Meeting Schedule 2020 - Brush Country Um
Meeting Schedule 2020 - Brush Country Um

A message for our 2020 Approved Umpires

5/7/2019 │ A message for our 2020 Approved Umpires

A message for our 2020 Approved Umpires

5/7/2019 │ A message for our 2020 Approved Umpires

A message for our 2020 Approved Umpires

5/7/2019 │ A message for our 2020 Approved Umpires
6/4/2019 │ State Championship information - Brush Country

Good afternoon fellow Brush Country Umpires,

Join me in congratulating Frank Lopez as he will be working 1st Base for the 6A State Championship game on Saturday, 4 p.m. at Dell Diamond.

This marks the third year that Brush Country is represented in the State Tournament and we are proud that Frank has been selected to represent the chapter, culminating the year with the last game of the tournament and season. 


If you can make the time, please join us Saturday to support Frank at Dell Diamond in the continuing and rich heritage of Texas high school baseball, of which we all play an important part.

Robert Redding

5/11/2019 │ Play-Off Travel Reimbursement Policy
5/9/2019 │ TASO proposes game/match fee increase
5/7/2019 │ A message for our 2020 Approved Umpires

Hello Lady and Gents!


First of all, I want to thank you for your faith in me to lead this group into next season! Miss Ramirez and I will be your liaisons to answer any questions you have and to propose any bylaw changes that you may want to bring up. Please remember this Chapter is run by it's membership and the elected board can only work within the bylaws and regulations of the our chapter and the state. If you have any issues with ANYTHING please contact me or Miss Ramirez and we can bring it to the board for discussion and ultimately to the membership for vote. 


One of the biggest issues this year was meeting attendance! Everyone on this email has now been with the chapter for at least 2 years. We are the future of this chapter and if there's no participation at the meetings then our future cannot be united and strong. We understand that not everyone can drive a long distance for an hour meeting, however we have to scratch our heads when we provide a webinar system and all you have to do is log in and yet very few do. Attendance is key to any organization and it gives the wrong impression to rookie officials who are seeing this chapter for the first time. Lastly, attendance is a big part of your qualification for a playoff run. Don't let an hour every other week keep you off the playoff list.


So, where do we go from here? 

  1. Please take care of unfinished business with the chapter. 

  2. Pay your game fees to Glenn Poppe ($2 per game)

  3. If you need new equipment for next year call some of the guys who are retiring this year.

  4. Work on your game this summer:

  • Game management

  • Become comfortable in your own skin

  • Don't let outside noise influence your game

  • Be consistent behind the plate

  • Looking the part is half the battle, take pride



While you're out on the ball fields this summer remember to promote our chapter. If you work with someone looking for a home have them get in touch with me or send them to our website for more information.

I want to recognize Miss Ramirez on her accomplishment with MLB. She was awarded a full ride scholarship to the MLB Camp this winter! Congratulations and we all can't wait to hear how it goes!


Don't forget there is plenty of information on our website. BTW, I want to give thanks to Joseph Cruz for the awesome job he's done creating and maintaining the site!


Thanks again for your support and I wish everyone a great summer!!

Charles Marquardt

Approved Representative


Become An Umpire │Become A TASO Baseball Umpire, Click Here! Join Us, Today!
5/7/2019 │ A message for our 2020 Approved Umpires

A message for our 2020 Approved Umpires

5/7/2019 │ A message for our 2020 Approved Umpires

A message for our 2020 Approved Umpires

5/3/2019 │ Congratulations to one of our own!

Brush Country Umpires,

It is with great pride I share the news that our very own Xcaret Ramirez from Laredo, who attended the MLB One-Day Clinic on 27 April in Dallas, was one of a few umpires selected to receive a MLB scholarship to attend the MLB Professional Mini-Camp in Ft. Myers, FL, in December. 

If selected from this camp, her scholarship will also allow her to attend the Minor League Baseball Training Academy's Professional Course, at the Jackie Robinson Training Institute, 5 Jan - 2 Feb, 2020.  This is the first, and major step to becoming a professional MiLB/MLB umpire.

Please take a minute to pass on congratulations to Xcaret!

Best Regards,
Robert Redding

5/1/2019 │ First round of HS baseball playoffs!


First off, congratulations to each of you on your selection to work the first round of the 2019 Texas high school baseball playoff games!

Almost all of you were requested directly by coaches, which is a reflection of the hard work, study and dedication you exemplified throughout a long season.

And others were picked by the playoff committee for the same reason.


With that, a few things to remember as we enter the weekend...


1.  If you are working a split crew with another chapter, by now you should've either contacted or been contacted by your partners from the other chapter.  If you have not, please notify Brent immediately!  He has the contact info for the other chapters.

Remember to verify what uniforms you will wear, and that there are 2 shades of the blue shirts!


IMPORTANT NOTE:  For those first-time playoff umpires, or those who forget regarding 4-umpire split crews:

A.  The visiting team will have their chapter's umpires at PL and U2!

B.  The home team will have their chapter's umpires at U1 and U3!


Do NOT let the other umpires dictate something other than has happened.


If a 3-game series goes to 3 games, remember that at the end of the 2nd game, the coaches will meet to determine who is home and visitor, and who they want to work where.  That usually involves coin flips, so be prepared.  It's not unheard of to have the visiting coach ask to have the OTHER chapter's umpires work PL and U2!



2.  The listed crew chief, or senior umpire, also needs to contact the coach, whether you are doing split crew or a Brush Country crew, 3- or 4-umpires.

This is especially imperative as we face an unknown and possibly stormy weather forecast.  Changes could happen rapidly and some of the 3-game series could easily become a one-game playoff!


3.  Be sure to arrive at the game site in plenty of time to do a good pre-game, even with our own chapter members.  You will quickly find that the minimal training we do is barely enough to prepare you for the real game action of 3- and 4-umpire mechanics.  Just as with 2-umpire mechanics, what will help with those situations is...COMMUNICATE...constantly.  

Use hand signals both before and during play, and verbal signals during you and your partners know where you are and what you are doing.  It WILL save missed rotations!

With that, I've attached the latest 3-umpire and 4-umpire slides.  The 3-umpire slides have been updated with the latest rundown information.  If you have a long drive, study/review with your partners enroute.


4.  Please represent the chapter in a positive manner, both on and off the fields.

Dress in a professional manner when travelling to/from the games, and especially when going to meet the coaches.  Coaches and fans WILL see you and immediately cast a discerning eye toward you, so please give a solid first impression by dressing appropriately.  Dress should be some kind of casual pants, i.e. - khakis, and a polo shirt, preferably a Brush Country Chapter shirt.

Whatever you wear, do NOT wear work-type uniforms and make sure they are clean.

Remember that one team will close out their season at the end of these games, so emotions will run high.  Remain calm and professional.

Remember to contact myself and Glenn immediately if something happens, incl game suspensions/cancellations.


5.  Make sure you go as a CREW when you meet with the coaches.  Do not go alone, or just the 2 of you if split crew.  

Remember:  Perceptions are everything and we don't' need to add to a coaches worry that we are biased toward one side or the other. 

And always meet with the home team coach first.  


6.  Have a lineup card and blue card.  You will find that many chapters do not use a blue card, and some that don't even use a lineup card...they just take what the coaches give them.  If a coach doesn't know about the blue card, and/or our lineup card because their chapter doesn't use them, patiently explain to them what they need to do when you meet with them before the game.


7.  Pay

Attached are the paysheets to use for playoffs.  They are also on our chapter website:

Determine the pay situation when you call the coach to confirm.  For those that are travelling, coordinate with the host school or home school if hotel arrangements are necessary.

If you do get lodging, adjust your mileage accordingly and don't try to take advantage of this, i.e. - claim mileage from home when you stayed in town at a hotel.  They will be double-checking!


Usually, you submit your paysheets to the host site...they pay you (they collect funds from the participating schools).

You can also have the situation where one school pays all officials, or they split the cost.

For bi-district, you will receive $80 per game.

