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chadozee

One Man Mechanics

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Hi Guys, this fall I've had an unusually high number of Jr. High games that I have had to work as a 1 man crew due to rainouts.  Do any of you have any specific tips or help for working these games?  I know there will always be an area that doesn't get covered as well as others, but I want to do my absolute best even in these less than ideal situations.

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

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HUSTLE!  If you show the teams that you are out there working hard, then they will tend to stay off your back on your long distance calls.

 

Read the play, and get in the best possible position for the most likely play.  Always think ahead to the next play.

 

Don't be afraid of getting out in the infield to make calls, even when runners will be crossing the plate.  For example, with R2 & R3 and a double hit to the gap, you should be out at the second base cutout to make the potential call there.  Both runners will score easily, so don't hang out at the plate.

 

Prioritize.  You can only see so much.  Make sure you see the most important things, at the risk of seeing things that are not as important.

 

If the ball beats the runner and the tag is down, he's out unless you specifically KNOW that the tag was missed.

 

If FPSR is in effect, don't stay with the play at second too long.  Turn with the throw to first!

 

On steals, make sure there is no BI before moving your attention to the play at the base.  You have more time than you think to take a step out to make that call.

 

Those are off the top of my head.  Some folks would say not to take ANY crap.  I agree with that as long as you are hustling.

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Thanks Grayhawk, I really appreciate the help!

 

Happy to help.  Just remember, never make excuses because you are solo.  Just make the calls to the best or your ability and as long as you are working hard, the game should go well.

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Get out from behind the plate, unless there are runners in scoring position, to make your calls on the bases. I always try to get into the infield, between the mound and the foul lines, to at least the 45' line. On pick-offs and steal plays, you just have to stick with the pitch and batter and do you best. Hustle and hustle some more. 

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HUSTLE! If you show the teams that you are out there working hard, then they will tend to stay off your back on your long distance calls.

Read the play, and get in the best possible position for the most likely play. Always think ahead to the next play.

Don't be afraid of getting out in the infield to make calls, even when runners will be crossing the plate. For example, with R2 & R3 and a double hit to the gap, you should be out at the second base cutout to make the potential call there. Both runners will score easily, so don't hang out at the plate.

Prioritize. You can only see so much. Make sure you see the most important things, at the risk of seeing things that are not as important.

If the ball beats the runner and the tag is down, he's out unless you specifically KNOW that the tag was missed.

If FPSR is in effect, don't stay with the play at second too long. Turn with the throw to first!

On steals, make sure there is no BI before moving your attention to the play at the base. You have more time than you think to take a step out to make that call.

Those are off the top of my head. Some folks would say not to take ANY crap. I agree with that as long as you are hustling.

To piggy back off what Grayhawk said, if you are hustling and working hard, the coaches tend to not say much. And if they do you just reply "I am working as hard as I can john (insert name of coach). I will do my best to get a better look next time." That usually kills all problems. Not always, but usually.

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We do one man here in Minnesota for lower level games (freshman, sophmore, JV) hustle, prioritize, keep calm, do your best, there are going to be some things you miss there's nothing you can do about that.

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Hi Guys, this fall I've had an unusually high number of Jr. High games that I have had to work as a 1 man crew due to rainouts.  Do any of you have any specific tips or help for working these games?  I know there will always be an area that doesn't get covered as well as others, but I want to do my absolute best even in these less than ideal situations.

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

 

This level of game should not be done solo as a planned thing. Should only happen when there is a no show.

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Yeah guys, i wish we were in a perfect world here in south chicagoland where every game had two umps, but unfortunately there's so much travel ball during the week now that it conflicts with jr. high games, so it's often difficult to get two umps for even Varsity jr. high games in the case of a rescheduled game.  As a new guy in the area, these kind of games give me the opportunity to work for a couple different assignors as well as athletic directors that do their own assigning.  

 

Of course I'd prefer to work in a two man environment, but my OP was about how to do these kind of games to the best of my ability, not whether or not to do them at all.  

 

To those of you who are offering suggestions...I really appreciate it..thanks!!

 

Chad

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Since I mostly do one man junior high ages, this is part of my plate meeting: this is a one umpire game, it is impossible to get every call exactly correct but I'll do my best to get the best possible position for the plays. Players at this age have a tendency to bunch around second (which they totally do unless it's high select) so it's possible for them to block sightings for those calls. Coaches, if it's block, I'll go off of what I can or did see. It doesn't help that these kids are taller than myself, lol. (usually gets a chuckle from the coaches because it's true). There will be NO 60 foot discussions, if there is a question on a call ask for time and we'll get together and discuss it.

As others have said, as long as your hustling, then your doing the best you can and most coaches won't gripe too much. Depends on the level of play, but there are levels where I've started umpiring from the pitchers mound at the UIC's suggestion. I know some people's heads will explode at the thought, but for some games it's just better. I would talk to your UIC about this and see if this is allowed within your organization.

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Tell you F2's not to try to back pick anyone off 3rd base. That's the one play you'll have absolutely no angle on. 

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The status of the ball is dead when you're brushing the plate in one-man: no outs can be made; no one can advance. 

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The status of the ball is dead when you're brushing the plate in one-man: no outs can be made; no one can advance

 

No, it's not.  Yes, there can.  Yes, they can. Unless you call "time," of course.  It's the same game whether there is one umpire or six.  Don't start making up rules to try to make your job easier.  Don't use being solo as an excuse.  I've said it before that HS JV and below is one man here in SoCal.  I've done tons of these games and have only had coaches even come out on me a handful of times.  I have no ejections in these games.  I don't give the coaches a soliloquy about how I am solo and that they need to take that into account, blah blah blah.  My plate meeting is the same whether I am solo or am working 2 or 3 man.  I think coaches appreciate an umpire that doesn't make any excuses at the plate meeting, during, or after the game.

