Softball

Softball

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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...

An Inside Job

O ne of the toughest jobs for a softball umpire is ruling on inside pitches. There is a lot happening at once and there are...

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...

Be Careful Using Other Sports to Explain Softball Rules

No-calls are common to officiating in all sports. Sometimes it’s advantageous to use examples from other sports to explain softball rules and plays. Unfortunately,...

Atypical Interference

There have been many articles written about interference, but most predominantly cover runner interference. The other acts of interference that may be perpetrated by...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Making Amends After a Blown Call

It’s a terrible feeling. You’ve blown a call. You know it. Your partner may or may not know it. What’s worse, the blown call...

The “No Nonsense” Umpire

Am I a good umpire?” Umpires should ask themselves that question (and answer it honestly) every so often. I like to think my long umpiring...

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...

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...

Chasing Higher-Level Games

When I was eight years old, my cousin and I always looked forward to the circus coming to town. The troupe would have a...

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...

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...

Keep a Watchful Eye on Baserunners Into Bags

Any time there is a close play at a base, umpires have a lot to focus on. This is especially true when there is...

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...

Tips for Working With Catchers

One of the attributes of a successful plate umpire is the ability to work with catchers. The catcher is a major factor in a...

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