Work out mileage with your partners and use the UIL mileage calculator to determine mileage fee, even to non-Brush Country locations where games are being hosted:


Finally, if you have one person driving to a non portal-to-portal location, each passenger should pay the driver 20% of the mileage they receive.

If one person is driving and getting portal-to-portal, remember everyone gets meal and rider fee, and drive should split accordingly with the other officials.



Again, congratulations...I wish each of you safe travels and great games!


Best regards,

Robert Redding

4/30/2019 │ 2019 TASO Baseball Weekly Bulletin 19.6





From: TASO Baseball Rules Interpreter

To: TASO Baseball Umpire Membership

Subject: Baseball Weekly Bulletin 19-6


Well, the first week of playoffs are beginning. Games that may have been just a baseball game last week, will take on heightened importance this week. Coaches, players, and parents will be more on edge and excitable. Stay patient and in control.


1) TAPPS –If you have a TAPPS game this week, might be good to review the TAPPS rule exceptions at before the game. People can become confused in the post-season.

2) Game Ending Procedures – Game ending procedures have changed somewhat from what they were in the regular season. Any suspended game that is not a complete game, will resume at the point of suspension. Games never roll back to the last completed inning to be declared a complete game. The ten-run rule is still used in all playoff games after the fifth inning (or after 4 ½ if the home team in the bottom of the fifth is ahead by more than ten runs). At any point in the game, if both head coaches agree that the game is done, it is a complete game with the score recorded at that point. By rule the umpire-in-chief is also to agree with the head coaches, but I am sure none of us, with both coaches ready for the game to be done, would insist on continuation of a game.

When you have a suspended game, record all information on your line-up cards: number of outs, runners on base, count on a batter, warnings, ejections, conferences used, score, etc. The lineup cards should be current with all substitutions, number of charged conferences taken, any warnings, restrictions, or ejections. If you are not sure you will be returning for the continuation of the suspended game, give the cards to one of your crew or to the home head coach. Also, a player who was not at the game when it was suspended, may play as a substitute in the continued game.

Remember, as TASO officials we are to enforce NFHS Baseball playing rules. UIL policy rules regarding games in the playoff series are not for us to enforce. Let the coaches and ADs work it out with the UIL.

3) Media - With the post-season, there may be more media present. If they are to be on the field, please ensure there is a marked media area declared before the game begins. We cannot create a media area part-way into the game. And, despite what the coach may say, a media area once created is always a dead ball area, whether it is occupied or not. If it were to be a dead ball area only if occupied, a coach could have it occupied only when he is on offense and empty when his team is playing defense. There cannot be parts of the field that are sometimes in play and sometimes not. Additionally, avoid any discussion with the media. No matter what you say, you run the risk that you may not be quoted correctly or have what you say is taken out of context. Silence cannot be quoted. If the media needs information on a ruling or a situation, refer them to the TASO. Read PROVERBS 17:28 – “Even a fool is thought to be wise when he remains silent.”

4) Professionalism – As with any game, we are representatives of TASO. We must continue to be professional in every aspect. Our behavior and appearance reflects on TASO and all officials. Be aware of how you leave the parking lot or locker room. Do not leave trash piled up in the locker room or around your car. If your locker room continues to be the parking lot, please park smartly and be respectful of all fans that may be near. Please be discrete and courteous and not provide them with an unexpected experience. Take pride in your appearance and dress. It might be a good time to buy new hats, and then after the post-season make them your hats for the 2020 regular season. How you look makes a statement as to what type of official you are and the respect you show the game and fellow officials. Lastly, be aware of your body language. Your body language communicates a lot and is perceived by many to say something you may not be intending to communicate. Be aware of folded arms, hands on hips, a scowl on a face.  


Play from the last bulletin:

Play:  With a runner on second base, the batter hits a high foul fly ball in the vicinity of the on-deck circle. The on-deck batter, the clean-up hitter who is 3-3 with 2 home runs and a triple, watches the catcher coming toward him and backs away from the ball, unfortunately into the path of the third baseman. There is contact between the clean-up hitter and the third baseman. The defensive head coach is very inventive, he wants a double play; an out on the batter and an out on the on-deck hitter for interference. The offensive head coach, hearing the emotional rhetoric from his counterpart, wants malicious contact on the third baseman and both runners awarded a spot on the bases. The umpires, hearing the rules logic from the coaches, just want the field in their rear-view mirror. None of them got what they wanted as quickly as they wanted it.

Ruling:  All we have is interference by a team member on a defensive player attempting to catch a foul ball. The umpires briefly thought about whether the catcher or third baseman had the best ability to catch the foul fly, but then realized that rule applied to runner interference. They called the batter out, and brought the on-deck hitter to the plate. The defensive head coach, after some additional highly emotional arguments and demonstrations, wanted to file a protest (Not allowed in Texas). It was hard for him to do it from the bus. And as the baseball gods rolled in laughter, the clean-up hitter hit another home run.

Remember and take pride in the important and essential role you play in the educational experience of those who play this game. You may not know how, but you did make a difference.


This will be the last Baseball Bulletin for this season. I hope you have found them to be of some value. Please, if there is something we did that was of value, or if we need to do something else, let me know. If there are situations that arise over the summer, please get them to me. We may have a bulletin with plays over the off-season.


Have a great post-season. Again, thanks for all you have done and will continue to do for the sport of baseball in Texas and all those who engage in the game.


Yours in Baseball,

Kyle McNeely


TASO Baseball Division 1.0.gif
4/27/2019 │ 2019 TASO Baseball Weekly Bulletin 19.5






From: TASO Baseball Rules Interpreter

To: TASO Baseball Umpire Membership

Subject: Baseball Weekly Bulletin 19-5


Well, we are rounding third and headed for home for the regular 2019 high school baseball season. I trust that overall your season has gone well. This week is vitally important to many teams as they look to a postseason.

With all that said, we have a few things to discuss:

1. Ejected Players: We have had a couple of games where an ejected player was requested to go to the bus. Fortunately, in both situations, an assistant coach accompanied the player.(The coach was not ejected; just chose to be with the player). We need to remember that an ejected coach must leave the immediate vicinity of the game.  He can be asked to come back by an umpire for an injured player. However, an ejected player is never to be put in a place without adult supervision. The ejected player should stay in the dugout with his team for the remainder of the game. If he were to continue to be a problem or a distraction, it is up to the coach to handle the situation.


2. Infielder Warming Up to Pitch: We have had multiple occasions where a coach, during a visit to the mound, has wanted to have an infielder warm up to be a pitcher. This is not legal. The following is an Approved Ruling from 2014: As the head coaches moves to the pitching mound for a defensive conference, he tosses a baseball to his third baseman and has him take warm-up throws with another player to get ready to pitch. RULING: A team cannot have a fielder, in the game, throw a baseball for the purpose of warming up as a pitcher, during a defensive conference or a pitching change. If they desire to warm up a player in the game to prepare him to pitch, they would need to take him out of the game to warm up and then later re-enter him under the substitution rule. (3-4-1).  

3. Media in the Playing Field: A media person entered the playing field during play to take pictures. As the baseball gods never let anything go un-noticed, the batter hits a foul fly ball that came down near the photographer. The defensive player, attempting to catch the ball, ran into the misplaced photographer and as a result did not make, what would have been an easy catch of a foul ball. Everyone in the stands immediately voiced their knowledge of the rule and the dugouts chimed in with their respective opinions, while the officiating crew wondered if they could legally just start the game over. As you can imagine the defensive team and their fans wanted an out declared, and the photographer held until tar and a feather pillow could be acquired. While, in a sense of fairness, we want to award the out, we cannot. Unless the media person intentionally moved or did something to interfere with the catch, we have nothing other than a foul ball and excitement generated in a slow game. This is the reason the rule requires a designated media area if any media personnel are to be on the field. And by the way, the photographer got an excellent picture of the player missing the catch.


4. PA Announcers: There have a few reports of some PA Announcers at fields offering their educated opinion of rule enforcement or judgment by the officials. While many of these “color commentators” are students, some parents played junior ESPN announcer as well. Whenever a PA announcer goes over the line, ask the respective coach to immediately get it curbed back. If that has no impact, you may hold the game up until the mic is unplugged.

