I (as a photographer) got thrown out of a girl's (age 16+) fast-pitch softball game. This made me both angry and excited. I felt nervous like I had done something wrong, but I also felt cool to have been tossed from the field. How could such a thing happen to an innocent like myself? This is how . . .
I have photographed baseball tournaments in the past, so I thought photographing my first softball tournament would go pretty much the same way. In a sense, from a photography standpoint, they are quite similar, but everything else is rather different. I will elaborate on this point in a future post. For now, I will concentrate on getting tossed out of the game by this blue:
Here is the setup: it was toward the end of the game (tie score), so I was on the 3rd baseline in front of the visitor's dugout getting infield andhome plate action shots. There were two outs and a runner on third. The batter (#23) made decent contact and was trying to beat the throwout to first so the runner on third could score. Even a single run here probably would have secured the win for the red team.
Usually, from the 3rd baseline it is very hard to get a clean shot of the play at first because you have the 3rd baseman (woman) often in the way and you almost always have the pitcher in the way. Due to the possibility of a play at home I guess, I found myself with a clean shot at first base. I locked on to the first baseman (woman) and fired away not knowing the gravity of what I was about to capture.
The runner was called out. Of course the red team did not like the call. After the inning changed I showed the 3rd base coach for the red team the above shot to show it was seemingly the correct call (I cannot see the runner putting a foot on the bag before that ball gets in glove). He concurred.
Well, the blue (what umpires are called since they wear blue shirts) who made the call, and who was all the way on the other side of the field, seemed to guess what I was doing and charged across the infield. No warning was given, just a "get outta here!" I was like, "why?" He said photographs cannot be shown to players or coaches during the game. I of course had been doing this in all previous games with no complaints from any other blue.
There was no negotiating. I said I had a right to photograph the game by contract and that no one had ever said there was a "no show" policy before. This just made the blue angrier. I thought about kicking dirt on his shoes as I left, but did not want to endanger my D300 or Nikkor AF ED 80-200mm F2.8D lens, so I just left giving defiant looks over my shoulder.
So that is how I got tossed from a softball game!