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Old Wed Dec 12, 2018, 05:35pm
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4 Umpire Mechanics?

NCAA has opened the option for 4-man crews for next year's post-season. Say I want to try a little 4-man in Daddy Ball for S&G's...as I'm not likely to work any D1 postseason soon.

Is this just 3 man mechanics + 1? Here's what I expect (having never seen a 4-man manual):
  • Ball hit to the infield: Everyone stays in position.
  • Ball hit to RF: U1 chases, U2 slides to the gap and covers 1B/2B; everyone follows counter-rotated 3-man mechanics. (Does HP take the tagup at 1B?)
  • Ball hit to CF: U2 chases, U1 slides to the gap; everyone follows counter-rotated 3-man mechanics. (U1 has tag at 1B/2B)
  • Ball hit to LF: U3 chases, PU moves to 3B, U1 rotates home, U2 slides to the gap; everyone follows counter-rotated 3-man mechanics. (PU has tag at 3B, U2 has tag at 1B/2B?)
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Last edited by teebob21; Wed Dec 12, 2018 at 05:39pm. Reason: tag responsibilities
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Old Thu Dec 13, 2018, 11:51am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
NCAA has opened the option for 4-man crews for next year's post-season. Say I want to try a little 4-man in Daddy Ball for S&G's...as I'm not likely to work any D1 postseason soon.

Is this just 3 man mechanics + 1? Here's what I expect (having never seen a 4-man manual):
  • Ball hit to the infield: Everyone stays in position.
  • Ball hit to RF: U1 chases, U2 slides to the gap and covers 1B/2B; everyone follows counter-rotated 3-man mechanics. (Does HP take the tagup at 1B?)
  • Ball hit to CF: U2 chases, U1 slides to the gap; everyone follows counter-rotated 3-man mechanics. (U1 has tag at 1B/2B)
  • Ball hit to LF: U3 chases, PU moves to 3B, U1 rotates home, U2 slides to the gap; everyone follows counter-rotated 3-man mechanics. (PU has tag at 3B, U2 has tag at 1B/2B?)
Teebob,
I just got my CAA manual and disappointed that 4 umpire system is not a part of the manual. Having said that, there is a 4 umpire system listed in both the NFHS and USA Softball manuals, but it is listed as only one page, basically: if someone goes out, revert to the 3 umpire system.

WBSC has a 4 umpire system posted on their website (it is public). But this doesn't strictly follow the philosophy of NFHS/USA mechanics.

For my state high school association, I have created an extensive guide for both 3 and 4 umpire system that follow the basic philosophy of the 2 umpire system (which is the base system for USA and NFHS). As you say, the 3 umpire system is "2 + 1" and the 4 umpire system is "3 + 1".

If you want my opinion, following the "2 + 1 + 1" philosophy:
Quote:
Ball hit to the infield: Everyone stays in position.
Yes. As a trainer and evaluator, it is difficult to get U3 to just stay still or take a step or two into a calling position. Too many want to buttonhook on a ball into the infield, or mirror a call at first (the 45*).

Quote:
Ball hit to RF: U1 chases, U2 slides to the gap and covers 1B/2B; everyone follows counter-rotated 3-man mechanics. (Does HP take the tagup at 1B?)
Umpire movement is as you say, U2 has both 1st and 2nd, U3 and PU holds. U2 is responsible for any play at first -- think this way: in 2 umpire, who has plays at first? Answer: the base umpire. In NFHS/USA three umpire, if U1 chases, who has the call at first? Answer: the remaining base umpire (U3).
Note: here is your difference with NCAA mechanics, as 3 umpire mechanics is the NCAA "base" and there is a different philosophy.

Note 2: U2 starting position is always on the first base side of second base, even with a runner on second. This provides U2 the ability to cover 1st if necessary. At one time (ISF), U2 was rotated over with a runner on second, but that is no longer. It will be interesting to see how NCAA handles this with the change in the 3 umpire system, rotated starting position.

Quote:
Ball hit to CF: U2 chases, U1 slides to the gap; everyone follows counter-rotated 3-man mechanics. (U1 has tag at 1B/2B)
No, U3 fills the vacated spot of U2 - and takes 1st (if necessary) when U1 vacates by rotating home. Umpires rotate: U1 rotates to plate when a runner passes 2nd; PU rotates up to third. Basically, you fill the empty space in front of you. Communication is the key.

Quote:
Ball hit to LF: U3 chases, PU moves to 3B, U1 rotates home, U2 slides to the gap; everyone follows counter-rotated 3-man mechanics. (PU has tag at 3B, U2 has tag at 1B/2B?)
Yes, but I would not call that "counter-rotated" mechanics. There is a rotation, so this (and when U2 chases) is more like following the rotated started position from 3 umpire.
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Old Thu Dec 13, 2018, 11:43pm
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Worked my first championship play 4 & 6 umpire games in 1996 @ Men's A Industrial. Not as difficult as some want to make it, but each umpire must know their partners' responsibility.

If you start with the thought that U2 & U3 share the responsibilities depending upon which goes out, it is mostly designed like 3-umpire mechanics. There is a bit more to it, but that can be a starting point.
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Old Fri Dec 14, 2018, 06:20pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IRISHMAFIA View Post
6 umpire games
That's a lot of blues. Tongue-in-cheek pregame as PU: U1/2/3; don't move. UL/UR; chase on your side of the outfield. I got the plate. Have fun everyone. Beers at the hotel in 2 hours. Andy's buying.

