September 2020 Plays and Clarifications
As we come to a close of our Championship season, we wanted to say thank you to all those umpires that called Championships this year and those who tried their best under very difficult circumstances to accept an assignment for a National Championship. Our Slow Pitch Championships were a big success and a large reason why they were is because of you, the USA Softball Umpire.
As we review all the evaluations on all umpires that called a Championship, we can see we have some work to do. We have work to do as umpires and as UICs to continue to get better and grow as the best softball umpires in the world. We will be coming out with updates on the most missed mechanics and/or most misunderstood mechanics over the next several months. We will try to do a better job of not only explaining the mechanic, but the “why” we do the mechanic. We feel this can only help improve the communication and understanding of our mechanics. Stay tuned.
The evaluations from the Junior Olympic Championships will be sent out the week of the 14th to your Local Association UIC. They then will be passing them on to you shortly after that. If you do not receive them, reach out and let us know and we will see if we can get them to you. The Slow Pitch Championships will follow on the 1st of October. Hopefully, these evaluations will be a help to you to continue to grow as an umpire. The evaluations are meant as a training tool to show you where you need to grow. As always, if you have questions or concerns about your evaluation reach out to your Local Association UIC, Regional UIC, Deputy Director and/or me and we will try to answer your concerns and/or questions.
Thank you for what you do as a USA Softball Umpire!
2021 Biennial UIC Clinic
We announced a few days ago that we were canceling the “in person” Biennial UIC Clinic and are going Virtual for 2021. This was a hard decision for the National Umpire Staff but after careful consideration we feel this is the best avenue to hold a clinic in 2021. We will have the in person Biennial UIC Clinic in 2023 at the Sheraton and Cox Convention Center located in Downtown Oklahoma City, Okla.
We will be announcing in the near future with details on the Virtual Clinic. Jim Craig, Clinic Committee Chairman, has already begun work on the details of how to make this clinic the best Virtual Clinic we can make it. This is new to all of us. We will succeed in making the clinic something those who normally attend the clinic will enjoy plus many more who may not have had the opportunity to attend prior clinics. Stay tuned for more information in the near future.
Play: R1 on 2B, R2 on 1B with no outs. B3 hits a line drive to F8 that is caught. R2 legally tags up and tries to move to 3B. The third base coach has backed up from the coach’s box and is standing in dead ball territory. The throw from F8 gets away from F5 at 3B and hits the coach standing beyond the out of play line in dead ball territory and lands in live ball territory. Ruling?
Ruling: Since the 3B coach was hit with the ball while in dead ball territory, the ball landing in live ball territory is not relevant. The ball has gone out of play and each runner should be awarded 2 bases from the time of the throw. In this case R1 would be awarded home and R2 3B. Rule 8, Section 5G Effect.
Play: R1 on 3B, R2 on 2B and R3 on 1B with no outs. B4 hits a fly ball between F1 and F2 that can be caught with normal effort. In a) the ball is caught by F2 using their catcher’s mask and in b) the ball falls to the ground after being touched in fair territory by the catcher using their mask. Ruling?
Ruling: In a) We would apply both USA Softball Rules (Rule 1-Infield Fly, Rule 8, Section 2I and Rule 8, Section 5F Effect 1). As an umpire we would declare infield fly, if fair, the batter is out. The catcher touches the ball making it fair, the batter is out regardless of what happens in the future. The catcher then makes the play with equipment that is detached from its proper place, and we would enforce 8-5F-Effect 1 by calling a delayed dead ball, let the play continue, and when the ball became dead, award the runners three bases, but not the batter. We have no provision in our infield fly rule to reinstate the B/R once they have been called out by the ball being declared fair due to the infield fly.
In b) We would enforce USA Softball Rule1-Infield Fly, Rule 8, Section 2I and Rule 8, Section 5F Effect 1, As an umpire we would declare infield fly, if fair, the batter is out and we signal delayed dead ball, and let the play continue, and when the ball became dead, award the runners three bases, but not the batter, they would remain out on the infield fly.