Inclement Weather or Unforeseen Circumstances

This is one of two articles on this Locker Room related to Inclement weather. See the companion article as well: CCSUA School Procedures for Inclement Weather. It is located by selecting the CCSUA button on the Dashboard page, then select Announcements This article covers the procedures for longer suspensions of play. See the companion article Suspension of play – normal

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Major Injury Procedure

What should the umpires do if a game participant suffers a significant injury? This question arose at one of our Annual Meetings. The Training Staff asked Dee Abrahamson, who at the time was the NCAA Softball Rules Editor, this question. Her answer: Back in the days of the “Wild West” when we did not have the bat list, bat testing

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Halted game rule and procedures

The Rule The weather is unpredictable, even in Southern California. You must familiarize yourself with the Halted Game rule – the plate umpire shall declare a halted game if play must be temporarily suspended with the intent that it will be continued at some later time or date. Use of the halted game rule may be decided at the pregame

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Protests and Forfeits

Protest – attempt at resolution The sequence for resolving a potential protest is: 1. The protesting coach must identify the alleged failure to apply the correct rule, effect or misapplication of the rule.  This must be done before the next pitch. We should not expect the coach to give us a specific rule number.  For example, if the protest involves

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Scrimmages Practices Games

The NCAA rule book designates four different forms of events in which teams may participate: • Practices – may be held with outside competition; the score is not kept and the event displays only the skills of the sport rather than competition between participants. These are exempt from the playing rules. • Scrimmages – limited to participation by appropriate institutional

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Umpire Crew Pre-Game

A “Pre-Game” meeting is an important discussion for all officiating crews working a collegiate contest. The Crew chief sets the tone for the single game or weekend series. Veteran crew chiefs should include the entire crew in their discussions and ask for honest feedback during these meetings. If you are unsure what topics and questions to discuss use this list

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Tips for Bat Checking

How much and how hard should an umpire be shaking the bat while checking for wobbles and rattles? CHECKING FOR WOBBLES IS TOUGH TO TEACH BUT WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IS A BAT WHERE THE CONNECTION IS COMPROMISED. AS YOU WAGGLE THE BAT (WRIST FLIP FORWARD AWAY FROM THE BODY AND THEN BACK TOWARD THE BODY), THERE IS A

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The Logistics of a Proper Pre-game Bat Check

It is extremely important that all umpire crews do a proper bat check before every game. Each coach shall provide a new, printed copy of the current bat list for each day of competition (only page(s) the lists the bats available for play need to printed). The bat list should not be laminated. Here are some tips to assist you

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Communications With Your Partners

Excerpted from Referee.com, August 8, 2018 The words “requires excellent communication skills” are part of virtually every job description in today’s market, to the point where they’ve become meaningless jargon. When it comes to umpiring, however, outstanding communication skills are essential. Effective umpiring communication will: Enhance your credibility Partners, coaches, players and spectators will gain confidence in you when they

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Verbal Communications

Officiating team sports required effective management and communication with the participants of the game. Officials need skills to apply and sell decisions in ways that are well received by the coaches and players. A good decision can be communicated badly and create perceptions of unfairnessA lot of research has been done on sports officials, with most of the decision-making component

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Getting the Call Right

The first requisite of an umpire is to ultimately get all decisions correct. Umpire pride is important, but never as important as getting the play right. It is the philosophy of the NCAA that umpires always seek to get the call right. This may involve the reversal of a previously rendered decision. However, the correct decision, not the pride of

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Changing a Call

This article is a sister article to the article Getting the Call Right (in this same Game Management General section of the Locker Room). It paraphrases an article from Referee.com (12/28/18). For many years, an umpire changing a call was considered a sign of weakness. The current thinking at all levels of play is that getting the decision correct must

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The Unwritten “Rules” of Game Management

Excerpted from an article in Referee Magazine and converted into presentation form.  Use the arrow-down symbol on the bottom-left of each page to advance to the next page of the presentation.

