These may be stupid questions, but I'm curious:
1) I've seen lots of plate umpires touching catchers on their back when the plate umpire gets set. Is that just to get a reference on where the catcher is? What is the purpose? Don't you as an umpire have to get to about the same spot with your eyes anyways (we're instructed eyes @ top of the strike zone, inside corner of the plate regardless of where the catcher sets up)? As a SB umpire, we are told to never ever touch the girls. Ever. I might pat a catcher on the helmet if she makes a great play or does something funny, but many won't even do that. Just seems like a really weird habit to me.
2) Why don't you wear a shirt over your chest protector when you wear a coat - I think you call them plate coats? We always wear the pull over jackets so no one sees the CP, at least not very much. The CP/plate coat combo looks very odd to me, not sure why the exposed CP would be the look that you would want to have.
That's all I have questions for now. Really love the forum here, picked up some great advise on equipment from Max for CP3 (Schutt HDX) and via searching threads for shin guards (Force 3).
Just one more note, we are adopting more and more mechanics from baseball. We implemented the "wedge theory" on tag plays, utilizing 3rd baseline extended for plays at the plate and the two out (non-timing play) signal from baseball this past year in college and it's made a big difference in getting in the correct position and getting calls correct. I have a big appreciation for what you guys do, especially those of you that do it well!