Softball

Softball

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...

6 Tips to Improve Your Plate Performance

Everyone wants to be known as a good plate umpire. When coaches think about preferred and non-preferred lists of umpires for postseason playoffs, they...

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...

8 Points for Pre-Pitch Planning

With each batter and before every pitch, umpires must do some pre-pitch planning. Where do I go on a hit to the outfield? A hit to...

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,...

Obstruction Deduction

Umpires are tasked with making thousands of split-second decisions over the course of their careers. Some of those calls are obvious, while others aren’t...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Equipment Commitment

The NFHS Softball Rules Committee made two significant changes to player equipment, involving the wearing of head coverings and beads, and approved six other...

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....

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...

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...

Check This Out

The NFHS Softball Rules Committee approved a handful of rules changes for the 2017-18 school year, but two in particular — allowing intentional walks...

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...

Leap Into the New Year

At its recent annual council meeting in Oklahoma City, USA Softball voted to adopt several new rule changes for the 2022 season. The most...

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....

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...

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...

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 is More Than Just Runners

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

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