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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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