Saturday, November 12, 2016

2016 UEFL Rules Summit Discussion

The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League announces its 2016 Rules Summit, the annual forum for discussion of controversial issues which may have surfaced during the past season and to set forth a framework for rectifying these issues by amending the existing UEFL Rules Book ahead of the 2017 UEFL season.

This discussion thread is an open forum for proposal, discussion and debate of potential rules changes. This thread will remain open through Thursday, November 17, which will provide ample time for the proposal and subsequent discussion of possible rules changes for the 2017 season. If necessitated by certain below decisions, a Summit runoff ballot may be presented after the initial voting closes.

You may propose a rules change by replying in a comment to this post. I will accordingly update the list below to reflect such proposals. Nonmaterial proposed modifications are underlined, deletions are strikeout and material additions are bold. Individual propositions are preceded by the ">>" bullet point symbol.

Rule 1 (Selection of Umpires)
>> 1-1-b. ...Six umpires shall be drafted by each UEFL member in the form of two (2) crew chiefs per Rule 1-2...
ALSO Rule 1-2. Prior to the beginning of the year's regular season, and during the spring training period of the pre-season, each member of the league shall select two MLB crew chiefs to serve as UEFL crew chiefs.
RATIONALE: Proposal affords members opportunity to draft a second crew chief, for a UEFL crew of six.
>> 1-2-b. In the event of injury to the designated crew chief, wherein the chief is officially placed on the Disabled List or on Bereavement, the replacement umpire shall be whoever is appointed by MLB to replace the injured umpire as crew chief or acting crew chief of his MLB crew. This announcement must be public and requested by the affected UEFL member(s) to take effect.
RATIONALE: Adds bereavement as a condition of replacement for events that occur prior to the beginning of the year's regular season (applicable to Crew Division).
>> 1-5. If an umpire injury, bereavement, or significant personnel modification occurs prior to the beginning of the regular season, the Office of the UEFL Commissioner may authorize designated affected members the opportunity to alter their Crew, Primary and/or Secondary Umpires.
RATIONALE: Adds bereavement as a condition of replacement for events that occur prior to the beginning of the year's regular season (applicable to all drafted umpires).
>> 1-5-a. If a significant personnel modification (hiring, firing, release or retirement, except as exempted by Rule 1-4-d) occurs after the pre-season, no UEFL roster may be modified, unless such modification would result in the requesting member losing points in the UEFL Standings as the replacement umpire's score fully (and retroactively) replaces the injured/fired/etc. umpire's score. For instance, Members X, Y, and Z have all drafted identical crews that include Primary Umpires A and B, Secondary Umpires C & D, and Crew Chief E. One week into the season, Umpire A suffers a catastrophic injury. At the time of A's season-ending injury, A has 5 points in the UEFL Standings. Member X requests to replace Umpire A with Umpire F, while Member Y requests to replace Umpire A with Umpire G and Member Z requests replacement of A with H. At the time of this request, F has 4 points in the UEFL Standings, G has 5 points in the UEFL Standings, and H has 6 points in the UEFL Standings. RESULT: Member X's request shall be granted and Member Y/Z's request shall be denied. X's request is legal, as proposed replacement Umpire F has fewer UEFL points than does injured Umpire A; Y and Z's requests are illegal, as proposed replacement Umpires G and H do not have fewer UEFL points than does injured Umpire A at the time of replacement.
APPROVED RULING: If Umpire G subsequently effects an ejection with QOCN, and loses UEFL points such that G now has fewer points than injured Umpire A, Y's request to replace A with G will be granted only if Y files a new request to replace A with G at a time when A's UEFL points are greater than G's.
RATIONALE: Allows a member to replace a significantly injured, fired, or otherwise absent umpire during the regular season, while ensuring that this transaction does not create an unfair advantage for the member requesting such a replacement.
>> 1-6. Members may also draft one manager to complete their crew. Managers shall receive +1 points for an incorrect ejection, +1 points for an overturned Replay Review, and +0 points for all other actions.
RATIONALE: Introduces Manager Division to the UEFL.

