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  • 3/22/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Video Bulletin #4.

  • 3/13/2019

    Athleticism. Judgment. Comportment… 

    On behalf of the NCAA Baseball Umpire Program, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your solid work and commitment in servicing our great game of college baseball day-after-day, night-after-night…with class, professionalism and integrity. As we enter Conference competition, the intensity will, indeed, ramp-up. I ask that you embrace this intensity and continue to listen, respect and, simply, enforce the rules as written-stay the course-as your leadership has already paid dividends in this, anticipated, impactful season.

    The NCAA Baseball Preseason Test was taken by 2,439 Umpires, with a passing rate of 95.8%. I encourage all of you, to not only spend time on the test review, but with all that our Home Plate has to offer. Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the NCAA Regional Umpire Clinic Survey - your feedback indicated a very positive experience, with 90% of the overall responses indicating Excellent, Good or Above Average.  Regarding your responses, I, for one, am very appreciative of your candor.

    NEW for 2019: The NCAA Regional Baseball Advisors will submit a  2019 NCAA Baseball Umpire Game Evaluation to the appropriate Division I Conference Baseball Coordinator. The Form is found within the Forms tab of  Home Plate.

    -View every game…as an opportunity to excel.

    -Please  take the time to review this not-so-often Play - how would you manage this?  

    -Remember the privilege of and your Coordinators' expectations as conference play rolls-in.

    We know the challenge that you face game-in; game-out to create a safe playing environment for all student-athletes and your work to consistently enforce the rules so that both teams have an equal opportunity to win - has, in my humble opinion, been impressive to date.

    My humble privilege to be of service to you.

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires 

  • 3/8/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Video Bulletin #3.

  • 3/7/2019

    Please review the link to the 2019 NCAA Integrity Education Video.  Although it is not required, we would recommend that all NCAA baseball umpires view this video in its entirety. 

    We hope that you find this sports wagering educational officiating video to be very informative.

    Click here to view 2019 NCAA Integrity Education.

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 2/28/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Video Bulletin #2.

  • 2/21/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Video Bulletin #1.

  • 2/13/2019

    Impacting change

    First off, I want to say thank you – the four NCAA Regional Umpire Clinics witnessed record numbers of attendees – my gratitude goes out to all Officials and Coordinators for their efforts and passion to improve NCAA College Baseball.

    From the Clinics: please refresh, continually, the targets and expectations of the National Program: new rule applications, mechanics (focus, getting set, proper use of eyes, mentoring), professional standards, (protocol, disciplined communication), getting the call right (make the adjustment in 2019), personal wellness and handling situations (2019 application)…

    Yes, 2018 was, arguably, the best season for baseball officiating in recent history. We still have much work to do – as continuous improvement is always our aim.

    The umpiring industry will be up to the challenges ahead in 2019 - as I know how much work, preparation and passion goes into this commitment to our get-better agenda.

    Very exciting times ahead: this umpiring group has the humbled-opportunity to be leaders in one of the most impactful years in recent college baseball history.

    My humble privilege to be of service to you.

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 1/28/2019

    Please click the links to view the 2019 NCAA Rules and Officiating Video and 2019 NCAA Baseball Preseason Guide.

    Then click the TESTING Tab to take the 2019 NCAA Baseball Preseason Test, which opened today at 8 am ET and will close on Monday, February 11 at 5pm ET.

  • 1/23/2019

    Please click the link to view CLAW your way to becoming the Complete Umpire, by Bill McCallum, Jr., NCAA Regional Baseball Advisor.

  • 1/16/2019

    Please click here to view Observations, by Mark Ditsworth, NCAA Regional Baseball Advisor.

  • 1/9/2019

    Please click here to view Being a Good Mentor, by Jim Jackson, NCAA Regional Baseball Advisor.

  • 1/2/2019

    Please click here to view Technology in Baseball, by Bob LaBelle, NCAA Regional Baseball Advisor.

  • 12/13/2018

    Let's not kid ourselves, here…

    …a game-changing season awaits.

    As we begin the 2019 Baseball Season, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for a remarkably well-officiated 2018 and offer encouragement for the new season.

    This encouragement speaks to your unbridled preparation and discipline to enforce the rules as written and to move-away from one's more-comfortable just guidelines philosophy…

    As I mentioned, earlier: The approved rule changes are game-changers - and not just for coaches and players.

    I appreciate your investment to get better via the Baseball Website; as the season progresses, discipline yourself to:

    -Study the rule book every day.

    -Study the mechanics manual every day.

    -Review, study the posted Videos regularly.

    -Watch for new items on Home Plate.

    -Give careful attention to any information you receive from your conference coordinator.

