Signs for the Players and Fans
point at the batter with the hand closest to the batter, then signal the strike
with your right. It is good practice to verbalize something like "He went -
"Check-Swing" or Appealed Strike
plate umpire does not have to be asked for help, he can simply request it
himself. Experienced catchers will immediately ask you to get help from the base
umpire after a check swing which you called a ball. In professional baseball the
catcher and the manager can request the appeal on the swing.
with your league to see where the request can come from. In some leagues the
request to appeal can come from anywhere on the field. A request should never
be refused. The argument on the refusal will take longer then the appeal.
away from the plate, optionally removing your mask. With your left arm gesture
clearly to the base umpire and ask "Did he swing?" or "Did he
go?" If the answer is yes the base umpire signals - strike while saying
"Yes, he went!" If the answer is no, a safe sign with "No, he did
plate umpire will now announce the results by giving the count. "Then
that's a strike, the count is ..." or if denied, "The count is
two part signal, extend you left arm up, in front of your body, palm down, to at
least shoulder level. Brush the fingers of the right hand over the back of the
left hand two or three times. The signal is completed by signaling the strike
with the right hand. Because the ball is alive and runners can advance never
say "Foul Tip." Announcing "foul" anything could stop the
umpires point into the air with their right hand. On some crews every umpire on
the field echoes the infield fly call, on others only the gesture is echoed.
This should be dealt with in the pre-game conference. The plate umpire will
usually announce the verbal portions of the signal, echoed by the other umpires.
Run or Ground Rule Double
the ball is dead. Make sure any unnecessary action is killed, particularly if
the ball has rebounded back into the field. The signal for a home run is
circling the right arm and index finger overhead. The ground rule double is
awarded by signaling "two bases" with two fingers held up usually on
the left hand.
the left hand point clearly at the runner and state "You, second base"
or "You, third base", "You, score!" whatever the case may
be. The runner is protected all the way to the base but not one inch beyond it.
Always move the runner closest to home first.
must be called with reference to the action. Remember, if the pitcher completes
the delivery of the ball, or throws to a base, you are in a delayed balk
situation. The sequence of arriving at that signal is: point at the pitcher, arm
at shoulder height, and say "That's a balk"! Now if the pitcher
hesitates in his delivery call "Time! That's a balk!" Award the bases
"You, second base." etc. Pointing at the pitcher will allow sufficient
time to determine a delayed balk call situation.
immediate decision is needed: "dead ball" or "delayed dead
ball." Point at the offensive player and make the call "That's
Interference" followed by your decision on whether or not the ball is dead,
announced with a loud gestured "Time" or (...nothing...) meaning a
delayed dead ball. If the ball remains alive avoid any signal that looks or
sounds like "Time" until the appropriate moment. If the ball is dead
call "Time" immediately and shut down any remaining play on the field.
call is like interference except the ball may remain alive. In all cases
the call "That's Obstruction." is made while pointing at the defensive
player making the obstruction. If a play is being made on the obstructed runner
the ball is dead so immediately signal "Time." This is followed by an
awarding of a base or bases either after play has stopped or even while play
remains ongoing. Unless a play was being made on the obstructed runner the ball
gesture which resembles "Time" being called can cause problems on a
diamond. This is one reason why some umpiring organizations teach to initially
extend the left hand horizontally with a clenched fist. The professional
baseball umpires point at the fielder with one hand only.
or No Catch
signaled the "catch" resembles the "out" signal. No verbal
indication needs to be given. The "no-catch" signal resembles the
"safe" signal except the call of "No Catch" is
clearly given. Sometimes it will be necessary to repeat this sign several times.
An addition to the "No Catch" is the juggling routine which indicates
the fielder did not have possession. Juggle when the fielder is on the
base for the force out but not in full possession of the ball.
crews give the safe signal and then point to the ground several times saying
"on the ground, on the ground" when the ball is dropped. The terms
"Catch" and "No Catch" could be mixed up over the crowd