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  • 4/2/2020

    Please click the link to view NCAA College Baseball Video Review by the Numbers, reprinted with permission from Referee Magazine.

  • 3/31/2020

     

    NCAA Registered Officials:

    As you are aware, on March 12, 2020 the NCAA made the difficult decision to cancel the remaining winter and spring championships due to the public health threat COVID-19. 

    As a result of this unforeseen event, ArbiterSports is providing all 2019-20 registered officials in NCAA Baseball, Softball, Men’s Lacrosse, and Women’s Lacrosse a 25 percent discount when you complete a 2020-21 registration fee in these four sports.  This discount will be applied automatically when you complete your 2020-21 registration.

    Thank you for playing such an important role in NCAA sports, and please keep yourself and your family healthy and safe.

    We look forward to seeing you on the field next season!

    ArbiterSports

  • 3/25/2020

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

  • 3/23/2020

    Anytime you help another person stay emotionally organized, you have served them well as a friend…

    Don’t be overwhelmed. Be aggressive. Be vigilant. Be committed. We will win the battle against this virus. We have common sense. We have wisdom. We have heart, and we are resilient. Worldwide, we have amazing scientists and doctors - they will very soon map out exactly how we can better protect ourselves against this virus even before drugs or a vaccine are available. Until then, we have to try what we can, learn and share. Each person’s ability to have an impact on this is powerful. It’s not just what others do. Each of us has an important role to play.

    Home Plate shall continue to be the location for officials to go for education, training and updates. Our commitment is to be a resource to officials even if games are not being played. Our NCAA Baseball Officiating Conference Call with Conference Baseball Coordinators, NCAA Staff and Conference Baseball Administrators, will take place on Wednesday, April 1.

    Please feel free to reach out to me at georgedrouches@gmail.com; stay vigilant to personal and your loved one’s health.

    Sincerely,

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National  Coordinator of Umpires

  • 3/12/2020

     First off,  thank you for your 2020 NCAA Online Umpire Clinic comments and suggestions - our team  will work to implement them into the 2022 Online production.

    Baseball Umpire Advisor observations as reported during our March 4 NCAA Baseball Officiating Conference Call with Conference Baseball Coordinators and Administrators:

    • Need better prevention of dugout personnel coming onto the field during a live ball (celebratory after a run scores but the play is continuing).
    • Keeping on deck hitters at the proper number between innings and during an at bat.
    • Strong plate performances so far – calling the full zone consistently, although fast timing has been common – especially on strike three.
    • Communication and eye contact between umpires has been very good; hard work and instincts have improved umpire mechanics and rotations.
    • Umpires are doing a much better job anticipating and reading the next possible play and adjusting, accordingly.
    • Confrontations are too lengthy – all have been good by allowing the coach to have his say , but must be able to warn and walk away; and a reminder that umpires must stop talking and allow the coaches to walk away as well.
    • Timing is still a problem.  Between innings is good and with no runners on is improved; 20-second action clock is either good or bad with runners on base. Early-on It has been relatively- easy to observe which umpires have studied the action clock rules with runners on base and which umpires have not.
    • Pause/Read and React: most umpires move before they read (too quick).  Once this happens they have committed to going out.  Need to go slow – slow - use your eyes not your feet.  Take your time before you give your key.
    • Umpiring for the most part is much improved.  Best I have seen this early in the season (in some big ball games).  Alignments are much improved.  Following protocols has been outstanding.
    • Video Review management has been very good. 
    • BIGGEST IMPROVEMENT is the focus and the attitude of the umpires.  Most appear more serious.  Less joking around on the field. More business-like attitudes – that has been very good to see.
    • Keep coaches in the box -do not allow them to get closer to foul line or closer to home plate.

    You as officials and coordinators are off to an excellent year - there is better focus on mechanics, more serious attention to student-athlete safety, and an improved  management (control) of the game; however, we have work to do – unsportsmanlike conduct by players and coaches is quickly coming back into our game and we must be firmer in strictly enforcing the rules. And, of course, we can always have quicker recall of the playing rules.

