Baseball

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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...

Collision Course

An area that has received a lot of attention in recent years from rules committees at various levels of baseball involves malicious collisions between...

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...

Listen Up to Go Up

“Keep your mouth shut and listen.” Although it sounds harsh, it might be one of the most important pieces of advice an aspiring umpire can...

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...

Whether to Play During Weather?

M any an umpire could undoubtedly double as a meteorologist if it ever became necessary. The only thing we seem to study more than the...

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...

Not Dead Yet

When a ball becomes dead, such as one thrown into the stands, it is usually obvious. There are instances though where an act occurs...

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 — as nothing more than...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

Which Strike Do I Get?

An old adage that we hear from time to time is, “When in doubt, call ’em out.” While that is a myth that shouldn’t be...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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....

The Mindset of a Successful Umpire

Consider the top umpires at any level. What mindset do they have? How do they get it? For me, the key ingredients for the...

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