Softball

Softball

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...

No Lollygagging

One of the largest complaints from softball umpires is games take too long. And while we can’t control the score, whether a pitcher throws...

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...

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...

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...

Real Appeal

In a televised NCAA game last May, a player was so excited about hitting an out-of-the-park home run that she jumped over home plate...

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....

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...

The Difference Between Preventive Umpiring and Coaching

T here tends to be a debate among umpires regarding what should and should not be brought to the attention of coaches when it comes...

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...

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...

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,...

Handling Tough Situations on Difficult Pitches

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

Basepath Blunders

A baserunner caught in a rundown between two bases can be among the most exciting plays in fast-pitch softball, but it also creates a...

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...

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...

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...

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...

No Hedge on the Wedge

As today’s players become quicker, faster and stronger, and as rules adapt, so must umpire mechanics. The wedge mechanic allows the umpire to be...

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...

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...

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...

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