    Continuous quality improvement is always our aim.

    Remember:  a loss of focus for even a pitch and the game may find you,

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 2/27/2020

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

  • 2/21/2020

    This message serves as the NCAA’s official notice that the decertification process has been triggered for the Louisville Slugger Meta 33-inch model. Effective immediately and until further notice, this bat will not be allowed for use in any NCAA baseball competition.

    Please click here to read Decertification of 33-inch Louisville Slugger Meta bat.

  • 2/20/2020

    With the NCAA college baseball season underway, let's  take a moment to re-familiarize ourselves with the National Association of Sports Officials' Social Media Guidelines.

  • 2/19/2020

    Please click the link to view Teamwork, by Bob LaBelle, Baseball Umpire Advisor.

  • 2/13/2020

    It has been brought to the NCAA's attention that there may be some confusion as to whether there is the ability to "pause" the 20-second clock with or without runners on base for a legitimate reason and then "resume" the clock from the point of interruption.

    Although it is certainly understandable that there may be some confusion, especially with the "pause" still listed in the appendix of the rulebook with no runners on base.  There is no "pause" with the updated 2020 version of this rule.  Everyone should be directed to NCAA BASEBALL NOVEMBER 2019 20-SECOND ACTION RULE LIMITS document that was distributed via ArbiterSports and is available on the NCAA website playing rules area.  This is the official document to be used for the 2020 season. 

    It has been posted again today, both in this post and under the Randy Bruns Secretary-Rules Editor area.  2020 is a non-rule change year and therefore the rulebook has not been updated.  Please alert all teams, coaches, game administration and officials that there is no "pause" allowed with the rule in the 2020 season.  If the umpire feels there is a legitimate reason to have the 20-second clock stopped, then the officials should completely restart the 20-second clock.  This will allow everyone to reset and for neither team to gain an advantage.

    The NCAA will further address this in the upcoming video bulletin next week.  

    Randy Bruns
    NCAA Baseball Secretary-Rules Editor

     

  • 2/12/2020

    This updated version of the 2020 NCAA Video Review Regulations has revised language (updated in red) concerning force or tag plays that must be in the vicinity of a base that a runner is attempting to reach.

    As noted in the original post in December:

    There are several additions to the document (highlighted in red) including guidelines for ruling on tag plays and hit by pitch situations.  Otherwise, the rules for the 2020 season remain the same as the previous year.

    The use of Video Review was expanded during the 2019 season and its use had a significant impact on college baseball at several levels.  The impact will continue in 2020 as more institutions, conferences, and tournaments make use of Video Review.

    A special “thank you” to Paul Guillie for his suggestions on the updates contained in the document.

    Randy Bruns
    NCAA Baseball Secretary-Rules Editor

  • 2/12/2020

    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.

    The NCAA Baseball Preseason Test was taken by 2,609 Umpires, with a passing rate of 95.0%. I encourage all of you, to not only spend time on the test review, but with all that our Home Plate has to offer. I ask that when you receive the 2020 NCAA Online Umpire Clinic Survey – please be candid with your evaluative comments, thank you.

    • Rule interpretations will continue to be issued by Randy Bruns, the NCAA Secretary-Rules Editor to clarify and educate all to the provisions.  [] 20- second action rule  1. Discipline yourself to memory 2.  Discipline yourself to putting the ball in play time and time again. [] Batter Requests Time rule 7-1-b   3. Do not be cavalier with granting time. 4. Discipline to memory:  rule 7-1-b

    The Division I Baseball Umpire Advisors will, once again, submit a NCAA Baseball Umpire Game Evaluation to the appropriate Division I Conference Baseball Coordinator(s). In 2019, 745 NCAA Reports were sent; 2020 has another aggressively-planned travel schedule by the NCAA Baseball Umpire Program - my simple 2020 ask for all officials: view every game…as an opportunity to excel.

