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



      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



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!"

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