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Old Wed Oct 10, 2001, 08:01pm
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In almost every sport, the first thing you learn to do is keep your eye on the ball. This is the most important rule in any sport and especially important for an umpire.
I have only been an umpire for a couple years but i have learned that if you keep your eye on the ball you have much less chance of making mistakes.





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Old Thu Oct 11, 2001, 06:39am
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Quote:
Originally posted by kman
In almost every sport, the first thing you learn to do is keep your eye on the ball. This is the most important rule in any sport and especially important for an umpire.
I have only been an umpire for a couple years but i have learned that if you keep your eye on the ball you have much less chance of making mistakes.
In basketball, both (or all) officials rarely watch the ball. One watches the ball (and the player with it and the player guarding that player) and the other(s) watch the other players.

A similar arrangement exists in football.

In baseball, if an umpire always watch the ball, s/he'll miss obstruction, interference and won't be sure if the runners touched the bases. The umpire needs to learn to switch between watching the ball, then watching the players, then picking up the ball again. Learninghow and when to do this will result in a "much less chance of making mistakes."
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Old Thu Oct 11, 2001, 09:27am
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Bob nailed it. There is SO much more to watch - that's one reason the bigs use 4-man crews (and you thought it was because they were all so fat and out of shape they couldn't move!). Experience is a tremendous teacher in officiating any sport - you learn WHAT to watch and WHEN to watch it, then HOW to deal with what you saw so you can make calls as necessry. Some of the "best" arguments I've ever seen were led with the line, "How could you miss that?". Yes, you have to watch the ball. But don't forget that tag-up...or that interference....or that running lane violation...or the batter's box....and the pitcher, don't forget to watch him....and your partners....and the girl in the fourth row....etc, etc, etc...ad infinatum....

Now get out there and look around!

God Bless America

[Edited by JJ on Oct 11th, 2001 at 12:35 PM]
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Old Fri Oct 12, 2001, 12:26pm
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by kman
[B] In almost every sport, the first thing you learn to do is keep your eye on the ball. This is the most important rule in any sport and especially important for an umpire.
I have only been an umpire for a couple years but i have learned that if you keep your eye on the ball you have much less chance of making mistakes.

Keeping eye on the ball

If you are the batter, watching the ball is a must.
If you have only the BR coming to first, then again
follow the ball caught, released, and caught again
at 1B. But if you are BU and have multiple runners,
you will have other responsiblities than just eyeing
the ball such as the ones noted by Bob and JJ. Leave
the girl in 4th row alone, she's married with children.

glen



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Old Fri Oct 12, 2001, 07:11pm
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Talking and with your other eye.......


be sure to watch the pitcher's shoulders, feet, step, and if not balkable, quickly switch to catch the swipe tag on the runner diving back to first.

Seriously, it would be wonderful if you could keep your eye "everlastingly" on the ball, (as the Umpiring Manuals suggest), but reality soon sets in, and sure enough an important event occurs "off the ball".

With experience comes the joy of appearing to be able to "see" everything, while knowing yourself you can only see what you are looking at, at that very moment. Knowing when to glance away, and when to stay steady are the hallmarks of a veteran Umpire.
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Old Sat Oct 13, 2001, 12:55pm
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LL drill

Here is a drill I did at a LL umpire school. I think that they got it from Evans since I've heard he has given them alot of help with their program.

Instructor is in LF with 3 color balls. You start in A. On "go" a runner runs the bases. You cut in and pivot watching the ball. Another instruction will ask you the color, you time your glance at the runner touching first and see if F3 obstructs and glance back at the ball. You continue through the working area making sure there are touches of 2nd and 3rd. All the while the instructor is asking you the color of the ball being held up. At the end the instructor may appeal a runner missing a base and you are expected to make the correct call.

This gets you used to watching the ball and glancing for touched bases etc.

Bob
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Old Sat Oct 13, 2001, 07:39pm
JJ JJ is offline
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Wink

Good drill!! Of course, those of us who may be color blind may have trouble! As much as we are accused of being "blind", some of us may be delighted just seeing the instructor is, in fact, even holding up a ball..!

GBA
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Old Mon Oct 15, 2001, 09:31am
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Originally posted by kman

In almost every sport, the first thing you learn to do is keep your eye on the ball. This is the most important rule in any sport and especially important for an umpire.
I have only been an umpire for a couple years but i have learned that if you keep your eye on the ball you have much less chance of making mistakes.


In baseball the answer is Yes and No. Most baseball in this country is umpired utilizing the 2 person mechanics.

In a 2 person crew, one umpire watches or takes the ball, while the other umpire watches the runner.

We also have to watch out for interference / obstruction so if we simply watch the ball all of the time, we will miss those types of plays.

Yes watching the ball will take us to the play, but that is the responsibility of 1 umpire while the other umpire watches the runner and the fielders.

Not to get on a different subject, that's why it's important to have a good pre-game with one's partner so that both of you are on the saem page.

Pete Booth


[/B][/QUOTE]
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Old Mon Oct 15, 2001, 02:00pm
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My thinking on this is the same in baseball, softball, and football. Don't watch the ball, but always know where it is. (Except of course for the plate man watching the pitch.) A couple of examples:

- As you pivot at first, know where in the outfield the ball is, and when it's thrown in, know where the throw is going, but watch the runner touch the base and not get obstructed.

- On a ground out at first base, know if the ball is in F3's glove yet, but watch the bag for F3's foot and BR's foot. (Obviously that's all with the eyes, but the focus is the bag, the ball is peripheral.)

- Know if the quarterback is scrambling, has passed, or has handed off, but watch the players in your area. The same block could be legal or illegal (pass interference) depending on the status of the ball.
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Old Tue Oct 16, 2001, 01:02pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by bob jenkins
In baseball, if an umpire always watch the ball, s/he'll miss obstruction, interference and won't be sure if the runners touched the bases. The umpire needs to learn to switch between watching the ball, then watching the players, then picking up the ball again. Learninghow and when to do this will result in a "much less chance of making mistakes."
I agree with obstruction; I agree with runners touching the bases.

I can't think of any interference when the ball is not at the point of interference.

Oh, sorry: In the ALDS David Justice interfered at the time of the throw when he was 80 feet from the ball. My bad!

Of course, the only "real" interference that occurs away from the ball is a coach at first or third assisting a runner during a fly ball.
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