You want the ball in front of you. - Always watch the ball - Always front the ball Keep the base, the runner & the fielder in front of you. 90° from the throw on a force play. 90° from the application of the tag on a tag play 15 – 18’ from a force play. - You need the big picture.
6-10’ from a tag play - You need the details You want to be set for every play. Be outside the diamond if the ball is in the infield. Puts the ball in front of you. Be inside the diamond if the ball is in the outfield. Puts the ball in front of you. Move parallel with the runners or the flight of the ball.
Angle is Always More Desirable Than Distance: Angles are all over the field Angles change all the time Learn to recognize where angles exist and how they develop
Distance Serves Three Purposes: Zoom in Zoom out Credibility if you cannot get the angle, get closer
Keep these axioms in mind when you umpire: There is always a job to do. Never waste an umpire. There is always another play. Prepare for it! Adjust – change as the play changes. Pause – Read - Act
Call in your own area. See in all areas. Support your partners. Strong verbal calls are one of the best and easiest forms of game control. Do not retreat from a call. This is a negative movement and does not show commitment.
A holding position is oval. A holding position is never a calling position. Hold routine signals an appropriate amount of time – not too short or too long – but long enough to show conviction of the call
All umpires need to hold their positions at the conclusion of a play until the pitcher has the ball in the circle and all runners have stopped on a base.
Between innings, the plate umpire watches the offense, the base umpires watch the defense.
If you finish an inning with a controversial call and feel you will be a target for remarks by standing in your normal position, move somewhere else.
Do not move your feet when making a call. Keep your feet in a wide base. This is stronger, and you are then prepared to move efficiently to your next play.
If there is no play, no call is needed. Obvious uncaught fly balls do not need a No Catch signal. On tag-up plays, line up to see the tag and then move to a primary position.
Do not call “Time”, unless needed. The pitcher must have the ball in the circle and all runners must be stopped on a base before “Time” is called.
Sweep judiciously. Do not break the flow of an at-bat to remove a speck of dust from the plate. If you can clearly see the base, it does not need to be swept.
Do not touch ball players or coaches. Do not invite conversations Do not carry messages from a coach or player to your partner.
Point of-the-Plate Holding Position This is the area where the umpire sets up to read how the play at the plate will develop prior to choosing a calling position-either the traditional default position or third base line extended. This is not a calling position. This holding position is only to be used when the plate umpire has no responsibilities at third base.
Random Guidelines for Plate Umpires Plate umpire has all Fair/Foul decisions unless a base umpire chases. This includes ground balls and bounding balls over first or third base. This is not an option to be to be changed in a pre-game discussion.
On an out-of-the-park home run when teammates converge at or around home plate to congratulate the hitter, the umpire should move inside the diamond between the plate and the circle to see the runner touch home while watching for any touching of the runner by her teammates. Once the runner has touched home plate, give a new ball to the pitcher and prepare to resume play.
Do not trail unless the play is going to first base. Do not needlessly HOLD the pitcher. Most pitchers wait until the batter is ready. Use the Hold signal to control a situation that needs controlling.
Write down all conferences. Report changes to the official scorer and to each dugout without disrupting the flow of the game. Do not point at your partners to see if they are ready prior to start of the game or an inning. Look at them, if they are in position, then play ball.
Before Every Pitch Ask Yourself When do I chase? Where do I go if partner chases? Where do I go on base hit to outfield? Where do I go on an infield hit? Is it my check swing responsibility?
Base Umpire Priorities With The Pitch 1. Pitcher 2.Runner 3.Ball / Batter 4.Action
On A Batted Fly Ball 1. Read the ball. 2.Look at your partner. 3.Glance at the runner. 4.Pick up the ball. 5.Move to your position or chase, depending on what you read. 6.Look at your partner again to make sure he/she chased or did not chase.
With a runner on third, adjust your position to accommodate your checked swing responsibilities. Do not over-hustle your position. Often only a step or two is needed to achieve the best position.
When rotated, it is okay to be closer to the infield than the second base player. Give the first base umpire the right of first refusal to chase a fly ball to centerfield. You can more easily adjust from chasing to going to your position or vice versa.
Working Between Pitches – Pickoffs when ball is not hit Read and react to any initial play on a runner. If no initial play, think and move to the lead runner who is the next probable play. Move to position if the base is defended.
If you are on the first or third base line, with a runner on either of those bases, there is no actual movement but remain alert and ready if the runner is off the base.
When walking the line take no more than two steps. End in a ready position. If pivoting, pivot to a depth of no more than 10 feet beyond the baseline. Pivot opening towards the runner coming at you.
You are responsible for the obstruction/interference coming at you. It is okay to work close - two to three steps - from an infielder. If you are bothering them, they will tell you. Do not ask outfielders if you are in their way. If you are, they will ask you to move. You need only move a couple steps.
As third base umpire, with no runners on, wait until the first base umpire signals the call on the batter-runner at first base before starting back to your position on the line. Working in foul ground prevents you from crossing any running or throwing lanes. Never let a coach be between you and the play when working foul territory at third or first.
Be set before the pitch with runners on base - except for a runner on third only, the first base umpire is not set. Go set according to the timing you need, do not choreograph with your partner. Recognize your next play and prepare for it. It is not your job to stop runners on foul balls or to tell them not to slide.
Do not signal/echo foul balls from the bases. Use middle infielders as guide for when to chase in the vee. It is not okay to routinely come back after chasing a fly ball. Do not signal Time if you have gone out on a fly ball.
When calling "Time“, for an injured player, stay nearby until the coach or trainer comes out. Then leave the area. Do not attempt to help an injured player. There is no need to point to the plate umpire when you are ready to resume play after having called "Time“, for a player to tie her shoe or dust off. The plate umpire can see this.
Working between pitches is done on a non-batted ball. Umpires should work between pitches if fielder is defending the base. Watch the ball, not the runner. Be alert to a possible play. Adjust to the play according to how or if it develops.
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