Asking all umpires… Setting up in the slot position is of course the best place to view and call balls and strikes but as a newer umpire I’m curious where the best position is to get set when the catcher also sets up on the inside portion of the plate (righty or lefty batter)? The “slot” at that point seems to disappear and my view is obstructed. When this happens what is the best location to setup to get a clear view of the plate? My instinct tells me to setup on the outside corner so I can see the entire plate but nothing I read has confirmed this.
Never go past the middle of the catcher’s helmet as you will be exposed to a significantly higher number of foul balls…very dangerous. In fact, moving over behind the catcher is not as preferred as trying to set up higher in your stance so you might be able to see. At advanced levels, the umpire will also make mention to the batter that it’s difficult for us to see if he stands there. By rule, you can’t ask him to move, but in casual conversation many batters will move back and/or the catcher will also move a bit to give you a window. Unfortunately, some times you will just get blocked out and you will have to work very hard to read the catcher receiving the ball to give you enough information to call ball/strikes.