USA Softball News March 2011 Plays and...

March 2011 Plays and Clarifications

March 31, 2011, 12:35 p.m. (ET)

March 2011 Plays and Clarifications

Are you ready for some Softball!!! It is ASA Softball season; time to get in shape, get mentally prepared and update our uniforms and equipment. All our National Umpire Schools are in full swing and on the web for all to view and decide on which school to attend. We also have the Advanced Fast Pitch Camp June 7th – 12th in Oregon this year along with our Advanced Slow Pitch Camp June 14th – 19th in Fresno / Clovis California. Please look at the web page for all the schools and camps in order to pick the right school and or camp for your umpiring needs.

2011 Rule Book: The 2011 rule books have been shipped and shipped early this year. We have made significant strides on making the rule book as mistake free as possible this year and will continue to get better. It has been pointed out that this year’s book has a few errors and we want to share those with you.

  • In 2009 the word “Masters” was removed from Rule 8, Section 3I EXCEPTION. This rule change resulted in only “Seniors” running the bases on a over-the-fence Home Run. It was pointed out that Rule 5, Section 5A EXCEPTION was not changed at that time and still listed “Masters” as having to run the bases.
  • Rule Supplement number 25 still lists the Master Classification as an exception to not running the bases on an over the fence Home Run.
  • On Page 70, Heading at the top of the page should be “Modified” Pitch instead of “Slow” Pitch.
  • On page 72 where we talk about the height of the pitch in Slow Pitch, 10 Feet is still bolded and shaded and should not be since it is not new to this year.

These are marked and will be corrected in the 2012 Rule Book.

2011 Umpire Exam: It has been pointed out that we have a correction and a clarification for the 2011 umpire exam. They are as follows:

  • Question 30, the word “batter-runner” was omitted from the question. The answer is correct if talking about a batter-runner with reference Rule 8, Section 2F. If the reader interprets the question as a runner, Rule 8, Section 7J [1-3] EFFECT should be used.
  • Question 32 is true on the answer sheet and the answer should be false. Players wearing metal cleats after being warned by the umpire shall be ejected per Rule 3 Section 6G Effect

2011 Biennial UIC Clinic: The 22nd Biennial UIC Clinic was held from Feb. 3rd to the 6th in Oklahoma City. Despite the weather, over 350 were in attendance.  That represents over 90 % of those who had registered to attend.

Thursday started with sessions for New Local Association UIC’s and those who wish to be UIC’s or Assistants at National Championships.  The evening ended with a Hospitality party hosted by the Eastern territory.  Even with some changes that had to be made at the last minute, a good time was had by all.

The general session began Friday morning with the word that our guest speaker, Mike Periera, was not able to get out of Dallas.  Hopefully, Mike will be able to speak to us at a future clinic.

There were eight breakout sessions set up to coincide with the theme of, “Do it the ASA way, get back in the book.”  A session on technology was presented by Brian Crane, Georgia ASA, Jimmy Derrick, Georgia ASA and Sue Sawyer, Southern California ASA.  According to early returns, it was very well received.  The new DVDs covering umpire systems was previewed as well as a look at Mechanics and why we do it the ASA way.

Saturday afternoon sessions focused on Equipment and Obstruction/ Interference.

At the banquet 15 Regional Award of Excellence were presented as well as the National Award, named after Merle Butler.  This year the Merle O. Butler Award of Excellence was presented to Bill Humphrey of Midland, MI.  Bill’s contribution to umpiring and the ASA in general spans over 40 years.  He was an umpire, a member of the National Umpire Staff and a Clinician.  In addition, he served as Commissioner of Michigan, ASA President and Director of Membership Services. 

Special recognition for attendance at all 22 UIC’s Clinics was given to Les Novak, Kinard Latham and Henry Pollard.

In addition to the instruction and awards this year’s Clinic provided a very special touch.  Through the efforts of Jerry Fick and his band of ticket sellers, and the great generosity of our umpire family, money was raised to help Mike and Diane DeLeo with the Medical Bills incurred as a result of Diane’s very serious disease.  We are happy to report that slowly but surely, Diane is making progress toward recovery.

We are beginning to think and plan for the next extravaganza in 2013!!   See you there.

Plays and Rulings

PLAY: In a Co-ed game with two outs B3 is walked and by rule is awarded two bases. The next batter, a female, now has the option to walk or bat. When does she have to make that decision?
RULING: In researching the past rule books it was found that our rule stated before the next pitch. When the rule was changed to award the male batter 2B on a walk, Rule 8, Section 1C[4], the portion about the female batter having to make a decision was inadvertently left out of our rule book. Prior to that rule change, the rule specifically stated before the next pitch. The interpretation of Rule 8, Section 1C[4] Exception: With two outs, the female batter has the option to walk or bat before the next pitch or play madeAn example of a play made is if she decides to walk and takes 1B. In Slow Pitch the defense can just notify the umpire they want to walk the batter without a pitch being thrown.

PLAY: With one out, R1 on 2B and R2 on 1B, B4 hits an extra base hit to the outfield. R1 rounds 3B and is obstructed and knocked down. R2 accidently passes R1 as R1 is lying on the ground. The ball is returned to the infield and R1 is tagged out. What is the call?
RULING: When R1 was obstructed between 2B and 3B, the base umpire should signal and call “obstruction.” (Rule 8, Section 5B)  The umpire should then rule R2 out when R2 passed R1 with the ball remaining live. (Rule 8, Section 7D EFFECT) When R1 is tagged out between the two bases where the obstruction occurred, the umpire should call “time” and award R1 and all other runners the base or bases they would have reached, had there been no obstruction. (Rule 8, Section 5B[ 2] & [4] EFFECT)  This would nullify the out on R2 and both R1 and R2 would be awarded the bases they would have reached had there been no obstruction. In this play, that base appears to be home.