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Everything posted by ilyazhito

  1. I umpire both baseball and softball, and one can say that I have an unusual style in baseball: I use the umpire-school heel-toe position to get set to call balls and strikes, I call the pitches by number (I call "Ball One!" "Strike One!", etc.), and I call strikes by pointing. I was initially taught to use the hammer, but I could not assimilate to using it initially, because of the uncaught third strike scenario. I now know the work-around that softball and umpire school uses (call strike 3, signal safe, and say "No catch!"). However, I know that most umpires do not call pitches by numbers, except for Ball Four and Strike Three. Some (those who have had exposure to umpire school, probably) do use numbers, but it is not the norm in any level of baseball besides professional umpire school and the short-season minor leagues. Personally, I use the numbers because it helps me to remember the sequence of pitches in longer at-bats, and keeps me on track if I forget to click the dials on my indicator. I also use numbers because it is what will be expected of me if I go to umpire school. Why do the umpire schools teach calling balls and strikes by numbers, if it is not common practice in the other levels of baseball? Do they want to produce standard umpires who can easily be evaluated? Do they want the umpires to keep the count in their heads without relying on their indicators? Or is there another reason for this practice?
  2. I use the umpire school heel-toe stance, call balls and strikes by number (Ball 1, Strike 1), and point for strikes. I was taught the hammer, but could not assimilate it initially, because the uncaught third strike scenario becomes confusing when the umpire uses the hammer (which is the same as the out signal). I learned the work-around to that situation (call strike 3, signal safe, and say "no catch!"), but I still prefer to point for called strikes. Should I ever go to professional umpire school, I will use the hammer for that, and until I reach full-season A ball, if I am hired to the professional level. If not, I will continue pointing strikes.
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