Sport-Specific Articles

Sport-Specific Articles

Always Assume You Are Being Assessed

For roughly the first half of my amateur umpiring career — which lasted from 1966-2016 — umpires could go about their business without having to deal with rating...

Think A-Head

Athletes in many sports that involve contact, either against opponents, teammates or with the ground/floor, are susceptible to concussions, a brain injury that interferes...

For Football Officials, A Fine Line Between Hustle and Over-Hustle

Moving energetically, sometimes referred to as hustle, not only creates a positive perception, but it can help officials get where they need to be to call the play properly....

Offside Doesn’t have to be Complicated

Many spectators, most radio/TV commentators, a surprisingly large proportion of coaches and many players simply do not understand Law 11 (Offside). When they think...

When Two Umpires Converge on the Same Base

Many of us who have been umpiring for a number of years have seen the situation in which one umpire is dutifully making his...

They’re Counting On it

One of the most important jobs for softball umpires is game management. And one of the most overlooked aspects of game management is giving...

Hold(er) Everything

When thinking of players associated with the kicking game, the usual focus is on those who kick the ball and team R players attempting...

Find Those Stray Baseballs

Before a half-inning begins, remember to check the field and backstop for stray baseballs. That’s especially important before the top of the first inning....

Principles With Interest

O fficiating has been in my blood since I was a scholastic wrestler during the mid-1960s. Throughout the decades, I gradually began to understand the...

The Stands Have Eyes

F or roughly the first half of my amateur umpiring career — which lasted from 1966-2016 — umpires could go about their business without having...

Flying Flag

On Dec. 19, 1999, Jeff Triplette — in his first year as an NFL referee — was working a game in Cleveland when he...

Libero Do’s and Don’ts

A libero (LEE’-beh-ro) in indoor volleyball is a back-row defensive specialist. Since they only play in the back row, those players are often shorter...

When to Throw Flags, When Not to (and When to Pick ’em Up) 

The idea of a flag being waved off brings to mind an overbearing referee trumping the decision of a younger crewmate. That has happened on occasion but picking...

Critical Rules for Umpires to Know

The umpire is in charge of the line of scrimmage and all the action that takes place in and around it. There are some...

5 Minutes with J.D. Collins

Hometown: Hartford City, Ind. Experience: NCAA national coordinator of men’s basketball officiating; former coordinator of officials for the Mid-American Conference and Summit League; former consultant...

Outside the Lines

Defining the playing area is an important part of the referees’ prematch duties. Identifying obstacles, any changes in court surface or elevation, and establishing...

How to read a game

Once a referee reaches the point where he/she knows the Laws of the Game well and has learned effective mechanics, what comes next to improve his/her game and advance...

Grab Those Borderline Pitches and Help Your Game

I once worked a college game with an umpire with the proverbial postage-stamp strike zone. It lasted three hours, 31 minutes, and featured as much head-shaking by pitchers and...

Second Nature

The first thing most of us do in the morning is look at our alarm clock, watch or phone. When we look at our...

Use Fundamentals When Changing Field Size

We’ve all been there. It’s your night off. You’re settling into your seat to watch your kids or your friend’s kids play a game...

Optimal Crew Positioning on Free Kicks

F ree kicks from just outside the penalty area can determine the outcome of a game. They can be so critical that teams have multiple...

Right Foot Forward

It’s a basic rules concept that the location of a fielder’s feet in fair or foul territory has no impact on the fair/foul determination...

Reality of Calling A Checked Swing

Many umpires would agree that there are very few judgment calls in baseball that are tougher to make than a checked swing. Whether you are the plate umpire...

Top Free Guide Downloads

New Articles