Baseball

Baseball

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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:...

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...

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...

Concussion Risk Leads MLB Umpire Scott To Retire

Concussions and their risks to players are in the news on an almost daily basis. What isn’t covered as frequently is that officials are...

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...

Where Was That?

By Jon Bible Last season, I was watching an MLB game and the plate umpire — I forget who it was — was giving the...

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...

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...

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...

Head of the Class

Early in my umpiring career I took a cavalier approach to the rules. I got by because I had played the game and knew...

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...

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...

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...

Level Up?

Many new umpires want to advance to the major college ranks. Some will, most won’t. Some who fall by the wayside will be perfectly...

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,...

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...

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...

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,...

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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