Base Umpiring Essentials
Where do I stand at the start of each play?
Diagram 1 – Base Umpire Slot Positioning
As a Base Umpire, there are four potential positions ("Slots") where you'll position yourself to start each play.
Slot A: 10 – 12 feet behind 1st base in foul territory
Slot B: 2 – 3 steps behind and 2 – 3 steps to the left of the 2nd baseman (in normal position)
Slot C: 2 – 3 steps behind and 2 – 3 steps to the left of the shortstop (in normal position)
Slot D: 10 – 12 feet behind 3rd base in foul territory
For a two person umpire crew - one Plate Umpire (PU) and one Base Umpire (BU1)
- If no runners on base – BU1 will start in Slot A.
- If one or more runners on any of the bases - BU1 will start in the Slot just ahead of the lead runner, except when a runner is on 3rd base (3B). In that case, BU1 will start in Slot C.
- Example: if runner on 2nd base (2B), BU1 starts in Slot C (just ahead of the runner). If a runner on 3B, BU1 also starts in Slot C.
- In a two-man crew, BU1 never starts in Slot D.
- Diagram 2 - Two Person Crew Examples
For a three person umpire crew - one Plate Umpire (PU) and two Base Umpires (BU1 & BU2)
- BU1 starts in Slot B when there is a runner on 2nd base (2B) or when runners on 1st base (1B) and 3rd base (3B). Otherwise, BU1 starts in Slot A.
- BU2 starts in Slot D except when a runner on 1B. Then he starts in Slot C.
- Diagram 3 - Three Person Crew Examples
Tip: If you forget where you should stand to start a play, stand in the Slot that is directly in front of the lead runner.