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Situation Positioning
60' Field

B Position

Runner On 1st Base (Only)

Fly Balls & Line Drives to the Outfield

 

 

Graphic Coming Soon

   On any ball hit to the outfield, in Little League, it is important to "pause­read-and-react" and remember that in all cases, except "trouble balls", the base umpire will come into the infield and pivot. The home plate umpire will have the responsibility for all fly balls and line drives to the outfield If the runner at 1st base is tagging or holding, the base umpire will go directly into the infield. If the runner is moving on the pitch or hit, the base umpire must be alert to possibly allow the runner from 1st base to pass in front of him/her before going into the infield "working area".

  

   The base umpire will use the "pause-read-and-react" theory and will only go out on "trouble balls" that are outlined here. Once the base umpire goes out, he/she will stay out until the play has been completed.
   Once the base umpire determines that the ball is not in his/her area of responsibility, he/she will move directly and quickly (but always under control) into the infield and pivot. The base umpire should allow the baserunner to pass in front of him/her, first, if necessary, before the umpire moves to the infield, unless the runner is tagging up or holding up at the base. If the base runner is not advancing towards 2nd base, the base umpire will go directly in and pivot to watch for the tag up by the baserunner; the touch of 1st base by the batter-runner; that there is no obstruction or that the batter-runner does not pass the baserunner.
   The base umpire should set himself/herself up within the area behind the pitcher's mound that is commonly called the "working area". This is an area approximately 15 to 18 feet long; about 3 to 4 feet wide and about 10 to 12 feet behind the pitchers mound. From this area the base umpire is in a good position to perform his/her responsibilities and for (caught) moving into the proper position and angle as the plays develop.
   As the ball is batted the plate umpire will clear the catcher to his/her left. Remove his/her mask and move into a position that he/she feels will give him/her the best opportunity to view the entire field and the play (normally a few feet into foul territory and up the third base line). Whenever the plate umpire is moving into a position to make a call
on a fly ball or line drive to the outfield, he/she must keep in mind that he should never go straight at the fielder who is going to make the play. The plate umpire should always move at an angle to the play in case the routine play turns into a last second shoe top catch attempt. With this angle to the fielder, the plate umpire will be in a better position to see if the fielder makes a clean catch or perhaps it was a trapped ball.

   If the fly ball or line drive is close to the foul line causing the right fielder to move any distance towards the right field foul line, the plate umpire will move up the 1st base line as far as he/she deems necessary to rule on the ball. Always keeping in mind that he/she should judge fair or foul first and then catch/no catch. The plate umpire must also keep in mind that he/she may have to come back to home plate for a possible play there. The plate umpire will come to a complete stop to see the play and make the call and will either stay with the ball (if I it appears to be trouble or may go out of play); or will bounce back to home plate immediately after rendering the decision (if it is apparent that the play is routine and that the ball will not go out of play). In either case, the plate umpire will keep his/her eye and attention on the ball and MUST always remember to never go so far up the baseline that there is not ample time to return to home plate and get setup in the proper position for any potential play at home plate.

   If the fly ball or line drive is close to the foul line causing the left fielder to move any distance towards the left field foul line, the plate umpire will move up the 3rd base line as far as he/she deems necessary to rule on the ball, always keeping in mind that he/she should judge fair or foul first and then catch/no catch. The plate umpire will come to a complete stop to see the play and make the call. If it appears to be a trouble ball or if there is a chance that the ball will go out of play the plate umpire will stay with the ball. Since the plate umpire also has the 1st to 3rd base responsibility for the runner in this situation (if the ball is not caught), the plate umpire must be prepared to move into the cutout area at 3rd base, when he/she sees the ball is not caught and a play at 3rd base is imminent. (click here). In other words, after making the call on the fly ball or line drive the plate umpire will react to the development of the play. If the ball is not caught and the plate umpire sees that there will be a play going into 3rd base on the runner originally on 1st base, he/she will move into the cutout area at 3rd base and communicate loudly to his/her partner "I've got 3rd, Sam! I've got 3rd."
  
If the ball is not caught and the plate umpire sees that there will be no possible play at 3rd base, he/she will drift (hustle) back towards home plate in foul territory keeping his/her eye on the ball and runner in case the runner decides to continue on towards home plate or decides to try to score on a possible overthrow. If the ball is caught, the plate umpire will drift back towards home plate in foul territory, keeping his/her eye on the runner at 1st base to help the base umpire if he/she needs any assistance. The plate umpire must remember to never go so far up the line that he/she does not have time to return to the plate and setup in the proper position for any potential play at home plate.
  
With a runner on 1st base only, the base umpire has responsibility for the tag-up at 1st base. The base umpire also has responsibility for all touches at 1st and 2nd base and will also take the responsibility for the touch of 3rd base by the batter-runner. The plate umpire will have the responsibility for the touch of 3rd base by the runner on 1st base. All touches of home plate, of course, belong to the plate umpire. With a runner on 1st base only, if the fly ball is caught, the base umpire will have the responsibility for any play back into 1st base. In situations where the runner on 1st base starts towards 2nd base on a fly ball and then retreats towards 1st base, should the batter-runner pass this runner in the vicinity of 1st base, the primary responsibility of this infraction would belong to the plate umpire. However, either umpire may make the call.
   If the fly ball or line drive is hit to an area from the left fielder's normal position through to the right fielder's normal position, the plate umpire will clear the catcher to his/her left. While removing his/her mask he/she should come out from behind home plate in the direction of 3rd base and keeping approximately 3 to 6 feet into foul territory as he/she moves up the 3rd baseline. The plate umpire will move into a position that he/she feels will give the best opportunity to view the field and watch the play develop. The plate umpire will come to a complete stop and make the call. The plate umpire will have the 1st to 3rd base responsibility for the runner on 1st base in the event the ball is not caught. The plate umpire must be prepared to move into the cutout area at 3rd base and communicate loudly to his/her partner "I've got 3rd base, Sam I've got 3rd." If the ball is caught and there will be no play at 3rd base, the plate umpire will give the visual and verbal call and drift back towards home plate in foul territory. Always keeping his/her eye on the runner at 1st base to help the base umpire if he/she needs any assistance.