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105039 NCAABaseball Other
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  • 9/5/2017

    Since the end of June, I have had the privilege to attend clinics, meetings, media sessions and other events-- which really indicate college baseball, 2018 . What is clear to me from these experiences is that college baseball is in very good shape…

    Wherever the development opportunity is presenting  itself, let me take this opportunity to say thank you and offer encouragement to your commitment to making yourself a better official.

    I truly commend all involved in what is truly a labor of love-spending much time, passion  and effort to craft a get better agenda:  clinicians, instructors and attendees, alike.

    2018 is a non-rules change year. The 2017 Secretary-Rules Editor’s interpretations will continue to receive attention:  hit by pitch (HBP), pitching position, plays at the plate.coach-umpire interaction: how to handle it the correct way.

    Attachment 1

    Attachment 2

    As we prepare for fall camps and the 2018 baseball season, I would ask that you offer & reinforce the following teaching points from the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee & NCAA Baseball Umpire Program:

    • The pitching position rule: Specific Guidelines and instructions for umpires were established, as well as video bulletins addressing the primary directive of the new rule- that the pitcher must clearly declare what pitching position he is in-when he is taking his sign.
    • Video Bulletins early and throughout the year focusing on the intentional component of  hit-by-pitch (HBP) in addition -  simplified language was installed, 'Coach, I am bringing your batter back to bat because in my judgment your batter intentionally tried to get hit by that pitch.'
    • Dramatic reductions in violent collisions at Home Plate:  due in part to better instruction,  as well as establishing plays at the plate protocol: dirt circle,  catcher not in the baseline, act of fielding, obvious attempt to avoid a collision.
    • The NCAA Rules Committee discussed the need to continue to emphasize student-athlete and coach misconduct issues as serious offenses and will not be tolerated in collegiate baseball: instruct umpires to issue an official warning to attempt to defuse an escalating situation.

    We are all  getting after it--keep working hard--there is a challenging avocation ahead in 2018--I challenge you to see this as another opportunity to simply, excel.

    In baseball,

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of  Umpires

  • 5/20/2017

    Please click here to view My Love for the Umpires, by Andy Solomon, NCAA Site Representative and Development Officer at The Citadel.

  • 5/11/2017

    The world of data...

    ...The importance of data collection and its use to review various aspects of the college baseball game is at a never-before-witnessed level.

    As post-season assignment time approaches, these revered, yet elusive opportunities, show themselves to, but a handful in every conference.

    Congratulations to this exclusive opportunity, but the truly real opportunity, from my (anticipated data) stance -is the opportunity to mentor.

    Moving on, now: players and coaches continue to exhibit unsportsmanlike acts and conduct that demean the game. All umpires should remain diligent to enforcing the rules and standards with prudent judgment and consistency.

    As May unfolds and tightens-Congratulations to not just the Conference Tournament Umpires, but to all of you--we are having a great year; I am proud of all you and the Coordinators--who have worked hard to help you get better.

    Finally, as Conference and NCAA Championships loom, I simply ask that you hold close to the vest these thoughts, 'stay the course with our get better agenda' - 'you only get to keep what you give away' -  'do what is right and what is defendable.'

    Best wishes for a blessed and reflective Mother's Day.

    My humble privilege to be of service to you,

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 5/10/2017

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2017 Training Video: Comments from the National Coordinator.

  • 5/8/2017


    The shirt style for the 2017 NCAA Divisions I, II and III Championship has changed from previous years.  The required shirt is the Honig's "Pro Style," with the NCAA logo applied to the chest and the white bordered American flag on the left sleeve.

    It is available in both Black and Light Blue, and can be found on the NCAA page of the honigs.com website, or directly by clicking the following link: 2017 NCAA Baseball Championship Umpire Shirt 

    Other optional NCAA logo'd items, including a pullover jacket, long sleeve shirt (limited availability), mock t-shirt, or extra hats may be purchased by calling Honig's toll free at 888-468-3284.

    Honig's will process your order only if you are assigned a Tournament game. Division II, Division III assignments are posted via Home Plate, and Division I will post May 22.

  • 4/20/2017

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view two new training videos, 2017 Training Video - Stealing 2nd and Walking to 1st and 2017 Training Video - Definition of a Tag.

  • 4/13/2017

    Grinding…

    …We have worked our way through another month of the season; and to put perspective to our work: approximately 1,500 plus games are played  every Friday to Sunday- throughout the respective 99 Conferences of NCAA baseball.

    These head-to-head conference weekend series are said to be really entire seasons compressed into a handful of incredibly intense days-- the preparation and anticipation- including the RPI-infused mid-week games- ignites the pressure to win these series.  We are all scrutinized, (players, coaches, umpires, media), alike-within this business, and with business-one must stay disciplined to succeed:  do what is right and what is defendable…

    Post-season discussion began during our April 5th  Baseball Umpire Program Coordinator and Conference Administrator Conference Call.  Let me ask you this:  how has your body of work been so far?

    Grinding--we are all grinding, the NCAA Regional Advisors (Jim, Scott, Bill, Mark, Bob) are watching a remarkable amount of in-person and televised games; Don Umland and Scott Taylor  have been  in communication with the Coordinators, evaluating umpires--preparing their recommendations to their respective Baseball Committees. Home Plate's  get better agenda objective is a constant with Tom Hiler, as well as Randy Bruns' responses regarding Rule Interpretations and Clarifications.  Impressive work, everyone.

