The thought is to keep the meeting as simple as possible...this example is based on a minor 10 game, scheduled for 6pm...the current time 6:03pm.
first two bullet points are important!...the other points are informative points to the coaches
Below are examples of some plate meetings. Always keep in mind how you are observed by others. In other words, treat the coaches as you would like to be treated. During the plate meeting, keep the meeting light and informative, do not throw in threats to the coaches since that will only cause problems in the game at a later time.
here's an example of how NOT to hold your meeting....
Coaches....I will not hear any discussions on judgment calls, these calls are final. You must be one arm length away from the dugout or I will place you in the dugout. Are your players properly equipped? if your catcher comes to the plate without wearing a cup, I will send the child back to the dugout and you will be ejected from the game. This game is one hour and 45 mins long, I will keep the clock and there is no room for discussion. If there are complaints from your players, you or your fans, I will eject you from the game.
The proper way to handle the plate meeting:
Coaches... are your players properly equipped? (get a verbal "yes" from each). Are you satisfied with the field conditions? (get a verbal) (this is important especially if there is no batter’s box and the coaches later question if the batter was out of the box when he hit the ball). As I understand, this game is one hour and 45 mins long, is this correct? Five runs per inning except for the 5th and 6th inning. Judgment calls are final, if you do have a question about a call, please go to the umpire making the call. If it is about a rule, the other umpire and I will discuss the ruling and hopefully, arrive at the correct decision. Please keep your coaches to one arm's length from the dug out....is there any questions that I can answer at this time? Ok, coaches the clock has three minutes on it already so let’s get the home team on the field.
Do you see the difference between the two meetings?...the first one is surrounded by "I"... "I will send...", "I will keep the clock...." do not make yourself the focal point of the meeting...this is a mutual meeting between you as the umpires and them as the coaches.
By getting a verbal "yes" on the players properly equipped, you are now released from any liabilities so checking for cups is not needed, and clearly not a reason to eject a coach. By asking questions after a statement, leaves room for us to appear to be humble. Asking the question about the condition of the field is important especially if there is no batter’s box and the coaches later question if the batter was out of the box when he hit the ball, this way, you can tell the coach “you agreed to the condition of the field”. The statement about the rules...LORD knows we do not know every rule in the book...so don't pretend you do!!!...so saying that you will "hopefully" arrive at the correct decision allows you to make the best decision at the time (but DO look up the rule after the game). If the coaches do not agree with your ruling, they can certainly protest the game (that is their RIGHT to do so). The next statement, "please"....this is a nice way to ask the coaches to remain close to their dugouts. If they start creeping up the fence line, then by you asking them to return, is a gentle reminder to go back to one arm's length away.