How to Be a Baseball Umpire : Calling Strikes as a Baseball Umpire


In this clip, we’re going to go over the strike
zone. The first thing you got to do, get behind the plate, call a play in, play ball. Now
it’s your job get in position right straight over the catcher’s head. So you can see both
sides of the plate without moving. You got a nice peripheral vision of home plate there.
Now, stay in position you make your call. In Little League, it’s right below the letters
right there. That’s a good call and then down to the knees. Now in Little League, some guys
they throw the ball on an arc. So its a little more difficult to call a strike when you have
an arc because its where it crosses the plate, not where it ends up in the mitt. Where it
crosses the plate. Now, this is called a paint. You can throw over the corners, that’s the
paint. That’s a good pitch if you throw over the paint. A good pitcher always hits the
paint every pitch, paint, paint, paint. So, throw them hard, throw them fast, throw them
straight. Over the plate get a strike, got them out.

27 thoughts on “How to Be a Baseball Umpire : Calling Strikes as a Baseball Umpire

  1. I agree that the slot is preferable (I use it, in the true 'slot' form vs. the box-in-the-slot form), many pro umps still use the box and over the center of the catcher. I'm assuming that they still use it because it's generally very balanced and because catchers are going to move generally sideways (and significantly) such that you can still track the ball through the zone. However, having said that, new umpires especially will be more successful in the slot vs. the box, IMHO.

  2. @rockiestring Well, there's the "slot" concept (adopted by almost everyone these days) and the old "scissors" concept where you are are right in the middle. I'm surprised that he's advocating the scissors stance without even mentioning the slot. Also, he's wrong about the "paint". The black edge of the rubber plate is not part of the strikezone. This guy is enthusiastic, but overall he thinks he knows more than he really does.

  3. @mttwlsn16 I totally agree. This was my first year umpiring and we were taught to get in the slot and get your eyes to the top of the strike zone.

  4. @guitarmanreviews1993 You are right and wrong about what the plate sides are called. In different areas it's called different things. You call it the "black", this guys calls it the "paint", my father calls it the "lip". Just because you call it one thing does not make everyone else wrong. And just because some Joe Shmo in the NBL calls it one thing, doesn't make it law. I'll call it the rubber and I am right, and anyone that hears me call it the rubber, will know it's the rubber.

  5. First, you never set up over the catcher's head. You lose sight of the ball and cannot make an accurate strike/ ball call. Second, in Little League Baseball, in the rule book it states that the strike zone is from the batter's armpits to the top of the knees. No where in the book does it say the strike zone is at the bottom of the uniform letters. Finally, if you are going to do instructional videos on proper calls and mechanics, don't wear your cap backwards and get a shirt that fits properly.

  6. @jrteel25 i agree, i always lean towards the inside corner slightly as an ump, and yea, i use armpit height to knee height, uniform letters would be stupid, they're all in different spots for different teams

  7. @drbill28 correct yet if it does hit the black part of the plate it ususally grabs some what part of the plate if its close enough that for sure.

  8. Line up directly above the catchers head? What? You're supposed to line up slightly above the catchers head and between him and the batter. The "paint" is NOT part of the plate…it is simply not included in the plate measurements in a rule book…What is this guy talking about…

  9. Sometimes this video is very helpful, but sometimes this video doesn't help at all.  Some words that he says just start floating around in my head for some reason.

  10. Are you aware that not all jerseys have letters in the same position? So how is that the top of the strikezone?

  11. absolutely TERRIBLE position to call oitches. The slot is the only accepted position. OBVIOUSLY, a little league umpire only.

  12. Also the paint (black) is NOT part of the plate. It is the result of a improperly installed plate, only the 17 inches of white should be visible.

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