PREGAME RESPONSIBILITIES 1) Arrive at the field at least 45 minutes prior to game time 2) Notify the coaches and administrator you are there 3)Review with your partner any rules or responsibility concerns 4) Walk the outfield with your partner 5) Check equipment of both teams (includes softballs) 6) Pre-game conference
Punctuality • It is important to arrive at least 45 minutes prior to game time to ensure you are prepared to be the best you can be and conduct your responsibilities in a timely fashion.
Notification • Coaches depend on umpires to be timely and it is their responsibility to ensure they have officials for their games. It is one less worry for them if they know you are prompt. • This is a good time to ask the host coach if they will have introduction of players, National Anthem or other pregame ceremonies
Overview with your partner • Not all umpires are alike nor are all ball fields. Make sure to go over any concerns regarding dead-ball area coverage, proper tag-up responsibilities, check swings, communication signals (roll the count)
Field Conditions • (Walking the field) • Upon entering the field, begin looking at the fence line to determine if there are any openings which the ball could squirt under/through or between. • Note if there are any holes, puddle water, or other safety hazards. • Look for cement steps/ledges opening in the dugout areas • Obstructions in foul territory area (field tarps) • Discuss with your partner(s) how you will rule each of these and ask the host coach how they are normally ruled
EquipmentChecksRule 1.5-7 • Request that all “bats and hats” be placed outside the dugout for inspection • Pick up each bat and check the following: • No exposed rivets, pins, rough or sharp edges that would present a hazard • Shake the bat – no rattles • Be free of dents, cracks and burrs (run your hand over the barrel) • Must bear the 2000 or 2004 certification mark (2000 = circle/2004=diamond shape) • The safety grip must be of cork, tape (not plastic)or composition material and extend a minimum of 10” and not more than 15” from the small end of the bat • Wooden bat barrels are permitted and no certification mark required however not to exceed 2 ¼” in diameter. • The end cap is made of rubber, vinyl, plastic or other approved material and be firmly secured and permanently affixed to the end of the bat so it can’t be removed by anyone other than the manufacturer without damaging or destroying the bat.
“Hats” including catcher’s helmet • Each helmet must have the NOCSAE seal permanently affixed to the outside of the helmet. • National Operating Committee on Standards in Athletic Equipment
“Hats”(aka helmets) • Must have extended ear flaps and cover both ears and temples • If chin strap is attached it must be worn appropriately as it was intended • Fasteners (screws) should all be tightly affixed to hold the face shield in place • No broken, cracked or dented helmets prohibited • Catcher’s helmet must have a throat protector that is a part of or attached to the mask and be worn to adequately protect the throat. • Plastic visors, if used, must be clear and constructed of molded rigid material. (Eye shield)
PLATE CONFERENCE • No less than 5 minutes prior to game time call the coaches to the plate • Plate umpire will position themselves behind the plate facing the field • Base umpires will be inside the diamond facing home plate on their respective sides of the field if in a 3 umpire system. If 2-umpire system the base umpire will be directly opposite and facing the plate umpire • Introduce yourself to each coach and you may introduce your partner or they may choose to introduce themselves (personal preference) • Ask the head coaches to verify that players are legally equipped and the players and equipment are in compliance with all NFHS rules (all jewelry removed etc)
PLATE CONFERENCE • Review ground rules including those that you have observed with your partner when “walking” the field. Cover all openings/obstacles and dead-ball areas. Ask if there are any questions • Ask for their line-up cards. Carefully review the line-up cards and make note where the DP/Flex are in the line-up. (If no DP/Flex there should only be 9 players and if used there should be 10) Ensure the first initial and last name are on the card as well as the player’s jersey number and position. Note the subs. Double check to make sure there are no duplicate jersey numbers. • Hand the line-ups back to the respective coach and ask them to review it to ensure it is accurate. After they return it back to you tell them the lineups are now official and any changes that take place will be substitutions. Ask if either coach wants to make any changes. Remind the coaches that all substitutions must be reported to you.