    Dr. Ramos' Extra Innings, article states, 'The offseason is an ideal time to do a personal inventory of your health and well being.  It is difficult to get the time or the mindset to carry this out in season.   As you think about your own health, both physical and mental health issues need to be addressed to not only optimize your performance currently  but also to maintain good health and habits later in life.'

    Let me ask you, this, where are you at with your inventory?

    A formal NCAA welcome to Mike Conlin in his new Coordinator role and a great job to Scott Taylor and Don Umland for their leadership in directing a highly-successful Division II & Division III Championship.

    I want to wish all of you and your families a wonderful Christmas- see you in Phoenix or Orlando or Chicago or Pittsburgh.

    My humble privilege to be of service to you.

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpire

  • 12/5/2018

    The NCAA Division I Baseball Committee and Baseball Umpire Program (BUP) are committed to improving umpiring during the regular season, as well as during the NCAA baseball championship.  The continued growth of college baseball makes it imperative that we strive to assign well-trained and qualified umpires to every game throughout the season.  Please click to read the memorandum.

  • 11/30/2018

    Winter is here and another season of NCAA Baseball is right around the corner.  I know that we are all anticipating the beginning of the season.

    Please visit the Home Plate Central Hub frequently to stay current on the latest Baseball  officiating news and information.  On the central hub, you’ll be able to read the latest rules interpretations from the Secretary-Rules Editor and bulletins from the National Coordinator, complete your requirements to be considered for a postseason assignment, and review videos of recurring plays and how they are to be officiated.

    To register, click the REGISTRATION Tab at the top of the page.

    The 2019 NCAA Men’s Baseball Officiating Exam will be available on the TESTING Tab January 28, 2019.  When available, the 2019 NCAA  Baseball Rules & Officiating Video can be accessed on the VIDEO Tab.  Searchable rules and case books are available by clicking on the RULES BOOKS Tab.  A digital version of the Mechanics Manual will be available by clicking the CCA APP Tab.

    This year’s Welcome Packet includes the 2019 & 2020  NCAA Baseball Rules Book and 2019  CCA Baseball Umpires Manual.  

    For Regional Clinic Registration, please click HERE.  When you register for the clinic, be sure to use the same email address that you used for your NCAA Baseball central hub registration to ensure you receive credit (a green checkmark) in your Eligibility Center.

    Again this year, the ArbiterMobile app is available at no cost to NCAA registered officials. To download the app, please complete this season's officials' registration, and then download it from Google Play or iTunes.  Click here to read ArbiterMobile FAQs

    I am very pleased  you have chosen to register with the NCAA.  Thank you for being a critical part of the NCAA Baseball Umpire Program.  If you have ideas or suggestions for improvement, please email me at georgedrouches@gmail.com.

    I look forward to seeing you at the Regional Umpire Clinics and throughout the season.

    Best wishes for a great season!

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 10/3/2018

    As the 2019 baseball season approaches, this is to let you know that the Baseball Umpiring Home Plate Central Hub will open for registration December 1. Please know that the registration fee for this season is $150 (Division I), $130 (Division II) and $120 (Division III), which is an increase from the past two seasons. As a reminder, umpires are required to register on Home Plate in order to be considered for postseason assignment.

    NEW for 2019, to be eligible for NCAA Division I regular season baseball umpiring assignments, umpires are required to be registered with Home Plate and also must complete the annual NCAA umpiring examination. 

    You will receive an email notification on December 1 when registration officially opens.

    Thank you for your past interest in registering as an NCAA baseball umpire, and we look forward to the upcoming season.

    George Drouches
    National Coordinator of Baseball Umpires

  • 9/4/2018

    Autumn Opportunities avail themselves for Earned Success...

    At the recent CWS Pre-Tournament Meeting, Mr. Ray Tanner, NCAA Division I Baseball Committee Chair, indicated that college baseball is in a very good place...

    ...when my turn came, I indicated college baseball officiating is also in a very good place. This statement was validated prior - as I did ask the 8 coaches for some candid comments regarding the officiating at their recent Super Regional Tournament - very good officiating, Super Regional Crews -  22 of 24 possible Tournament games; excellent leadership, mentoring as well - National Coordinator 2018 Season Recap Video from Omaha.

    I commend and admire all teachers for their selfless passion to, simply, help another brother in the fellowship get better at their officiating craft - Final 2019 and 2020 NCAA Baseball Rules Change.  
    I do have one direct camp ask:


    Discipline yourself to master the communication phraseology: by rule, in my judgment- we need to be much better with our explanation discourse- embellishment, pontificating is passé and is no longer acceptable in our game.

    As you continue your preparations, either as teacher or student, I ask that you review these well-written articles- Mental Discipline, Management, Decision-Making, these will ready all involved...

