CREW OF 2 BASIC MECHANICS

 

Base Umpire

  1. Before the game begins check the entire field for loose equipment especially the outfield for baseballs left on the field

  2. Between innings position yourself just off the dirt between 1st and 2nd in the right field grass - watch outfielders throw the balls in before the start of the inning.
    Do not carry on casual conversations with your partner, players or coaches between innings.  If there is something you need to discuss (i.e. positioning, using
    your mother’s maiden name in vain, etc…) do it quickly and professionally.
    NEVER
    talk with your partner between innings after a controversial play or call.

 

Position A – No runners on base

  1. Position: Both feet in foul territory facing home plate; Right foot next to foul line, 10-12 feet behind 1st base or the 1st baseman no further than edge of outfield grass.

  2. Main Responsibilities: Check swing, Fair-Foul (1st base to foul pole), Out-Safe

  3. Ball hit: Pause – Read – React (PRR)

  4. Ground balls to infield:  Take as many plays in fair territory as possible
    1. Angle and distance; 90° angle to play, 15-20 feet from the base, ready position with chest square to first base, head and eyes on the ball, turn your head with the throw, LISTEN for catch watch for BR foot on bag (Drill: Close eyes listen for catch vs. foot)

    2. Pause, stand, then make the call, do not make the call as you stand

    3. Errant throws:
      Low/Hi Throws- Be sure F3 has secure possession and is on the bag – Your timing is critical on this play-
      WAIT! Don’t rush the call!

      Throw Up the line- Move towards infield to gain an angle looking for swipe tag, tag occurs — Walk towards play while pointing with left hand and say “On the tag,” and then “He’s out!” while signaling out with the right hand; tag does not occur —  “Safe! No tag, safe!” while giving the safe signal and stepping towards the play each time you say “safe.”
       
      Throw Down the line-
      Move to gain an angle, watch first baseman’s foot on bag — pulled foot “Safe, he’s off the bag!”

      Throw gets by 1st baseman: 
      Quickly get to the infield grass, keep track of  the ball — stay ahead of the runner!

 

  1. Fly balls and pop ups:  Pause – Read - React
    1. Go out on fly balls from the right fielder to the 1st base foul line and trouble balls from centerfield to the 1st base foul line - Fair or foul then catch - no catch —After you have determined that there will be no problems with the ball (i.e.  the ball will not go out of play or under a fence and no possibility of fan interference…) you will head towards home (moving into foul territory as soon as possible) and take the play at home. But only if you can get there in front of the runner, otherwise stay out! When you are in position to make the call at the plate tell your partner “I’m at home , Bill!  I’ve got the plate!]

 

Trouble ball — Home runs, ball off the outfield wall, diving catches, more than one player converging to make the catch, catches made by the outfielder with his back towards the infield, catches below his waist on a full run.

 

Any one of these reactions by the outfielder would indicate a trouble ball:

1) Outfielder is running hard in towards the infield.

2) Outfielder has turned his back to the infield and is running towards the outfield fence.

3) Three fielders converging on a ball (i.e. F8, F9 and F4)

4) The right fielder is running towards the foul line.

    1. All base hits, routine fly balls from right fielder to center fielder & all fly balls from center fielder to 3rd base foul line – come into infield pivot and take the runner to second (if he goes)– watch ball as you enter the infield time your pivot so you are facing first base before the BR arrives so you can watch him touch first then find the ball – rule on legal touch and/or obstruction

    2. Pop up – pivot.  Quickly come into the infield and pivot on all pop ups to the infield.

    3. Pop up in the vicinity of 1st base

Š      in front of base umpireBU pivot PU takes ball

Š      behind BU – step into field and allow 1st baseman to clear, then follow him to the ball keeping a good angle to view the catch

 

Position B (Base Umpire) – Runner on 1st, 1st & 3rd

  1. Position: Facing home plate midway between back edge of pitchers mound and 2nd base cutout and on a tangent line between home plate and the right edge of the mound (1st base side)

  2. Rule on: All balks (specifically hands & shoulders), pick offs, steals, fly balls in the ”V”, all touches of 1st and 2nd base by runners and 3rd by batter runner.

