Fall 2020 Umpire Camps/Clinics

Below are the current camps/clinics available nationwide. Please note that these are subject to change. More Camps will be added as they appear

Umpire Training Institute 2-Man Clinic (August 15) @ Tucson, Arizona

Mid-American Umpire Clinic (September 10-13) @ Springfield, Missouri

Mid-American Advanced Umpire Clinic (September 17-20) @ Springfield, Missouri

UTD Fort Myers Umpire Camp (September 24-27) @ Fort Myers, Florida

UTD Myrtle Beach Umpire Camp (October 1-4) @ Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Umpire Training Institute 2-Man Clinic (October 2-4) @ Phoenix

Umpire Training Institute 3-Man Clinic (October 16-18) @ Phoenix

Umpire Training Institute Veterans 2-Man Clinic (November 6-8) @ Phoenix *Discount Offered for Veterans

2020 Umpiring Memo #4

TO: Officials, Coaches, Administrators, Observation Team, Contacts

FROM: Chris Maher, Instructional Chairman, Long Beach Unit

RE: 2020 Umpiring Memo #4

The first two weeks of the regular season have been complete. Our teams have had a number of games under their belts and are about to begin league play. It is safe to say that intensity will jack up just a bit during ballgames. Every pitch matters in ballgames and our focus needs to be there from start to finish. Our student-athletes and coaches are competitors and please realize that baseball can be an emotional game. Professionalism goes a long way on both ends of the spectrum and I know our teams and officials will exhibit that. A few important notes.

De-Certified Bats:Per the CIF State office, the 33-Inch Louisville Slugger Meta Composite Bat has been added to the decertified bat list. This bat is no longer compliant by rule (4-1-3b and 7-1-4a) and shall not be used during a game.

Terminating a Game:When a situation arises where a game could be potentially terminated for items such as darkness, weather, lower level 2 1/2 hour time limit or lower level run rule, umpire(s) should bring both coaches together and discuss that any of the above things could possibly end the game as well as the scenarios involved. We want our staffs to understand that these items could come into play and do not want a decision made by an umpire without consulting with his partner(s) (if he has one) and notifying both teams of the situation.

No-Stop Balks:We want quality judgments made regarding a pitcher’s ability to come to a complete and discernible stop. Do not knit-pick the borderline actions and call the obvious “rolling through.”If you think you saw it, then you probably did not. See what you call, not call what you see.

Plays at Home Plate:As we have talked about in the off-season and shown on video, we do not want to let the runner get between us and the catcher when ruling on this. We want to start at the point of the plate and work off the catcher’s inside hip. Too many times umpires commit to either the 1st base line extended or the 3rd base line extended without reading where the play is going.

Focus:As we talked about above, every pitch matters. Regardless if the count is 3-0 or if it is a game ending play, each pitch could have a potential consequence. Grabbing that 2-0 pitch below the hollow of the knee can change the course of an at-bat. There’s a big difference between hitting up 3-0, than with a count of 2-1. A few weeks back, video evidence showed a great defensive play by an infielder and an out was called at first base when the runner beat the throw by two steps. We’ve all been there before, take a deep breath and find your focal point. Remember, nothing is automatic and we got to be dialed in for each pitch and one pitch at a time.

The key to an endured period of success is mental toughness and self-evaluation. The very best officials in our industry are able to withstand the distractions and be at their peak performance every game. They evaluate their positioning and mechanics rather than looking to validate a call being made. They get back up each and every time they get knocked down.

Make your next game your best one.

Best Regards,

Chris Maher

Instructional Chairman

2020 Umpiring Memo #3

TO: Officials, Coaches, Administrators, Observation Team, Contacts
FROM: Chris Maher, Instructional Chairman, Long Beach Unit
RE: 2020 Umpiring Memo #3

On Saturday, several of our member institutions will embark on the journey known as the 2020 Regular Season. Others will begin shortly after and all the hours of conditioning, practicing and team-building will come to fruition. The quest for a CIF Southern Section Baseball Championship will be a challenge for all, but remember our student-athletes and coaches are competitors. Please keep that in mind and above all, each one of us has an obligation to be professional. It is not only about what decision is made, but about how the decision was made and how we went about it.

Between Games of A Doubleheader: A friendly reminder that when a double-header is scheduled (2 games between the same 2 teams), the umpires need to bring both head coaches together between games to agree upon a start time for the second game as well as a time for when the plate meeting will happen. For example, a 1:35pm start time with a 1:30pm plate meeting. It is now the obligation of the umpiring crew to meet the agreed upon time frame. Please remember that these time frames are set around the starting pitcher’s warm up time and his ability to “get hot.”

NOCSAE Stamp on Baseballs: Per the CIF State office, as long as the baseball has the words “NOCSAE/SEI,” the baseball is compliant by NFHS rule. It does not need to have the exact logo in the NFHS Baseball Rule Book or other NFHS Publications.

On-Deck Hitters (3-3-1i): Only two “bat swingers” may be permitted. This could be two on-deck hitters between innings or a pitching change as well as the hitter and the on-deck hitter when the ball is live. This provision goes for players in live-ball territory or a situation where the dugout is extended. We do not want excess players with bats in the extended dugout area as this creates a safety issue for defensive players who could potentially enter that portion of dead-ball territory.

Wind-Up Position (6-1-2): A pitcher’s free (non-pivot) foot shall be in any position on or behind a line extending through the front edge of the rubber (pitcher’s plate). If this criteria is not met, he is in the set position and must conform to the guidelines of Rule 6-1-3 (i.e. going to the set position without interruption and in one continuous motion, Complete and discernible stop, etc.). Do not let this become an issue late in the game, correct it early.

Pitcher Re-Planting His Pivot Foot(6-1-1, 6-1-2, 6-1-3):The pitcher, in his delivery, pushes completely off the pitcher’s plate and while in the air and in front of the pitcher’s plate, throws the pitch. RULING: This is an illegal pitch. A pitcher who leaps from the pitching plate (rather than pushing away from it) is no longer in contact with the pitcher’s plate and has delivered an illegal pitch.

Pitchers Wearing Play Cards:Many of you have seen offensive players or other defensive players wear play card wristbands. A pitcher may also wear this provided it is on his glove-side arm or his belt and does not contain any distracting items (i.e. excessive amount of white). If an umpire deems this to be distracting, feel free to color in the logo with a magic marker or sharpie first before going any further. This is an avenue we can use without having to tell a pitcher to take it off.

As we have talked about in our meetings, we expect communication between our umpires and coaches. Anticipate the play being made, not the call. Let’s exercise slow, professional decisions and do things to help make the game right.

Good Luck,
Chris Maher
Instructional Chairman