Baseball

Baseball

Timing Is Everything

“Timing is everything!” That expression is cemented when it comes to baseball umpiring. You can read rulebooks, study mechanics, go to camps and clinics...
baseball playoff umpire mentality

How to Have a Playoff Mentality On and Off the Field

For those lucky enough to be chosen for postseason assignments, it’s a reward for a job well done during the season. But there can be pitfalls. Most umpires do...

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...
umpiring calling baseball double plays

Not All Double Plays Are Created Equal

Some umpires are unabashed about their love of double plays; they do serve to shorten the inning. Double plays can occur in a variety...

Right Foot Forward

It’s a basic rules concept that the location of a fielder’s feet in fair or foul territory has no impact on the fair/foul determination...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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