Red Book Quizzes

PBUC Quiz #1 from the Manual for the 2-Umpire System (Red Book)

Here is the first of quizzes that all of our umpires should take.  The answers are in red following each question but you should be looking them up in the red manual (PBUC Manual for the 2-Umpire System).

Have fun.  There many more to come.

Mechanics Quiz #1 - Section 1 and part of Section 2 

1.      Under 1.1 Game Preliminaries in all Minor League Baseball leagues what is considered mandatory for the plate umpire?

 

Answer:  All plate umpires must use an indicator during the game.

2.      In 1.2 The Meeting at Home Plate in the two-man system where do the umpires position themselves? 

Answer:  The plate umpire will always stand directly behind home plate, and the base umpire will stand in fair territory directly in front of the plate.

     

3.      Is it ok for the plate umpire to leave his mask on the grass behind home plate during the ground rules? 

Answer:  This is very unprofessional of the plate umpire.  He should tuck the mask under his left arm as he is inspecting the lineup cards and/or discussing ground rules.  Remember, the mask is part of your equipment and therefore, it is in your possession at all times.  If you are right-handed, it will be under your left arm or in your left hand during any writing on your lineup cards.

 

4.      What is the item that many umpires forget to take care of before they get to home plate for ground rules? 

Getting the baseballs that are needed for the game.  This is always one question that needs to be asked of the home team prior to heading for the plate for ground rules.

 

5.      Many teams will have already rubbed the baseballs down for the UIC.  Is this ok to do? 

Answer:  By rule this is not legal.  However, do not make this an issue.  Accept the balls and check them to see that the gloss has been removed and that the baseballs meet your approval.  If you need to rub the baseballs down yourself, take care of it as soon as possible.  Preferably before the home plate conference.  Also, you need to inspect the pitcher's baseball prior to that ball being used in the game.  In Major League Baseball, the umpires no longer have to rub baseballs down but the clubhouse boys do get a tip from the umpires for doing this for them.

 

6.      According to 1.2 of the 2 Man Umpiring Manual, why do protests occur each year in minor league baseball? 

Answer:  The umpire-in-chief has not examined the lineup cards carefully.

 

7.      What reason does PBUC give for stating the discussion of ground rules is a very serious matter and should not be dealt with lightly?   

Answer:  Because a number of disputed decisions and protested games occur each year because all parties were not fully aware of each of the ground rules.

 

8.      What types of statements should not be allowed in regards to ground rules? 

Answer:  Comments such as, "Yeah, I know them - we don't need to go over anything?" or "Come on, let's get the game started, no one cares about the ground rules anyway!"

 

9.      What are the three areas that should always be covered in ground rules according to PBUC? 

Answer:  1) Bullpens, 2) tarps, and 3) the lip of the dugout.

 

10.  According to 1.2 of the 2 Man Umpiring Manual, the umpire-in-chief must make certain he accepts which manager's lineup card first? 

Answer:  He must make certain that he accepts the home team manager's lineup card first.

 

11.  What does PBUC say about what causes protests each year? 

Answer:  Protests are caused each year because the plate umpire was careless in checking the lineup cards.

 

12.  How can the plate umpire prevent this type of protest according to PBUC? 

Answer:  The plate umpire must take the time and concentration necessary to prevent a protest over lineup cards.

 

13.  During the National Anthem, describe the position of the umpires and how and where should they stand. 

Answer:  Each umpire will stand at attention with toes of both feet on the back line of the batter's boxes and heels together.  Cap should be placed over the heart with the right hand, and the left arm should be fully extended straight down along the seam of the left pant leg.  Heads are to be erect, facing the flag (not lowered facing the ground), and there is to be absolutely no talking during the playing of the National Anthem.  The mask is always in the left hand during this time.  No gum chewing during the anthem.  This looks very unprofessional.  Also, no tobacco on the field at all.  We expect our umpires to be professional and having tobacco juice on your face and on your shirt is not professional nor is it healthy for you or anyone else.  Break this habit if you are one that chews.  High school and college baseball prohibits it on the field as does Minor League Baseball.  It has not yet been put in the big-league contract but it will be soon.

 

14.  Describe the positions of the base umpire prior to the start of the game and between each inning. 

Answer:  Approximately midway between 1st and 2nd base, a few feet onto the outfield grass.  He should remain at this position - making sure at this time that there are no obvious infractions apparent on the playing field (open gates, equipment lying on the field, etc.) - until the catcher throws the last warm-up pitch to 2nd base.  At this time he should jog (not sprint) to his position at 1st base to start the game.

 

15.  What suggestion does PBUC give to the plate umpire to prepare himself prior to the game? 

Answer:  They suggest that the plate umpire goes behind the catcher and take a few pitches for both a right and left-handed batter.  This is only necessary in the 1st inning but should be done for both the home and visiting pitcher.  The benefit of this is so you are not surprised on the 1st pitch of the game.  You get to see the background, the types of pitches you might be seeing in the game, the way the catcher might handle the pitches and the angle of delivery.  There are probably more than I have mentioned here but you get the idea, I hope.

 

16.  Even though PBUC recommends that the base umpire stand in a special spot between innings, I have another recommendation for you.  What do you think it is?   

