Category: ABUA
Published on Thursday, 01 December 2011

If you are interested in improving your umpiring skills, then the ABUA is the perfect association for you to join. We want umpires to improve and enhance their skills, wherever they might be working, whether it is at a youth league or a college league. We provide educational programs and resources for umpires, so if this is something you are interested in taking up, why not browse through our site and sign up?

If you have always been interested to continuously learn more about a game so you can improve your skills and knowledge, whether it is reading gaming tips on OnlinePoker.com, or reading up on the latest sports news in a baseball magazine, you might find this article very useful and informative. Here you will learn some interesting baseball facts which you can share with your friends, or other umpires.

Did you know?

That the first five players to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (situated in Cooperstown, New York) were Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson? Since their entry in 1936, almost 300 people have been entered. These not only include expectational players, but also umpires, pioneers, executives and managers.

The French did what?

It is thought that it was in fact the French who came up with the concept of baseball. A manuscript, dating back to 1344, shows illustrations of clerics who seem to be playing a game very similar to baseball. Other old French games, including théque, la balle au bâton and la balle empoisonée, show clear similarities to baseball.

A whole new meaning to 'stumped'....

The false wooden leg of General Santa Anna was used as a baseball bat by American soldiers in 1847, just a couple of days after the Battle of Cerro Gordo. The leg was seized by the Fourth Illinois regiment and was thought to be the first baseball game ever played in Mexico at Parque Los Berros in Xalapa, Veracruz.

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In The News

Ruling Your Game

Ruling Your Game

I’m aware that many of the readers of this publication work under NFHS or NCAA rules during the spring months. However, many summer leagues operate under Pro rules for the most part. Whether you are coaching or umpiring, a review of balk situations under the Pro playing code, is worth a look. Unlike NFHS rules, when a balk is called, the ball is not dead and “Time” should not be called unless the pitcher does not deliver the pitch or throw to a base. I recently received this interesting question regarding a batter who was hit by a pitch in a recent Bowling Green game. Q. With a runner on first, the pitcher balks and hits the batter with the pitch. What’s the call? A. The batter is awarded first base and the runner on first would go to second base. Let me explain. When a batter is hit by...
In Full Swing

In Full Swing

With the season now in full swing we continue looking at more plays and questions that we have received. It seems like we are getting more and more questions on appeal plays – a topic that has not come up to this extent for several years. This is an item that was on the NFHS presentation for 2016 and as is the case with so many rules the first thing to understand is the definition. While the wording varies between NFHS Rule 2‐1‐1 and ASA/USA Softball Rule 1 APPEAL PLAY (and Rules Supplement #1) this play is simply the one we wait for – no call can be made until a ruling is requested by a manager, coach or player. Since all appeal plays are offensive violations that request would be from the defense. Appeals include: Missing a base Leaving early on a caught fly ball (before...
Advancing at Risk

Advancing at Risk

One can take the approach that any runner can advance at his own risk at any time. A base runner who attempts to steal a base is, in effect, “advancing at his own risk.” Leaving that aside, the term has a very specific meaning. In the early days of baseball, runners were required to return to their base (tag up) when a fly ball was caught. However, that didn’t happen very often because gloves were prohibited (nothing other than cold weather gloves existed at the time). To achieve a balance between offense and defense, the batter was out if his batted ball was caught on one hop, but runners could advance at their own risk – no need to tag up. In modern rules, there are four instances where runners may advance at their own risk. Except where noted, the material applies equally to NFHS,...
Do-Overs

Do-Overs

A few years ago in a local prep game, there was a most unusual occurrence. The details of the play have been lost to Father Time, but the umpire’s decision will long be remembered. A runner from second attempted to score on a base hit and the throw to the plate caused the catcher to move up the line. The catcher had the ball when he tagged the runner, but the plate umpire called obstruction and declared the runner safe. The defensive coach argued that obstruction cannot occur when the fielder has the ball. The offensive coach then argued that the only reason his runner was tagged was because he slowed down to avoid colliding with the obstructing catcher. After a lengthy debate, the umpires conferred and the more experienced base umpire could not assist his partner because he did not see the...
Question Review

Question Review

With the high school season now in full swing let’s look at some plays that have been submitted this season. We’ve had some good questions on interference, obstruction, illegal pitches, and the double base. Remember to keep studying the rules all season long. We never know when we will have to rise to the occasion when the unusual occurs! · Play - R1 at first base and is attempting to steal on the pitch. The batter tries to do a slap swing and misses the ball. As the batter follows through on her(slap)swing, she goes forward towards the pitcher and is out of the batters box. As this is happening the catcher receives the pitch and tries to throw out the runner attempting to steal second. The catcher does not make the throw because the batter got in her way as she was trying to attempt...
Throwing a Live Ball in Dead Ball Territory

Throwing a Live Ball in Dead Ball Territory

The Angels hosted the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium on March 15 for a spring training Cactus League contest. In the fifth inning the M’s had Stefen Romero on first base with one out when Kyle Seager flied deep to left. Angels’ left fielder Daniel Nava made the catch and proceeded to flip the ball into the stands thinking it was the third out of the inning. When an outfielder throws a ball into dead ball territory, runners are awarded two bases from their position on the bases at the moment the ball is released from the fielder’s hand. Since Romero had not yet reached second base, he was properly sent to third base by first base umpire Sean Barber. If Romero had second base made at the time Nava tossed the ball into the seats, he would have been sent home. Whenever a runner is...
Rules Questions

Rules Questions

While most states are just starting the 2016 high school softball season, some of the southern states are well into the season and the northern states are wrapping up the “meeting season” and scrimmages.  As a result the rules questions are coming in – let’s take a look at some of the best questions received so far this month: Play - Runner on first base - no outs - count on the batter is 0-2 - when the pitcher releases the ball, the runner on first base attempts to steal second base - the batter swings at the pitch and misses - the catcher drops the 3rd strike - the batter-runner runs to first base even though the umpire said strike 3 the batter is out - the catcher then throws the ball into right field.  When the catcher threw the ball, she was throwing the ball to first base because...
The Mechanics of Missed Pitches

The Mechanics of Missed Pitches

In last month’s Newsletter, we discussed the frequency of missed pitches. Purportedly MLB umpires miss 14% of the pitches. Whatever the truth is, amateur umpires, no matter how good they are, can be expected to miss a few more than that. It’s tough to beat the consistency developed from working the plate every other day for 10 years in the minor leagues. Accept the fact pitches will be missed and learn to live with it. Dwelling on a missed pitch is prone to causing additional missed pitches. Umpires usually know when they are having trouble. Go back to the basics and check yourself. The fundamentals of sound plate mechanics include striving for the same view on every pitch, proper timing and use of circumstantial evidence. Position. The position an umpire takes is critical to getting...