East County Little League

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Hands-on-Knees – Set Position

The "Hands-On-Knees Set" position is primarily used by the Base Umpire prior to the pitcher delivering the ball. This position is used regardless if there are runners on base or not. This position may also be used when there is a play at a base and time allows. In this video, we will break down the "Hands-On-Knees Set" position.

The foundation to a good "Hands-on-Knees Set" position is a wide base. Set your feet just wider than shoulder with apart. Your weight is distributed on the balls of the feet so as to not get caught flat-footed when a play occurs. With the wide base established, sit straight down and place your hands on your knees. Prior to placing the hands on the knees, form a "V" by keeping the fingers together and separating the thumb. Set the "V" right above the kneecap with the thumb on the inside of the leg and the fingers on the outside. The elbows should be locked and back flat, not rounded. You should be set prior to the pitch being delivered. Just before the pitcher delivers the ball, the head should move from the pitcher to the batter to assist with any play that may occur, such as a check swing.

 
A Position - No Runners on Base

The "A Position - No Runner On" Mechanic is used by the Base Umpire when there is no runner on first base and the batter becomes a runner due to a ball being batted fair and on the ground to the infield. There are two possible rulings for an umpire when he or she is in the A Position with no runners on base and a ball is hit into fair territory - "Safe" or "Out." For the purpose of this video, no defensive or offense players were used, and the only call made is the "Out" call.

 
B Position - Runner on 1st

The "B Position - Runner on First Base" Mechanic is a drop-step movement used by the Base Umpire when there is only a runner on first base and a ball is batted fair to the infield, setting up the possibility of a double play. The drop-step movement from the Hands-On-Knees set position allows the umpire to clearly see the catch of the ball and touch of the base by the defense, as well as the runner approaching the base. With the secondary drop-step, the umpire is able to clearly see the play develop at first base.

With only a runner on first base, and a ball is batted fair to the outfield, the Base Umpire moves from the B Position into the infield and pivots to clearly see the play being made in the outfield, runners touching the bases, as well as any subsequent play(s) that may made on the runner(s) at second or first base.

 
C Position – Runner on Second, Third, or Bases Full

The "C Position - Runner on Second, Third, or Bases Full" Mechanic is used by the Base Umpire when there is a runner on second base, second and third bases, or the bases are loaded. The intent is for the umpire to be positioned in front of, or ahead of, the lead runner in order to see a play on the lead runner. When a ball is batted fair on the ground, or in the air, to the outfield, the umpire is to move into the infield grass to gain a clear view of the ball, runners, and bases.

The base umpire is responsible for making the call on all plays on the bases, including third base.