Softball

Softball

Digging Out of a Slump at the Plate

Even the best ballplayers go into slumps. A hard-hitting batter is suddenly “popping them up.” A dominant pitcher “loses the strike zone.” An ace...

No Fun Or No Fair?

By Paul Jacoby There have been many attempts at “gamesmanship” in the history of baseball and softball. The best or most bizarre situation I’ve encountered...

Scrutiny on Player Safety Increasing in Softball

Over the years, the NCAA has done many things to try to protect players and prevent injuries. But I have had a couple of...

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...

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....

Talk the Talk

F or umpires, one of the most important skills is game management. And perhaps the most important skill when it comes to being a good...

Watch The Hands, Please

"Ariddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” While Winston Churchill certainly wasn’t describing the actions in a softball game when he made this famous...

When Two Umpires Converge on the Same Base

Many of us who have been umpiring for a number of years have seen the situation in which one umpire is dutifully making his...

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...

Keep it between us

Some unseen things that go on before, during and after a softball game would really surprise the casual or even rabid fan. First is the...

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...

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...

Let’s Go Camping

A s the majority of spring sport seasons never got off the ground, many umpires didn’t have the chance to hone their skills and work...

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...

Catch to Dropped Ball

Fielders can often appear to make excellent diving catches, but the calling umpire for the play must have patience in that situation before declaring...

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...

A Pre-Pitch Checklist For Maximum Performance

An old British Army adage known as the “7 P Rule” originated during World War II. The gist of the rule is that proper prior planning prevents poor...

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...

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,...

Rules Take Many Arguments Out of the Game

There’s a nationwide shortage of officials. It’s gotten harder in all sports to get and keep officials, and softball is no exception. Criticism from...

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...

Season of Change

USA Softball recently announced several rule changes that took effect Jan. 1 for the 2020 season, with the biggest changes affecting pitching and bats...

Step-By-Step Focus

The pause, read and react technique has been used for many years. Some associations call that process, wait, interpret, choose. Others coin it, read,...

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....

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