My Daughters Coach Got Thrown Out And Why I Have His Back

My daughters coach got thrown out and why I have his back

My Daughters Coach Got Thrown Out And Why I Have His Back, Written By Renee Ferguson

Today for the first time since my daughter began playing select softball in 2007; her coach was ejected from the game. Some may say there is never a reason for this to happen because the coach is the ultimate model for the players. How the coach reacts and what he or she allows dictates the overall culture of the team. Normally I agree with this but after witnessing today’s situation, I have a slightly different take on this. As a coach, I try my very best to live by the standard above but today I could not be prouder of my daughters coach for being ejected from the game and here is why…

Let me give you some back story first; we were the home team, 1st inning 2nd batter when the head coach of the other team questions the legality of our pitcher. The base umpire calls the play dead in the middle of the pitch because the coach just walked out of the dugout onto the field and began to question the ump without first calling time or waiting for an appropriate time to call time and approach the umpire. As taught, our pitcher who was in mid windup at the time pitched through the abrupt NO PITCH that was called from the base umpire. The result of this action was a no pitch for us and absolutely no warning or punishment for the opposing teams head coach. The base ump confirms our pitcher is legal…all’s well.

We come in to hit and go up by 2 or 3 runs. Next inning begins, the coach of the opposing team is still arguing the pitching issue and after 3 outs are made again comes out of the dugout and questions the umpire about the legality of the pitch due to the amount of drop on the ball. The plate umpire again tells him it’s legal. Throughout the game there were bad calls for both sides and our coach questioned one play at 2nd base where he walked out calmly (or as calmly as he can….he kind of has an angry walk if you know what I mean), and asked the base ump if he was willing to appeal to the home plate umpire, he said no, again all’s well.

As the game wears on I begin to notice the plate ump is spending a lot of time on the other side of the field chatting with the coaching staff of the other team, giving high five, fist bumps and sharing sunflower seeds, etc. At the same time I begin to notice his strike zone becoming smaller and smaller for our pitcher and those drops that were originally strikes are now called balls. Please note I am in no way of accusing anyone of throwing a game or showing preference for another team. I am just giving you my perspective on what happened during the game.

Finally here comes the play in question, our girl is attempting to make it from 2nd to 3rd by sliding into third base. The base umpire calls her out, no big deal so far right? At this point in time our coach tells her to hold her position because he plans on appealing the call. To be specific her position was sitting back in the sliding position. The player was smiling and waiting to get up when the plate umpire, yells at her to get up and get off his field. He addresses the player a 14 year old girl in a very loud and unprofessional manner and continued to do so as our coach called time to walk up to him to discuss the situation. The umpire continued to yell and berate the player for following her coach’s instructions.

Obviously our coach was upset and told him not to speak to his player in that manner and to address the issue with him as the coach. He said he would address it with the girls because he was not going to have her holding her positon to “show up the umpire”. Until this point I have purposely not quoted anyone because I can’t really remember who said what exactly. What I can tell you is that both were angry and upset. One took it out on a 14 year old girl and one took it out on the umpire because he felt it was inappropriate for him to speak to “his girl” that way (in case you are wondering the child in question was NOT our coach’s daughter). At this point in time the umpire yelled at our coach to go back to third, it was very clear that the next step the umpire was going to make was eject our coach if he didn’t be quiet and go back to the coaches box. Our coach complied to keep himself out of trouble and to get the game moving. At the end of the inning our coach approached the plate umpire again to express his displeasure for how the situation was handled and after some back and forth he was ejected from the game.

Some parents on our team thought that he handled the situation incorrectly and let his emotions get the best of him. I on the other hand am in total agreement with how he handled it and if I am being honest here, I am pretty sure I would not have made it to the end of the inning as our coach did. Our coach stood up for his TEAM, his actions showed that his girls deserved a much higher level of respect than they were given and he was willing to sacrifice himself to ensure that they got it. In my opinion, he was the ultimate team player because he made the ultimate sacrifice for to defend his team.

