National Umpires Association
PRE-GAME CONFERENCE CHECKLIST
It is strongly recommended that the crew discuss each of these topics before each game. The plate umpire is responsible for conducting the pre-game conference.
Fair / Foul: Discuss plate umpire responsibilities and base umpire responsibilities with bases empty and runners on base.
Line Drive and Fly Ball Coverage: Discuss plate umpire responsibilities and base umpire responsibilities with bases empty and runners on base.
Rotation on Batted Balls Through the Infield: The plate umpire should advise the base umpire(s) when he/she will rotate to third and whether a verbal signal will be given. In a 3-umpire system, remind the 1st base umpire when to rotate home.
Signals and Verbal Commands: Discuss your methods of communication. Discuss the signals you will use for rotation situation, infield fly situation, repeat count and outs, request for meeting between innings, ball in the dirt, etc.
Balks: Discuss primary and secondary responsibilities for calling balks. Identify who will have primary coverage of the pitcherÕs feet and who will have primary coverage of the pitcherÕs hands/shoulders.
Checked Swings: The plate umpire should advise the base umpire(s) how the plate umpire will request an appeal of a checked swing and what the plate umpire expects from the base umpire in ruling on such an appeal. It is recommended that the plate umpire allow the base umpire complete discretion on such appeals.
Balls in the Dirt, Swinging Third Strike: Discuss whether the base umpire(s) will be assisting the plate umpire in determining whether a swinging third strike was caught cleanly by the catcher. Discuss signals to be used.
Foul Balls Off the Batter: Discuss whether the base umpire(s) will be assisting the plate umpire in determining whether a foul ball struck the batter while in the batterÕs box.
Foul Tip Third Strikes, Catch or No Catch: Discuss whether the base umpire(s) will be assisting the plate umpire in determining whether a foul tip third strike was caught cleanly by the catcher.
Double Tag-Ups: Discuss plate umpire and base umpire responsibilities when more than one runner is tagging up on a fly ball.
Infield Fly: Discuss when the infield fly situation is in effect and the proper procedure for calling an infield fly.
Swipe Tags and Pulled Foot Plays: Discuss whether the plate umpire will assist in determining whether there was a swipe tag or pulled first on a play at first base. Discuss how the request for assistance will be made.
Interference at First, 45-Foot Running Lane: Discuss who will make the call of interference at first before and beyond the 45-foot running lane.
Interference at Second and Force Play Slide Rule: Discuss who will have primary coverage of the slide at second on a force play.
Collision at Home, Interference and Obstruction: Discuss who will have primary coverage of interference and obstruction on plays at the plate.
Overthrows, Dead Balls, and Base Awards: Discuss who will have primary coverage of the ball on overthrows at first base and third base.
Appeals: Discuss how you will communicate to each other that you are taking responsibility for ruling on a defensive appeal.
DH Rule: Consider unusual DH substitution issues.
Offensive and Defensive Trips: Confirm the number of offensive and defensive trips that each team is allowed and that the plate umpire will record each. Discuss where each umpire will position themselves during offensive and defensive conferences. Discuss whether the base umpire(s) will go to the bullpen to inform the relief pitcher to enter the game when a pitching change is made.
Arguments and Ejections: Discuss how you each expect the other(s) to act if you are involved in an argument or if there is an ejection.
Warnings: Balls and Strikes; Bench Jockeying; Bean Ball; Arguments: Remind each other that arguments over balls and strikes and bench jockeying will not be tolerated. Discuss the proper procedure for issuing warnings, particularly for bean ball incidents.
Line-Up Cards: Discuss how the coachesÕ pre-game conference will be conducted and which teamÕs line-up card will be reviewed first.
Rain Delays, Lightning, and Darkness: Consider the possibility of the game not reaching its natural conclusion due to weather or other factors. Discuss the factors used to determine the stoppage of play.
Miscellaneous Situations: Runner on 3rd Only; Double Run-Down; Obstructions; Live Ball Under Fence: Discuss how these and other unusual Situations should be covered. (Remember: Do not kill a live ball unless you are certain that it has gone out of play.) Discuss situations in which you might desire to conference or change a call.