  3. Pick off:
    1. 1st base- Step forward and pivot towards first base so your facing first base in the ready position – Stand, make the call
    2. 3rd base- Pivot on your right foot and step with your left foot towards third base in the ready position – Stand, make the call

  4. Steals: Know the count and number of outs.
    1. Don’t move until ball crosses the plate. Keep your eyes on the catcher and make a drop step towards second. As catcher makes throw continue towards second turning with the ball. Assume the ready position with chest square to second base — Stand, make the call.

  5. Ground balls to infield:  Chest to ball, let throw take you to the play, be set before every call (P-R-R).

  6. Fly balls/Pop ups:  Open up to ball and look at outfielder to determine who has responsibility for ball (P-R-R)
    1. Routine in the “V”: Move 2 to 3 steps back towards the pitchers mound (the working area) to broaden you field of view and get an angle. Rule on catch and tag up at 1st base

    2. Difficult Play in the “V”:  Move to the edge of infield grass and get an angle. Rule on catch and tag up at 1st base.

 

 

 

Position C (Base Umpire) – Runner on 1st & 2nd, 2nd, 2nd & 3rd, 3rd only

 

  1. Position: Facing home plate midway between back edge of pitchers mound and 2nd base cutout and on a tangent line between home plate and the left edge of the mound (3rd base side)

  2. Rule on: All balks (specifically hands & shoulders), pick offs, steals, pop ups and fly balls in the ”V”, all touches of 1st & 2nd base by runners and 3rd by batter runner.

  3. Pick Offs:
    1. At first: Pivot on your left foot towards first in the ready position – Stand, make the call

    2. At second:  Drop step with your left foot turn with the throw, ready position – Stand, make the call.

    3. At third: Step forward with your right foot and pivot towards third in the ready position – Stand, make the call

  4. Steals: Know the count and number of outs
    1. Second: Don’t move until ball crosses the plate. Keep your eyes on the catcher and make a drop step towards second.  With runners on 1st and 3rd be ready for a fake to second and a throw to third. As catcher makes throw continue towards second turning with the ball. Stand, make the call.

    2. Third: Don’t move until ball crosses the plate. Keep your eyes on the catcher and break towards an imaginary 45 ft. line along the 3rd base line. As catcher makes throw turn with the ball and get set. Stand, make the call.

  5. Ground balls to infield:  Chest to ball, let throw take you to the play, be set before every call.  BU has all calls at 1st, 2nd & 3rd.

  1. Fly balls/Pop ups:  Open up to ball and look at outfielder to determine who has responsibility for ball (P-R-R)
    1. Routine in the “V”: Move 2 to 3 steps back towards the pitchers mound (the working area) to broaden you field of view and get angle. Rule on catch and tag up

  1. Difficult Play in the “V”:  Move to the edge of infield grass and get an angle. Rule on catch and tag up.

 

 

Plate Umpire: Heal Toe, Balanced or Scissors, work the slot

 

  1. Responsibilities: Strike / ball, check swing, fair / foul, obstruction / interference, catch / no catch, all touches of 3rd and home plate by runners, overthrows at 1st and 3rd, legal slide at 2nd on double play, all balks (specifically the feet), putting the ball in play after a dead ball (with runners on) and rotations with a runner on first and/or 1st & 3rd

 

  1. All strikes and outs called with the right hand.  Hold indicator and remove mask with left hand.  Remember do not verbalize swinging strikes.

 

  1. Strike Zone:  Be consistent.  Don’t squeeze the zone when the game is on the line. Every pitch is a strike until it proves otherwise.

 

  1. Start of game:  Step in behind catcher (let him know) and take a few pitches from either side, introduce yourself to the catcher, he’s the only player you should call by name (do this with both teams), dust the plate,  “Play!” or” Play Ball!”

  2. Between innings: replenish baseballs, stand 30 - 40 feet from the plate on the foul line of whichever team is entering the field, mask should be under right or left arm, with two warm ups left step to the edge of the dirt area surrounding home plate and notify catcher “ 2 more”, then dust plate.

