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  • 9/14/2021

    Anything done with sincerity has the power to grow…

    As I reflect on this past summer and realize the autumn, I commend all teachers for their selfless passion to, simply, help another brother in the fellowship get better at their officiating craft.

    Emphasize perception and professionalism; teaching and mentoring the NCAA Way is job number one: inclusive of consistency, accuracy and poise in our dealings on the field.

    Instill the true role of game management: the discipline of being credible and concise in your communications.

    Respect the Covid-19 Rule Waivers - reinforce all facets and safeguards to on-field physical distancing.

    Teaching is a great way to build one's own confidence,  as well as someone elses -  in mastering Appendix F.

    As you continue your camps and clinics' preparations, please take a moment to review Bill McCallum, Jr., NCAA Baseball Umpire Advisor’s Teach.

    Finally, a thank you to Tomas Hiler, for his steadfast efforts these past thirteen years as the NCAA Director of Umpire Training; and let us all welcome Billy Haze  - as he begins…

    Just remember: mentoring is not monitoring,

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 9/1/2021

    Billy Haze, who has 25 years of umpiring experience between professional and college baseball, has  been named the NCAA’s director of umpire training, effective September 1, 2021. Haze spent eight years in professional baseball as a minor league baseball umpire, retiring in 2001 from the Pacific Coast  League. He has spent the last 17 years umpiring Division I college baseball. During the past 12 years,  Haze has worked 12 NCAA Division I Baseball Regionals; seven NCAA Division I Baseball Super Regionals;  and has officiated at the NCAA Men’s College World Series in both 2016 and 2019.

    Billy also currently serves as a conference umpire coordinator for one NCAA Division III conference  (Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) and two National Association of Intercollegiate  Athletics (NAIA) conferences.

    Haze has also been integrally involved with umpire training for the last 11 years via umpire camps.  During this time, he has helped train over 1,100 umpires. He also has worked to train and mentor  baseball umpires in the Western United States for other baseball-related organizations. Finally, Billy has  also worked with various umpire associations across the country to train and educate umpires, such as  the New Mexico Officials Association.

    Billy Haze resides with his family in Rancho Murieta, California. Haze is replacing Tom Hiler, who served  in this position for the last 13 years before deciding to retire from this role after the 2021 baseball  season.

  • 6/30/2021

    Please click the link to view Update on Uniform Patches.

  • 5/12/2021

    Please click the link to read Home Bruns, by Marcel Kerr (Referee, May 12, 2021)

  • 5/11/2021

    You don’t have to be ridiculously gifted. You just have to be ridiculously committed…

    …I am extremely appreciative of the umpiring efforts in 2021; you have compressed the rolling intensity of college baseball into a seamless art: thousands & thousands of games contested throughout this great country. Very impressive, men.

    As I continue…congratulations to all the umpires who will have the wonderful opportunity to umpire in a Conference Tournament--understand the importance; the confidence your Coordinator has in you--as he well knows--the friendliness of coaches and teams change at this time: much at stake with this word, postseason-for all of us. Please remember—many may never get to where you are – as the truly rare opportunity, whether in May or June: is the opportunity to mentor the Stakeholders of NCAA Baseball…

    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: continuous quality improvement is always our aim.

    As more Conferences throughout college baseball are utilizing Video Review in their Conference Tournaments, please take the time, now, to read Scott Cline’s helpful  Video Review article; and, Jeff Henrich’s timeless article, What it takes to be an NCAA Tournament Crew Chief from May, 2018.

    View every game as an opportunity to excel,

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 4/30/2021

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2021 Video Bulletin #7.

  • 4/16/2021

    The clip used for the recent “You Make the Call #2” certainly led to some great discussion with lots of umpires on both sides of the balk/ no balk issue.

    This move is legal.  It is very unusual because this type of move is usually used by a right-handed pitcher throwing to first base, but this is considered a jump-turn and is covered by rule 9-3-c-5.  As long as the pitcher’s free foot steps toward and gains ground to the base that the ball is being thrown to, it’s legal.  A similar move could be used by a right-handed pitcher throwing to third base.

  • 4/16/2021

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2021 Video Bulletin #6.

  • 4/9/2021

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2021Training Video.

  • 4/8/2021

    Happy people never quit, they just keep learning…

    Postseason discussion began during our April 7 NCAA Baseball Officiating Conference Call.

    Please take the time to review the Championship Assignment Procedures found on pages 10-13 in the 2021 NCAA Division I Game Officials Manual; however we are monitoring the impact Covid-19 has had regarding the many facets of the Officiating Community in 2021. Once again, Smitty's Officials Apparel will be available for all Division I, II, III umpires selected to their respective NCAA Regional and Super Regional Tournaments.

    We are playing baseball; and when you are fortunate to have the opportunity to be out-and-about every weekend – as the Baseball Umpire Program staff has been: one gets a pretty precise swath of how the Officiating Community is adhering to the NCAA rules, points of emphasis, and the NCAA Baseball Umpire Program’s protocols.