    I know the challenge that you face game-in; game-out to create a safe playing environment for all student-athletes and the work that is required to consistently enforce the rules so that both teams have an equal opportunity to win.

    Hard work pays dividends: as College Baseball has never been in a better place…

    My humble privilege to be of service to you.

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires 

  • 2/10/2020

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

  • 2/6/2020

    Please click the link to view Perception IS Reality, by Jim Jackson, Baseball Umpire Advisor.

  • 1/31/2020

    As the beginning of Division I play nears, there is a definite concern that teams may not have planned ahead to make sure that bat testing is properly completed, especially during early season games at neutral sites.  Playing at a neutral site does not eliminate the responsibility to make sure the equipment is legal and some planning and communication is required by both teams.

    Click the link to view NCAA Baseball Interpretations/Clarifications - February 2020.

    Thanks.

    Randy Bruns
    NCAA Secretary-Rules Editor

  • 1/30/2020

    Please click the link to view Umpiring in 2020, by Bill McCallum, Jr., Baseball Umpire Advisor.

  • 1/29/2020

    Please enjoy these two Officiating Documentaries--courtesy of fellow NASO Officiating Development Alliance member, Joan Powell, former NCAA National Coordinator of Women's Volleyball Officiating and current PAC 12 and Mountain West Coordinator of Women's VolleyBall Officials.

    Part 1

     

    Part 2

  • 1/23/2020

    Please click the link to view Following Baseball Protocols the Right Way, by Mark Ditsworth, Baseball Umpire Advisor.

  • 1/8/2020

    Division I Officials:

    Please note that the deadline to complete requirements for the 2020 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship umpire selection consideration has been extended to January 20, 2020 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time.  These requirements include completing and passing the 2020 NCAA Baseball Preseason Test, viewing the 2019-20 NCAA Baseball Online Umpire Clinic, and consenting to the 2019-20 Background Check.

    Please click the links below if you are a Division II or Division III official:

    Division II Officials

    Division III Officials

  • 1/8/2020

    The NCAA has engaged The PICTOR Group to lead a comprehensive review of the state of collegiate officiating for 15 NCAA sports across all three divisions. A national review is underway and involves significant data collection, with commissioners representing Divisions I, II, and III comprising an Officiating Review Steering Committee. The final report will be submitted to the NCAA in August 2020. 

    Please click the following link for an overview of the NCAA Officiating Review Project.

  • 12/19/2019

    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.  To read 2020 NCAA Baseball Umpire Policies, click here.

  • 12/18/2019

    2020:  Leadership is not about production, it's about reproduction…

    This past summer, I mentioned to the NCAA Division I Conference Baseball Administrators, Conference Baseball Coordinators, the  Division I Baseball Committee and the Baseball Rules Committee -  that I was extremely proud of how the umpiring community addressed  the rules changes and game-changing challenges presented this past season; and that this vigilant and passionate effort was required in one of the most-impactful seasons, in recent history of NCAA Baseball. 

    The 20-second action pitch clock, whether visible or not - will have  dramatic pace-of-play momentum in 2020 - this momentum doesn't require something monumental : approach pace-of play's changes with passion and we will be fine.

    2020:  You don't have to be ridiculously gifted. You just have to be ridiculously committed

    -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.

    There is much work to do in 2020 -  but I will tell all of you, this:  I am extremely grateful for everyone who participates in our NCAA Baseball Umpire Program -  for their selfless passion to service; in addition, much appreciation as well to the Conference Baseball Coordinators for their dedication with collaborative efforts, including but not limited to: branding/marketing of officiating, clinics and educational efforts, evaluation processes, assignment recommendations for NCAA Championships, communication with committees/coaches, dealing with situations during the regular season; NCAA Championships, and recruiting new officials.

