Left-handed catchers

From Referee Magazine, September 2020 Most softball catchers are right-handed, but it sometimes seems left-handed catchers are more frequent than in the past. The strike zone does not change, but a few tips on the mechanics of working behind a left-handed catcher is helpful. Watch warmup pitches Umpires should do this for each half-inning of the first inning regardless of

Read More →

Adjusting to see the strike zone

Source: Referee.com April 4, 2018 When the strike zone disappears Any fast-pitch softball umpire is familiar with the slot position when working a game as the plate umpire: assuming an approved stance behind the catcher, aligned slightly inside the inside corner of the plate and outside the perimeter of the strike zone.  The rationale for this position, as explained in

Read More →

Calling Balls and Strike – Reaction Time

Here is a link to a good video from YouTube which discusses calling BALLS AND STRIKES. If the link does not work do a search in YouTube: Sport Science – Episode 5 – Out of Control – Bad Calls. The art of calling balls and strikes is basically the same for baseball and softball. While watching the video, keep in

Read More →

Tracking the Pitch

Here is a link to a video from our baseball brethren for tracking the pitch. The concepts are the same for softball. Tracking the pitch

The Myths of Calling Balls and Strikes

Do not fall into the trap of believing these myths or including them in your plate game. Start the game with a wide zone to get the batters swinging and then bring it in. NOT TRUE The strike zone can expand on the 3-0 pitch, NOT TRUE When at bat the catchers should get a tighter zone. NOT TRUE Strikes should not be

Read More →

Biases When Calling Balls and Strikes

The source for this article: What Does it Take to Call a Strike? Three Biases in Umpire Decision Making Etan Green, David P. Daniels Stanford University, Presented at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, March 2014 Do umpires call balls and strikes solely in response to pitch location? If seems we do not. The study referenced in the research paper

Read More →

Building Rapport with Catcher

One of the attributes of a successful plate umpire is the ability to work with catchers. This defensive player is a major factor in a team’s success while in the field. A top-notch catcher will be involved with almost every aspect of the game. One such aspect, overlooked by many catchers but very evident in the good catchers, is that

Read More →

Working with the Challenging Catcher

Not every game affords the luxury of working with a good catcher. What does a plate umpire do when the game unfolds with a cantankerous battery-mate, or one who is oblivious to the finer points of working successfully with a plate umpire? Catcher sets up blocking the slotThe umpire must see the pitch from the time it leaves the pitcher’s

Read More →