Softball

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...

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,...

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...

Make Your Move

When it comes to adjudicating plays at the plate in softball, the one-size-fits-all philosophy no longer works. Every play is dynamic and no two...

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,...

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...

Unsolicited Advice

From the very first camp that any official attends, what phrase is always uttered by clinicians and coordinators? “Get the call right!” In 2018, that...

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...

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...

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...

They’re Counting On it

One of the most important jobs for softball umpires is game management. And one of the most overlooked aspects of game management is giving...

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...

Trouble Area

The last half of the distance from home plate to first base is one of the biggest trouble areas in softball. To stay on...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Timed Properly, Appeal Plays Result in an Out

Why should umpires like appeal plays? Because we can get an out if appealed properly. An appeal play is a play or rule violation...

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...

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...

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...

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...

No Hedge on the Wedge

As today’s players become quicker, faster and stronger, and as rules adapt, so must umpire mechanics. One of the major mechanic changes in NCAA...

Getting the Ruling Right Isn’t a Travesty 

One of the “catch-all” rules in softball refers to “making a travesty of the game.” That was put in place to take care of those players who try...

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