Author Topic: Moving to umpire  (Read 2577 times)

Offline IA Linesman

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Moving to umpire
« on: April 13, 2018, 05:03:34 PM »
After 7 years as HL I'm making the move to the inside.  I have filled in for lower level games here and there and feel confident that I will be adequate.  But what I would like to ask the group is what makes a GREAT umpire? 

Thanks
IA (Linesman?)

Online CalhounLJ

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Moving to umpire
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2018, 06:30:47 PM »
After 7 years as HL I'm making the move to the inside.  I have filled in for lower level games here and there and feel confident that I will be adequate.  But what I would like to ask the group is what makes a GREAT umpire? 

Thanks
IA (Linesman?)
An ability to spot the ball. 😂
Seriously, a guy who hustles, knows the rules, can help his WH administer penalties. Somebody with a commanding but positive presence in the middle.


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Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2018, 06:57:09 PM »
.  But what I would like to ask the group is what makes a GREAT umpire?  [/quote]

You'll be in a position none of your crew mates enjoy, where you will be able to communicate, privately, with players on both sides of the ball.  That gives you the opportunity, in addition to spotting infractions, of possibly helping avoid them from happening, with carefully chosen appropriate reminders and/or suggestions in those private communications.  You'll also have the opportunity to sense emotional trouble brewing, and intervene to lessen tension before it materializes.

It's a special level of interaction you'll likely enjoy.

Offline FLAHL

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2018, 12:07:17 PM »
I’m so lucky to work with a guy that I consider to be a great U. Here are some of the things he does that I really appreciate:

1)  He hustles every single play and doesn’t confine himself to “inside the hash marks only”
2)  He knows the rules and excels at penalty administration. While I am signaling to the press box, he is marking the distance and confirming with the wings that everyone agrees with the new spot
3)  He talks to linemen and linebackers after nearly every play - they all KNOW he’s in the game
4)  He flags holding only if it’s a “train wreck” that affects the play
5)  He is willing to step up and rule (or overrule) wings on comple vs incomplete passes if he has a better view
6)  He is in excellent physical shape
7)  He is completely comfortable questioning or challenging me if he sees a need to do that, but he does it in a nonconfrontional manner.
7)  This may be what I appreciate most - He is always cool and calm. When tense moments happen, he is the one guy I can count on 100% to be relaxed, unemotional, and professional.

Online ElvisLives

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2018, 04:32:04 PM »
I’m so lucky to work with a guy that I consider to be a great U. Here are some of the things he does that I really appreciate:

1)  He hustles every single play and doesn’t confine himself to “inside the hash marks only”
2)  He knows the rules and excels at penalty administration. While I am signaling to the press box, he is marking the distance and confirming with the wings that everyone agrees with the new spot
3)  He talks to linemen and linebackers after nearly every play - they all KNOW he’s in the game
4)  He flags holding only if it’s a “train wreck” that affects the play
5)  He is willing to step up and rule (or overrule) wings on comple vs incomplete passes if he has a better view
6)  He is in excellent physical shape
7)  He is completely comfortable questioning or challenging me if he sees a need to do that, but he does it in a nonconfrontional manner.
7)  This may be what I appreciate most - He is always cool and calm. When tense moments happen, he is the one guy I can count on 100% to be relaxed, unemotional, and professional.

FLAHL,
That very well says it all.  Great reply.  IA Linesman, be this, and you’ll be a ‘great’ Umpire.
Robert

Offline bossman72

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 08:52:25 AM »
The best Umpire's I've worked with can run the game and manage the game just as well as the R.  Don't just be floating around waiting for the R to tell you what to do on penalties.  Get the info yourself and get the rest of the crew going while the R does his thing on the mic.

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 10:49:10 AM »
The most important ingredient of becoming an umpire is SAFETY - yours!!

At the high school level most of the kids will try to avoid you, not necessarily true at above  yEs: yEs: pi1eOn yEs: yEs: (5-man crew).

I umpired for several years before becoming a white hat and felt it was a promotion from the wings but took my share of lumps. On a sweep you usually have plenty of time to react if the ball carrier is coming your way ,but not so as an umpire  sNiCkErS  :o . In learning to read the plays, I found that reacting to the guards worked best.

(1) If the guard drives the defender toward you = git outta' town, the play is coming your way - backtrack and watch for illegal blocks.

(2) If the guard pulls = a sweep is developing watch the pulling guard for blocking below the waist and holding, as he is key to the play.

(3) If the guard retreats = this is probably a pass play, move to LOS as you have plenty of pass play duties BUT stay alert for possible draw.

While these keys may help, you probably will still get run over...just not as much :P . With 22 kids all running towards you, be ready. You'll enjoy your future move to referee even more, where those same 22 kids are running away from you!
               tiphat: 
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 11:03:19 AM by Ralph Damren »

Offline Magician

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 11:27:09 AM »
Great advice. Your holds will actually be very limited. Most of the time the interior lineman are only trying to collapse the pocket on pass plays and running plays up the middle are usually either backs running into a mass of humanity or through the hole so quickly there is no opportunity to hold. I would say 90% of my holding flags are blitzing linebackers (always key on them) or the rusher who beats his lineman and you get a hook and restrict or grab and restrict. The tricky one is the pullover, but you don't see it often.

