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Make Confident Call 

Intro to umpire basics
 
This website is an easy-to-follow guide for new umpires. It has tons of tips for umpires working the plate or covering the bases. Also, mechanics are learned that speed up the game. More balls are put in play. 

Umpire mechanics is broken down to three key elements:
  1. Sell the call as plate umpire.

  2. a.  Err to the strike.
    b.  Build a consistent zone from the ground up.
    c.  Call the high strike between the belt and the letters, yet not too far outside the zone.

     2.  Sell the call as field umpire.

           a.  Always be two or three quick steps away from making the play.
           b.  Think, angle over distance.
           c.  Take your time on the call.
           d.  Starting out, watch the fielder take the ball out of his glove before   
                you make the call.

     3.  Keep the game moving.

          a.  Set a good example, hustle.
          b.  Expect players to hustle on and off the diamond.
          c.  Keep the ball alive at all times.


This helps you keep control. You are baseball's official representative, "Responsible for the conduct of the game" (Official Baseball Rules, 9.01a).  
 
Tips to help you keep control:

Plate umpire

  • Keeps the ball alive at all times.
  • Uses spare baseball--keep an extra one or two in your ball bag--like a foul ball hit out of play.
  • Claps hands--says "Batter up."
Base umpire
  • Keep players hustling on and off the diamond.
  • Clap hands. Say, "Let's go."
  • Talk to your partner between innings if you need to. 

Pregame Preps  
  • Arrival time
  • Field inspection--boundaries, fences, screens
  • Proper markings--foul lines, home plate
  • Check equipment (high school varsity contests)

The Plate Umpire Drills/Responsibilities
  • Positioning of hands
  • Get a good line of sight
  • Visualize the strike zone

The Base Umpire
  • Make decisions on the bases
  • Aid plate umpire in every manner
  • Responsible for fair/foul; catch/no catch


Brendans putout at the dish.
Brendan's putout at the dish

Testimonials

This is an excellent website, beneficial for all levels of experience, beginner to pro. There's something in there for everyone. I'm most impressed with the Strike Zone setup, the best way to work the Strike Zone. This book really explains it well with pictures and diagrams. Especially for the young umpire coming in, this is a great place to start.

Wayne Maheny, retired NCAA, NSAA, semi-pro umpire for 17 years

I feel this book does an excellent job covering many aspects of umpiring. It is the complete tool to help people that have never umpired, as well as current umpires to advance their knowledge. Along with the information, many pictures as well as descriptions are included in the book to help the reader visually understand the basis of why that mechanic should be used. The book has been combined with an outstanding website to give great and detailed information, as well as backed up by video examples.

This website would be a great weapon in the arsenal for new and amateur umpires a like. Umpires are always looking to better themselves, and this would be something I highly recommend. Thanks Ron for doing an outstanding job, and making this available to all umpires willing to get better, and succeed at their craft.

Dave Marcoe, current pro umpire, Jim Evans Umpire Academy graduate
 2010

 

Online test prep

For state certification review, go to Training & Certification page. (See "Umpire Certification page below.) Answers to sample 100 T/F questions, plus rule sections cited, are available.

To help with rule explanation, log on to NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations), click on
www.nfhs.org. The NFHS Baseball Rules Book can be ordered online for $7.50. To umpire high school varsity, a passing score of 80 percent is required in the open-book examination. JV and freshman, must attend one rules meeting.

fyi    While certification is not required to be a top-notch umpire, it is a good starting point to umpire youth, high school, and American Legion baseball.





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15% of proceeds from the book go to the Boys and Girls Club and the MLB Community's RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner City) program.

Content copyright 2009. hartnettink.com. All rights reserved.
Email: nyu61186@gmail.com      



 


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