 

No Runners on

  1. Fair or Foul entire 3rd base line and up to the bag  on 1st base line, all  fly balls from the right fielder to the 3rd base foul line (unless base umpire goes out on a trouble ball), 45 foot running lane

 

  1. Ground balls to the infield: Clear the catcher on the left side while removing mask (left hand) keep eyes on ball and hustle (don’t sprint) up the 1st base foul line no further than the 45 ft. line.  Follow ball to base.  Rule on tag before the 45 ft. line, running lane violation and overthrows

 

  1. Fly balls/Pop ups: 
    1. From right fielder to 3rd base foul line- Clear the catcher on the left and move towards mound gaining an angle on the ball (do not go past mound) get set before catch. Stand, make the call.  You do not have to signal an obvious catch - no catch but you should verbally let your partner know whenever there’s a catch -  “That’s a catch, Bill” This way if your partner doesn’t hear anything he knows the ball is down.

 

    1. Down the 1st base foul line- Clear the catcher on the left and take the batter runner all the way from 1st to 3rd and home if Bae Umpire cannot get back in to cover it, rule on any plays on the runner, base running violations and obstruction.

 

Runners on base:

  1. PU makes all fair or foul calls down both foul lines, Fly ball and pop ups from the right fielder to the 1st base foul line and the left fielder to the 3rd base foul line, runners touching third and plays at the plate.

  2. Rotations:
    1. Base hit with runners on 1st or 1st and 3rd  – Clear catcher on the left while removing mask and move down the 3rd base line in foul territory (if runner on third, glance over your shoulder and watch him touch home plate).  Keep moving, watch play develop and anticipate where play will occur.  If play develops at third emphatically tell your partner, “I’ve got third if he comes, Bill!!.”  Let the throw take you into the cutout and again tell your partner “I’ve got third, Bill.” Get set.  Stand, and make the call. Do not step into the cutout until the throw is made and you know it’s a quality throw.  DO NOT tell your partner you’ve got third unless you are absolutely sure you can get to the cut out before the throw!

 

    1. Routine fly ball with runners on 1st and 2nd: - Clear catcher on the left while removing mask and move down the 3rd base line in foul. Keep moving, watch play develop.  Before the ball is caught emphatically tell your partner, “I’ve got third if he comes, Bill!!.”  If the runner on second tags up let the throw take you into the cutout and again tell your partner “I’ve got third, Bill.” Get set.  Stand, and make the call. Do not step into the cutout until the throw is made and you know it’s a quality throw.  DO NOT tell your partner you’ve got third unless you are absolutely sure you can get to the cut out before the throw!

 

  1. Batted Balls:  Clear catcher to the left while removing mask and move a few feet into foul territory in the direction of 3rd base to watch the play develop (think angle).  Exception: Any ball near either foul line requires the PU to move down the appropriate foul line, straddle the line and rule fair or foul.  Then bounce back behind the plate area.

 

    1. Ground Ball runner on first: Once ball is fielded bounce back to home plate, keep eye on ball.  Rule on illegal slide at 2nd and/or running lane violation/pulled foot at 1st base.  If ball is not fielded plate umpire has 3rd.

 

    1. Ground ball left side of infield runner on second only - Clear catcher on the left while removing mask and move down the 3rd base line in foul territory. Keep moving, watch play develop and anticipate where play will occur.  If throw goes to first the PU has the 2nd play in the infield, runner on 2nd  going to 3rd.   Let the throw take you into the cutout and again tell your partner “I’ve got third, Bill.” Get set.  Stand, and make the call.  If it is an errant throw stay back and be prepared to bust home ahead of the runner.  If the runner on second is not going to 3rd bounce back towards home to rule on any running lane violations.

 

    1. Runners on 1st and 2nd , 2nd and 3rd or bases loaded: Clear catcher on the left while removing mask and move a few feet into foul territory in the direction of 3rd base to watch the play develop. Exception: Any ball near either foul line requires the PU to move down the appropriate foul line, straddle the line and rule fair or foul.  Then bounce back behind the plate area.  Rule on plays at the plate, runner{s} touching third and home, running lane infraction.

Plate mechanics

  1. Position: Line up in the slot.  Stance: Heal Toe, Balanced or Scissors. Head still with chin no lower than the top of the catcher’s head.  The farther back the higher you must work.  Head should be level and facing the pitcher.  Track the pitch with your eyes all the way to the mitt.  Pause – Process –Make the call — Call balls down and strikes standing with hand signal.   Do not verbalize swinging strike or foul tip use appropriate hand signal.  Strike three call — make sure you have a catch.


    Printable Version (pdf)