Softball

Softball

Flex Your Mental Muscles

"Coach, do you have any changes?” Be honest. How many of you dread asking this question during the pregame conference? We know the most...

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....

Don’t Take A Pass On Interference Calls

How often have you heard the following called out during your softball officiating career: “Break up the double play,” or “Blue, she’s got to slide!” As an umpire,...

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...

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...

In ‘Crews’ Control

T here is nothing more beautiful in softball umpiring than watching a crew work together to cover the diamond. When it is a well-oiled machine,...

Preventing Umpire Interference

The umpiring crew must be sure the playing field and other conditions are safe to start the game and all conditions remain safe throughout...

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...

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...

Location Notation

While watching MLB’s World Series last fall, I heard the plate umpire, who was wearing a microphone, call, “Ball, outside” after a pitch was...

Your Toughest call?

What do you call when a runner jumps over an infield grounder as a fielder goes for the ball? Usually that play occurs when...

Solid Ground (Rules)

Like everyone else, I like to be prepared when someone asks a question. That is particularly true when I’m umpiring a game. That gives...

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....

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...

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....

Bean There, Seen That

When it comes to hit batters, softball umpires don’t have to make the exact same decisions as their baseball counterparts. Beanball wars in softball...

Strike First With Slow-Pitch Pitchers

One topic that garners a lot of discussion among baseball umpires is whether or not you should describe pitches for pitchers. That discussion also depends a great deal...

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...

Southpaw Catcher Surprise

As you arrive at the diamond for a day of calling balls and strikes, nothing seems unusual. You go through pregame rituals, put the...

Like a Boss

A fellow brother in blue, who passed away much too soon, had a mantra he used both in life and on the field. That mantra...

Injured Player? Stop Right There

At times a game needs to be stopped because of an injury. When an injury occurs during a live ball as shown in the...

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...

Adjustments for Better Look at the Plate

Any fast-pitch softball umpire is familiar with the slot position when working a game as the plate umpire: assuming a heel-toe stance behind the catcher, aligned slightly inside the...

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...

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