    F
    inally, I mentioned to the crew at the CWS - they have the wondrous opportunity to mentor all of college baseball, and they were very successful in doing so...Reputation is one thing, earned success is another.

    Have a great Autumn opportunity, everyone.

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 8/28/2018

    The following rules changes were approved by the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee and the Playing Rules Oversight Panel. They will be incorporated into the rules book for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. 
  • 5/17/2018

    Please click the link to read Changing Times in College Baseball, by Bob LaBelle, NCAA Regional Baseball Advisor.

  • 5/16/2018

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2018 Final Training Video.

  • 5/10/2018

    Appleton, Cary, Omaha...

    ...are synonymous with the three divisions of NCAA Baseball- with its few thousand umpires and its corresponding several thousand baseball games played to date...

    As I write this, the month of May has tightened its grip on all of us - no one associated with college baseball is excluded, no one - simply, everything just means more, now: savor this time.

    Congratulations to all the umpires who have the wonderful opportunity to work in a Conference Tournament: savor the assignment, truly understand the importance- this gift of mentoring - as thousands of umpires may never get a Conference Tournament assignment...

    I am very proud and appreciative of the umpiring efforts in 2018; you have compressed the rolling intensity of college baseball into a seamless art: thousands & thousands of games contested throughout this great country - with very few issues. Very impressive, men.

    Please have a blessed and reflective Mother's Day.

    My humble privilege to be of service to you.

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 5/3/2018

    Please click here to view Taking Plays at First Base, by David Savage.

  • 4/18/2018

    This runner did not make an obvious attempt to avoid contact therefore he should be called out. The umpire crew should use their best judgment on whether or not they feel it is flagrant contact.

  • 4/12/2018

    As we move through the regular season...

    ...there is plenty of baseball left to play, so, let me ask, as I do at this juncture:

    How has your body of work been so far in the areas of Athleticism, Judgment and Comportment?

    I'll ask a second question, now, are you focusing your efforts to improve your work in the areas the NCAA Regional Baseball Advisors made reference to in last month's National Coordinator notes?

    Post-season discussion began during our April 4th NCAA Baseball Umpire Program Coordinator and Conference Administrator Teleconference.

    What We Look For:

    -Character & Professionalism
    -Schedule Worked
    -
    Leadership Qualities
    -
    Excellent Judgment
    -
    Positive Appearance/mobility & agility
    -
    Previous Postseason Evaluations
    -
    Professional Experience

    In February, I asked you to work very hard to bring the optics of Sportsmanship and Behavior back into balance. As a collaborative leadership group with college baseball - stay diligent to the opportunity to impact changes to the culture of baseball. Please take the time to peruse this engaging read by Mike Morris, I hope you find this helpful. 

    Finally, preparation, focus and concentration are the keys to excellent officiating in the postseason just as in the regular season. View every game as an another opportunity to excel.

    My humble privilege to be of service to you.

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 4/10/2018

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2018 Training Video #11: Backswing Interference.

  • 4/9/2018

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2018 Training Video #10: Dropped Third Strike Mechanic.

  • 4/3/2018

    Please click the link to view Sunscreen: Striking Out Skin Cancer, by Douglas J. Ramos, M.D., NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.

  • 4/2/2018

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2018 Training Video #9.

  • 3/27/2018

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2018 Training Video #7: Umpiring 101 Positioning and 2018 Training Video #8: Altering the Play.

  • 3/22/2018

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view Training Video #6: Controlling the Umpire Environment.

  • 3/20/2018

    Please click here to read Honest Accountability, by Perry Costello.

  • 3/16/2018

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2018 Training Video #5: Walk Away.

  • 3/14/2018

    The juices are flowing...

    As we move through the early part of the campaign - let me thank everyone- the officiating has been very good thus far.

    Some pretty good college baseball exposure already: whether Conference Challenges or Major League Baseball venues or hotly-contested  neutral site matchups - all, all really have challenged our preparation, focus and concentration.

    View every game as an opportunity to excel - there is always room for improvement, of course, and indeed an underlying philosophy of the NCAA Baseball Umpire Program is continued quality improvement. You are doing great work as an important part of a great game; the challenge is to continue to improve.

