Pre-Game Meeting Discussion or "Ground Rules"
This is a brief overview of the elements of a pre-game discussion. Ground rules are covered about 5-10 minutes before a game starts. It will be helpful if you create your own notes for how you will lead the conversation so that you can present with confidence.
Shake hands with both coaches. Introduce yourself and your partner, if applicable (Home Plate first, Bases second)
Identify foul lines and poles, if not clearly marked out.
FOR EXAMPLE: "The foul line along the first base side is chalked out to the yellow post in the outfield. The foul line along the third base side is only chalked on the infield. We will use umpire's judgment for fair/foul calls in the outfield on the third base side of the diamond.”
Point to the area that you are discussing with the coaches if something specific is to be noted so that the coaches have a visual understanding of what you are telling them.
When discussing the field – start with the first base side around the diamond to the third base side, finishing with the backstop behind home plate. This way no areas are missed.
Identify dead ball area, or any imaginary fencing.
FOR EXAMPLE: "Fencing on this diamond extends just past the dugouts. We will use umpire’s judgement to determine when a ball stops in the area extended from the dugout fence to determine if the ball is out of play."
Identify any holes in fencing, backstop.
List any time limits, inning run caps or curfews (e.g. number of innings).
Answer questions that coaches may have pertaining to this game only.