5. Runner Not Sliding and Being Hit by a Throw: There have been multiple games in the last few weeks where either the coach or an umpire had questions on the force-play “slide” rule. A runner advancing to second had been already forced out and was either hit by a throw or “caused” a throw to be off line because he did not slide. In all instances, the runner was not close enough to a base where he should be expected to slide. In one case, he was running slightly more than halfway to second when he was hit by a thrown ball from the shortstop. Of course, the defense immediately petitioned for interference and an out declared on the batter-runner advancing to first base. This is not a violation of the rule. Unless the runner did something else to enable him to be hit by the throw, we simply have baseball. We cannot expect a runner to slide on the base path at a location where he would not normally slide. This is not interference by a retired runner. The runner may veer off or duck if he chooses, but if is in a position where he would not be expected to slide, he is not required to do so. In these instances, the ball remains live and in play.


6. Play From Last Week: This play illustrates those moments when we, as umpires wish we really didn't know the rules. In this play, it would be so much better to let happen what the crowd thinks happened, vs. what we should do by the rule. After all, no one else knows, right? With bases loaded and two out in the bottom of the seventh, the score is tied.  (of course). The batter swings at a 55-foot curve ball and the pitch gets by the catcher and the winning one comes in to score. The catcher retrieves the ball and sees the runner on second doing jumping jacks in excitement. The catcher has no play at home or at first so he fires to the third baseman who catches the ball and touches the bag. In the midst of a game ending win celebration, the umpire gets to call the third out and deny the run. The saving grace is that the extra innings, yes innings, that ensued caused most of the militant spectators to leave before the game finally did end. We are not always rewarded for doing a good job.


Plays from the Last Bulletin:

1. With the bases loaded and one out, the batter bunts but pops up. The first baseman comes in, lets the ball hit the back of his glove and fall to the ground. He next picks the ball up and throws to the catcher for out two with the catcher throwing to first base to complete the double play for out number three. Everyone looks at each other wondering what just happened. Ruling: An infielder may allow a pop-fly or pop-up to drop untouched, he cannot drop the ball or maneuver it to the ground with his glove. The ball is dead and the batter-runner is declared out.

2. With the bases loaded and the runner on third base breaking for home, the batter swings at a pitch, hitting it high in the air between the pitching mound and home plate. As the plate umpire properly declares “Infield fly if fair,” the ball hits the ground and rolls back toward home, contacting the runner from third in fair ground as he slides to the plate. The base umpire becomes extremely interested in the condition of second base. Ruling: The batter-runner is out on the infield fly. The runner from third is contacting by a fair batted ball that has not passed any infielder. We have two outs, two on, and two massive headaches.


Play for Next Week: 


Play: With a runner on second base, the batter hits a high foul fly ball in the vicinity of the on-deck circle. The on-deck batter, the clean-up hitter who is 3-3 with 2 home runs and a triple, watches the catcher coming toward him and backs away from the ball, unfortunately into the path of the third baseman. There is contact between the clean-up hitter and the third baseman. The defensive head coach is very inventive, he wants a double play; an out on the batter and an out on the on-deck hitter for interference. The offensive head coach, hearing the emotional rhetoric from his counterpart, wants malicious contact on the third baseman and both runners awarded a spot on the bases. The umpires, hearing the rules logic from the coaches, just want the field in their rear-view mirror. None of them got what they wanted as quickly as they wanted it.

We will talk this play and post-season next week.

Until then, have a good one.


Yours in baseball,

Kyle McNeely


TASO Baseball Division 1.0.gif
4/26/2019 │ Pay for District seeding games, 26-27 Apr & Coach Tim Bertholf, Jourdanton

Several of you are working tie-breaker games today and tomorrow to determine District seeding for playoffs.

​For pay purposes, these are still considered "Regular Season" games, so please use the appropriate "Regular Season" pay sheet ($70 for varsity games).

Crew chiefs for each game need to coordinate with your listed home team regarding how pay will be handled, incl mileage, especially at a neutral site.

​For example, they may have the host site pay the officials, or they may have the home team pay, or they may split the cost of the officials between the two participating schools.  Either way, please confirm how that will be handled with the home team head coach.

​If you have any questions, please contact Raul, Brent, Glenn or myself.

Safe travels to all today and this weekend and good luck with your games!



​As some of you are aware, Coach Tim Bertholf from Jourdanton suffered a stroke Wednesday evening and is in the hospital for further evaluation and treatment.  His team will still be playing tonight with one of his assistant coaches leading the team.  Of course, he still wants to be out there.

​Regardless of our differences on the field, we all share a common bond with our love/passion for the game and health issues such as this transcend what happens at the ball park. 


I ask you please keep Coach Bertholf and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Thanks and regards,
​Robert Redding

4/20/2019 │ 3-/4-umpire training, Thursday, 25 April

Good afternoon all,

I've had several questions regarding the 3-/4-umpire training required for playoffs since several could not attend last Wednesday.


Here are the dates the board discussed for additional training opportunities:


- Thursday, 25 April, 6 p.m., location TBD


- Monday, 29 April, as part of our regularly scheduled chapter meeting, 7 p.m.

  As with this last Wednesday, to help your schedules we will have a very short chapter meeting before moving on to the training.  


- Tuesday, 30 April, alternate date as needed, 6 p.m.


-- For the folks who live up north, we will let you know the location for Thursday's training.

-- For the folks who live in Laredo, I've discussed with Jim Murray and he is going to get with those who still need the training...if we can get you all in on Monday, the 29th, at the regularly scheduled meeting we won't do it on Thursday, the 25th.   

For all officials, we will look at Tuesday as needed, even Wednesday, 1 May, if someone has a scheduling conflict with the above dates.  Playoffs could start as early as Thursday, 2 May.


But please make every effort to attend one of the above dates so we are postured to support the upcoming playoffs.  If you attended the 3-/4-umpire training at either of the last 2 meetings, or completed the 3-/4-umpire training at the state meeting, you are good to go.  Please confirm with your division rep, as well as your status concerning completion of the required rules clinic.


If anyone has any questions or concerns, PLEASE call me!  I will do whatever I, or the board/chapter can to assist.


Thanks and regards,

Robert Redding

4/19/2019 │ MLB Umpire Camp
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5/7/2019 │ A message for our 2020 Approved Umpires

A message for our 2020 Approved Umpires

5/7/2019 │ A message for our 2020 Approved Umpires

A message for our 2020 Approved Umpires

3/1/2019 │ On-field Conduct


On two occasions this season, I have witnessed a player, after getting a hit, break out an invisible gun and fire it into the air. 

Do not let this continue to happen! If you see it, STOP IT, and address it immediately with the head coach of both teams. (If you want to mention it at the plate meeting, please do, that is what I will be doing, moving forward). 

The action usually starts as a dance, then ends with the fake rifle/shotgun blast. The players see lots of MLB ballplayers do it.


If you have any questions, please let me know.




Brush Country Chapter

Chapter Secretary

2/26/2019 │ TASO Baseball Weekly Bulletin 19.2






From: TASO Baseball Rules Interpreter

To: TASO Baseball Umpire Membership

Subject: Baseball Weekly Bulletin 19 -2

Well, the season for Texas is underway. I trust each of you had a good first week. About half the nation is still waiting to throw a pitch outdoors. I appreciate all the emails and phone calls. Your input and questions help put this bulletin together. For the past two weeks, I have been in Guyana visiting my daughter. The temperature is 85 every day and I have been watching “baseball.” Only problem is the baseball here is cricket and I still have no idea as to the rules. I have, though, about figured how who the bowler and all-arounder are.


1. Turf Field: A great question came in from some games that were played last week. It seems in some areas, the schools have been putting in all-turf fields. This is great for maintenance and weather, but as some coaches found out, it can provide quite a problem for a runner sliding into second base. When the runner over-slid second base into the fielder on a double play the officiating crew called two out automatically. The coach felt that since it was a turf field, the rule for over-sliding second base and making contact with the fielder should be ignored. The officials certainly got it right, the rule does not provide any exception to the forced-play slide rule depending on the type of field.