Be vocal before and after plays. Let the pile know you are there. Talk to both teams. They will respect you. Your biggest surprise may be learning how stressful the sidelines are with coaches and how great the players in the middle usually are. I made the same move about 10 years ago, and I love it!

The risk of getting run over is definitely there. If it comes down to staying with your keys or avoiding getting run over. Go with the latter. You will last longer. The more you work the better your peripheral will pick up the crossing routes and the back side tackle/tight end block coming at your back. Also be ready to duck or dodge the short pass to the receiver behind you. I've batted down a couple passes and taken a couple off the top of the head.

Offline js in sc

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2018, 01:52:06 PM »
As an umpire, I agree with what has been said about avoiding being run over.  I would also add, on a scrimmage kick, esp. a punt, continue to officiate the line after the kick.  This will prevent cheap shots.  Also, DO NOT WATCH THE BALL or you will be run over.  Do not turn downfield until the defenders (K) go past you.  They are watching the ball and not you.  pi1eOn

Offline AlUpstateNY

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2018, 03:28:25 PM »
An immediate added benefit of the Umpire position, it constantly enhances your "paying attention to your surroundings" skills.

Offline IA Linesman

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2018, 04:15:11 PM »
This is exactly the kind of responses I was looking for.  I'll give an update later this fall when we get into the season but I'm looking forward to the move inside and will try to lay-off the  sNiCkErS

Offline Etref

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2018, 04:23:11 PM »
Also especially watch tight ends. Many of them are coached to brush the linebacker off on the U while running a crossing route.

Ask me how I know this................................. ;D
" I don't make the rules coach!"

Online TampaSteve

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2018, 01:38:00 PM »
On the note of watching out for TE:
1-use your hand as a 'bumper' to fend off anyone in your personal space. (any play)
2-change your position (depth -  6-8yd & laterally - heads up the center to the G-T gap) every play

(formation can dictate this too. Not an official nfhs mechanic but it helps)
i.e. if there are trips to one side, take an add'l step or 2 to that side because both the wing&B will have their hands full from the snap.

Miscl:
3-pre-play depth: some U get married to the idea of "6yds deep at the snap". try 7-8, even 9 yds deep and notice you're not quite as on top of things and have a wide view.  Obviously, if your local assn approves this mechanic.
4-don't kill yourself getting to the LOS on pass plays to look for inelifible downfield. Get there, but with intent, not a sprint.
5-know the clock status. so you can communicate (re-affirm) to your R whether on the RFP we're rolling or on the snap.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 01:41:43 PM by TampaSteve »

Offline Etref

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2018, 03:14:02 PM »
Oh, and never, never signal a score.........

Let the wings have all the fun!
" I don't make the rules coach!"

Offline Magician

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2018, 03:53:11 PM »
Oh, and never, never signal a score.........

Let the wings have all the fun!
I can give you one example where an umpire may signal a score. A fumble from the field of play recovered by the offense in the end zone and the umpire is the covering official on the fumble. But that is very rare.

Another absolute...NEVER flag PI. No matter how obvious it is.

Offline BIG DON

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2018, 04:23:05 PM »
a Great Umpire keeps his referee out of trouble.  sNiCkErS ^good ^TD
do or do not there is no try

Offline Ralph Damren

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2018, 10:27:12 AM »
a Great Umpire keeps his referee out of trouble.  sNiCkErS ^good ^TD
Be sure to listen in when the ref is explaining penalty options to a captain.

(1) Refs are not infallible and can screw things up  :(. It's your job to correct him 8].

(2) You're the "pack mule" that carries the football to it's new home. When measuring off the enforcement :
  (a) DON'T step off the 15 yarders, most all fields (even in Maine ;) ) have hash marks, using them will be more efficient and accurate.
  (b) KNOW where to measure from....IF the enforcement spot is.....
         Previous spot = from where the ball had been spotted.
         Spot of foul = from where foul occurred, if in side zone, from
                              nearest hash mark.
         End of run/succeeding spot = from the play had ended.

(3) Take a glance at the chains & down-box prior to your journey on previous spot enforcements. Have HL ready to advise if the enforcement will create a new series ,using tape as guide.

(4) Eagerly grab the lead pole on measuring for new series :D !
         
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 10:28:52 AM by Ralph Damren »

Offline dch

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2018, 03:15:18 PM »
administering the penalty from the spot of the foul means from the spot of the foul - even if in the side zone - then bring it in to the hash marks.

Offline GA Umpire

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2018, 08:53:54 PM »
administering the penalty from the spot of the foul means from the spot of the foul - even if in the side zone - then bring it in to the hash marks.

Unless your State mechanics manual states to do it differently.  The instructions below are from the GA Mechanics Manual for the Umpire for Penalty Inforcement.

