USA Softball News April 2021 Plays and...

April 2021 Plays and Clarifications

April 23, 2021, 5:19 p.m. (ET)

April Plays and Clarifications

From the Director

As the season gets closer and closer it appears we will be in full National Championship mode. It is time to get your game ready so when the National Championship season starts, we are ready to go. The JO Cup is less than two and a half months away. It is incumbent on us to do the work to be prepared, shake off the rust and be able to walk on the field ready to go and give the teams our best.

The JO Cup starting this year is a qualifier for the Alliance Championship. This means a lot of the best teams in the country in the 18U, 16U and 14U classifications will be attending. Great softball deserves great umpiring so again get yourself ready to go.

Our National Championships are less than three and a half months away. They all look like they are a go with a full number of teams. The teams are anxious to play and will come in ready to go. It is incumbent for us to be ready to give them your best.

National Championships are back so GET PREPARED AND READY TO GO!



2021 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 at (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.

Play: F1 is wearing a defensive face mask. In order for it to fit properly F1 has their cap on backwards. The umpire does not allow this and makes F1 take the cap off.

Ruling: In this case F1 is allowed to wear their cap backwards. This is not different than years ago when a catcher wore their cap backwards. Since this is worn to make sure the defensive mask stays on correctly the umpires should allow the cap to be worn backwards. Rule 3, Section 5F

Play: B2 at bat and swings at strike three. The catcher misses the ball and it rolls towards the 1B side of the backstop. As B2 is advancing to 1B in the running lane, F3 steps onto the orange base to wait for a throw from the catcher. B2 veers inside the foul line to go to the white portion of the base. F2 throws to 1B and it is caught by F3 on the orange base, a split second before B2 arrives and touches the white base. B2 is called out and the offense protests that B2 veered to the inside of the base because F3, who was not fielding a batted ball and was not in possession of the ball and was in B2s way to the contrasting color base causing obstruction.

Ruling:  The Batter-runner is out and this is not obstruction. When the batter-runner runs outside the three-foot lane and, in the umpire’s judgment, interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base. The batter-runner may run outside the three-foot lane to avoid a fielder attempting to field a batted ball. When the defensive player uses the foul portion of the double base, the batter-runner can run in fair territory when the throw is coming from the foul side of first base, and if hit by the thrown ball, it is not interference. If intentional interference is ruled, the runner is out.  In this case the F3 had the ball prior to B2 getting to 1B. Rule 8, Section 2E, Rule 1 Obstruction Rule 8, Section 5B, and Rule 8 Section 2N[4].

Play: R1 is at 2B when B2 hits a single.  R1 misses 3B on the way to the plate.  As the ball is thrown to the plate, R1 returns to 3B where obstruction occurs.  R1 is tagged prior to returning to 3B.  The umpire rules a dead ball and awards 3B to R1 on the obstruction call. R1 returns and stands on 3B. The defense now appeals that R1 missed 3B and is no longer protected between home and 3B and should be called out for missing 3B.

Ruling: This is not correct and no appeal was allowed.  Since R1 was obstructed by the defense, and R1 returned to 3B on the award prior to the appeal, the appeal cannot be honored. (Rule 1- APPEAL PLAY, Rule 8, Section 5B, Rule Supplement 1C).

Available for download:

April Plays and Clarifications (PDF)

April Plays and Clarifications (Word)