Answer:  Since the plate umpire is suggested to watch some pitches, why can't the base umpire in both halves of the 1st inning observe some of the throws from the infielders to prepare himself for the game.  Tim Tschida, major league umpire, suggested to me and others at a college umpire clinic years ago to have the base umpire watch some throws and work on getting his angle and distance down for the game.  He said, "the fastest player on the team is usually the leadoff batter.  If you miss the 1st play of the game on him on a bunt or ground ball safe/out at 1st base, you will be in for a long day."  Here is how to do this:  When the 1st baseman tosses a ground ball to the 3rd baseman, bust to your angle, watch the origin of the throw and square up to the base, shift your eyes to the bag and get a hands-on-knees set, listen for the ball touching the mitt, now shift your eyes to the ball, when you see firm and secure possession make your decision on safe/out, before the game begins you are not going to give a signal or a voice but it does give you a reference for angle/distance and strength of arm of that fielder.  Now, walk back to the foul line for the next play while the 1st baseman tosses it to the shortstop.  You will get back in time for the toss to the 2nd baseman.  Again, bust to your angle and distance, repeat the above.  Now walk back to the line again and by the time you are back, he will again be tossing it to the shortstop and now you repeat it again.  Remember on balls to the left side of the field you are looking for a 90-degree angle.  The toss to the 2nd baseman if he is playing in his normal position should only be 1-2 steps into fair territory.  There are a lot of things to learn here.  You are learning the background for throws.  You are learning how each infielder releases their throw.  You are learning to read a true throw or a bad throw.  You are learning angles and distances for your plays at 1st base.  There are many other things too but this answer is already too long.  I hope to see that many of you do this next fall in the games that we will be observing and evaluating you upon.  It might be worth your while to practice this now.  One thing I have found with the umpires that I have taught previously is that some of them just wait out on the diamond for throws from all positions.  This is not the way to do it.  We are practicing busting to our angle and distance and that can be done only if you go back to the line each time.  You should not do this after the 1st inning but you should do it in the top of the 1st and bottom of the 1st.  Just as the plate umpire should for his starting pitchers.

 

17.  Besides saying, "Play" once the batter is ready, the pitcher is on the rubber and the catcher is giving the 1st sign of the game, what does the signal for "Play" look like? 

Answer:  Larry Gallagher describes it as the palm of the hand facing the pitcher and then withdrawing it back toward your chest and then throwing your finger out toward the pitcher like you would be throwing darts and saying, "Play!"  I also learned in umpire school it is never done with your left hand.  You should always put it in play with the right hand.  I also learned a new technique from an umpire colleague named Jeff Gould this May.  He does it every time the same way by using a backhanded point instead of an over handed point like I mostly do.  I do vary it some because I don't feel like I want to do the same one the entire game.

 

18.  From Section 2.1 Positioning with No Runners on Base, how far behind the 1st baseman should the base umpire position himself?  If the first baseman moves deeper than normal, does the distance change?  If so, what is the new distance?  Are you in a hands-on-knees set position or a standing set position? 

Answer:  10-12 feet.  Yes, it doesn't say but 5-6 feet is probably correct.  According to the manual, you are in a hands-on-knees set and your right foot should be just off the foul line and your body should be squared to home plate.

 

19.  The Hands-On-Knees Set is recommended because it makes you look how? 

Answer:  "Ready."  This is what the professional umpire has to do the entire first 2 years in professional baseball.  There is no walking into the pitch.  The reason that I have been told is the ever-present idea of perception.  This technique makes you look like you are into the game.  The HOKS is the one that presents the best picture.  If you do it correctly all the time, it will be better for you than any of the others.  It also allows you to practice for your plays on the field too.

 

20.  What are some reasons why you do not want to be too far back or too close to the 1st baseman?  There are some listed but think of others that are not listed too. 

Answer:  If you are too deep, it will be difficult to come in and pivot on a base hit or a routine fly ball.  If you are too deep, you will not be able to get to the correct distance for your plays at first base.  If you position yourself too close, you will probably have trouble avoiding the fielder while he tries to make a play.  If the fielder is playing up and you come up too close to the base you will be too close for your plays at first base.  There are others so don't think that I have all that there might be in this answer.

 

21.  What are the responsibilities from 2.2 for the plate umpire on fly balls? 

Answer:  With no one on base, fly balls (or line drives) from the centerfielder moving any distance to his right all the way to the left field line belong to the plate umpire.  Actually it should say all the way to the left side - including foul territory.

 

22.  In the pause-read-react technique, what does the pause mean? 

Answer:  It means to hesitate momentarily.  This gives you a moment to think about your next move - reading.

 

23.  What are you reading when you decide to go somewhere?  What 4 reactions are you looking for from the outfielders?  What is a "trouble" ball?24.   

Answer:  You are reading the fielders or in this section the outfielder(s).  4 reactions - 1) The outfielder is running hard in toward the infield as though he going to make a catch on the dead run or he may have to dive.  2) The outfielder has turned his back to the infield and is running towards the outfield wall with his back to the infield.  3) Three fielders are all converging on the ball, and it appears that any one of the three might catch the ball.  4) The right fielder is running towards the right field line and it appears that a fair/foul decision may have to be made on the line.  A "trouble" ball is any ball that the base umpire reads that he must go out on.

 

PBUC Quiz #2 from the Manual for the 2-Umpire System (Red Book)

Mechanics Quiz #2 - Remainder of Section 2; 2.7 through 2.11

 

1.       How does the coverage differ in rundowns between 3rd and home as opposed to anywhere else? 

Answer:  PU and BU split the coverage "half and half" between 3rd and home.  In other rundowns, the PU only has responsibility at the cutout. 

 

2.   All fair fly balls to the infield belong to the ­                          with no men on base.

           

      Answer:  plate umpire.  This does not include line drives.

 

3.   The base umpire comes in and                         on all fly balls to the infield.

      

      Answer:  pivots

 

4.      Describe the pivot in a definition and why is it important to pivot instead of just getting inside the diamond. 

Answer:  The pivot is a 270-degree counter-clockwise movement by the base umpire that allows him to observe the touch of the batter-runner at first base, the ability to observe any obstruction by the 1st baseman and/or pitcher and allows the base umpire the ability to stay ahead of the batter-runner in case he should decide to try for extra bases.  It also helps him stay close enough to first base to be able to take any throw back toward first base in case there is a play there.  This action is often not used properly by most umpires in our organization because they have not been trained properly.  Many umpires just get inside and look over their shoulder to see what is happening.  Others do not look at all and miss the touch and the possible obstruction.  This is a responsibility that we can no longer give up to no one.  This is the base umpire's role.  All of you in the fall baseball program should  learn how to do it properly.  There are more parts to the definition that you can find on pages 10-12 in the PBUC Manual for the 2-umpire System.  The correct Position A helps you be able to pivot properly.  The manual allows the base umpire to select which route to take.  For instance on a sure double, the base umpire may now pivot closer to the mid-point of the baseline instead of near the cutout.  This also ok to do on a base hit to left field because there is less likely to be a throw behind the batter-runner from left field as there is to right center field or to right field directly.