 

Hustle.  Word hard.  Use good timing.  Get in the best position possible.  Do your best.  Manage your game.  Have fun.

 

Expect no less from yourself, and nobody will expect more.

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grayhawk,

 

I respect your opinion, but I didn't make it up and I offered no excuse.  On the other hand, I will defer to your expertise on what coaches appreciate and accept your words of wisdom.  

 

It is likely different in SoCal, but we here in NoOh are admonished to follow the NFHS Umpires Manual in those games sanctioned by that organization, and many of our local summer leagues also follow its dicta.  On page 38, paragraph 3, of that manual, it clearly declares that:

 

Yes, it is.  No, there can't.  And, no, they can't either.  

 

 

 

 

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If that's what your association wants, then that's what you need to do.

 

It's just more unnecessary LCD from Fed.  I guess they're afraid an umpire doesn't have the ability to call time to sweep the plate.

 

Not in games I umpire.

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Hi Guys, this fall I've had an unusually high number of Jr. High games that I have had to work as a 1 man crew due to rainouts.  Do any of you have any specific tips or help for working these games?  I know there will always be an area that doesn't get covered as well as others, but I want to do my absolute best even in these less than ideal situations.

 

Thanks in advance for your help!

 

This level of game should not be done solo as a planned thing. Should only happen when there is a no show.

 

 

I did an Indy league scrimmage solo. It was short notice and they could only get me. They had a short preseason and wanted some realistic balls and strikes before they started the season. I called balls and strikes and didn't have to call anything else except for returning a runner after a runner interference where the runner knew he was out and peeled off before I could even say anything. I did signal some safes and outs but they weren't needed as the game called itself. 

As an aside, I think PBUC advises putting a player on the field if you go down to one umpire in MiLB. I don't know if you put offense or defense each half inning. I don't think using players would be a good idea in college or below.

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Tell you F2's not to try to back pick anyone off 3rd base. That's the one play you'll have absolutely no angle on.

How do you tell a player not to play his game? It's there game not ours. Suck it up and make the best call you can.

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Tell you F2's not to try to back pick anyone off 3rd base. That's the one play you'll have absolutely no angle on.

How do you tell a player not to play his game? It's there game not ours. Suck it up and make the best call you can.

 

 

It's a wasted throw.  Unless the guy falls down and he's halfway home, he's safe on the snap down to 3rd base.  

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When doing one man, how can you get a good view of a pick off attempt at first base ?  Did several games like this last year and always had an issue with the tag attempt on the slide back in or swipe at the feet going back in standing up.  You are getting set for the pitch and seems hard to move in time for an angle view for the pick off attempt.  Just curious to see how others handle this.   

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When doing one man, how can you get a good view of a pick off attempt at first base ?  Did several games like this last year and always had an issue with the tag attempt on the slide back in or swipe at the feet going back in standing up.  You are getting set for the pitch and seems hard to move in time for an angle view for the pick off attempt.  Just curious to see how others handle this.   

You do the best you can.  100% of the benefit of the doubt goes to the runner on this play. 

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original baseball games were worked with one umpire. The umpire stood behind the mound. Hank O' Day, a hall of fame umpire worked many games with just 1 partner. This is however, 2015. There is no excuse for an umpire working by himself. If a baseball program can't afford an umpire crew then they don't have a baseball program. School districts are usually top heavy with administrators with big salaries. Tell some of them to find a real job and you could pay for an umpire crew. Anytime you walk out onto a diamond alone you are being disrespected. A Junior Varsity umpire needs a partner more than a Varsity umpire.

Refuse to work 1 man and it may stop. Call their bluff. The statement is always made that you must work 1 man or nothing. Tell them no thanks. See if they really mean it. Stand up for yourself. No umpire should work alone at anytime. You should have a partner for many reasons. One of those reasons is security. You should be walking to your car with a partner. I was followed to my car by a photographer who I had banished because he came onto the field demanding that I look at his digital camera so I could reverse my partners call. This whack job followed me and my partner to my car and called me every name but a child of God. Just for security you should have a partner.

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original baseball games were worked with one umpire. The umpire stood behind the mound. Hank O' Day, a hall of fame umpire worked many games with just 1 partner. This is however, 2015. There is no excuse for an umpire working by himself. If a baseball program can't afford an umpire crew then they don't have a baseball program. School districts are usually top heavy with administrators with big salaries. Tell some of them to find a real job and you could pay for an umpire crew. Anytime you walk out onto a diamond alone you are being disrespected. A Junior Varsity umpire needs a partner more than a Varsity umpire.

Refuse to work 1 man and it may stop. Call their bluff. The statement is always made that you must work 1 man or nothing. Tell them no thanks. See if they really mean it. Stand up for yourself. No umpire should work alone at anytime. You should have a partner for many reasons. One of those reasons is security. You should be walking to your car with a partner. I was followed to my car by a photographer who I had banished because he came onto the field demanding that I look at his digital camera so I could reverse my partners call. This whack job followed me and my partner to my car and called me every name but a child of God. Just for security you should have a partner.

 

Some schools around here have had to eliminate lower level teams like JV or freshmen because of money issues.  Demanding that all games be worked 2 man will only make this problem more widespread.  Our association has 215 umpires (down from around 250 the last few years), and assigns something like 3000 games during the regular season.  I don't recall even one story where a solo umpire needed a partner for security over the last 4 years.

 

Would I rather all games be at least 2 man?  Of course!  But with the ACLU suing school districts because they required parents to pay for extracurricular activities, the money is drying up.  Now, schools can only recommend an amount to donate, but most parents end up paying far less than that, or even nothing.  It's unfortunate, but that is the world that we live in.

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