Baseball

Baseball

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...

11 Hacks for Onfield Umpires

With a new baseball season rolling along, here are a few tips and hacks involving plate work that can help you out as an...

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...

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...

Detecting When a Player is Hit by the Pitch

Determining whether a batter was hit by a pitch can sometimes be a challenge for the plate umpire. Sometimes an umpire will have to...

Do More, See More With Better 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...

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...

Don’t Take a Knee When Calling Pitches or Plays

Don’t take a knee. No, I’m not referencing protests during the national anthem. I mean don’t take a knee when calling pitches or plays....

Tips for Handling Baseball Time Limits

While there are some pace-of-play initiatives introducing a clock to the game of baseball, the traditional game doesn’t worry about a clock the same...

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....

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...

How to Shine Behind the Plate

With baseball's spring training upon us, I wanted to cover a few things involving plate work that helped me out a lot in my...

Proper Path

In the top of the seventh inning in Game 6 of the World Series on Oct. 29, 2019, the Washington Nationals had Yan Gomes...

Supplemental Signals

On a force play when the ball initially beat the runner, but the fielder had leaped or pulled his foot off the base to...

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