USA Softball News August 2021 Plays an...

August 2021 Plays and Clarifications

Aug. 23, 2021, 12:01 p.m. (ET)


August Plays and Clarifications


From the Director: 

Our Junior Olympic Fast Pitch Championships, Junior Olympic Cup and some Men’s Fast Pitch Championships have been completed. The evaluations for every umpire that worked any of the Fast Pitch Championships are currently being completed and loaded in the umpire portal. Our goal is to have all of them finished and sent out to your Locals Association Commissioner, UIC and Regional Umpire-in-Chief by the end of August time frame.

We appreciate all our umpires that worked any Championship or Invitational in what could be described as a brutally hot summer. Your hard work and dedication show why USA Softball Umpires remain the best trained umpires in the world. We also want to thank 130 of our umpires that took more than a week of vacation to work the first Alliance Cup Championships in OKC. We know the weather was brutal, conditions not always the best but the umpires got it done.

As we always do, we review the events and discuss any issues we saw in the way of rules and or mechanics missed during any of the games. We look at all aspects of our mechanics to see where we need to concentrate our training to make sure our mechanics are understood and used properly at all USA Softball Umpired events. 

Fast Pitch Camp:

Reminder to all Local Associations, we have a Fast Pitch Camp scheduled for October 7 through October 10th in Lufkin Texas. The coordinator is Michal Germany and can be reached by email at or Phone number 936 – 671 - 2288. The instructors will be Dave Chandler, Jim Craig, Geri Magwire, Steve Nelson, Bryan Smith and Randy Sprouse. Reach out to the coordinator and sign up now, attendance is limited to 60 umpires. 

2022 National Umpire Schools 

We are gathering the information for 2022 National Umpire Schools. The request to host a school in 2022 was due to me by August 1st. Once we have reviewed all the request, we will prepare a list of schools so umpires can plan for 2022.

Posting Question:

There were questions raised about a play we posted last month. It was a play where R1 and R2 both tried to steal a base on a double steal with R2 being obstructed between 1B and 2B and winding up on 2B. R1 decided they would not reach 3B safely and retuned to 2B. In the end both R1 and R2 were on 2B. Since R2, who was obstructed, was protected between 1B and 2B,  once R2 was tagged we called dead ball and awarded R2 the base they would have reached had there been no obstruction, in this play they were awarded 2B. The question asked about this play was if the defense tags R1 first then tags R2 would R2 now be out under the section of the rule, Rule 8, Section 5B Effect 1[A] which states When an obstructed runner, after the obstruction, safely obtains the base they would have been awarded, in the umpire’s judgment, had there been no obstruction and there is a subsequent play on a different runner. 


Answer: The intent of this rule was to stop runners who made it to a base they would have made if they had not been obstructed, be allowed to advance to the next base after a play on different runner, and still be protected between the bases they were originally obstructed, giving them a free pass to the next base. Example: A runner is obstructed between 1B and 2B and would have been awarded 1B. Once they returned to 1B, the base they would have been awarded, and they decide to try and go to 2B because there was a play on another runner. Now their protection between two bases is off.  

In this play two things come into play: 

1. The runner has reached the base they would have reached had there been no obstruction but has not tried to advance based on a play on a different runner

2. Probably more important, since we have two runners on a base once the R1 returns to 2B, resulting in R1 and R2 on 2B at the same time, I would argue that R2 now has not reached the base they would have reached had there been no obstruction since the base does not belong to them.  


Available for download:

August Plays and Clarifications (PDF)

August Plays and Clarifications (Word)