Close Call Sports is a sports media rules source that analyzes close or controversial calls objectively, fairly, ethically and with great regard for the rules and spirit of the game. CCS features the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (UEFL), which objectively tracks and analyzes MLB umpire ejections and their associated calls, rendering qualities of correctness, and the former Technical Foul Fantasy League (TFFL), which tracked NBA official technical fouls and ejections.

CCS developed from the Left Field Corner: MLB Umpire Ejection Fantasy League, a league dedicated to objectively tracking and analyzing umpire ejections and their corresponding calls, with great regard for the rules and spirit of the game. The UEFL additionally maintains umpiring trend data and statistics, such as most popular reason for ejection (arguing balls and strikes), most commonly ejected personnel (managers) and most common innings for ejection (between the sixth and eighth).

Witnessed a close or controversial call in a recent game? Want a rule explained or the Close Call Sports crew to review a play and determine if the call on the field or court was the correct call? You've come to the right place. Close Call Sports is dedicated to that long-held officiating axiom, getting the call right.

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Umpire Ejection Fantasy League: Overview
The UEFL is our flagship production whose purpose is to promote rules knowledge in baseball through objective tracking and analysis of close or controversial calls, including those prompting instant replay reviews and ejections. Membership is open to all and follows the annual UEFL calendar: Generally, registration opens in January, the draft takes place in March, and the roster is set by the season's Opening Day in April. Each entrant drafts a total of five umpires: 1 Crew Chief, 2 Primary, and 2 Secondary. For a complete list of UEFL rules, visit the UEFL Portal's virtual Rules Book.

QOC = Quality of Correctness. Whether a call resulting in ejection was correct or incorrect. May be QOCY (correct), QOCN (incorrect), or QOCU (irrecusable [neither correct nor incorrect]). QOCY also corresponds to a replay review that stands or is confirmed while QOCN applies to a replay review that is overturned.

Important QOC (Quality of Correctness) Measures for Balls/Strikes: Kulpa and Miller Rules
QOC for called pitches shall be determined using Pitch f/x data and not by graphical K-zone plots.
Kulpa Rule (Rule 6-2-b-1) refers to the horizontal location (PFX value "px") and is as follows...
>> (Measures in feet, all else equal) |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
Miller Rule (Rule 6-2-b-2) refers to the vertical location (PFX value "pz") and is as follows...
>> (all else equal) BALL < sz_bot + MOE < STRIKE < sz_top + MOE < BALL.

Key Points: Scoring (reference: Rule 3 and Rule 4)
Points generally are attributed in the following manner:
> Crew Division is its own entity and Crew Chief draft selections receive...
>> +1 for a QOCY ejection, QOCU ejection, or QOCY replay review.
>> +0 for a QOCN ejection.
>> -1 for a QOCN replay review.
> Umpires receive...
>> + 3 base points for all QOCY and QOCU ejections wherein the umpire is a MiLB/AAA fill-in.
>> + 2 base points for all ejections wherein the umpire is MLB-level or QOCN ejections for AAA.
*All base points for Secondary Umpires are one less than for Primary (e.g., +2 Prm = +1 Sec)*
>> + 2 points are applied on top of the base for all QOCY ejections based on the ejector's call.
>> + 1 point is applied on top of base for QOCY ejections based on a crewmate's call.
>> + 0 points applied on top of base for QOCU ejections.
>> - 2 points applied on top of base for QOCN ejections based on a crewmate's call
>> -4 points applied on top of base for QOCN ejections based on the ejecting umpire's call.
>> [Misc #] points granted for Special Event assignments and postseason awards.
*Postseason points are attributed pursuant to a schedule specified in Rule 4-3*
> UEFL owners may also receive additional points, as prescribed by rule, for...
>> Case Plays
>> Prop Predictions/Bets

Close Call Sports and Umpire Ejection Fantasy League Staff & Friends

Lindsay Imber

Founder, Owner and Chief UEFL Commissioner
Twitter: @lindsayimber

Close Call Sports founder Lindsay Imber created the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League in 2006 and is its current owner and one of the UEFL Commissioners. This League remains the flagship portion of the CCS website.

