Notes from the Training Staff – March 2019

Locker Room postings since last month’s News & Notes

Articles: RulesCorner – Batting/Pitch: Hit-by-Pitch Detection.
Game Management Corner – General: Protests and Forfeits revised.
Videos: Mechanics/Plate umpire movement – Fair or foul call get set; Foul near backstop

Removed bats, Ejections, Protests

Do you know what to do when you remove bats, have an ejection, or have a protest for a Community College or NAIA game? This was explained at our Annual Meeting in a presentation with screen shots from both the Arbiter and the Locker Room.
Removed bats: Locker Room, Links page
Ejection or Protest: Arbiter List/Forms – Com.College & NAIA Incident Report

Do you know the procedure for handling a protest? The Locker Room has an article with the steps to do this properly. It can also be found in the Rule Book –

The assignors are concerned with the occurrences when there are mistakes in the above situations. It tells them who is listening (or not) at the meetings and who is studying the rule book.


We have had a few interpretations from the NCCA for the pause required by the pitcher when taking a signal. Do you know this rule? Have your read the interpretations? Did you read the article on the Locker Room that simplifies this rule (in the Rules Corner/Pitching/Procedures)?

From our CCSUA Chairperson, Rich Kollen

I have been told that February was the wettest and coldest February since 1962. I would like to commend all of our umpires who were flexible during the rainouts and especially those who were able to help on rescheduled games. March is starting the same way. Please keep Arbiter updated and do what you can to help our assignors.

From our SUP Regional Adviser, Jim Sanderson

The goal of all umpires working the two-umpire system should be to master the basics of rules, mechanics and game management allowing them to move to higher levels that use the three-umpire system. The three-umpire system requires more thinking and teamwork. It is a thing of beauty to see umpires work and communicate to cover all plays well to get the call right.

Here is one suggestion when working the two-umpire system – with no runners on base and a fly ball to right field, the base umpire should consider covering the fly ball even if it is not a troubled ball. Please notice that the word chase is not used, and this should be eliminated from our thinking. We cover the outfield, especially on troubled ball that may be difficult for the plate umpire to judge (near the fence, possible diving catches, fielders converging).

The base umpire who covers a fly ball in right field gets into a good practice of communicating, “covering” as the umpire moves parallel to the flight of the ball and being set when ball status is determined, (catch or no catch, fair or foul.) The base umpire covering the outfield then requires the plate umpire to listen and read the base partner and move to cover the batter runner at the bases.

Communications with partners can start with their first name. For example, “Jim, covering” as the base umpire moves to the right field to judge a catch or fair foul. Hearing this the plate umpire could respond, “I have 1B or the runner.” Players, coaches, fans hear and see this hard work and know that the student athlete is being well served by high quality, confident, proficient, and professional umpires.

Always take the opportunity to walk the field with a ball in hand before doing the bat check.. This shows a commitment to the game and the safety of the players. I have seen many crews at high levels miss this opportunity to make a deposit into their umpiring account.

Communication essentials: The plate umpire must verbally communicate when they leave the holding area to cover 3B or the plate. The base umpire(s) need to know so they can commit to their runners and bases. Get into a habit of using your partner’s first name to get their attention. Using phrases such as “two man” and “all in” set the stage for rotations or no rotation. Please get in the habit of communicating tag up responsibility as the ball is in the air. An advantage of verbal communication to our partners is that we also tell our muscles what to do which may buy us some need extra steps. Make verbal communication at theme of all pre and post games.