Sport-Specific Articles

Sport-Specific Articles

5 Tips for the Tag Play at the Plate

Atag play at the plate is among the most exciting plays in softball. The decision the umpire renders on a close play at home...

Ballhandling Makes Your Crew Look Sharp

It was the championship game for the local semi-pro league with a crew of six officials. A pass was intercepted and the down ended...

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...

Do You Take The Easy Way Out?

The officiating culture can be brutal. An easy way out of a tough situation might seem like a good idea sometimes. After all, certain officials...

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...

6 Tips To Better See The Point

Proper positioning is being where you have to be, to see what must be seen, to make the correct decision. That includes seeing the point. During dynamic...

Does Your Partner Get the ‘Point’?

We often think we are communicating well with our partners, when we really aren’t. Good communication is the key for a successful umpiring team. The...

Libero Do’s and Don’ts

A libero (LEE’-beh-ro) in indoor volleyball is a back-row defensive specialist. Since they only play in the back row, those players are often shorter...

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...

When to Throw Flags, When Not to (and When to Pick ’em Up) 

The idea of a flag being waved off brings to mind an overbearing referee trumping the decision of a younger crewmate. That has happened on occasion but picking...

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...

Four Eyes Off The Ball

From years of being around high-level Division I men’s college basketball officials, Ray Natili learned to train his eyes and “quit looking at the basketball.” It’s a mantra...

Second Nature

The first thing most of us do in the morning is look at our alarm clock, watch or phone. When we look at our...

Cell Phones Away or Pregame Meeting Goes Astray

M ost experienced officials have worked with a teammate who has been completely disengaged or distracted during the pregame meeting. We’ve all seen it;...

No Chain Of Fools

In the vast majority of games, the officiating crew is handed a chain crew not of their selection. In fact, at some schools no...

Flex Your Mental Muscles

"Coach, do you have any changes?” Be honest. How many of you dread asking this question during the pregame conference? We know the most...

Big-Small Match-up Awareness  

The ballhandler dribbles up the court and, as the lead official, you are working to find the best possible position along the endline to officiate the play. Some...

8 Ways to Avoid Perception Issues

It’s always useful to review a few perception issues that can get umpires off on the wrong foot at the start of a contest or create negative feelings...

Calm on Broken Plays

Coaches, players and fans are allowed to panic when a play goes awry. Officials, on the other hand, must react to broken plays as if they're routine...

Four Tips for One-Umpire Mechanics

It’s not news that budgets for athletic programs, especially in recreation and intramural leagues, have had to be tightened. Often the first items trimmed...

Scrimmages: Opportunity or Danger?

By John Kiernan Frequently I am asked to officiate scrimmages. There are great opportunities for an official during those matches. However, there are also pitfalls...

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...

Prep for Bang-Bang Plays

Crashes should not catch basketball officials by surprise. That’s a mantra from Jon Levinson, NCAA women’s basketball secretary-rules editor, and assigner for the Patriot...

Step On the Field and Handle Your Business Like a Boss

A fellow brother in blue, who passed away much too soon, had a mantra he used both in life and on the field. That mantra...

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