    2020: The most important facet of mentoring is connection, not correction…

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

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of  Umpires

  • 12/9/2019

    The 2019-20 NCAA Baseball Online Umpire Clinic (Eligibility Requirement) is a requirement for all divisions.  To view the required clinic, click the ELIGIBILITY Tab.  After reading all information, click Go to Eligibility Center at the bottom of the page.

    The deadline to view the clinic is January 20, 2020 at 5pm Eastern Time.

  • 12/2/2019

    I hope you had a fantastic summer and fall. 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 2020 NCAA Men’s Baseball Officiating Exam will be available on the TESTING Tab, January 3, 2020.  When available, the 2020 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 the2020 CCA Baseball Umpires Manual will be available by clicking the CCA APP Tab.  To download the free ArbiterMobile app, click here.

    This year’s Welcome Packet includes the 2019-20 NCAA Baseball Rules Book  and 2020 Men’s CCA Baseball Umpires Manual.  Welcome Packets will begin shipping mid-December, with officials who registered first receiving their packets first.  Any questions about welcome packets can be submitted here.

    The 2020 NCAA Online Umpire Clinic will open December 9, 2019 and close January 20, 2020.

    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.

    Best wishes for a great season!

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 10/31/2019

    Click the link below to be directed to this year’s sports wagering educational video for officials.  The video is approximately 20 minutes in length and includes sports wagering information with which you should be familiar. 

    2019 NCAA Integrity Education Video

     

    Best regards,

    Dan Calandro
    NCAA, Director of Championships and Alliances

     

  • 10/3/2019

     

    NCAA Officials: 

    This document was developed as part of the NCAA’s continued review of its risk management program.  Please note that this document summarizes information that may render an official ineligible to officiate any rounds of any of the NCAA championships.    

    Also, please note that one or more of the components of the “Notifications and Determinations” section may not be in place until the 2020-21 academic year. 

    Best regards,

    Dan Calandro
    NCAA, Director of Championships and Alliances

  • 9/17/2019


    The National College Baseball Hall of Fame has announced its eight inductees for the 2019 class, headlined by former Florida State coach Mike Martin and and Cal State Fullerton’s Mark Kotsay. Also being inducted as part of the College Baseball Night of Champions celebration will be Dennis Poppe, Dave Chalk, Andre Dawson, Wally Hood, Lloyd Simmons and Billy Wagner.  Click here to read the full article.

  • 8/21/2019

    One door closes, another door opens…

    Recently, I mentioned to the NCAA Division I Conference Baseball Administrators, Coordinators and the NCAA Baseball Rules Committee -  that I was extremely proud of how the umpiring community addressed  the rules changes and game-changing challenges presented this past season; and that under the direction of Scott Taylor, Don Umland;  as well as  the Division I, II, III Baseball Coordinators - the fellowship of umpires, truly, were leaders in one of the most  most-impactful seasons, in recent history of NCAA Baseball.  Click here to view the National Coordinator End of Season Recap from Omaha.

    Rule interpretations (charged conferences, hit by pitch [HBP], between innings timing protocols, expanded video review, pitching position, runners lane interference [POE] and the suspension penalties) will continue to be issued by Randy Bruns, NCAA Secretary-Rules Editor as needed -  to clarify and educate all to the provisions. 2020 rule changes include: required bat barrel compression testing, bat color requirements; a 20-second action rule be enforced before all pitches.

    For the first time, Centralized Video Review was implemented within the 2019 NCAA Regional Tournament. Centralized Video Review Officials (Pittsburgh-based DVSport Command Center, TD Ameritrade Stadium, Omaha) had 187 reviews in the 138 games played during the Regional, Super Regional and College World Series. 2019 NCAA Championship: games with at least 1 review: 101, no reviews: 37, average reviews/game: 1.5; average length of review: 1:15. In addition to Centralized Video Review being exceptionally-seamless throughout the Championship, the NCAA’s partnership with DVSport, Inc. has brought much added value- to the umpire development vision and plan of the NCAA Baseball Umpire Program. Finally, respective Baseball Committees indicated that the umpiring crews performed their duties with a high degree of professionalism and excellence throughout the 2019 Division I, Division II and Division III Championships…very well done, here, everyone…

    2019 was a very successful  and productive campaign; and as Development opportunities continue - I  commend and admire the entrepreneurs and the teachers - for their selfless passion to give back; to invest themselves in servant leadership.