 5.      Umpires in Minor League Baseball leagues are to take as many plays as possible from                     territory. 

Answer:  fair

 

6.      Why should you take most plays from fair territory? 

Answer:  The most important is to get the best angle and distance as possible.  The next one is because if there is an overthrow, you will have a difficult time getting ahead of the batter-runner on his way to 2nd base.  A third reason is that you do not want to put the base between you and the pitcher's or 1st baseman's touch of the base.  There are others that you might be able to come up with too.

 

7.      What angle does the PBUC Manual for the Two-Umpire System recommend the base umpire take plays at first base? 

Answer:  Approximately at a right (90-degree) angle or the largest angle that is possible on the play but less than 90-degrees.  For instance, on balls hit to the 2nd baseman, it is not possible to get a 90-degree angle unless you go to foul territory.

 

8.      What distance is recommended for the base umpire to take plays at first base from? 

Answer:  15-20 feet.  However, the umpire schools are teaching it at 15-18 feet.  I have been observing umpires in our group and I have found that most of our umpires are taking this play from about 25-30 feet.  I believe there are four reasons for these umpires doing it this way. 

1)      The first reason is because most umpires are too far away from the 1st baseman (too deep to begin with) and they can't get close enough. 

2)      The second reason is because our umpires do not bust to their angle.  This means really move forward toward their angle quickly.  In other words we feel we have a lot of time and we walk to our distance instead of busting in to it. 

3)      The 3rd reason is we have not been trained to recognize the distance we are from the play at the end of the play.  This also requires some self-analysis which many of our umpires do not do or don't know how to do. 

4)      The 4th reason is that we are so used to being so far away that it looks really close when we move it to the correct distance.  Our evaluators should be stressing angle/distance from Position A.  The correct position A also is very important to being able to make a good pivot.

 

9.      When the base umpire reads a "true" throw, list the steps he will take in making the decision at first base. 

Answer:  1) Square your feet to the base, 2) go to a hands-on-knees set (HOKS), 3) turn head toward the base, 4) focus on the bag while he listens for the sound of the ball hitting the glove/mitt, 5) shift our eyes toward the mitt and make sure there is firm and secure possession.  6) Once this is done, tell everyone that you have an out.  Obviously, you would have called safe whenever you determined the ball did not beat the runner.

 

10.  Why is it important that the base umpire watches the release of the throw before focusing on the play at first base? 

Answer:  There are at least two or more reasons.  1) The first one is to be able to read the type of throw.  2) The 2nd one would be that you won't get hit with the throw.  The one that comes to mind is the 2nd baseman throw to first base from his normal position.  I have watched a lot of umpires that are looking at where the throw appears to be going and then it isn't thrown at all.  Remember to always practice keeping your chest to the ball and you will never go wrong.

 

11.  The plate umpire follows the batter-runner up the 1st baseline for 3 reasons.  What are they? 

Answer:  Watching for interference, ready for overthrows, to help on swipe tags.  There is one other one that the manual doesn't speak about and that is watching for a pulled foot by the first baseman or the pitcher covering.

 

12.  How far up the line should the plate umpire follow the batter-runner? 

Answer:  As far as the play will allow but never farther than the 45-foot line.

     

13.  When should the plate umpire focus on the play at first? 

Answer:  After he sees the release of the throw by the fielder.

 

14.  Should you keep running after the release of the throw as the plate umpire? 

Answer:  The plate umpire will come out from behind home plate by coming around the left side of the catcher and proceed to jog (not sprint) down the first baseline (straddling the foul line), going no farther than the 45-foot line.  You should be stopped when the play happens at first base.  In fact, some umpires that keep running are actually showing false hustle.  To the untrained umpire or coach, it looks like the thing to do.  Keep running and show everyone how hard you are hustling.  The trained umpire would call this phony or false hustle designed only to try to impress those that don't know any better.  Remember, practice good techniques at all time, we should be stopped on all plays even if they are not are own.  But if there were a pulled foot and you were running when it happened, how believable would your information really be.

 

15.  When you feel pressure as a base umpire from the 2nd baseman on a ground ball, it is permissible to take the play in                                      territory, keeping in mind the concepts of proper                               and                          to the play. 

Answer:  foul, distance, angle

 

16.  If the base umpire needs help on a play at first base, how should he phrase his question? 

Answer:  The base umpire should ask his partner with a question as follows:  "Bill, did he tag him? or "Bill, do you have a tag?" while pointing at the plate umpire.

 

17.  How does the plate umpire respond to the questions above? 

Answer:  The plate umpire gives a very emphatic, "Yes, he's out on the tag!" or "No!  He missed him!"  This is also done using a strong visual safe signal or mechanic.

 

18.  How would the base umpire sell the tag play at first base? 

Answer:  This is not in the manual but you would point with your right hand at the tag and say, "On the tag!" and then give the out mechanic as you finish saying, "He's out!"  Do not use the left hand on this.  Almost all pointing in baseball should be done with the right hand.

 

19.  How does the base umpire sell the missed tag play at first base? 

 

Answer:  The base umpire would signal safe and then say "No tag!" or "You missed the tag!"  The entire play would be "Safe!" with the signal, followed by the verbal "No tag!" and followed up with a second safe signal with the verbal "Safe!"

 

      20. When the pitcher will be covering the base, the base umpire moves about                 steps off the foul line into fair territory and positions himself about                                 feet from the 1st base bag. 

            Answer:  2, 20

 

      21. If there is a tag before the 45' line, which umpire is responsible for the tag? 

Answer:  The plate umpire.

