Error
  • Article not found

Introducing the Force3 Defender Face Mask! CLICK HERE


2017 MLB Rule Books NOW AVAILABLE!!! CLICK HERE

2015 PBUC MANUALS NOW AVAILABLE!!! CLICK HERE


In The News

Uncommon Plays for High School Umpires

Uncommon Plays for High School Umpires

Here are recent plays from prep games that don’t happen every day. The umpires didn’t get everything right, but two of three plays were ruled correctly. Passing a Runner. With no one out, R1 is on first. B1 hits a trouble ball to right center and R1 plays it halfway. B1 “knows” it is going to drop and runs hard passing R1. The ball drops and B1 realizes his error and retreats to first. The throw goes to second and beats R1 (he is not tagged); B1 is standing on first when the subsequent throw arrives at that base. The umpires allow the play stand with R1 out at second and B1 remaining at first. The net result was sort of correct in that an out was recorded and a runner was on base, but the wrong runner was left on at the wrong base. In reality, B1 was out when he passed R1. That removed he...
The Molitor-Barrett Double-Switch Flap

The Molitor-Barrett Double-Switch Flap

"What we've got here is failure to communicate.” That was the famous quotation from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, spoken in the movie first by Strother Martin (as the Captain, a prison warden) and later, abridged, by Paul Newman (as Luke, a stubborn prisoner). In the game of baseball, when a manager or coach is making a substitution/s, it’s imperative that he properly verbally communicate the change/s to the plate umpire. Likewise, the plate umpire should do the same with the manager or coach making the substitution/s. Then the plate umpire must properly communicate the change/s to the opposing manager or coach. When any of the parties fail to properly communicate the change/s, this is a recipe for disaster. When it comes to multiple substitutions, the communication between manager/coach...
Softball Stump the Ump

Softball Stump the Ump

The softball season is underway in the southern states, scrimmages have started in the Midwest, and spring is still just a dream in some areas of the country. This means it’s time to look at some plays and rulings – these come from things have happened in the south or been “dreamed up” in umpire training sessions in the northern states! First, let’s look at a couple of similar plays from Alabama. In the first play the batter (a) bunts the ball or (b) swings and misses on a third strike not caught by the catcher with the ball rolling out in front of the plate. As the batter moves to run to first base and the catcher goes after the ball the two collide. What is the call? Ruling – In both cases this is going to be interference on the batter-runner who will be ruled out, the ball will be dead...
Rules Rules Rules

Rules Rules Rules

Let’s face it – making rules is a tough job. Rules Committees and Governing Bodies get little or no credit and all the blame when participants (players, coaches, umpires, fans, etc.) don’t like a rule. But any game and any sport would not fly without rules that are carefully thought out. We also see that many rules vary from association to association – USA Softball has published a forty-seven page analysis of the differences just in the NCAA, NFHS and USA Softball Rules. It’s no wonder that umpires can have difficulties with all of these. We need to remember that each organization is writing rules with the purpose, goals, and objectives of its own group of constituents and dealing with both the level of play involved and needs of that organization. For example, USA Softball is looking at...
Visits to the Mound

Visits to the Mound

Don Mattingly committed his first managerial miscue before he officially became an MLB skipper. He later admitted he knew the rule and took responsibility for his mistake. It’s somewhat surprising that coaches don’t get charged for unwanted conferences more often than they do because the codes have varying rules which involve fine lines. Except where noted, the material applies equally to NFHS, NCAA and pro rules. Entitlement. The basic allowances are three charged defensive conferences for a regulation NFHS or NCAA game and one trip to the mound to visit any one pitcher once per inning in professional play. Once the allowed conferences are used, the pitcher must be removed on any subsequent visits to the mound. In extra innings, the pro rule is unchanged: one visit per pitcher per inning,...
Ball and Runner

Ball and Runner

As in other sports, one of the fundamental lessons learned early on in the game of baseball is, “always know where the ball is.” But with time, we learn that there’s often more to watch than just the ball. Coaches, players and umpires all need to heed this message. For instance, when an infielder air mails a throw that ends up in dead ball territory (DBT), the base award for the runner/s is normally two bases from the time of the pitch. This is seldom a visual challenge. Let’s say the bases are empty when the batter hits a ground ball to the shortstop who throws the ball into DBT. Because his throw is the “first play” in the infield, the batter would get two bases and would be awarded second base. The “first play” by rule is not the fielding of the ball, it’s what the fielder does after he...
One New Softball Rule To Know

One New Softball Rule To Know

In an earlier article we reviewed the NFHS and USA Softball Rules Changes for 2018. One of the USA Softball changes (7-2-F) applies to Junior Olympic (JO) Pool Play only and permits a variety of batting order options for the pool games in a championship event. The purpose of this rule is to allow all players who have traveled with a team to such an event to have a chance to get “into the game”. This rule has a laudable purpose but USA Softball has struggled through the years to develop a rule that allows this flexibility while at the same time avoiding any adverse impact on other substitution rules. The new rule allows a team to use one of four options: · Bat nine players without the DP/Flex. · Bat nine Players and use the DP/Flex. · Bat up to and including all roster players without a DP/Flex. ·...
 2018 Rules Quiz

2018 Rules Quiz

It’s time for my annual rules quiz. Test your knowledge on this 10 question True or False test. You are in the royalty class of rules aficionados if you get 9-10 correct answers and are ready to umpire in the major leagues; a score of 7-8 correct answers places you in Triple-A; a score of 5-6 proper answers earns you a spot in Double-A; and 4 right answers puts you in the low minors. Any score of less than 4 correct answers requires you to purchase the Official Baseball Rules immediately and spend this summer going to a baseball rules camp. OK-number your papers 1-10 and simply answer each question True or False. The answers are found at the end of the quiz. The answers fall under the Pro rules. However, where there is a difference in the NFHS and NCAA rule, it is noted in the answer. Therefore,...