The Texas Association of Sports Officials has been aggressively exploring the facts surrounding the incident that occurred in the Texas High vs. Whitehouse game on Saturday, May 7, 2016.
The action in question occurred on a solo home run by a Texas High player hit over the left field fence. Unless it is obvious the ball will not be in play, proper officiating mechanics in this situation would be for the 3rd base umpire to sprint to left field to make a ruling on the home run, if necessary. The plate umpire would then move to cover 3rd base, and after watching the batter-runner touch first base, the first base umpire would move to home plate.
Although not a TASO approved mechanic, it is not an uncommon practice with some officiating crews for the first base umpire to kick a small amount of dirt on home plate as a signal to the plate umpire that the first base umpire had home plate "covered". The umpire working the game on May 7th unquestionably took this practice to an extreme level that is unacceptable. His reason for raking dirt on home plate was to make the plate umpire work harder in sweeping off the plate, the action was intended as a good-natured jab at the home plate umpire. While this act occurred during a dead ball situation and had absolutely no effect on the outcome of the game, it was inappropriate and did not follow approved mechanics.
TASO has determined that none of the umpires in the crew have any ties to either school or city and have never previously umpired a game for either school. The crew was from a neutral chapter that has not served either school this year during the regular season and up to this series. As required by the UIL, both coaches agreed to the crew.
Absent new information being brought forward for TASO review, we consider this matter closed.