Umpire Crew Pre-Game

A “Pre-Game” meeting is an important discussion for all officiating crews working a collegiate contest. The Crew chief sets the tone for the single game or weekend series. Veteran crew chiefs should include the entire crew in their discussions and ask for honest feedback during these meetings. If you are unsure what topics and questions to discuss use this list

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Tips for Bat Checking

How much and how hard should an umpire be shaking the bat while checking for wobbles and rattles? CHECKING FOR WOBBLES IS TOUGH TO TEACH BUT WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IS A BAT WHERE THE CONNECTION IS COMPROMISED. AS YOU WAGGLE THE BAT (WRIST FLIP FORWARD AWAY FROM THE BODY AND THEN BACK TOWARD THE BODY), THERE IS A

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The Logistics of a Proper Pre-game Bat Check

It is extremely important that all umpire crews do a proper bat check before every game. Each coach shall provide a new, printed copy of the current bat list for each day of competition (only page(s) the lists the bats available for play need to printed). The bat list should not be laminated. Here are some tips to assist you

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Communications With Your Partners

Excerpted from Referee.com, August 8, 2018 The words “requires excellent communication skills” are part of virtually every job description in today’s market, to the point where they’ve become meaningless jargon. When it comes to umpiring, however, outstanding communication skills are essential. Effective umpiring communication will: Enhance your credibility Partners, coaches, players and spectators will gain confidence in you when they

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Getting the Call Right

The first requisite of an umpire is to ultimately get all decisions correct. Umpire pride is important, but never as important as getting the play right. It is the philosophy of the NCAA that umpires always seek to get the call right. This may involve the reversal of a previously rendered decision. However, the correct decision, not the pride of

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Changing a Call

This article is a sister article to the article Getting the Call Right (in this same Game Management General section of the Locker Room). It paraphrases an article from Referee.com (12/28/18). For many years, an umpire changing a call was considered a sign of weakness. The current thinking at all levels of play is that getting the decision correct must

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Defensive Changes and Reporting Them

Thanks to Will Macedo, Oscar Segura and Martin Vandenburg for their assistance in writing this article. All defensive changes must be reported in college.  But what is a defensive change as compared to a defensive shift?  This is an important distinction, as the NCAA rule book has specific requirements for listing the defensive positions on the lineup card and even

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Sell the Tough Call

Excerpted from Referee.com 7/20/18 What do a ninth-inning call at home plate, a crucial roughing penalty late in the fourth quarter or a block/charge call all have in common? They are all tough calls that can generate conflict, controversy and a coach who is going to be very upset.  All officials have experienced conflict with a coach. Confrontations can have

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Body Language – Handshakes and Gesturing

Handshake at pre-game with coaches When you meet someone for the first time, the initial four minutes are powerful in the development of that person’s opinion of you.  A common introductory gesture is the handshake.  Whether it is the first time you have ever seen this coach, or a coach with whom you are familiar, the handshake at the pre-game

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Going for Help on a Judgment Call

Can you change a judgment call when you kicked it and everyone knows you kicked it, but it’s not appealable? Should the umpire tell the coach he/she will not get partners together because this is judgment call and cannot be changed? There was an excellent write-up on the topic of “Going for Help” in the 2011 CCA Manual (pages 109-112), It was

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Judicious Use of the Stop Sign

Excerpts from Steve Tietz article in Referee magazine, August 2018 The “stop sign” has been commonplace for many years in multiple sports, but feelings toward it have changed in recent years.  Should it be used in a college softball game?  The current thinking is that it can be an effective tool in your toolkit but must be used judiciously and

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