Baseball

Baseball

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...

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...

Anything But (Base)ic

Just as we can have rough days on the plate, we can have base games where it seems we’d be better off to flip...

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...

Dead Ball Ground Rules Needed For Quirky Ballfields

Very few baseball fields are identical. While infields are all alike, size-wise, the shape of the outfield will vary and the alignment of outfield...

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...

When ‘Time’ is Right

Most baseball games are routine in terms of the calls the umpires must make. We know the plate umpire has to call balls and...

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,...

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...

Eye Didn’t Miss It

Umpiring a baseball game is full of visual challenges. Some are unusual and others are more common. In a recent game, the uninformed runner...

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...

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...

‘Feel It’ at First Base

While extra education at camp is invaluable for umpires who are dedicated to working on their craft and/or looking to advance to a higher...

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:...

Pass Judgment

If two runners pass each other on the basepath, one of them is out. The out is immediate, just as if a tag had...

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...
Baseball Umpire Larger Crew

Nail the Postseason Transition to a Larger Crew

As high school baseball enters the postseason, umpires face a major transition beyond the mere increased intensity of the games. In many states, the arrival of postseason play brings...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Lineup Language

College baseball will feature several new wrinkles during the 2021 season as a result of rule changes approved by the NCAA during the offseason. The...

It’s 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...

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...

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