Rule 2 (The Season)
>> 2-1-a. The following phases of the season shall be used to organize ejection statistics. Standings and sabermetrics shall be posted at the conclusion of Phases (ii), (iii), and (v) monthly, with Final Standings to be posted at the conclusion of the UEFL season.
(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), and (6) shall be eliminated.
RATIONALE: Eliminates a confusing 'seasonal phases' structure wherein phases were created ambiguously and replaces it with a much easier to understand monthly reporting period.
>> 2-1-a-(2) APPROVED RULING. If Opening Night (one or two games) is in one month and Opening Day (six+ games) is in another, the following month governs. Opening Day is defined as the first calendar day upon which at least half of all teams have played at least one game.
RATIONALE: The concept of an Opening Night with one or two games is no longer accurate to modern schedules, as for a second consecutive season there will be more than two games on the Sunday in which the traditional Opening Night game is held.
SPECIAL VOTING CONSIDERATIONS FOR 2-1-a and 2-1-a-(2) AR: If proposal 2-1-a is approved, proposal 2-1-a-(2) is nullified.
>> 2-5. In the event of an umpire entering the DL or otherwise becoming absent and remaining on the DL absent for the remainder of the season...
RATIONALE: Applies Rule 2-5 to any injured/bereaved/absent umpire, regardless of the reason for vacation.

Rule 3 (Crew Division)
>> 3-3. Each non-incorrect ejection committed by a UEFL crew chief's crew shall result in the addition of one (1) point toward a UEFL member's overall score. Each incorrect ejection under a crew chief's purview shall result in the deduction of one point (-1) from that UEFL score.
RATIONALE: Proposes that crew chiefs should be penalized for incorrect ejection calls, just as the ejecting umpire is.
>> 3-7. Special Events Limitation. Points may not be accrued for crew division during the All-Star Game, any AL/NL Wild Card or Divisional Tiebreaker contest, nor any other non-postseason special event as defined by MLB.
ALSO Rule 2-2-a. The All-Star game counts as 1 additional point for each umpire that appears in that game. The All-Star Game crew chief receives a total of 2 points for this appearance. No points are awarded for ejections are during the All-Star game period.
RATIONALE: Removal of 3-7 allows Umpires to earn ejection and replay review points for events that occur during the All-Star Game, and any additional AL/NL Wild Card or Division Tiebreakers played to determine standings for the postseason (e.g., "Game 163").

Rule 4 (League Scoring)
>> 4-2. QOC component...(3) -4 -6 points for each ejection [QOCN / Calling]...(4) -2 -4 points for each ejection [QOCN / Crewmate].
RATIONALE: Creates a more severe punishment for incorrect ejections such that correct calling = +4 (total) and incorrect call = -4 (total).
>> 4-4. Fill-In umpires that work a minimum of 115 games over the course of the season shall be eligible to receive awards a-e, and g-h.
RATIONALE: Grants Triple-A status umpires eligibility to receive every UEFL award, other than Crew Chief of the Year.
>> 4-4. Postseason Award voting shall be restricted to UEFL members who have drafted umpires.
RATIONALE: Allows only those who have drafted umpires/vested interest to vote for year-end awards.
>> 4-4-b. An umpire recognized as Promising Umpire Noteworthy Umpire of the Year (min. 1 / max. 2 umpires) will receive 3 bonus points.
RATIONALE: Changes title of award to better exemplify this award description, which states: "This Umpire has been dedicated, professional, and has worked hard. Perhaps a rising star, the Promising Noteworthy Umpire of the Year is an umpire to keep an eye on, for an expectation of great things down the line. This award will be given to one or two umpires."
>> 4-4-i. An umpire recognized as Most Declining Umpire of the Year (min. 0 / max. 1 umpire) will receive -1 bonus points.
RATIONALE: Reintroduces "Most Declining Umpire" award for an umpire whose performance has declined or regressed more than any other, without necessarily being the worst in the league.
>> 4-4-j. The Commissioner shall review voting for quality assurance and to prevent spam/manipulation, and may adjust the voting results to account for this. The adjustment may only be made by removal of the entire selection associated with the offending ballot(s).
RATIONALE: Formally states the Commissioner may take measures to reduce fraudulent/manipulative voting by removing from the ballot pool violative ballots that show signs of spam or similar inauthentic properties, including but not limited to clear duplicates (identical ballots filed within a very short amount of time of each other) and multiple voting by the same user. May impose a restriction that restricts individual users from voting more than once.
>> 4-5. In the interest of fairness, all responses may, at sole discretion of the Commissioner, shall remain in moderation (screened or invisible) until the submission period has closed. Case plays will be worth a maximum of however many points are specified in the “Case Play: __” post.
RATIONALE: Requires that all Case Plays remain in moderation until completion. Prohibits public discussion until the Case Play submission period has closed.
>> 4-8. Waiver. UEFL members may voluntarily waive points they would otherwise ordinarily be entitled to, excluding ejection and replay-related points.
RATIONALE: Codifies a decision from CP 2014-4 in which a member waived Case Play points.
>> 4-8 (or 4-9). Commissionner or designee may award +1 points with a maximum of five awarded points weekly for contributions to the community that go above and beyond the scope of necessity.
RATIONALE: Authorizes Commissioner to award points for discussion or contributions.

