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Darkness Presents Possible Issues

One of the beauties of baseball is that there is no clock. To win the game, a team not only has to outscore its opponent, but also record the required number of outs on defense - most of the time.

Consider the following situation: It is dusk as you prepare for the top of the last inning. The home team is ahead 7-2, and there is only about 15 minutes of daylight left.

Remember, if the visitors tie or go ahead in the top of the inning, and there is not enough light to complete the bottom half of the inning, then the score reverts to the last whole inning and the home team wins anyway.

As the UIC, ask yourself the following two questions: First, what does the visiting team have to do to win or tie the game? They have to score at least 5 runs and then record 3 outs against the home team for those 5 runs to count. Second, is there enough time for the visitors to accomplish that?

Even if five batters hit 5 home runs, the home team must also make 3 outs. The teams must change sides, the pitcher warm-up and then the home team make three quick outs. All of this will surely take more than 15 minutes.

If you don't think all this can happen in the fleeting minutes remaining, then you had better re-think starting the next inning, and call the game immediately.

Looking the part can really help you get through some situations on the field, even if you don't feel all that confident. Looking the part can also help you to gain some of that confidence and make you a better umpire. A sloppy looking umpire does not instill confidence in players, coaches or fans. The umpire who shows up to the game in a Hawaiian shirt and shorts has hurt himself before he ever makes his first call. Become "concerned" about your appearance. We have a saying in umpire circles; "Looking like an umpire will get you 2 or 3 innings of trouble-free game. The rest of the game you are on your own." Have fun and keep smiling.

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