Baseball

Baseball

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...

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...

Picky on Pickoffs

It sometimes seems as if certain teams have a “balk coach” — a coach who yells “Balk!” every time the opposing pitcher (probably a...

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...

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...

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...

Hot Buttons

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and apparently you can’t get umpires — old, new or in between — to clean up...

Batboys

Where are all the batboys? What happened to them? And when did they disappear? In this context, I’m referring to the little kids (usually but...
Baseball Umpire Larger Crew

Nail the Postseason Transition to a Larger Crew

As high school baseball enters the postseason, umpires face a major transition beyond the mere increased intensity of the games. In many states, the arrival of postseason play brings...

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...

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...
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...

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...

Always Assume You Are Being Assessed

For roughly the first half of my amateur umpiring career — which lasted from 1966-2016 — umpires could go about their business without having to deal with rating...
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...

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...

Mental Checklist on Every Pitch Ensures Focus

The best way to stay focused and lessen the chance of a screw-up is to go through a mental checklist before each pitch. This...

Balk This Way

In many cases, not much happens after a balk. The runners get to advance one base, a defensive coach may squawk, but all playing...

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...

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...

An Inside Perspective On Evaluation Camps

O ne of the hallmarks of Referee is the willingness to publish articles offering advice on how officials can advance in their particular sports. In...

Eye Didn’t Miss It

Umpiring a baseball game is full of visual challenges. Some are unusual and others are more common. In a recent game, the uninformed runner...

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....

Abandonment

A walk-off is a run-scoring event in the bottom half of the last inning of the game that gives the home team the win....

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