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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

Your Toughest call?

What do you call when a runner jumps over an infield grounder as a fielder goes for the ball? Usually that play occurs when...

Bean There, Seen That

When it comes to hit batters, softball umpires don’t have to make the exact same decisions as their baseball counterparts. Beanball wars in softball...

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...

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...

What’s Your Angle?

Although most umpires would prefer working in crews of three or four, the two-umpire system, if used properly, actually provides for good coverage in...

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...

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...

Old Acts, New Rulings

The NCAA has again adjusted its obstruction rule, reduced the illegal pitch penalty, adopted three experimental speed-up rules from last fall and brought back...

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...

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...

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...

All Ball

The NFHS Softball Rules Committee approved a change in the penalty for an illegal pitch starting with the 2018-19 school year. An illegal pitch...

50 Percent Better in 45 Minutes

Do you want to be a 50 percent better umpire in 45 minutes? It’s all right here and my unique techniques are easy to...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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,...

Dead or Live?

Imagine that you’re working the plate in a two-umpire system. There’s a runner on second with one out. The batter hits a towering fly...

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