    Let me highlight a few points going forward from what I have observed to this point of the season: 

    • Strike Zone.  Let's make certain we don't call a pitch a strike -when it is inside the other batters  box's line--especially, it seems-with a left-handed batter. Technology, pitch-type  tracking systems, Television-exposes everything…
    • Coaches' Box- the 3rd base coaches box--be certain to enforce: at time of pitch- NOT closer to the foul line, at time of pitch - NOT closer to home plate;  it is not necessary  to continually, chit-chat with base coaches…
    • Incident Reports: the number is trending downward: continue to be prudent & precise in your Reports--we can see some positive change in coaching and player behavior. Our role is to stay the course…

    We are having a fine season, thanks to your commitment and passion to your craft: scrutinized pressure, fan interest and media attention has never been greater--and you are responding very well to that pressure.

    My humble privilege to be of service to you,

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 4/11/2017
     
    Please click the links below to access PDFs of the answers to each Mechanics quiz:
     
     
  • 4/6/2017

    Please click here to read Conference Coordinator - The Man in the Middle, by Rich Fetchiet, Coordinator of Umpires.

  • 3/30/2017

    Please click here to read Umpire Health Volume #1 - Heat and the Umpire, by Douglas J. Ramos, M.D., College World Series, Tournament Physician.

  • 3/23/2017

    Please click here to read So, You Want to Advance, by Jim Paronto.

  • 3/21/2017

    Please click here to view 2017 Training Video: Heated and Non-Routine Situations, which is posted under the VIDEOS Tab.

  • 3/16/2017

    One month in…

    As I mentioned at our NCAA Regional Umpire Clinics, 2017 will be an intensely-challenging year for college baseball.

    Much baseball data has been received, reviewed and analyzed:  "stay diligent, stay accountable to the stakeholder opportunities of impactful  baseball leadership."

    Next up-- let's self assess, self evaluate to a few of the Regional Advisors' observations-one month in:

    -Strike zones have been good, some umpires going  too wide, improve on the high strike
    -Umpires have been approachable and professional
    -Umpires appear to more fit-both physically & mentally
    -Too many umpire still struggle with pause, read, react-slow down!
    -Need to get out  on fly balls; take the appropriate angle
    -Address the coaches who are well out of the coaches' box
    -Overall mechanics have been very good with few mistakes
    -Umpiring has been very good for so early in the season

    The continued expectation is to improve from the observations noted herein; as well as a  Crew Chief's observation(s). Often times, the separators  are the little things, observation in, observation out…

    The recent online rules test was taken by 2,296 umpires, with a passing rate of 93.7%. I encourage you to spend a little time on the test review. Our Home Plate landing page is an impressive and refreshed mix of Video Bulletins, Quizzes, Training Videos, Rule Interpretations & Clarifications;  Articles by Regional Advisors/Umpires, Wellness updates--Home Plate embodies our get-better agenda…

    Remember the privilege and your Coordinators' expectations as conference play rolls in: pitchers are making the adjustments, formal warnings have helped, listen, keep things simple, quietly reinforce  respect  with learned phraseology, 'in my  judgment, followed by a  validated rule statement--stay disciplined--you have all the leadership  tools.

    Finally, appreciate the very good work to date, have fun, work hard, travel safe.

    My humble privilege to be of service to you,

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 3/10/2017

    Please click the links below to access PDFs of the answers to each Mechanics quiz:
     
     
     
  • 3/9/2017

    Please click here to view The High Strike, by Chris Coskey, which is posted under the VIDEOS Tab.

  • 3/3/2017

    Please click here to view 2017 Training Video: Plays at the Plate, which is posted under the VIDEOS Tab.

  • 2/24/2017

    Please click here to view 2017 Training Video: Pitching Position, which is posted under the VIDEOS Tab.
  • 2/16/2017

    Time to Shine

    The four  NCAA Regional Umpire Clinics have come and gone; the testing period has concluded--a new rules year, protocol and phraseology-will now move quickly from theory-to-practice.

    …a formal thank you to the Stakeholders:  umpires, coaches, coordinators, administrators, Baseball Umpire Program personnel, NCAA Committees and  staff --for the passion-- for the tireless hours of preparation, and  for the behind-the-scenes grind in making these four weekends developmentally-charged , yet, seamless in their design.

    -Thank you everyone for a great 2016
    -Work to make 2017 a better year yet-self evaluate and focus on a couple new initiatives
    -Official warning verbiage; prolonged arguing definition
    -Follow the National Program: our job is to select the best 96 not the 96 best
    -Always do what is right and what is defendable

    Embrace the Stakeholder opportunities which lie ahead…

    My humble privilege to be of service to you.

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Baseball Umpires

  • 1/25/2017

    Please click here to read Plan for Success Behind the Plate by Bill McCallum, Jr., Northeast Regional Advisor.
  • 1/18/2017

    Please click here to read Digital Transformation in Sports Officiating – Current and Future State by Scott Erby – Southeast Regional Advisor.

  • 12/20/2016

    Please click here to read Using Self-Assessment to Improve Your Performance by Mark Ditsworth – Central Regional Advisor.

  • 12/15/2016

    Please click here to view 2017 Training Video:  Runner's Lane Interference, which is posted under the VIDEOS Tab.

  • 12/8/2016

    Please click here to view 2017 Training Video:  High Leg Kick Going Into Stretch, which is posted under the VIDEOS Tab.

  • 11/17/2016

    Please click here to read Are you ready? by Jim Jackson, Southeast and Northeast (secondary) Regional Advisor.

  • 11/10/2016

    Please click here to view 2017 Training Video: Force Play Slide Violation, which is posted under the VIDEOS Tab.

 
 
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