I'm curious to know which levels use 3-umpire mechanics on a consistent basis. Right now, I am a high school umpire who gets occasional 3-umpire experience through playoff games and camps. I would love to move up to eventually work Division I games, but before I reach that level, I will need to have experience working 3-umpire games (and at least a basic working knowledge of 4-umpire mechanics, since some conferences at the D1 level use 4 umpires for regular season conference games, as well as all D1 postseason games outside of the College World Series).
The $64,000 question is where I can get that experience. AFAIK, junior college, like high school, uses 2 umpires for the regular season, with 3 in the playoffs. Do Division III or Division II use 3 umpires in the regular season? If so, I'll ask the local DIII and DII conferences about trying out in the next few years.
Is there any non-scholastic baseball (preferably in the Mid-Atlantic region), such as Babe Ruth or American Legion that consistently uses 3 umpires? AFAIK, all of the rec or travel leagues I have serviced use 2 umpires, and I haven't gotten any invites to work as an unpaid 3rd.
Of course, if I get hired to call affiliated professional baseball, this will be irrelevant, because I will be exposed to 3-man at the lower levels for postseason assignments, and consistently at the AA level.
Is the 3 umpire crew standard in independent professional baseball, or is it a league-by-league thing (ALPB uses 3, but the Can-Am League does not)?
Last night I was watching Greg Gibson work the plate. From my vantage point (not terribly close, down LF line) I noticed that he seems to initially set up a bit behind F2, then as F1 is about to release, he leans way forward and almost puts his chin on F2's inside shoulder. It was then that I realized that although he wears a bucket, he doesn't use a throat guard, and his neck is very much exposed when using that "look in" thing that he does.
I'm having some trouble with the tag attempt after a uncaught third strike (u3k) and batted balls in front (or on) the plate. I almost always move to the left for any play (batted ball, bunt, u3k, etc.). I have been straight-lined a couple of times recently on the catcher's tag of the BR, and couldn't judge whether there was contact for a tag or not. I'm debating whether I should be moving to the right to get between the catcher and batter and see the tag attempt more clearly.
What is the proper mechanic to be in position to see the tag on u3k or even a batted ball right in front of the plate? Should I move left or right to get the best view of the play? Does it depend on whether the batter is right- or left-handed?
On a ground ball to the infield, I clear the catcher to the left and trail the BR up to first base. On a fly ball, I step to the left and potentially gain distance toward the fielder making the catch. On a bunt, I move to the left to watch for BR/Catcher interaction and then rule fair/foul (depending on the location). About the only time I move to the right is a sharp hit down the third base line. In other words, I'm conditioned to move to the left on just about every play. If I need to be moving to the right, how can I best change my behavior?
R3, 1 out, Fly ball to F8. Runner tags...and here is what happened. I know you want me on 3BX, but I have always done 1BX and can't break the habit. Offensive coach was asking about blocking the plate without the ball. I felt that F2 gave the back of the plate.
I made the out call after seeing the ball.
Had an interesting thing happen this past weekend at a clinic. We all know that balk rules differ from rule book to rule book. So here's the question: 1. How do you verbalize a balk call, and...2. What physical mechanic do you use when you call it? We got several different responses from our college instructors...I'd like to hear what you all think!!