Game Flow

Some information taken from Referee.com article 1/22/19 Softball is played without a clock but increasing game times are very much on the minds of many involved with overseeing the game, particularly at those upper levels where television contracts and drawing fans into seats are big concerns. For a game that does not run on a clock, softball is a game

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Suspension of Play – normal game situations

Any umpire may suspend the game for a legitimate reason, as outlined in the rule book. Use the signal in the CCA Manual. It is important for the calling umpire to use the appropriate emphasis, both signal and verbal, for the situation. The emphasis may range from the ordinary to the loud/strong (look at me, this is important). As the

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Conferences

General Information If either team is charged with a conference o Both teams may hold uncharged conferences o Base runners are not restricted to their bases o The plate umpire shall notify the head coach and record the inning o Warm-ups between players already on the field can occur if done in a way that does not delay play except

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Conferences

General Information If either team is charged with a conference o Both teams may hold uncharged conferences o Base runners are not restricted to their bases o The plate umpire shall notify the head coach and record the inning o Warm-ups between players already on the field can occur if done in a way that does not delay play except

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Administering Option Plays

From 2018 CCA manual Section 4, page 26 With the increase in option plays, umpires must be aware of the possibility that, at the conclusion of a play, a decision on an option play may require the previous batter to be returned to bat with the previous count. It is strongly suggested that umpires glance at their partners as you

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Team Tendencies

At the higher levels of all sports the opponents have thoroughly scouted each other and know what to expect when they compete. Do you think it might be helpful, as an umpire, to know something about the teams who are competing? There is a recent trend by umpires at the higher levels to start “scouting” the teams. It is now

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The Official Scorer

The official scorer (herein identified as the scorer) is part of the game personnel, as explained in rule 4.6. This is an important role and umpires should be aware of our responsibilities of identifying the scorer and communicating with him or her during the game. Identifying the scorer The scorer is appointed by the host team, conference commissioner or tournament

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Defensive Changes and Reporting Them

Thanks to Will Macedo, Oscar Segura and Martin Vandenburg for their assistance in writing this article. All defensive changes must be reported in college.  But what is a defensive change as compared to a defensive shift?  This is an important distinction, as the NCAA rule book has specific requirements for listing the defensive positions on the lineup card and even

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Breaking up Conferences

We do not want conferences to interrupt the flow of the game. We can do this by being aware of potential conferences as we are walking back to the plate after playing action – the pitcher has been struggling, 3 or 4 hard hits in a row, long inning, etc. And, we need to be pro-active in breaking up conferences.

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Sell the Tough Call

Excerpted from Referee.com 7/20/18 What do a ninth-inning call at home plate, a crucial roughing penalty late in the fourth quarter or a block/charge call all have in common? They are all tough calls that can generate conflict, controversy and a coach who is going to be very upset.  All officials have experienced conflict with a coach. Confrontations can have

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Rule Book Verbiage

When you have to make that difficult call and you know you nailed it with your rules knowledge, explain the situation to the coach with rule book verbiage. It is usually best to state the rule to the coach first and then if questioned, use the phrase “in my judgment” or “by rule” as appropriate. Here are some examples: RULE

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Body Language – Handshakes and Gesturing

Handshake at pre-game with coaches When you meet someone for the first time, the initial four minutes are powerful in the development of that person’s opinion of you.  A common introductory gesture is the handshake.  Whether it is the first time you have ever seen this coach, or a coach with whom you are familiar, the handshake at the pre-game

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“Are You Approachable?”

This article is taken from the SUP website,Notes from the National Coordinator – Mid-March 2017 “Coaches feel that umpires are no longer willing to listen to their concerns. We lost a piece of the puzzle when the rule changed to warn coaches when they questioned judgment. There is a difference when a coach is constantly questioning your strike zone, or

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Non-verbal communications

Introduction Verbal communications are very important for umpires, but that is not the subject of this article. Before we list the different forms of non-verbal communications, let’s quickly review the key points of verbal communications. Clarity of speech Pauses Stress on words Remaining calm and focused Being polite Following basic rules of etiquette Non-verbal Communications (Body Language) Non-verbal communication comprises

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Going for Help on a Judgment Call

Can you change a judgment call when you kicked it and everyone knows you kicked it, but it’s not appealable? Should the umpire tell the coach he/she will not get partners together because this is judgment call and cannot be changed? There was an excellent write-up on the topic of “Going for Help” in the 2011 CCA Manual (pages 109-112), It was

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Judicious Use of the Stop Sign

Excerpts from Steve Tietz article in Referee magazine, August 2018 The “stop sign” has been commonplace for many years in multiple sports, but feelings toward it have changed in recent years.  Should it be used in a college softball game?  The current thinking is that it can be an effective tool in your toolkit but must be used judiciously and

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