May 2023 Plays and Clarifications
From the Director
Welcome to the 2023 USA Softball Championship Season. A lot of you are calling High School, College, and Travel ball already and those who are not now is the time to get ready for your season. Umpires selected for a National Championship especially the JO Cup in Florida, the 18/16U Gold in Oklahoma City OK, or any other Championship held in the heat of the summer now is the time to get in shape to be able to handle it. We all know we owe it to ourselves to be ready so that we remain healthy and are able to give the teams and host of the events our best. Begin hydrating now to prepare. It is never too soon.
I know we have a lot of opportunities in our world of National Championships and if you are chosen remember you are representing your association, the USA Softball Umpire Program and all of USA Softball. Get prepared. Read your rule book, the updated rule changes for 2023 and your Umpire Manual. We have uniform shirts back in stock so update your uniforms and your equipment and be ready for league, championship or tournament play. It is incumbent of us to represent all of USA Softball Umpires as the best there is in the world.
National Umpire Schools
Our National Umpire Schools for 2023 were a great success. Hawaii Region 10, Virtual through SO Cal, Idaho Region 9, Ohio Region 2 and North Dakota Region 8 did an outstanding job hosting these schools. Special thanks to Regional UIC Chuck Louie, Commissioner Drumm, UIC Laura Head and Deputy UIC Mark Korras for making the Hawaii virtual school a huge success.
Now is the time for planning 2024 schools. We have one request for a 2024 school already. Once we have all the schools set we will let you know the schedule so we can plan on attending a school to sharpen our skills.
Fast Pitch Camp:
The 2023 Fast Pitch Camp is being held by USA Softball of DFW. It will be held October 3 (travel) through October 8th. More information will be coming out shortly with all the information you will need to register. You will have the benefit of the best USA Softball instructors and one of the NCAA SUP, not to mention the head of the NCAA SUP as the host. More to come about all that but if you are interested in excellent training and ideas to make you a better umpire for all games be ready to sign up. As usual it will be capped at 60 students.
2023 UIC Clinic
The 2023 UIC Clinic was a huge success thanks to all of those who attended. The presentations were well received and the majority of the information given was well received. Thank you to all of you who attended, the National Umpire Staff for their input and hard work and thank you to all the presenters from around the country for the job well done. It showcased the talent we have around the country in our Local Associations and their ability to give back in a big way.
We have started our work for 2025. It is a large task due to a lot of factors. However, the National Umpire Staff will be the committee this year and will work hard to come up with a great clinic once all the details are finalized.
Play: No outs. R1 at first. B2 is the proper batter, but B3 is batting and has a 3-2 count. The next pitch is A) A wild pitch, R1 ends up on 3B and B3 ends up on 1B. B.) A wild pitch that goes through a hole in the backstop and enters dead ball territory. R1 is at 2B and B3 is on 1B. Before the next pitch, the defense properly appeals that B3 batted out of order. What is the proper ruling in each case?
Ruling: In A) the appeal was made at the conclusion of the at bat and prior to the pitch to the next batter. B2 is declared out, B3 is the next batter and R1 returns to 1B. Had R1 advanced on any of the previous pitches to B3 that advancement would have stood. Rule 7, Section 2  Effect.
In B) that is similar to A in that the appeal occurred after the at bat and before the next pitch so the at bat is negated. Anything that happened on the last pitch is wiped out, but once again any bases attained in the previous pitches would not be reversed. In this case B2 is declared out, B3 is the next batter and R1 is returned to 1B. Rule 7, Section 2D  Effect.
Play: R1 at 1B and B1 hits low line drive towards F6. R1 hesitates as F6 fields ball on short hop. F6 flips ball to F4 covering 2B. F4 was pulled off the bag to catch ball. With the ball secured in the glove, F4 dives into 2B and touches the bag with their throwing hand beating R1 to the bag.
Ruling: R1 is out on a force out. Rule 8, Section 7C
Play: With R1 on 3B and R2 on 2B and 1 out, B4 hits a fly ball to F7. Both runners tag up and attempt to advance after the catch. The on-deck batter leaves her bat in the on-deck circle on the first base side of the field to direct the runner(s) coming home. F1 has taken a position behind the on-deck batter, third base line extended, to back up the throw.
In a) F7 overthrows F2 in an attempt to retire R1 and the thrown ball deflects off the on-deck batter's helmet and goes out of play; in b) the overthrow hits the on-deck batter and deflects away up the first base line and as a result, R2 now attempts to score but the deflection has eluded F1 backing up the play; in c) the overthrow ricochets off the fence and hits the on-deck batter's discarded bat in the on-deck circle.
Ruling: a) This is a blocked ball. The ball all is dead, each runner is awarded 1 base at the time the ball became blocked, Rule 1 Definitions. and Rule 8-5G Exception 1
b) Same as a
c) Ball is blocked due to offensive equipment not in the game; ball is dead, runners return to last base touched at time of block and if the block prevented the defense from making an out the runner being played on is out. Rule 8, Section 5G Exception 3 and Effect.
Available for download:
May 2023 Plays and Clarifications (PDF)