February Plays and Clarifications
From the Director of Umpires:
As we carefully navigate our way through this world of COVID -19 it appears we have a very good chance to have all our 2021 National Championships. If this does come to fruition, we have to do our part to make sure our umpires are ready to go. This is not a small task as many umpires may not have been able to umpire at all last year. We must look for unique ways to get them ready. Some ideas would be to have zoom call and virtually go over the two and three umpire systems. It would also be a good idea to review some of the Power Points we have to discuss mechanics and rules. However, we all know that being on the field is the best way to cover these items. So, if you are able get them games around their area do so to help get them ready to go come the June and July time frame.
2021 National Umpire Schools:
So far, we have been able to hold four National Umpire Schools. Two were Virtual, USA Softball of Southern California and USA Softball of Georgia, one in person, USA Softball of Arkansas and one Hybrid, half Virtual half in person in Minnesota. We have two schools left to be held, one in Maryland and one in Nebraska, both scheduled to be in person. The National Umpire School in Maine has been canceled.
2021 Fast Pitch Camp:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone number 936 – 671 - 2288. This camp will have outstanding presenters and will fill up fast. If you want to attend reach out and make your reservations today as the attendees are limited to 60 total participants
2021 Biennial Virtual UIC Clinic:
The first ever Virtual UIC Clinic has been completed and was a great success. Participation was great starting with the breakout sessions, Kickoff Meeting, WBSC / Elite Meeting, How to be a UIC and ended with the Regional Award of Excellence. Feedback has been extremely positive from those who attended. Breakout Sessions of Evaluations, Rules, Mechanics, and It is More Than Balls and Strikes took a unique approach to the subject matter and were presented in a different way. Again, feedback was positive. All four were recorded and will be posted on the USA Softball website under the umpire tab.
The Kickoff meeting was a great success. Presentations by USA Softball President Rodney Cobb, CEO Craig Cress and RPS Bollinger Insurance’s AJ Morgan were the highlights. Rodney and Craig updated us, giving us their look back at 2020 and their positive look ahead to 2021. A J gave us an update of our insurance coverage for 2021. Thanks to all three of them for making the evening a huge success. This meeting was also recorded and will be posted on the USA Softball website under the Umpire tab.
The WBSC / Elite meeting hit a home run with participation of WBSC Director of Umpires Bob Stanton and Director of Umpires for Softball Canada Jeff Whipple. USA Softball CEO Craig Cress also added a perspective of the WBSC as a member of their Board. We updated everyone on the process to become Elite and then to be able to attend a WBSC Certification Seminar.
How to be a UIC presentation was presented twice to be able to breakout the numbers who wanted to attend. The material presented went into detail on the needed preparation, the work during the Championship and the follow up work once the Championship is over. Both groups received an outstanding amount of information to help them if they are chosen to be a UIC at a National Championship. Both presentations covered the same material and were recorded. We will post one version of the presentation on the USA Softball Website under the umpire tab.
The presentation of the Regional Award of Excellence awarded ten of our umpire ranks with the trophy given out biennially. The recipient’s trophies will be sent to them from the National Office. Congratulations to each person who received the award.
A special thanks go out to A J Morgan and RPS Bollinger for their gracious sponsorship of the entire Virtual Clinic. Because of their support we were able to offer the clinic at no charge to those who attended. Thank you, AJ.
Also special thanks to our UIC Clinic Chairman Jim Craig. With this being his last UIC Clinic he and his forces did an outstanding job putting this together in a short period of time. His leadership over the years with this clinic and everything else he has done for the USA Softball program have left his mark on this and all the umpires who ever met him. Jimmy, thank you for all the hard work.
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