 

      22. If there is a pop up hit in front of or immediately behind the base umpire and has a possibility of becoming a fair/foul decision, the base umpire should do what? 

            Answer:  Come in and pivot.  The plate umpire will have the fair/foul and catch/no catch.  This will put both of you in the best possible positions for the play.  If the base umpire stays he has the chance of getting in the way of the first or 2nd baseman and also the plate umpire has to now cover the play at 1st or 2nd base.  If it is beyond the 1st baseman, then go out and say, "Going out!"  Now you have the fair/foul and catch/no catch.

 

23.  Describe how to handle the foul pop-up fielded by the 1st baseman near the 1st base stands and well past 1st base.   

Answer:  The base umpire will let the 1st baseman clear in front of him (pivoting out of the way if necessary).  The base umpire should then break in front of the 1st baseman and obtain a proper angle to judge the catch/no catch.  The plate umpire stays home on this play since only the 1st baseman is attempting to make the catch (there is no need for the plate umpire to follow the play since the call belongs completely to the base umpire).

 24.      Describe how to handle the pop-up that will be handled near the dugout and the pitcher, catcher and 1st baseman are all going for it.  

Answer:  Both umpires will need to box this play in.  This means both get to the best angle possible for the catch.  If the fielder is facing the umpire, that umpire makes the call of catch or no catch.  If they are facing away from the umpire, it belongs to the other umpire.  If both of them have a good look at it, the umpires will make eye contact and then let the other one know that they are taking the catch.  The information on this type of play is on page 18 in the manual.

PBUC Quiz #4 from Manual for the 2-Umpire System (Red Book)

Mechanics Quiz #4-3.5 Fly Balls and Line Drive to the Infield

 

1.       Which umpire has the responsibility for fly balls and line drives to the pitcher and catcher? 

Answer:  The plate umpire

 

2.       Which umpire has the responsibility for fly balls and line drives to the rest of the infielders? 

Answer:  The base umpire, unless the ball is toward a foul line.

 

3.       Whose responsibility for the catch/no catch is it if the 2nd baseman is trying for the catch behind the first baseman and is running toward the foul line? 

Answer:  This is one of those things that is not covered often but this catch/no catch logically belongs to the plate umpire because it is near the foul line.  This would hold true if the shortstop is going to catch a ball behind the 3rd baseman and it is taking him toward the left field line.

 

 

4.       Is it necessary to signal a catch on a routine out? 

Answer:  No

 

5.       On fly balls to the infield does the plate umpire have any other responsibilities besides observing the play?   

Answer:  Yes, he still has some 1st to 3rd responsibilities because if the ball were to be dropped a play might develop at 3rd base and this would be his call just as if the ball were a base hit to the outfield. 

 

6.       On a fly ball near the 1st baseline, what communication should the plate umpire say? 

Answer:  "I'm on the line!"  This will mean that he will not be able to cover 3rd if the ball is dropped.  This helps his base umpire know that he is responsible for all plays in the infield now and not just 1st and 2nd.

 

7.       What footwork should the base umpire use on fly balls to the infield? 

Answer:  He should step up and turn with the ball and face the infielder, glancing over his shoulder at first base to watch the batter-runner touch 1st base.  He may have to move several steps toward the mound to make room for the infielder to catch the ball. 

 

3.6  Mechanics Quiz 3.6-3.8 Ground Balls to the Infield with R1

 

8.       What should the plate umpire do on a ground ball to any infielder if it isn't near a foul line? 

Answer:  The plate umpire swings out from behind the plate a few feet into foul territory in the direction of third base.  In Federation and NCAA, the plate umpire has responsibility for illegal slides on the front end of the double play at 2nd base.  The pro umpire does not have this responsibility.  So, the answer to this question is somewhat different in high school and college than it is in pro baseball.

 

      9.   If the ground ball develops into a double play situation, what does the plate umpire do when the base umpire declares the lead runner out at second base? 

Answer:  The plate umpire will stop his movement toward third and will retreat in one of two ways to take his usual responsibility with a ground ball with no one on base.  Those two ways are 1) to go back to the plate area directly and get on the 1st baseline extended or 2) go on a diagonal line toward the 1st baseline so as to be able to watch for a pulled foot, swipe tag, overthrow, and/or batter-runner lane interference.

 

9.       If the ball rolls up the first base line, what should the plate umpire communicate to his partner? 

Answer:  "I'm on the line!"

 

10.   Why should the plate umpire communicate, "I'm on the line" in the previous question? 

Answer:  To let his partner know that the plate umpire will not be able to cover third.

    

 

11.   What is the base umpire's double play mechanic with R1 at first base? 

Answer:  Step up, turn with the ball.  Turn toward second base with the throw and face the play at second base; render a decision at 2nd while moving toward a good angle for the play at first base by taking no more than one step in the direction of a point midway between the 45-foot line and 1st base.

 

12. Why is it important that the base umpire not drift too far from his original position and let the ball take       him to the play? 

Answer:  The reasoning here is to have the base umpire remain in good position for potential "problems" at 2nd base, including, but not limited to: bobbled balls, dropped balls, close plays, possible interference, etc.)

 

3.7   Steals at Second Base 13. What are some cues the base umpire is looking for when the pitcher pitches the ball? 

Answer:  1) Pick up initial movements of the runner breaking to second base by peripheral vision.

                2) Reacting to the defense yelling, "going."

                3) Watching the catcher's reactions.

 

14. Describe the steal mechanic.

 

Answer:  Begin by taking a drop step toward second base from your starting position, keeping your eyes on the ball and not turning your back to the ball.  As the catcher throws, continue to move towards second base and as the throw reaches and passes you, turn and focus on the play.  Come completely set and in professional baseball to a hands-on-knees set. 

I would describe your last step to be a "CLOSING" step so you end up square to the base.  One thing to add from my own experience here is that when observing any tag play, that you watch the glove instead of anything else.  The ball is moving too fast to see it clearly, the runner is sliding faster than the glove and therefore it is much easier to observe the glove on tag plays than anything else.  Remember, you will also have to wait to see that the fielder has firm and secure possession of the ball anyway and the runner has to get to the base before the tag is applied.