2. Bat Lists – I was asked for an illegal bat list for NFHS play. Great request, but the NFHS doesn’t maintain an illegal bat list. Approved bats for the NFHS can be found on the Washington State University website under the Sports Science Laboratory. If you wish, go to At the moment, there are only two BBCOR bats that have been decertified for NFHS play. The Marucci CAT 5 33” model and the Reebok Vector TLS 32” model. If any other bats are de-certified this season, I will notify you as soon as possible.

3. Play Lists: Once again, the subject of players wearing play lists and the location where they may be worn has come into question. It feels like we have covered this every season since the 2016 Season, but there appears to be some issues with what may and may not be done. Many coaches find benefit with the play lists and accordingly they may be used, but by NFHS Approved Rulings these play lists may only be worn on a player’s arm or wrist or placed in a pocket. They MAY NOT be worn on the belt. This has been the ruling of the NFHS for several years and has not changed. If a player is wearing a play list on the belt, professionally ask him to wear it on his arm/wrist or put it in his pocket. If he does not comply, ask the coach to so instruct the player. While we do have a rule that says failure by a player to wear proper equipment after being so ordered by the umpire, shall be ejected (1-5-4 penalty). I would hope that the situation could be handled without an ejection.

4. There was a game last week in which the coach wanted to talk with his pitcher. This was his first conference of the game so there was no problem with his having a defensive conference. He finished his conference and went back to his dugout. After a pitch, the coach wanted to have another conference with his pitcher (the same batter was still at-bat). The request was denied with the umpire saying the coach could not have another conference while the same batter was still at-bat. We are mixing up rule codes on this. NFHS rules allow three (3) defensive charged conferences in seven innings. Those three conferences may be taken in the same inning, with the same batter, and/or without another pitch being thrown if the coach desires. We would not allow a conference if, by having that conference, we would be forced to remove a substitute pitcher who had not yet fulfilled his pitching substitution requirements (pitch until the batter then at-bat has advanced to first base or is put out, or until a third out is made). Again, in the situation above, it was legal for the coach to go back to his pitcher for a conference.

5. Batter hit by pitch: Batters are specifically prohibited from intentionally moving so that they are hit by a pitch. Some batters intentionally move their elbow or a knee into the path of a pitch, or turn their shoulder and by so doing move into the pitch. When this happens, they are to stay at bat and the pitch is whatever it was.  At one time the rule book stated that the batter should attempt to avoid the pitch. But in 2009, the language was changed to say that the batter shall not “permit a pitched ball to touch him” (7-3-4 and 8-1-1d-1).  It has been the philosophy of the NFHS for decades that a batter shall not “take a pitch” if he is able to avoid being hit. Taking one for the team in a kidney is not the safe approach. For many years, if a batter was hit by a pitch, the opposing dugout and the respective fans immediately yelled, “he’s got to move; he didn’t attempt to get out of the way.” The intent of the rule was to not allow a batter to take a pitch if he could have avoided it, but it was never to turn him into the villain when he couldn’t move. There are times when a batter may see a pitch and has no idea of what to do. That was certainly true for me with hard breaking curve balls. We do not want a batter who has no idea of how to move and avoid a pitch and thus just freezes, to be forced to stay at-bat if he was hit. So, the language was changed to say a batter cannot permit himself to be touched by a pitch. Bottom line, the batter does not have to show an attempt to avoid, but you as the plate umpire must be certain he was fooled such that he couldn’t move. Honestly, I believe we as umpires get this right 98%+ of the time.


Appeal Play Situations


Situation 1) With bases loaded and one out, the batter hits a bases clearing triple. With a live ball, the defense appeals that the batter/runner missed first base. The pitcher balks while throwing the ball to first base. Everyone knew that the defensive team could no longer appeal first base but the defensive team’s head coach argued convincingly that he could appeal the runner from second missing third base. Is he correct?

Ruling: No, the coach is not correct. An appeal may be made until: 1) an legal or illegal pitch has been made; 2) at the end of the inning, before the pitcher and all infielders have left fair territory; 3) an intentional base on balls has been granted; 4) on the last play of the game the umpire(s) leave the field of play; or, 5) a play or attempted play has been made  (8-2-5 Penalty). Since an illegal pitch (balk) has been thrown, no more appeals may be made on that play.


Situation 2) Following a base hit and with the batter-runner on second base, the visiting team wants to appeal the runner from second missing third base as he advanced to home. After playing action is over, the pitcher throws the ball to the third baseman while appealing that the runner missed the base. The third baseman was making after game plans with his girlfriend and the throw went into the stands. What do the umpires, other than see if their automatic car start still works, do next?

Ruling: After awarding the batter-runner two bases, the visiting team may still appeal the runner from second base missing third base as he scored. The throw was an appeal, not a play and the visiting team retains its right to appeal the base running error.  (2-29-6; 8-2-5 Penalty).


When the appeal process was brought back into high school play, the committee did not want to have the same issues arise that caused the appeal play to be taken out of the rule book in the first place. The main issue was few teams seemed to know how to make an appeal from the mound and the result always seemed to end with gnashing of teeth, spirited conversation, and ejection reports to file. Accordingly, when the appeal was brought back into the rule book, the committee allowed for a coach or player to make a dead-ball appeal by just verbalizing the appeal. It seems to be working well.


Plays for next week:

1) With a count of 3-1 on the Viking batter, his teammate at second takes his lead. The pitch by the Panther pitcher is ball four and bounces off the catcher and goes into the dugout. Where do you place the runners?


2) With his teammate on second base, the Bulldog batter hits a single to the outfield, which the Fire Bird left fielder fields and throws to the shortstop. The shortstop next throws to the catcher in an attempt to tag out the runner attempting to score from second base. The throw is slightly on the first-base side of home. The catcher has plenty of time to secure it in his glove and prepares to tag the runner. Before the action at the plate, the batter-runner has touched second and takes just a few steps past second, watching the play at home. The catcher applies the tag to the runner's front sliding foot, but the force of the slide dislodges the ball out of the catcher's mitt and it rolls into the dugout. Thinking you would have been better off turning this game back, what do you rule?


Until next week, have a great one.

Yours in baseball,

Kyle McNeely


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2/25/2019 │ Mandatory Incident Reporting for events during games

Good morning all,


Apologies to the folks who worked Border Olympics as you've already seen this...


As per TASO and UIL policies, anytime there is a significant event in a UIL-sanctioned sporting event, we must complete a UIL incident report on their website:


- As you can see from the drop down tab for "Type of Incident" here are a list of those events:

- Player ejection

- Coach ejection

- Fan ejection 

- Verbal abuse

- Early termination (Example:  Weather, lights go out, etc)

- Physical Contact

- Other ** This includes:  Serious injury to a player, coach and/or official.  Also includes restriction to the bench of a player or coach!


(NOTE:  We don't worry about targeting or illegal uniforms...those are for football).


As we've stated in the past, here are some keys to the report:

1.  Don't embellish!  Just the facts and leave any emotion out of it.

2.  Write EXACTLY what they said.  Don't say "The player used profanity."  Write just what they said, as you can see in the attached report.

3.  Please proof-read and spell check your material.


For reference and an example, I've attached a couple of incident reports, incl one for player ejection that occurred this last week during the Border Olympics.


IMPORTANT:  Do NOT submit an incident report via the UIL link until you've sent a draft of your report to the president, vice president and secretary, which is myself, Glenn and Brent, via email.

This is not so we can change the is merely to proof-read what you've wrote so we can make sure it is grammatically and structurally correct.

Reason being is once you hit send on the UIL site, that report goes VFR-direct to the leadership of UIL and TASO.  No better way to make ourselves (both collectively and as individuals) look like idiots to both entities then to send a report with misspelled words, improper grammar/punctuation and run-on sentences.


