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.

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