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2020 Umpire Meetings TBA
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Be sure to also download the 2 Umpire Mechanics Powerpoint above.
HP=Plate umpire; U=umpire; B-R = Batter runner
When U is on the foul line, HP makes fair-foul rulings up to first base. U rules on balls hit over and beyond the base.
On hits to the infield when the play is at first, HP must position himself to assist U with tags on B-R, the first baseman leaving the base too soon, etc.
U takes the first play at any base. Depending on the situation, HP should assist with subsequent plays.
Although either umpire may call an infield fly, the main responsibility rests with U. He is best situated to judge whether an infielder could have made the catch with reasonable effort. Umpires must not make this call too quickly; they should wait until the ball reaches its apex before making their decision.
With multiple runners, U should cover plays on the bases by first retreating toward the mound to get the proper angle. If U then moves to a base to get “on top of” the play, he must be certain that he is not removing himself from potential plays at other bases. Generally, ruling on plays involving multiple runners by “getting the angle” is, in a two-man umpiring system, preferable to attempting to get on top of the play. The potential for taking oneself out of subsequent plays at other bases is too great.
When U is at first base and goes out to rule on trap plays or similar situations, he should not run toward the ball. This prevents U from getting the proper angle on the play; instead, he should try to get a side angle.
When in the infield, U generally should not leave to rule on trap plays or similar situations. Doing so puts too great a burden on HP, who then must cover all bases. U instead should remain in the infield and move to get the best angle on the play.
With two outs and runners on any base(s), U should be on first-base side of the mound, as the inning-ending play likely will be at first or second. If there is a play at third, U can move quickly to that side of the mound and get the proper angle on the play.
A. No Runners on Base
1. U should be 6-10 feet behind the first baseman with both
feet in foul territory.
2. Outfield coverage: U covers the right side of the outfield to
and including the center fielder coming in. HP covers the
remainder. U need not go out on routine fly balls; however,
he is responsible for his area whether or not he goes out.
If U goes out, HP watches B-R touch first and takes plays on B-R returning to first or advancing to second or third. If B-R goes to third, U moves toward home plate (remaining in foul territory) for a possible play. If U cannot return home, HP must cover. Note: Careful communication is essential on this play.
If U does not go out, he must come into the infield, pivot and take B-R returning to first or advancing to second. If B-R advances to third, HP covers third. If B-R continues home, U covers home.
B. Runner on First; Runners at Any Base(s) With Two Out.
U should be 10-15 feet behind the mound, between first and second base, shaded toward second.
Outfield coverage: U is responsible for the area between and including the right and left fielders coming in. HP is responsible for the remainder.
Fly ball with a runner on first: If U is responsible for the ball, he retreats toward the mound, rules on the ball and also takes a tag by the runner and any play on him advancing to second or returning to first. If the ball falls in and the runner advances to third, HP covers third and U takes a play on B-R. If the runner continues home, HP covers home and U takes a play on B-R at any base. If HP is responsible for the ball, U retreats toward the mound and takes a tag by the runner and any play on him advancing to second or returning to first. If the ball falls in and the runner advances to third, HP covers third (if he has moved down the first base line to rule on the ball, this will require him cutting across the infield) and U takes any play on B-R. If the runner continues home, HP covers home and U takes a play on B-R at any base.
Base hit with runner on first: HP covers third if the runner goes to third. As the runner rounds second, HP drifts halfway down the third base line in foul territory. If the runner commits, HP continues to third, moving into fair territory to cover the play.
With two out and any runner combination, U covers all bases; HP remains home. U should retreat toward the mound to “get the angle” on the play, especially with multiple runners. The responsibility for outfield coverage remains the same.
C. Less Than Two Out; All Runner Combinations Other Than First Only
U should be 10-15 feet behind the mound between second and third base, shaded toward second.
Outfield coverage: Same as part B-2.
Base hit with runners on first and third: While watching the runner at third touch home, HP takes a play at third if the runner from first advances. If that runner continues home, HP covers and U takes plays at any base.
Infield hit with a runner(s) on first or first and second: U takes the first play at any base. If the throw is to second or first and the runner at second goes to third, HP covers and U takes plays at any base.
Tag-up situations: With a runner(s) on second or first and second, HP takes a play at third on the runner from second advancing after a tag-up or if the ball falls in. If the runner continues home, HP covers home and U takes a play on another runner or B-R at any base. With runner combinations involving a runner at third, HP remains home and U takes plays at any base. HP takes a tag by the runner at third.