USA Softball News March 2009 Plays and...

March 2009 Plays and Clarifications

March 31, 2009, 12:27 p.m. (ET)

March 2009 Plays and Clarifications

Welcome to the start of the 2009 umpiring year. I am sure that some of you have started the season already and others patiently wait for the start of the season in your areas. We will again be posting plays, clarifications and other important items to try and help our umpires in any way possible. We will have stimulating plays with clarifications that we hope will answer questions around the country. We will also post information that we feel will help our umpires throughout the season. With all that said good luck with your umpiring and have a great season.

There are early indications that umpire registration numbers are rising across the country as economic issues continue to be the lead story on the evening news. It’s a perfect time to add to the membership numbers of your home ASA association. Remind your members to invite a friend into umpiring this year. Who couldn’t use a few extra dollars in their pocket these days, while doing something healthy and providing a much needed service to your community? Let’s get our umpires out there and recruit, recruit, recruit new umpires this spring.

21st Biennial UIC Clinic

The clinic got off to a rousing start on Thursday evening thanks to a gala Hospitality Party hosted by the Pacific Coast Region (Region 14). On Friday morning we were inspired by words from Ron Radigonda, Joey Rich, Craig Cress and Kevin Ryan. We left the morning session with a Salute to the men and women of the Armed Forces orchestrated by our own Larry Montgomery. Early returns tell us that the Breakout and Interactive sessions were well received. The 402 who attended seemed to enjoy the theme that told them…”Hey Blue…The spotlight is on you”. To that end, the sessions were primarily geared to focus on the teaching aspects of the different Topic areas. Region 14 and Region 2 showed off the talents that lie within all our regions with presentations focusing on the “JO Umpire” and “Local Associations” The Banquet on Saturday night featured awards to many umpires for years of service and the presentations of the Regional Awards of Excellence to 15 deserving umpires. The clinic was culminated by a Special Salute to Bernie Profato, Region 9 UIC, who is leaving the Umpire Staff after 30 years of service. It was a “This is your Life” presentation hosted by our own Ralph Edwards who now goes by the name of Henry Pollard. After much laughter and story telling, Bernie heard a sincere tribute from his 15 year old Grandson, Daniel Hudak, and then received the first ever “Merle Butler Award of Excellence”, which will be given to the winner of the National Award of Excellence in the years to come. Thanks go to many people including our National Office Staff and our National Umpire Staff and those Regions who presented this year. Special thanks to Debbie Ford, Chris Sebren, Craig Cress and Kevin Ryan whose tireless commitment to making this Clinic successful was evident throughout.

New Training AID

By now you may have heard about the new training DVD that is now available for purchase by our umpires. The new DVD titled, ASA Umpire Mechanics an Animated Instructional DVD, is designed to show all umpires our basic mechanics. It covers plate mechanics from working the slot to moving from the plate when needed and all areas in between. It covers basic base mechanics from starting positions to angle and distances on tag plays and all mechanics you need to be a complete ASA base umpire. It portrays all signals used by ASA Umpires. This DVD is all done by animated figures using ASA mechanics, from the ASA umpire manual that comes with your umpire rule book. This DVD can only help your young umpires get started the ASA way and refresh your more seasoned umpires with the proper ASA signals and mechanics. It has something for all umpires, trainers of umpires and those thinking about umpiring. All this for only $34.95 and they are available today from ASA.


New Rules

ASA has passed a new rule for the 2009 playing rule. All adult Slow Pitch, other than Masters and Seniors, will enter the batter’s box with a one ball and one strike count, Rule 7 Section 3B. Be advised that this does not allow for an extra foul ball as other Slow Pitch organizations play. It may be a good practice to remind the players of this rule change at the home plate conference until they get used to the new rule. It should also be note that this rule is for Adult Slow Pitch and does not include Junior Olympic Slow Pitch.

A mistake has been found on the 2009 umpire exam, question 31 of the umpire exam deals with an Illegal Player and the answer deals with an unreported substitute which is incorrect. The answer to the question is D but should read: The offensive coach has the option of taking the result of the play or having the batter bat again assuming the count and the defensive player is disqualified.

Our rule on unreported substitute was changed to let an unreported substitute remain in the game but still be subject to the balance of the penalty. An Illegal player, by rule, is an Illegal Pitch, Illegal Runner, Illegal Batter, or Illegal Re-entry and still carries a penalty of disqualification. Rule 4 Section 6F

2009 Rule Book Corrections

Rule 5 Section 8B [2]:Seniors 70 and 75: Three home runs in the AAA division versus A division. (Page 58)

Rule 8 Section 1C Exception:In the game of 16” Slow Pitch on ball four the ball should remain live even if the pitch land on the plate or in front of the plate like SP or SP with Stealing. This was done by a rule change and mistakenly written in the book incorrectly. (Page 81)

Rule 8 Section 2D:Calls for the Batter-runner to be out if they fail to advance to 1B and enter the team area after a hit batter in Fast Pitch. The exception then calls out for a hit batter in Fast pitch not to be out if they enter the team area. The exception is correct, in that in the game of Fast Pitch when a batter is hit by a pitch the ball is dead and is allowed to go to the team area before advancing to 1B. (Page 83)