Sport-Specific Articles

Sport-Specific Articles

Shorten Your Learning Curve

As a young or newer referee works to master the art of officiating, she or he soon finds out that, while the rules are...

Stick to the Plan When Covering Last-Second Shots

Although we might not think of it this way, basketball crews have set plays, just like the teams they officiate. If they don’t, they should. The teams rely...

A Guide to Enforcing the Three-Second Violation

If there is one rule many officials are loath to enforce, it seems to be the three-second violation. For them, ruling a three-second violation carries the...

Pre-Pitch Checklist For Improved Focus

Over the years, I found that the best way to stay focused and lessen the chance of a screw-up is to go through a...
traveling pivot foot basketball referee

Pivot Foot Recognition Is Key to Calling Traveling Correctly

When James Naismith invented basketball in the late 19th century, he was looking for a healthy indoor sport to tough out the Northeastern winters. He wanted something that avoided physical...

Timing Is Everything

“Timing is everything!” That expression is cemented when it comes to baseball umpiring. You can read rulebooks, study mechanics, go to camps and clinics...

When Not To Be Subtle As the Second Referee

Communication between first and second referees is essential in communicating decisions to players, coaches, assistant officials and spectators. Precisely executed, established signals indicate the referees are competent and in control of...

Atypical Interference is More Than Just Runners

There have been many articles written about interference, but most predominantly cover runner interference. The other acts of interference that may be perpetrated by the offensive team are team personnel...

Passer Gets Extra Attention 

Philosophies, rules and mechanics have increasingly stressed the need to officiate through the passer — in other words, pay particular attention to contact on...

Adjust to Playing Styles

On a Thursday evening, you officiate a girls’ varsity match, marked with long skillful rallies. The next night, you work a boys’ contest, frequently punctuated by short powerful bursts....

Six Key Factors Assessors Focus On

There are many myths and legends about assessors and their roles and responsibilities. Some officials do not want to be assessed because they do not understand how an...
baseball playoff umpire mentality

How to Have a Playoff Mentality On and Off the Field

For those lucky enough to be chosen for postseason assignments, it’s a reward for a job well done during the season. But there can be pitfalls. Most umpires do...

Slap-Hitters and Bunters Force You To Think Outside The Box

With first base only 60 feet away from home plate in softball compared to 90 in baseball, the left-handed slap hit is a major...

4 Habits Softball Umpires Must Have

If you took a poll of coaches and players and asked them to name the skills and habits that are important for an umpire...

Anticipation Takes Hesitation Out of the Equation

Many times only the offense knows what will happen after the snap. Communication from the sidelines or a brilliant idea from a player on...

Eight Habits to Improve Your Play Positioning

Does your association have “good umpires”? Certainly it does. But are there a few umpires acknowledged to be better than the rest of the...

Don’t Sell Your Halftime Short 

Basketball officials have been instructed time and again about the importance of pregame discussions as a crew. The 60 minutes prior to tip are a crucial window for an...
umpiring calling baseball double plays

Not All Double Plays Are Created Equal

Some umpires are unabashed about their love of double plays; they do serve to shorten the inning. Double plays can occur in a variety...

Softball Leaders Give Advice on Making the Most of Your Camp Experience

In 2020, many umpires didn’t have the chance to hone their skills and work on new ones developed in the offseason. As a new...

Make New Officials Comfortable Before the Match Begins 

Any number of factors can affect how effectively a referee team works together, especially if one or both assistant referees are comparatively inexperienced. The center referee’s awareness of possible weaknesses...

Tips for When You Struggle on the Bases

What do you do when you’re struggling on the bases? We’re all going to have bang-bang plays where we do everything right but freeze-frame...

Start Your Game on the Right Track

Starting the game on the right track helps everyone get off to a smooth start. Starting on a bad note can set the tone...

You’re an Umpire … Not a Catcher

It’s no secret baseball coaches and players sometimes see that other guy on the field wearing protective gear — other than the catcher — as nothing more than...

Understand the Differences With Atypical Fouls

You just called a technical, intentional or flagrant foul. These are atypical plays in your game, and you may be unsure just how to administer the ensuing action. Depending...

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