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Mechanics: Plate Umpire (specifically: Hands!)

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Guest Ump_A_Trump

I've attended several umpire clinics and I've asked the question, "When you're in the slot, where are you putting your hands?"  Many umpires show me their slot , and almost invariably, the hands are on the knees.  I see MLB umps do this a lot, too. I was taught many years ago to GET YOUR HANDS OFF OF YOUR KNEES as you're asking for trouble.  I now work with my hands behind my thighs during the pitch.  This has prevented any issues with hand injury, something I've seen in other umpires. I've worked games where umps took a shot to the hand/finger, and in one game, the ump had two of his fingers broken.  What puzzles me is that I've been instructed by MLB umpires to never put your hands on the knee/never put your hands anywhere a pitched/battled/foul ball can get to them....yet I see MLB umpires do it.  And I see the same thing done by NCAA/NFHS umpires.  I'm assuming they're mimicking the big league guys.

Some umpires have argued - and I mean turned red in the face argued - that their hand position is completely fine, there's no problem with it, I've never had any issues and I'm not listening to some jerk MLB instructor tell me otherwise....and it goes on.  My response has been, "If you want to work with your hands on your knees, knock yourself out.  The 'comfort' you're getting will be negated when, not if, you take a shot in the hand."  And that usually gets me even more argument.

Therefore, my question is: Where are you putting your hands during the pitch and why?

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​What do you do when F2 sets up way outside?

​tell him to get hi a$$ back where he belongs :D kidding. my other hand finds its way behind my knee

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