Softball

Softball

Slap-Hitters and Bunters Force You To Think Outside The Box

With first base only 60 feet away from home plate in softball compared to 90 in baseball, the left-handed slap hit is a major...

Collision Decision

Collisions on the basepaths are not a routine occurrence in fast-pitch softball, so it is important for umpires to prepare for scenarios that can...

4 Habits Softball Umpires Must Have

If you took a poll of coaches and players and asked them to name the skills and habits that are important for an umpire...

When the Pitcher has Possession and Control in the Circle

In a game I worked last season, there were runners on second and third when the batter hit a little humpback liner over the...

Equipment Commitment

The NFHS Softball Rules Committee made two significant changes to player equipment, involving the wearing of head coverings and beads, and approved six other...

Four Tips for One-Umpire Mechanics

It’s not news that budgets for athletic programs, especially in recreation and intramural leagues, have had to be tightened. Often the first items trimmed...

Five Steps Toward Being Truly Great

Let’s assume you are a good umpire, even an exceptional umpire. You do well on association exams and know your mechanics. Nevertheless, do you...

A Mathematical Dive Into the Strike Zone

The softball strike zone has not changed for a long time; it is still the zone explicitly described in the rules for each softball code. There are slight...

Safe or Out, There Is No Tie

Fans, players and coaches are often heard yelling from the stands, “Tie goes to the runner!” However, no rule in baseball or softball has that phrase. A few...

Bunt, Slap and Checked-Swing Quandaries 

The photo above provides an interesting conundrum for umpires. While it is just a snapshot, it leads to some intriguing questions and forces us to get into the...

5 Tips for the Tag Play at the Plate

Atag play at the plate is among the most exciting plays in softball. The decision the umpire renders on a close play at home...

7 Reasons Why Communication With Your Partner Pays Off

The words “requires excellent communication skills” are part of virtually every job description in today’s market, to the point where they’ve become meaningless jargon....

Dead or Live?

Imagine that you’re working the plate in a two-umpire system. There’s a runner on second with one out. The batter hits a towering fly...

Three Major Keys to Success in the Two-Umpire System

The three major keys to success in the two-umpire system include a system of angles, compromises and priorities. Here’s what that means. Angles In the two-umpire...

Infield Flies not on the fly

One of the more difficult situations in softball are those involving the infield fly rule. While all the codes agree on when the rule...

Softball Crew Chief Responsibilities and How to Prepare

If you are reading this and you are not a crew chief but have that as one of your goals, congratulations. You are taking...

Infield Fly Factors

An infield fly situation includes many variables for umpires to take into consideration. The wind or sun affects the calling of the infield fly....

8 Points for Pre-Pitch Planning

With each batter and before every pitch, umpires must do some pre-pitch planning. Where do I go on a hit to the outfield? A hit to...

In the ‘Try Right Zone’

The plate umpire in fast-pitch softball faces the demanding task of making split-second rulings hundreds of times each game, regardless of the competition level....

Advanced Softball Mechanics

Today’s players are quicker, faster, stronger, smarter, more athletic and better coached. Ask yourself: are our mechanics keeping pace with the rapid development of...

The Eight-Minute Pregame

Arriving to the three-umpire system at various upper levels is the culmination of hard work, preparation and demonstration of the knowledge and skills necessary...

Obstruction Deduction

Umpires are tasked with making thousands of split-second decisions over the course of their careers. Some of those calls are obvious, while others aren’t...

Tips On Staying Present

As an umpire, even we get nervous once and a while or you start to focus on a previous play. Maybe as the field umpire, your mind...

Know When to Use the ‘Sell’

As novice or veteran umpires, we all look forward to the exciting catch, tag or play at the plate that has us standing in...

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