Category Archives: baseball

Beginner/Basics Umpire Clinics in New Jersey

Ray Mosso of All County Assigning will be hosting two umpire clinics in the upcoming weeks. The 1st clinic is designed for new umpires or those who have never been to a clinic and want to get some help with the basics. The 2nd will focus on big field 2 man mechanics and is ideal for umpires who have had no formal 2 man instruction and want to make the move to the big field, or simply become better partners. Both meetings are a good opportunity to meet an assignor and start getting games.

All clinics at Morristown Beard School 70 Whippany Road, Morristown 07960 Time: 3:00-5:00. cost $25 each session.

Clinic 1- March 26 Sunday
For the Newer Umpires –  anyone with less than 3 years umpiring should attend.  Small diamond, one person mechanics for both baseball and softball. Will cover equipment, uniforms, pre-game plate meeting, dealing with coaches, strike zone, timing, hustle. will touch on some rules and safety issues.

Clinic 2- April 2nd
Big diamond two man mechanics.The proper mechanics for two umpire games.   Will cover basic mechanics and coverages and balks. It is essential for both umpires to be on the same page in the 2 man system, and this is a good opportunity to get an introduction to the system that is taught in High School and other clinics across the state.


To reserve your spot email




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FED Rules – starting or ending the game with less than 9 players

As the High School season approaches, I’m trying to get FED rules down as much as possible. The obvious goal is to know every rule that might come up as well as or better than anyone else involved in the game.  So I’ll be using Carl Childress’ books and site,, and my good old rule book to make some notes on what I don’t know, and do my best to learn. Here’s one that I just grabbed from

It is a forfeit if a team cannot start a game with nine players or finish the game with at least
eight players. If a team is reduced to playing with eight players, during the course of the
game, it can return to nine players to finish the game (2007 rule change). An out shall be
called each time the empty spot in the batting order comes to bat. NFHS 4-4-1f.

I never really thought about playing a HS game with less than 9 – but now I know.

NJSBUA High School Umpire 2014 Cadet Class

Just passing this on. Really the only class that I know of around here that talks about big field rules and mechanics.

NJSBUA – New Jersey Baseball / Softball Umpires Association: 2014 Cadet Class
NJSBUA 2014 Cadet School

So you want to be a High School Carded Offical?


The NJSBUA is now excepting applications for the 2014 cadet Class.

The Cadet class will begin on Wednesday January 22nd and be held at Bloomfield High School.

Classes will be helod on Wednesday Nights and run to April 30, 2014.

There will be a Field Mechanics clinic held on Marth 8, 2014 at Newark Academy in Livingston.

Click here for details

by Paul Simko

Official Rules: 8.00 The Pitcher

Here it is – so I can read it every day and get it through my thick skull

8.01 Legal pitching delivery. There are two legal pitching positions, the Windup Position and the Set Position, and either position may be used at any time. Pitchers shall take signs from the catcher while standing on the rubber.

Rule 8.01 Comment: Pitchers may disengage the rubber after taking their signs but may not step quickly onto the rubber and pitch. This may be judged a quick pitch by the umpire. When the pitcher disengages the rubber, he must drop his hands to his sides. Pitchers will not be allowed to disengage the rubber after taking each sign.

(a) The Windup Position. The pitcher shall stand facing the batter, his pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate and the other foot free. From this position any natural movement associated with his delivery of the ball to the batter commits him to the pitch without interruption or alteration. He shall not raise either foot from the ground, except that in his actual delivery of the ball to the batter, he may take one step backward, and one step forward with his free foot. When a pitcher holds the ball with both hands in front of his body, with his pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate and his other foot free, he will be considered in the Windup Position.

Rule 8.01(a) Comment: In the Windup Position, a pitcher is permitted to have his “free” foot on the rubber, in front of the rubber, behind the rubber or off the side of the rubber. From the Windup Position, the pitcher may: (1) deliver the ball to the batter, or (2) step and throw to a base in an attempt to pick-off a runner, or (3) disengage the rubber (if he does he must drop his hand to his sides). In disengaging the rubber the pitcher must step off with his pivot foot and not his free foot first. He may not go into a set or stretch position—if he does it is a balk. Continue reading →

Umpire Interference in Baseball

I had my 1st umpire interference this weekend.

There are two (only) occurrences, specifically covered in the rules, that are considered umpire interference in baseball. If an umpire is hit by a batted ball, before that ball has passed an infielder (other than the pitcher), and if no other player has an opportunity to make a play on it, that’s umpire interference. Dead ball,  the batter is awarded first base, and all other runners advance only if forced.

I had the other kind. I was at Blackbrook Park (of course), in Whippany. Little kids on a big diamond. I had an inexperienced (I assume) catcher and, on a steal, he kind of took a step back and we tangled feet. Delayed dead ball, and, when the runner was safe, I killed the play and put him back on first.  I’m sure that in a tight spot in a big game, that’s a brutal call to have to make. In this case, they loved me for taking responsibility. And everyone knew he would steal on the next pitch anyway.

Not much else going on this weekend baseball, so my 1st case of umpire interference was the big event!


Earl Weaver

This might be the best thing I ever saw!

NJ State Little League 11 year old tournament

After many years of going to see and cheer on the “other guys” (Livingston American Little League) in post season play, I had the opportunity to go to Red Bank last night and watch the Livingston National 11 year old team compete for the NJ state title. I know Brian Drapeaux, the Manager, pretty well (Brain is my auto mechanic – visit and have umpired games involving all of the kids many times this year. A bunch of really nice kids who seem to have a legit shot of taking the title.

Last night they played the opener against Ridgewood, and it was a great game. Livingston won 5-4 in 7 innings, which puts them in the winners bracket tonight. I don’t think I’ll get there today, but am looking forward to a final on Thursday!

Tossed a coach today…

and, as usual, I don’t feel great about it. Both coaches on the visiting side were a-holes. Screaming at their players and just doing a bad job. (and the teams played well…both games ended like 6-5 in walk off fashion) At the plate conference, the manager was grumpy and bitching that he was by himself…then, a few minutes later, he was arguing with a parent/coach on the bench and was looking for me to help him get the guy off the bench so we could start the game. Then, a few innings later, the guy is coaching…very strange and they both irked me.

I had the plate the second game and the parent/coach was coaching 1st. He argued a fair/foul call (“can’t you see the line?”) and then loudly complained  that a called strike was high.  I should have addressed it but i ignored it, but it annoyed me. So at the end of the inning i walked over and gave him a stern “coach,  i don’t want to hear anything else about balls and strikes ok?”…which quickly turned into an ejection. I think if i had confronted the coach as soon as he argued, i still would have had an ejection – but at least I wouldn’t feel like I went looking for it.

I believe this is my 4th ejection. 2 coaches and 2 players (1 adult and 1 kid). The kid is the only one i feel good about – i probably contributed to the others.

Stealing home- twice!

Probably the most famous steal of home

I don’t think I’ve ever had a real steal of home while I was at the plate… and then I had two this past week. The first one was a straight steal – right handed batter….I think he just took the pitch and stepped back away and the catcher just reached out and tagged the runner three feet in front of the plate. Easy peasy.

The 2nd one, a couple of games later, was on a suicide squeeze where the batter bunted through a high pitch. The runner put on the brakes and tried to start back to third, but the catcher jumped out right away and out the tag on.

New things are fun and outs are a beautiful thing, however we get them.