Umpire:
•   Direct offended captain to Referee as he gives the preliminary signal. 
•   Secure ball. 
•   Confer with the Referee as to enforcement spot, direction and distance. In situations where the ball has become dead in a side zone, move the ball back to the appropriate hash mark before stepping off the penalty (do NOT step off penalties in a side zone).
•   On properly marked field, avoid stepping off each yard between yard lines. Instead step off the first and last yard line. 
•   Walk briskly using arm signal to point to each yard line you cross. 
Verbalize distance walked off as you move to spot. 
•   Note: The Referee and Umpire will repeat out loud (Referee to Umpire & Umpire back to Referee) the enforcement spot, distance and direction of the mark-off of an accepted penalty BEFORE the walk-off is begun.

Online CalhounLJ

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2018, 02:10:43 PM »
We have always followed the GA philosophy. My umpire goes to the hash if the penalty is in the side zone. IMO, it looks better.

Online ElvisLives

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2018, 02:54:10 PM »
For many years, I was in the "purist" camp, and preferred my U to penalize from the technical enforcement spot specified by rule, then transfer the ball to the hash mark, if the ball was still in a side zone after enforcement of the penalty.  But, after I got into FBS, it became apparent that such technique was a bit frivolous, and wasted time, for no really good reason.  We had good umpires who were able to get the ball moved to the correct succeeding spot while the R was making his announcement.  When the R finished his announcement, the ball was ready, the crew were in place, and we could get the ball ready immediately.  Maybe not a lot of difference in real time, but it was easier for the Umpires, and it just wasn't worth messing with.  Ending up in the right spot, and doing it efficiently, was all that mattered.

Hash mark it is.

Robert
 

Offline refbuz

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2018, 03:13:42 PM »
It's the little things that make a good U, great.

Great Umpires...
  • Run the game while letting the Rs THINK they're running it.
  • Are heavily involved in penalty enforcements
  • Use soft spots to move the game along
  • Talk more than they blow their whistle
  • Spin on passes over the middle
  • Sneak a peek at BOTH tackles after the snap because the R might and the wings won't
  • Catch a crewmate's errant throw
  • Crack a joke in the locker room or on the field to lighten the mood
  • NEVER call OPI/DPI
  • Knows how to walk off a penalty and "walks" off the right yardage
  • Hustles in 2-minute situations
  • Doesn't stand on the Goal Line if the ball is snapped inside the B10
  • Doesn't stand in the same spot so that they are an easy screen for the TE
  • Goes numbers to numbers (minimum), and aren't afraid to go sideline to sideline if needed
  • Gives tip or incomplete signals to help a crew member out
  • Brings a cooler

I am sure I missed some, but this is a good start.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 03:15:28 PM by refbuz »

Offline Magician

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2018, 04:59:46 PM »
For many years, I was in the "purist" camp, and preferred my U to penalize from the technical enforcement spot specified by rule, then transfer the ball to the hash mark, if the ball was still in a side zone after enforcement of the penalty.  But, after I got into FBS, it became apparent that such technique was a bit frivolous, and wasted time, for no really good reason.  We had good umpires who were able to get the ball moved to the correct succeeding spot while the R was making his announcement.  When the R finished his announcement, the ball was ready, the crew were in place, and we could get the ball ready immediately.  Maybe not a lot of difference in real time, but it was easier for the Umpires, and it just wasn't worth messing with.  Ending up in the right spot, and doing it efficiently, was all that mattered.

Hash mark it is.

Robert
 
I've always been taught to do all penalty enforcement inside the hash marks. When I saw someone doing it outside I thought it was odd. I have since learned that has been taught at different times.

What I do when enforcing penalties is just say the yard lines. At the 27 going to the 37. Then I jog to the 37 and put the ball down. If we are near midfield I don't try to convert the B yardage. I just say to myself at the 43 going to the 58. 8 yards passed the 50 and I put the ball down. It works great and isn't hard math.

Offline bama_stripes

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2018, 06:02:37 AM »
If we are near midfield I don't try to convert the B yardage. I just say to myself at the 43 going to the 58. 8 yards past the 50 and I put the ball down. It works great and isn't hard math.

My regular U thought I was crazy the first time I told him that.  Now it seems normal to us both.  We do get some strange looks from nearby players, however.

Offline refbuz

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Re: Moving to umpire
« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2018, 09:52:04 AM »
I was always told to bring the ball in if it's outside the hashes, then enforce the penalty.  The days of Umpires "marching" for 10 or 15 yards enforcing penalties are long gone in favor of more efficient methods.  Here is a good technique that I use to enforce 10/15 yard fouls.  It can help you efficiently enforce a foul while reducing the need for math. 

If the enforcement spot is:

A SMALL yard line (i.e A33), walk the hashes to the closest big line.  Then jog 1 or 2 big lines, and walk any remaining yardage off.
A BIG big yard line (i.e. A30) jog to the 2nd (10yd) or 3rd (15 yds) big line

So, if you have a:

15 yard foul against B @ the A33, you would walk to the 35, jog 2 big lines to the 45, walk the remaining 3 yards to the A48.
10 yard foul against B @ the A33, you would walk to the 35, jog 1 big line to the 40, walk the remaining 3 yards to the A43.

5-yard fouls can be walked off as they always have.