Sport-Specific Articles

Sport-Specific Articles

Dead-Ball Officiating in the Side Zone

How does the runner usually react when he’s been tackled? The norm in college and pro football is that runners lay patiently after they...

74 Percent: Scoring Chances In the Area

By Carl Schwartz As I’m getting older, I’m learning more and more. I really wish I had known this 30 years ago. If you see...

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...

Don’t Become a Fan

“Spectacularity” sounds made-up and highfaluting, doesn’t it? Au contraire. This actual word should be in every referee’s vocabulary. What does it mean, anyway? And how...

Flying Flag

On Dec. 19, 1999, Jeff Triplette — in his first year as an NFL referee — was working a game in Cleveland when he...

Which Strike Do I Get?

An old adage that we hear from time to time is, “When in doubt, call ’em out.” While that is a myth that shouldn’t be...

Football Ground Rules

Whether it’s dry or wet, artificial or natural, the surface on which the game is played can have a marked influence on how the game is played and on...

Trouble Area

The last half of the distance from home plate to first base is one of the biggest trouble areas in softball. To stay on...

Don’t Get An Oh, S—! Reputation

By Jeffrey Stern I’m guessing you can fill in the blanks in the title of this post. If you haven’t used the word even once...

Location Notation

While watching MLB’s World Series last fall, I heard the plate umpire, who was wearing a microphone, call, “Ball, outside” after a pitch was...

No Substitute for Awareness

There is more to know than just foul or violation. Commonly astute officials might have heard once to have an awareness to what type...

Touch and Go

According to the website deepenglish.com, the handshake dates back to knights in Medieval Europe. Mistrustful fellows, they would shake the hand of those they...

In the Swing of Things

The topic of follow-through interference came into the spotlight during 2017 MLB postseason play. Before we get into that, it’s important to note that...

Referee Career Stages

Laws, foul recognition, acceptance, flow of the game, physical fitness, proper terminology, anticipating play and touchline management are all key components in an official’s...

Hip, Hip No Way: Yankees vs. Dodgers 1978 World Series

Reggie Jackson earned the nickname Mr. October because of his bat. But a baserunning play swung the 1978 World Series in favor of Jackson’s...

Outside the Lines

Defining the playing area is an important part of the referees’ prematch duties. Identifying obstacles, any changes in court surface or elevation, and establishing...

The Debate: Hammer or Point?

By Mike Droll Whether it’s at an umpiring clinic, professional umpiring school or just learning from a buddy who is getting you ready for your...

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...

Put It Between the Fingers

It has been said for years that the easiest, most efficient method for holding an assistant referee flag is to let it hang down...

Step-By-Step Focus

The pause, read and react technique has been used for many years. Some associations call that process, wait, interpret, choose. Others coin it, read,...

Always Time for Teachable Moments

Whether it is during the prematch conference or a postmatch debrief, a formal evaluation or a self-evaluation, or in a classroom clinic setting, we...

Strong Signals Can Defuse

Reporting fouls to the table is a time to project strength and believability. Your signal should lend credibility that you stand by your call...

Aim High By Working Lower Levels

Once we obtain an officiating certification, it seems that many of us want to jump in and start working the highest levels of play...

Dead or Live?

Imagine that you’re working the plate in a two-umpire system. There’s a runner on second with one out. The batter hits a towering fly...

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