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Fighting for the Best Angles. Two-Umpire System. Mechanics Techniques. Voice Body Language Angle & Distance Signal Appearance and Timing. Use Effective Techniques to:. Achieve best angle and distance Get the call right the first time Gain confidence and ...

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Fighting for the Best Angles

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Fighting for the best angles

Fighting for the Best Angles

Two-Umpire System

Mechanics techniques

Mechanics Techniques

  • Voice

  • Body Language

  • Angle & Distance

  • Signal

  • Appearance and

  • Timing

Use effective techniques to

Use Effective Techniques to:

  • Achieve best angle and distance

  • Get the call right the first time

  • Gain confidence and ...

  • Credibility and believability

Fighting for the best angles

“We communicate in body language through our signals and mechanics. Always know what your body is saying... Learn to send the message you want to send. What people see affects what they believe. As umpires, we want people to believe in our calls and feel confident in our ability.”

Master the concepts embrace the philosophy

Master the Concepts Embrace the Philosophy

  • “Perfection is Impossible - Excellence is not.”

  • “Strive for Perfection and you will achieve Excellence.”

Key concepts


  • Primary & Secondary Position

  • Angle vs. Distance

  • 90-degree to the tag

  • 90-degree to the throw on force plays

  • Start Depth vs. Calling depth

  • Work pitch-by-pitch and ...

  • Wholeheartedly commit to each play

5 axioms to keep in mind

5 Axioms to keep in mind:

  • 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 and ...

  • Pause - Read - React

Keep the 4 elements in front

Keep the 4 Elements in Front

  • Ball

  • Runners

  • Fielders

  • Base


Angle vs distance


Always more desirable than distance.

Change all the time

Occur all over the field


Zoom In

Zoom Out

Credibility - get closer if you can’t get the angle

Angle vs. Distance

Two umpire system case plays et al

Two Umpire System: CASE PLAYS, et al

But first two really cool techniques

But First:Two Really Cool Techniques

  • Parallel Path Movement

  • ‘ Rimming’ the Outside

Key concept parallel path to the runner a k a railroad tracking

Key Concept: Parallel Path to the Runnera.k.a. ‘Railroad Tracking’

  • The path of the runner represents one train track.

  • The umpire is the other track.

  • The train moves forward when both “wheels” are moving.

  • When runner retreats, umpire retreats in same parallel direction.

  • When she advances, the umpire parallels her.

Parallel path case play

Parallel Path - Case Play

  • R2 at 2B. Long base hit scores R2 but BR may stay at 1B or run to 2B on the throw to cut-off.

    • PU - holding zone, adjust position for possible tag play at 3B or plate

    • BU - watch BR touch first, stay out of throwing lane, then move parallel with BR back into 1st base or into 2nd base.

  • [DEMONSTRATION: Leading Edge].

    • Steal Plays. Parallel runner, adjust angle to tag.

Rimming technique

‘Rimming’ Technique

  • Rimming is a technique that follows the ‘Parallel Path’ to the runner concept.

  • Example: R1 at 1B. Passed ball, R1 steals second and rounds the base. Umpire ‘rims’ the outside, parallel to the runner keeping all 4 elements in front.


Plate umpire positioning

Plate Umpire positioning

  • The 4 Positions on the diamond

  • Trailing the batter-runner

  • Help-Ahead

    • at 2B when U1 is trapped at first

    • at 3B when U1 makes call at 2B

  • Hold position until ball in circle, all runners have stopped on base, and partners arrive at next pos.

  • Tag plays at 3rd and the plate.

No runners

Force Out 90-degree angle to throw

Throws from 3rd baseperson in for the bunt

Throws from right field - what adjustment can plate umpire make?

Overthrows vs. Errant Throws

Doubles into second base - stay ahead, get your 90-degree to the tag based on the ‘Leading Edge’

Adjust your position if she rounds it and there is a play back into the bag.

No Runners:

Runner on first base

Runner on First Base

  • Starting position - making adjustments (Pick off or a steal likely?)

    • Use parallel to the runner and rimming techniques

  • Possible Primary Plays:

    • Force out on BR; double play, errant throw and tag of BR, tag up on fly ball.

    • Buttonhook (Inside / Outside)

  • Secondary Plays - move there, commit to this nextposition for a possible play.

Runner on second base

Runner on Second Base

  • Starting Position - advantages and disadvantages of our choices

  • Pick off at 2B vs. Steal to 3B

  • Ground ball, force out at 1B - then, move to your next play:

    • PU has initial call on R2 at 3B

    • BU has the play ‘back into’ 3B

  • R2 at 2B. Base hit / fly ball - beware the throwing lane.

Runners on second and third

Runners on second and third

  • Work pitch-by-pitch.

  • Know primary position for ground balls to infield and base hits to the outfield.

  • Beware the throwing lane. Set up for secondary plays; adjust angle/distance.

  • Fly balls, tag ups and subsequent tag plays:

    • On the Bases

    • At the Plate

Runners on first and third

Runners on first and third

  • Base umpire - what is your best starting position and why?

  • Angle on steal into 2B

  • Angle on pick-off at 3B

  • Run-downs

  • Inside/Outside; base hit vs. fly ball

Holding position vs calling position

Holding Position vs. Calling Position

  • Holding positions are never calling positions.

  • A holding position is centralized to allow us to better adjust in different directions from there.

  • A calling position is the desired place to be when making a call

  • Calls are made using 90-degree to the ____ or 90-degree to the ____.

Hustle to the right place

Hustle to the right place

  • You cannot be in the right place at the right time if you do not hustle.

  • Hustle does not mean fast.

  • Hustle is:

    • Knowing where you want to go

    • Figuring out the best route to get there

    • Efficiency of movement

Be a student of the game

Be a student of the game

  • Know the game situation and tendencies

  • Have an awareness of the ball, the runners and your partner(s)

  • Be prepared: know the mechanics, the techniques and the philosophies in the ASA Manual

  • Know where you need to go before the pitch - and then get there.

  • Adjust as plays happen to preferred angle and distance.

Key mechanics concepts

Primary position

Secondary position

Starting position & Calling depths

Angle vs. Distance

Holding Position


Hold position until ball in circle, runners stop

90-degree angle to the throw

90-degree to the tag

Railroad track in a parallel path

Rimming outside

Beware the throwing lane

Start strong, Finish Strong

Key Mechanics Concepts

Master the concepts embrace the philosophy1

Master the Concepts.Embrace the Philosophy.

  • Mechanics are not black and white - they are a gray fog that umpires need to navigate through.

  • Know why one position is preferred over a different one.

  • Know where you are going to go in all situations

  • Adjust as plays happen - adjust to the right place and be confident because you know where that is.

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