Sport-Specific Articles

Sport-Specific Articles

What Happens When the Neutral Zone Expands?

The neutral zone is one of the basic tenets of a football game. In practical terms it’s the space between the offensive and defensive...

8 Ways to Avoid Perception Issues

It’s always useful to review a few perception issues that can get umpires off on the wrong foot at the start of a contest or create negative feelings...

Career Suicide Can Be a Killer

Officiating is unlike many endeavors in that hard work, diligent study and the right temperament are not guarantees to success. Conversely, there are several...

FIFA Referee Mark Geiger

By his own proud admission, the man is a nerd. Conjure images of that wisp of a kid you remember from high school who...

Pre-match Recon

It is common practice that you should closely watch player behavior during a match in order to be prepared for what comes next, to adjust and modify your...

Sure Thing

Officiating is all about making decisions. That’s arguably the one and only reason they give us a paycheck. Sometimes, in the process of decision-making,...

Ballhandling Makes Your Crew Look Sharp

It was the championship game for the local semi-pro league with a crew of six officials. A pass was intercepted and the down ended...

Can the Towel Cause a Foul?

As the sport of volleyball advances, so does the development of player equipment. Players are wearing equipment, like neoprene sleeves for the forearm or...

Infield Flies not on the fly

One of the more difficult situations in softball are those involving the infield fly rule. While all the codes agree on when the rule...

Where Was That?

By Jon Bible Last season, I was watching an MLB game and the plate umpire — I forget who it was — was giving the...

Catch to Dropped Ball

Fielders can often appear to make excellent diving catches, but the calling umpire for the play must have patience in that situation before declaring...

Pace Commander

How to set and maintain a good pace to a game is not often discussed at camps and association meetings. But if players are...

Optimal Positioning at Home Plate

The evolution of the mechanics of calling plays at home plate has been fascinating to observe. Plate umpires can make decisions on 250 to 300...

The Philosophy Of Ball-Handling Calls

R egardless of the level of volleyball, before a match a coach may ask a referee, “Are you tight with ball handling or do you...

No-Huddle? No Hurry

The key word for officials is accommodation. You can’t deter a team from setting its own pace in a game. Teams have a right...

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...

3 Times When You Can Take Back A Flag

Once a flag is thrown, there are circumstances when it can be picked up — disregarded if you will. Except for some very specific...

Thou Shall Not Pass

If you ever have any doubt what area of the game is going to get you in the most trouble as a baseball umpire,...

Behavior Battles

A chieving excellence takes knowing what the referee’s powers are and, more importantly, when and how best to use each power to successfully manage a...

No Substitute for Awareness

There is more to know than just foul or violation. Commonly astute officials might have heard once to have an awareness to what type...

Keep Wandering Coaches Contained

Wandering coaches who drift beyond the coaching box often need reminding of the location of the box. Simple body language or hand gestures help to guide coaches to...

‘In’s’ and Outs

There are two rules that often give umpires pause during a game — infield fly and intentional drops. The rules regarding each are relatively...

Preventing Umpire Interference

The umpiring crew must be sure the playing field and other conditions are safe to start the game and all conditions remain safe throughout...

The Importance Of Halftime Discussions

Imagine that the buzzer to end the first half has just sounded. The game is going to be a real barn burner. The teams are tied...

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