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Don't Let Resources go to Waste

Back in May of 2011, we discussed the combination of rules that deal with a batter being hit by a pitched ball. As a review, follow this link to the May 2011 edition of the “Fairball” newsletter www.littleleague.org/learn/newsletters/Fairball_Newsletters/2011/fbmay11/ and review the article titled “Award or Not, It’s Your Call.” After you’re comfortable with the rules interpretation, it would be beneficial to review the mechanics of this call. In order to get a visual representation of the call please follow these steps:

1. Go to www.LittleLeagueUmpire.org to access the Umpire’s Resource Center

2. If you’re not registered, sign up now. There is NO COST!

3. Once in the Resource Center SELECT the Plate Umpire Tab (on the left)

4. Then SELECT Situations

5. Use the small scroll bar to navigate to the subject Ball Hits Batter’s Hands to play the related video.

While listening to the explanation of the situations involved, pay attention to the plate umpire’s mechanics. As you can see, his first physical response to the play is to immediately call “TIME,” and raise his hands above his head. As umpires, this rapid calling of “TIME” allows us to stop all play before any other action occurs that may have to be undone. It also allows us a few more precious seconds to mentally replay the situation before we have to make a ruling. Do we have a strike? A ball? A hit batsman? By calling “TIME,” and displaying the appropriate hand signal you are giving yourself the opportunity to get the call right.

Remember that a good umpire must possess an excellent knowledge of the rules as well as mastery of crisp on-field mechanics. This brief article is an attempt to show how these two items are related. The Umpire Resource Center is an excellent place to either begin or enhance your understanding of our role.

By Tom Rawlings
2011 Little League Baseball World Series Umpire