 

3.8  Pickoffs at First Base:  Rundowns

 

      16.   What are the two methods of handling the pickoff at first base? 

Answer:  1) One Step.  The first step is forward with the left foot toward the direction of the 45-foot line, pivot on that left foot, turn and face the play and set for the call.  This should be a hands-on-knees set.  2) Cross-over step.  Take one, quick cross-over step with your right foot to a point midway between the 45-foot line and 1st base, turn while pivoting on your left foot, face the play and get set for the call.  This is a hands-on-knees set (HOKS).

 

      17.                         is critical for pickoffs and it is very important that the umpire set up in the proper starting position and that he move towards the                                    for the pickoff. 

            Answer:  Angle           Midpoint between the 45-foot line and 1st base.

 

4.1-4.3 - Runner on Second Base Only 4.1   Positioning  18.Describe your starting position with the runner on second base only. 

Answer:  It is the C position.  Midway between the back edge of the grass of the pitcher's mound and the second base cutout, on the third base side of the infield and straddling a line from home plate through the left edge of the pitcher's mound toward second base.

 19. This is the same position that will be used with a runner on                     only, runners on                                            and                             , or                    and                 . 

Answer:  third base; first and second, second and third  or bases loaded.

 

20.  Why is it important not to position yourself too deep in this position in a two-umpire system? 

Answer:  Because it is the best position for steals of third as well as pickoffs at second and other plays in the infield.

 

4-2 Fly balls and line drives to the outfield - Responsibilities

 

21.  Why should the two umpires communicate on fly balls to the left or right fielder? 

      Answer:  So each umpire is completely clear who has responsibility for any given fly ball or line drive.

 

      4.3 Fly Balls and Line Drives to the Outfield - Coverage and Mechanics

 

22.  The base umpire is responsible for what bases and plays? 

Answer:  The runner at second base tagging up and the batter-runner touching first base.  He is also responsible for any play on the runner on second base at third or back at second.  Also, any play that develops at first, second or third if the ball is not caught.

 

23.  If it looks like a difficult catch (trouble ball) in short center field, what should the base umpire do? 

Answer:  He should move to the edge of the infield grass in the direction the ball is hit and then sell the catch/no catch based on the results.

 

24.  If it looks like a routine play, what should the base umpire do?        

Answer:  He should move two or three steps toward the mound (working area) to open up the playing field to observe the catch, watch the second base tag-up and the batter-runner touch or miss first base. 

 

25.  What is the FIRST PRIORITY in fly ball coverage? 

 Answer:  The BALL.  The umpire responsible for the catch must know the status of the ball at all

 times.

 

      26. If the fly ball takes the right fielder toward the right field line, the plate umpire will communicate to                      his partner, "                                                                            !" 

        Answer:  "I'm on the line!"

 

 

26.  How far up the first base line should the plate umpire go to observe the catch/no catch? 

       Answer:  Only as far that he is certain to get back to home plate for any possible play there.

 

28. What is the terminology if the left fielder moves any distance toward the left field line, by the plate       umpire? 

            Answer:  "I've got the ball!"

 

4.4  Base Hits to the Outfield - Runner On Second Base Only

 

29.  On an obvious base hit to the outfield, the base umpire will                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      . 

      Answer:  Step up, turn with the ball and back up only two or three steps towards the mound (working

      area).

 

30.  On an obvious base hit to the outfield, the plate umpire will swing out into foul territory in the direction of third base.  Why does he do this? 

Answer:  To watch the runner from second base touch third base and to observe the play.  LG finds that this is somewhat counterproductive to swing out into foul territory in the direction of third base.  In fact, too many umpires move in this direction and take themselves out of position for the play at the plate.  I believe it is best to step back and stay on the point of the plate and then determine where the throw will originate from and then move in the direction that will line the plate umpire with the fielder that will be making the throw.  This will place the umpire in the best possible starting position for a touch of 3rd base and any play at the plate.

 

31.  What communication could the plate umpire use for his partner on an obvious base hit to the outfield with a runner on second base only? 

Answer:  "Staying home!" or "I'm staying home!"

 

4.5  Fly Balls and Line Drives to the Infield - Runner on Second Base Only

 

32.  The base umpire has all fly balls and line drives to the infield with the exception of the pitcher, catcher and who? 

Answer:  The first and third baseman when they are moving toward the foul lines.

 

      33. True     False    If the fly ball is a routine catch the umpire must call and signal the catch. 

            Answer:  False, it probably is important for the plate umpire to say to his partner, "That's a catch!"

 

4.6  Ground Balls to the Infield - Runner on Second Base Only

 

      34. According to this manual, on a ground ball to the infield, the base umpire has all first plays at any base.  Which umpire has the second play?     

            Answer:  The base umpire.

 

       35. If the ground ball is up the first or third base line, the plate umpire has to be ready to do what? 

            Answer:  Rule on if the ground ball is fair or foul.

 

      36. The base umpire with a ground ball with a runner on second base only will step up and turn with the ball, facing the fielder as he is fielding the ball.  He must                                                                                                                 and be aware of the concepts of proper distance and angle for the play as well as being                                                      and          for the play. 

            Answer:  let the ball take him to the play       completely stopped                 set

 

      37. After the play at first base, the base umpire must                               towards that runner and base. 

            Answer:  bounce back

 

4.7-4.9  Runner on Second Base only

 

Steals of third base

 

      38.       Why is it important the base umpire does NOT move directly toward third base on a steal of third? 

Answer:  Because it will result in a very poor angle.

 

      39.       What responsibility does the plate umpire have on the steal of third? 

Answer:  Call the pitch and then he must watch for batter's interference and then simply observe the play and should not leave the plate area.

 

40.  What cues should you be aware of in the case of a steal of third base? 

Answer:  1) Feeling and hearing him taking off.  2) A defensive player may say, "Going!"

