Baseball

Baseball

A Major League Road to Fitness

“If you slow down, life will stab you on the back,” says Mackie Shilstone. “Disease will find you.” It’s a strong message delivered to a...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Dig into a new DH

The NFHS Baseball Rules Committee opted for just one rule change during its annual meeting in June in Indianapolis. But it is significant and...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Dead Ball Ground Rules Needed For Quirky Ballfields

Very few baseball fields are identical. While infields are all alike, size-wise, the shape of the outfield will vary and the alignment of outfield...

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...

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...

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....

Take a Wedge

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...

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...

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...

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...

Use Your Head With Doubleheaders

By Jon Bible Doubleheaders (DH) can be the bane of an umpire’s existence. At the most basic level, a DH just means two games instead of one, whether of...

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...

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...

A Breakdown of Running Lane Rules

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

Changing a Call

For many years, an umpire changing a call was considered a sign of weakness. The current thinking at all levels of play is that...

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...

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