The “Safe – Ball’s on the Ground” Mechanic is an extension of the “Safe” Mechanic and is used when it is not obvious to players, coaches, and fans that the fielder did not catch the ball resulting in the runner being called “safe”. If you have not watched the “Safe” Mechanic video, you may want to do so prior to watching this video. The “Safe – Ball’s on the Ground” Mechanic is used by the Base and Plate Umpire. In this video, we will break down the “Safe – Ball’s on the Ground” Mechanic which is a two-part mechanic.
The first part of the mechanic is the “Safe” Mechanic. Beginning from the “Hands-on-Knees Set” Position, lift the torso straight up. It is not necessary to bring the feet together during this movement. Simultaneously, lift both arms together straight up in front of the body and level with the shoulders. Fingers on the hands should be closed with the thumb resting beside the index finger. Next, move the arms out to the sides parallel to the ground making sure that they are not overextended while verbalizing “Safe”. The hands should remain in-line with the arms and not be pointing up. Hold the arms in that position for a few seconds and then drop the arms to the sides. This completes the first part of the mechanic.
The second part of the mechanic indicates that the fielder dropped the ball and it is on the ground. While still looking at the fielder, point at the ground and verbalize “ball’s on the ground”. Maintain eye contact with the fielder and resist looking at your finger. Remember, this is a single point to the ground and not multiple points.