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Learn how to manage the game

First key, "Strikes and outs get you home."
  • With players 12 and under, call the strike on the close pitch.
  • Need a strike? Call a strike between the belt and letters.
  • Call a strike below the knees.

How Major League umpires use data to help with strike call

  • High strike as one just below the letters.
  • Think of the low strike as "the hollow of the knee."
  • Coaches and fans will holler at the high strike--but just keep calling the strike.
  • Pitchers and batters adjust to your strike zone--not the other way around.

Finally, if batters have the bat off their shoulder, swinging at the pitch, the game is exciting and entertaining. The umpire crew, meanwhile, has the live ball as much as possible. This means the 6 or 7-inning contest, with a two-hour time limit, the all innings are completed.

You might hear from the stands, as I did during one game of 10-year-old ball players, Brendan as base umpire, "Now this is baseball."

Second key, start the game on time.

  • Plate meeting is key. See OBR's (Official Baseball Rules) Rule 4, "Umpires....shall have a plate meeting before the scheduled start of the game."
  • Here's where you cover the essentials--wide K-zone, everyone hustles.
  • Coaches can talk to you between innings if they have any questions/
  • Start the 6 o'clock contest at 6 o'clock.
  • Strikes and outs are judgment calls. They cannot be argued.

Remember    Keep this plate meeting short.
You are not the coaches' friend.

Keep the game moving at all times

 Brendan meets with skippers.Brendan meets with the skippers
  • Keep the ball alive whenever possible.

  • Toss spare baseball back to the pitcher immediately. (Foul ball out of play, wild pitch, passed ball, etc.)
 Crowd control
  • Don't smile.
  • Ignore fans.
  • Don't talk to the coaches.
If you're young or female, have the "Bad Cop" attitude. Use commands once in awhile: Say "Batter up" to the slugger. He must step into the batter's box. Say "Play." Point at the pitcher with the index finger of your right hand. The pitcher must pitch.

Another big piece of the diamond puzzle—time management. Learning how to tell “Diamond Time” means you also know how to control game tempo and pace:
  • Start and end the game on time.
  • Power hand is your right hand:
  • Right hand up signals time.
  • Right hand point signals play.

The how 

  • Players hustle on and off the field.
  • Plate umpire points at the pitcher and says “Play.”
  • Toss spare baseball back immediately to the pitcher.

Before long, everyone’s on the same page: umpires are in control of the game.

Nebraskas NSAA Asssistant Director Jim Angele discusses points of emphasis for 2009-10 baseball
Nebraska's NSAA Assistant Director Jim Angele discusses "points of emphasis" for 2009-10 baseball season
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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. All rights reserved.
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