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How would you adjust from being U1 in a 2-man game to being U1 in a 3-man game? I know the mechanics changes that are in the manual (you don't go inside unless there is a runner at 2B without a runner on 1B, you do not pivot, you go to home plate on rotations, etc.). You (the typical HS/JUCO/sub-AA pro umpire) have worked many 2-man games on the bases and have ingrained habits that help you be in better position. How would you "undo" those habits when you work 3-man? Do you say "no pivot unless U3 leaves", "go home", "stay in A [with a runner on 1B or R1/R3]" to yourself in situations where 2-man differs from 3-man, as a reminder, or would you use different strategies? Are there any other mental or mechanical changes that you use as U1 in a 3-man game? I have worked a 3-man scrimmage at HP, so I understand the adjustments to be made there (slightly different rotations, check with U3 on swings by left-handed batters, signals to the middle umpire, if someone is inside, or to U3, if both base umpires are on their lines).

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I would say that the best way to "undo" habits is to learn the mechanics for the other system through one of the many 3 man clinics hosted by one of several highly regarded organizations across the country. 

Many have been discussed on this board so naming them would end up in me forgetting one or two, or maybe more. Do some research to find ones close to you.

When I went to one of these clinics I worked hard to learn the systems right the first time so I would not have to undo any bad habits.

Once learned, continue to reinforce the different mechanics by reading, watching, and working the system.

My .02. YMMV.

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1 hour ago, ilyazhito said:

How would you adjust from being U1 in a 2-man game to being U1 in a 3-man game?

Experience.

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The only way to learn 3-man is to get experience running 3-man, like noumpere said. Go to clinics like Kevin_K said.

One opportunity I try to exploit is Fall Ball - coaches are glad to get 2 guys there, so they are MORE than happy to see 3. If I am working something in Fall, I always try to find a 3rd guy to come with us. or ask if I can be the 3rd when I know the 2 guys working something. Get out there and work it - it's really the only way.

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Jump in on a 2-man crew to practice. I so it all the time..

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8 hours ago, JaxRolo said:

Jump in on a 2-man crew to practice. I so it all the time..

The coach pitch kids love seeing 3 real umpires out there

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7 hours ago, blue23ll said:

The coach pitch kids love seeing 3 real umpires out there

I think it was two umpires plus JaxRolo.  ;)

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I was able to work 3-man as the U1 this year at a Sectional Final playoff game in MD, and I can say that it isn't easier than 2-man, but it is simpler. Once I was able to read the manual and have a few situations where U3 went to the deep B position, I was able to stay in A with confidence, and have great looks at pickoff attempts at 1B. After the runners moved up to 2nd, I was able to get to deep B, cover the back of my U3, and make calls on pickoff plays at 2B. I was even able to go out on a ball to RF with a runner at 1B and make a call (no catch)! It did take a little bit of adjustment (with 2 outs, U3 and I reverted back to me in A, him in C, what we would be in for a R1/R2 or bases loaded situation), but it was a very enjoyable experience. This is why 3-man as the U1 is not easier than, but simpler than 2-man. 

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On 5/27/2018 at 2:08 PM, catsbackr said:

Also, don't assume that 3-man is easier than 2-man.  It isn't.

Especially when one of your partners can't get 2 man right!

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Well, I went to 3-person camp, and it seems that U1 was more difficult for me than I initially expected. U3 was easier (run across the diamond from D position to 2nd base, unless I go out), go to 2nd (if in the middle), or slide between 2nd and 1st, whereas I need more 3 man games to be able to unconsciously know when to slash inside from A. If I get more reps, I can read the play and runners faster and get to where I need to be. Unfortunately, most games are 2-man, so it would be really hard to get the practice, unless my assignor was willing to give me unpaid games, or some umpires working fall ball were open to inviting a 3rd to work with them. 

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Actually, there’s a component to 3-man U1 that you can translate to 2-man BU, and it will make your Umpire life much easier.

