June 2017 Plays and Clarifications
Comments from the Director of Umpires
Now that the National Championship Season is upon us it is imperative to make sure if you are going to umpire one of these Championships that you are prepared. This means participating in games using the two and three umpire system, as well as physically preparing yourself for your Championship. Many Championships will be held in extremely hot and humid areas across the country so please start to hydrate now and be prepared for these weather circumstances.
It is also time to begin reviewing both the Umpire Manual and the Rulebook so that you are equally prepared mentally as you are physically. Nothing prepares an umpire better than good rule knowledge and a complete understanding of USA Softball Mechanics.
We also want to congratulate all umpires who have been selected to umpire a USA Softball National Championship. It is an honor and a privilege to be selected regardless of the National Championship you will be working. Thank you for your efforts to become a National Championship Umpire. Remember you were chosen for your assignment because of your hard work and dedication to USA Softball. Good luck, prepare, and above all else enjoy the experience.
USA Softball Logos
As we transition into the USA Softball brand we need to keep in mind that the USA Softball Logo is trademarked and any use of the brands must be approved through the National Office. We have several versions of the brand, including branding specifically for the umpire program and a new logo was just recently approved by the USA Softball Board of Directors. As a reminder, if we wish to use any of the trademarked logos we must get approval from Codi Warren or Katie Willis at the National Office. Then, and only then, will we be allowed to use any of these logos and when using these logos we are also not allowed to add or change the logo in any fashion. This is being done only to protect our brand since it is trademarked. Please understand we want our logos to be used, but they MUST be used correctly. So if you have an occasion to use a logo please send Codi or Katie an email for approval.
We want to take this opportunity to congratulate the USA Softball Umpires who were chosen to umpire the NCAA College World Series held at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium. They are Erin Peterson, USA Softball of Seattle/Tacoma, Cody Little, USA Softball Oklahoma, Christina Drumm USA Softball of Southern California and Bryan Smith USA Softball of Michigan. They are only a few of the USA Softball Umpires that have participated in this prestigious event. Congratulations to those umpires for their selection to this year's NCAA College World Series.
We also congratulate six USA Softball Umpires for becoming WBSC certified umpires at the recently held certification camps in Ohio. Becoming a WBSC certified umpire allows you to represent USA Softball and the United States of America at international softball events such as the Pan American Games, World Cup of Softball, World Championships and even the Olympic Games.
The umpires completing and passing the certification process to be a WBSC Umpire were: Todd Davis, USA Softball of Ohio, Mike Burwell, USA Softball of Ohio, Ralph Andersen USA Softball of Utah, Kim Johnson USA Softball of Cincinnati, Scott Webb, USA Softball of Washington and Dave Selden, USA Softball of Michigan. We congratulate each of these empires for earning this prestigious certification.
We are hosting another WBSC Certification Camp in Southern California in a few weeks. Hopefully we can congratulate more USA Softball Umpires for joining the WBSC ranks in next month’s publication.
Border Battle / World Cup
It will soon be time for Border Battle IX followed by the World Cup of Softball. The Border Battle will take place from June 30-July 2 and the World Cup will be July 5-9 and both will be held at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium.
The USA Softball Umpires attending this year's event will be, Jess Aguilar, USA Softball of Washington, Dallas Apfelbacher, USA Softball of Minnesota, Paul Kraimer, USA Softball of Minneapolis, Mike Maisner, USA Softball of Michigan and Brett Williamson, USA Softball of Indiana.
The USA Softball Umpires attending the World Cup are: Don Alexander, USA Softball of Oregon, Jim Connors, USA Softball of Michigan, Kayleen Dunson, USA Softball of Seattle/Tacoma, Linda Hoover, USA Softball of Michigan, Dora Martinez, USA Softball of San Antonio, Steve McCown, USA Softball Dallas/Fort Worth, Jerry Norris, USA Softball of Ohio, and Sue Sawyer USA Softball of Southern California.
Please join us in congratulating all these umpires for their assignments.
Plays and Clarifications
Play: R1 on 2B, R2 on 1B, an offensive player leaning over the dugout rail drops a softball on the ground in front of the 3B dugout. B3 hits a grounder to F4 who turns to make a throw on R1 going to 3B. F5 misses the throw and the ball lands next to the extra ball on the ground. R1 rounds 3B toward the plate. F5 picks up the wrong ball and throws it home for the out. What should be the ruling?
Ruling: Once the offensive player dropped the ball in playable territory it becomes offensive equipment not involved in the game. We would consider the thrown ball a blocked ball and if the umpire feels the dropped ball impeded, hindered, or confused the defense from making a play you could have interference by Rule 8, Section 5G  Effect:
Play: With R1 on 1B, B2 has a 3-1 count. The next pitch is out of the strike zone and B2 checks their swing, the plate umpire calls the pitch a ball. B2 goes to 1B and R1 advances to 2B. F2 now asks the plate umpire to go to their partner for the check swing, they do and the base umpire says “Yes”. So B2 comes back to bat with a 3-2 count. What happens to R1? Do they stay at 2B? Or are they returned to 1B?
Ruling: When the umpire ruled ball four B2 would be awarded 1B and R1 2B. When it was determined that it was only ball 3, B2 would be brought back to bat and R1 returned to 1B. Rule 8, Section 1C [1&2], Rule 10, Section 3C.
Play: With R1 on 1B, B2 has a 3-1 count. The next pitch is out of the strike zone and B2 checks their swing; the plate umpire calls it a ball. B2 goes to 1B and R1 starts advancing to 2B, but F2 throws to F6 who tags R1 prior to reaching 2B. F2 now asks the plate umpire to go to their partner for the check swing, they do and the base umpire says “Yes”.
Ruling: The result of the play was ball four and B2 awarded 1B. After checking the umpires ruling was a swing making it strike 2, not ball four, B2 would return to bat and R1 would be returned to 1B. Rule 8, Section 1C [1 & 2] Rule 10, Section 3C.
Play: With R1 on 1B, B2 has a 2-1 count. The next pitch is a ball and B2, thinking it is ball 4 heads to 1B and R1 advances to 2B. The plate umpire states that was only ball 3, so B2 comes back to bat with a 3-1 count. What happens to R1?
Ruling: In this play the offensive and defense have the responsibility to know the count. When R1 advanced to 2B the ball remains live as if they were stealing. B2 would be returned to bat and R1 would remain on 2B. However this is a great preventative umpire situation. When the plate umpire sees B2 start to 1B, call time and now nothing can happen and we will have less of a problem than if we had allowed the play to continue.
Play: R1 on 3B, R2 on 2B, R3 on 1B and two outs. B6 hits an over the fence homerun. The batter and all runners are required to run the bases. R3 misses 2B. The defense appeals R3 for missing 2B after R1 and R2 have scored. What is the ruling?
Ruling: If properly appealed for R3 missing 2B, R3 would be ruled out and no runs would score since the appeal resulted in a force out of R3 at 2B for the third out. Rule 5, Section 5 [1&2}