 

41.  What direction does the base umpire move on the steal of third? 

Answer:  He moves as far as he can toward an imaginary 45-foot line along the third base line.

 

      42.    What should you do when the pitcher commits to the plate? 

       Answer:  Take a glance over your right shoulder to see if the runner is going.

 

Pickoffs at second base; Rundowns - Runner on Second Base only

 

43. What is the first step called on a pickoff at second base and which foot is used? 

Answer:  A drop step.       Left foot.

 

44.  In the early stages of professional baseball, it is recommended the umpire is in what kind of set position? 

Answer:  Hands-on-knees set (HOKS)

 

 

      45. What does the base umpire do if the pickoff throw gets away from the shortstop? 

He moves into position for a possible play at third base if the runner decides to go.  He moves ahead of the runner.

 

Time Plays - Runner on Second Base only

 

46. When is a time play in order?

 

Answer:  When there is a runner on second base and there are two outs.

 

47.       a.   What must the plate umpire do when a time play is in order? 

Answer:  1) Give his partner a prearranged inconspicuous signal. 

2) Stay home to rule on the play at the plate.  

3) If the third out occurs away from the plate, the plate umpire determines if the run scores or does not score.

 

47.  b.   What is the inconspicuous as mentioned in the PBUC Manual for 2-Umpire Mechanics? 

Answer:  indicate this with 2 fingers and pointing down at the plate.  Another one that is commonly used in our area is to put your index finger and middle finger on your left wrist indicating where you wear a wrist watch - thus, "TIME" Play.

 

48.  a.   If the run scores, what does the plate umpire say? 

      Answer:  "That run scores, that run scores, score that run!"

 

48.  b. If the run does not score, what does the plate umpire say? 

      Answer:  "No run scores, No run scores!"

 

      49.  Is there anything he should physically do?  Answer:  Yes, on the run scoring, he should point at the plate more than once and then put up 1 or 2 fingers depending on how many runners score.  Show these fingers to the press box if there is one or at least to the official scorer. If the run does not score, get the press box attention and then signal with hands above the head with a waving signal that lets everyone no, "no run scores!"

PBUC Quiz #3 from Manual for the 2-Umpire System (Red Book)

Mechanics Quiz #3    3.1-3.3

 

      1.   3.1 Positioning.  True - False.     R1 only.  The position of the base umpire is midway between the back edge of the grass of the pitcher's mound and the second base cutout, on the third base side of the field. 

Answer:  False, since the runner is on first base only, there would be little sense to being

on the 3rd base side or in the C position.  So, you should be in the B position instead.

 

2.       3.1 Positioning.  True - False.  R1 only.  The base umpire should be squared to the front edge of home plate. 

Answer:  True, because of the variety of things he has to do as the only base umpire.  In 3-umpire mechanics the base umpire in many situations may be able to be in the deep B or C position because his responsibilities are reduced.  In 2-umpire mechanics, you have the following priorities, balk, pick-off at 1st by the pitcher, check-swing by the batter, steal of 2nd base, batted ball, pick-off after the pitch by the catcher at first base.  This is why you have to not only be in the ½ way position between the mound and 2nd base and on the tangent line but you need to be square to the plate and not to the baseline or the pitcher.

 

3.       Why is it important that the base umpire is not too deep towards second base when he assumes his initial position? 

Answer:  If he is too deep he will have a bad angle for the pickoff at first base and also it will be more difficult to get a good angle on the play at first base on the back end of a double play.

 

4.       3.2 Fly balls and line drives to the outfield - responsibilities.  R1 only.  True or False.  The base umpire is responsible for all fly balls and line drives between the left and right fielder. 

Answer:  True and this will be the same no matter what runner configuration we have after this.  This is the standard operating procedure in all 2-umpire mechanics manuals.

 

5.       3.3 Fly balls and line drives to the outfield - coverage's and mechanics.  True - False.  R1 only.  On difficult plays (trouble balls) in the outfield that belong to the base umpire, he should move to the edge of the infield grass in the direction the ball is hit to make the call. 

Answer:  True, this will help him sell the call by being 15-20 feet closer to the play.

     

6.       Which umpire has the responsibility for the fly balls that take the right fielder straight back toward the fence? 

Answer:  The base umpire.

 

7.       Why is it important to communicate after the ball is hit on a fly ball directly at the left fielder? 

Answer:  Because each umpire is then certain who has responsibility for any given fly ball or line drive to the outfield.

 

8.       3.3 Fly balls and line drives to the outfield - coverage's and mechanics.  True - False.  R1 only.  The base umpire will assume the "working area: on routine fly balls. 

Answer:  True, because this opens up the field of play for the base umpire and he can concern himself with all of his responsibilities besides just the catch or no catch.  He will be able to observe R1 touching 2nd or tagging up at 1st base and also the batter-runner touching 1st base.  He will be able to observe obstruction by the 1st baseman on the batter-runner or R1.

 

9.       3.3 Fly balls and line drives to the outfield - coverage's and mechanics.  True - False.  R1 only.  The working area is a triangular area directly behind the mound. 

Answer:  False - rectangular

 

10.       What is the significance of the "working area?" 

Answer:  From the working area, the base umpire is in good position for observing his responsibilities and for moving into proper position as plays develop.  The working area is like a staging area for the base umpire.  He waits in the working area to determine if he needs to go anywhere else.  If there is no play anywhere else, he does not move at all.  Only when the umpire anticipated a potential play should he move out of the "working area" and into position for his play.  This is an important concept with multiple runners.  If there is only one runner for the base umpire, the base umpire will move toward that runner or "shade" that play.

 

11.   3.3 Fly balls and line drives to the outfield - coverage's and mechanics.  Short answer.  R1 only.  If the ball is on the right field line the plate umpire will communicate, "I'm on the line!"  What does this indicate to his partner? 

Answer:  This indicates that the plate umpire will not have the normal 1st-to-3rd responsibility on this play and it lets the base umpire know that he does not have any responsibility for the catch/no catch or fair/foul.

