Sport-Specific Articles

Sport-Specific Articles

Slap-Hitters and Bunters Force You To Think Outside The Box

With first base only 60 feet away from home plate in softball compared to 90 in baseball, the left-handed slap hit is a major...

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...

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...

How to Tackle Pre-Match Responsibilities as a Team

It is important to arrive at a match with plenty of time to prepare yourself mentally as well as making sure to have enough time to conduct pre-match...

Tactical Restart Response

Restart management is difficult enough without considering the various ways that defenders could seek to play psychological tricks on both their opponents and the referee. Given that defenders are...

Grab Those Borderline Pitches and Help Your Game

I once worked a college game with an umpire with the proverbial postage-stamp strike zone. It lasted three hours, 31 minutes, and featured as much head-shaking by pitchers and...

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...

Preventing Umpire Interference

The umpiring crew must be sure the playing field and other conditions are safe to start the game and all conditions remain safe throughout...

Free But Not Easy

By George Demetriou Although every game begins with a kickoff, free kicks occur much less frequently than passing or running plays. Add the fact the...

Onfield Meetings – Short, Simple & Complete

Much has been written and said about the importance of perception in officiating. Image is everything, as the saying goes and that is true not only of...

Improve Your View of the Play

When an article says that using your eyes properly will improve your umpiring skills, your immediate reaction is probably, “No kidding.” But upon closer...

Post-Match Pitfalls

We just want to be understood. It’s human nature, especially when it comes to officiating — we want people to know, understand and accept why we made a...

Moot Button

There’s a nationwide shortage of officials. It’s gotten harder in all sports to get and keep officials, and softball is no exception. Criticism from...

5 Minutes With Margaret Domka

Margaret Domka is on the FIFA International Panel of Referees. She is one of a select few officials to ever go onto the FIFA list...

Let’s Meet Up

There are times in a game when officials should get together as a crew. There are times when officials shouldn’t get together. During warmups is...

Newbies Need More Support Than You Think

Officials constantly hear the message that we need to recruit the next generation — younger people to follow in our footsteps. So many more young athletes are engaging...

Focus on Free Kicks

You are the referee for tonight’s game. You have completed the pregame conference with your crew, met with the head coaches and conducted the coin toss. Now you hustle...

Seasonal adjustment

The NCAA Baseball Rules Committee and the Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved rule changes for 2019-20 that range from an expansion of video review...

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...

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...

Techniques to Judge a Potential Save Over the Net  

We have all had matches that move along just fine — ballhandling on point, bench management under control, good tempo to the match … and then it happens. It...

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...
volleyball four hits or first contact is a difficult call

Four Hits or First Contact? Techniques and Tips for One of Volleyball’s Toughest Calls

Volleyball referees are tasked with making many split-second decisions during a match. One area where coaches, spectators, players and referees see things differently is when an attacked ball is...

Hammerin’ Hank 715

It was perhaps the most sacred of all of baseball’s sacred records, but when Hank Aaron launched long ball number 715, he became baseball’s...

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