Alpine / West Menlo Little League has served the families of Menlo Park, Woodside, and Portola Valley for more than a half-century. Our mission is to be an outstanding community organization that creates a culture where kids of all abilities love playing

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Three Umpire Mechanics Overview


For the Spring 2021 season, all of our AA games have slots for three umpires -- one plate umpire, and two base umpires.It is also likely that we will add three-man crews to the AAA and Majors playoff games. 

Below is a description of how the field mechanics and responsibilities work when there are a full complement of three umpires at a game.

Do note that when only two umpires are at a game, positioning and mechanics should revert to a standard two-person plate and base umpiring mechanic (even if the two umpires are signed up for "base" positions). 

Basics - as always, there should  be umpires ahead of the runner. Overall positioning notes:

  • No runners on base: A & D positions. D position is on the 3rd base line, left foot right next to the line in FOUL territory 10-12 ft. behind third baseman. It's just a mirroring of the standard A position on the 3rd base side.
  • Runner on 1st only:  A & C positions (3rd base guy move to C). 1B umpire will have play at 1B and 3B umpire will have any plays at 2B and those take that runner all the way to 3B if necessary.
  • Runners on 1st & 2nd, bases loaded, 2nd only, OR 2nd & 3rd: Base umpires should be in B & D positions. On a ball to the OF, the umpire from the B position will rotate in to the Working Area, as normal, and the 3B umpire will stay in foul at D, near 3B coach's box, for any play/throw at 3B. 
  • Runner on 3rd only: A & D positions, 3B ump has play & backpick throw from catcher @3B.
  • This is actually much simpler to remember than you might think:
    • The 3B umpire is in D position pre-pitch unless there is a runner on 1st only. 
    • The 1B umpire is only in A when there’s nobody on, a runner on 1st only, or a runner on 3rd only.



Balls to the Outfield/Rotations

  • With no runners on, the 3B ump should be moving into the infield in the “working area” to pick up the batter-runner on a double or triple at 2B and 3B. In this scenario the 1B ump, will stay at 1st. 
  • Say, for instance on a potential double hit into the gap with nobody on, the 3B ump moves into the working area and has the tag call at second. Runner safe, play over. 3B ump moves back to D, 1B ump moves to B.

Foul Balls

  • If there is a trouble/hard ball close to the line further out, the respective base umpire on the given line should go out to help cover the catch/no catch and fair/foul, if applicable (meaning he is in A or D position pre pitch and the ball is down that respective baseline.). The primary call for fair/foul or catch/no catch is still with the plate umpire, but the base umpire move out somewhat initially to help with the call.

Tag Ups

  • 3rd base tag ups will still fall to the plate umpire
  • 1st and 2nd base tag ups should be covered by the base umpires depending on the course of the ball, but generally the 3B ump will take the tag up 2B and the 1B ump will take the tag up at first.

Other Notes

  • There should not be two umpires in the infield at any time (one ump has to be in the A or D position) 
  • In the case of an appeal or a discussion is required by the umpires, all three umpires should come in and meet, even if a third guy furthest from the play can't help all that much.