 

12.   3.3 Fly balls and line drives to the outfield - coverage's and mechanics.  Short answer.  R1 only.  If the fly ball is down the left field line, what does the plate umpire communicate to his partner? 

Answer:  "I've got the ball!" or "That's my ball!"

 

13.   3.3 Fly balls and line drives to the outfield - coverage's and mechanics.  True - False.  R1 only.  If the ball is not caught in a ball down the left field line, which umpire would cover third? 

Answer:  The plate umpire.

 

14.   3.3 Fly balls and line drives to the outfield - coverage's and mechanics.  True - False.  R1 only.  Which umpire has responsibility of the batter-runner passing R1 near first base on a fly ball to center field? 

Answer:  The plate umpire.

 

3.4 Base Hits to the Outfield; First-to-Third Responsibilities

 

15.   What should the base umpire do on a single to right field with R1? 

Answer:  Step up, turn with the ball and back up only 2 or 3 steps towards the mound to open up the playing field.

 

16.   What is the area behind the mound called? 

Answer:  The working area.

 

17.   What should the base umpire do in this area? 

Answer:  Maintain his position in the working area and not be drawn unnecessarily towards a base without a potential play developing there.  In other words, don't get "happy feet."

 

18.   What responsibilities does the base umpire have? 

Answer:  He has to watch the touch of second by R1, touch of first by the BR, the status of the ball, and any play at first or second.  He also must listen for communication from the plate umpire and if no communication, check why not and maybe cover a play at third base if his partner has not started for third.

 

19.  Since the plate umpire has the responsibility for covering third on a single, what path does the plate umpire take on the way to third base? 

Answer:  He should approach third base in foul territory at least three to six feet off the line.

 

20.  What communication does the plate umpire say to his partner? 

Answer:  "I've got third, if he comes!"

 

21.  If the plate umpire reads a play at third base, what does he do and say? 

Answer:  He busts into the cutout at 3rd and says, "I've got third!  I've got third!"

 

22.  When the base umpire hears his partner's communication, he releases the responsibility of R1 to the plate umpire and then has responsibility for only the batter.  What does he do now? 

Answer:  He checks over his shoulder to see what B1 is doing.  If B1 is trying for second base, the base umpire will move toward the second base cutout, if B1 rounds first and holds there, the base umpire will slide closer to the first base cutout.

 

23.  What if there is no play at third base because R1 makes it without a throw?   

Answer:  The plate umpire communicates with his partner, "Going home!  Going home!"

 

24.  If R1 is out at third base, how does the plate umpire get back home? 

Answer:  The plate umpire will pivot out of the cutout and head back to home in foul territory, keeping the ball in front of him and his eyes on the ball.

 

25.  If R1 is safe at third base and the ball is back to the pitcher, how does the plate umpire return to the plate? 

Answer:  He keeps his eye on the ball and after it is thrown to the pitcher, he should pivot out of the cutout, come across the third base line into foul territory, and head back to home plate using a cross step.  He should also communicate to his partner, "You've got the runners!"

 

26.  If R1 is safe and the ball is overthrown and R1 gets up and starts home, how does the plate umpire get home? 

Answer:  The plate umpire will stay in fair territory and take R1 back to third or home.  He should pivot out of the cutout with his left leg opening towards home and move in fair territory in the direction of the home plate cutout.  He makes sure to stay off the foul line so as to avoid interfering with the runner.  He should keep his eye on the ball as he moves in fair territory toward the home plate cutout.  There could be runner interference, obstruction, fan interference, base coach interference or the ball may go into dead ball territory.  Take the play at the plate in the cutout if possible and try to get the best angle and distance for the play.

PBUC Quiz #5 from Manual for the 2-Umpire System (red Book)

Section 5 Quiz Runner on Third Base Only 

1.   5.1 Positioning – Runner on Third Base Only       What position do you start in with a runner on third base? 

Answer:  In C position or ½ way between the back edge of the mound and 2nd base, straddling a line from home plate that runs through the outside edge of the pitcher’s mound.  However, with the infield playing in for a possible play at the plate, the base umpire should position himself slightly behind the shortstop and 8-10 feet to the shortstop’s left.  This position will afford the base umpire ample space to avoid interference if the ball is hit to the shortstop or to his left.  There is some problematic situations that would arise if the play goes to 1st base after the SS fields the ball in front of you.  To get into the best possible position you may have to adjust either by going toward the mound and toward the SS’s right or by going toward the 1st to 2nd baseline and in fact, you may have to go past that baseline to get a good angle and not get straight-lined. 

2.   5.2 Fly Balls and Line Drives to the Outfield – Responsibilities – Runner on Third Base OnlyAre there any different responsibilities with R3 as opposed to R2 or R1 on fly balls or line drives to the outfield with a runner on third base only? 

Answer:  No, they are exactly the same.

 

 3.   Why is it important the two umpires communicate after the ball is hit on a fly ball or line drive to the outfield? 

      Answer:  So each umpire is certain who has responsibility for any fly ball or line drive.

 

 4.   5.3 Fly Balls and Line Drives to the Outfield – Coverage and Mechanics – Runner on Third Base Only     

       Which umpire is responsible for R3 tagging up? 

      Answer:  The plate umpire.

 

 5.   When should the base umpire move to the edge of the infield grass on a fly ball or line drive to the outfield with a runner on third base?  

      Answer:  When it is his responsibility for a catch and it looks like it will be a difficult play (trouble ball).

 

 6.   Once the base umpire sells his call on the catch/no catch, what should he do? 

      Answer:  He will immediately bounce back to pick up responsibility of the base runner(s).

 

 7.   Which umpire has the responsibility of the batter-runner touching first base? 

      Answer:  The base umpire.

 

 8.   On fly balls or line drives to the outfield, what is always the first priority? 

      Answer:  The first priority is always the BALL.

