Softball

Softball

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...

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...

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...

Collision Decision

Collisions on the basepaths are not a routine occurrence in fast-pitch softball, so it is important for umpires to prepare for scenarios that can...

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...

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....

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...

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