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Umpire Guidelines for Covid Softball

Feb 17, 2014
7,023
83
Orlando, FL
Domo arigato.

My official stance on robot umpires: Umpires aren't the problem. Pitchers are. Pitchers who cannot throw consistent strikes. Replace the pitchers with pitching machines. :p
No two people have the same visual perspective so yeah the strike zone from umpire to umpire will vary. I do not care what zone an umpire has so long as it is not on a pendulum. If you cannot figure out and adjust to an umpire calling a consistent zone, well you kinda suck at pitching. Were it up to me I would not let kids pitch until 12U. Until then machine pitch and have them learn the game. Nothing a kid does at 12U or even 14U is going to matter with regard to their long term development as a pitcher.
 
Dec 16, 2010
165
18
Found this neat video explaining the sight-line issue with setting up too far back. This also explains why an umpire would move out of the safe zone if sitting six feet back.

Awesome video, TMIB!

I'm curious--are all (as far as you know) umpires trained to put their eyes at the top of the strike zone and call pitches above their eye level high?

It seems like a neat mechanic.

I've attended several umpire clinics my kids participated in and don't remember this being taught.
 
May 29, 2015
1,750
113
Awesome video, TMIB!

I'm curious--are all (as far as you know) umpires trained to put their eyes at the top of the strike zone and call pitches above their eye level high?

It seems like a neat mechanic.

I've attended several umpire clinics my kids participated in and don't remember this being taught.
I won’t say all places teach it, nor will I say all umpires do it ... but I will say I have never been taught anything different.

For me, this is the top of the frame ... hence why I define “framing” far differently than a coach telling a catcher to move a ball around.
 
May 29, 2015
1,750
113
Some umps need to back the hell off the catchers anyways.

If the umps want a better view they should sit with the parents in the stands, they see it all!
Absolutely that! If you see an umpire putting his hand on the catcher's back, he is most likely an old school baseball umpire. That is not something that is typically taught anymore. The two most important things to seeing a play are distance and angle. You can be too close and you can be too far away, and that includes seeing the strike zone.

Additionally, you want to make sure you are giving the catcher room to work. I would speculate the hand on the back came from old-school MLB umpires: if you are working with an professional catcher, you pretty well know what space he or she needs. Working with kids? You never know where they are headed or why they are going there! (Yes, that even applies to 18s sometimes!)
 

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