If you have any questions about this, please call or email me.


Thanks and regards,

Robert Redding

President, Brush Country Baseball Chapter

VIEW test questions & answers:

2/21/2019 │ 2019 season has started!

Good evening all!


We've already kicked off the season, and some of you have even worked district games already.  And tournaments kick off tomorrow.


With that in mind, here are a few refresher items to remember as we step on the field...


* Suspended games.

We've already had one game suspended due to drizzle and a wet field, and a district game at that.  Kudos to Lupe and Mark for making the call to suspend the game when player safety came into question.

Regardless of the inning, if any of you run into a situation where a game is suspended, especially a district game, here are a few important points:

1.  Make sure you KEEP and annotate on your lineup card the following information:

    A.  Inning, score, outs and count (if applicable)

    B.  Numbers of current batter, any runners on base, and pitcher and catcher for both teams.

    C.  Time that the game was suspended

2.  Meet with both coaches to see if they know what their district policy is for suspended games.  One of three outcomes can happen...

    A.  If it is a complete game as per the requirements of Chapter 4, they may have the score and the game stand.

    B.  They may resume it from the point it was suspended.

    C.  They may start the game over.

NOTE:  We do not have a say in this...whatever their district policy is, or whatever the schools agree to is what will determine what happens.  We will try our best to accommodate the schools with requests for officials, with the goal to return the same umpires to the game if it is to be resumed.

If a new crew is used, then the original plate umpire should at least text them a picture of the original lineup card, front and back.  If possible, obtain and use this card.

3.  Call Glenn as soon as possible, and follow up with an text or email to both he and I.

4.  As far as pay goes, here is how the different situations are handled, as per UIL C&CR, Section 1204:

    A.  If the game is resumed, and the same umpires are used, then they get mileage, but no game fee.

    B.  If the game is resumed and with different umpires, then they get mileage and game fee.

    C.  If the game is started over, regardless of who umpires it, then the umpires get mileage and game fee.


* Cheek/jaw protectors, AKA C-Flaps

1.  We received an important clarification on this topic.  See attached pics of examples of these protectors...the first picture is of the Rawlings helmet with an integrated C-Flap.  The other 2 pictures are examples of separate C-Flaps attached to a helmet.

2.  Disregard any previous direction you may have seen!  Here is how we handle them, similar to all other equipment...

When you conduct your pregame conference, make sure the coaches sign the blue card (equipment certification card) and that you get a verbal confirmation from both coaches that their players are legally and properly equipped.  Once the coaches confirm this, both via the blue card and verbally, then the responsibility is with them.

As umpires, we do not know if any equipment is

legal or not until we have clear evidence to prove

one way or the other.  If a batter comes to bat

with an illegal bat, unless we have prior knowledge

or see something obvious, we do not know if it is

illegal or not.  

Same principle applies to these C-Flaps.  If a batter

comes to the plate with a helmet that has a C-Flap

attached, we do not know if it is legal or not.  Same

as with the helmet itself, if it is broken, cracked,

hanging loose or has some other obvious defect,

we must assume it is LEGAL.


 * Base umpire going out from "A" position

1.  As per TASO 2-umpire mechanics, there are situations that dictate when the BU goes out on a fly ball, from ONLY the "A" position.  As a chapter, we encourage you to go out ONLY if there is the potential for a trouble ball.

Reason being is the drawback to the BU going out is that it puts a lot of pressure on the PU to cover any subsequent action at 1st, 2nd, and even 3rd.

With that said, if you are BU and work with a partner that has limited mobility for whatever reason, it is preferable to leave fly ball coverage to PU and ensure the bases are covered versus covering the fly ball and nobody able to be at 2nd for a close play.

After all, even in "A", the PU has fly balls down the left field line, so he/she can cover right field line just the same.

As with any mechanics, PREGAME coordination and discussion is imperative to knowing what each of you is capable of, and what you will do!  

** In those cases where PU has limited mobility, then there is NOTHING wrong with BU coming in to pivot and take the runner on any and all fly balls, leaving fair/foul and catch/no-catch to PU.

Again, coordinate this during pre-game!


* Uniform 

1.  Do NOT wear any long sleeve undershirts under a short sleeve uniform shirt!  It is against TASO uniform policy and looks unprofessional.  

2.  Either get the proper long-sleeve shirt (black or pro-powder blue/Carolina blue), or a jacket, even a solid-colored, black windbreaker.  Enough said.


* Pre-game communications

1.  Ensure you talk with your partner 48-72 hours prior to a game.  It doesn't matter who is listed as plate or base, just call or text each other, especially if you are approaching 48 hours.   Coordinate travel, meeting place, paperwork and uniforms.

2.  The listed plate umpire should contact the head coach no more than 24 hours out to confirm day, time and location!   We've already had scrimmages that were either moved and umpires didn't know, or umpires were not needed and showed up.

We have this issue pop up every year and it is so easily avoidable.  If you can't call, ask your partner to do it.

With that said, a lesson learned for next year...if you find yourself assigned to an alumni scrimmage, make double sure you call before you go...many times the teams use local umpires for these games.


* Dead ball/making the ball live 

1.  One last important note.  I have seen this occur a lot in scrimmages with both new and experienced umpires.  Know what situations make the ball dead.  If one umpire calls "Time" both should call it.

2.  And when the ball is dead, make sure as plate umpire that you know what constitutes the condition to put the ball back in play (fielders in fair territory, catcher in the catcher's box, batter in the batter's box and ready, and pitcher on the rubber with the ball), then...put it back in play EVERY time!  

Even if a batter hits 12 or more consecutive foul balls, put it in play every time.  

You don't need to yell, but at least loud enough for the catcher and batter to hear, and most importantly, point...that is more for your partner(s) to see than anything, so they know it's now a live ball situation.  

Nobody likes to reverse a BU who punches out a runner picked off when the ball is still dead, and it makes us all look bad/incompetent.


I wish each of you a great season and safe travels!  Promote the game and not yourself.


Best regards,

Robert Redding

President, Brush Country Baseball Chapter

C-Flap Jaw Protector - Helmet with attac
C-Flap Jaw Protector - Helmet with attac

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C-Flap Jaw Protector - Rawlings integrat
C-Flap Jaw Protector - Rawlings integrat

press to zoom
C-Flap Jaw Protector - Helmet with attac
C-Flap Jaw Protector - Helmet with attac

press to zoom
C-Flap Jaw Protector - Helmet with attac
C-Flap Jaw Protector - Helmet with attac

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2/13/2019 │ Assist on baseball test...

Good morning ladies and gentlemen,

The annual TASO test will soon close out (18th).

If you haven't taken it yet, and/or haven't scored at least an 80, we are facilitating a group test effort later today at Michael Berryman's office, 7523 Loop 1604 West, San Antonio, TX 78249 (located on the northwest side of town off 1604, between Bandera road and I-10).

We can have flexible hours on from 5 p.m until as late as 8 p.m.


If you can make it and WILL be there, please respond to me ASAP!

For our Laredo umpires, you are welcome to call in, or even do a group FaceTime.

Intent is for you to make an effort at it, but I will be there to assist you if you are unsure or need a nudge on an answer.


Otherwise, if you want assistance in taking the test on a different day/time, please email or call me and I will make some time to either meet up with you, or even do it over the phone...can even FaceTime if you have the capability.

I have games Fri evening and Sat during the day...otherwise, I will make time ANYTIME between now and Monday to be available to help you out.


Either way, just want to do everything to help everyone get through the test as there is no way around this requirement, and we are very much in need of getting everyone qualified! Once again, test closes out on Monday, 18 Feb and you must score an 80 to work varsity games!


As a reference, I've attached a couple from this year, one from last to provide you an assist should you get stuck on your test.  You will probably have questions that don't match up with what is on these as there is a large bank of questions for each test.


Please, everyone respond to this email one way or another, or call me.  And if you've taken the test since our meeting Monday and scored at least an 80, please let me know also.