Rule 5 (Statistics)

Rule 6 (Challenges and Appeals)
>> 6-2-b-5. The Quality of Correctness for all ejections for reasons of Fighting, Throwing At, Unsportsmanlike Conduct-NEC, or Excess Contact shall be adjudged as "Irrecusable" by default, unless there is clear and convincing evidence to suggest otherwise; however, proving "Incorrect" status for Fighting, Throwing At, Unsportsmanlike Conduct-NEC, or Excess Contact is extremely difficult. Ejections for Throwing At shall be judged as Correct, and ejections for throwing equipment shall be judged individually with no such default status.
RATIONALE: Proposal would make Throwing At ejections QOCY by default.
>> 6-2-b-5. The Quality of Correctness for all ejections for reasons of Check Swings...shall be adjudged as "Irrecusable" by default...[Editorial Change would then eliminate 6-2-b-5-c. Ejections for the reason of “Check Swing” shall, automatically, be referred to the UEFL Appeals Board for QOC determination. No UEFL Challenge shall be accepted for any such ejection.]
RATIONALE: Proposal adds Check Swings to the list of Reasons for Ejection that would receive QOCU by default.
>> 6-2-b-5-b. Ejections resulting from a Repeat Visit argument (formerly, "DiMuro Rule") of an individual not on the active roster shall receive a QOC associated with the Quality of the call leading to ejection, as in 4-2-b. If, due to the time between the initial call and associated ejection, reason for ejection is in dispute or otherwise unclear, the matter shall be referred to the UEFL Appeals Board, as in 6-1-c. This may be referred to as the "Ripperger Rule."
Approved Ruling: The UEFL Appeals Board shall determine QOC (and ejector classification, if applicable) based on the most probable reason for ejection. If two or more calls are at issue, and these calls possess conflicting QOC or classification values, or if no reason for ejection is most probable, the Board may rule the play Irrecusable (if QOC) or Calling (if Classification).
RATIONALE: Establishes procedure for disputed ejections that may be for an earlier incident.
>> 6-2-b-5-c. The standard for determining whether a Check Swing ruling was correct shall be whether the bat was moving forward as the ball crossed the plate.
RATIONALE: Establishes a specific physical criterion for determining check swing QOC.
>> 6-2-b-6. Quality of Correctness that occurs prior to or during the course of umpire consultation or instant replay review, wherein the initial call was incorrect, and after consultation, the correct call was made, shall be incorrect. Quality of Correctness for all other ejections prior to consultation changed during of after consultation/review, shall be adjudged as correct by the correctness of the initial call; AND
6-2-b-7. Quality of Correctness for an ejection that occurs after umpire consultation or instant replay review, wherein the initial call was correct or incorrect, and after consultation, the initial call was changed to incorrect or correct, changed during or after consultation/review, shall be adjudged as to whether the call after consultation or challenge/review is correct/incorrect by the correctness of the call after consultation/review.
RATIONALE: Brings the wording of the two rules closer. Closes the loophole in which an incorrect call remaining incorrect would still result in QOCY in some circumstances.

Rule 7 (Unresolved Classifications and References)

Rule 8 (Umpire Odds & Ends and Community Issues)
>> 8-1. Comments shall be restricted to members registered with the DISQUS commenting platform.
RATIONALE: Reduces likelihood of spam, violative, and/or trolling comments.

Rule 9 (Unaddressed and Authorized Provisions)

The Rules Summit ballot will also contain a section for re-election/retention of UEFL Appeals Board members who have chosen to sit for re-election during this Rules Summit, as afforded by UEFL Rule 6-4-a-4. Refer to the following link for 2016 UEFL Appeals Board decisions.

Consideration shall be made for the promotion of tmac to Assistant Commissioner.

To review, this is the discussion phase of the 2016 Rules Summit—no voting will take place here. Anyone may propose a rules change by replying to this post through 11/17, at which time the discussion will be closed and all proposals will be officially drafted and voted upon.


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