In my lifetime, I have seen parents and coaches get thrown out of games for arguing balls and strikes and safe and outs, so ejections per say were not something I am unfamiliar with and perhaps that is why I feel the way I do. In any case there is one thing I am sure of and it’s that I am proud of her coach for sticking to his guns in hopes of redirecting the umpire’s anger from our player to him. As parents of young women or girls what more could you ask for from a coach? These men and women who volunteer to coach this sport teach our girls so much more than the physical aspect of the sport, and as a mom of a 16 year old kid on the team, I can honestly say I hope my daughter can look back one day and remember this event as the day she learned what chivalry is all about and how she should never settle for anything less than her coach gave her teammate today.

Fastpitch Magazine

Renee Ferguson

Renee Ferguson

Renee Ferguson Renee has over 30 years of combined playing and coaching experience at the select and college levels. After a 3 year stint as Division I, Morgan State University’s pitching coach; Renee was appointed the Head Women’s softball Coaching position at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. Where she lead the Pioneer Softball team to an 8th place finish, in the NJCAA DIII Nationals in Rochester MN after taking the helm only weeks before the 2013 season started. Renee’s goal is to instill the love and passion that she has for the game, into each and every one of her players and students. Keep up with Renee Ferguson by visiting her site at Renee On: Facebook.

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  • hankf

    I respectfully disagree and feel your coach made a mistake. IMHO the coach cannot allow himself to get ejected under any circumstance. There are no exceptions. The team needs its coach.

    I’d be quick to add, this doesn’t make him a bad guy or a bad coach – not at all. I would probably stand behind him like you did, despite the mistake We all make mistakes. Hell the ump would have run me in the first inning from the sounds of it!! But IMHO that’s all different from saying it’s OK or justified.

  • cookie7386

    I was in attendance at this game and the coach was the only thing to stand between a 14 year old child and a verbal assult. His commentto the player was aggressive, rude and continued for an extended time. He tokd her to get off his field said she was laying on the base and she had no right to question him….the player never uttered a sound. This umpire was far outi of ine and completely unprofessional. The coach had to interveene to stop the attack on the player…who demonstrated far more maturity and professionalism than the ump. The coordinator of the tournament addressed his conduct , contacted the usc an apologized for his behavior.

  • eastsidebuckeye

    IMO I would say a few things were done wrong. A coach can not enter the playing field when the ball is live. He should have been warned, confined to dugout and then ejected. The umpire was wrong for addressing the player. A simple out call and the player should leave. Of the player does not leave after the umpire requests then the player should be confined to dugout and then ejected. The other coach who continues to argue what happen should be warned, restricted to dugout and then ejected. Simple

  • MadPainterGrafx

    As a coach and an ASA Certified Umpire the first coach that walked onto the field without calling time and disrupting the game in that manner should have gotten a warning and once his question has been answered he should have received one more warning from the head umpire(home plate ump) on the field then if he asked again he would be asked to leave the field and spectator area. As an umpire it is up to me or whomever is the official to be fair to both teams no matter who I know or don’t know and call the game to the best of my ability and show professionalism, and sportsmanship towards others whether they are coaches, players, or fans but do not be a pushover for anyone. Make your decision, make your call, and be positive about it then if a situation arises that might call for an ejection try to do so smartly and appropriately.
    As a coach I tell my players to take what the ump gives you but if there is a question about a call I would be discussing it with them not the players and would have called time and told my play to stay put as well then approached the officials about the call and go with the decision at that time no matter if it was right or wrong.
    Now with the matter of the umpire yelling at the player in an inappropriate manner I would not have stood for that either and would have done the same thing that your coach did. I have approached other coaches when they got out of hand yelling at their players and if it was bad enough I would go to the official about it and then to the league to resolve that issue. After the incident with the other coach I had parents as well as some kids on both teams come up and thank me for stepping up to confront him on it. I’m just surprised that a parent didn’t step forward before me and say something.