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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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