Friday, April 16, 2010


This post isn't quite as much about umpiring as it is about the state of little league baseball in general. Last night, I had two games. Both were boys 13 and both were somewhat decent games. In each game, the lack of hustle on and off the field was crazy. There were times that it took 2 minutes to get everyone on the field. That is just not right. When did it not become a priority for the kids to sprint on and off the field? It might just be me but it bugs me.

As far as the umpiring goes, today I want to talk about communitcating with your partner. And I don't mean talking in bewtween innings. During the course of a game, there are various signals that umpires give one another to make sure they are on the same page.

The first one is simple, signal how many outs there are after each out. Make sure you each have the smae number of outs. If you don't, trouble will soon follow.

Second is the infield fly signal. When the infield fly rule is in effect (runners on 1st and 2nd or 1st, 2nd and 3rd with less than two outs) either touch the bill of your cap of your chest with your left hand and signal the number of outs with your right hand. Make sure your partner sees it because in a perfect world, you are both calling infield fly.

Third is more verbal but just as importand. If there is a runner at first and the ball is hit and there could be a play at third, the plate umpire should come down and make the call at third to save the field umpire some running or getting caught with the ;play actually going to second and him being behind the play. In this case, simply yell "I GOT THIRD!!" Sounds simple but needs to be done.

Four, and the last one I will talk about today, is the timing play. If there is a runner one 2nd and there are two outs. The plate umpire simple holds two fingers out and then hit them on your wrist, like you are pointing to your watch. This signals that you are going to stay home, in case there is a tag play in the field. This is extremely important because in those situations, you have to make sure the runner scores BEFORE the tag is made.

Ok, that's all I got for now, until next time, have fun out there.

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