    My humble privilege to be of service to you,

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires

  • 8/15/2019

    The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a 20-second action rule in baseball that will be enforced before all pitches in the 2019-20 academic year. A base umpire will keep the clock on the field if no visible clocks are available.  Click here to read the article on NCAA.com.

  • 7/23/2019
     
    The NCAA Baseball Rules Committee set the protocols for in-season bat testing that will take place in Division I during the 2020 season.  Please click here to view the video and read the article.
  • 5/9/2019

    …NCAA Baseball is in a great spot: the game’s popularity, exposure and market share is at an all-time high – Divisions II and III are increasing, substantially – the umpires required for their 2019 Championship and beyond: truly, a wonderful time to be an NCAA umpire.

    Speaking of Divisions II and III – congratulations to those umpires who have the coveted opportunity to officiate in the NCAA Baseball Championship: 1. Savor the assignment. 2. Understand the gift of mentoring – which accompanies this honor. 3. Thank your Conference Coordinator – as they have worked diligently on your behalf.

    As we, and no one is excluded, no one -  grind through the month of May’s ever-tightening grip, the importance of umpire data collection, with its myriad of applications – is at an never-before witnessed level.

    A continued well done to all the umpires who have a conference tournament assignment, and as NCAA postseason assignment time looms:  just stay the course with our get better agenda, remain diligent and do what is right and what is defendable…

    I am extremely proud of how the umpiring industry took on the rules changes and game-changing challenges presented this season. Truly, you were leaders in a most impactful season of NCAA Baseball.

    Finally, aligning with our affirmation to data, please take the time to read Jeff Head’s engaging Video Review: A win – win for Umpires & College Baseball.

    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 

  • 5/3/2019

    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

    Umpire Competition is at an All-Time High…

    Postseason discussion began during our April 3 NCAA Baseball Officiating Conference Call.

    Please take the time to review the Championship Assignment Procedures found on pages 10-13 in the 2019 NCAA Division I Game Officials Manual.

    I strongly encourage all of you to review the NCAA Regional Baseball Advisors’ Observations and self-assess your body of officiating work thus far.

    As I mentioned in Dallas, Phoenix, Orlando, Chicago, Pittsburgh: the challenges ahead in 2019 are game -changing, representative to all involved- as the year-ahead of us is one of the most impactful years in recent college baseball history, and:

    • Leadership is not about production it’s about reproduction.
    • Be a contributor, not a distraction.
    • You don’t have to be ridiculously gifted. You just have to be ridiculously committed.

    NEW for 2019: Smitty Officials Apparel will supply uniforms for all NCAA Baseball Championship Umpires, and only Smitty Officials Apparel will be worn by umpires in the 2019 NCAA Tournament; any  previously-issued Honig's apparel will no longer be allowed. The website is www.smittychampionships.com.  The site is live and you may review the products that are available. Follow the prompts: create an account with email address and password for access. All of the items available for the Tournament will be available for purchase. Please note that once umpire selections are announced, this will be a protected site for only those Division I, II, III umpires selected to their respective NCAA Regional and Super Regional Tournaments.

    Our recent NCAA Video Bulletin and Regional Baseball Advisor observations made comment cautioning that calling pitches too far off the outside corner as strikes is becoming an all-too-frequent complaint from coaches – please take the time, now,  to read Morris Hodge’s timely read, Enhancing your Game.  

    Just remember that preparation, focus and concentration are important keys to excellent officiating…view every game as an opportunity to excel.

    My humble privilege to be of service to you.

    George M. Drouches
    NCAA National Coordinator of Umpires 

  • 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.

  • 3/13/2019

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 1/2/2018

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

 
 
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