April 2020 Plays and Clarifications
From the Director of Umpires
I know things are slow in our world of USA Softball due the COVID-19 outbreak. We continue to evaluate what we can or cannot do and at the same time make plans for when we will have a season. Even though the immediate future is unknown, we all know that we will be out of this pandemic soon. We as an organization must keep planning so that when we do come out of this, we are ready to go and hit the ground running.
Even though a lot of the folks at the National Office are working at home or alternating the days they come into the office, each and every one of them are moving forward with our National Championships. Even though we will not have the final word on those Championships until June 1, we have to continue the work to prepare.
The same is true for the umpire program. We must prepare so when the word comes down, we are ready. We need to make sure those umpires chosen for National Championships from the at-large category are Safe Sport Compliant, Background Checked and Registered. When we find out on June 1, we are a go, all these umpires will be able to make travel arrangements. If they are not Safe Sport Compliant, Background Checked and Registered we cannot allow them to make any type of travel arrangements. Don’t sit back and wait, stay on top of the umpires in your association and be ready.
This also applies to the Territorial Championships in your Region. We cannot wait until the word comes down because if we do, we will be behind in our duties. The same applies here, get your umpires Safe Sport Compliant, Background Checked and Registered. Be ready and ahead of the ball game.
If we continue to work together and keep up to date with our duties, we will be ready and ahead of the curve.
On another note we know the current situation is tough on all of us. Please keep you and your family safe. Do what we are being asked to do by our officials and we will come out stronger on the other side.
USA Softball Updates:
USA Softball has announced the cancellation of all originally scheduled 2020 stops on the “Stand Beside Her” tour, presented by Major League Baseball (MLB). As it relates to the U.S. Olympic Softball Team and any potential new dates and stops for the “Stand Beside Her” tour, presented by MLB, there are still a lot of moving pieces and discussions to be had before determining appropriate next steps.
We all know the 2020 Olympics have been postponed. They have now been rescheduled for July 23 - August 8 of 2021. We await the game schedule to see if anything has changed.
The WBSC has postponed all development projects which included the WBSC certification seminar in Vancouver, Canada over the July 4thtime frame. Once new dates and/or locations are determined, we will let our folks who had signed up know, along with any others who may want the opportunity to attend. The WBSC also announces the postponement of the U-18 World Cup.
Play: In a Slow Pitch game with stealing allowed, there are no runners on base and a base on balls is issued to the batter who runs to 1B, touches it and continues running toward 2B. The catcher returns the ball immediately to the pitcher who is in the infield before the Batter-Runner has reached 2B. What should the umpire do?
Ruling: Call time and return the Batter-Runner to 1B Our rule, Rule 8, Section 1C , states in Slow Pitch with Stealing on a base on balls the ball remains live and the Batter-Runner may not advance past 1B unless there is a play on another runner.
Play: R1 on 3B and R2 on 2B with one out. B4 is at bat when the pitcher commits an illegal pitch. B4 hits the ball to F6 who throws to 1B and retires B4 as R1 scores and R2 stays at 2B. What is the ruling in a) Junior Olympic Girls Fast Pitch and 2) in Men’s Open Fast Pitch?
Ruling: In both Junior Olympic Girls and Men’s Open Fast Pitch since the Batter-Runner did not reach 1B safely and all other runners advance one base the offense should be given the option to take the result of the play or in a) Junior Olympic Fast Pitch, a ball on the batter and all runners go back to the base they started on at the time of the pitch and b) in Men’s Open Fast Pitch, a ball on the batter and all runners advanced one base. Rule 6A, Section 11A  & Rule 6A, Section 11B .