    When I am traveling on NCAA business, I truly enjoy taking the time to read a few articles and view a few videos - which have been posted on Home Plate since November, 2014. We are very fortunate to have this timeless and passionate educational legacy within our fellowship. Please take the time, now, to read Morris Hodge’s, Enhancing your Game, from April, 2019.

    View every game as an opportunity to excel,

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 4/1/2021

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2021 Video Bulletin #5.

  • 3/25/2021

    Rule 7-11-f.  #3 is probably the best choice, but #2 is also correct.  As long as the batter did not make a movement that hindered the catcher’s fielding or throwing, it  is not interference.  If the batter would have interfered, either intentionally or unintentionally, with the catcher’s throw and also struck out on the pitch, it would be a double play and the runner would be out.  Any other runners would return to their bases at the time of the pitch.

  • 3/19/2021

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2021 Video Bulletin #4.

  • 3/12/2021

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2021 Video Bulletin #3.

  • 3/10/2021

    You will never grow until you first learn how to protect the progress you’ve already made…

    …thank you for your 2021 NCAA Online Umpire Clinic’s  very favorable evaluative comments - our team will work to implement your suggestions into the 2022 Online production.

    Listening is entirely different from not talking…

    …Baseball Umpire Advisor observations as reported during our March 3, 2021 NCAA Baseball Officiating Conference Call with Conference Baseball Coordinators, Administrators and NCAA Staff:

    • Umpires need to call more high strikes.
    • Some guys going off the plate way-too much.
    • Veterans are excelling at a very high level.
    • Pause/Read/React needs a lot of work.
    • Inexperienced umpires are doing too much talking to base coaches and players.
    • Communication has been very good – both pre-pitch and as plays develop.
    • Need better attention to on-deck hitters during pitching changes.
    • Good verbal and non-verbal communication.
    • Plate umpires doing well with keeping batters in the box.
    • Umpires need to improve the process of adjusting to the positioning of the first and third base players.
    • Plate umpires could do a better job getting leadoff hitter to the plate to start an inning.
    • Overall, umpiring has been very good.
    • Athleticism and mobility are generally excellent – even with the hiatus.
    • Pre-pitch alignments have improved – working according to line drive responsibilities.
    • Timing is very fast behind the plate.
    • Need to be athletically postured (not planted) – to adjust quickly when throw pulls first baseman toward you.

    Nothing improves on its own,

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 3/5/2021

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2021 Video Bulletin #2.

  • 2/24/2021

    Please click the link to view NCAA Officials Health Dashboard.

  • 2/23/2021

    Please click the link to view Teach, by Bill McCallum, Jr., Baseball Umpire Advisor.

  • 2/16/2021

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2021 Video Bulletin #1.

  • 2/12/2021

    A leader helps people stay enthusiastic about the right things…

    … thank you to the NCAA Baseball Umpire Program, as well as Jay Fitzwater/NCAA Productions, Bobbi Edmunds/ArbiterSports and Scott Tittrington/Referee Enterprises - for the Team’s production of NCAA Baseball’s print and video developmental/educational collateral to date,very well done, Team…

    The 2021 NCAA Baseball Preseason Test was taken by 2,439 Umpires, with a passing rate of 94.98%. 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 all who participated in the  2021 NCAA Online Umpire Clinic Survey – I am very appreciative of your evaluative comments.

    Rule interpretations will continue to be issued by Randy Bruns, the NCAA Secretary-Rules Editor to clarify and educate all to the provisions.  Rules & 20-second action rule, Video Review regulations, 2021 Baseball Major Rules Changes, and Covid -19 waivers

    The Division I Baseball Umpire Advisors will, once again, submit a NCAA Baseball Umpire Game Observation to the appropriate Division I Conference Baseball Coordinator(s). My 2021 ask for all officials: view every game…as an opportunity to excel.

    As we continue our commitment to educate and clarify, I have sent the 2021 NCAA Rules and Officiating Video to all NCAA Baseball Head Coaches – encouraging them to share the Video with their staffs and student athletes.

    As NCAA Baseball returns, leave no doubt:the optics of the Umpiring Community will be greater-than-ever: Enforce the rules as written - you have the support of the National Coordinator, your Coordinator of Officials and all the Stakeholders of the game.

    Two things that are highly contagious: courtesy and courage,

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 2/9/2021

    Please click the link to view Core Values, by Jim Jackson, Baseball Umpire Advisor.

  • 2/3/2021

    Please click the link to view Empathy and College Baseball, by Bob LaBelle, Baseball Umpire Advisor.

  • 1/27/2021

    Please click the link to view What is Best for All of College Baseball, by Mark Ditsworth, Baseball Umpire Advisor.

  • 12/16/2020

    The art of teamwork is knowing how to sharpen the countenance of your teamates…

    The standards of the NCAA Baseball Umpire Program is for ALL Stakeholders affiliated with NCAA Baseball to align to the training, education  and testing benchmarks- as this will all-but-eliminate the possibility that the integrity of our great game can be compromised.

