August Plays and Clarifications
With the majority of our Fast Pitch Championships coming to an end I want to take a minute and say thank you to all the umpires who put forth a great effort for their Championship, their UIC and for USA Softball. If not for the dedication of the umpires in the USA Softball Umpire Program, our Championships would not be a success. There are times people may question if we are headed in the right direction, but I can assure you the answer is yes. Our umpires, for the most part, go to our Championship and do what is needed to make the Championship a success. Whether it is helping with bat checks, taking water to other umpires while not calling a game, chipping in to have different snacks in the umpire room or giving their all on the field, our umpires always step up when needed. These things, along with the mechanics we have in our umpire manual, keep leading the way as the best trained umpires in the world.
Based on the UIC Championships Evaluations received to date, all went well. We did receive a few more rule questions this year and will cover those in these Plays and Clarification’s along with some other questions we received over the month. If you had anything unusual happen at your Championship let us know and we can address it in future Plays and Clarifications. Thank you again for a job well done. Now we turn our focus to our Slow Pitch Championships.
Play:In JO Pool Play after 5 inning the score is 8 – 0 with the visitors leading. We have 10 minutes left in the 1 hour and 20-minute time limit. Is the game over or do we play out the 10 minutes and play one additional inning?
Ruling:The game is over due to the run ahead rule of 8 runs ahead after 5 innings. Even though we have a time limit rule of 1 hour 20 minutes and play one additional inning remember that all other rules that would end a game before the time limit is up will apply. That includes the run rule, shortage of players, or 7 innings.Rule 4, Section 2D, Rule 5, Section 3A, Rule 5, Section 9A [1B] Rule 8, Section 10 A-D
Play:In the Championship game where a time limit is in affect the visiting team gains the lead as the time limit expires in the top of the seventh. Do we end the game, or do we finish the inning?
Ruling:Unless otherwise called out in the time limit rule we would finish the inning. This always applies with the exception being if the home team is ahead the game would be over once the time limit expires. Rule 5, Section 10 A-D
Play: R1 on 1B with one out. B3 hits a ground ball to F5 who throws to F2 covering 2B. F5 then throws to F3 for a double play but the ball goes off the glove off F3 and rolls to the fence. B3 Now R2 tries to go to 2B. as they turn to run to 2B they bump into the umpire and consequently are called out at 2B in a very close play. The team at bat wants the call reversed because the umpire put their runner in jeopardy as they clearly would have been safe had they not bumped the umpire.
Ruling: The umpire’s ruling on the field is correct. The umpires are a part of the field and may be embarrassed for not getting out of the way, but they made the right call. Regardless if R2 would have clearly been safe had they not collided with the umpire has no bearing on the call. We only have two rules that spell out when you can have umpire interference. The first is when the umpire is hit with a batted ball and the second when the plate interferes with the catcher’s throw to retire a stealing runner. Rule 8, Section 6F or Rule 8, Section 1E.
Play:R1 on 2B with two outs. B4 gets a base hit to short left field. F8 scoops the ball and throws to F5 at 3B to retire R1 who got a late start. R1 sees they may get thrown out at 3B and stops. Meanwhile, B4, who is now R2, rounds 1B advances and is standing on 2B. R1 gets in a run down and is obstructed between 2B and 3B. They then are tagged out with R2 standing on 2B. The umpire calls time and decides that R1 would not obtained 3B and awards R1 on 2B, as that is the base they would have reached if there had been no obstruction and returns (B4) to 1B. Correct?
Ruling:Yes, the umpires are correct. Since R1 was obstructed between 2B and 3B they cannot be called out between the bases they were obstructed other than the exceptions listed in our rule book. None of those exceptions occurred. The umpire must base the award on the obstructed runner not where the batter (R2) was standing at the time the obstructed runner was called out. In this case R1 is awarded 2B and R2 (B4) is moved back to 1B. Rule 8, Section 5B [1-4]
Play:Team A has 10 players and decides to play with a DP / Flex. In the 4thinning F2, not the DP or Flex, is ejected. Team A now wants to take an out each time F2 comes to bat and continue to play shorthanded.
Ruling:Since F2 was ejectedand is not the DP or Flex Team A cannot play shorthanded and the game becomes a forfeit. Rule 4, Section 1D [2A] Effect,Rule 4, Section 8D