She is a rules expert and provides analysis of events which involve rule interpretations or their applications. She has previously written about MLB ejections, NCAAF instant replay and the subconscious referee homey vs conscious homer effect.

Known for her objective and fair analysis of rules related situations and Bleacher Report's first and only Rules Featured Columnist, Imber is a current basketball official, having previously officiated collegiate football, softball and baseball, in addition to basketball.

A classically trained pianist, Imber specializes musically in the esoteric field of the ballpark organ and is a member of SONATA (Sports Organist Network and Trade Association) and ATOS (American Theatre Organ Society); she has played organ for Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers and is the house organist for Honda Center and the National Hockey League's Anaheim Ducks. As a member of SABR (Society for American Baseball Research) with research interests and expertise in the fields of officiating, umpires, rules, instant replay and ejections, she has written in SABR's magazine publication and SABR's Book of Umpiring.

Tim McCaffrey
Tim McCaffrey (Tmac)

Assistant UEFL Commissioner, Replay Guru, and 'Teachable Moments' Instructor

Tim McCaffrey (Tmac) has been around umpiring since 14 years old and has loved every minute of it.  He began his college career in 1998 and his professional journey in 2002 when he umpired in the Northern League.  Tmac has spent time on the full-time staffs of the Northern League, Atlantic League, American Association, and the Can-Am League.  In nearly 20 years of professional baseball, McCaffrey has mentored numerous future MILB umpires.  Tmac umpires collegiately in several D1 Conferences.  Here at CCS Tmac moderates discussion forums creating a culture that is conducive to growth not only as an umpire, but as a human.  He also is the host of the Plate Meeting Podcast where he's interviewed dozens of umpires.  He is also the Co-host of This Week in Umpiring.  In addition, Tmac is a well-respected Play-by-Play (PBP) broadcaster having called the action of eight NCAA Tournaments in both Men's and women's basketball.  He has called PBP in the East Region for numerous outlets since 2004, but most recently was the anchor of the 2019 Women's Basketball Division II NCAA Tournament East Regional.  McCaffrey resides just outside of NYC, or as he tells people, 'About a 25 minute drive to Foley's!'

Jeremy Dircks
Jeremy Dircks
Deputy UEFL Commissioner

Jeremy Dircks joined the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League as Deputy Commissioner prior to the 2011 season and assisted with the expansion of the UEFL to Close Call Sports.

A rules aficionado, he is adamant and passionate discussing whether the rules of the game are adhered to through his knowledge, analysis and application of the rules to a given situation.

Known for his logical application and understanding of the rules, Dircks most recently served as a basketball and football official (serving as a line/flank and back judge), having previously officiated collegiate soccer and softball, in addition to basketball and football. He presently serves his country in the United States Navy.

Umpire Ejection Fantasy League Appeals Board
In addition to the CCS and UEFL staff, the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League established an Appeals Board prior to its 2012 season. The following is the all-time UEFL Appeals Board roster.
  • Albertaumpire, 2012
  • Arik G, 2013-present
  • BillMueller, 2012
  • brettjwhaley, 2015
  • cyclone14, 2014-present
  • Dennis, 2016-present
  • Lindsay Imber, 2012-present (ex-officio and chair)
  • JD, 2014-2015
  • Jeremy Dircks, 2012-present (ex-officio)
  • Joe Gravina, 2014
  • johnnyg08, 2014
  • jvick2017, 2017-present
  • MarkCanada, 2016-2022
  • MLBumpireobserver, 2017-2020
  • RichMSN, 2012-present (charter)
  • Scott C, 2021-present
  • Steve Holt, 2015
  • tmac, 2012-present (ex-officio)
  • Turducken, 2013-2016
  • yawetag, 2012-2013