RE ball to LF:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Slick View Post
Yes, but I would not call that "counter-rotated" mechanics. There is a rotation, so this (and when U2 chases) is more like following the rotated started position from 3 umpire.
Mis-type. I was copying and pasting. I meant "regular" rotated with U1 coming home.

RE ball to CF: I understand the concept here...as umpires we always rotate "left" against the flow of the runners...but to me it just seems simpler to have U1 drift between 1B/2B (a la 2-man) while U3 and PU stay home. (This is why I don't write umpire manuals.)
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Last edited by teebob21; Fri Dec 14, 2018 at 06:26pm.
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Old Tue Dec 18, 2018, 10:54am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Slick View Post
Teebob,
I just got my CAA manual and disappointed that 4 umpire system is not a part of the manual. Having said that, there is a 4 umpire system listed in both the NFHS and USA Softball manuals, but it is listed as only one page, basically: if someone goes out, revert to the 3 umpire system.
I just looked in the latest NFHS and USA Softball umpire manuals, and I didn't see anything mentioned regarding four-umpire mechanics. Perhaps the older manuals had them when four-man was recognized back then?
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Old Tue Dec 18, 2018, 11:15am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
I just looked in the latest NFHS and USA Softball umpire manuals, and I didn't see anything mentioned regarding four-umpire mechanics. Perhaps the older manuals had them when four-man was recognized back then?
I doubt it. Don't ever remember seeing 4-umpire mechanics in a published manual except for ISF/WBSC
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Old Tue Dec 18, 2018, 12:29pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manny A View Post
I just looked in the latest NFHS and USA Softball umpire manuals, and I didn't see anything mentioned regarding four-umpire mechanics. Perhaps the older manuals had them when four-man was recognized back then?
I may be a bit mistaken. I'm looking at a 2015 ASA manual and the page I remember isn't there. NFHS manual used to have the same one page, showed a diagram of the foul umpires between innings.

But there wasn't anything else beside: revert to a 3 umpire system when an umpire chases. I'll look at the fed manual later.
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Old Thu Dec 20, 2018, 01:38pm
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The "missing page"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Slick View Post
I may be a bit mistaken. I'm looking at a 2015 ASA manual and the page I remember isn't there. NFHS manual used to have the same one page, showed a diagram of the foul umpires between innings.

But there wasn't anything else beside: revert to a 3 umpire system when an umpire chases. I'll look at the fed manual later.
See, I am not imagining anything:
http://il-ssoa.com/pdfs/2010-2011-Umpires-Manual.pdf

Ok, I found this online, from the 2010-2011 NFHS mechanics manual. Pages 71 - 72 (is this enough citation for copyright issues?). This EXACT page used to exist in the ASA mechanics manual, but I'm not sure when it was removed (I don't keep old copies, but I just happened to have a 2015 version, and this page isn't there):

FOUR-UMPIRE SYSTEM —
FAST PITCH AND SLOW PITCH

The four-umpire system provides an umpire at every base, allowing for the best possible coverage for force or tag plays at each base, or on outfield fly balls.
With the four-umpire system, one of the three base umpires will always go to the outfield on each fly ball or line drive hit over any infielder’s head. The second base umpire is responsible for the outfield area from the left to the right fielder. He/she will spend more time in the outfield observing possible trapped balls or balls near the fence which may bounce over (under) or go over on the fly, than he/she will in making calls at second base. The first base umpire is responsible for all balls hit between the right fielder and the dead-ball line, and the third base umpire is responsible for all balls hit between the left fielder and the dead-ball line. (note: there is a diagram of the "chase zone/areas").

When any of the umpires go out, the remaining three umpires revert to a three umpire system of coverage as previously covered. This is true not only for tag ups on all fly balls, but also for all force out or tag plays in the infield. Remember, when a base umpire goes out on a play to the outfield, he/she should ALWAYS stay out until all play has ceased.

Between-inning mechanics are the same as the three-umpire system with the second base umpire staying in the out field area (Figure 34 - which is a diagram of the between innings locations: U2 just "north" of second, U3 and U1 off their respective foul lines).
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Old Thu Dec 20, 2018, 02:47pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
That's a lot of blues. Tongue-in-cheek pregame as PU: U1/2/3; don't move. UL/UR; chase on your side of the outfield. I got the plate. Have fun everyone. Beers at the hotel in 2 hours. Andy's buying.

RE ball to LF:



Mis-type. I was copying and pasting. I meant "regular" rotated with U1 coming home.

RE ball to CF: I understand the concept here...as umpires we always rotate "left" against the flow of the runners...but to me it just seems simpler to have U1 drift between 1B/2B (a la 2-man) while U3 and PU stay home. (This is why I don't write umpire manuals.)
How did I get thrown in here...????
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Old Thu Dec 20, 2018, 05:07pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
How did I get thrown in here...????
Dude, nobody "throws" you anywhere.
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Old Sat Dec 22, 2018, 04:37pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Slick View Post
Dude, nobody "throws" you anywhere.
Who cares, as long as he is buying anything that isn't "Lite"
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Old Wed Jan 09, 2019, 09:58am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teebob21 View Post
NCAA has opened the option for 4-man crews for next year's post-season. Say I want to try a little 4-man in Daddy Ball for S&G's...as I'm not likely to work any D1 postseason soon.
SUP has just released the four umpire manual. I would not use this manual and the concepts for anything level lower than NCAA.
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