The Basic Six are mechanics primarily used by a base umpire while in the “A” position. Each mechanic is specific and builds on the single action of calling a runner “Out” and “Safe.” Certain mechanics are also used in the “B” and “C” positions, and by the plate umpire. Note that four of the six mechanics are two-part mechanics, meaning that part one must be fully completed before the second part of the mechanic is to be performed. View the videos below to see the proper execution of each mechanic.
3. Safe – Off the Bag
Situation: Ball is hit to an infielder who throws the ball to the first baseman, and in the process of catching the ball, is pulled off of the bag, resulting in the batter-runner being safe.
This mechanic would be used to indicate the batter-runner is safe because the first baseman was not in contact with the bag when catching the ball. This mechanic may also be used at second base, third base and home plate.
4. Safe – Ball’s on the Ground
Situation: Ball is hit to an infielder who throws the ball to the first baseman, and in the process of fielding the ball, traps the ball and/or the ball is not caught, resulting in the batter-runner being safe.
This mechanic would be used to indicate the batter-runner is safe because the first baseman did not catch the ball. This mechanic may also be used at second base, third base and home plate.
5. Out – On the Tag
Situation: Ball is hit to an infielder who throws the ball to the first baseman. The throw is off line, forcing the first baseman to come up the first base line to catch the ball. The first baseman catches the ball and applies a swipe tag on the batter-runner passing by.
This mechanic would be used to indicate that the batter-runner is out because of the tag being applied by the first baseman. Note that this mechanic is only used in this situation and should not be used in any other situation or at any other base.
6. Foul – Left
Situation: A ball is hit down the first base line passing the bag in foul territory and is fielded by the first baseman in front of the base umpire.
This mechanic would be used to indicate that the the ball is foul.
Participating in offseason training will improve your skill set and confidence. Each spring and fall, Little League® International in South Williamsport, Pa., offers a weekend mechanics clinic; and in April a week-long school is hosted on the Little League International complex. Veteran Little League umpires serve as the instructors, and work with the attendees on understanding and properly executing the Basic Six, and many other related skills on both a 60- and 90-foot diamond.
Each Little League regional center also offers informative clinics that review rules and regulations, while also providing access to training for umpire from throughout the region. In order to stay current with the accepted practices and techniques associated with Little League umpiring, it is recommended that all umpires attend at least one formal training season per year.