    Productive people are a mystery to non-productive people…

    -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 Baseball Coordinator.

    When someone takes notice of your potential, it's one of the best days of your life…

    Looking to 2021: Perception and professionalism continue to be emphasized.  Teaching and mentoring the NCAA Way is job number one:  inclusive of consistency, accuracy and poise in our dealings on the field – as it is very important for the integrity of our game to select officials for the Championships who are adhering to the NCAA rules, points of emphasis, and the NCAA Baseball Umpire Program’s protocols; we have high expectations of our officials.  The NCAA Baseball Committees and the Baseball Umpire Program are committed to improving umpiring during the regular season, as well as during the NCAA  Baseball Championships. 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.

    I want to wish all of you and your families a wonderful and blessed Christmas,

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 12/1/2020

    It is that time of year when we all increase our preparation for the upcoming 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 2021 NCAA Men’s Baseball Officiating Exam will be available on the TESTING Tab, January 8, 2021.  When available, the 2021 NCAA  Baseball Rules & Officiating Video can be accessed on the VIDEO Tab.  Searchable rules books are available by clicking on the RULES BOOKS Tab.  A digital version of the2021 CCA Baseball Umpires Manual will be available by clicking the CCA APP Tab.

    This year’s Welcome Packet includes the 2021 and 2022 NCAA Baseball Rules Book  and 2021 Men’s CCA Baseball Umpires Manual

    Welcome Packets will begin shipping in mid-December, with officials who registered first receiving their packets first.  Any questions about welcome packets can be submitted here.

    The 2021 NCAA Online Umpire Clinic will open December 7, 2020 and close January 22, 2021.

    Again this year, the ArbiterMobile app is available at no cost to NCAA registered officials. 

    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

    Best wishes for a great season!

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 5/28/2020

    Based on the video clip, the correct answer is “d”.  The first base umpire realized his own mistake in initially pointing “foul” as the ball rolled into the right field corner.  The defense would not be put at a disadvantage by this reversal to the correct call as no infielder was in position to make a play. Review the current language in the Appendix E - Getting the Call Right. 

    Section 1-c-8-Note discusses plays where another crew member approaches the calling umpire unsolicited to provide additional information and references only batted balls that first touch the ground or a fielder beyond the initial position of the first or third baseman. If the umpire changes his initial decision on his own, changing this call to “fair”  is the proper thing to do. 

    In the first paragraph of Appendix E, it states  “It is the philosophy of the NCAA that umpires always seek to get the call right.  This may involve the reversal of a previously rendered decision.  However, the correct decision – not the pride of any umpire – must prevail."

  • 5/18/2020

    Interesting play and one where the entire crew may be needed to get this call right.  This would be very difficult for the home plate umpire to see whether the ball hit the ground again after hitting the bat.  One of the base umpires may have a better angle to see this and will need to help get this play right.  This is not currently a reviewable play if video review is available.

    The correct answer is “c” and the rule reference is 7-4-b-Note 2.  “If a pitched ball strikes the ground in front of the batter and the batter swings at it, the ball is in play and a strike if missed.”  In this case, the pitch hit the ground before hitting the bat.  Then the ball did not hit the ground again before being caught by the infielder.  This was a legally caught line drive, and the batter is out.  R3 is out on appeal when the ball is thrown to third base before the runner returned to retouch the base.

  • 5/7/2020

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2020 Video Bulletin #5.

  • 5/4/2020

    The correct answer is “d”.  Rule Reference 8-5-a.

    Here’s what makes this play interesting.  The rule states the runner can’t run more than 3 feet from a direct line between the base and the runner’s location at the time a play is being made.  So if the fielder caught the ball and lost possession while trying to tag the runner, he was making a play and the runner is out.  On the other hand, if the runner was past the fielder before he had the ball or if the fielder never had the ball, he couldn’t have made a play on the runner.  Good judgment is required on this one.

  • 4/27/2020

    The answer to last week’s “You Make the Call” video was “b”.  This is a force out.  The rule reference is 8-5-j-Note 3, which states “If a runner tags the base to which the runner is forced and for some reason retreats toward the previous base, the runner is again subject to a force out.”  
  • 4/24/2020

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2020 Video Bulletin #4.

  • 3/25/2020

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2020 Video Bulletin #3.

  • 2/27/2020

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2020 Video Bulletin #2.

  • 2/10/2020

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2020 Video Bulletin #1.

  • 5/3/2019

    Please click the link to view 2019 Video Bulletin #8.

  • 4/19/2019

    Please click the link to view 2019 Video Bulletin #7.

  • 4/11/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Video Bulletin #6.

  • 4/1/2019

    Please click the VIDEOS Tab to view 2019 Video Bulletin #5.

  • 3/22/2019

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

  • 3/8/2019

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

  • 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.

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