Baseball

Baseball

Seeing Is Believing

No matter what umpiring mechanics are being used in a particular game — whether it’s a single umpire working a youth baseball game or...

No Happy Accidents

Last summer, I was working the bases as part of a two-person crew when it became apparent the defensive team was thinking about making...

All Eyes Are On You

There are close plays all over a baseball field and in every game. Half-steppers at first base. Fingertips on stolen base attempts. Pitches at...

Catcher You Later

By Jon Bible A long-standing topic of debate in baseball circles is how we should relate to catchers. There are several schools of thought. I’ve heard...

How to Keep Calm During Rundowns

Rundowns are usually the result of a runner being too aggressive. Depending on the level of play, players may go into panic mode. Umpires...

5 Time-Tested Tips to Be Great Behind the Plate 

There is nothing quite like the feeling of walking off the field after a stellar performance behind the plate. But having a great game calling balls and strikes...

High Time to Talk Timing

U mpires always stress the importance of good timing behind the plate (and on the bases, but that’s a topic for another day). But to...

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...

Pick the Proper Protocol with Pitchers

Every umpire will encounter pitchers who aren’t happy with him or her. I had a generous strike zone, but even so a pitcher would...

Unexpected Calls Require Strong Voice, Signals

We are all taught early in our umpire training that some plays will occur that need to be sold harder than others. The type...

See the Three, Be the Three

At three different umpiring camps I have attended over the past two offseasons, I have heard one conference coordinator use the same phrase repeatedly:...

Here’s Your Sign

During its annual June meeting, held virtually for the second consecutive year due to the ongoing COIVD-19 pandemic, the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee voted...

You Say It Best When You Say Nothing At All

I’ve always felt the following are some of the greatest sayings relating to speaking: “You can’t be misquoted for something when you say nothing.”...

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...

So You Say You Want Games?

Ispent years as an umpire assigner from Little League to major college and, of course, I worked for my fair share. All have pet...

From Zoned Out to Zen Master

In the 1984 College World Series, I had the plate in a semifinal game. Pitch one was a slider on the edge of home...

‘Feel It’ at First Base

While there is still plenty of baseball to be worked during the summer of 2022, it’s also true that for many umpires, camp season...

Education or Evaluation?

Decades ago, when I got started, umpire clinics and camps were almost unheard of. (To me, a clinic is a one- or two-day event...

Rungs of the ladder

In my time as a minor league and collegiate umpire and supervisor, I was often asked what umpires should do to move up the...

Come to Terms With Definitions

This winter, I was approached by the leadership of my local high school umpires association about serving as a classroom instructor in preparing brand-new...

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,...

11 Hacks for Onfield Umpires

With a new baseball season rolling along, here are a few tips and hacks involving plate work that can help you out as an...

On Your Mark, Get Set … Stay There

Recently, I came across a couple of film clips taken from major league games played decades ago. In one, an umpire called a tag...

The Way We’ll Play Today

B aseball is unique in the fact its playing confines are not always specifically spelled out by the rulebook. Yes, at the NFHS, college and pro...

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