    Self evaluate these Regional Baseball Advisors' Observations:

    • Keep utilizing the 20 second mechanic and the 90 second mechanic.
    • Fraternize with the coaches at a necessary minimum.
    • Too much walking can indicate a  lack of energy.
    • Not keeping hitters in the box.
    • Too many on deck hitters in the safety "V"
    • Not keeping base coaches in the coaches box.
    • Better reads on fly balls are needed and will be helped by pre pitch awareness of outfield positioning.
    • When going out on trouble balls, not enough stopping for the catch- gain an angle but then allow time to be completely stopped!  (“In the process of stopping” is not STOPPED!)
    • Timing is too fast- Plate umpires must hold their position longer while processing their ball/ strike decision.  Coming up from the stance too quickly cuts down processing time.
    • Plate umpires must be aware of their head position!  You must be able to see the pitch hit the catcher’s mitt!
    • Working to get the best position from B or C on double play balls. Not just staying in one place.
    • Pre pitch alignment in C with possible steal of 3B. Most guys are too deep and not able to get a good angle. (3 man)
    • Pause, Read, React (3 man)
    • Knowing when to rotate and when not to- guys either not complete a rotation and others who run to home plate before the runner commits to 3B.

    Athleticism. Judgment. Comportment. Target and plan your improvement process in these three separating areas; and, please take the time to peruse this engaging read by Doug Williams.

    By the numbers: the recent first-ever NCAA online Clinic had 2431 completed views; the NCAA Baseball Preseason test was taken by 2321 Umpires, with a passing rate of 93.9%. I encourage all of you, to not only spend time on the test review, but with all that our Home Plate has to offer.

    Finally, thank you to the 650 umpires who took the time to complete the NCAA online Clinic survey - your feedback is most helpful and appreciated.

    My humble privilege to be of service to you,

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 3/9/2018
     
    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2018 Training Video #3: Illegal Pitching Position and 2018 Training Video #4: Force Play Slide Rule.
  • 3/8/2018

    Please click here to read Plan Your Path for Success, by Bill McCallum, NCAA Baseball Regional Advisor. 

  • 3/2/2018

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2018 In-Season Training: Hit By Pitch.

  • 3/1/2018

    Please click the link to view The Importance of Good Mechanics, by Troy Fullwood, Coordinator of Umpires.

  • 3/1/2018

    Rule 7-11-f states “A batter is out when the batter intentionally or unintentionally interferes with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter’s box or making any other movement that hinders a defensive player’s action at home plate.” 

    Even though the interference was unintentional, the batter is out for interfering with the catcher’s fielding or throwing.  There is no exception listed for trying to avoid a pitch and it was not the catcher’s fault that the batter chose to jump forward and step out of the batter’s box to try to avoid being hit.  Unfortunate and unintentional, but the batter is out unless the runner is retired.

  • 2/22/2018

    Please click the link to read Being an Umpire...Being a Leader, by Rich Fetchiet, Coordinator of  Umpires.

  • 2/20/2018

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2018 Training Video #2: Hit By Pitch - Prolonged Arguing.

  • 2/19/2018

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2018 Training Video #1: Illegal Pitching Position.  

  • 2/16/2018

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2018 Video Bulletin 1 - Game Administration (Revised Version).  

    The video had inadvertently stated that it is a violation for pitchers to take more than 20 seconds between hitters “with runners on base” and should have said “with no runners on base."

  • 2/13/2018

    The season is finally upon us!

    Be passionate, be excited- make it your business this season to challenge yourself more-than-ever to be the very best you can be:  game-in; game-out.

    A special thank you to Bobbi Edmunds @ ArbiterSports for her superb work with our first-ever NCAA online Regional Umpire Clinic, and to Jay Fitzwater @ the NCAA Studios for his production expertise with the 2018 NCAA Rules and Officiating Video.

    I have asked the Division I Conference Coordinators and NCAA Regional Baseball Advisors to hold conference calls in March, April and May- as part of our enhanced communication program.

    In addition, I have asked the NCAA Regional Baseball Advisors to send comments (via email) from their observation(s) to the Conference Coordinators on a weekly basis.

    We have continued our efforts to educate and inform the Coaches and Media regarding the NCAA rule interpretations and points of emphasis for 2018.

    I have placed a Head Coach Incident/Ejection/Suspension Form on Home Plate: Head Coaches for many years have complained about no due process and getting their side of the story. This form would not replace the Incident/Ejection/Suspension Form that umpires complete nor would it change any of the penalties -  but might be used by conference or national coordinators as additional information. If the form is completed by the Head Coach -  at least he has had his say in the matter. If not, he has no complaints coming.

    Work hard at being approachable and do your part to bring the optics of sportsmanship and behavior back into balance. Enforce the rules as written - you have the support of the National Coordinator, your Coordinator of Officials and all the Stakeholders of the game.

    My humble privilege to be of service to you.

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 1/29/2018

    The non-eligibility version of the 2018 Online NCAA Umpire Clinic is now available by clicking here.  This version allows you to click back and forth between slides as many times as you’d like to review the material.  You will not receive a certificate of completion.

  • 1/2/2018

    Please click here to read The Importance of Passion by Mark Ditsworth, NCAA Central Regional Advisor.

 
 
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