USA Softball News June 2009 Plays and ...

June 2009 Plays and Clarifications

June 30, 2009, 12:30 p.m. (ET)

June 2009 Plays and Clarifications

National Championship Umpire

Congratulations to the over 2000 umpires who were selected to work ASA National Championships in 2009. By now you have completed your contract. Please make note of the category you were selected in, specifically; Host, Host Exchange, At Large or Rotational.

You have received or will be receiving an information letter from the ASA National Office with “ASA SOFTBALL” at the top of the page. Read it very carefully. The uniform section of the letter is noteworthy as the UIC of your Championship will inform you which uniform or uniforms you will be wearing for that specific Championship. Please read the Travel section very carefully, as it gives you specific information on how to make airline reservations if you qualify to do so. It also gives you good information if you are driving to the Tournament.

Your Umpire-in-Chief and Umpire Coordinator for your Championship will be contacting you by mail or E-Mail, with important on-site information. Please read all communications very carefully, as they will have specific information pertinent to the Umpire Clinic, the Uniform, and any other mandatory functions.

Note that only ASA Mechanics will be used at your National Championship. Please prepare to use these mechanics by practicing them in the games you work prior to your Championship. Work the 2 or 3 Umpire System, depending on which applies to your specific Tournament.

Finally, arrive at your tournament in the proper frame of mind. Make your National Championship a learning experience. Seize the opportunity to learn from your partners and the UIC Staff including the Umpire Coordinator. Rather than setting a single goal of working the plate in the Championship game, also have a goal to leave the Championship a better umpire than when you arrived. You’ve worked hard to earn this assignment. Enjoy every moment, work hard and be the very best you can be!!

Rule Questions

Rule 6 Fast Pitch: There have been a few questions in regards to the new rule in Fast Pitch regarding the use of the Gorilla Gold product recently approved by the ASA Council. The question is, “Can the Gorilla Gold product be left on the ground if the pitcher does not have a pocket to put it in?” The new rule is clear according to Rule 6 (Fast Pitch) Section 6 ….an approved drying agent may be used by the pitcher that is included in the list published by the ASA. The resin must be left on the ground and the approved drying agent in the pitcher pocket.” If there is no pocket the drying agent cannot be left on the ground and must be left in the dugout.

Rule 8 or Rule 6 FP: R1 is on 2B with 1 out. F1 delivers the ball that slips from the hand and is rolling towards HP. R1 decides to steal 3B and F2 steps out in front of the plate and retrieves the ball and throws out R1 at 3B. Ruling?

This play is a little vague so I will answer it in two ways. If the pitcher delivers a pitch that somewhat slips from the hand but still can be hit by the batter then Rule 8 Section1D [3] applies and as the rule states if the catcher steps on or in front of home plate without the ball and PREVENTS the batter from hitting the ball Effect: Dead ball, the batter is awarded first base and runners are advanced one base if forced. In this play R1 on 2B returns to 2B unless 1B was occupied

If the pitch cannot be hit because the ball slipped from the pitchers hand and the move by the catcher does not prevent the batter from hitting the ball then Rule 6 section 11 “If the ball slips from the pitcher’s hand during the delivery, a ball is called on the batter, the ball would remain live and the runner(s) may advance at their own risk” would apply and we would have a ball on the batter and all runners may advance at their own risk. In this play R1 would be out

Therefore in this play the key here is that the umpire has to determine if the pitch can still be hit by the batter and did the action of the catcher prevent the batter from hitting the ball, or did the pitch slip in such a way that it cannot be hit and apply the correct rule, Rule 8 or Rule 6.

Giving the wrong count: With the bases empty, the B1 has a 3-1 count. The plate umpire is asked for the count and mistakenly stated that the count was 3-2. The next pitch is a strike and the catcher throws the ball the 3B. The offensive coach then asks the plate umpire to check with his partner on the count and the field umpire informs the plate umpire that the count should now be 3-2. The offensive coach wants ball four, what is the ruling?

Rule 7 Section 5G states that a ball is called on the batter when the catcher fails to return the ball directly to the pitcher as required. Effect: The Ball is dead. In this case however the reason the catcher threw the ball to 3B was because of the umpire giving the defense the wrong count. You could now apply Rule 10 Section 3C which allows the plate umpire to rectify any situation with a reversal of a decision that has put the offense or defense in Jeopardy. However be aware of the intent of Rule 7 Section 5G, which is not to delay a ball game. In this case the intent was not to delay a game but to throw the ball around because the catcher was informed of the wrong count, count stays 3-2 and play on.