As in 2-man, anything hit F9-to-line is going to prompt you to go out. But for everything else, you’ll be getting in the habit of reading – read where the ball is going, what fielders are involved, and in the case of 3-man, what your U3 is doing. And, as a reaction to what you read, you can perform a dash-and-glance; not, I repeat not, a “perfect” buttonhook pivot. There is no exclusive benefit to the buttonhook pivot that the dash-and-glance cannot accomplish. The speed, or urgency, of the dash can be adjusted according to the play-in-motion. Whether it’s a routine single, or a potential triple to the corner, or due to a mishandle, shaping into a close play at 2B – or a backpick into 1B – you can adjust your dash (and glances) to put yourself in optimum, seemingly effortless, position to call the play.

So, applying this to 3-man as U1 becomes rather simple, especially when you factor in routine reads. U1 is the trigger-man for Rotations (U3 to 2B, PU to 3B, U1 to HP), Pushes (PU stays, U3 to 3B, U1 to 2B), and has to anticipate and react to “Breaks” where U3’s going-out breaks the play into 2-man. Thus, it is crucial that a U1 reads and identifies the components of a play as it happens.

In my experience, this has been the greatest challenge for established BU’s going from 2-man to 3-&-4-man – this pedantic penchance to put their head down and promptly perform a perfect pivot. Not only is it perilous, but it also prevents proper rotations and pushes to take place.

Enough P’s? 

As far as when to get practice, certainly YMWV in approaching and working with partners and colleagues. After 10 years into Umpiring, I’ve reached a point where I can approach a 2-man crew and suggest we do the game in 3-man. Of course, there’s considered discretion as to if I should for a particular crew or game. In regards to pay, some crews need the full game fee, while others are open to the idea of distributing some to you, or splitting it evenly, recognizing that not only are you working, but you’re also providing a measure of training and instruction to them on 3-man. And, if you demonstrate proficiency, you will potentially bolster TDs and LDs to have playoff or championship games conducted in 3-or-4-man.

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3 hours ago, MadMax said:

And, as a reaction to what you read, you can perform a dash-and-glance; not, I repeat not, a “perfect” buttonhook pivot. There is no exclusive benefit to the buttonhook pivot that the dash-and-glance cannot accomplish.

And, if you are to believe Brent Rice. He claims that Harry Wendelstadt was the inventor of the Buttonhook Pivot.

The story goes, that Harry wanted to come up with some way that the campers at his school can separate themselves from one another in terms of balance and "athletic ability." So The Pivot was invented in order to determine those attributes. 

And yes... there is no advantage to trying to intentionally mix your legs up with one another over just a simple glance over the shoulder.

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15 minutes ago, BT_Blue said:

And, if you are to believe Brent Rice. He claims that Harry Wendelstadt was the inventor of the Buttonhook Pivot.

The story goes, that Harry wanted to come up with some way that the campers at his school can separate themselves from one another in terms of balance and "athletic ability." So The Pivot was invented in order to determine those attributes. 

And yes... there is no advantage to trying to intentionally mix your legs up with one another over just a simple glance over the shoulder.

Wouldn't the pivot, in 2 man,  be appropriate when it's not a sure extra base hit and there might be a throw back into 1B?

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U1 has outfield responsibility if U3 is in D as well. 

Basically, both base guys que off from each other. If U3 goes out, then U1 takes BR all the way to 3B. This is the same as 2 man. If U3 comes in, then U1 needs to read that and think about HP coverage. We use a 'mirror the runner' technique to rotate. PU mirrors runner from 1B to 2B. U1 mirrors runner from 2B to 3B. You have to make sure that there will be no plays back into 1B. If U1 is in deep B, then you might be making calls at 1B from in the dirt. You can get a great angle from there too. 

Like the guys said above, it can be complicated, but with practice it is a lot of fun to do. There is a lot of communication involved and you need to think about more stuff than 2 man. 

Just remember U1 in A anytime there is a runner on 1B, or with 2 outs. 

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Just now, Jimurray said:

Wouldn't the pivot, in 2 man,  be appropriate when it's not a sure extra base hit and there might be a throw back into 1B?

This would depend on what U3 is doing. If he is inside then take the play by starting outside and stepping in to make the call. The only time to come in is when U1 has to take BR to 2B. 

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10 hours ago, Jimurray said:

Wouldn't the pivot, in 2 man,  be appropriate when it's not a sure extra base hit and there might be a throw back into 1B?

