Flex Player and Plate Umpire Reminders
We do not use an Extra Player (EP). We use a DP and a Flex Player. Using any term other than a DP or Flex Player is incorrect and confusing to players and coaches.
The Flex player is always listed in the tenth position in the lineup. Important to remember: A coach may opt to have a Flex player listed in the tenth position of the starting lineup, but choose not to start that player. If this is the case the Flex Player has left the game and may return one time or be substituted for like any other starter. The lineup is reduced to nine players in this situation.
* The Flex position may not be added after the lineup has been approved.
* Please read the Flex rule. It’s one of the few situations that, if misinterpreted , we are going to have take FULL responsibility for.
When working the plate please get in the habit of giving the count following a play that may have caused possible communication confusion. Example: on the pitch, a runner steals a base with a possible overthrow. With all of this going on, one or both umpires inadvertently may not have advanced their indicator. It is acceptable for the base umpire to initiate this communication. Remember when giving the count it’s, 3 balls 2 strikes not 3 & 2.
Plate umpire, it is suggested that any time we make changes involving the Flex Player we need to communicate the change in a brief meeting with your partner. This will eliminate any a mistake in the process and it will also give the necessary information to the base umpire who should be tracking the Flex Players and the Courtesy runners.
The new strike zone must be enforced. Whereas we may have a difficult time getting our zone up to the forward armpit. We really need to bring it up higher than in the past. It’s the rule, we need to enforce it as written. Forward armpit, top of the knees in a natural stance. Set your zone early and stay consistent.
Work hard on every pitch, be professional on every play and when challenged don’t say anything until you have allowed your brain to process an appropriate response. The ability to listen is a great attribute.