Thanks and regards,

Robert Redding

President, Brush Country Baseball Chapter


VIEW test questions & answers:

2/12/2019 │ TASO Baseball Weekly Bulletin





From: TASO Baseball Rules Interpreter

To: TASO Baseball Umpire Membership

Subject: Baseball Weekly Bulletin 19 -1


The 2019 high school Baseball season is upon us. I hope that for every one of you, it will be the season you each hope it to be. Your hard work and diligent efforts over the last few months are most appreciated as you prepared for the games to begin. We have some of the best baseball played in the nation and I am glad we have the officiating to match.

Please remember to provide me with any issues, situations, concerns, etc. you may have. It is most helpful.  The intent is to provide information, rulings, and answers to plays and issues that arise during the season.


1. Cheek and Jaw Protectors: Over the last month there has been considerable amount of questions touched with confusion on how the Cheek and Jaw Protectors are to be handled in the 2019 season. All the issues are complex with many wheels in motion at the same time. There is much activity behind the scenes and as soon as I can provide more information I will.

Bottom line: Be diligent. Coaches are to know and verify the legality of the helmet/protector at the pre-game conference. Insure that this occurs. Please let me know if you still have questions.


2.  “Cup Checks”: Last week in another state there were two instances of a “cup check” that can get us in a lot of hot water. In the first instance, the home plate umpire, on his own initiative, thumped the catcher with his fingers in a “cup check” test. The catcher did not have his cup and the action provided some amount of pain, embarrassment, conversation, and reaction from the stands. Needless to say, this is not a good idea. Conversation between the school, the parents, the state office, and the home plate umpire continue. In the second occasion, the plate umpire handed the catcher a bat and told him to “bump” himself in the groin area to check his cup. While this time, the catcher did have his protective cup in place, the request was not well received in the respective dugout and stands. Bottom line, don’t do or have “cup checks” performed. When the coach verifies for you at the pre-game conference that all players are legally equipped by rule, take his word. Only when you know without a doubt that a catcher is not legally equipped, should you ask the coach and provide what you know to him. These “cup checks” were bad ideas that created poor outcomes.


3. Appeal Plays: These appeal situations came in from a state where high school baseball has already begun.

Situation 1) With bases loaded and one out, the batter hits a bases clearing triple.  With a live ball, the defense appeals that the batter/runner missed first base. The pitcher balks while throwing the ball to first base. Everyone knew that the defensive team could no longer appeal first base but the defensive team’s head coach argued convincingly that he could appeal the runner from second missing third base. Is he correct?

Situation 2) Following a base hit and with the batter/runner on second base, the visiting team wants to appeal the runner from second missing third base as he advanced to home. After all playing action is over, the pitcher throws the ball to the third baseman while claiming that the runner missed the base. The third baseman was making after game plans with his girl friend and the throw went into the stands. What do the umpires, other than see if their automatic car start still works, do next?


In next week’s bulletin, we will provide the rulings and some discussion on appeals.


4. For your use, a video of the 2019 Baseball Rule Changes has been created. It can be accessed by all umpires from the Baseball page on the TASO website.


5. On the same Baseball Page, the 2019 NFHS Baseball Approved Rulings have been posted. Approved Rulings are official play rulings for situations that occurred over the 2018 season and may not have a specific rule reference. Please take some time and look them over.


That’s it for this week. Please send me any questions, situations, plays or issues you may have.



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2/5/2019 │ TASO Updates


Hope the first day of scrimmages went well for everyone. If you weren't on the field yesterday, have fun today and enjoy!


A few items of interest: 

1) The Online Clinic is now available. - go to and follow the links.

2) The Test is online until 18 February. DO NOT wait until the last minute. We have 34 members who are varsity eligible. We need everyone to be varsity qualified.

3) Registration for this season will close on 11 Feb. If you know of someone who may be interested, please have the register at

4) If you haven't paid your dues yet, get with Raul and get it done. 


If you have any questions, please let me know.

Brent Fountain


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Strikes & Outs!!! | God bless you this season!!!

News & Calendar Info

2020 │ NEWS


5/10/2020 │ Happy Mother's Day & God Bless You‼☺

Hey y'all,

I wanted to wish you and your families a blessed & happy M⚾ther's Day‼

Pick up the phone ... call M⚾M ... and bless her‼  

Is M⚾M next to you ... hug her ... and bless her‼

Is M⚾M sleeping ... then bless the LORD for her ... and thank Jesus for each day you had with M⚾M, Amen‼☺♥

On a different note:  meeting tomorrow, Monday, May 11, 2020.

Thank you & God Bless you in Christ Jesus, 

Joseph Christian Patrick Cruz 

Approved Representative


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5/5/2020 │ FYI from your Vice President

May 5, 2020, 11:38 AM

My fellow Brush country umpires,

                I appreciate you allowing me to be your Vice-President.  I’ve enjoyed my time teaching the new members, planning and providing training during our membership meetings. This past year I put the chapter first and always looked out for the chapter’s best interest but now is the time I must look out for myself. I need to inform you that I’ve decided to hand in my resignation and ask for my transfer to San Antonio chapter. Being off the field during this pandemic has confirmed even more my love for the game of baseball, I realize sometimes we take for granted how important the game is to us. I challenged each of you to continue to work on the craft of umpiring by seaking to improve each and every year and find ways to give back to the game.  I have enjoyed the time on the baseball field with my baseball brothers and formed some friendships with some great people. I wish you all the best and hope we meet again on the field in the near future.

Michael Berryman



May 3, 2020, 6:54 PM │ by Joseph Christian Patrick Cruz

Hey Michael,


Thank you for your service, for all the great photos, leadership, & training, and God bless you brother-in-blue, plus all the blessings you do for umpires everywhere ... keep in touch, and Jesus loves you, keep loving Him back off & on the ball field in Spirit & His Truth‼


We love you, Mike ... Selah & Amen.






Thank you & God Bless you in Christ Jesus, 

Joseph Christian Cruz

5563 Crystal Valley

San Antonio, Texas 78242

210-838-8888 Direct

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4/23/2020 │ Form Submission: Baseball Rules Questions










Tried submitting through TASO site, but not enough words ... here is the play:


#1 - With no outs, R1 is running on the pitch. B1 flies out to F9. R1 has already passed second. After the catch, R1 misses second in his retreat to first. F9’s throw to first goes into the stands. R1 reaches first safely and is awarded third. He touches second and advances to third. The defense appeals.


#2 - Second question, what if the ball is NOT thrown into dead ball territory on the return to 1B, but still over thrown and the R1 legally touches 1B for a tag up & then advances safely to 2B or 3B. Time is called and defense now appeal R1 missed 2B after the catch by F9?  The ball is not dead at any point prior to being called safe at 2B or 3B and then time is asked for my a player or coach of either team?


#3 - Third question, what if the ball is NOT thrown into dead ball territory on the return to 1B, but still over thrown and the R1 legally touches 1B for a tag up & then attempts to 2B any gets caught in a hot box between 2B & 1B without ever re-touching 2B, THEN safely returns to 1B because the defense bobbled the ball on an attempted legal tag with no interference, nor obstruction.  Time is called and defense now appeals R1 missed 2B after the catch by F9? 


WWUTT are the rulings? 

Joseph Christian Patrick Cruz 

Approved Representative




I hope this finds you and all your family well.  I apologize that is such a late reply.  It got lost in my inbox; I have no excuses, so again, I apologize..


#1 - These three plays are under a situation called "Last Time By."  This is rule 8-2-6l, which in principle says that if a runner correctly touches a base that was missed the last time he was by the base, that last touch corrected any previous baserunning infraction.  There are some exceptions, but those do not apply in your plays.

#2 - So, in 1 and 2: Because of "Last Time By" R1 corrected his previous miss and the defense has no appeal.

#3 - In 3, he has not corrected his miss and the defense may legally appeal.

I hope this helps. 

Kyle McNeely


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4/17/2020 │ TASO Baseball NFHS Questionnaire





Dear TASO Baseball Member,

You have been invited to take part in the NFHS rules-writing process by taking the annual baseball rules questionnaire. This questionnaire is provided so the opinions of a national sampling of coaches and registered officials will be considered by the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee.

