February Plays and Clarifications

Feb. 05, 2018, 2:15 p.m. (ET)

February 2018 Plays and Clarifications

Comments from the Director of Umpires

Welcome to the 2018 USA Softball Season. I know some of you have enjoyed great weather and have already started where a lot of us still have winter at our door step. However before we know it we will all be at it again. We look forward to seeing many of you on the field in no time.

This year we have several videos we plan on sharing on the two difficult situations that all of our umpires ask about, Interference and Obstruction. These videos are laid out in a fashion you can see the original play, see a comment or two, and then see it in slow motion. We will then have comments at the end with a summary of the play. As you watch them, remember they are a video and not seen at full speed or in regular time with all else that happens during a softball game. They are intended to be a teaching tool and not to point out any umpire for a call they did or did not make. Once you have seen the videos, give us your opinion as we hope this to be the norm for our plays and clarifications in the future. Email your Region Umpire-in-Chief, your Deputy Director, Region 1 & 2 Randy Sprouse Randy, VASportsnuts@yahoo.com; Region 3 & 4 bubbatheump@windstream.net; Region 5 & 7 Larry Montgomery, region6uic@comcast.net; Region 6 & 8 Dave Chandler dave.chandler@roche.com; Region 9 & 10 Christina Drumm drumm.chris.socal.asa@gmail.com, Deputy Director Jim Craig buffump1@gmail.com; or myself at Kryan@usasoftball.com; We want to hear from you as we cannot get better without your input.

We hope you find every bit of information we put forth helpful and educational all at the same time. Please read it and again, give us your feedback.  Have a great start to your season and we look forward to hearing from all of you soon.

Safe Sport:

SafeSport is the Olympic community’s initiative to recognize, reduce, and respond to misconduct in sport. SafeSport is composed of (3) three individual lessons that subject matter focuses on sexual misconduct awareness, mandatory reporting, and emotional and physical misconduct.

USA Softball is excited to offer the USOC’s SafeSport program, at no charge to our members, as an online training/educational tool. SafeSport’s purpose is to help our members in becoming more aware and informed on how to help stop and prevent abuse from occurring in our sport. At USA Softball our goal is to aid in spreading awareness and to protect all participants in our sport from our grassroots programs all the way up to our National Teams. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has implemented a mandate for this program with all of the national governing bodies (NGB’s). Within each NGB, all qualifying members are required to complete the SafeSport program prior to participating within their designated sport.

Along with the leaders of our organization, National Office Staff, Commissioners, JO Commissioners and many more, our umpires are a part of the program. The National Umpire Staff, Local Association UICs, National Championship UICs, Assistant National Championship UICs and all National Championships Umpires are required to take the Safe Sport Course. The course is free and only cost you time, approximately 1 hour 30 to 1 hour 45 minutes.  Please reach out to your Local Association UIC or Regional UIC and they can guide you on where to go to complete the course.

Camps and Schools:

We have had a successful start to our 2018 National Umpires Schools. Schools already completed; USA Softball of Kentucky held in Bowling Green KY, USA Softball of Florida held in Jacksonville FL, USA Softball of Nevada held in Las Vegas, NV. The new agenda generated by the National Umpire School Committee appears to be paying dividends as we are able to adapt the schools on the run to fit the location and facilities, not to mention the students. The National Schools still to be held are USA Softball of Idaho February 16th - 18th, in Meridian Idaho and USA Softball of New York February 23th - 25th in Elmira, NY.

We also have a Slow Pitch Camp June 6th - 10th in Lawrenceville, GA hosted by USA Softball of Georgia and a Fast Pitch Camp July 5th – 8th, in Irvine CA hosted by USA Softball of Southern California. Both of these camps are excellent ways to learn advanced techniques of umpiring.  You can find more information on the web under National Umpire Schools and Camps. Take a look and if they fit into your schedule, I am sure you will benefit from the experience. 

Umpire Manual 

As a reminder, the 2018 Umpire Manual is no longer in printed version. The 2018 Umpire Manual is posted on the web and can be found at https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Softball/Umpires/Umpire-Manual. In making this a PDF, we have been able to add diagrams to help illustrate what we are trying to say in words. We will be adding more diagrams next year to even expand our visual teaching techniques.  We are very proud of this new enhanced umpire manual but want to know what you think. Look it over and let us know what your thoughts are. Remember, it is a tool for all of our umpires and we strive to make it better for all umpires. I would be remiss if I did not thank the Committee, our layout group Old Hat Creative and Dave Chandler for his daunting work on the diagrams.

2019 Biennial UIC Clinic

Yes, it is that time again! The UIC Clinic Committee has been working on the agenda for 2019. We will be changing locations in 2019 to try and make the experience better for all those who attend the clinic. Mark your calendars now! It will be held January 31st – February 4th in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The exact location of the UIC Clinic will be announced soon, along with the subject matter and the instructors. However mark your calendars now so not to miss it!

2019 Rule Book

We have already started work on the 2019 rule book. One item we are looking closely at is the Rule Supplements. We want to remove the ones that we feel will not add value allowing us to add ones that will be of value to our umpires. I am sure your Regional Umpire-in-Chief and your Local Association Umpire-in-Chief will be reaching out to see what subjects we can enhance and or replace. We want to make sure items that help our umpires remain in the book and eliminate or replace those that do not. We are obviously page count restricted so we need to be prudent on how we accomplish this goal. Please give us your input to help enhance this section of out Rule Book.

 February Plays and Clarifications (Word)

 February Plays and Clarifications (PDF)