First of all, thanks to everyone who came out today for the 2022 NCUA Umpire Clinic! We had a fantastic turnout with more than 98 umpires in attendance along with several speakers in the morning prior to the on-field portion of the training.
Here’s a brief summary of what was covered at the clinic for those who couldn’t attend:
Areas for improvement for 2022
- Approachability — All umpires should show the same respect to coaches, players and parents that they are given rather than animosity toward questions/appeals if approached properly.
- Balks — Balks should be called with consistency at every age limit — excluding 9U (no balks called).
- Being On Time — There were VERY few instances of this in 2021, but not being on time to tournaments is not acceptable. All umpires should arrive 30 minutes before game time and check in with the site director and crew chief.
Signing Up for Tournaments
- Both the umpire sign-in sheet and schedule can be viewed on the blogroll on the home page of the site or through Google Drive.
- Umpires should be signed up by Wednesday evening prior to tournaments or ASAP for large tournaments (World Series, Super Nationals, etc.) through Shorty Smith, Cory Smith or one of the crew chiefs.
- All umpires who sign up as available with NCUA for any given weekend are obligated to call with only NCUA for those dates.
Updated Top Gun Rules
- International Tie Breaker: At the end of regulation or when the time limit has expired, teams will place the last three hitters for the previous inning to load the bases. The last hitter from the previous inning goes to first base, the hitter before him goes to second base, and the hitter before that goes to third base. There will be one out and each team will bat until a winner has been determined. There will be no courtesy runners for the pitcher or catcher with this rule. Only eligible substitutes would be allowed to pinch run. This rule is used for all games except the Championship Game (no ITB rule for Championship).
- Eligible Pitcher: An inning pitched constitutes the umpire putting the ball in play, NOT a position player simply toeing the rubber in between innings or during a pitching change.
- Bat Rule: In ages 9u-13u, there are no bat size restrictions but all bats must be stamped with a Bat Performance Factor (BPF) of 1.15 or have a USA Baseball Logo to be legal in any Top Gun event. In ages 14u and above, BBCOR approved bats are required and High School Federation rule applies.
- Official Game: Six-inning games can now be deemed official after 2.5 innings or 3 if the home team trails. Seven-inning games can now be deemed official after 3.5 innings or 4 if the home team trails.
The next clinic for NCUA will be an on-field training tournament held on Feb. 17-18 at Eastern Carolina Athletic Park. All new umpires are expected to attend both days and every umpire is expected to attend at least one day — but two days is preferred.
Booking fees should be mailed prior to or at the on-field training clinic. Thank you again to everyone who showed up on Saturday and we look forward to meeting with everyone again in February!