Softball

Softball

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...

Fear of Abandonment

Webster’s defines abandonment as “to leave or forsake completely; to give up possession or control of or to give up, discontinue or withdraw from.”...

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....

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...

‘In’s’ and Outs

There are two rules that often give umpires pause during a game — infield fly and intentional drops. The rules regarding each are relatively...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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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