Sport-Specific Articles

Sport-Specific Articles

Get Out Of The Way Blue! What is and isn’t Umpire Interference

Know What Is, And Is Not, Umpire Interference F or many umpires, their definition of a job well done includes being able to walk off the...

Safe or Out, There Is No Tie

Fans, players and coaches are often heard yelling from the stands, “Tie goes to the runner!” However, no rule in baseball or softball has that phrase. A few...

Equipment Commitment

The NFHS Softball Rules Committee made two significant changes to player equipment, involving the wearing of head coverings and beads, and approved six other...

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...

Proper Three-Person Rotations Rely on Science and Art

As more states and officials’ associations transition to three-person mechanics, lead officials need to become more active and recognize when to rotate ball side. Gone are the days of...

Double the Trouble

Unlike in football and basketball where referees must determine the legality of athletes crashing into each other on almost every play, baseball is a...

Ups and Downs of Jump Balls

Jump balls set the tone for the rest of the game. It’s the first action directly related to the game, and that first impression...

Four Steps Toward Being Truly Great

Let’s assume you are a good umpire, even an exceptional umpire. You do well on association exams and know your mechanics. Nevertheless, do you...

3 Times When You Can Take Back A Flag

Once a flag is thrown, there are circumstances when it can be picked up — disregarded if you will. Except for some very specific...

6 Types of Interference

1. Playing Through the Back A defender cannot come over a receiver’s back to try to play a pass. Be careful not to penalize a...

Protocols for Inadvertent Whistles

Late in the fourth quarter, the home team was up, 16-14, and the visitors lined up at the 25 yardline for what would almost...

How to Handle a New Crew Member

If you’re used to working on a crew with the same people from week to week, you know that you can quickly reach a...

Official/Player Communication Influences Conduct

Trying to manage a football game would be nearly impossible without effective and pointed communication. Although managing players is primarily the responsibility of the coaching staff, officials can facilitate the...

Careful with Explanations

There may never be a game we officiate that is free from controversy, in which every call is met with agreement from two compassionate...

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...

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...

3 “When In Doubt” Judgment Guidelines

According to Webster, judgment is the ability to make a decision. An official’s judgment calls will be questioned more often than his or her...

Keep Focus Sharp at the Buzzer

Most of us are well aware that bad judgment or lack of focus in the last minute of a game can destroy the other...

7 Reasons Why Communication With Your Partner Pays Off

The words “requires excellent communication skills” are part of virtually every job description in today’s market, to the point where they’ve become meaningless jargon....

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...

Infield Flies not on the fly

One of the more difficult situations in softball are those involving the infield fly rule. While all the codes agree on when the rule...

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...

How to Shine Behind the Plate

L et's take a look at some of the best tips and techniques involving plate work that that can help you preform, and look,...

Classifying Fouls Eases Enforcement

T here are several elements to correctly enforcing a penalty. The first is to accurately identify a foul. If there is no foul, there cannot...