Frank from California asks:
When there is a conference on the mound, is there a rule about how long they can take or is it up to the umpire to give them whatever time he feels he wants to? What is your "rule" of how much time you give? Is it different in different situations?
There is no rule as to the ammount of time an umpire should give a coach during a mound visit. During a mound visit I will usually clean the plate and then go out of the mound after 15-30 seconds after that. I then walk, not jog, towards the mound which usually breaks up the conference. If it doesn't then, once I get to the mound, I politely ask the coach to wrap it up so we can continue with the game.
On a visit to the mound due to an injury to the pitcher I will go out right away in order to make sure that they aren't talking about stratagy so that they won't be charged for a mound visit. I will usually give the pitcher and manager as much time as they need to make a decision as to if the pitcher wants to stay in the game or not.
The time I allow does not really change from situation to situation other then for injury purposes but something that an umpire needs to keep in mind is that the more time the ball is in play the better and many of the younger leagues have time limits so, especially in tournaments, the umpire needs to make sure that the coach is not intentionally delaying the game in order to give his team an unfair advantage.
Answered by: Jonathan Bravo