THE QUESTIONNAIRE WILL CLOSE ON MAY 11, 2020. To participate in the questionnaire process, please follow the link below to the questionnaire menu and select your appropriate sport link to complete the rules questionnaire. You are NOT required to log in to take this questionnaire. We thank you in advance for your participation.



Questions of interest

2020 NFHS Baseball Rules Questionnaire

PART III – About the rules for 2021 – Would you favor:

2. Allowing non-wood bats that have the ability to transmit data in game situations.

5. Allowing the pitcher from the wind-up position to legally throw from the pitcher’s plate directly to an occupied base provided the pitcher steps toward the base and does not make movements associated with his wind-up pitch.

6. Allowing a balk to remain as a live ball and allowing the offense the choice of the balk or result of the play.

"What is the purpose of trying to change the game we love?"

Joseph Christian Patrick Cruz 

Approved Representative


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4/22/2020 │ Baseball Caseplay of the Day - April 22, 2020 (Last Time By)














With no outs, R1 is running on the pitch. B1 flies out to F9. R1 has already passed second. After the catch, R1 misses second in his retreat to first. F9’s throw to first goes into the stands. R1 reaches first safely and is awarded third. He touches second and advances to third. The defense appeals.


The appeal is denied. The base was touched “the last time by” (NFHS 8-2-6l).

My Best

Michael Berryman

Vice President, Brush Country Baseball Chapter

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4/17/2020 │ Today's announcement by Governor Abbott and UIL

Good evening Fellow Brush Country Umpires, 

I have a few updates for everyone tonight....

1.  I am disappointed to relay the news that the remainder of all spring sports, to include baseball, have been cancelled for the remainder of the year. The announcement by UIL to that effect followed the executive order by Governor Abbott that Texas schools will remain closed for the 2019-2020 school year.

Here are the links to both the Governor's and UIL's announcements:
- Governor Abbott's latest executive orders, including the closure of schools for the remainder of the year:
- UIL announcement concerning spring sports:

In the grand scheme of things in these historic times, there is clearly much more at stake than sports.  But, sports is such a part of the fabric of our lives that, outside of the economy, it is my opinion that resuming sports will be one of the biggest factors in regaining a sense of normalcy.  And I feel for the seniors across the state who will not have the chance to finish out their last high school year in the sports they have invested so much in, and prepared to do so as a senior where so many will close out their interscholastic careers.
We will have more guidance in the days to come as far as how we will conduct end-of-season chapter business in light of all this.

2.  Related to the announcement above, I encourage all ACTIVE officials to review their individual circumstances and as you determine appropriate or not, apply for unemployment as provided for in the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT).  If you do, remember to apply as an independent contractor, as that is what we are...we do not have an employer, per se. This is not to say that all applications will be approved as individual circumstances, including other income, will apply and will be considered by the Employment Commission when determining eligibility.  If you have questions, please consult with one of the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Solutions or Tele-Centers, which can be found here:

Or, contact a legal professional with knowledge of the TWC and unemployment laws.

3. Regarding the merger, we received information from the TASO attorney regarding some of the issues under consideration as we move forward.  A big part of this is that we will need to have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two chapters as a basis for the governance of the new chapter, IF the merger is approved. As we discussed at the meeting Monday, the talking paper that I have drafted based on discussions between Brush Country and San Antonio, inputs from our members, and input from TASO/TASO Baseball Board members is posted in Arbiter for your review.  I have sent it over to the San Antonio Board of Directors and they are in the process of reviewing it.  This talking paper will be the basis for the MOU we will develop in preparation for the vote.

To view it:
1. Log into Arbiter
2. Go to Lists
3. Go to Forms
4. Open "Merger Talking Paper"

As you review it, please note the disclaimer on the front page:  THIS IS ALL IN DRAFT FORM AND NOTHING IN THE PAPER IS ESTABLISHED AS FACT, BYLAW, NOR OFFICIAL GOVERNANCE! We value your input and thoughts...if you have something you'd like to add to the discussion, questions or concerns, please forward them to your Classification Directors.

Other items of significance from the TASO attorney:
- As outlined in the Texas Business Organizations Code, a vote will require 2/3 majority to pass.
- As we have intended from the beginning, the attorney recommends that both chapters dissolve and become one new chapter, not merge one into the other.  Again, that is applicable IF we vote in the affirmative.
- Another reason that would hinder an actual merge of the chapters is the fact that Brush Country is a 501(c)(3) and San Antonio is a 501(c)(6), and that has significance when it comes to the assets of each organization...a (c)(3) organization cannot transfer assets to a (c)(6) organization.

There is obviously more to follow on this step is to set up a telecon with TASO and San Antonio so we can address other questions that have arisen as a result of the latest information, as well as confirming the sequence of events that needs to happen. We will pass on any updates as we progress.

4. Rolling together points 1. and 3. from above, the board will come up with a new calendar of events to address the closing out of the 2020 season, and prepare for the off-season and the 2021 season.  I'm sure there are considerations none of us have previously mulled or discussed. We will get this published soonest. For now, please remember our next meetings are scheduled for 27 April... we will certainly have updates then.

If you have any questions or concerns, please forward them through your Classification Directors.

In closing, I pray and hope everyone remains safe and healthy, and that those financially affected by all this can find some relief. While the majority of us shelter at home with minimal outside activity, we have some members of our chapter who work in healthcare or public service and are literally on the frontlines of this battle risking their own lives to save others...please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.  With that, I also ask you continue to keep Jorge Madrigal and his wife in your thoughts and prayers that she may continue to recover.

Humbly and proud to serve/represent you,
Robert Redding
President, Brush Country Baseball Chapter

4/17/2020 │ Governor suspends schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year






Governor suspends schools for the remainder of the

2019-2020 school year Texas Association of Sports Officials

At 11:45 a.m. today, April 17, 2020 Governor Abbott issues executive Order GA-16, which suspends the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. GA-16 states, “In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall remain temporarily closed to in-person classroom attendance by students and shall not recommence before the end of the 2019-2020 school year.”

The TASO Baseball, Soccer and Softball Boards of Directors will meet next week via remote video conference to discuss the impact this has on our members.


Baseball Elections

Texas Association of Sports Officials
The date for the TASO Baseball Division intention to seek a Board position has passed and here are the members that declared are:

President ... Ed Nelson

District VIII Director ... No Candidate

Vice President ... Mike Judkins

District X Director ... No Candidate

District II Director ... No Candidate

District XII Director ... Gabriel Chavez,  David Wellman, & Mike Nehring

District IV Director ... *Robert Williamson & Frank Koch

District VI Director ... Javier Cantu

District XIV Director ... Nolan Berg

*Effective July 1, 2020, the College Station Chapter moves to District IV with the Austin Chapter

The election for the Districts IV and XII Directors will open May 4 and close May 18


Official's Timeout TASO TO Banner
4/16/2020 │ Referee Magazine article and a few videos

Hello Everyone,

    I hope all is doing well and staying safe during this crazy time. I wanted to get out a couple articles for eveyone to lookover and a couple videos to help you past the time. 

11 Hacks for Onfield umpires

Tips for when you struggle on the bases

Catch/No Catch




















4/13/2020 │ 3-4 man















Jim Murray,

Got cut off at the end. TASO has a 3-4 man presentation on your home screen. Takes about 2 or 3 hours. Do that or read the book. You can't cover everything in on on field session unless you prepared yourself by RTFM.

But you don't need a field.  The TAPPS championship crew last year used a vacant lot behind their hotel.  Am I right, Robert H., Joe R., Tomas R.? 

Rotations Field View 1.0.png
4/12/2020 │ Resurrection Easter Sunday, Hallelujah‼☺♥



I want to start of by telling everyone Happy Easter, Jesus has risen from the tomb. I would like to THANK GOD FOR SENDING HIS ONE AND ONLY SON TO BE SACRIFICED FOR OUR SINS. THANK YOU GOD, PRAISE JESUS FOR EVERYTHING HE HAS WASHED AWAY. 

