Baseball

Baseball

Take a Wedge

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...

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:...

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...

No Place For Intentional Pitches at Batters

On Aug. 16, 1920, in a game against the New York Yankees at the Polo Grounds, Cleveland shortstop Roy Chapman was hit in the head by a pitch...

Mental Checklist on Every Pitch Ensures Focus

The best way to stay focused and lessen the chance of a screw-up is to go through a mental checklist before each pitch. This...

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...

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...

Get Out of the Way, Blue!

F or many umpires, their definition of a job well done includes being able to walk off the field without anyone really noticing they were...

Off on the ‘Right’ Foot

The NFHS Baseball Rules Committee approved a modification of rules regarding the pitcher’s pivot foot. From the set position, it will no longer be...

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...

A Major League Road to Fitness

“If you slow down, life will stab you on the back,” says Mackie Shilstone. “Disease will find you.” It’s a strong message delivered to a...

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...

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...

Balk This Way

In many cases, not much happens after a balk. The runners get to advance one base, a defensive coach may squawk, but all playing...

An Inside Perspective On Evaluation Camps

O ne of the hallmarks of Referee is the willingness to publish articles offering advice on how officials can advance in their particular sports. In...

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...

A Breakdown of Running Lane Rules

In the top of the seventh inning in Game 6 of the World Series on Oct. 29, 2019, the Washington Nationals had Yan Gomes...

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...

Been There, Done That

One of the hallmarks of Referee is the willingness to publish articles offering advice on how officials can advance in their particular sports. In...

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...

Batboys

Where are all the batboys? What happened to them? And when did they disappear? In this context, I’m referring to the little kids (usually but...

Reducing Apparel Costs Works For Umpire Recruitment

The Fox Valley Blues Umpires Association (FVB) is a baseball umpires association in the Chicago metropolitan area which has been in steady growth mode...

In the Swing of Things

The topic of follow-through interference came into the spotlight during 2017 MLB postseason play. Before we get into that, it’s important to note that...

Just Deal With It!

I f umpiring were simply confined to ball/strike, fair/foul and safe/out rulings, it would still be a game fraught with disagreements about arbiter judgments, but...

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