Obstruction Call Mechanics

Preparing for the obstruction call Obstruction is one of the toughest calls to make during a game. The entire crew must prepare for this by including it as a topic during all umpire pre-games and as part of their pre-pitch preparation, especially with runners on base. On every play, especially tag plays, be watching for obstruction during all phases of

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Mechanics for Illegal Pitch Calls

Responsibilities Calling illegal pitches is an important duty for both the plate and base umpires. In previous years, it was mostly the responsibility of the plate umpire to call illegal pitches for violations involving the pitcher’s preliminary procedures, and the base umpires to call any violations during the step/stride and delivery. The old saying – plate umpire has the hands;

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Major Mechanics Differences for College vs Other codes

All umpires Force play and tag plays Force – no closer than 18’ from base or plate; work for a 90° angle to the throw. For base umpires at first base, stay within a 30° to 50° angle to the base. Tag plays – Get into a position to see the path of the of the runner into the base

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Rehearse Fundamental Mechanics

Excerpts from Referee.com July 25, 2018 Umpires can develop healthy habits that have nothing to do with streamlining their diet or counting calories. Many sports have repeated practices or habits that you can rehearse in preparation for games. Here are some tips to help you learn good habits and ways to practice the practices — if not to make them

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Holding area/holding zone (includes Point of Plate

The correct term for college is holding area, not holding zone.  However, the word “zone” is still used a few times in the CCA Manual; this is an oversight.  A holding area is most often used by the plate umpire only; with the only exception – in a 3-umpire system and U1 rotates to the plate.  Here are the holding

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College Signals Summary

If you have read the article on this Locker Room, titled Major Mechanics Differences for College vs Other codes, you know that even our signals are slightly different and more detailed than other codes. This is true for both the standard signals and the umpire-to-umpire signals. Here is a quick summary of the college softball signals. Following this summary are

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Signals – Room for Individualism?

Excerpts from Referee Magazine article, 2012 In the old days, style and flair in officiating was easy to recognize. It was prevalent in a lot of games. Today, most assigners want officials to use “by-the-book” signals and mechanics. While personality has been shoved to the background, is there still some room for it?  Is there room for some individualism? For

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Sweeping the Plates or Bases (Lost Mechanic)

Over the past years the CCA Manual, the “mechanics manual” for college softball, has removed some sections which had good information covering a number of topics which are still valid college mechanics. They may have been removed because of editing and attempts to make the Manual shorter. This is one of them. Sweeping should only be done as necessary, not

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Check Swings (Lost Mechanic)

The check swing has been a topic of importance for the SUP for a long time and umpires are strongly encouraged to keep working on the mechanics of ruling on a check swing as they work on other parts of their game. It has been a topic in the Expanding the Manual section in 2008, 2009, and 2011; and was

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Base on Balls – Stay Alert (Lost Mechanic)

(This article is an expansion of an article written by Glenn Waggoner) One of the ways a batter becomes a batter-runner (BR) is on an award of first base after a base on balls.  The ball remains live and the BR is an active runner who may advance beyond first base.  Umpires must treat this as any other advancement by

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Mechanics for Pitcher Signal and Lane violations

Sometimes when rule changes occur or an emphasis is put on a current rule, new mechanics may also come into play. The 2020-2021 Rule Book included a change to the pitcher Taking the Signal rule. A few years ago, the pitcher’s lane was added to the line markings on the field. A few years ago, the pitcher’s lane was added

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The Mechanics for Ejections

In the beginning… The first step a crew must take when a coach approaches a crew mate after a close or controversial call is for another umpire to monitor other coaches or players so that it remains a one-on-one correspondence. Sometimes an assistant coach may tell the monitoring umpire “I want to hear what he/she has to say…” The umpire

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