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2016-17 Umpire Development School (UDS) and Welcome Info

Good evening gentlemen. I know this may have already been said, but again, welcome to the chapter!

You are joining a great group of guys and an outstanding chapter with quite an area to cover...from southeast of San Antonio to Yorktown, back toward I-37 and I-35, down to Laredo, up to Eagle Pass and Del Rio, then back on Hwy 90 with many schools in between.

As per TASO and Brush Country Chapter By-Laws, all new members must attend the UDS. I know some of you have prior experience in other leagues and we will tailor your training/mentoring accordingly.

We will try to make it as non-invasive as possible, but the bottom line is we still need approximately 20 - 24 hours of your time, spread out over the next couple of months to provide you with the most rudimentary foundation of mechanics and knowledge.

Here are the new members I am showing as requiring UDS, and are recipients of this e-mail:​​

Andrew Alejandro​​

Victor Baez (Exempted - Transfer)

Robert Bosquez

Chris Brown

Jonathon Byrd

Bobby Cabello

Juan Casias

Samuel Gallegos

Dean Hartsock

David Salas

*And we have one coach express interest in attending, which we welcome!​​

​​Here are the dates/times for the 2016 portion of the UDS, which will focus primarily on a classroom environment to provide you a solid rules base: ​​Week 1 (6 pm - 8pm)​​​​​​​​

  • 7 December - TOPICS:

  • Umpire Overview/Administration

  • Pre-Game Procedures

  • TASO Site

  • Arbiter, etc.

  • Umpire Uniforms

  • Equipment

  • NFHS Review/Rules Differences

  • Umpire Philosophy

  • ​​​​8 December - TOPICS:

  • 2017 Points of Emphasis

  • Rule 1

  • Players, Field, & Equipment

  • Rule 2

  • Playing Terms and Definitions

  • Rule 10

  • Umpiring

  • Basic 2-Man Mechanics/Signals (watch video)

​​Week 2 (6 pm - 8pm)​​​​

  • 13 December - TOPICS:

  • Rule 3

  • Substituting

  • Coaching

  • Bench/Field Conduct

  • Charged Conferences

  • Lineup cards

  • Rule 4

  • Starting & Ending Game

  • 14 December - TOPICS: ​​

  • Rule 5

  • Dead Ball

  • Suspension of Play

  • Rule 6

  • Pitching

  • Rule 9

  • Scoring

  • ​​15 December - TOPICS: ​​

  • Rule 7

  • Batting

  • Rule 8

  • Base Running

As in my previous e-mail, please note the location at the Pleasanton Fire Station...303 West Hunt Street in Pleasanton.

Start time, unless otherwise indicated will be 1800. Goal is to complete each session in an hour and a more than 1:45.

*** I can't stress enough how important it is for you to hit the books now...these sessions are minimal for covering this info. Start going over the Rule Book and the Case Book, which gives excellent practical scenarios to go along with the Rules Book.

And finally, the TASO Mechanics ONLY the 2-man mechanic portion...don't worry about the 3- and 4-man stuff.

Please take at least 30 minutes a day to study those books. Great reading for the "office" visits.

I know some are concerned about the schedule and as I mentioned before, we will do everything within reason to accommodate people's schedules, but the bottom line is we must get this training in. I have no doubt some of you will be working Varsity games this season and we would be remiss in not ensuring you are prepared, particularly with the first scrimmage games starting middle of Feb, and tournaments immediately after that!

And it is built on the premise each of you will take the time on your own to study the rules and mechanics more in-depth on your own time.

When we resume in January, we will turn our focus to more field work and hands-on mechanics, to include plate/batting cage work, game situations and even scrimmages.

​​A few other notes...

​​Keep in mind our rules and mechanics fall under the purview of the National Federation of High Schools (NFHS), which can be markedly different, some even frustratingly so, from other rule sets, particularly the two big ones: NCAA and OBR (Official Baseball Rules), which is used in MiLB and MLB.

For example, in those two rule sets and in many youth sets, a balk is a delayed dead if a pitcher balks but still delivers the ball and the batter hits it out for a home run, its a home run and the balk is basically nullified. Not in is a dead ball, no matter what happens!

Only point that out as one example of many rule differences since Fed rules are a different beast altogether. And we simply can't have folks making a wrong call based on applying another rule set!

We'll discuss more during our sessions and did I already say it...I highly suggest you start studying them now.

If you know of anyone else interested in calling baseball, please let me know. As mentioned in numerous e-mails and at our meetings, we are in dire need of officials for this season, especially after picking up a couple more schools.

For those that weren't at the meetings, we are already looking at around 700 games supporting 40 schools on our schedule and Gary still has more schedules to load!

And folks are welcome to just show up...we can take care of the rest. Now that the UDS info is out of the way, let me provide some welcome and introductory information...