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Vocalizing balls


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#21 johnnyg08

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:25 AM

It's one of those things that will simply make you a better umpire and will separate you from the softball mechanic.

It was tough in the game b/c it hasn't been drilled enough yet. It will seem really slow at first. Will it make or break you as an umpire locally? It's not likely...but a lot of those little things put together make a good umpire great.
I'm not where I need to be, but not where I used to be.

#22 Jocko

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:52 PM

Thats what my evaluator said. Polishing the edges.
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#23 SoCal Lurker

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:58 PM

pet peeve add on . . .I'm guessing that most here don't have this problem, but it drives me nuts when PU's gesture where the ball was with the right hand . . . that "high/outside" gesture on the RHB looks an awful lot like the strike signal for some umps . . .

#24 kylejt

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 05:50 PM

It's a sign (literally) of an unconfident umpire. If he has to justify his call with some sort of hand signal, he's feeling that he's going to get some heat for his call.

Some folks do it because they've seen other umpires do it, and don't know any better. I've seen whole groups do it, because their leader does it.

#25 johnnyg08

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:07 PM

It's a sign (literally) of an unconfident umpire. If he has to justify his call with some sort of hand signal, he's feeling that he's going to get some heat for his call.

Some folks do it because they've seen other umpires do it, and don't know any better. I've seen whole groups do it, because their leader does it.


Wow, this brings us down a unique path...many of the CWS & Super Regional umpires are verbalizing the location of pitches the entire tournament.
I'm not where I need to be, but not where I used to be.

#26 kylejt

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:33 PM


It's a sign (literally) of an unconfident umpire. If he has to justify his call with some sort of hand signal, he's feeling that he's going to get some heat for his call.

Some folks do it because they've seen other umpires do it, and don't know any better. I've seen whole groups do it, because their leader does it.


Wow, this brings us down a unique path...many of the CWS & Super Regional umpires are verbalizing the location of pitches the entire tournament.


Big difference between saying "Outside", and waving your hands about.

Honestly, I don't look to guys on TV for guidance.

#27 Jocko

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:16 PM

So I was drilling myself on putting my strike verbal and mechanic together watching the CWS tonight. I did it for 2 innings and called strike every pitch. SWMBO thinks I'm looney tunes.
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#28 JHSump

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:25 PM

So I was drilling myself on putting my strike verbal and mechanic together watching the CWS tonight. I did it for 2 innings and called strike every pitch. SWMBO thinks I'm looney tunes.



Hahahahaha! That's funny! I've done similar things. Our problem is...not that we're looney tunes, but that we have no way to practice outside a game! haha

#29 spiritump

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:37 PM



It's a sign (literally) of an unconfident umpire. If he has to justify his call with some sort of hand signal, he's feeling that he's going to get some heat for his call.

Some folks do it because they've seen other umpires do it, and don't know any better. I've seen whole groups do it, because their leader does it.


Wow, this brings us down a unique path...many of the CWS & Super Regional umpires are verbalizing the location of pitches the entire tournament.


Big difference between saying "Outside", and waving your hands about.

Honestly, I don't look to guys on TV for guidance.


May-be you should; there is reason they are on TV

#30 Jocko

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:48 PM




It's a sign (literally) of an unconfident umpire. If he has to justify his call with some sort of hand signal, he's feeling that he's going to get some heat for his call.

Some folks do it because they've seen other umpires do it, and don't know any better. I've seen whole groups do it, because their leader does it.


Wow, this brings us down a unique path...many of the CWS & Super Regional umpires are verbalizing the location of pitches the entire tournament.


Big difference between saying "Outside", and waving your hands about.

Honestly, I don't look to guys on TV for guidance.


May-be you should; there is reason they are on TV

They were SELECTED to work the CWS. Hard not to look for things I should be doing differently.
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#31 kylejt

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:03 PM

Maybe I'm just seeing all things they're doing wrong, IMO. Fingers on the kneecaps. bellowing out strikes while looking at your finger (with a guy on third, no less). Lots of little things I teach my kids not to do.

And of course they're really good. I guess I'm just look at them with a different eye.

#32 Haid D' Salaami

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:48 PM

And you should most definitely say "BALL 4" this will help. and help your partners, so they are not calling a kid out at 2nd or 3rd on a ball 4 pitch..

saying "ball" on pitches is becoming more of a practice.. I do it all the time.

Also calling out location, is an advance mechanic.. not everyone should do it.. heck in the low minors they can't.. and some assignors do not either.

#33 Haid D' Salaami

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:50 PM

Maybe I'm just seeing all things they're doing wrong, IMO. Fingers on the kneecaps. bellowing out strikes while looking at your finger (with a guy on third, no less). Lots of little things I teach my kids not to do.

And of course they're really good. I guess I'm just look at them with a different eye.


If your timing is good.. you will be able to tell if the runner is coming... fingers on kneecaps?....

#34 carolinablue

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 12:33 AM

kyle, you are talking about selling a border line pitch. I was taught "if you had to sell it as a ball couldn't you sell it as a strike too?" :home:


I agree with you somewhat but there is always a borderline no matter how wide a zone you call. If you are already giving a ball off the plate, then a ball and a half is a borderline ball. You have to draw the line somewhere.

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#35 JHSump

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 04:29 PM


Maybe I'm just seeing all things they're doing wrong, IMO. Fingers on the kneecaps. bellowing out strikes while looking at your finger (with a guy on third, no less). Lots of little things I teach my kids not to do.

And of course they're really good. I guess I'm just look at them with a different eye.


If your timing is good.. you will be able to tell if the runner is coming...


Speaking of timing, I wait a heartbeat before calling a pitch a strike or ball, like most (all?) of you. And I vocalize both, for two reasons. One, if I don't vocalize the ball, my rhythm is thrown off. Two, if I don't vocalize the ball, it's not at all obvious to the players (I think) when the wait for my call is over! So, this seems to slow things down unnecessarily. I've actually had catchers say they were glad to see I am their PU, since I vocalize balls. Of course, I don't vocalize the balls as loudly as the strikes --- and I don't use any hand signals for balls, and I don't vocalize "high," "low," or whatever. Just "ball." Now, if the pitch bounces in front of the plate or flies very wide or over everyone, and is not touched, I don't say anything --- everyone knows those are balls. I do vocalize balls that are way inside, so the players know the pitch did not hit the batter (but, of course, I do say "Time!" if it does hit the batter).

#36 grayhawk

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:48 PM

And you should most definitely say "BALL 4" this will help. and help your partners, so they are not calling a kid out at 2nd or 3rd on a ball 4 pitch..

saying "ball" on pitches is becoming more of a practice.. I do it all the time.

Also calling out location, is an advance mechanic.. not everyone should do it.. heck in the low minors they can't.. and some assignors do not either.


I will give location if it's close in or out, but especially if it's in. The inside, belt high pitch seems to fool the benches almost every time. Pitches 8 inches in the box sometimes gets oohs and aahs. "Ball, that's in" goes a long way to keeping them quiet. It also helps when F2 is setup off the plate (out of the zone) and F1 hits the spot. It sure looks good from the dugout even though it was several inches out of the zone. I don't give up or down because you are just inviting chirping as they can reasonably see up and down from the dugout.

Also, I do verbalize balls on everything that isn't obvious. I don't generally change my volume because it makes it look like I need to be selling something. Another benefit to verbalizing balls is it helps me to remember what I called on a steal or back pick. "Ball" just kind of lingers there better if I verbalized it.

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