 

 9.   If the base umpire has the catch/no catch with a runner on third base only, what does the plate umpire do? 

Answer:  He swings out from the plate several steps into foul territory to his left (usually in the general direction of the third base dugout) in order to line up the ball and tag-up at third base.

 

 10. After the tag-up, what should the plate umpire do? 

      Answer:  Break back home, setting up for any possible play at the plate on R3.  He mentally will decide if

      R3 broke early or not.

 

 11. If the fly ball or line drive belongs to the plate umpire, he must communicate that he has responsibility for the ball.  What does he communicate on a fly ball or line drive down the first base line? 

      Answer:  “I’m on the line!”

 12. How far up the first base line should the plate umpire go? 

      Answer:  Only so far that he is CERTAIN that he will be able to get back to home plate for any play there.

 

 13. How does he check R3 on his tag-up? 

      Answer:  He takes a quick glance over his left shoulder at third base after the ball is touched.

 

 14. Is this a difficult mechanic to learn? 

      Answer:  Yes.

 15. What is your first priority as the plate umpire on this fly ball or line drive toward the right field line?     

      Answer:  Your first priority is the ball.  Fair/foul, catch/no catch are more important than the tag-up at 3rd base.

 

 16. What is your second priority on a line drive down the right field line? 

      Answer:  The runner tagging up at third base.

 

 17. What do you communicate to your partner if the ball moves the left fielder toward the left field line? 

      Answer:  “I’ve got the ball=!” or “That’s my ball!”

 

 18. How far do you go up the third base line on this fly ball? 

      Answer:  Only as far as you can easily get back for a possible play at home.

 

 19. What is a very important thing to be aware of if you are straddling the third base line on this type of play? 

      Answer:  Be careful that you do not get in the way of the runner from third base trying to score.

 

 20. After the catch/no catch, what does the plate umpire have to do in this play? 

      Answer:  He must bust back home for any possible play there.  He also must keep his eye on the ball as he back tracks to home plate.  He should use a drop step followed by cross steps and not back pedal.

 Section 5.4-5.5 Runner on Third Base Only 

21. 5.4   Base Hits to the Outfield – R3 only       True           False    The base umpire has all responsibility for touches of first, second and third.      

Answer:  True 

22. True           False    The plate umpire has the responsibility for the touch of R3 at home plate. 

      Answer:  True

 

 23. True           False    The base umpire has responsibility for only one runner because the base umpire has                                     scored. 

      Answer:  True

 

 24. Describe the term shading for me. 

      Answer:  It is sliding closer to the umpire’s sole runner.  Since it is your only responsibility shading makes

      sense.

 

 25. 5.5   Fly balls and Line Drives to the Infield      Which umpire has the catches of fly balls and line drives to the pitcher and catcher? 

      Answer:  The plate umpire.

 

 26. Which umpire has the fly balls and line drives to the shortstop? 

      Answer:  The base umpire.

 

27. How should the plate umpire cover a fly ball near the third base line?

 

      Answer:  The plate umpire should straddle a step or two up the line.

 

 28. How should the plate umpire take a fly ball or line drive near first base? 

      Answer:  The plate umpire should straddle a step or two up the line.

 

 29. On fly balls in the infield what must the base umpire guard against? 

Answer:  He must guard against taking himself completely out of position in case the ball should be dropped.

 

 Section 5.6-5.7Runner on Third Base Only  

30. 5.6       Ground ball to the infield with R3 only.      True           False    The plate umpire must stay at home on a ground ball to the infield with a runner on third. 

      Answer:     True

 

 31. Yes            No       Is it an absolute necessity to stay at home with two out?      

Answer:     No.      This is a Robin Johnson technique.  It is not taught at the umpire schools or in this PBUC manual.  It makes sense.  The only thing that you will miss is if R3 touches or misses the plate and at lower levels you might get some fielder throwing the ball home.  You can  follow the BR up the 1st baseline just as if there are no runners on base at all.  In most situations there is no play at the plate and you can be better used as helping your partner you are still responsible for R3 touching the plate but you can listen for it or look over your shoulder at the appropriate time.    

 32. Where does the plate umpire take the fair/foul on a ground ball up the first base line with a runner on third base? 

      Answer:     He will take the fair/foul a step or two up the line, being prepared to bounce back into position

      immediately for any play at the plate.  This is not an easy technique to master.  Especially since it was

      taught differently in the past.

 

 33. Why shouldn’t the plate umpire take the fair foul a step or two up the third base line with a runner on third base? 

      Answer:  When there is a suicide squeeze or any play where R3 is trying to score.

 

 34. True           False    The plate umpire is responsible to help at first base on overthrows, interference and swipe                                     tags. 

      Answer:  True

 

 35. The base umpire normally drifts a few steps in the direction of the 45-foot line, anticipating a play at first base, but with R3 he must react with ___________________  _____________________ in case the play could be at third base. 

      Answer:  Good anticipation

 

 36. True           False    The base umpire must get exceptionally close to the play at first base with a runner on third base only. 

      Answer:  False

 

 37. 5.7       Pickoff at Third Base; Rundowns      There are two possible methods to handle pickoffs at third base.  Describe the most simple of the two. 

      Answer:  The umpire will take a quick step forward with his right foot, moving in the direction of an imaginary 45-foot line along the third base line.  After taking this initial step forward, the umpire will turn (pivot on his right foot), face the play and set for the call.

 

 38. What is the most basic difference between these two techniques?  

      Answer:  The starting foot.

 

 39. What is the recommended method of set position for these pickoff plays? 

      Answer:  The hands-on-knees set (HOKS).

 

 40. How do the umpires cover a rundown between home and third with only that runner to be concerned with? 

      Answer:  “Half and half.” 

 41. Is “half and half” different from how a rundown between first and second?  Yes or No.  If yes, in what way? 

Answer:  Yes, because between first and second the plate umpire only gets the area near the cutout at first base.  Also, the base umpire probably can always help on a rundown between third and home but the plate umpire may not be able to help on a rundown between first and second.

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