Baseball

Baseball

Progression of Responsibilities Helps Simplify Rulings

This past summer I had the opportunity to attend an evaluation camp for umpires looking to advance their collegiate careers. The camp schedule called...

Players Can Drop Clues to Help On Tough Calls

I didn’t get away with much as a kid. If I’d broken a family heirloom or eaten the last piece of pie, I’d crack under even the...

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...

Handling Interference by Spectators, Coaches and Umpires

Interference in a baseball game does not happen very often and some umpires are ill prepared to deal with it. Getting the uncommon plays...

Pick Up The Pickoff

One way to develop a reputation of being "on-the-ball" is to always be prepared for pickoff plays on the bases. Here are three important standards that...

Hit by Pitch Doesn’t Always Mean a Base Award

The earliest umpires didn’t have much of a decision to make when a batter was hit by a pitch. A pitch hitting the batter’s...

Special Rules Apply When a Runner Misses Home

In order to legally score a run, a runner must touch the plate, the same as the requirement to touch any other base. However,...

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...

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...

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.”...

Improve Your View of the Play

When an article says that using your eyes properly will improve your umpiring skills, your immediate reaction is probably, “No kidding.” But upon closer...

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...

When To Stop A Game

When to stop a game because of darkness or weather are among the toughest calls of an umpire's career. Next to those, you might think...

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...

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...

Sorry, ‘Charlie’

If you’re new to umpiring (and maybe if you’re not), you might think rules should be enforced literally, no matter the circumstances. After all,...

How Should We Relate To Catchers?

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 some umpires...

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...

Order of Operations

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

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...

10 Tips to Move Up the College Baseball Ranks

An umpire buddy was planning a presentation to a high school umpires association on how to advance to the college level and asked me...

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 —...

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...

Detecting When a Player is Hit by the Pitch

Determining whether a batter was hit by a pitch can sometimes be a challenge for the plate umpire. Sometimes an umpire will have to...

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