It could be appropriate, but it’s unnecessary and needent be compulsory. As I said, if you read where the ball goes, and how the play is shaping up, you can adjust the speed, angle and distance, all while staying chest to ball. In fact, “chest to ball” has become the much more valued directive from instructors, trainers, and evaluators. You dash in, chest to ball, glance at the BR touching 1B, then turn to pickup the location of the ball. Then, you adjust accordingly.

Why the clinging to a perfect buttonhook pivot? Aside from what @BT_Blue shared (anecdotally, of course), it’s also held as a “trust exercise”, or a demonstration of “know your role” between PU and BU, especially with “old” (I’m not saying age specifically) umpires.

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5 hours ago, MadMax said:

It could be appropriate, but it’s unnecessary and needent be compulsory. As I said, if you read where the ball goes, and how the play is shaping up, you can adjust the speed, angle and distance, all while staying chest to ball. In fact, “chest to ball” has become the much more valued directive from instructors, trainers, and evaluators. You dash in, chest to ball, glance at the BR touching 1B, then turn to pickup the location of the ball. Then, you adjust accordingly.

Why the clinging to a perfect buttonhook pivot? Aside from what @BT_Blue shared (anecdotally, of course), it’s also held as a “trust exercise”, or a demonstration of “know your role” between PU and BU, especially with “old” (I’m not saying age specifically) umpires.

That glance should also include a look at F3's position and possible obstruction.

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Depending on the situation, PU can help with INT/OBS and the throw back into 1B, right?

PU can also cover his partners "assets" if U3 goes out and U1 curls outside and high-tail it to cover 2B.  Free :cheers: all night for that one!

 

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Yes, HP could help out if there was no rotation, or a reverse rotation with no potential play at the plate. If there is a likely play at the plate, HP must stay to deal with that. U1 would then pick up any obstruction at or around 1B, which would most likely be of the Type 2/Type B variety. 

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3 hours ago, noumpere said:

Some even teach for U1 to not pivot at all and to just rim and take a play at second from the outside

I like this!  

Would you have to trail the runner somewhat to get an angle on this without interfering with the BR?

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32 minutes ago, noumpere said:

Some even teach for U1 to not pivot at all and to just rim and take a play at second from the outside

I'm not saying that this should be taught universally and unilaterally, but it certainly addresses the core ethos of this topic: read the play as it unfolds and react accordingly.

On 8/6/2018 at 4:17 PM, BT_Blue said:

And, if you are to believe Brent Rice, he claims that Harry Wendelstadt was the inventor of the Buttonhook Pivot.

Funny. Brent Rice "directed" or instructed us on the 3-man system we're using for Northwoods League and Expedition League, and it's based around a Routine Read. I'm paraphrasing, but the essential message was, "We're not doing the CCA Manual, where you have to go out on everything, and we're not doing the exact MLB 3-man, which is structured to translate to and from MLB 4-man easily." It's worked quite well for us, provided that each umpire is performing their role and aware of what the other two are doing. Where we've actually run into failures has been when one doesn't treat a routine hit / fly-ball as routine, or if one acts as per the way he was taught at PBUC.

 

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1 hour ago, MadMax said:

I'm not saying that this should be taught universally and unilaterally, but it certainly addresses the core ethos of this topic: read the play as it unfolds and react accordingly.

Funny. Brent Rice "directed" or instructed us on the 3-man system we're using for Northwoods League and Expedition League, and it's based around a Routine Read. I'm paraphrasing, but the essential message was, "We're not doing the CCA Manual, where you have to go out on everything, and we're not doing the exact MLB 3-man, which is structured to translate to and from MLB 4-man easily." It's worked quite well for us, provided that each umpire is performing their role and aware of what the other two are doing. Where we've actually run into failures has been when one doesn't treat a routine hit / fly-ball as routine, or if one acts as per the way he was taught at PBUC.

 

I didn't think the CCA manual had you go out on everything in 3 man.

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11 hours ago, Jimurray said:

I didn't think the CCA manual had you go out on everything in 3 man.

That is also my recollection, but I've been away for a bit so I didn't comment in case something changed. 

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