooting [no try or tap for goal] and, therefore, the ball became dead immediately upon the foul being committed (6-7, "The ball becomes dead, or remains dead, when...7. a foul occurs...EXCEPTION: a. Article 7 occurs while a try or tap for a field goal is in flight").
Answer, NCAA: No (6-5-1, "The ball shall become dead or remain dead when...d. an official blows the whistle except when a try is in flight" and A.R. 176 "dead while in flight...not a legal try").
Answer, NBA: Yes (6-IV-a, "The ball becomes dead and/or remains dead when...(1)official blows his/her whistle...EXCEPTION: If a field goal attempt is in flight, the ball becomes dead when the goal is made, missed or touched by an offensive player").
All codes agree: continuous motion does not apply when no try for field goal or free throw exists.

Wrap: Montevallo Falcons vs. Kentucky Wildcats, 11/4/13
Video: Falling out of bounds, Young's emergency toss comes crashing through opposing team's bucket
Video: In an attempt to save teammate's blocked shot, Young accidentally throws ball into wrong goal (ALT)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

NBA Ejections: D Crawford, Gary Zielinski, Steven Anderson

Referees Dan Crawford (crew chief), Gary Zielinski (R) and Steven Anderson (R2/umpire) ejected Wizards forward Nene and Thunder guard Russell Westbrook for second technical fouls in the 4th quarter of the
Wizards-Thunder game. With 7:50 remaining in the 3rd period, Westbrook and Nene were issued double technical fouls after Wesbrook's one-foot driving layup was blocked by Nene and the players engaged in a confrontation following the play. With 3:19 remaining in the 4th period, Westbrook and Nene again tangled following Westbrook's offensive foul (third personal) and earned a second pair of technical fouls, resulting in both players' ejection from the game. At the time of the ejection, the Wizards were leading, 92-82. The Thunder ultimately won the contest, 106-105, in one overtime period.

Wrap: Washington Wizards vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 11/10/13
Video: After offensive foul, Nene shoves Westbrook who responds by throwing punch; both are DQ'd

AFL Instant Replay: 20% of Challenged Calls Overturned

20% of challenged plays were overturned in baseball's instant replay experiment during the week's slate of Arizona Fall League games televised on MLB Network. The same MiLB umpiring crew comprised of chief Tripp Gibson, Sean Barber, Jeff Gosney and Patt Hoberg was employed for the duration of the test games, played at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and Scottsdale, Arizona.

Here is the breakdown of the instant replay test plays, challenges and their results:
Game 1: 4 Challenged / 4 Upheld: 3 Safe/Out at first base + 1 Catch/Trap in left field.
Game 2: 7 Challenged / 4 Upheld: 2 Safe/Out (Tag) + 3 Safe/Out (1B) + 2 Missed base appeal (2/3B).
Game 3: 0 Challenged (No plays were challenged during Thursday's Game 3 event).
Game 4: 1 Challenged / 1 Upheld: 1 Safe/Out (1B)
Game 5: 3 Challenged / 3 Upheld: 1 Safe/Out (2B), 1 Safe/Out (Tag at 2B) + 1 HBP/Foul Ball (HBP)
Totals: 15 C / 12 U: 8 Safe/Out (Force) + 3 Safe/Out (Tag) + 2 Base Touch + 1 Catch/Trap + 1 HBP/Foul

80% of challenged calls were upheld, consistent with data finding that around 20% of close calls are erroneous.

Comments on Instant Replay: Joe Garagiola Jr.Tony La RussaJoe Torre