I appreciate you getting this to us....


Eric Owens

Registered Representative


Hey to All, 

As graciously given, "I want to start of by telling everyone Happy Easter, Jesus has risen from the tomb. I would like to THANK GOD FOR SENDING HIS ONE AND ONLY SON TO BE SACRIFICED FOR OUR SINS. THANK YOU GOD, PRAISE JESUS FOR EVERYTHING HE HAS WASHED AWAY." (E.Ow.)

Baseball & Bible are two things we love. Just like scarlet RED laces that holds together a baseball, ... just like Rahab tied the scarlet RED cord outside of her window to save her family, ... SO does Jesusthe RISEN King hold together our blessed lives in A.D. (in the year of our Lord) 2020, this Resurrection Sunday‼

God bless your families & you all, my baseball brothers & sisters in blue, ... for He is RISEN & He is returning SOON, Amen & Amen! 



Joshua 2:15-24 The Promise to Rahab 15 Then she let them down by a rope through the window, for her house was on the city wall, so that she was living on the wall. 16 She said to them, “Go to the hill country, so that the pursuers will not happen upon you, and hide yourselves there for three days until the pursuers return. Then afterward you may go on your way.” 17 The men said to her, “We shall be free from this oath to you which you have made us swear, 18 unless, when we come into the land, you tie this cord of scarlet thread in the window through which you let us down, and gather to yourself into the house your father and your mother and your brothers and all your father’s household. 19 It shall come about that anyone who goes out of the doors of your house into the street, his blood shall be on his own head, and we shall be free; but anyone who is with you in the house, his blood shall be on our head if a hand is laid on him. 20 But if you tell this business of ours, then we shall be free from the oath which you have made us swear.” 21 She said, “According to your words, so be it.” So she sent them away, and they departed; and she tied the scarlet cord in the window.

22 They departed and came to the hill country, and remained there for three days until the pursuers returned. Now the pursuers had sought them all along the road, but had not found them. 23 Then the two men returned and came down from the hill country and crossed over and came to Joshua the son of Nun, and they related to him all that had happened to them. 24 They said to Joshua, “Surely the Lord has given all the land into our hands; moreover, all the inhabitants of the land have melted away before us.”

... Jericho is destroyed and Rahab & her household is saved...

Joshua 6:22-26 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the harlot’s house and bring the woman and all she has out of there, as you have sworn to her.” 23 So the young men who were spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and her mother and her brothers and all she had; they also brought out all her relatives and placed them outside the camp of Israel. 24 They burned the city with fire, and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold, and articles of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord. 25 However, Rahab the harlot and her father’s household and all she had, Joshua spared; and she has lived in the midst of Israel to this day, for she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

26 Then Joshua made them take an oath at that time, saying, “Cursed before the Lord is the man who rises up and builds this city Jericho; with the loss of his firstborn he shall lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son he shall set up its gates.”

...Rahab  marries Salmon and is part of the RED blood line of King David, the King Jesus Christ...

Matthew 1:5-6 Salmon was the father of Boaz by Rahab, Boaz was the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse. 6 Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.

...God placed Rahab in the "Hall of Fa..., Faith"...

Hebrews 11:31 By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.

...and finally, as remembrance of the Gospel that saves...

James 2:25-26 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

"He is risen, ... indeed He is‼"

Joseph Christian Patrick Cruz

Approved Representative


Resurrection Easter Sunday BCU He is ris
4/9/2020 │ Answers to Last weeks Quiz









With R1 on 1st, the hit-run is on, B1 hits a fly ball to the centerfield fence that is caught. R1 touches 2nd on the way to 3rd, but misses it on his return to first. F8’s throw to F3 goes into dead-ball territory. The base umpire properly awards 3rd to R1.

  1. Since R1 touched 2nd at least once, it is considered a missed base.
    The award negates any appeal on the missed base.
    If R1 touches 2nd while proceeding on the award, an appeal on the missed base cannot be upheld -NFHS 8-2-6L
    R1 will be called out on proper appeal whether or not he touches 2nd while advancing on the award.


With R1 on first, left-handed B3 attempts to drag bunt. He foul tips the ball into the mitt of F2, who is attempting to throw behind R1. F2’s throw hits B3, who has exited the box on the drag bunt attempt and has both feet clearly out of the batter’s box.

  1. Legal
    B3 is out for interference  -NFHS 7-3-5b
    Foul Ball


“Protection” of the fielder during a batted ball begins when:

  1. He is positioning himself for the purpose of gloving the rapidly approaching ball.  NFHS 8-4-2g
    He has set his feet to field the ball
    He is extending his hands to glove the ball and the ball is almost there.
     The ball gets to him


With R2 on 3nd and 1 out, B1 singles as R2 attempts to score. F2 misses the tag on R2 as he slides and misses the plate. B1 tries for 2nd and is thrown out as F2 forgets about R2.

  1. R2’s run counts unless it’s appealed.  NFHS 8-2-6d2
    R2’s missed base cannot be appealed after the subsequent play on B1
    R2 may not return and touch home after the subsequent play on B1
    R2 may return and touch home after he enters the dugout.


When obstruction Occurs, the immediate result is:

  1. Always a delayed dead ball  NFHS 5-1-2b, 8-3-2
    Sometimes a delayed dead ball
    Never a delayed dead ball
    Always an immediate dead ball

B1 hits a foul fly near a chalked dead ball area. F5 steps across the line and leaps, making the catch with both feet in the air. F5 lands with both feet in the dead ball area.

  1. B1 is out. -NFHS 2-9-1c
    Foul ball only
    B1 would be cut if F5 landed with at least one foot in live-ball territory
    B1would be out if F5 landed with both feet in live-ball territory


With no runners on base, B1 hits a high fly to short center. The wind-blown ball alludes F8 as B1 pulls into 2nd. B1 rounds 2nd, feints to third and is on his way back to second, when F8 fires the ball over F5’s head into the dugout. B1 is awarded:

  1. Second (the base he was approaching)
    Home  -NFHS 8-3-3c2


With R1 on 1st and R2 on 2nd and none out, B1 hits a towering fly ball whichF4, standing in the baseline, settles under. Neither umpire declares the infield fly. F4 allows the ball, tags R1 and fires to 3rd for the tag on R2. B1 holds safely at 1st. After the play, the umpires confer and recognize it was an obvious infield fly.

  1. B1 is out  -NFHS 2-19
    The play stands
    Triple play
    R1 & R2 return to 1st and 2nd, respectively


With R1 on 1st and R3 on 3rd and 1 out, the suicide squeeze is called and both runners break with the pitch. B1’s bunt, a pop up down the 1st baseline, is caught by F2, who then fires to 1st to double up R1. R3 crosses the plate as the ball is enroute to 1st.

  1. The runs counts
    The run is cancelled
    The run is cancelled only on appeal  -NFHS 8-2-6, 9-1-1


With R2 on 2nd, B1 grounds to short. F6 chases R2 back toward 2nd, swipes at him and misses. F6 then makes an errant throw to 1st that goes into the dugout. At F6’s release, B1 had already touched 1st.

  1. B1 is awarded 2nd
    B1 is awarded 3rd    -NFHS 8-3-3b
    R2 is awarded 3rd


B1 hits a screaming line drive to deep center. F8 makes a gallant effort, but the ball deflects of his glove and goes over fence in fair territory.

  1. Home run  -NFHS 8-3-3a
    Three-base award for B1
    Two-base award for B1


R1 hits a soft liner to F6 who juggles the ball. The ball eventually ends up inside F6’s jersey as B1 hold at first.

  1. B1 is out
    B1 is awarded 1 – NFHS 2-9-1, 8-3-3c        
    B1 is awarded 2nd


R1 is stealing when the umpire interferes with the catcher and the throw goes into center field. R1 tries for 3rd and is thrown out by F8.

  1. The play stands
    R1 is returned to 2nd
    R1 is returned to 1st
    The ball remains live
    The ball is immediately dead
    The ball is d